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  1. #3583
    Mecca V.I.P. Braaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    But...it wasn't? From a formal or, rather, a more "traditional" critical standpoint it was poorly acted, shot, and written. From my understanding, Edward was supposed to have this mysterious, romanticized air to him in the book, one which extended beyond his coeds thinking he was "hot" or "gorgeous" or whatever word kids are using these days. Robert Pattinson did a bad job of projecting this vibe, though much fault lies with the director as well, who seems to have taken a 100-level "How to direct movies" course and jumped immediately into the game. The aesthetic is harsh and bleachy, the camera obvious; the effects even more so. In scenes of "action" or faux-suspense, the fast-tracking dolly shots take a back seat to generic handheld ones; a motif as elementary as possible. Yeah, you're trying to exude a sense of immediacy. We get it. There are other ways to do this.

    Character arcs are probably the picture's biggest problem, as it starts off grounding its characters relatively well before delving into the trivialities of their lives and portraying them as showpiece activities. The baseball scene, for one, was stupid. It was purported to introduce how Bella was to be hunted, sure, but this could have been done in a handful of other ways that didn't involve gratuitous use of poor CGI and an even poorer understanding of projectile motion. That's right, I'll criticize the film's understanding of physics, because vampires are, by definition, of super strength but the film takes ideas - potentially interesting ones at that - like, "What would it be like if incredibly strong creatures played baseball?" and turns it into a gimmick. I'm not asking for realism here because I know we're dealing with vampires which, you know, aren't real, but isn't the point of the film to show how their "condition" makes it difficult, nay, impossible to live a normal life? If this is the case (I know it is) why not actually put attention into the details instead of taking a unique thought and taking it in the most obvious direction?

    The handling of vampire lore was poor at best, though this largely due to the film being based off source material. Seriously though, sparkling like diamonds in the daylight? It doesn't even make sense. This isn't hindering of their abilities in the slightest but instead just makes their lives a little less convenient. The ominous, overdone "tension" between the vampire crowd and the werewolf tribe is also half-baked up to this point. It serves more as a reminder of things to come, but is ultimately a pointless inclusion in this film, as its given far too much weight from a directorial sense. It's reduced to a red herring basically, causing the viewer to think one threat is imminent when it's scrapped for another, carelessly introduced one (namely the vampire tracker). The bookend quote of the main narrative (something about sacrificing life for someone you love) is also a formally poor choice, as its aimed at causing those who haven't read the book to think she's referring to Edward and not her mother. Wow, such a shocking twist! What started off decently soon turned into a grating experience as it eschewed detail and overtly concerned itself with minutia. What a ridiculously inconsistent movie.
    Although I do not have the cinema knowledge to argue your points. I disagree about some of your assessments other than the baseball scene which I agree, was terrible. Actually I think the movie was great until that scene, then it went downhill from there. But I will concede that the movie was not that great with my inability to create a substantial argument against yours. I still enjoyed it though.
    I like the different take on the vampires compared to the old and traditional ways. It made it different with its own identity, rather than merely carrying on with the "same old thing".


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  2. #3584
    Mecca V.I.P. Paulie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq View Post
    Although I do not have the cinema knowledge to argue your points. I disagree about some of your assessments other than the baseball scene which I agree, was terrible. Actually I think the movie was great until that scene, then it went downhill from there. But I will concede that the movie was not that great with my inability to create a substantial argument against yours. I still enjoyed it though.
    I like the different take on the vampires compared to the old and traditional ways. It made it different with its own identity, rather than merely carrying on with the "same old thing".
    It went downhill in the first 10 minutes. For the people that haven't read the book, how are we supposed to know who these students are? And how did they all become friends? Basically we're left with nothing, no background of anybody, and I was pretty upset about the overall plot development.

    The writing was terrible, as Line had said before. It was very amateur like and was executed very poorly.


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  3. #3585
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq View Post
    I disagree about some of your assessments other than the baseball scene which I agree, was terrible.
    Such as?

