Friday, November 27, 2009

Escape to the Movies: "The Road"

I wish it was better.

("Intermission" should be up around 5pm ET on The Escapist)


Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,
long time viewer here, great review as always. You're one of the best movie critics out there, and we seem to share a lot of opinions on moviemaking in general, and that's always a plus :)

But there's something that bothers me: why have you started censoring the videos? Or was it something that was enforced on you? (I don't think so though, Yahtzee keeps swearing how much he wants in his videos).

I'm not one of those Ritalin popping twelve year olds that can't go through a sentence without saying three cusses and the word "gay", but these goddamn *BLEEPS* are really starting to get on my nerves: they're freaking high in pitch, they ruin the pace of your review and finally they are useless.

So please, can we get back to the much more funny and enjoyable cuss-laden reviews? :)

Alternatively, you could just stop cussing altogether (even though this would greatly diminish the fun of hearing a presicion F strike), but please, PLEASE, no more bleeps, ok? :)

Thanks for your work and keep it up!


Anonymous said...

Great thanks Movie Bob. Looks like this is one I cant miss then. 99% of the time I disagree with every movie you bash/praise. Heres hoping that trend continues.

BTW LOL@2008 Movies, this year has had the best movies since forever, this is the first time in my 39 years on this planet ive been to a theatre more then twice to watch a "must-see" and ive yet to be disappointed.

Nixou said...

You know, you would need a VERY good origami expert to "adapt" the Mona Lisa, considering it was painted on a poplar panel, in other words, wood...

Well, it actually does not invalidate your metaphor, actually, you could argue that it makes it even more relevant.

Anonymous said...

I took a class in college which focused on Cormac McCarthy's works. The Road was one of the few books that I enjoyed reading along with No Country for Old Men and Suttree. I'd agree that the way McCarthy describes the world in which the book takes place is better on the page than it is on the big screen. I guess this is another example of the book being better than the movie.

Mykal said...

Great review. Thank you for making the point I been having trouble explaining to others in the best possible way. That simply movies and books are completely different formats where what works for one, won't work for the other.

Though I kind of disagree on you on the Halo movie because all one has to do is make it a decent popcorn flick where Master Chief is simply killing enemies getting from point a to point b with each kill being more over the top then the last. All this leads to him riding something as the planet is being destroy.

Then again I am saying this when the Haloid a fan made deal can do the same job without fallowing what Halo is about, while keeping the spirit of the game in it.

underthepale said...

Oh god. What's with the bleeps? If you've said, at some point, then I'm sorry for asking again, but god. They're jarring and they don't seem to serve a purpose, in particular when I consider that your cursing is tasteful, whereas Yahtzee- who uses far more profanity- is not.

For that reason, this was going to be my last Escape, but you used not one, but two Yomikos. So you get a reprieve.

But do something about the censorship. Please.

Dustin said...

I have to agree about the bleeps. It's a little distracting. Though, to point out what others might have missed, it seems like f*** is the only word being bleeped or blacked out of the text. I heard other words that weren't bleeped. I understand if it's beyond your control, but in that case, I would just work around it by not cursing. Cursing doesn't seem to be as much a part of your style as Yahtzee. If he stopped, the reviews would suffer. I don't think that's true in your case.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, I'm a fan of McCarthy's works. I've read several of his novels, including No Country for Old Men. I enjoyed very much its film adaption. No Country... fit with all the standard trappings of a McCarthy novel, subtle characterizations, methodical pacing, focus on prose. Sadly, I have not had a chance to read The Road. But, my question for you is if The Road has in common all the standard aspects of a McCarthy novel, what made No Country... such a successful film adaption while The Road so lacking?

Anonymous said...

well I feel that the visual adaptation of the movie (the way the world looks) is what kills it for me. The landscape of the book if placed on celluloid would have been the most amazingly impressionistic or even avant garde world ever made. Gray mottled tone everywhere. Low hanging clouds and near dark light levels. Ash falling from the sky so heavily that the man and boy need to brush each other off every few minutes. It would be like that mix of heavy fog and heavy snow storm around 5 pm which gives an area a strange ethereal look and feel of dead silence and danger. the above description only really happens in the northern states and canada (where I'm from) which may prevent you from understanding and meaning

Anonymous said...

I actually know exactly what you mean. My favorite example was coming out of a fast food restaurant right by the highway. I never expected such a beautiful sight in such a ugly and rundown area. It was still ugly in some sense (it was still a rundown highway outside a fast food restaurant), but majestic in another.

I know you aren't Bob, but did I get your opinion right in that it could have been a fantastic movie just botched by poor visual?

Anonymous said...

yes. I generally don't care if a film is an largely plotless atmospheric character study, like The Road. That's generally what the director's last film was like as well, speaking of The Proposition of course, and it was mind blowingly awesome. It's also why films such as Lars Von Trier's The Element of Crime work incredibly well despite being somewhat weak narratively.

But people in the film industry often fail to realize that mood films are as much the sum of it's visuals as they are characterisation and general dialogue. They attempt to cow tow to gain general audience appeal by making a film that is more relatable visually than just going straight out there and doing it how it's supposed to be done. Like a few of the scenes where Man and Boy walk around a knocked over forest while the back ground is a raging blaze of fire is doing it right and even the look of the characters themselves is pitch perfect to the original book. But the rest of the movie just looks wrong when compared to the source material.

I mean, that part of 2012 where the president is trying help people while being rained on with heavy ash is more evocative of what The Road is supposed to look like than this adaptation. I mean this looks like a hobo and his equally homeless son get lost wandering around 'deliverance' country in late fall around that time just before the snow falls. Kind of like right now for instance.

All in all. The film needed to be more ethereal visually. Like, i got to say, watch a russian soviet era film like tartovsky's Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Rublev or even fucking Stalker where the atmosphere created by the visuals clearly help seriously build the film as much as the characterisation, dialogue and the narrative. Or even recent post apocalyptic films and games such as Children of Men, Fallout 3, City of Ember, 28 --- Later series, Stalker games, etc, do a better job visually building this world than Hillcoat did with his Road movie.

seraphmaclay said...

Ok I've got to debate the Halo thing with you. I HATE FPS's! I HATE them all, save three...Bioshock, GoldenEye 007, and Halo (I haven't played System Shock, it may be great). However, I hate the in game story for Halo, yes, it's bad...however, the overarching universe actually does something to the further the genre...which yes, does feel disgusting coming of my tongue, but it's true. I've been a fan of yours for a long while now, and I honestly don't think you've given the series a fair chance. Yes, it does everything you hate about modern games...yes, it was one of the three games that started it, but, no, it doesn't have a bad story, it's just the developers forget to put in the games for whatever reason. I have high hopes for Halo Reach, as there was actually enough material from the universe the games created, to write a book about it. So, if you're willing to read Twilight, which bothers me to the point where it's the only book without Steinbeck's name on it that I haven't finished, you should give them a try.


tyra menendez said...

road to perdition is actually a comic book adaptation. so it's natural that it's a rip off of lone wolf and cub. it's also natural that it was already steeped in visual story telling and pacing.
there's also a lone wolf and cub tv series out there, but i have no idea of the quality.