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The Departed


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#1 Max Jacoby

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:03 PM

Against my better judgment I went to see this one as it opened today here. And boy, all the people involved in this film really did phone it in big time. I am not a huge Scorsese aficionado, but at least I could appreciate films like 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino' for their sense of rhythm and the mood that they created. But this is a major letdown. It is a contemporary film that looks completely bland. The whole look (cinematography, production design and costumes) does not express anything. There is no mood created, no sense of place, nothing. The only one who did a good job was Thelma Schoonmaker, who managed to make inferior material at least watcheable. As far as the cinematography is concerned, Scorsese would have been better of sticking with Robert Richardson that's for sure, Michael Ballhaus bores me to death.
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#2 Mike Rufail

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:48 PM

That's sad to hear. I was looking forward to seeing that film. I can't deduct much about the cinematography from the trailer, but it seems to favor dialogue as the driving force. Oh, and who can't appreciate "comfortably numb" as the hook?

Edited by Mike Rufail, 06 October 2006 - 07:48 PM.

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#3 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 03:43 AM

Against my better judgment I went to see this one as it opened today here. And boy, all the people involved in this film really did phone it in big time. I am not a huge Scorsese aficionado, but at least I could appreciate films like 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino' for their sense of rhythm and the mood that they created. But this is a major letdown. It is a contemporary film that looks completely bland. The whole look (cinematography, production design and costumes) does not express anything. There is no mood created, no sense of place, nothing. The only one who did a good job was Thelma Schoonmaker, who managed to make inferior material at least watcheable. As far as the cinematography is concerned, Scorsese would have been better of sticking with Robert Richardson that's for sure, Michael Ballhaus bores me to death.



Ouch!

Kev
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#4 Arni Heimir

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 04:17 AM

Against my better judgment I went to see this one as it opened today here. And boy, all the people involved in this film really did phone it in big time. I am not a huge Scorsese aficionado, but at least I could appreciate films like 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino' for their sense of rhythm and the mood that they created. But this is a major letdown. It is a contemporary film that looks completely bland. The whole look (cinematography, production design and costumes) does not express anything. There is no mood created, no sense of place, nothing. The only one who did a good job was Thelma Schoonmaker, who managed to make inferior material at least watcheable. As far as the cinematography is concerned, Scorsese would have been better of sticking with Robert Richardson that's for sure, Michael Ballhaus bores me to death.


If you're so much better then the people mentioned above. Why hasn't the entire world seen your movies, loved them, written about them and claimed that you are the best thing to happen to cinema.

I'm sure if it had been shot in Anamorphic and in Russian, you would be raving about it.
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 05:41 AM

What the fu** is your problem?

What has my personal output to do with not liking a film? These two are completely unrelated and by your 'logic' the great majority of critics have no business writing about films, because they have never made one by themsleves. I am giving my honest opinion about a film here and the problem clearly lies with you, not me.
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#6 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:04 AM

jacobi, the problem is that you are a smartarse, arrogant and your judgement on movies is most of the time inappropriate. theres nothing wrong when you criticise a film, its the annoying, unpolite and cocky way you do it that pisses people off. and yeah, when the hell are we gonna see your movies? who the hell are you?
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 08:19 AM

Well Bonfanti (since you and I seem to be on a last name basis here) at least I give my honest opinion and don't hide behind fake political correctness. And I do spell people's names right.
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#8 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:13 AM

hahahahahahahahaha...you now, MAXIE, your replies always make me feel good. thank you. i cant wait to see your next film! is it gonna make it to scotland?
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:24 AM

It's smashing that I can still make you laugh. Now how about getting back onto topic. It would be nice to actually hear from people who have seen the film for a change.
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#10 Tim J Durham

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:34 AM

jacobi, the problem is that you are a smartarse, arrogant and your judgement on movies is most of the time inappropriate. theres nothing wrong when you criticise a film, its the annoying, unpolite and cocky way you do it that pisses people off. and yeah, when the hell are we gonna see your movies? who the hell are you?


Actually, what I find tedious around here is the utter lack of criticism when it comes to even the most obviously commercial Hollywood product. I'm not saying that's what "The Departed" is, I haven't seen it yet, but the slavishness with which people (mostly the wannabees) bray on about this DP or that director gets nauseating.