    I'm really not looking for a "fight" or to nit-pick your reasons for enjoying it. Frankly, you liking a film I hated doesn't affect me in the slightest, as it's your opinion. I'm just more curious than anything about what you got out of the film. I'll try to post more on the issue of vampire lore in the near future, but I'm going to conclude Millennium Mambo right now.


     


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    Mecca V.I.P. Braaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    It went downhill in the first 10 minutes. For the people that haven't read the book, how are we supposed to know who these students are? And how did they all become friends? Basically we're left with nothing, no background of anybody, and I was pretty upset about the overall plot development.

    The writing was terrible, as Line had said before. It was very amateur like and was executed very poorly.
    Movies never live up to the books, with the exception of LOTR. But even then many can argue the same for that trilogy. They never go into the detail that the books delve into, if they did the movies would be too long.
    You can say it was amateur like and executed poorly but the movie was success and the director is laughing his way to the bank with millions while making a sequel.
    It goes to show that entertainment is the most important factor to a movie. If it entertains you and draws you in to the characters and the plot then the movie was successful. You can pick apart any movie, which is why film critics being paid for their profession is beyond me. Saying a movie is terrible is a subjective opinion, but someone educated can argue the "cinematic" flaws and camera use if that makes them happy...


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    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    ^^ It becomes less subjective when you dissect the film and address the various elements. I agree that you can still enjoy a film whilst it is still a steaming pile of crap (e.g. Anchorman was funny, yet I hate that type of film and Will Ferrel - whom I find annoying and untalented).


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  6. #3588
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq View Post
    It goes to show that entertainment is the most important factor to a movie. If it entertains you and draws you in to the characters and the plot then the movie was successful. You can pick apart any movie, which is why film critics being paid for their profession is beyond me. Saying a movie is terrible is a subjective opinion, but someone educated can argue the "cinematic" flaws and camera use if that makes them happy...



     


  7. #3589
    Mecca Mod (not) Daniel Andersson's Avatar
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    The perfect storm


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    Mecca V.I.P. brendan's Avatar
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    fool's gold. (2008)
    wouldn't recommend it.


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    Mecca V.I.P. ironheart's Avatar
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  10. #3592
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    I'll expand on this and state that criticism is an ongoing practice in almost every facet of civilized life and is an important check in almost every industry today.


     


  11. #3593
    Mecca V.I.P. Braaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    I'll expand on this and state that criticism is an ongoing practice in almost every facet of civilized life and is an important check in almost every industry today.
    Thank you, I think it needed expanding rather than a typical facepalm smilie.
    True, but anyone can give criticism. Why a profession like movie critics who get paid to do something that no one really listens to? No one cares what critics say. A movie can be hailed by critics and fail miserably at the box office, or can be slammed yet be a success.
    My point is that it is easy to criticize, look at all the keyboard bodybuilders that critique the hell out of a physique that is light years beyond anything they can achieve. It holds little weight, yet we persist.
    Anyone can find something they don't like about a movie if they, like you, watch it to find what they do not like. I approach every movie with an open mind and like it (most of the time) for what it is, instead of being pessimistic. Much like when I try a new beer


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  12. #3594
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq View Post
    True, but anyone can give criticism.
    Technically yes, but that doesn't mean they're taken seriously.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    Why a profession like movie critics who get paid to do something that no one really listens to? No one cares what critics say. A movie can be hailed by critics and fail miserably at the box office, or can be slammed yet be a success.
    There's more to film than box office returns. You know, it's an art form and junk. To say no one listens to critics is also silly and misguided. The public will see what they wish, sure, but there's a reason why reviews are the number one traffic-builder at BoxOffice.com and why sites like Rotten Tomatoes - dedicated solely to filmic critique - exist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    My point is that it is easy to criticize, look at all the keyboard bodybuilders that critique the hell out of a physique that is light years beyond anything they can achieve. It holds little weight, yet we persist.
    But it's not easy to criticize. Sure, in theory it is but criticism is almost an art in and of itself, especially in the professional realm. The chasm that exists between message board members and paid writers is vast, as is the one between film and bodybuilding critics. You're generalizing to make a point but in the process ignoring major differences that make your comparison an inappropriate one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    Anyone can find something they don't like about a movie if they, like you, watch it to find what they do not like. I approach every movie with an open mind and like it (most of the time) for what it is, instead of being pessimistic. Much like when I try a new beer
    I don't understand this at all. First you undermine my capabilities as an educated cinematic critic but then you seemingly extend the olive branch with that quip about beer. You're misunderstanding the approach many, including myself, take when watching a film and filling in the gaps with nothing but broad assumptions. :dunnodude:


     


  13. #3595
    Mecca V.I.P. Braaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    Technically yes, but that doesn't mean they're taken seriously.
    And the general public/ majority take professional critics seriously? I think you would find the contrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    There's more to film than box office returns. You know, it's an art form and junk. To say no one listens to critics is also silly and misguided. The public will see what they wish, sure, but there's a reason why reviews are the number one traffic-builder at BoxOffice.com and why sites like Rotten Tomatoes - dedicated solely to filmic critique - exist.
    Exactly, art and art's beauty/entertainment is in the eye of the beholder. You can say that is a bad or false statement but only those that feel their opinions are above others would say that. Art and movies is what the movie brings to you, how it effects you, not how someone else says it should.

    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    But it's not easy to criticize. Sure, in theory it is but criticism is almost an art in and of itself, especially in the professional realm. The chasm that exists between message board members and paid writers is vast, as is the one between film and bodybuilding critics. You're generalizing to make a point but in the process ignoring major differences that make your comparison an inappropriate one.
    If you approach it that way then sure, but I disagree. I think the comparison is very appropriate. And generalizing to make a point, is a rather common way of relating material. I was not talking about the differences between professional critics or message board members, just to clear that up. I am speaking of critics in general, yes I am generalizing again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Line View Post
    I don't understand this at all. First you undermine my capabilities as an educated cinematic critic but then you seemingly extend the olive branch with that quip about beer. You're misunderstanding the approach many, including myself, take when watching a film and filling in the gaps with nothing but broad assumptions. :dunnodude:
    I don't undermine your "ability" as a "educated" cinimatic critic. You are great with words and thus are great at your ability to write a critique for a site. However, I think you approach most movies negatively and watch a movie trying to find what you don't like rather than actually enjoying it. I have rarely seen you like a movie. The quip about beer was not an olive branch but a comparison to how to approach things. I go into every movie, like when I try a new beer, not comparing it to anything else and enjoying it for what it is. Sure there are things I can pick out that I don't like about both, but it is the overall enjoyment that is most important to me.
    What about this do you not understand? :dunnodude:


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  14. #3596
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq View Post
    And the general public/ majority take professional critics seriously? I think you would find the contrary.
    Why does the majority or general public have to take critics seriously? Are they the ones making films?
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    Exactly, art and art's beauty/entertainment is in the eye of the beholder. You can say that is a bad or false statement but only those that feel their opinions are above others would say that. Art and movies is what the movie brings to you, how it effects you, not how someone else says it should.
    Beauty does not equate art and art does not equate beauty, thus they cannot be interchanged in that idiom. Also, you again miss the point of criticism or the purpose of critics, which aren't explicit "how to" guides on watching or dissecting films. If you miss the point of a movie, by which I mean the artist's actual intent, whose fault is it if it doesn't resonate with you? Is it the director's or yours as the viewer? Are all critics alike or do some focus more on academia, others on craft? These questions and the like (believe me, I could go on but won't) are why your argument doesn't work. Perspectivist gaps exist. Some are more prone to understanding film better than others. All opinions are not equal in value. Et cetera.

    You're also oversimplifying art here, which I merely touched on in that note about your phrasing. To think you can sum up a topic as intangible as art in a discussion with me in such a superficial way is also a bit undermining. Hell, everything you get out of a film, even emotional reactions, start with cognition. This is [roughly] why art criticism exists - to intellectually examine the motifs and movements of artists and how they affect the viewer. Many "reviews" are little more than essays that weigh thematic considerations with formal movements, not damning a picture outrightly because of nit-pickery.

