Author Topic: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie  (Read 3993 times)

Dr Syntax Head

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2019, 11:45:54 AM »
Is it genuinely eerie with doppelgängers and that kind of thing or does it cop out and go supernatural?

Wet Blanket

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2019, 12:27:09 PM »
Is it genuinely eerie with doppelgängers and that kind of thing or does it cop out and go supernatural?

No in the plus column it definitely has originality on its side. I just wish he'd explored it a bit better. He obviously had a shit ton of ideas which are so crammed in that the outcome is a little underwhelming. Get Out was a lean little film with a great premise and a clear political perspective. Us is a lot more bloated and scattershot.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2019, 03:16:06 PM »
I enjoyed this, but whereas Get Out is almost impossibly lean (were it not for it's politics, it might even feel slight), this felt very messy. I loved the family and bought into the performances, but as has been observed here, I didn't really ever feel like they were in danger. The denouement didn't work for me, and the conceit falls apart if you think about it for more than ten seconds. I don't think Peele expects or invites you too, though. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a brilliant filmmaker and have enjoyed the glut of interviews with him this week, but some of the positive notices that this is getting are ridiculous. It was more Shayamalan than Carpenter, really, and I say that as an M Night defender.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2019, 03:36:52 PM »
Spoiler: "That means the evil twin is - and always has been - Bart!"

I think I need to watch this a few more times. As others have said, there is (or, at least, it feels like there is) a lot going on and I don't know if my inability to fully parse it all is because I'm over thinking it, or I'm just plain thick. I think I'd have preferred not to get the 11th hour explanation, with the doppelgangers remaining a mystery.

That aside, I had a good time watching it. The cast were excellent. In contrast to others here, I thought it was tremendously tense.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2019, 12:04:34 AM »
Another very original film/idea from him but was it really a horror? I've gotta say it didnt feel tense or atmospheric or scary in the slightest nor to anyone else in the cinema seemingly. And the comedy elements seemed to fall short so I'm not sure what type of film it was going for

The only bit that was eerie/great for me was [spoiler]the classroom dancing at the end set to I Got 5 on It when she was ballerina-ing around with the scissors stabbing the doppelganger[/spoiler]

Pepotamo1985

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2019, 01:18:52 AM »
MUY SPOILERS AHOY

Not sure I enjoyed this necessarily but this may have been because I just didn't get it, and/or it wasn't meant to be 'enjoyed' particularly - either or both may explain why the plot was seemingly all over the place, didn't make much sense or stand up to scrutiny, and left lots of questions unanswered and under-explored. Definitely felt latter-day Lynchian (perhaps Peele was going for that), more an audio/visual experience relentlessly transmitting discrepant concepts, thoughts, moods and tones at the viewer than a fully cohesive narrative-driven movie. If that was his intention, I don't think he's got quite the skills to truly pull it off yet, or maybe he's just so bursting with ideas he simply doesn't know when to stop - especially when given pretty much free rein and a biggish budget (or, indeed, I just didn't get it).

Deliberately went in not knowing anything about the film (beyond it being Peele's new movie) because I didn't want to have any expectations in respect of quality or content but that was probably unavoidable given I loved Get Out, and Us certainly isn't that movie - not saying that's a bad thing at all, more Get Out's politics and symbolism are a lot clearer, simpler and more well-defined (to the extent when the twist happens you immediately look back at a significant percentage of the film in a different light, and lots of the foreshadowing reveals itself in a frisson), the universe it operates in is considerably smaller (which is more conducive to internal consistency) and as Schnapple says the film is exceptionally streamlined in narrative terms.

Most of the performances (even the kids!), sound design/soundtrack and cinematography were exemplary, and it's predictably rich in symbolism and themes. I took a lot from it - how everyone in a position of privilege owes that on some level to someone else's life being shit, how so many Americans (poor, disabled, mentally ill, etc.) are 'invisible' and life's a prison for them, how creativity offers salvation and liberation from past trauma, also Jungian notions of how everyone has a dark side for one reason or another and if it's suppressed rather than embraced/dealt with it'll eventually destroy you and the people around you, perhaps even more.

