December 28, 2008

Some Quick Thoughts on Revolutionary Road and Slumdog Millionaire

Since I didn't review either, I figured I'd give everyone a short burst of my two cents on each film:
Slumdog
-I'll come out and say it...I think it's a bit overrated. At the same time, it's one of the few films that there's nothing really to complain about. It's well made, well acted, and the story captures you for the duration of the flick. The movie is essentially a small scale film that's on a dream ride (perhaps) to the promised land, and while I think there's better films out there this year that might deserve the award (or even the nomination) more, you won't hear me complain a bit about any accolades that come its way. I loved me some Slumdog, and it will definitely have a place on my top 10 list, but I don't think it's the best film of the year by any stretch, but again...that's just me.
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Revolutionary Road
-This is the scariest film of the year, since now I am horrified of marriage. The arguements in the movie are incredibly intense, which is a testament to the acting. The story is only ok, nothing we haven't seen already in something like Little Children (and I prefer that film to this, I must confess), but the direction by Sam Mendes is very good, making the film never a chore to sit through. It's a movie you see for the acting, and Leo and Kate deliver in a big way. The supporting characters are fine, but none particularly set the world on fire in the flick (I enjoyed Michael Shannon's acting, but his character annoyed the hell out of me). Overall, it's one of the better films of the year, though it may end up letting some people down.
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By the end of the week I will have seen the last of the films I need to see, so around New Year's expect my end of the year list...probably going to be the 30 best films of the year, but it will contain my top 10, which is all that really counts anyway....

17 comments:

  1. How is it overrated?

    You don't offer any criticisms of the film. Honestly, I think the film is near perfect. Of the major Oscar contenders, this film is the best. The direction and editing are fluid, the story is compelling, and the acting is sufficient. I'm interested to know what films (of the major contenders) you think are better. Unfortunately these sort of debates will end up in the realm of subjectivity, but it's hard not to see the brilliance of this movie.

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  2. It is overrated...one of the best of the year, but not the runaway movie of the year

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  3. indeed Ryne...one of the best, but not the best...Keith, I assume we're talking about Slumdog, btw, but I feel that The Wrestler, Milk, The Dark Knight, WALL-E, and perhaps even The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are overall better...I see the upsides to the movie, and agree with all that you said, especially that it really has no true flaws, it just didn't wet my pants like other films this year...it's on par with Benjamin Button...really good, but not the class of the year, to me at least...I'm obviously in the minority, but then again, I'd be useless if my opinions were always in concert with everyone else's...chalk it up to personal preference

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  4. I'm beginning to agree with you that Slumdog, while a fine film in its own right, is a tad overrated. Not sure why, but I would really rather it not win Best Picture, if for no other reason than that in my humble opinion, it's not as important a film as some of the others, specifically The Dark Knight, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Wrestler, or Wall-E. Each of those films is going to become a classic and will be talked about for years to come, but I feel that Slumdog simply won't age that well. Not sure why, but I'm beginning to get a tad tired of the love-fest for it.

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  5. If I personally could pick the five nominees for Best Picture this year, I would go with

    The Dark Knight
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Wrestler
    Wall-E
    Slumdog Millionaire.

    I think Slumdog deserves a nomination, but not to win. I think the win should go to either Benjamin Button or The Dark Knight (if it gets nominated).

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  6. I agree with you about Slumdog. It was good, just not as good as people were making it out to be. The story was predictable, the narrative style has been done before, and the themes are commonplace. Overall, it was a bit overhyped but still better than most movies out there.

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  7. I'm afraid I have to side with Keith on this one. I think the fact that Slumdog Millionaire is racking up on the critics awards is causing a backlash however, it really is one of the finest, if not the finest film of the year.

    Its style has been done before yes, and it ends with satisfaction with everyone but why does a happy ending = not that good of a movie?

    In the end, its all subjective. Go nuts.

