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: A Most Violent Year (2014)  ( 4043 )
dave jenkins
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« #15 : January 01, 2015, 05:28:45 PM »

Here are some very quick comments from the director and cinematographer that you can watch at imdb. You have to go to the site and click on the video, but it's worth doing: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2937898/



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
dave jenkins
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« #16 : January 02, 2015, 02:11:15 PM »

Blu: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RNELHU8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Just $17.49 - $2.50 more than it cost to see it in the cinema.



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
noodles_leone
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« #17 : January 19, 2015, 03:13:55 PM »

This was one of the darkest-looking movies I've ever seen, and I mean that entirely in a bad way. Not dark like neo-noir, not dark like The Godfather, but dark like hazy like you can't see anything. I guess that passes for art these days.

I agree with D&D that the film looks dark, but I don't think that's bad - after all, the film is set in the winter of '81.

There are only two possibilities. Either you both are crazy (and we know you are), or you have to never go to that theater again. The film is NOT dark. Like, not at all. And I mean it: I love the way they do dark movies nowadays: Tintin, The Social Network, Gone Girl and even a good chunk of Inside Llewyn Davis. But A Most Violent Year takes place mostly outside in broad day light. I can think of exactly 3 dark scenes + the opening shot, and they were way lighter than 80% of each of the films I mentioned earlier.

Anyway, who cares. It features some of the best cinematography of the year.

That's a film I would want to give 9/10. Most of it is perfect. The actors (except for Julian but his character is the main flaw of the script) are top notch. Oscar Isaac is amazing. The locations, the props, the cars are exactly the kind of stuff that me love movies. The cinematography is excellent. The dialogues are great. The industry they're working in deserves exactly this kind of movie. This was almost the Goodfellas.

But.

But something doesn't work. You basically don't care about what happens to the characters. I think it's mainly due to a flawed script. I don't really really care about Julian being a flawed character or Chastain's relationship with Isaac being unbelievable (he's not the kind of guy you can betray every single time you get an occasion and still stay around. And I have yet to think of a single scene where she's not betraying him one way or another. She just forgot to sleep with the cop, but I guess she was just waiting for the ending credits for more privacy). I think the script fail to convey the one thing the film is about: Isaac's struggle to NOT be a gangster. Yes you understand it, you see the trap around him... but you never ever feel it.

It's a shame because it really was top Scorsese material, but I'll probably watch it at least 10 times in the next years anyway so it's still a good 7.5/10.

« : January 19, 2015, 03:15:15 PM noodles_leone »

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« #18 : January 19, 2015, 06:43:15 PM »

That's a film I would want to give 9/10. Most of it is perfect. The actors (except for Julian but his character is the main flaw of the script) are top notch. Oscar Isaac is amazing. The locations, the props, the cars are exactly the kind of stuff that me love movies. The cinematography is excellent. The dialogues are great. The industry they're working in deserves exactly this kind of movie. This was almost the Goodfellas.

But.

But something doesn't work. You basically don't care about what happens to the characters. I think it's mainly due to a flawed script. I don't really really care about Julian being a flawed character or Chastain's relationship with Isaac being unbelievable (he's not the kind of guy you can betray every single time you get an occasion and still stay around. And I have yet to think of a single scene where she's not betraying him one way or another. She just forgot to sleep with the cop, but I guess she was just waiting for the ending credits for more privacy). I think the script fail to convey the one thing the film is about: Isaac's struggle to NOT be a gangster. Yes you understand it, you see the trap around him... but you never ever feel it.

It's a shame because it really was top Scorsese material, but I'll probably watch it at least 10 times in the next years anyway so it's still a good 7.5/10.
Good points. The Julian thing doesn't work at all, especially at the end. What he does at that point is not in the least credible.

The relationship between husband and wife IS believable, though, once you understand that it is a marriage of convenience. Without the wife Isaac's character would never have even got a look-in at the business, let alone a buy-in. And he needs her to keep the thing running. It's a corrupt industry that you can't operate in without being corrupt. So, the division of labor that Jimmy Cleanhands comes up with (albeit indirectly) is that his wife will do the dirty work and he'll do the stuff that's legit. The betrayals aren't really betrayals, because he has chosen to turn a blind eye to what his wife is up to. She's a mobster's daughter, after all. He knew what he was getting into from the start. Of course, part of the interest in the film is the extent to which Isaac will go to preserve the status quo. He's got to have that sense that what he's doing is clean, he isn't going to do the full mob routine. But he's ruthless nonetheless. He in effect drops Julian under the bus when he becomes inconvenient to him. Notice that he doesn't do anything for the guy's legal aid. His promises to Julian and Julian's wife are worthless. And at the end the most important thing to him is whether his new storage container is leaking oil. His final speech to Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrating his single-mindedness reveals that his determination to succeed, though laudable in some respects, robs him of empathy for others. He's a very interesting character on the screen; in real life I wouldn't go near him.