This said, I thought the pacing was woeful - spent almost the entire duration of the exact first half (I know because I checked my watch) confused and a bit bored (hence the watch checking). I initially didn't get that the family at the very start weren't the family who go to the holiday home - ie I thought the dad at the fairground was the dad on the boat, etc. (which probably means I'm a massive racist, or just a bit thick) so that may have helped, but I think things definitely could've been cut down quite a bit and lost nothing. It was only when the white family were killed by their 'red' selves things actually picked up and started engaging me properly (as an aside, that scene is obviously intended to be a big set piece showstealer but I absolutely loved it). Lots of the initial hour's scenes and dialogue were clearly meant to prime the second, ala Get Out, but it didn't flow as fluidly and subtly as Get Out at all. Rather than lines or conversation cleanly and craftily foreshadowing what lay ahead, much of the chatter seemed quite clunkily shoehorned in, and clearly meant to mean something (ie PAY ATTENTION TO THIS) which took me out of the film a bit. The ending twist felt rather Shyamalan too, and not in the Sixth Sense way - much of the preceding film actually made less sense and was less interesting in light of it. I think Peele wasn't sure whether this was a purely symbolic and evocative film, or a narrative film, or both (or indeed couldn't quite pull off a mix of the two).

This said, I praise Peele for doing something truly original and very, very different to typical modern cinema - there were trailers for FOUR superhero movies at the screening I attended earlier - and it's definitely a recommended watch. I'll definitely watch it again at some point, but not sure I'll be up to that for a while. It was a wee bit draining.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 02:04:30 AM by Pepotamo1985 »

Shameless Custard

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2019, 03:07:38 AM »
Thought this was interesting. Pointing out some things I didn't pick up on

https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a26895375/us-movie-spoilers-ending-explained-tethered-jeremiah-11-11/

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2019, 11:06:33 AM »
I saw it last night.  I think people are being far too lenient, bringing up very valid criticisms but assuming that their not enjoying it might be a failing on their part.  I don’t think it’s your fault, I think it’s just not a very good film.  It’s honestly amateurish at its bones, beyond the sheen of the large budget and a professional crew of competent technicians, and doesn’t innovate at all aside from maybe having a black family as the protagonists, which has little bearing on the quality of the movie.  Virtually everything in it has been done better before, and it actually seems to spend more time lifting from already generic horror.  Don’t get me started on the actual plot/reveal, which was utterly lazy and senseless.

Then again, I also didn’t think Get Out was very good, but this seems like a step down regardless.  That seems to be reflected in the audience reception, which (like with Hereditary) is slowly revealing itself to be at odds with the hyperbolic “Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made” reviews from giddy hipster critics at SXSW.  I reckon the ball might drop with Peele sooner rather than later, bit of an Emperor’s New Clothes thing going on there.

Good points: the acting was mostly decent, one or two funny lines (I do mean one or two), occasionally impressive cinematography and sound design ..... that’s all I’ve got for now.

Pepotamo1985

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2019, 02:46:13 PM »
I think people are being far too lenient, bringing up very valid criticisms but assuming that their not enjoying it might be a failing on their part.

I wasn't necessarily making that assumption, just trying to be even-handed in my criticism and indulge as many alternative explanations as poss. There've been quite a few films over the years I've initially hated because for one reason or another I didn't get it but have found value and meaning in eventually, so I don't like to dismiss things out of hand - especially things with an apparent depth I partially appreciated (if that makes sense) upon first viewing. Like Lynch's Inland Empire, for instance. If something strikes me as extremely rubbish, I won't be lenient at all (witness my extended meltdown over Blackkklansman last year).

