Friday, August 10, 2012

Escape to The Movies: "The Bourne Legacy"

Chems? Chems. Need more Chems.

"Intermission" is called Upside of Down.


Lee Kalba said...

Re: Intermission,

Don't forget about what Del Toro did with Hellboy. Talk about changes, from the comics! Kronen is in name and (some) dress only, an adaptation. But those movies are great, because Del Toro loved the source material.

AmazinglyDisappointed said...

I don't care for the new Bourne movie much like I don't care for the Bourne sequels thanks to their shaky cam nonsesne and the sad influence it left on Hollywood to continue that horrible film style is quite possibly one of the worst film trends in decades.

I'm instead going to comment on the Intermission article. Specifically the "Visionaries Need Not Apply" section.

Bob, you could not be more off on this section. In fact, this is the aspect of film criticism particularly found in the "geek circles" that is one of the most lacking. The fact of the matter is, most (including your favorite "Film Hulk Critic") not only cannot tell the difference between film styles but they don't even notice it. When I have read Film Hulk Critic's articles, before he joined that moronic wannabe tough guy Devin Faraci's website, I notice he focuses entirely on romantic expression of trying to find out what he thinks the subtext to movies are. That's fine and all but at the end of the day cinema is defined by the camera and what we see thanks to the camera. Since very few people even talk about this aspect not only do so many became mis-educated by not growing an appreciation for cinematic styles it also helps pass some toxic bottom of the barrel forms of movie making such as shaky cam since no standard is being set. It also does a disservice to many film makers (i.e. Asian film makers) that do concentrate on shots and compositions but their work is over looked and unjustly reduced to supposed shlock film making even though they posses a staggering amount of understanding of visual film making that the ones that are praised highly in the West completely lack (e.g. Christopher Nolan).

I address this to you because in your article you attribute the wrong things to the wrong topics. The Penguin in Batman Returns having little to do with the comic's version has nothing to do with cinematic style. That's a script issue. While the script's of Burton's Batman films played loosely with the source, in regards to shot composition they are a far better representation than Nolan's versions not because it's "comic booky" but because it's truly cinematic. Nolan is one of the most cinematically deprived directors out there that has gotten so much praise. Nolan's talents are in screenwriting not directing which is why his films often tend to be so wordy. However as there is no focus on the visual side of movies in criticism he has been ridiculously raised to the standard of a god which again only continues to mis-educate people interested in film.

In this section you also bring up Whedon's directing in The Avengers and you write this:

"Sadly, because Avengers director Joss Whedon's signature style comes in the form of staging and scripting instead of explicit visual themes, I can easily imagine it being mistakenly held up as validation of this approach."

Totally and completely wrong.

When I saw The Avengers what I came out with that totally blew me away was the quality of Whedon's DIRECTION. I already expected the dialogue to have that Whedon touch but Whedon hadn't directed too much before so I wasn't expecting anything on that front. What I saw was an incredible understanding of visuals, shot composition and precise framing in every aspect of that movie that ranged from the talking scenes to the action scenes. Whedon is not only better at directing big Hollywood action scenes better than pretty much all of those those that get paid for it in Hollywood like Michael Bay but he also is better at understanding how to use the camera to tell a story better than the ones that are constantly praised as being cinematic gods (e.g. Christopher Nolan). The fact that you think otherwise really makes me wonder how much bad influence you are getting from that Bad Ass Digest site you love so much.


AmazinglyDisappointed said...


Whedon's The Avengers was superior to all the previous Marvel Studio movies in every cinematic aspect. The previous ones were generic in their film making with the exception being Captain America as it did have an interesting retro 50s look to it. Also, the action scenes in all of them were too short, forgettable and disappointing whereas Whedon action scenes were outstanding that showed an understanding of action film making that makes him stand out from the big leagues in Hollywood.

The tragedy is that people like you don't realize this and that's why visual direction like Whedon's will go unnoticed attributing the movie's success to the wrong things which will continue to mis-educate people which will then give way to more idiots with a shaky cam fetish and by the numbers direction to gain praise for nowhere near the same amount of talent or work. It's as if people like you can only notice cinematic styles when it's all in your face. Which brings me to:

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies.

The criticism of Raimi's Spider-Man movies has NOTHING to do with his visual eye. In fact, that's what the strengths of his Spider-Man movies were. Although I have many problems with them, I cannot fault his action scenes. Even though there could've been a lot less CGI, Raimi is a damn good action director. Matter of fact, the best scenes in his Spider-Man movies are the ones that concentrate on just Raimi directing. For example the Doctor Octopus scene in Spider-Man 2 where he attacks all of the doctors in the operating room is an incredible scene of pure cinema.

