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Thread: The Official Movie Discussion Thread

  1. #961
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Watch Paul Muni in the original Scarface and then try and figure it out yourself. It is like Brando in Street Car being enacted again in a very inferior performance comparatively. Also, while the script of the 80s Scarface plagiarises from the 1932 movie, it leaves out a lot of the depth the 1932 movie had. Also, the 1980s movie glorifies violence while the 1932 movie does not (I can explain this further if you want and repost some of my posts comparing the two Scarfaces from a movie forum if you want). I would really like you to watch the two Scarfaces back to back and see for yourself how poor the 1980s Scarface is. Don't get me wrong, I love Pacino and think Carlito's Way by de Palma is a brilliant film but Pacino in Scarface or Scarface (1983) itself does nothing for me.
    I don't think the 80's Scarface glorifies violence unless you believe that just by showing violence at all, it glorfies it. Notice how most of the gory stuff happened just off-camera, there was very little blood and everyone who had it coming got burnt in the end. The very point was that the aggressor lost in the end even though he apparently had it all. 'The World is Yours' and all that yet, having gotten it, his violent, maniacal approach killed him.

    There was no glory in his life or death at all, the scene in the restaurant with his wife said it all; Tony Montana was a paranoid, drug-addicted loser by the end, rich beyond his wildest dreams but trapped by the methods he used to get there. Psychologically, he never moved away from being a murderous criminal like he was in Cuba. He just had a whole heap more money.

    Not detracting from the original Scarface at all but saying the 80's Scarface glorifies violence is missing the point, in my opinion. It was definitely more stylised violence, true but the violent parts of the original were even more jarring in some ways.

    Ironically, Carlito's Way didn't do a huge amount for me.

    Recent films I've seen;

    All four Saws; first was okay, second was total crap, third was an improvement, fourth was the worst of the lot. I'm a bit of a movie elitist in that I prefer movies which are more complex, I guess, but I love movies which seek to entertain too. I wasn't that entertained by the four movies but the fourth was particularly convoluted and not that intelligent.

    Hostel II; Gornography. Pure and simple. Boring, definitely not very scary, a bit misogynist. I found Scream more terrifying (vastly under-rated film, I reckon).

    Beowulf; saw it in 3D and initially was quite stylish but eventually got old. The story reminded me of why the book was such a slog, the film seemed to stretch on for hours!

    Little Miss Sunshine; loved it! The Grandpa played by Alan Arkin was one of the best characters I've seen in a movie. Watched Catch-22 in celebration. haha
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  2. #962
    Global Moderator Fusion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    Looks like a poor knock-off of both The Quiet Earth (Bruno's Finest Hour) and 28 Days Later. I'll be very surprised if this Will Smith vehicle is better than either of the aforementioned films
    It's not. I saw it two days ago and was disappointed. The pace of the movie is very dull, and there are far too many plot holes for my liking and the CGI effects are surprisingly weak. Will Smith tries to play the role too seriously, almost screaming "I Am Acting". I guess I had higher expectations from the film, so was disappointed.

  3. #963
    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion View Post
    It's not. I saw it two days ago and was disappointed. The pace of the movie is very dull, and there are far too many plot holes for my liking and the CGI effects are surprisingly weak. Will Smith tries to play the role too seriously, almost screaming "I Am Acting". I guess I had higher expectations from the film, so was disappointed.
    Have you seen both the Quiet Earth and 28 Days Later, Fusion? If so, does this new film actually plagiarise them or is it more original than that?
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  4. #964
    Global Moderator Fusion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    Have you seen both the Quiet Earth and 28 Days Later, Fusion? If so, does this new film actually plagiarise them or is it more original than that?
    I've seen them, and I Am Legend doesn't plagiarize them. Of course, some elements might be the same, but there is no direct plagiarism as far as I could tell. I Am Legend is based on a book of the same name and owes its inspiration there, as well as to The Omega Man. Even then, the story has been modified enough to not resemble a scene by scene copy.