Don’t get me started on the actual plot/reveal, which was utterly lazy and senseless.

The above said, the more I reflect on it, the more the closing portion of the film annoys me. It's all well and good to have the netherpeople tool up with scissors and red jumpsuits to merk their above-ground doppelgangers if it's not a narrative film, but if you're going to cram in extended and very clunky expositions to attempt to explain proceedings and creative a cohesive story as Peele does at various points, then you open up a ton of unanswered and likely unanswerable questions, plotholes and contradictions in the process, and totally undermine/ruin the film's abstraction in the process.

Again, Us isn't Get Out so it's perhaps not fair to make a comparison, but I will anyway - the latter worked for me because (obviously) on one level it was literally a simple but engaging thriller/horror story about a deranged white family that's requisitioning black people's bodies, while also a philosophical meditation on white people appropriating black culture and simultaneously holding down black people and more. Us just doesn't work both ways, and doesn't achieve being one or the other (in fact, the narrative bolstering cancels out a lot of its symbolic and thematic power) so it falls to pieces as a result.

That seems to be reflected in the audience reception, which (like with Hereditary) is slowly revealing itself to be at odds with the hyperbolic “Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made” reviews from giddy hipster critics at SXSW.  I reckon the ball might drop with Peele sooner rather than later, bit of an Emperor’s New Clothes thing going on there.

You're probably right, but I think that's more of the hype machine's fault than Peele's necessarily. Some of the reviews I've read today are masterclasses in servile toadying, very Oasis' Be Here Now type stuff - people went in expecting it to be great, didn't really like it, or didn't really follow it, and have claimed it's brilliant anyway because they fear to suggest otherwise would mark them out as dumb, or contrarian, or whatever. One piece seemed to largely consist of the author actually slagging the movie off and conceding the story is poor and doesn't make sense while eventually concluding it to be cinematic brilliance personified.

one or two funny lines (I do mean one or two).

That might even be a stretch. I found the majority of the gags extremely laboured and obviously intended to be jokes, rather than Get Out which - in addition to having laboured and obvious gags - I found genuinely very funny at several points. Lots of the audience were whooping with joy at what felt like cheesy action movie punchlines (maybe that was the intended referential effect, but it doesn't make it any better).

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2019, 05:23:54 PM »
I thought it painted the characters well nd did mood brilliantly but it was all a bit predictable and unexplained plot wise.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2019, 02:01:52 AM »
Post

I think that’s all very well-put, and I agree with you that it not living up to the impossible hype isn’t Peele’s fault necessarily.  However, it must be said that he appears far less humble about this one than he did with Get Out, where he acknowledged that horror and sci-fi films have contained cultural/social commentary for nearly as long as they’ve existed.  In his press for this one, from what I’ve heard, he seems to imply that he’s reinvented horror for intelligent people, which really grates considering what an actively stupid movie this is at times.

I think the wider problem with the genre is to do with critics - especially festival critics - and that rot has been setting in since It Follows or The Babadook.  Every year there’ll be a horror film, or handful of horror films, made by a cool director, reflecting cool social issues or cool nostalgia or referencing cool older movies, and these twerps will let you know how cool they are to have been able to see it before you.  More and more, though, the public opinion is becoming completely at odds with the initial hyperbole (The VVitch, Hereditary, now this) and I think eventually there’ll be a big shift whereby festival critics are seen as about as reliable a barometer for quality as the Oscars are.  The cool kids are just as bad as the stuffy old gits in many ways.

Pepotamo1985

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2019, 04:08:01 PM »
it must be said that he appears far less humble about this one than he did with Get Out, where he acknowledged that horror and sci-fi films have contained cultural/social commentary for nearly as long as they’ve existed.  In his press for this one, from what I’ve heard, he seems to imply that he’s reinvented horror for intelligent people, which really grates considering what an actively stupid movie this is at times.