Criticism is an integral part of the learning process, particularly in this field. Scorsese and Michael Ballhaus have both done great things but that doesn't mean everything they do is great. Both of them are well aware that there are people out there who know the difference.
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#11 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 10:09 AM

Ummmm, I'm not trying to "defend" anyone here, we are all grown-ups who can do that for themselves. But I've seen Butterflies and it was quite good. Beautiful B&W, anamorphic, nice acting, strong direction.

Some people walk the walk, others talk the talk......Jacoby can do both, he earned that right by actually "creating" in the field which he is now critizing.....what have you people filmed lately? Wanna share with the class?

You see, having your mouth perma-stuck to the teet of any artist (even the great Scorsese) just goes against the whole point of "experience". Your ridiculous comments regarding (I assume) Tarkovsky should be taken with a grain of salt by anyone with a brain. Every artist goes through peaks and valleys regarding the creative process, why can't Scorsese? Or are you just using this thread to launch personal attacks against another....? How convenient and cowardly....

BTW, I have not seen The Departed. I am a fan of Scorsese, I just didn't get hyped at all for this film....Who knows why? If I do see it, you can bet I'll return to dish out my reaction. Uneducated as that might be... :lol:
I hope not to encounter such venom love it or hate it...
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#12 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 10:12 AM

who said anything against criticism? i cant give you a list of films i think are rubbish...the difference is that i still rispect the work of any filmaker, therefore i wouldnt use arrogant remarks towards a film crew. god knows how much effort these people put into this film. thats why i got mad. cus a nobody like max jacobi disrespected the work of a professional film crew in such an arrogant way.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 10:16 AM

While I don't like overt negativity and sweeping statements like "so-and-so bores me to death" (which seems unnecessarily cruel, if I read someone saying that about my work), Max's post in general was completely legitimate and he shouldn't be castigated simply for having a negative reaction to a movie and its cinematography. He could have been a little more, err, delicate in his criticism in case Balhaus or his sons read this forum, but otherwise, expressing a negative opinion in itself is not forbidden here.

Personally, I find it more useful when people talk about what they like more often than what they hate, but that's just me.

Max has certainly worked enough on movies as a crew person and as a director to know the process and how hard it is, so I don't lump him in the same category as smart-ass armchair critics who think they know more about filmmaking than a professional -- he IS a professional, just one with a sharp tongue and a certain well-known bias. He's hardly rare in this industry.

So everyone lighten-up, please.

(I'm not sure why one would see this movie "against their better judgement" when it's been getting such rave reviews... seems like a must-see to me.)
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#14 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 10:31 AM

i think that having a sharp tongue is a good thing, but i believe that there are times when someone should dose it. i am sorry, why would i bother replying to his first post and start a mess again? i just dont understand: he could have directed the best SHORT FILM ever but still i dont think he has the right to say that "everyone involved in the film phoned it big time". that just made me kick off
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#15 G McMahon

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 10:48 AM

That?s disappointing I was looking forward to it. Am I wrong, but this was based on a film from Hong Kong? That was a good film.

My opinion, its good to dwell and pick apart work you find displeasing, educational. If you critise a piece of work that you cannot see how you would do better then your no better than the people who made it. I have learned a lot watching porn.
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#16 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 04:11 PM

Back to the movie.

I thought this was the best film this year easily - can't see why Max didn't enjoy it. So good to see a film that actually delivers suspense (nail-biting at time), a tight script, tight direction and eschews clichés. It's Hollywood at it's best - fantastic entertainment.

As for the look, well, not my cup of tea. Do agree with Max that the production design was a bit too straight and boring (obviously by design) and the look suffered because of it. If it had been more done in the vain of The Verdict (another good Boston set drama), or State Of Grace, I think the film would have been a bit lusher. I also have to say that I've never been a massive fan of Ballhaus personally, although his best efforts are worthy of admiration (Age Of Innocence, Quiz Show and so on).

But check the movie out - it's really good.
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#17 Arni Heimir

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 04:13 PM

THIS IS AN OPEN LETTER TO Mr MAX JACOBY:

I don't have a problem with you Max Jacoby. Altough I don't see the need for you to get so upset and use little four letter words in your rebuttle.

