Author Topic: Changing your mind about films  (Read 2337 times)

boxofslice

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Changing your mind about films
« on: January 07, 2010, 02:44:49 PM »
I first watched The Exorcist when it was re-released at the cinema in 1998 and found it quite amusing even somewhat laughable in places and came out thinking what was all the fuss about.  Then last night it was shown on TV on one of the digital channels and I had a very different experience with it.  This time I found it highly engrossing and even unnerving especially the bits in the hospital where they're conducting tests on Regan rather than the head spinning, vomiting and Mother sucks cocks in Hell.

Maybe it was the fact that I was alone, it was dark and cold outside but certainly made me re-evaluate the film from my first viewing.

Anyone else had a massive critical turn around when it comes to certain films?

An tSaoi

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 04:15:36 PM »
I changed my mind in a negative way about GoodFellas. I used to love it, but I watched it a while back and found it tiresome.

Joe Pesci may be everyone's favourite in the film, but he's the least threatening man in the world. Having a little squeaky Italian threatening to fuck people up looked laughable when I rewatched it. On top of that the main actor (I can't even remember his name) is bland and wooden, and DeNiro is either wasted or not trying, or both. Why hire an obviously Italian-American actor to play an Irish-American? It's confusing that they won't let him be a proper Mafia member because of his heritage when he looks like he could be one.

I appreciate that at the time a film showings mobsters juggling their crimes with mundane family life must have seemed revolutionary, but it has been spoiled by too many imitators, and in this post-Sopranos world it just seems run-of-the-mill. Of course that's not the film's fault, but it made it harder to enjoy. It was odd how lots of bits I use to love when I was younger just looked shit. Of course I might watch it again in a few years and love it, who knows.

I had the opposite experience with Alien. I had seen Aliens as a child, and when I stumbled across Alien last year I thought it was the same film (mists of time and all that). I was expecting an action film about Space Marines blowing away aliens, so I found it quite underwhelming and a bit dull. "Well that wasn't as exciting as I remembered. And I though there were more aliens in it than that," I thought to myself.

Later on I saw Aliens, and realised that was the film I'd been thinking about the whole time. Everything was there, the Marines, the shooting, the dozens of aliens. And do you know what, I didn't think much of it. So then I watched the first film again, knowing not to expect the shoot 'em up I had previously thought it was, and ended up loving it. All those people who say the second film is better than the first are wrong.

rudi

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 04:34:52 PM »
I changed my mind in a negative way about GoodFellas. I used to love it, but I watched it a while back and found it tiresome.

You need to watch it again then; it's an almost faultless film

Quote
Joe Pesci may be everyone's favourite in the film, but he's the least threatening man in the world. Having a little squeaky Italian threatening to fuck people up looked laughable when I rewatched it.

The insane short guy? They're the single most dangerous people you'll ever meet. Fearless, no sense of lines being crossed; believe me, there are enough Pescis about...

Quote
On top of that the main actor (I can't even remember his name) is bland and wooden, and DeNiro is either wasted or not trying, or both.

Eh? It's often noted that their blank, bland mannerisms are a perfect recreation of the American mafiosi. Try reading Cosa Nostra (or even Gommorah) for the relationship between film and actual mafiosi (and just for two excellent reads).

Quote
Why hire an obviously Italian-American actor to play an Irish-American? It's confusing that they won't let him be a proper Mafia member because of his heritage when he looks like he could be one.

Because while his dad (Henry Sr) was Irsh American his mother (Carmella) was Sicilian American. Here's the actual person, Henry Hill



Looks pretty bloody Italian American doesn't he?


AsparagusTrevor

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 04:38:10 PM »
On top of that the main actor (I can't even remember his name) is bland and wooden.
His name's Ray Liotta. You probably didn't remember because these days he looks like someone's stuck a wig on Freddy Krueger.

Ginyard

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 04:46:39 PM »
Shrek. I enjoyed it at the cinema when it came out. I watched it the other day with the family and struggled to stay awake.

Johnny Textface

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 04:48:51 PM »
I loved Inglourious Basterds at the cinema, but second time round on dvd recently I was underwhelmed and found it very slow and overly violent in places.

lolz re:tags - Which reminds me. Watching Gladiator over the xmas period for about the third time. Loved it first time, second time thought it was great, but on last watch I thought it was all abit too cheesy / obvious / silly. Special effects haven't dated though.

I turned Freddy Got Fingered off when I first saw it, but now I think it's genius - mainly down to the sexy shower scene.

An tSaoi

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 04:58:16 PM »
The insane short guy? They're the single most dangerous people you'll ever meet. Fearless, no sense of lines being crossed; believe me, there are enough Pescis about...

