Author Topic: The Discovery  (Read 1179 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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The Discovery
« on: January 23, 2017, 11:59:39 PM »
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Release: March 31
Director: Charlie McDowell ("The One I Love")

Premise: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.
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polkablues

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 12:50:14 AM »
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If it's even half as great and interesting as The One I Love, it'll still probably be one of my favorite things I see this year.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 12:36:39 AM »
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No one else is freaking out about that trailer? I think I watched it 4 times in a row.

Has a kinship with the Leftovers trailer, actually.

In fact, the review from The Verge calls this "The Leftovers’ leftovers." And "Black Mirror meets Chicken Soup for the Soul."

But reviews generally seem to be very good. Some say it's over-ambitious and "shoots the moon." That's kind of my thing, though.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 06:50:43 PM »
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Comes out next Friday.

Reviews are very mixed, but I am undeterred.

Semi-spoilery trailer:

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KJ

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 08:49:54 PM »
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the song in the first trailer evokes feelings from my good old emo days (hey roy, i still think wearing all black is the best thing a man could do!) and the pictures itself looks pretty interesting. the discovery is the most bland title i've ever seen tho, but whatever, looking forward to this

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 11:22:28 PM »
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Now playing on Netflix!

The movie is not as good as that first teaser, unfortunately. (But how could it be?) I suppose if you've never thought about these concepts, it might be super profound. But it's basically just a solid film.

It has a slow start. Picks up about 25 minutes in, then gradually gets more compelling as things play out, with a very strong finish. Still, the writing and acting feel surprisingly unpolished throughout.

I would lean towards recommending this if the topic sounds interesting. Not exactly the glowing review I was hoping to write, but there you have it. I think this is the problem: They did not have enough material for a fast-paced version of this story, so it needed to be slow and contemplative, but they didn't quite have the writing or the atmosphere to pull that off either.
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modage

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 01:35:55 PM »
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I basically agree. The trailer for this was incredible and after a strong opening scene it just kinda putters around for 85 minutes. The sci-fi concept explored through intimate grounded execution is great, it's just the exploration itself isn't very interesting and doesn't go much beyond the first couple ideas. It was definitely a disappointment coming after The One I Love which worked on an intellectual and emotional level in ways that this just doesn't.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Discovery
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 11:50:24 PM »
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This movie seems to deteriorate in my mind every time I think back on it. The ending that I described as "a very strong finish" is actually unearned and doesn't make sense under the mildest scrutiny. So I'm not left with much. Everyone basically says the same thing — The Discovery had a pretty great idea and then basically did nothing with it.

MAJOR SPOILERS

John Hodgman likes to say "specificity is the soul of narrative." Well, that kind of explains why this doesn't work. We never even get to find out specifically what "the discovery" was — only that the evidence was overwhelming. Seems unlikely that could be true when the scientists seem to barely understand what they discovered. Why are people eager to commit suicide if they don't know where they're going?

The movie would have us believe that an ideal afterlife is one where you get to fix your mistakes. There is again a lack of specificity here, but it seems like you live the same life repeatedly until you make a few key correct decisions. Like it's some kind of long performance that you need to get right. Maybe it's just me, but that sounds horrible and dumb. If you believe in reincarnation for the purpose of spiritual progress, wouldn't you want to live a few different types of lives? On the afterlife cam, we only see people making correct decisions or reversing key mistakes. Wouldn't it make more sense just to review your life and identify the mistakes? Why do you need live a new life in which you physically reverse your regrets? You already know what you'd do differently — why go through the motions in a pointless illusion?

Furthermore, the life/afterlife that we see Jason Segel living does not seem to resemble the afterlife cam, where reversing regrets is the only thing people seem to be doing.

The marketing described this as a love story, but the movie barely establishes an emotional connection between those characters, let alone some kind of deep spiritual connection that can transcend time. It just does not happen. There are no scenes that really do much of anything to get them there. It's like half of the script was lost, but they decided to go forward with production anyway.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

 

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