The problem with his Spider-Man movies, and why people like me were never truly satisfied with them is the TONE. The movies were corny and had one note characters. Raimi loves cheese himself and that's an important part of him making movies but that didn't work for Spider-Man to really come to life. You on the other hand love corniness in movies. That's fine but you are going to have to just admit that preference instead of avoiding that fact and pretending it has weight to it. I feel that if it were up to you almost all movies would be cheese fests.

That's one of the reasons you didn't like The Amazing Spider-Man (apart from the fact that you were just hell bent on hating it BEFORE the movie was even made). TAS is in TONE the Spider-Man movie that I wanted the first time. I want to believe in the characters not see some dumbed down universe where everything is obvious and little resembles how people in real life speak and behave. The movie's strengths are not in its action scenes although they are not as boring and forgettable as Marvel Studio's movies sans The Avengers. The direction was just fine. You're very off on there is no personal touch to the film when many have noted how much more believable the character scenes were than in the Raimi films and it's no coincidence that those very strengths were the case with Webb's previous movie 500 Days Of Summer. You need to be more honest about your feelings with the movie instead of trying to force it as an issue of a lack of personal vision which is not true.

While the the article is well meant the fact is that you aren't accurate on several things that I have pointed out here. I really wish far more discussion and understanding on actual cinematic direction were on hand in these film circles but they hardly exist. It is instead dominated by talk only on trying to find out the meaning of the subtext of every movie which is something that has no real right answer to it anyway. What ends up happening is further mis-education and further descent in bad cinematic styles like shaky cam as well as boring and uninspired directors that get high praise even though they pay little attention to compelling shots (e.g. Christopher Nolan) which is what makes movies what they are.

lordoffaceplam said...

@AmazinglyDisappointed, OK there is no way I can say this with out coming off like a bit of a jerk (even next to you) but it needs to be said so here it goes:

DUDE, go outside! Do some shopping! Get a burger or something! TALK TO SOMEBODY FOR GODS SAKE!!!!

Wes said...

AmazinglyDisappointed - You're on blogger, you apparently have the time, why not blog on films with a focus on execution of cinema style? Instead of being 'that guy' who has to hate in the comments, why don't you become the film critic you're disappointed that's not around. You could have reblogged bob's post and your reply and there's your start. If you think you see a problem, why not try to fix it instead of just pointing it out, you're not doing any good that way.

Merrick_HLC said...

AmazinglyDisappointed: Uhm, do you have a blog or twitter or something I can follow?

I admit I sorta skimmed your post but your comments on the Spider-Man films (all of them) are like you read my freaking mind.

Anonymous said...

Can't help but notice none of those replies to AD are actually disproving or even disagreeing with it.

Wes said...

Anonymous - I like Bob Chipman and agree with a lot of what he says about gaming with a few exceptions. As far as films as much as I value his, but disagree with him as much as I agree. Example, Thor was ass backwards, and I feel it got progressively duller as the film went on. You look at the order of events in relation to how built up and spectacular the cinematography and effects were, the major climax scene was in the beginning with the ice giants, then a sort of interesting fight with swat guys, then a massively long dull second act in a boring southern rural town and a lackluster robot battle that fizzled to a sort of cop out ending. That's an opinion based of my minuscule understanding of pacing in film. When you put your opinion in a blog it's because you stand by your ideas and feel you have something to contribute to the discussion of the culture and media. When you put it in a comment it's more like you want people to listen to your idea because you're seeing your idea in relation to another's like some phallic yardstick of who is the the more knowledgeable or right, and therefor "better", person. That's just how it comes off. And I'd rather see someone that obviously has both the passion and the sense to put their thoughts into a comprehensive response (instead of just geek rage) into something that's constructive.

Rory said...

Well I had zero interest in ANYTHING Bourne. But guess what's coming next week Bob...OMG I can't wait for you to be forced at gunpoint to review Expendables 2! Almost as much as I can't wait for the entire internet of "douchbags" to form a lynch mob again. Ain't it great how having an opinion on the internet is like a declaration of war nowadays!?

Anonymous said...

Why the heck is Amazingly Disappointed on this board blabbering about superhero movies again, and more importantly about Amazing Spider-Man again. This is the Bourne Legacy board, he didn't even mention Spider-Man in this video. Geez, and you thought Bob dragged it out for a long time. Get over it, for god's sake, no offense.

McIntosh said...