  5. #965
    Global Moderator Fusion's Avatar
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    Speaking of 28 Days Later, I saw the sequel 28 Weeks Later and must say it wasn't bad. I liked the concept of seeing the virus spread chaotically from it source. I think the "rage" is much more personal and devastating in the sequel. The infected are not just random, mindless zombies and are seen on more personal level. Highly recommend the sequel.

  6. #966
    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion View Post
    Speaking of 28 Days Later, I saw the sequel 28 Weeks Later and must say it wasn't bad. I liked the concept of seeing the virus spread chaotically from it source. I think the "rage" is much more personal and devastating in the sequel. The infected are not just random, mindless zombies and are seen on more personal level. Highly recommend the sequel.
    28 Weeks Later is indeed an excellent film. Better than 28 Days Later in my opinion. Robert Carlyle is excellent as always.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion View Post
    I've seen them, and I Am Legend doesn't plagiarize them. Of course, some elements might be the same, but there is no direct plagiarism as far as I could tell. I Am Legend is based on a book of the same name and owes its inspiration there, as well as to The Omega Man. Even then, the story has been modified enough to not resemble a scene by scene copy.
    Ah. Okay. I might still have a watch then - I like these apocalypse type films, but the advert for it just made it look like a high budget rip-off.

    That reminds me, I must track down a DVD copy of Stephen King's "The Stand"

  7. #967
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    Best "Zombie" film since the original Dawn of the Dead.
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  8. #968
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Watched Catch-22 in celebration. haha
    Great film, fantastic book. Nearly watched it last night coincidently.
    "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher." - Ambrose Bierce
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  9. #969
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    I don't think the 80's Scarface glorifies violence unless you believe that just by showing violence at all, it glorfies it. Notice how most of the gory stuff happened just off-camera, there was very little blood and everyone who had it coming got burnt in the end. The very point was that the aggressor lost in the end even though he apparently had it all. 'The World is Yours' and all that yet, having gotten it, his violent, maniacal approach killed him.
    Just showing violence doesn't glorify violence. Don't see why you need to assume that I believe that. Would have been better if you asked me why I believe Scarface glorifies violence.

    There was no glory in his life or death at all, the scene in the restaurant with his wife said it all; Tony Montana was a paranoid, drug-addicted loser by the end, rich beyond his wildest dreams but trapped by the methods he used to get there. Psychologically, he never moved away from being a murderous criminal like he was in Cuba. He just had a whole heap more money.

    Not detracting from the original Scarface at all but saying the 80's Scarface glorifies violence is missing the point, in my opinion. It was definitely more stylised violence, true but the violent parts of the original were even more jarring in some ways.
    I respectfully disagree and I will explain why I strongly believe that the new Scarface glorifies violence - some thing the original one didn't do.

    1. The message at the beginning of the original Scarface isn't present in the new Scarface. It sets the tone for the old Scarface, not doing it in the new one. That is not THAT big an issue though for me.

    2. The restuarant scene adds a part not present in the old Scarface - Tony blaming society which makes one sympathise with the character. One wonders why such sympathy is needed to be evoked.

    3. Tony in the new Scarface dies in macho style shooting people with his massive guns. Have you seen Angels With Dirty Faces? It explains how the hero should not look macho while dying, if at all, he should look a coward. It is not surprising that Tony of the new Scarface had hero worship and that last scene was loved with a passion by so many people and the Scarface poster ended up selling in record numbers.

    Tony is shown as a hero in a lot of the movie. He is a tragic hero at times. The girl friend part and the sister part are plagiarised from the original scarface and those aspects show flaws in Tony. However, he is shown very much as a big stud with cheap thrills sought all through the movie -- ooh the chainsaw scene in the beginning. The end in particular leaves no doubt that cheap thrills was largely sought to attract the testosterone audience which it succeeded in doing.

    I request you to see the original and then the new Scarface one after the other and then you might get what I am talking about. I can see why the De Palma Scarface has such a huge following but that doesn't make it any thing more than crap for mine. It plays on what the audience wants and manipulates them very successfully. It was a very simplistic film where I am concerned.
    Last edited by Pratters; 19-12-2007 at 10:24 AM.

