Author Topic: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!  (Read 34855 times)

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03

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #135 on: March 03, 2015, 10:48:55 PM »
+1
i think we all need to accept that this is his worst film and move on. please.

Alexandro

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #136 on: March 03, 2015, 11:58:42 PM »
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no, jenkins, I was not referring to something you said, just that after seeing it and checking out some metacritic reviews, some of the overviews mentioned an approach like that, which seems to me to suggest that since the film's plot is incomprehensible we should just enjoy the vibe. of course is possible but it's not that kind of film, like the big lebowski, where the understanding of the plot is independent of the enjoyment of the humor and spirit of the film to the point that you could almost do fine without it. this isn't the case because the basic plot of inherent vice is a representation of the film's thesis that 60's counterculture was absorbed by 70's disillusionment and paranoia, and it's not incomprehensible. it just isn't. that's an objective observation.

03, if this is his worst film then it's a worst film better than most films. I'm no longer rating this dude's films because they're all too good and unique to rate them in relation to each other. I don't understand....you are saying this because you think what I wrote is a stretch? A way to justify the film in light of certain (very lazy) criticisms? i'm just sharing what I feel, man.


03

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #137 on: March 04, 2015, 01:06:10 AM »
0
nothing that i said had anything to do with you whatsoever.

jenkins

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #138 on: March 04, 2015, 03:07:59 AM »
+4
no, jenkins, I was not referring to something you said, just that after seeing it and checking out some metacritic reviews, some of the overviews mentioned an approach like that, which seems to me to suggest that since the film's plot is incomprehensible we should just enjoy the vibe. of course is possible but it's not that kind of film, like the big lebowski, where the understanding of the plot is independent of the enjoyment of the humor and spirit of the film to the point that you could almost do fine without it. this isn't the case because the basic plot of inherent vice is a representation of the film's thesis that 60's counterculture was absorbed by 70's disillusionment and paranoia, and it's not incomprehensible. it just isn't. that's an objective observation.

the movie's thesis is part of its substance, and it works comprehensibly on a first pass through subjective observations between the movie and the audience, you ask me

it's a pta/pynchon movie and of course the more you look into it the more there is. i just think it'd be healthy for pta fans to realize what topics they're more interested in than most everyone else who watches movies. like, you can go to the beach for a stroll or you can go to the beach with a metal detector, but the point is you went to the beach
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03

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #139 on: March 04, 2015, 03:58:19 PM »
+1
i'll explain, what i said wasn't directed at anyones review or feelings of this film.

i LOVE inherent vice, don't get me wrong.
but i think that die hard pta fans are liking this film because its a pta film.
i am totally guilty of this.

my problem with this film comes from what pta said of the writing process. and i think they ruined the film.
1. he LITERALLY wrote out the entire book in script form.
2. he was worried about not doing a pynchon movie well.

everytime he's adapted any literature or source material, it has been through his words and filtered through his imagination and all of the shit we love about pta. this movie is basically a visual audiobook of inherent vice read by paul thomas anderson. and that is why it doesnt work.

 tell me i'm wrong.

modage

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #140 on: March 04, 2015, 04:08:56 PM »
0
Well PTA has said that being too faithful ruins a lot of adaptations so he tried hard to (after the transcribing phase) not be too precious with it and make it its own thing while still retaining the spirit of Pynchon which I'm sure having P on the line helped with.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

wilder

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #141 on: March 04, 2015, 04:15:29 PM »
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I feel like the fact that Doc sort of saunters through everything, observes languidly, his pace doesn’t really change — you get something from that, just visually. The body language element is a big deal. It’s an attitude... You could turn off the sound and the camera’s perspective of the events (with Doc) tells you quite a lot in cinematic terms, despite people’s describing it as “boringly shot”, both in the staging and the flow.

polkablues

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #142 on: March 04, 2015, 04:42:51 PM »
+4
This is the hardest I've ever agreed with 03 on any point, and very neatly sums up my feelings on the film. The thing I love most about PTA films is that they're a direct line to HIS artistic worldview, HIS subconsciousness. IV is not that; it's Pynchon's artistic worldview, visualized by PTA. Which is fine, that's what he set out to do, but Pynchon's worldview isn't particularly interesting to me in the way that PTA's is.

