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dave jenkins
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« #10905 : September 22, 2012, 11:19:18 PM »

Traffic 7/10
Color correction didn't age well. At all. Appart from that and the "I don't know how we wage a war against our own family" silliness, it's really good. After all.
WTF? Are you talking about the Jacques Tati film?



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« #10906 : September 23, 2012, 01:51:00 AM »

Haha no the Soderbergh one  ;D
I edited my entry.


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« #10907 : September 23, 2012, 02:54:51 AM »

TRAFFIC was probably the only time in my life that I agree (ideologically) with Soderbergh. Oh, and he does a fine artistic job too.

I am not sure how I feel about using the 4 different color schemes for the different storyline; I don't like movies where the color looks too obviously manipulated, and it's particularly so with the bluish-grays of the storyline involving Michael Douglas and his daughter. (The bright colors of the Southern California- Catherine Zeta Jones storyline; and the yellowish-brown of the Mexico-Benicio De Toro were fine; I don't remember much about the other color, of the storyline involving the drug dealers who became FBI informants). but I guess it was a convenient way to mentally compartmentalize....


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« #10908 : September 23, 2012, 06:16:40 AM »

I quite enjoyed the color correction. Everything about Traffic worked for me except for the Catherine Zeta-Jones story, which felt rushed and underdone.



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« #10909 : September 23, 2012, 06:39:13 AM »

Everything about Traffic worked for me except for the Catherine Zeta-Jones story, which felt rushed and underdone.

Well let's face it, the 4 stories were not equal; the heart of the story did not lay with the CZJ angle.

For people like Soderbergh who believe that drugs should not be criminalized, I don't think their concern lies with people like the rich drug importers (CZJ's husband); rather, I think it lies more with the individual user (Douglas's daughter), innocent people caught in the crossfire of cartels (the Mexican storyline), and perhaps with the low-level street dealers, like the blacks who can make some money for their family (Douglas's story again) or the Hispanic guy who became the informant (in the Don Cheadle storyline), who let's face it, as he said, everybody would have been just fine if Cheadle hadn't busted in on him: a few people would have gotten high, he'd have made a few bucks, and not have to go into Witness Protection.

Of course in theory, whether your belief in drug legalization stems from a belief in individual liberty, or whether it stems from a utilitarian/pragmatic  belief that the Drug War has been a colossal failure (or both), the same reasoning should apply when it comes to the importer (CZJ's husband's storyline). But the fact is that when asked who is hurt the most by drug criminalization, that rich importer wouldn't be the first person that comes to mind or who is sympathized with, and (especially with a Leftist like Soderbergh), it makes sense if you say that his heart was not with CZJ  as much as it was with eg. the Mexican policeman's poor widow, or with Douglas's daughter

« : September 23, 2012, 08:14:57 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #10910 : September 23, 2012, 07:54:16 AM »

If a story is deemed important enough to take up roughly 25 percent of the narrative it had better be fleshed out. I understand there are deleted scenes with Zeta-Jones' character which may help. As it stands her transition from naive mob wife to ruthless pusher makes little sense.



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« #10911 : September 23, 2012, 08:03:44 AM »

My problem with the color correction is that it's overdone. Rich US people are blue? Fine with me as long as they're not Naviis. One of the 3 basic rules of color correction is "preserve skin tones". Flesh has to look like flesh. If it doesn't, you're achieving a very videoish look, because it's just cheap color correction: you just apply a filter to the image, and you're not even working shot by shot (which I do on $1.000 budget professional videos) while you should be working per area for each shot (which they usually do when they have enough budget to hire pretty much every star they can think of).

And my problem with the (otherwise good) Douglas' storyline is the way it ends. Seriously, a speech that is interrupted by "I cannot do this"? Just like they do JUST FOR FUN in Intolerable Cruelty?

Now, when it comes to CZJ, it could/should have been good, but like you said, it was rushed. There are good scenes and ideas, and her character is very good. Now, you don't see enough of her husband and his business to believe anything about it. It just looks like they're two guys (and a secretary) in an empty office, doing nothing and earning drug money out of nowhere. And the "the drug isn't in the doll, the doll IS the drug" scene is ridiculous in the context of the movie (it would probably work in a Breaking Bad episode though).

