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Thread: Simple but nice film.

  1. #16
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    In defense of the film, I'll go back to what Dargas wrote in her review about Payne's empathy being misunderstood as condescension (I'm paraphrasing). I certainly disagree that he's "having a laugh" at the characters in the film, much less the audience. At the same time, he's not going to avoid showing us unflattering images of characters in order to keep us feeling good about the characters or about ourselves. My opinion is that sometimes his writing and the way he sets up his characters and scenes is so frank and straightforward that some people have trouble digesting what he puts in front of them.

  2. #17
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    Re: For what it's worth:

    Originally posted by Raoul
    That movie was terrible. It went nowhere quick.
    Where would you have liked this film "to go"? Specifically, what were you expecting and how did it fail? Besides being "flat" or "boring" was there something in the plot development that you disagreed with?

  3. #18
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    Re: Somebody said this was a "simple but nice film".

    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    And I am growing to like Wes Anderson, even though his fans on this site appear to have been unpleased by The Life Aquatic.
    I loved The Life Aquatic, though it's a completely different type of film than Sideways. I appreciated them both in their different, original ways. I don't understand how anyone could dislike Anderson's creativity, the visual wonderland he presents on screen, the clever and quirky (yes, quirky) dialogue. At the least, this is going to be a "cult classic" for the stoner set. It's hilarious. Payne on the other hand has created a much more serious and "real" film.

    Also, I'm with you (and with Dargas) as a fan of Collateral in 2004. Yeah, it's a throwaway story to some extent, but it's also the expertise in filmmaking involved that makes it so enjoyable to watch. There's a fine line there, I admit, before simply passing over into Hollywood Blockbuster Action Movie land.

  4. #19
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    Payne's ambiguity

    (Posted by JustaFied) I certainly disagree that [Payne] is "having a laugh" at the characters in [Sideways], much less the audience. At the same time, he's not going to avoid showing us unflattering images of characters in order to keep us feeling good about the characters or about ourselves. My opinion is that sometimes his writing and the way he sets up his characters and scenes is so frank and straightforward that some people have trouble digesting what he puts in front of them.
    A difficulty with Payne -- a weakness in my view -- is we don't ultimately know how he feels about his characters. It isn't clear. We have trouble not merely "digesting" but figuring out how we're supposed to take them.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-03-2005 at 01:42 PM.

  5. #20
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    The Life Aquatic

    (Originally posted by JustaFied)

    I loved The Life Aquatic, though it's a completely different type of film than Sideways. I appreciated them both in their different, original ways. I don't understand how anyone could dislike Anderson's creativity, the visual wonderland he presents on screen, the clever and quirky (yes, quirky) dialogue. At the least, this is going to be a "cult classic" for the stoner set. It's hilarious. Payne on the other hand has created a much more serious and "real" film.

    Also, I'm with you (and with Dargas) as a fan of Collateral in 2004.


    I'm glad we agree on Anderson and Mann's 2004 releases' being good, and as you see I agree with Dargas on Collateral as on other things -- though not on her exaltation of Sideways. As for my mentioning Sideways and Life Aquatic together, I explained earlier my reason for doing so. Payne and Anderson are both American auteurs of a simiar age, and both movies are about middle class white men undergoing mid-life crises.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-03-2005 at 07:54 PM.

  6. #21
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    Re: Re: For what it's worth:

    Originally posted by JustaFied


    Where would you have liked this film "to go"? Specifically, what were you expecting and how did it fail? Besides being "flat" or "boring" was there something in the plot development that you disagreed with?
    Generally, I expect characters to develop. That is, I expect them to learn something about themselves or someone else; to succeed, fail, learn and otherwise change over the course of a character driven script. (This WAS a character driven script... right? I mean, what plot? Man cheats on wife, mistress beats him up, he cheats on wife again then goes back to wife? That's not a plot it's a string of events.)
    Nobody learned anything, accomplished or lost anything. The wings guy was a womanizer at the beginning and he's a womanizer at the end. It would have been different if he'd THOUGHT about changing and fabricated/found a reason not to.
    Giamatti, who gets props from me for being a fellow tallented Italian, is the same alcoholic loser 2nd rate writer that he was at the beginning of the show.
    Sideways.
    I suppose that I didn't get it, and I was supposed to revel in the intricacies of the character's internal conflicts or something equally worthless, but I kept waiting for something to happen and I got let down.
    Sideways.
    I really do think that the writer was having a laugh at the audience and if this tripe wins best picture I'll surely puke.

  7. #22
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    Say it ain't SO!

    One of my favourite colomnists, Bill Simmons over at ESPN.com, picked Sideways for movie of the year. Here's what he said:

    it was probably my favorite movie of 2004. Totally original, extremely well-written, laugh-out-funny, quirky casting, inspired performances, rejuvenated the careers of Virginia Madsen and her breasts ... I mean, what more do you want from a movie?
    I want to give a f*$& about something in it, Bill, and I just can't.
    Thumbs down.

  8. #23
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    I expected this movie to go somewhere, as in someplace where something interesting happens. Most movies do that, this one just sat there like an obese person watching The Simpsons...

  9. #24
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    Some negative views

    From the VILLAGE VOICE 'TAKE 6' poll:
    When Mr. Incredible wailed about "celebrating mediocrity," it was hard not to think of the year's most hallowed schlub wet dream, Sideways. Seen from a bird's-eye view, it's a forgivable favorite for self-pitying menopausal Charlie Browns—be they critics or pear-shaped civilians—hoping against all rationality that Virginia Madsen awaits on a dusk-bathed hillside, ready to get drunk and screw. MICHAEL ATKINSON.
    Sideways' bourgeois bachelor jaunt through wine country has a golf ball for a heart and pinot—possibly even merlot—where its blood should be. LAURA SINAGRA
    Sideways is like the pilot for a softball dramedy on HBO—a cuddle-bug, schlumpy-guy Sex and the Boonies. For a guy who's always orating publicly about the civic virtue of '70s movies, why did Alexander Payne take as his visual and narrative inspiration Same Time, Next Year and Max Dugan Returns? MATTHEW WILDER
    However....
    Of all the year's baffling phenomena, the anti-Sideways backlash was among the most preposterous. Apparently the fact that there's nothing to dislike is enough to make some people dislike it. SAM ADAMS
    CHARLES TAYLOR, SALON.COM:

    Alexander Payne's new movie, Sideways, makes you feel like you're trapped at dinner with a wiseass who's trying to convince you what a sensitive guy he is.
    http://www.villagevoice.com/specials.../comments1.php

    http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/sideways

  10. #25
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    Oh Hum...

    Mrs. Doubtfire's ending was more ambigious and realistic than Sideways. What I did love about this movie was the exotic language of wine and its ability to relate to the human condition and history that was so eloquently used in the movie. However, the characters seemed to be superficial not complex, the emotional turmoil seemed over-exaggerated. I felt no connection why anyone would want to continue with a wedding (there was no deep scenes between our simpleton, child-like groom to be and his love that he so desparately needed - really?

    If this movie was a comedy, I didn't really see it that way...it was more of a drama with humor added in. We unfortunately are shielded in this movie from the more hurtful, painful consequences of the actions of these two men and unlike Lost In Translation, there isn't the consistency in cinematography...in Sideways, the gritty, rawness of independent movie making seems to get lost in spots by the half-way mark in the film. This movie was interesting, the contrast in characterization and the typical impulsive behavior of men are something not often projected onto the screen like this, but hopefully another movie in the future will succeed there this movie only opened the door to expose the more important relational issues this movie suggests.

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