That does sound pretty terrible. Got any links? As I say I strenuously avoided all pre-release promotion because I wanted to go in with as blank a slate as possible. I definitely don't discount the prospect of the hype having gone to Peele's head, and this is one of the reasons I didn't want to get my hopes up for US (or conversely go in cynical af wanting to hate it) - conversely, I didn't want to speculate too much on this point in my 'review' of the film, as I find such conjectural cynicism quite lazy and predictable, and I always wince a bit when I see people making this argument online when they don't like something produced by someone they previously held in high-esteem. Ultimately I've never met Jordan Peele, have no idea how his brain works and no clue about how the movie was crated at any stage, so I don't know. But for the past two years, literally every media outlet large and small and niche and mainstream has been banging on relentlessly about what a fucking visionary genius he is and how transcendentally brilliant Get Out was, and I've not heard a single bad word said about him or his work anywhere. Even the most humble and self-effacing person would find it difficult not to sup on that, even if only a little bit. Moreover, giving anyone - much less someone high on their own hype - free rein and a large budget to produce something is almost always going to produce at worst a total disaster and at best a bloated misfire, the latter being my appraisal of Us, at least for the time being (although as I said before I'm certainly not hankering to watch it again any time soon).

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2019, 03:20:15 PM »
Not into horror, but did find this pretty engaging for much of it. Humour largely falls flat, apart from Elizabeth Moss, who is excellent.
Ending is objectionably bad. Doesn't feel earned and muddies the water rather than clarifies what had preceded it.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #43 on: March 28, 2019, 04:56:40 PM »
Problem is, Peele is doing that annoying thing of saying he has answers to all the questions, and "things could be explored and explained in further films in that world". But there won't be any further films in that world, will there? I'd bet a full 50p on it

There should be enough satisfactory explanation and logic in the existing film. I hate it when writers and directors do that "further reading required" bullshit, as it's clearly a cop out and is basically a way of wafting away valid or interesting questions, and a quick and easy way to cover up glaring gaps in logic and plotholes in their story

"Ahh, but maaaaaybe I'll explain it one day. Just you wait and see!"

Going to see this again tomorrow. Looking for a red jumpsuit to wear

BeardFaceMan

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2019, 06:28:05 PM »
"From the mind of..." is usually the signal that someone has disappeared up their own pretentious arse.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #45 on: March 28, 2019, 07:10:37 PM »
"From the mind of..." is usually the signal that someone has disappeared up their own pretentious arse.

Innit. Imagine seeing Gervais do it and then thinking 'I'll have some of that'.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #46 on: March 28, 2019, 07:15:38 PM »
From the mind of Alex Zane...

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2019, 09:58:36 PM »
"From the mind of..." is usually the signal that someone has disappeared up their own pretentious arse.

Or that someone in marketing has decided to use it.

BeardFaceMan

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2019, 05:54:41 AM »
Or that someone in marketing has decided to use it.

Yes, that's the one and only reason and Peele had nothing to do with his own poster.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2019, 12:51:28 AM »
My review: didn't like it.

Can anyone explain why there was Black Flag stuff everywhere?

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2019, 10:26:02 AM »
My review: didn't like it.

Can anyone explain why there was Black Flag stuff everywhere?

I googled it and found Peele saying the logo looks like 1111. But that got me thinking and I assume the gloved hand with the knife on the My War cover might be suggested to be an influence on the stabbing thing, just like I assume Thriller is meant to be an influence on the red costumes.

Are the gold scissors meant to be an influence from something shown at the start too?

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2019, 01:00:08 PM »
I googled it and found Peele saying the logo looks like 1111.

That’s what I figured, and I’m sure it’s been cited as another genius “subtle hint”, but it’s literally the most meaningless student film bollocks — the logo looks a bit like 1111, which is also like the Bible verse that homeless bloke had on his board.  That is it.  Aaaaah!