« : September 23, 2012, 08:12:57 AM noodles_leone »

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« #10912 : September 23, 2012, 08:07:40 AM »

For a movie wrapped up in docudrama style, many plot conclusions are straight out of the screenwriter's handbook. Douglas finding his daughter so easily bugged me, as did the resolution of the Miguel Ferrer storyline (otherwise the two best strands of the movie). The color correction worked for me though it's visually on the nose.



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« #10913 : September 23, 2012, 08:19:49 AM »

If a story is deemed important enough to take up roughly 25 percent of the narrative it had better be fleshed out. I understand there are deleted scenes with Zeta-Jones' character which may help. As it stands her transition from naive mob wife to ruthless pusher makes little sense.

well I guess there are many stories in the movies (and real life?)  about how desperation makes ordinary people do insane, out of character things. CZJ was living an idealic life, rich in this beautiful house, beautiful neighborhood, beautiful childhood, etc. and now it's all about to go straight down the drain, it's about to be O-V-E-R. And her child has been threatened. I think it's quite plausible that she would do whatever the fuck is necessary to restore her beautiful life.


As for the Douglas speech: I can't say I remember it exactly, I saw the movie once, more than a year ago. But I think that Douglas is really the one who IS Soderbergh's theme: he had been so in favor of drug criminalization until he realizes how futile it is. His is the character who has the epiphany that is the theme of the movie: however well-intentioned, it doesn't work.

« : September 23, 2012, 08:22:37 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #10914 : September 23, 2012, 08:25:13 AM »

well I guess there are many stories in the movies (and real life?)  about how desperation makes ordinary people do insane, out of character things. CZJ was living an idealic life, rich in this beautiful house, beautiful neighborhood, beautiful childhood, etc. and now it's all about to go straight down the drain, it's about to be O-V-E-R. And her child has been threatened. I think it's quite plausible that she would do whatever the fuck is necessary to restore her beautiful life.


It's not that the idea doesn't work, it's the execution. Every time you get back to her she's become more and more of Vito Corleone, and you never see her changing. You don't even see her trying to adapt to her new environment: you enter the scene, she's discussing with the cartel's boss. Wait what? You don't even see arriving, not knowing what she should do, how she should behave?


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« #10915 : September 23, 2012, 08:27:32 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLsCC0LZxkY
The late Milton Friedman making the point (just ignore the ridiculous music that some dumbass editor put in)

« : September 23, 2012, 08:29:33 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #10916 : September 23, 2012, 08:31:01 AM »

It's not that the idea doesn't work, it's the execution. Every time you get back to her she's become more and more of Vito Corleone, and you never see her changing. You don't even see her trying to adapt to her new environment: you enter the scene, she's discussing with the cartel's boss. Wait what? You don't even see arriving, not knowing what she should do, how she should behave?

^ this



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« #10917 : September 23, 2012, 08:33:35 AM »

As for the Douglas speech: I can't say I remember it exactly, I saw the movie once, more than a year ago. But I think that Douglas is really the one who IS Soderbergh's theme: he had been so in favor of drug criminalization until he realizes how futile it is. His is the character who has the epiphany that is the theme of the movie: however well-intentioned, it doesn't work.

Agreed. When you get that on the nose in expounding a message, you slip into Stanley Kramer territory. Miguel Ferrer's various rants seemed more organic to the film (something a self-serving criminal would say, yet not invalid) and hence more effective.



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« #10918 : September 23, 2012, 08:45:41 AM »

Traffic is a bit too happy-endish, otherwise an excellent film.


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« #10919 : September 23, 2012, 08:47:17 AM »

I tried to watch The Message (aka Mohammed Messenger of God) last night and could only stomach about half-an-hour. I figured three hours of characters walking into rooms to talk to Mohammed off-screen, then coming out to report what Mohammed said, would be intolerable. Are we sure the various protests/riots/hostage crises associated with this film weren't from irate moviegoers?



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