Granted, but I just couldn't help but find his performance silly. I'm sure I'd find that character terrifying in real life, but on screen he's almost comical. I suppose it's like The Exocist; some people find it scary, others laugh at it.

Quote
Eh? It's often noted that their blank, bland mannerisms are a perfect recreation of the American mafiosi. Try reading Cosa Nostra (or even Gommorah) for the relationship between film and actual mafiosi (and just for two excellent reads).

But from other films I've seen him in he's simply a bad actor. In the film he's neither likable nor hateable, just a bit dull. He's almost always the least interesting person on screen, which is a bad thing when he's supposed to be the lead. They don't even give him pride of place on the poster! I'm sure real-life Mafia people are blank and bland, but if the other actors manage to be charismatic or entertaining or interesting then why can't he? Does anyone actually think he's one of the best things in the film? I'm sure there are loads of people who could have done a better job.

Quote
Because while his dad (Henry Sr) was Irsh American his mother (Carmella) was Sicilian American. Here's the actual person, Henry Hill

I was talking about Robert DeNiro's character Jimmy Burke. I'll admit, it's a really minor, twatty point, so I'll retract it. But I can't shake the idea that they just hired him because he was a big name and a draw in Mafia films rather than being particularly suited to the role. He's not really given much to do. His only truly memorable bit is That Shot with That Music. Apart from that he's not exactly value for money.

Of course ask me again in six months and I might agree with you fully. But as it stands, GoodFellas looks a lot worse to me than it used to.

Special effects haven't dated though.

I saw Gladiator over Christmas too for the first time since it came out on video, and I thought some of the effects had aged quite badly, particularly the Colosseum and the bits with the crowds lining the streets.Maybe they should have used scale models rather than digital buildings.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 05:02:37 PM »
Jimmy the Gent should clearly have been played by Mike Reid.

Ginyard

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 05:04:35 PM »
Shit, that shot on the left is spooky similar.

Johnny Townmouse

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 05:05:41 PM »
I dearly loved Living in Oblivion when I first saw it. Then I tracked down a Greek DVD of it recently (I needed a region 2 copy) and was appalled by how self-indulgent and crap it is. Not even Buscemi could save this film for me, and he managed to keep Mystery Train interesting. It made me honestly wonder what was going on in my 22 year old mind.

Alternatively, I hated The Remains of the Day when I watched it drunkenly a few years ago. Merchant Ivory cack with the most annoying woman in Western civilisation. I watched it over Xmas and concluded that it is one of the greatest films ever made. Coincidentally, when I rewatched Brief Encounter last year I loved it, after disliking it for many years after seeing it at the BFI. I think I was simply too emotionally immature to understand the subtleties of either film in my early twenties.

Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 05:53:00 PM »
I don't know if I genuinely like Blade Runner now, or if I've simply watched it so many times, heard the soundtrack so many times and read so much about it that I've been worn down into a state of acceptance. I seem to keep coming back to it though.

12 Monkeys is another complex sci-fi that I didn't like much on first viewing, and that one I did geninely like when I gave it a second go.

I saw Saving Private Ryan again recently and have to admit it's better than I've generally given it credit for, including on here recently I believe.

Jemble Fred

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 07:51:17 PM »
The Wicker Man is my favourite film. My experiences were thuswise:

First viewing: Wuh? What was that shit?

Second viewing: Haha this is great look at the flares and that. And TITS!

Third viewing: Fucking hell it's horrifying. What a way to go.

All subsequent viewings: This is my favourite film. Let me bore you about it and mouth all the dialogue.

non capisco

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 09:16:19 PM »
I first watched The Exorcist when it was re-released at the cinema in 1998 and found it quite amusing even somewhat laughable in places and came out thinking what was all the fuss about.  Then last night it was shown on TV on one of the digital channels and I had a very different experience with it.  This time I found it highly engrossing and even unnerving especially the bits in the hospital where they're conducting tests on Regan rather than the head spinning, vomiting and Mother sucks cocks in Hell.

I had a very similar experience with 'The Exorcist'. Saw it for the first time at the cinema in '98 and was quite underwhelmed, about four years later I was skint and on my own one weekend evening when my flatmate at the time was off on holiday so I decided to stick his VHS copy on. Watching it alone in the dark that night I found myself oddly haunted and transfixed by that opening scene at the archaeological dig in Iraq, particularly the shot with the big statue. (I barely remembered that scene being part of the film at all from the first viewing so right from the start I concluded that I must have previously been 'watching it wrong') The next hour or so of the film I found similarly haunting and shot through with a foreboding air that I'd never picked up on on the first viewing. The spell was partially broken once all the 'famous' soup-spewing and head swivelling stuff starts up but I could definitely concur there's a power to that film that I would have refused to acknowledge directly after my first viewing. I need to watch it again to see what I make of it 8 years on, really.