And it makes no sense that Tim’s teenage daughter would be wearing a Black Flag T-shirt anyway, at least not based on the twenty seconds of character development she got, but that’s a minor point.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2019, 01:37:00 PM »
Yeah. I actually wouldn't mind all that if it was kept to the past segment - it's a cool idea to have the killer's MO link back to a load of little details in her last memory above ground that you wouldn't pick up on a first viewing; it's plausible and rewards a rewatch. But like you said, it ends up being too much. I'd rather it just be about the red gloved hand from My War than a Bible verse.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2019, 11:04:56 PM »
And it makes no sense that Tim’s teenage daughter would be wearing a Black Flag T-shirt anyway, at least not based on the twenty seconds of character development she got, but that’s a minor point.
A thing I watched put forth the idea that this is deliberate. She doesn't care about the band or their politics, it's just another empty bit of consumerism. I see the youths wearing that sort of thing all the time.

Mister Six

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2019, 03:57:11 AM »
MANY SPOILERS, FRIENDS!

I've not yet read what you all think - though I'll be interested to find out - but I thought this was gash. Reasonably interesting start, with a great cast and likeable family dynamic, but it faltered during the initial attack by the family, which went on too long and failed to sustain the tension as it flitted between four setpieces.

It was in the wake of the attack at Tim Heidecker's place that it really fell apart for me, though. The family, who should have been traumatised, were all quippy-quipping; the baddies who were cutting down everyone else in the US were suddenly ineffectual when it came to killing our heroes; and the family kept wandering off by themselves and taking their eyes off their kids when they should have been sticking together like glue.

And that explanation! What an absolute load of tosh. Scientists make clones of all of America to control them, then put them in a base connected by a unidirectional escalator to a beach side attraction, and these clones somehow don't starve, and spontaneously generate clothing identical to their surface equivalents, and also there are bunnies everywhere?

Complete and utter bobbins. Felt like Peele had a lot of good imagery in his head and no idea how to link it all together. Wasn't even the best film featuring a female lead and a fuckton of rabbits released in 2019.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 04:12:52 AM by Mister Six »

Mister Six

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2019, 04:05:37 AM »
On reflection, I would really much rather have just watched those families having an awkward holiday.

Mister Six

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2019, 01:25:54 PM »
Just read the posts and am glad so many agree with me (and a little sad that it wasn't a case of me not understanding a great film).

Going to see this again tomorrow. Looking for a red jumpsuit to wear

Just realised red jumpsuits are going to be this Halloween's "Suicide Squad Harley Quinn" aren't they?

Pepotamo1985

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2019, 10:28:22 PM »
A thing I watched put forth the idea that this is deliberate. She doesn't care about the band or their politics, it's just another empty bit of consumerism. I see the youths wearing that sort of thing all the time.

This was my take on its 'meaning' (on top of the 11:11 ref and the mirroring callback of the opening scene). Funnily enough, for as little screentime as that family gets, I find them quite intriguing, Peele's rendering of them and their relationship(s) with one another is smart, highly revealing despite its extreme concision (and, perhaps obviousness in trope terms) - which conversely annoys me, because it's a reminder of what he got so right with Get Out, and makes me question why that artfulness and subtlety isn't particularly evident anywhere else in Us (and indeed why the family got so little coverage in the film). Moss' brief, bitter bitching to Adelaide, for instance, tells you so much about her, her marriage, her husband and her little shitbags, without much being said at all.

Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2019, 11:25:13 PM »
The Hot Fuzz to Get Out's Shaun of the Dead, I reckon... which is to say, narratively all over the place, but crammed full of ideas and images and jokes. I also felt it was legitimately gutsy and a bit perverse of Peele to make a film about class (and its various intersections) when most viewers would be expecting another film strictly about race. I liked it more than everyone else here seemingly - but then again I care very little about narrative logic, in fairness.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Us (2019) - new Jordan Peele movie
« Reply #59 on: April 02, 2019, 11:33:19 PM »
I liked it.