    You also also skirted what I said regarding the popularity of film reviews online.
    Quote Quote
    If you approach it that way then sure, but I disagree. I think the comparison is very appropriate.
    No, it's not. Bodybuilding is a subjectively scored sport, sure, but it's easy to see why the judges make the decisions they do, even if said decisions have political bias. In bodybuilding, everything is out in the open; athletes can't hide their flaws, thus making it very accessible for anyone to string together assumptions dealing with critique and replicating them accordingly. Opinions show through in the way way of favoritism for the individual, but it's rare that true bodybuilding fans are way off base, as everything they need to know is in plain site. Film is more complex than that and in some ways a movie is more alive than a bodybuilder. There are so many more things going on in a film, which delves into far more than the superficial, making it more challenging. The comparison would be apt if we were judging movies purely on a visceral basis, but that's not the case at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    And generalizing to make a point, is a rather common way of relating material. I was not talking about the differences between professional critics or message board members, just to clear that up. I am speaking of critics in general, yes I am generalizing again.
    When talking to someone like me and broadening your argument further, do you really think it's appropriate to generalize? It only wastes words...and time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    I don't undermine your "ability" as a "educated" cinimatic critic. You are great with words and thus are great at your ability to write a critique for a site. However, I think you approach most movies negatively and watch a movie trying to find what you don't like rather than actually enjoying it.
    I can only infer so much from your post and I don't think saying you've undermined me in some way is at all a stretch. You're drawing conclusions based on what you've seen from me in the past, and projecting blanketing ideas unto me. However, what's posted on this site represents only a small sample of my cinematic opinions. I talk movies here, sure, but it's not what I'm here to do. The idea that anyone can watch a film intently and understand it on the level the director intended is silly. It's a skill, one that comes with time and practice. If you don't like what a critic writes you stop reading that critic, not all of them, and you certainly don't brush off an entire profession as being something "anyone can do". I mean "almost anyone" can throw a baseball but not anyone can do so on a major league level. Am I generalizing now? Yes, but this comparison, you know, actually works as it parallels your line of thinking, or what of it I can infer from your words.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    I have rarely seen you like a movie.
    You got it. There's nothing I like more than hating a movie, which is why I spend so much time watching them. This makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    The quip about beer was not an olive branch but a comparison to how to approach things. I go into every movie, like when I try a new beer, not comparing it to anything else and enjoying it for what it is.
    The complexities of film slightly outweigh that of beer, which makes approaching them or enjoying them two different tasks. How do you enjoy beer that tastes like ass? Because it gets you drunk? That's fine, but what's the cinematic equivalent to this - a bad action movie with lots of explosions and tits? That's fine, but beer doesn't exploit violence or feminine sexuality in order to get you drunk. Even if you enjoy such a film purely on a visceral level, are you really going to say it was a good movie? Likewise, are you going to call that bad beer that gets you drunk good? Then there are good beers that are of complex taste and aroma that are too thick to drink heavily. Do they lose points, as they did not adhere to getting you drunk, or does it rank higher due to its being more flavorful? These are the kind of concerns one has to deal with when writing film criticism. Still, beer doesn't hold a candle to cinema comparatively, as the former is generally addressed by rating five attributes then tallying the score. This doesn't work in movies. They're not qualitative. Because movies are so wonderfully different (or at times gratingly similar), it's difficult to not become repetitive and to adequately address your thoughts within a confined amount of text. In this, many reviews become an approximation of opinion, but this doesn't mean they're without worth. Wiki the impact of Pauline Kael, a critic so influential that director David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) wanted to give up making films. Now ask yourself, who are criticisms intended for and what issues do they address? Then dissect a few reviews of long-time critics and try to figure out why they decide to dwell on the aspects they do and shirk others.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braaq
    Sure there are things I can pick out that I don't like about both, but it is the overall enjoyment that is most important to me.
    What about this do you not understand? :dunnodude:
    I understand this fine. What you don't understand is you are speaking as an individual against an establishment and I am representing said establishment. You're looking how films are critiqued and label it as easy and meaningless, which is ridiculous. Critics don't personally attack people for their opinions. In fact, they rarely respond to anything after posting their review, as it's deemed unprofessional. So here you are, lambasting individuals that see a film before it's screened for the public because you think they look for faults. No, they look for what a film is, what it truly is both on and below the surface, and try their damndest to report on that. Our initial discussion of Twilight was between friends, which is why I offered my opinion, but our conversation seems to have grown in scope. Hence, my transition to the "critic" standpoint, which you misunderstand. It's not like critics go unchecked either, yet the general public does in their accusations of critical ineptitude.