Blue Jam

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 09:32:52 PM »
The insane short guy? They're the single most dangerous people you'll ever meet. Fearless, no sense of lines being crossed; believe me, there are enough Pescis about...

Ah, another fan of TV Tropes... ;). And yes, there are plenty of Pescis about in real life. I've worked with enough of them.

rudi

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2010, 09:36:04 PM »
Ah, another fan of TV Tropes... ;).

Heh, hadn't seen that. True though; the little, nutty tossers are the first to explode and the last to stop.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2010, 09:37:40 PM »
Blue Jam you bastard. I'd just managed to drag myself away from that damnable site.

Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2010, 09:39:56 PM »
TV Tropes is arguably the best site ever.

Serge

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2010, 11:28:13 PM »
I remember catching 'Crimewave', an early Sam Raimi film, on TV sometime in the early nineties, and thinking that it was literally the funniest film ever. I particularly thought that Brion James played the funniest character I'd ever seen in my life. So I spent the next ten years telling everybody that they should see this film because it was, in fact, literally the funniest film ever made and they would actually die laughing whilst they watched it.

Of course, then I saw it again a few years ago, and merely found it quite amusing, and not the work of genius that I'd remembered. Brion James was very good and definitely the funniest thing in the film, but certainly wasn't the funniest character I'd ever seen in my life. I must have been in an astonishingly good mood the first time I saw it.

The funniest film ever made, for the record, is 'Le Dîner De Cons', which I have seen again within the last two years.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 11:50:26 PM »
I remember catching 'Crimewave', an early Sam Raimi film, on TV sometime in the early nineties, and thinking that it was literally the funniest film ever. I particularly thought that Brion James played the funniest character I'd ever seen in my life. So I spent the next ten years telling everybody that they should see this film because it was, in fact, literally the funniest film ever made and they would actually die laughing whilst they watched it.

Of course, then I saw it again a few years ago, and merely found it quite amusing, and not the work of genius that I'd remembered. Brion James was very good and definitely the funniest thing in the film, but certainly wasn't the funniest character I'd ever seen in my life. I must have been in an astonishingly good mood the first time I saw it.

The funniest film ever made, for the record, is 'Le Dîner De Cons', which I have seen again within the last two years.

My Sister and I were obsessed with Crimewave in our teens (so 20 odd years ago), only one video shop on the outskirts of our town stocked it, but we'd regularly go and rent it despite it being a pain in the arse to do so. At the time I hadn't seen a lot of the films it homages, which has certainly lessened the effect it has on me these days, but I still like it a lot. Sure, it's a tad cheesy, and the lead actor is a bit of a twat (which I never noticed when young) but the two ratcatcher's are disturbingly lovable, and Bruce Campbell's cameo's great too. Plus the spinning newspaper bit still gets me every time.

Clue was another film we watched relentlessly, but when I saw it recently I was a bit disappointed by it. That said, perhaps it was just down to over familiarity, as I could all but quote every line. And the three different ending's are still magnificent.

Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2010, 11:57:26 PM »
I thought the Hitchhikers Guide the the Galaxy film was good the first time I saw it. In my defense it was a deluxe press screening, they gave us all TOWELS with the logo on (if I'd put it on ebay that day it would have raised a fortune, presumably it was worth fuck all after the film opened)

I was a bit overwhelmed by hearing Journey of the Sorcerer in surroundsound and Marvin's design was good, wasn't it? And you know, Stephen Fry and stuff. Jesus.

I even posted a glowing review on the internet somewhere, god I hope it's never unearthed...

Sony Walkman Prophecies

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2010, 12:16:45 AM »
That's weird, i watched the exorcist too recently (a couple of weeks back) and had always 'pooh poohed' it as abit of a limp-wristed horror. It was only on this viewing that it finally struck me that head-spinning/pea-puking bits are entirely superfluous, and that the whole things actually a very well-thought out and persuasive attack on knowledge/authority.

Infact It's only looking back at it now that it occurs to me how outrageously postmodern it is. I think there's even abit where one of the characters goes: "call an expert? there are no experts."

I also get a strong sense that everything is in there for a very good reason, things that you would probably miss even after the 15th viewing. Such as the scene where Regan's mother is in the kitchen and switches on the radio to find some self-help guru sermonising about something or other. You only hear it a couple of seconds, then she switches it off. Again, i think it can be pretty easily read (without getting too wanky about it) as an indication of the insane plurality of views/perspectives on truth that all the characters are having to deal with.

