Oliver Stone; an opportunist?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Stronzo, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    World Trade Center has just been released recently and is supposed to shortly gross 30 million.

    How do you feel about Mr. Stone and his movie?

    Are we a culture of crepe hangers who revel in celebrating our disasters?

    or

    Is Stone legitimately memorializing a tragic event in a timely fashion?

    or

    Should any director/producer have waited a more respectable length of time before bringing this event to the big screen?
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Cinema is one market-driven enterprise that finds out the answers to your questions almost immediately upon release.
     
  3. rawbone8

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    I don't know if it is too soon or not. It's obviously an extremely hot subject that raises deep emotional responses. By focusing on the emergency reponse teams and the struggle and heroism of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, Stone probably sensibly avoids the larger political issues, and appeals to the strengths of character and ideals that Americans (and most people) value and hold dear.

    Honouring and maintaining those values and ideals is a big deal in winning in the face of terrorism.

    I'm interested in seeing it, but not right away. It will be on a small screen in my home.
     
  4. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Me too rawbone and that's where I'll be watching it too.
     
  5. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    It's got to be Academy Award material. Our local newspaper critic hated it.
     
  6. rawbone8

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    Great. Just phone me first and we'll have your favourite snacks & beverages waiting.:biggrin1:
     
  7. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Stronzie, did you see Paul Greengrass's Flight 93, the story of the UA flight that was probably headed for the Capitol or the White House and which crashed near Shanksville, Pa.? Brilliant film, I thought, superbly handled, fair to both sides ... and not at all premature, imho.

    If Stone has made a good film, I don't think anyone will complain about his timing. Just as with virtually any other film release, the issues will be primarily esthetic.

    By some early reports, Stone's film, unlike Flight 93, is sentimental and much less satisfactory.
     
  8. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Nope SR didn't see it. But I will now.

    And Rawbone? I hope you like raw oysters and paté de foie gras. You can bring the Pomegranate Martinis!:cool: :tongue:
     
  9. SpeedoGuy

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    I haven't seen it or read reviews of it but I suspect it may be too soon for such a film. Perhaps I'll feel differently someday in the future but for now, the very notion of a feature film about the WTC tragedy somehow smacks of hollywood opportunism. The profit motive. I think the survivors, the dead and the wounded, their families, and the nation as a whole are better served by stoic, respectful remembrance rather than bombastic special effects, celebrity galas, academy awards and all the hullahballoo that surrounds movie releases.
     
  10. ClaireTalon

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    He could have waited another ten years, and the subject would still have been a hot one. Making movies is always a matter with some opportunistic touch to it, especially if it's a movie dealing with an event that has actually happened. If the financial success of the movie is on the producer's agenda, especially if he contracted expensive actors such as Nicholas Cage, then he has to be opportunistic in some regards and present his movie and the subject in a way that attracts both, cineasts and average theater visitors. Now his movie is still a lot better than the patriotic flicks we had to endure in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and I can live with anything that doesn't trivialize the tragedy.

    Like Senor Rubirosa, I also saw United 93. I've heard and read about people running out of the theaters at the sight of the trailer, and that roused my curiosity when the movie finally came out. I wouldn't say it's so shocking, but I understand that someone with personal reference, or personal loss suffered in the actual tragedy, might become very emotional. Time magazine said the actors of this movie were briefed in a very detailed way about what the character they are playing wore on that day, what his behavioral patterns were, and so, and despite that I can't check that, I was struck by the way how real this movie seemed to be. They had some flaws on the technical side, like depicting the wrong airplane in outside shots several times, but I'd still rate it 95/100.
     
  11. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    Being fairly removed from the situation I do not find it too soon. If it were a political movie that waded into Iraq and the new war I may have reservations, but from what I understand he steers clear of that.

    Of course it is a commercial endeavor, and I am surprised that they did not save it's release for early September to capitalize on emotions, but I have no doubt it will still be in theaters. It is really no different that time magazine running a 9/11 issue a month after the event, or the books of pictures. If the publishers (and in this case the studio) did not think it would pull in good $$$ it would not have been made.

    As I understand it he had at least one of the surviving officers (whom the film is about) on set nearly the whole time to try to get it right. In one way I agree with he last apart of the post regarding the hullabaloo, but at the same time if they are done well, films portraying such events as the world wars(and possibly 9/11) can serve as a way to remember what we are quickly forgetting. Having said that I doubt that I will see it as it does not really appeal to me.
     
  12. Lex

    Lex
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    I tend toward post-modern cynicism. There are brilliant filmakers and then there is the Hollywood cash machine that wants bucks. Oliver Stone can be genius behind the camera. Personally, I think it's still a bit too soon for this and Flight 93 which preceeded it.

    Ultimately, audiences will decide. We are, as Americans, pretty used to a stable diet of daily doses of fear, interspersed with advertisements about what we should buy to make ourselves feel more comfortable and secure. Look at the current news coverage of the latest terror plot for that: Newsmakers go beyong sharing the details to fear-inducing segments like one last night when they showed planes that had actually survived mid-air bombings.