There are several good reveals in this film. SPOILERSMy expectations that Isaac would at some point go the Whole Pacino kept getting frustrated until I finally realized that I was seeing a different kind of movie. And I especially liked the fact that it turns out there was no conspiracy against Isaac and his company, the bad guys aren't working for anyone but themselves, and the industry, because of the corrupt way it's run, abets such shady dealings as a matter of course. Nobody in management even need think about it. Kinda like real life. END SPOILERS



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
drinkanddestroy
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« #19 : January 19, 2015, 08:13:54 PM »

... and only a 6 or 7 out of 10 for FOD?

Ya know, I never minded being surrounded by fags. Leaves all the girls for me.


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« #20 : January 20, 2015, 12:48:57 AM »

Good points too, DJ.
Another thing about Julian: his character exists solely for Isaac's character development. They're being compared during the whole film. And when they're not being compared, Julian is used to get telling reactions from Isaac. It partly explains the cheesy ending scene and the weird importance they give to his story.

About the Godfather:
I think I had heard critics comparing him to Michael Corleone so I had this in mind the whole movie too. But yes, it's a different story after all.

Another thing I heard somewhere and that is interesting is that while everybody is trying to get Isaac to react as a gangster, his biggest opponent is the film itself. The film is trying harder than any character to BE a gangster film. I think it plays a big role in the audience's frustration. It's also partly responsible for the way we're kept outside of Isaac's character most of the film.

Anyway, I'm leaving. I have to go live in NYC. In the 80's.

... and only a 6 or 7 out of 10 for FOD?

Ya know, I never minded being surrounded by fags. Leaves all the girls for me.

You cannot get them if you're blind. That film isn't dark.


So much darkness. Look at that WHOLE briefcase.  :'(

« : January 20, 2015, 01:40:20 AM noodles_leone »

drinkanddestroy
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« #21 : January 20, 2015, 06:06:03 AM »

The character of Julian was fine by me.


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« #22 : January 20, 2015, 06:46:15 AM »

Good points too, DJ.
Another thing about Julian: his character exists solely for Isaac's character development. They're being compared during the whole film. And when they're not being compared, Julian is used to get telling reactions from Isaac. It partly explains the cheesy ending scene and the weird importance they give to his story.
O0
Quote
About the Godfather:
I think I had heard critics comparing him to Michael Corleone so I had this in mind the whole movie too. But yes, it's a different story after all.

Another thing I heard somewhere and that is interesting is that while everybody is trying to get Isaac to react as a gangster, his biggest opponent is the film itself. The film is trying harder than any character to BE a gangster film. I think it plays a big role in the audience's frustration. It's also partly responsible for the way we're kept outside of Isaac's character most of the film.
Even the trailer sells the idea that the film is a mob movie. I went fully expecting to see that kind of film, and it took me a while to figure out I was at a very different movie. When I finally accepted that fact everything was jake, but it sure took me a while to readjust. I guess this is a hard film to market--who would be interested in a story where Michael Corleone rejects mob life and just settles down with his school teacher girlfriend to run a dry goods business? Still, the surprise of finding a movie that isn't about what you thought you were gonna be seeing is such a rare experience these days that it must be savored.



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
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« #23 : January 20, 2015, 07:13:54 AM »

The character of Julian was fine by me.

This is why you give 9/10 to FoD.


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« #24 : December 01, 2016, 12:14:21 PM »

Thread is dead but I just got around to watching it. I saw it on the DVD and enjoyed it then looked up a review of the blu-ray and saw the last paragraph as a good summary.

Quote
J.C. Chandor is a force to be reckoned with, but for me personally at least, he's a largely intellectual force, not one that speaks to the heart or emotions. That tendency may slightly undercut this tale of a resolute and seemingly honorable man attempting to walk the straight and narrow path when fate seems to be conspiring to pull him into one detour after another. Isaac is a commanding presence throughout the film, giving it a necessary feeling of gravitas, but A Most Violent Year is almost an anti-thriller in a way, a film built out of anxiety rather than outright brutality (aside from those hijackings, anyway).

noodles_leone
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« #25 : December 01, 2016, 12:25:47 PM »

Hum, I'd argue that the emotional weaknesses of that film mirror quite precisely its intellectual ones. I had a second watch the other day (I got it for 5 bucks on iTunes) that pretty much confirmed the impression I had (I haven't read my initial review though so I may be contradicting myself). Still, there is no denying that some events/characters in the film are only there for intellectual purposes instead of servicing a good story.


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