In retrospect, I think that people, you included, are perfectly entitled to have an opinion on anything and everything. But you, Max Jacoby, seem to an overt cynicism towards anything that isn't to your taste.

I have often agreed with you. But I do often find you to be a little "elitist" in both your comments, replies and unsolicited posts.

I guess what I was trying to say I that Michael Ballhaus, Kristi Zea, Thelma Schoonmaker (spelling?) and Martin Scorsese have proven themselves countlessly in the past and established commentators in the entertainment industry are saying that this is Scorsese's best film since "Casino". So, basically who asked you for your opinion. It didn't involve any general cinematography questions. Just that you think that Michael Ballhaus has outworn his welcome in Hollywood.

I regret to say that you don't stike me as humble. Actually very arrogant in some cases. But that is my opinion and I am sure that we two are going to have agree to disagree. the beauty of debate.

I am not asserting that I am without wise. I am sure if we would weigh them, I would outweigh yours altogether. I have often been quilty of intolerance towards others and insesitivity.

I haven't seen "The Departed" so I can't form an opinion on it. But I am forming an opinion on your opinions.

I agree with David Mullen. We should be civilized to one another in this forum. We all share the same interest, cinematography. It would be a shame that snotty comments should disolve it.

I apologize to you personally Max Jacoby if my comments offended you. I really am sorry. Feel free to call me at (0044) 0121 288 6221 if you want to discuss this further.

Again, sorry and hopefully there are no hard feelings from your end.

I hope that your filmmaking career with blossom and reach new heights. I believe you will do great things in addition to your already accomplishments.

Árni Heimir
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#18 Brian Rose

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 05:06 PM

I can see where Mr. Jacoby is coming from. It is tough to make a film when it will always be compared to Goodfellas, or Raging Bull, or Taxi Driver. In my opinion, I think the Mr. Baulhaus's work was very good, because after a while, I ceased to notice it. I got so into the film as a whole, that pretty soon I stopped looking for editing or cinematography, and just went along for the ride. Certainly there are some films, like Lawrence of Arabia, where appreciating the cinematography is essential in taking in the whole experience. For other films, I would argue that it is good that it does not draw too much attention to itself, as that would detract from the narrative. Same for editing. There are some films were it is a vital element (like "The Wild Bunch") but others where the best editing is what you don't notice, because you're so involved in the story.

(possible spoilers ahead)

Yes, it was a change from more stylized efforts like Raging Bull and Goodfellas, but I think it worked. For me, it was the best movie I've seen in several years, because I was so caught off guard by it, so much so I didn't know what to expect. I left thinking about how many ways a less capable director would have messed up that movie, especially the ending. I was praying it wouldn't end the way I was expecting, the way most Hollywood fare ends these days. Instead, I was left completely off guard, and when I left that theater, I was trembling, and my heart was racing. I cannot recall the last time I was physically affected that way. And the way the audience reacted, to the sudden, shocking death of one character in an elevator was something I hadn't heard in a long while either. We were jolted awake by something fresh and new. I must admit having doubts about Scorsese in recents years, but all those doubts have been abated by this film. It is one of his very best, dare I say, right up there with Goodfellas and Raging Bull and Taxi Driver. I'll say it right now. If Scorsese doesn't get Best Director for this one, then the Academy will (for me) be completely out of touch and irrelevant! That's my two cents.
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#19 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:14 PM

I saw this movie last night, and its the best film ive seen in a long time. the acting and story was very strong.
the cinematography was good not great, but it suited the story. it has a real gritty street feel to it. I havent read the ac artical on it yet but i dont think they did a DI on it, the image looks clean and real, And if they did one it was real sudtle. Im thinking of seeing this movie again you guys have to see it, the trailer i saw dident do this movie any justice, it was a lot better than i thought it was going to be, I think its scorsese best movie
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#20 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:19 PM

- he IS a professional, just one with a sharp tongue and a certain well-known bias. He's hardly rare in this industry.


The danger of the written word or the web forum i guess is; firstly its easy to over exagerate a feeling or opinion and secondly that the words stick.

In other words I really wish the edit function still worked properly on this board.


On the other hand many people here (myself probably included) have a general tendancy of dileberatly throwing spanners in the works, for instance about Goverment Subsidies in film production, hint, hint, - you know who you are. ;)
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