It's the furthest thing from a bad movie, and I get really frustrated reading some of the lazy criticism of it I've seen elsewhere on the internet, but it accomplished the one thing that PTA movies, as wide and varied as they've been, have never accomplished before: I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other. I don't find myself wanting to revisit it or analyze it or emulate it or even really try and figure out why I didn't connect with it. I saw it and it was good and that's it.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #143 on: March 04, 2015, 05:09:21 PM »
+4
Yea, I agree with 03. Very entertaining film but lacks a lot of distinct qualities. It's doing its best to play coverage for the book and get everything into a seamless and working order. I kept thinking of PTA as a good editor and when I was thinking about praising scenes or writing, I kept wondering if I should have been complimenting Pynchon more. PTA may be too big of a fan of Pynchon and reluctant to make any major changes. It has its fallbacks. He could have reduced his vision of the book to trying to hyper realize the tone of parts of the book, but again, that would have resulted in heavy editing. I really do think PTA fell in love with the book and loved all the hijinks and characters. He wanted to nudge too many things together instead of expand upon possibly awesome scenes. Some scenes just passed by too quickly. It was all on clock-like progression to get all the major book moments into order. However, I do think since There Will be Blood, Anderson has found the realism that will likely dominate the rest of his filmmaking career. He feels very comfortable and even if I wasn't the biggest fan of Inherent Vice (still enjoyed it a lot), I think it's a great fit for him.

jenkins

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #144 on: March 04, 2015, 05:34:55 PM »
0
you guys are just pta dieheards agreeing with each other about not liking the movie as much as you guessed you would, since you're so diehard and everything

which i love, and how is that not a distinctive feature itself?
Every perspective is an act of creation.

Alexandro

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #145 on: March 04, 2015, 05:48:01 PM »
+1
Not in my case. I sincerely love this film on it's own. Can't take it out of my mind. If this exact same movie had been directed by someone else, I would be seriously blown away by this new genius.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #146 on: March 04, 2015, 05:56:14 PM »
0
I agree with polka and 03, which was probably already apparent from my review. It's not bad, but I do think it could be his weakest film. I can sincerely accept it as an interesting diversion, but for the sake of his future filmography, I hope it is just that.
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jenkins

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #147 on: March 04, 2015, 06:55:53 PM »
+5
Not in my case. I sincerely love this film on it's own. Can't take it out of my mind. If this exact same movie had been directed by someone else, I would be seriously blown away by this new genius.

i agree, and i think this is something to discuss on the topic of terrence malick as well. it's a tricky subject with challenging perspectives, so i like it, i personally like what they're up to, and i do think these new movies come from private realms that're as important as the private realms they've previously explored

a sort of red flag for me is an interpretation grounded on conditions placed by earlier works. since we all know that ultimately we're discussing our private reactions to the movie, i must say i don't think one's expectations are appropriate grounds for a reaction. that's what leads to depression irl, and that's what leads to sloppy movie criticism i think. jb threw down on both the past and future, meohmy

within iv itself, we're not talking about the size of iv because it didn't impress the audience but, it's a fucking huge movie. it's challenging to talk about the size of the movie because really we prefer to talk about the size of the emotions we had while watching the movie but, here, in a very city-like way, and i'd say pta's affiliation with the philosophy of pynchon comes from a shared idea about what it feels like to live in a city, with all those people and buildings and whatnot, here there's a massively impressive range of characters (perspectives), places, and events. and the problem is the audience can't find the meaning?? i mean, that sounds like life to me

all the things together, what's the main existential crisis? if that was dropped in, boom, one could understand the weight of larry. i think -- and i think wilder agrees with me on this -- larry's armchair theorizing, as his case unfolds, is a resonating feature of many people through their lives. why exactly should one go on through this madness? i vibe with the movie from this perspective

