Discussion in 'The Living Room' started by Robert, Aug 30, 2014.
First Man - meh 6/10
On Saturday, I saw First Man and Bad Times ad the El Royale
Though it's been getting great reviews, I've been noticing that First Man has been getting more of a mixed response from audiences and is underpeforming at the box-office, which is so weird to be because I LOVED first man SO much. Movies like First Man are pure movie magic. The way Damien Chazelle shot a lot of the flight scenes in a shaky cam manner and a lot of the time from the first person perspective made the film so incredibly visceral. The guy made a film about jazz drumming seem like the most intense thing ever, of course he could make you feel like you're actually in the cockpit of these ships.
As I said, most of the flight scenes are shot from a first person perspective, so it made it all the more glorious when wide shots from afar are used when Apollo II launches. I'm so glad I saw the film in IMAX, because when they land on the moon, it transitions from the 16mm film most of the movie is shot in, to glorious IMAX. The theater I was in audibly gasped when it transitioned, it was that good The movie deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. There's a scene with Neil Armstrong alone on the moon, and is one of the most touching and moving things I've seen in a long time. It made me cry my eyes out. I was reading up on it, and it may or may not have actually happened. Neil's biographer and sister think he did it; I guess we'll never know. But it's an amazing scene.
If I were to guess, the movie might be getting a mixed response because it's a lot more somber and reflective than I think people want. The film calls into question whether the cost to get to the moon was really worth it, an intriguing topic, but not something people might not want to think about too much. Usually these kinds of films affirm the positive without question. Some have been saying it's too slow, but I thought it was perfectly paced. All a matter of taste I suppose.
Oh, and Justin Hurwitz's score is absolutely AMAZING.
Bad Times at the El Royale
Bad Times at the El Royale was a film I was highly anticipating, which was misplaced I suppose. It's not a bad film, but it thinks its a lot more clever than it actually is. If there was a film that would be most comparable to this one in both tone and structure, it would be The Hateful Eight, a film which I loved. Where that flm took its time and had major payoff, this movie was a slow burn that never paid off. I love movies that take their time to build, but when you don't deliver on that build up, the whole experience seems pretty pointless. They take so much time setting up backstories to these characters and showing events from multiple perspectives, but it really doesn't amount to anything. It even seems weird in retrospect that the premise of the hotel being half in California, half in Nevada is never really factored into anything. It could ave just been a normal hotel.
If there's one thing the film really has going for it, it is the performances from the actors. Jeff Bridges gave an amazing peformance and is probably the one you most empathize with. Though only in the final act, Chris Hemsworth plays a cult leaders, and is absolutely brilliant. One of the standouts though was Cynthia Erivo, who hasn't been in any major film before, this. She was fantastic, and is probably going to become a big star.
The movie's basically second-rate Tarantino, but is worth watching if you're really into thrillers like this.
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