  10. #970
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    Looks like a poor knock-off of both The Quiet Earth (Bruno's Finest Hour) and 28 Days Later. I'll be very surprised if this Will Smith vehicle is better than either of the aforementioned films

    Which are all a rip of of Omega Man starring Charlton Heston.
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  11. #971
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    That reminds me, I must track down a DVD copy of Stephen King's "The Stand"
    Loved 'The Stand' had Parker Lewis Can't Lose in it.

  12. #972
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    2. The restuarant scene adds a part not present in the old Scarface - Tony blaming society which makes one sympathise with the character. One wonders why such sympathy is needed to be evoked.
    Why sympathy? Made him look pathetic and just completely on the wrong path, not an object of sympathy for me. I didn't feel sorry for him when his wife left and his mate turned on him, more that he'd reaped what he had sown.

    3. Tony in the new Scarface dies in macho style shooting people with his massive guns. Have you seen Angels With Dirty Faces? It explains how the hero should not look macho while dying, if at all, he should look a coward. It is not surprising that Tony of the new Scarface had hero worship and that last scene was loved with a passion by so many people and the Scarface poster ended up selling in record numbers.
    I'll pay that the end is more macho for sure but -

    Tony is shown as a hero in a lot of the movie. He is a tragic hero at times. The girl friend part and the sister part are plagiarised from the original scarface and those aspects show flaws in Tony. However, he is shown very much as a big stud with cheap thrills sought all through the movie -- ooh the chainsaw scene in the beginning. The end in particular leaves no doubt that cheap thrills was largely sought to attract the testosterone audience which it succeeded in doing.
    I don't agree that the whole film was like that. Notice that it's only really that ending where Tony is lionised. The rest of the film, where Tony was in a hairy situation, it was largely luck that got him through, including the chainsaw scene. He was lucky that he didn't get chainsawed himself, was lucky he didn't get assassinated at the nightclub (he just ran and didn't shoot back, remember?), etc. The only other bit for me where he was the macho hero was when he shot his boss and the crooked cop.

    Look, I take your point that the main character wasn't as nuanced as is in the original but then, this film wasn't intended, from what I've read and seen in interviews, to be a remake. More of an allegory to the original with a souped-up 80's feel. It wasn't meant to be the multi-faceted character-driven film of the original and so, suffers by comparison if that's what you're looking for but, in terms of what it was aiming for, was hardly 'crap'.

    It also comes down to individual taste; you say the 1932 original (which I've seen, by the way) had 'depth'. To others, the moralising in the film, that the main crook was just an evil man rather than the result of interplay between his nature and his environment, was a result of the over-weening deference to censors to ensure the film was able to be seen (that there are two endings, one with extra moralising speaks to this conslusion too) and that he was just 'born evil' is unrealistic. Additionally, you say Al Pacino's performance was less complex and the film less complex overall. Many others have said that this was the point; that often the criminal world and things like murder motives, etc. are simpler (most of the time about drugs and/or money) than movies, that a multi-faceted character like Tony Camonte doesn't reflect reality, that Tony Montana was more 'real' (the over-the-top ending notwithstanding), that Tony Camonte's character, the hysterical homicidal super-villain, wasn't gritty enough to represent real criminals or criminal environments of the time (which is true; some of the characters were vast exaggerations of real-life, quite conservative gangsters like Johnny Torrio). This doesn't make the 1981 film less but just different. It was more action than drama, if you catch my meaning. I thought that were both brilliant but very, very different.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 20-12-2007 at 09:46 PM.

  13. #973
    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Saw a host of films on the first plane.

    The Darjeeling Limited was excellent, though very similar in its nature as any other Wes Anderson film.
    The Contract starring Morgan Freeman & John Cusack was mildly thrilling fare. Not great.
    Death at a Funeral was an interesting slice of British Farce starring a cacophany of British film talent.
    Ratatoille (sic.) was okay, though these computer generated cartoons really do get very samey.