and as i've said, you don't gotta inherent twice to get that vibe. i don't think you have to notice the things happening in order to notice larry. he's right there. everything around him, i think it's disorientating. to him, and to us. and i think that's the existential crisis thinger
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #148 on: March 04, 2015, 08:53:13 PM »
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a sort of red flag for me is an interpretation grounded on conditions placed by earlier works. since we all know that ultimately we're discussing our private reactions to the movie, i must say i don't think one's expectations are appropriate grounds for a reaction. that's what leads to depression irl, and that's what leads to sloppy movie criticism i think. jb threw down on both the past and future, meohmy

Well yeah, I said that today because my post was specifically about that. But I think I brought a fair perspective to my actual review a few pages ago. I truly did approach the movie on its own terms, I was ready for something different, and in the end I do sort of appreciate it as such.

I'd like to think I'm able to hold those two separate thoughts at the same time — that it's a pretty good movie which I probably shouldn't complain about (semi-objective reaction), and that I really hope he doesn't stay on this track (legitimate fan reaction).
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jenkins

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #149 on: March 04, 2015, 08:57:35 PM »
+2
jb's review so he don't look like a liar, and 'cause i appreciate his review, and 'cause we all know a fight about who has the right opinion is the worst kind of internet conversation possible

There's a lot to love about this movie. It was kind of losing me until Doc arrives at the Golden Fang, but the second half is dramatically better. It's like Martin Short kicks that transmission into the right gear. The movie suddenly begins to effectively channel that alternate-world pseudo-apocalyptic energy that we felt in TWBB when milkshakes were being drunk. That's also when Jonny Greenwood's music starts working especially well. It really reminded me of his Bodysong score. (Listen to "Iron Swallow" and tell me that wasn't in the movie somewhere.)

The framing with heads being cut off actually worked quite well for me. It was a funny and effective way to introduce characters, at least twice that I remember. But I agree with putneyswipe that in general the framing seemed uninspired or intentionally plain, to the extent that I really noticed a beautifully framed scene when it arrived.

I was also deeply feeling the claustrophobia. The movie seems to take place mostly in series of rooms. When we do follow Doc outside, the few wide shots usually involve him being dwarfed by a large ominous building. Even the establishing shot outside his beach house is claustrophobic. (And I love that idea.) The camera is low to the ground uncomfortably between two buildings, and car bumpers even crowd out the shot later in the movie.

The final scene with Bigfoot was funny and wonderfully bizarre, and Doc's reaction is my favorite acting that JP does in the movie. But in retrospect I'm not sure the scene was entirely earned... the insanity or the emotional resolution. This scene was clearly meant to be more resonant than it actually is. And the way it dissolves into the next scene after the punchline kind of makes it feel a little cheap.

Likewise... I'm fascinated by some interpretations of the film, but I'm not convinced the movie itself engages those issues with much cogency. It's more like, yeah, I guess that's in there.

I feel like the way to appreciate this movie going forward is through its formal curiosities and its multitude of quirky delights. What I'm not feeling is a beating heart at the center, or a story that is screaming to be heard, or any character with a particularly rich inner life.

This just doesn't have the soul that I assume a PTA movie will have. Even The Master, probably PTA's coldest movie at that point, had full, intense characters with explosive depth, almost effortlessly. Inherent Vice just doesn't have any of that. Doc is certainly a sweet and somewhat angelic character, but let's be honest here, he has two or three distinguishing characteristics. Whatever depth might be there just isn't coming through the haze. I'm wondering if people are bringing information to this character from the book, because, while it's always fascinating to watch Joaquin Phoenix, I'm not quite feeling it.

I do think it's a good movie. Some scenes are amazing. I can sincerely accept this as a light diversion and move on with no complaints. Maybe it's like what he first intended with PDL, actually happening 12 years later.
Every perspective is an act of creation.

 

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