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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    The word hack has been thrown around and abused so much, at this point, all it means is the work of someone you don't like. A hack is someone who works primarily for a pay check, aiming for the lowest common denominator commercial success and who only puts in the laziest, most formulaic and unrefined effort. It's a derivative of hackneyed. Like him or hate him I wouldn't call Villienueve a hack. He aims for a more cerebral, refined style, tackles serious stories and themes and takes a serious approach to his craft. How well he accomplishes those goals is up for debate.
    Well said Batutta, well said.


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    #22
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    We all express our points of view here. Opinions will differ. It's OK if you see things differently from me or someone else. You having a different opinion from me is no grounds for me to attack you. If someone finds enjoyment or value in a work, well, that's to be celebrated, regardless of whether somebody else has the opposite opinion. Enjoy what you enjoy.

    But if we hope to bring value to these boards, hopefully we all can bring arguments and evidence for our opinions, and not just namecall, throw out insults and calumnies toward the target of our opinions. That's what I try to do. I try to go into great detail to buttress my arguments, not just "gee, I don't like this director, film, work, the end". I'm happy to be compared to anyone on these boards in this respect. We may still disagree, that's fine, but then again, the aim of these threads is not to achieve uniform thought control where only one opinion is allowed. I don't try to bully anyone to agree with me - I try to say, frequently, that it's just "my opinion", YMMV and so on.

    You like the trailer and DV's work - great. I find DV's work to be very inferior, and that's my opinion which I give many detailed arguments for. Hopefully both have value. And it's OK to have a minority opinion. Perhaps everyone loves this trailer, that still doesn't mean you aren't allowed to think for yourself and have your own opinion - what can I say, I've never felt the need to agree with others just because they're in the majority.

    My advice is to focus on the work being evaluated and not on other commenters - it's more productive that way.


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    #23
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Was there a deleted post? I haven't seen any name calling in this thread.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #24
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Also, for what it's worth Old Corpse, I personally have never taken issue with your opinions, only the way you've occasionally expressed them. I think you can use overly harsh and unnuanced language to get your point across. It's something I dislike about internet discourse, where people phrase everything in the most hyperbolic way to provoke a reaction. I start to distrust and discount people's opinions when they can't see gradations of quality or skill. Not everything is great or terrible. Most things lie on a spectrum between those two points. It's one thing to call DV's work inferior. It's another to call it COMPLETE GARBAGE.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #25
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    What I was advocating was not to aim “just insults” against the targets of our opinions i.e. in this case DV (which is what I wrote, see above). So, say, if I call DV “talentless”, which can be seen as an insult, that’s not the *only* thing I do, I give extensive grounds for doing so. In other words, I’m trying to make speech as broadly free as possible while at the same time remaining productive in a discussion and adding value. Insult the director/creator as much as you wish... as long as you can back it up. Attacking other commenters meanwhile, or focusing on them at all, by contrast is not productive. What do you learn about film if I were to call you “X” or “Y”? So, talk any ish you want about the creator, but make sure every time you’ve got the goods - that way, you can still bring value.

    Regarding internet discourse - funny as we’ve had this discussion before, Batutta. I have a different view - and I quoted Keynes as an example of someone who had the same approach. You use hyperbolic and strong language precisely because it moves people to look more closely at the issue compared to anodyne bland statements. It’s the same idea as in film or any art. You’re looking for strong effects, and getting strong reactions is always preferable to weak reactions. That doesn’t mean your preference in internet discourse is any worse (or better!) than mine - just a different approach. To each their own.

    As to calling something “complete garbage” - it’s a matter of standards. I mean, if a fellow shoots footage that’s out of focus so you can’t tell what you see, well I’ll call it complete garbage. The fact that someone jumps in to say - “how unnuanced! What about the other guy who shot the footage with his lens cap on! That’s worse! Nuance!” - doesn’t pull the out of focus footage out of the complete garbage can. Yes, it can always be worse. So what.

    The point here is that the original purpose has been missed, not by how much. Two scenarios. Scenario (a) where a comedy does not contain a single laugh. It has failed comprehensively. I call it complete garbage, because it has not achieved its fundamental purpose. I don’t care if the lighting is great by the great Deakins or whoever. Or it has great sets. It’s complete garbage. Scenario (b) a comedy that has only a few laughs - OK, now I can do nuance. I can say it’s weak, or underpowered, and I think I’ve been scrupulously fair in my critiques. If anyone wants proof, they can go to the Sicario thread which I linked to above - I even thought the film had some merit, and I said so. I said I did not regret the money or time spent. So it’s just not fair to say I do no nuance. Same with my review of BR2049 - I didn’t give it zero stars. I praised what I thought was possible to praise. Again, it’s not fair to say I do no nuance.