    Oh - and I saw Richard Hammond crash his car on an edition of Top Gear

  14. #974
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Why sympathy? Made him look pathetic and just completely on the wrong path, not an object of sympathy for me. I didn't feel sorry for him when his wife left and his mate turned on him, more that he'd reaped what he had sown
    The scene was there in the original as well. The wife leaving him and mate turning on him was there. However, the speech blaming society wasn't. There is a school of thought which says that the bad guys are part of society too and society has to be blamed for it to at least an extent. It was very much to evoke sympathy.

    I don't agree that the whole film was like that. Notice that it's only really that ending where Tony is lionised. The rest of the film, where Tony was in a hairy situation, it was largely luck that got him through, including the chainsaw scene. He was lucky that he didn't get chainsawed himself, was lucky he didn't get assassinated at the nightclub (he just ran and didn't shoot back, remember?), etc. The only other bit for me where he was the macho hero was when he shot his boss and the crooked cop.
    The luck part is some thing which is pissing off too. While in the original, Tony got through with a lot of intellegence and muscle used in lethal combination, here it was luck a lot of times. When he shoots the cop, Tony in the new movie tries to give a moralistic dialogue. In the original, Tony says once that he would get through any one to get on his way to the top. Such aspects right through the movie, if you can get me, were putting off.

    The macho bit was very much there all through the movie. The way Pacino does the role is machoness personified. His actions were very much macho as well. He loses the subtleness in the original movie. When his boss bashes Tony in the original film with dialogue, Tony merely smiles. When the boss says the same stuff in the new movie, Tony retorts back but then complies with the boss. Both wait for their opportunity to over ride the boss but Pacino's Tony wouldn't leave the other character coming off strong when he should as Tony clearly isn't in any position to be any thing else.

    in terms of what it was aiming for, was hardly 'crap'.
    If it was aiming at attracting the audience, it succeeded. It failed as a movie for me.

    To others, the moralising in the film, that the main crook was just an evil man rather than the result of interplay between his nature and his environment, was a result of the over-weening deference to censors to ensure the film was able to be seen (that there are two endings, one with extra moralising speaks to this conslusion too) and that he was just 'born evil' is unrealistic.
    The original film didn't really give in to the censors that much. The shadow scene where 5 people are lined up and shot one after the other is so violent and shocking. I thought that the movie depicted what Hawks wanted to depict. I don't see it as evil or good. Tony thought in a particular way - his mindset was very much explored in the film. He cared for his family but would do any thing to be successfull, even murder. It is not utterly unrealistic to think that a person may think that way.

    Additionally, you say Al Pacino's performance was less complex and the film less complex overall. Many others have said that this was the point; that often the criminal world and things like murder motives, etc. are simpler (most of the time about drugs and/or money) than movies, that a multi-faceted character like Tony Camonte doesn't reflect reality, that Tony Montana was more 'real' (the over-the-top ending notwithstanding), that Tony Camonte's character, the hysterical homicidal super-villain, wasn't gritty enough to represent real criminals or criminal environments of the time (which is true; some of the characters were vast exaggerations of real-life, quite conservative gangsters like Johnny Torrio). This doesn't make the 1981 film less but just different. It was more action than drama, if you catch my meaning. I thought that were both brilliant but very, very different.
    Tony Camonte's chatacter was a character. It acted diplomatically, was shrewed and did what it needed to do to succeed. He smiled at times and behaved as if he wasn't as intellegent as he was. Then at other times, he was his real self. He was very much gritty. The depiction was fair I thought.

    On the other hand, Tony Montana was a caricature character, very much. Acting like a stud in the beginning, then acting like a loser. No subtleness at all.

    Gangsters are more conservative than those depicted in films (Denzel in American Gangster shows the conservative aspect). However, the criminal world is not simple. You do need to have brains to succeed. Murder motives can be simple yes, and I have no qualms about that.

    I can understand why people might like de Palma's Scarface (I have dicussed this with a lot of people, including you now) but I do think it is crap. I did not find the performance of Pacino impressive and any where near what it is made out to be either.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Pratters; 21-12-2007 at 02:46 PM.

  15. #975
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    This post is too long. Please edit.
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