So you don't like the whole "American spy fights foreigners" thing because it's often racist but you also don't like the whole "American spy fights the corrupt US government" thing because you somehow find that racist too. What I gather from this is that you think that no protagonist in an action-spy movie should ever be American, which is absurd.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Ok, Bob... So, ff you don't like Americans fighting other Americans, but you also don't think China or North Korea are any huge threats... who do you think would make for good enemies in action movies?

Anonymous said...

@ Above Anonymous

Bob briefly mentioned Amazing Spider-Man as one of the bad movies this summer in an opening paragraph. No lingering, just as a way of saying he didn't really like how this summer turned out. I guess that was enough to get several more paragraphs out of AmazinglyDisappointed.

I only bothered looking on this post to see if he latched on to that one glint and by golly, there he is with [copy, paste, word count] 1344 words, most of it only vaguely on-topic. Seriously, this is a comments section. If somebody has so much to say in response that there needs to be a "(continued)", make a blog, write it there, and maybe do a short summary with a link to the post.

AmazinglyDisappointed said...

The last "two" Anonymous claim that I wrote something off-topic to what Bob posted here.

Yet, I wrote this right after my very first paragraph:

"I'm instead going to comment on the Intermission article. Specifically the "Visionaries Need Not Apply" section."

So, those last "two" Anonymous just proved either how bad their reading skills are or how moronic they are by deciding to comment on my post despite not actually bothering to read what I nor Bob wrote.

Anonymous said...

I love how Amazingly Dissapointed said the characters were more believable in Amazing Spider-Man. Haha! That's a good one dude. I guess all people mumble and look down when they talk like an idiot and fall in love with each other instantly. Also, ASM tone is all over the place. It wants to be darker, and gritter but then you have scene where he shots a guy in the dick with his webs.

kalel28602 said...

How come it's wrong for a person to decide he doesn't have a real interest in a film before he ever sees it? I know reviewers are supposed to be open minded, nut, let's face it we all have pre-conceived ideas about films before we ever watch it. I think Amazing Spider-Man is one of those movies where the people who wanted it to be great found a great film, the people that wanted to suck found a film that sucked. I wish everybody would get over the fact that Bon didn't want to like it, I didn't want to, so I didn't go see it -- it's not my job to give it a fair chance. I don't always agree with Bob -- I really enjoyed the Bourne films for instance, but I don't feel the need to spend a lot of time taking him to task because we disagree. So those of you that have spent the last few months bitching about ASM -- please get past it, I don't care if you think Bob is wrong on this one. He'll like something you like later,I'm sure, and you can all be pals again. At least he does a better job than the movie reviewers for Entertainment Weekly who now give every movie that looks like it make a few dollars at least a B+.

Omorka said...

Since everyone seems to be talking about Intermission rather than the movie review:

Like everyone else, I was struck by how well the Science Brothers worked in Avengers, and a large part of that has to do with the chemistry between the actors, but I'm also starting to suspect it has something to do with a change in the world dynamic brought on by the studio wankery. In the comics, if Tony Stark needs someone to bounce some Science! off of, he goes to Reed Richards. Similarly, if Banner/Hulk becomes too big of an issue to deal with, Richards tends to get called in. But this is a Marvelverse sans the Fantastic Four, because of out-of-story legal reasons. The big cosmic crap that would normally fall to Richards in comicsverse is going to end up in Stark's and Banner's collective hands instead. So Banner as a scientist becomes more central, rather than often just being the means to the Hulk.

I don't mind this too much, as I'm actually more interested in Banner as a character than in the Fantastic Four. But it does create a fairly pronounced shift in character dynamics, as does the perceived age difference between Cap and Tony.

Anonymous said...

Amazingly Disappointed just needs to whine some more about how Bob didn't like Amazing Spider-Man. News flash, not everyone thought Amazing Spider-Man was good, I didn't think it was really that good. It was really mediocre, a really weak movie, I mean I already thought the movie should have ditched the origin part like Incredible Hulk. And really, Peter parker now wears a hood and skateboards, that was just really horrible looking. Even Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man didn't wear a hood, or skateboarded. So why is he suddenly, a skateboarder or wearing a hood like an almost emo or hipster. And the Lizard was so shifting in tone from tortured Hulk like creature at the beginning to stupid cliche mad scientist take over the world with lizards plan at the end. Plus the movie was just non-epic, it had really no memorable moments besides the small knives sequence, the rat lizard and the crane scene. I understand Bob's hatred of the movie, because yes its just a movie created for Sony to keep the rights away from Marvel.