In that particular instance the character just denies the possibility of even allowing another point of view into her life. Shit's difficult enough, what with the daughter hurling peas upstairs, etc.

Im sure there are alot of other films ive changed my mind on too. The most obvious one that springs to mind right now is 'requiem for a dream'. I originally always thought this was a really gritty and indepth study of urbanism and its harsher consequences. That was before someone pointed out that it's little more than a very well-scored/acted anti-drugs commercial. Maybe that's laying it on abit thick, but ever since then i cant shake the feeling that theyre right - everyone who touches drugs in the film (and there are many of them) comes to a terrible end. I find it very difficult to take the film seriously now.

I'll have a think of some more in the mean time.

 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 12:51:42 AM by Sony Walkman Prophecies »

Johnny Townmouse

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2010, 12:22:42 AM »
Im sure there are alot of other films ive changed my mind on too. The most obvious one that springs to mind right now is 'requiem for a dream'. i originally always thought this was a really gritty and indepth study of urbanism and its harsher consequences. That was before someone pointed out that it's little more than a very well-scored/acted anti-drugs commercial. Maybe that's laying it on abit thick, but ever since that comment i cant shake the feeling that theyre right - everyone who touches drugs in the film (and there are many of them) comes to a terrible end. I find it very difficult to take the film seriously now.

I am the last person to go on about the film failing to adapt a great book, but Hubert Selby Jnr's book is remarkably good. The film makes the mistake of casting them as Gap models, and then letting us watch them disintegrate into rancid cum dumpsters and smack corpses. In the book they pretty much start off that way. Their decline is rather short but very rapid. Film is never very good at doing abjection very well. The character must always go through an arc, where Selby Jnr is much happier showing the scum getting slightly more scummy.

Sony Walkman Prophecies

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2010, 12:28:25 AM »
Still worth it for the ass-2-ass dildo scene though.

Blue Jam

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2010, 03:38:55 AM »

Johnny Townmouse

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 04:18:27 AM »
Heheheheh... do you have any idea how many times I've only just managed to avoid quoting it on here?

By coincidence, I was on there just tonight mining it for examples of short film to feature film adaptations for some work I am doing. Thanks TV Tropes!

Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2010, 07:19:36 AM »
  I remember thinking The Dark Knight was brilliant.  This is probably because I'd went in expecting it to be really long and grey and dull, but instead found it engaging and exciting.  I certainly didn't identify with those that talked about shuffling in their seats wishing that it were twenty-thirty minutes shorter.  I never thought about the time once when I was watching it.

Then I watched it again on DVD.  And I found it...not bad, just shallow, somehow.  Something seemed lazy about the whole thing.  I think, in retrospect, the opening scene- which genuinely is fantastic, with the tight camera zoom in to start it, and the menacing music, and the evil ingenuity of the plan- helped tide me over the next two hours plus.  But, looking at again, it never really hit those heights twice.

Serge

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2010, 10:04:00 AM »
I was a bit overwhelmed by hearing Journey of the Sorcerer in surroundsound

I can understand that - it was by far the best bit of the film!

Jemble Fred

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2010, 10:16:19 AM »
I thought the Hitchhikers Guide the the Galaxy film was good the first time I saw it. In my defense it was a deluxe press screening, they gave us all TOWELS with the logo on (if I'd put it on ebay that day it would have raised a fortune, presumably it was worth fuck all after the film opened)

I was a bit overwhelmed by hearing Journey of the Sorcerer in surroundsound and Marvin's design was good, wasn't it? And you know, Stephen Fry and stuff. Jesus.

I even posted a glowing review on the internet somewhere, god I hope it's never unearthed...

It's a great film no matter how many times I see it. Although the emotinal impact of the first watch can never be recaptured, admittedly.

Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2010, 03:13:40 PM »
It's a great film no matter how many times I see it. Although the emotinal impact of the first watch can never be recaptured, admittedly.

Noooo, it's terrible, surely! Badly plotted (5 books to choose from and they decide it really needs a brand new, pointless middle bit), ill thought out (the lemon hat, the gun that lets you feel what people are thinking 'i'm a woman', the meaning of life is 'love is lovely' *vomit*)

And most heinously 'which way to the end of the universe'? The end of the universe is a fucking TIME, numbskulls.

I really, really wanted to like it for so many reasons (Fry, Marvins design, Divine Comedy, Hammer and Tongs) - but it was a big pile of shit, which I'm assuming was the studios fault rather than the involvement of people I like)

Jemble Fred

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Re: Changing your mind about films
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2010, 04:51:07 PM »
I find the bad bits – though undeniable – to be specks in a sea of greatness, screentime-wise. And I do strongly see it as the film DNA would have made had he lived; which is admittedly completely impossible to either refute or agree with.