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  8. I loved Slumdog, but the reviews made it out to be the cure for cancer, and it's just a nice little film...overrated may not be the right word, but perhaps overhyped...gotta side with Joey on this one

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  9. Does it matter if the Dark Knight or Wall-E will be more important in time?

    The Academy picks the best film of the year. They don't pick the film that will age the best. Perhaps that factors into their criteria, but who's to say that Wall-E will be talked about 15 years from now (or the Dark Knight). Who knows any of this?

    Sometimes, people want to see a well told story that makes them feel good afterward. Slumdog is a well made movie. I can understand why people are praising it. It may not be a "masterpiece", but I'm of the opinion that no movie this year is a clear cut "masterpiece". If that's the criticism of Slumdog, then I agree. It's not a 18 out of 10, but its a 9.3 out of 10, and that's enough to be among the top films of this year.

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  10. Like the anonymous poster said, I think people have hyped this film beyond even The Dark Knight's hype. Yes, we TDK fans went a tad overboard at times, but after the dust cleared we all calmed down and decided that even a nomination would be wonderful. I think that people have made Slumdog out to be like happiness for $8. While I have nothing against a film that is well made and makes me feel good leaving the theatre, I think that my main problem with Slumdog was that while I loved it, it didn't move me or truly affect me in the way that The Dark Knight, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Wall-E, or The Wrestler did. Each of those films stayed with me for days and months afterwards. Slumdog, while brilliant, didn't really stick with me for much longer than a day or two. I think I may just be getting tired of the love train because it makes for a very boring Best Picture race. I prefer to see some variety in who is winning what, because that makes the competition much more intense. The one thing that bothers me about Slumdog is that it seems like no other film is really getting much attention. But in all fairness Keith, a backlash was inevitable. I hate to be the one to hop on board the backlash bandwagon, but I feel like there were plenty of other great films besides Slumdog this year, and they deserve some love too.

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  11. Slumdog isn't so amazing, get over it...on now to Revolutionary Road, a film that is in fact amazing...why is no one talking about this?

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  12. Honestly, I'm not sure what I can add. I thought the film was incredibly well made. Do I think it's the best thing since slice bread? No. Do I think it's the best film of this year? Unsure. But it's one of the best. Does it deserve to win the best picture award unanimously? No. But it may still deserve to win despite a lack of unanimity. Some people might think otherwise, but that doesn't make the film overrated. It just makes some people's opinion about the film debatable.

    Backlash is expected, but I don't get the criticisms levied against the film. They seem flimsy.

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    Slumdog's hype is greater than the Dark Knight's hype? Questionable. The Dark Knight is rated no. 4 on IMDB. It was rated no.1 (of all time) for a month. I'm afraid to criticize the Dark Knight. It's become the Barack Obama of movies.

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  13. 12/29 - 3:01

    I didn't really enjoy Revolutionary Road. I thought the acting was superb, and the direction solid. But, I wasn't a huge fan of the content. April Wheeler came off as real whinny, and made her problems worse than what they were. I know the burbs can be boring, but she made it seem like they were parallel to hell. I wasn't really feeling it.

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  14. I agree that TDK is almost impossible to talk down on...Slumdog's detractors are in a weird place (myself included, though I think I like the film more than I've been given credit for) because there are no real criticisms, just a feeling of it being a step down from the masterpiece some people proclaim it to be...in my case at least, but again, this is to take nothing away from the film, and if it wins Best Pic, I won't be unhappy...it's far better than something like Frost/Nixon or Doubt

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  16. I agree, Joey.

    However, I do believe that it's incredibly tough to determine when a film is a "masterpiece". I like to consider "City of God" a masterpiece. I don't have a clearly defined criterion, but I tend to measure every film to City of God. I don't think Slumdog is on the same level, and hence I don't think it's a masterpiece. However, it's a damn good film, worthy of praise. There's certainly more room for films on the top. But, Slumdog deserves to be there.

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