    FWIW, Roger Ebert seems to think the move ultimately does not work as it can not decide if it wants to be a disaster movie or a feel-good movie.

    Feel-good movies work, because, well, in the end you feel good. Flight 93 did this as, in the end, beyond the terror, there was lots to feel good about: the evil plot was thwarted and the regular Joes-turned-heroes triumphed over evil.

    Disaster movies typically work (Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, Volcano) because they seem plausable and probable and are, at the same time, highly unlikely to actually occur to you or I. They take you to the brink without you ever feeling like "Oh, SHIT!! This could SO happen to me." To me, World Trade Center can not work as a disater movie because it DID happen. And it (or something similar) could happen again. I so don't need to spend $8 on a ticket to be unsettled and sad all over again.
     
  13. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    By all accounts, Stone errs on the side of conservatism which is a first for him. I'm told it's a macro story told through a micro lens. I'll reserve judgment until I see it. If it turns up and the dollar cinema, I'll see it. If not, I'll wait for basic cable rotation. Is it too soon? Probably. Someone else would have made the movie if he hadn't.

    I'm not a New Yorker but my friends who are unanimously just do their best to put it out of their minds. My best friend actually said to me 2 days ago that he just doesn't go there mentally because it doesn't do any good.

    Will the film do well? Of course it will. Will it succeed at being a "feel good" story? No, it won't. There were no winners in this story. For me personally it's probably too soon. My ties to New York run deep. The other day I saw a recent pic of the Lower Manhattan skyline and burst into tears. I haven't done that since it happened. I guess the film got me thinking.
     
  14. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    And here's a copy of the script:

    Big dicked, muscled rich businessman: Stop! You terrorists!

    Arabic Loon With Huge Beard: Ha, American! You cannot stop us! We are evil terrorists who will destroy you all!

    Woman with huge tits: Please, don't hurt us Mr Arab! I'm pregnant, please in the name of God!

    Arabic Loon With Huge Beard: There is no God, only Allah! I will now crash your infidel plane into your huge capitalistic monument of Imperialism!

    Woman with huge tits: *cries*

    Big dicked, muscled rich businessman: Not if I crash you first! *Draws gun*

    Arabic Loon With Huge Beard: Ha! Your infidel weapon is no match to our superior Weapons of mass protection! *force field swirls around him*

    Big dicked, muscled rich businessman: My God! Only our brave soldiers have weapons that could penetrate his weapon of mass protection! We're finished!

    Woman with huge tits: *Close up of chest* *She screams*

    *Plane crashes into tower in bullet-time rotated 360 degrees trice and then explodes

    THE END!
     
  15. ClaireTalon

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    To you, this may seem funny. I find it tasteless.

     
  16. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Lex, I know what you mean. But I just can't imagine calling Flight 93 a feel-good movie. My intestines were in Tucson.
    Of course, there was a kind of triumph. As you say, 'the regular-Joes-turned-heroes' did triumph over evil.
    But my head appreciated that much more than my gut.
    Just my two cents.
     
  17. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Yet you find the idea of a film about the worst disaster of America in history not so?

    These people who died were VICTIMS! Not brave souls, not heros, not people who should be trivialised so easily. OK so films should be made in time as were with the holocaust and other tragic moments, but I smell cash-in.

    Trust me, in Brit terms, I'm extremely dull with my cynicism.
     
  18. ClaireTalon

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    I haven't seen WTC yet, maybe I will during the next days, so I'll hold any comments on taste or tastelessness of it.

    The general idea of a movie on this disaster is not tasteless per se. There have been great movies depicting scenes from WWII, for example, which would have to be called tasteless too because of their subjects. However, a movie giving a narrative or factual account of a real catastrophe, abiding by the historical facts, is a legitimate venture as long as it doesn't trivialize the actual catastrophe, or drag the involved characters in the mud, or makes its fun of them. Which is the reason why I don't like war comedy movies, or the whole bunch of 80s action movies lile Red Dawn or Top Gun.

    Well, back on the original subject. I didn't have the feeling that United 93 presents anyone as a hero. In the classic literature and drama, those characters would be called tragic heroes, because however good and pure their decisions are, they are bound to fail in the end; I think a "tragic hero" is the best description for the characters of this movie. Of course they are victims, but the movie doesn't glorify them beyond reality. The director's intention was to make a movie from a real event, and if he wants to do so, he can't let out parts that might be taken as glorification of someone. By the way, it didn't hold characters like a "Big dicked, rich businessman", a "Woman with huge tits" or an "Arabic Loon with huge beard". And what's bullet-time, by the way?

    On the other hand, parodies like the short one you gave us, are tasteless and offensive. It's nothing against you personally, even if it had come from a comedian like Belushi, Aykroyd, Cleese or someone of their caliber, I'd still have found it tasteless.
     
  19. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Though, like Claire, I have not seen it I too smell "cash in". And it stinks... no matter how much its reverence is endlessly cited by Stone's entourage.
     
  20. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    We must remember that whilst there are exceptions the vast majority of films are made with the intention of making money and not to educate, make us appreciate artistic value etc etc.
     
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