    But there have to be standards. If you aim to have a scene be moving, and the audience laughs instead in an unintentional comedic moment, you have completely missed. I call that complete garbage. At that moment it’s not an issue of nuance or “how close”. The patient died on the operating table due to a mistake by the surgeon. Nothing else matters. Close doesn’t count here. A comedy that’s not funny, a thriller that doesn’t thrill, a mystery that doesn’t mystify. Complete garbage. Sure, the lens cap was off, it’s still complete garbage.

    That’s the problem with a lot of DV’s work as I see it. It misses completely. And when it does, I say so, and I give my arguments.

    As to trusting people’s opinions - I never do “trust”. “Take my word for it, it’s a great film” - err, no. I’m only interested in anyone’s opinion insofar as they can back them up with arguments. Which is why I try to always give as detailed and strong arguments for my opinion as possible. I don’t expect people to “trust” my opinion, only to examine my arguments. Oh, and btw. I don’t expect people to agree with my opinions either... although I do hope that when there’s a disagreement it’s met with counter-arguments, and it’s all focused on the subject matter and not each other. But that’s me, YMMV.


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    #26
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    I think the Keynes approach ignores how people's emotions actually work, especially when it comes to something as subjective as art, and does you no favours. The problem with calling something 'complete garbage' off the top is that two people will have vastly different ideas of what that means, so all you've done is piss off people who don't agree and make them not want to read further. The goal of expressing an opinion is to open people up to your point of view and get them to consider it. When someone uses inflammatory language, I believe it does the OPPOSITE of making people listen. It closes people off from actually hearing you because they start to get defensive. This is something it took me a while to learn in creative meetings. Nobody wants to be made to feel stupid, and when you frame opinions in the starkest terms you're basically saying to that person if you disagree with me you're an idiot. I learned it's better to calibrate how I express my opinions, so that the other person is more receptive to my ideas. That doesn't mean changing them, just shading them in more precise, less provocative terms. If an idea is truly godawful, then at some point you have to call a spade a spade but rarely in my experience is that the case.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #27
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    I think BR2049 was a whole lot of craft and money poured into an ultimately mediocre film.

    Doesn't even seem like it was Roger Deakins best work, just perhaps his most colourful and grand in a while. Films like Fargo and No Country for Old Men seem much more his speed. Also, I don't think Roger Deakins was the right DP for 2049 either.


    I think the reason BR2049 failed was Dennis Villenueve. And perhaps because Ridley Scott insisted they have a Las Vegas scene (there was something about that mentioned in an interview) That scene stuck out to me ask awkward. But I still like Dennis Villenueve as a director... just not for every film. He has a mood and a pace that I enjoy from time to time.


    There were other elements that added to the films demise, and Jared Leto was part of it. They should have shot him in near shadow or silhouette, and perhaps that would have helped his performances and mystique a bit. I mean he is blind, he would need to be in a well lit room, and the darkness would give him an advantage and intimidation over anyone he interacts with.


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    #28
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    I think BR2049 was a good movie. Just nowhere near as good as the original.

    Deakins may not have been the right DP. The original was so cluttered, ugly, and claustrophobic (but in a beautiful, mesmerizing way). I dont think Deakins' instincts play to those adjectives.

    My issues with BR2049 were, in no particular order:

    1. How the hell has Ford survived so long?

    2. Gosling lacks Ford's gravitas

    3. Too pretty, too much natural light

    4. Lack of proper tension/drama building somehow.

    5. Why the hell do replicants have their number written on their eyeball? Totally demystifying. And if they could do that now, why couldn't they do it before?

    6. Gosling was generally a bit boring. I think that was the role. But still.

    7. Ford's too old to convincingly run around.

    I actually liked Leto in it. And I loved the scene with the French replicant who had plucked out her own eye and when she subtly mocked Gosling for thinking he was the chosen one (so to speak). I liked Gosling's relationship with the AI. That was an interesting dynamic both in terms of the characters and the philosophical implications. Robin Wright was a bit dull. I think I liked the fight scene at the end. The Las Vegas bit was beautiful. Too beautiful? Man, the scene were the holographic showgirls were flitting on and off as they fought was dope. And the basic concepts of replicants sexually reproducing and having a mass rebellion was interesting material. As was the implanted memories.

    Overall I liked more than I disliked about it. But it had mighty big shoes to fill as the sequel of BR.


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    #29
    Senior Member James0b57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    My issues with BR2049 were, in no particular order:

    1. How the hell has Ford survived so long?
    Pretty sure you are joking here.

    Isn't that what this film reveals or confirms? He is a replicant (and some replicants might not have a definite expiration date). Two replicants made a life. They deserve to be considered living things. The whole moral conundrum premise of the first film.


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    #30
    Senior Member James0b57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    Overall I liked more than I disliked about it. But it had mighty big shoes to fill as the sequel of BR.
    Well, that's just it, isn't it? The goal of following up a master piece isn't usually to make a film that is ok. So, I totally understand if people speak in hyperbole about disliking 2049, or even call it a complete failure. Because to the audience and people who enjoyed the first film, that is what it is: a disappointment.


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