     


  15. #3597
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    From Andrei Tarkovsky:

    "In recent years I have met more and more young people who go to film school to prepare themselves to do "what they have to do" (as they say in Russia) or "to make a living" (as they say in Europe and America). This is tragic. Learning to use the equipment and edit a movie is child's play; anyone can learn that without half-trying. But learning how to think independently, learning how to be an individual, is entirely different from learning "how to do" something. Learning how to say something unique and different is a skill that no one can force you to master. And to go down that path is to shoulder a burden that is not merely difficult, but at times impossible to bear. But there is no other way to become an artist. You have to go for broke. You must risk everything in your quest to express a personal truth. It must be all or nothing.

    "The man who has stolen in order never to thieve again is forever a thief. Nobody who has once betrayed his principles can have a pure relationship with life ever again. When a filmmaker says he will try to please people - relatives, friends, teachers, or reviewers -- this time in order to get a degree or earn the money to make the film of his dreams the next time, he is lying to you, or even worse, lying to himself. Once he heads down the path of deceit he will never be capable of making a real film."


     


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    I will agree with Line that cinema and even critiquing are complex art forms with many subtleties that only certain audiences will find appealing.

    However when arguing the validity of critics in the art world it is necessary to keep in mind why they exist. Critics exist because art does. Art exists because humans are always attempting to express themselves. Film was born out of the failings of the written word, the spoken word and the still image. The essence of art is to convey a message, whether the medium be writing, music or film. The message can be deeply moving and complex or it can be something simple and funny. The critic arose as a method of explaining and further enjoying a piece of art and its themes by analyzing it and attempting to convey it to others. Dissecting and analyzing even bad art can be a fun pass time and a good intellectual exercise that can yield a gain in personal knowledge and awareness.

    Though one can never be sure to agree with a critic over how good a movie is, it is generally of interest to study their viewpoints. Providing an entertaining, informative and intelligent analysis of a film is very much an art in and of itself. Some people are opposed to in depth analysis of an art form and let themselves simply react to it to enjoy the emotional stimulus. Others enjoy a deeper analysis (myself being one of them).


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    If furtherance to my previous post the role of critics in the evaluation of film in particular has an important aspect I seem to have missed.

    Critics create a language which we can all share when we are debating the values of films. Without a common language it makes it impossible to intelligently and effectively weigh the merits of one film next to another. We need some common ground on which to base our comparison, due to the very nature of comparing things. However this is somewhat paradoxical, since we are in essence forcing movies into terms that we can apply and compare. This obviously applies bias. Art by definition is about being creative, expressive and somewhat inventive, which makes objective comparison a challenge.

    However critics have certainly enabled us to speak a common language and notice certain things, camera styles, lighting, acting, story arc's etc that enable us to more effectively discuss a film.

    It is still my opinion that while analysis and dissection of a film can be very stimulating, the emotions a film evokes are a more important consequence. Ideas with emotional attachment are fantastically valuable to human understanding and memory.


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    Mecca V.I.P. Braaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryeland View Post
    It is still my opinion that while analysis and dissection of a film can be very stimulating, the emotions a film evokes are a more important consequence. Ideas with emotional attachment are fantastically valuable to human understanding and memory.
    Basically what I was trying to say but much more eloquently put.


    Don't get me wrong Line, you are very talented at what you do. And I can't even begin to compare with your knowledge on cinema.
    And I do think professional critics are pretty useless, but I do understand your point about the skill and point of critiquing. It is clear we watch movies for different reasons and get different things out of them. So I will not argue your points below and will refrain from discussions on film.


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