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Juno is lame


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#1 Shaun Joye

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:06 PM

I saw Juno recently and I don?t know why everyone seems to love this movie. I found the fact that the movie was in 2D distracting. How am I supposed to relate to people who are flat? People in real life aren?t flat. There were also other distracting things like the fact that it was clearly shot on film and had film grain. I think the movie would have been much better if they had used a motion capture technique similar to beowulf. Then they could have had some amazing camera moves an integrated CG elements of Juno?s baby being conceived and developing. The focus on the writing and acting was irritating. I don?t pay ten dollars to see a movie just to see people act. I mean come on its 2008 already we might not have flying cars but when I go see a movie I expect to see some high tech stuff.
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:18 PM

The focus on the writing and acting was irritating. I don?t pay ten dollars to see a movie just to see people act. I mean come on its 2008 already we might not have flying cars but when I go see a movie I expect to see some high tech stuff.

I guess you went to see the wrong movie then. Maybe you should have gone to see Aliens vs. Predator instead.
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:55 PM

I think the topic starter is being sarcastic.

I liked the movie immensely. Something goes wrong near the end of the movie that was set up earlier on. However, if this rather typical lets add conflict near the end of the movie scenario had not been written into the story, I still would have liked the movie, yet it was put in there because we all are trained to expect a bad guy in the movie at some point.

I almost feel like anything goes these days in that a movie does not have to have the typical bad guy or girl in it or it isn't a movie. Nowadays life has enough conflict in it that just seeing people navigate it can be interesting enough.
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#4 Joe Taylor

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:16 PM

Don't POST drunk.
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#5 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:16 PM

I guess you went to see the wrong movie then. Maybe you should have gone to see Aliens vs. Predator instead.


I also suffer from an irony bypass. I haven't seen the movie yet, but from the trailer, there were clearly not enough explosions, or tits, for my requirements.

Unacceptable.

R.
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#6 Walter Graff

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:20 PM

That's why they make lots pf movies each year. Movies are subjective. You hated it. You are not worng. Okay, Move on.
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#7 Logan Schneider

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:32 PM

I saw Beowulf twice and laughed the whole time. I saw Juno twice and laughed also. The only difference was that in Juno I laughed where they wanted me too, not at Angelina's built in stilletos and the fact that Grendel's jaw reminded me of Sammy Davis, Jr.
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#8 Shaun Joye

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:30 AM

Okay, so not everyone gets my sense of humor. I understand that. But "I found the fact that the movie was in 2D distracting" C'mon guys. I guess irony doesn't play well on message boards.

Juno is a great movie. What's interesting about it to me is that it really has a quite a few flaws that you could point out, but the writing and the performances are so strong that they really don't matter.

Debates like digital vs. film, or CG vs. cinematography, are kind of rediculous, because people don't enjoy movies because they were shot digitally or because they had good CG (or even good cinematography for that matter) They enjoy movies that have good performances that all start with a good script, and all that other stuff matters, but not as much.
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#9 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:58 AM

Angelina's built in stilletos and the fact that Grendel's jaw reminded me of Sammy Davis, Jr.

I'm pretty sure that most of the "unintentionally" funny bits in Beowulf were actually intended to be funny...
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#10 David Sweetman

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 01:36 AM

Debates like digital vs. film, or CG vs. cinematography, are kind of rediculous, because people don't enjoy movies because they were shot digitally or because they had good CG (or even good cinematography for that matter) They enjoy movies that have good performances that all start with a good script, and all that other stuff matters, but not as much.

I'd tend to disagree where you say "or even good cinematography for that matter;" I think the raw optical and aural style have just as much to do with the film itself as the narrative does, because the story only exists in relation to those elements. I mean, that's like saying a novel is enjoyable mostly because of the story, and the author's voice and style doesn't matter. I don't understand the separation.

Edited by David Sweetman, 13 January 2008 - 01:38 AM.

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#11 Shaun Joye

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 10:22 AM

I'm just saying its the writing and performances that make or break a movie. Lots of really bad movies have good cinematography, or good CG, or good art direction. However stylistically good a movie is its never going to make up for a weak script or for bad direction.
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#12 Walter Graff

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 11:00 AM

Go to rottentomatoes.com and read every review of every movie ever made. Look for the comments where critics say it was a bad movie, but it sure looked good. And also find the comments that say they thought the movie was great and it was well shot. You'll find plenty of the second comment, but none of the first. Good cinematography adds to the value of a film, but it certainly not a major factor in what makes a film good. Actually it is, but only after a good story was told. They go hand in hand. You can have a great looking film, but it means little if the story sucks and you can have a bad looking film even if the story is good. But you can't have a good film that has no story but good cinematography. Actually you can but only the cinematographer will care. And only on a cinematography board will cinematography outweigh the other more important elements that make a film watchable.
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#13 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 11:48 AM

Go to rottentomatoes.com and read every review of every movie ever made. Look for the comments where critics say it was a bad movie, but it sure looked good. And also find the comments that say they thought the movie was great and it was well shot. You'll find plenty of the second comment, but none of the first. Good cinematography adds to the value of a film, but it certainly not a major factor in what makes a film good. Actually it is, but only after a good story was told. They go hand in hand. You can have a great looking film, but it means little if the story sucks and you can have a bad looking film even if the story is good. But you can't have a good film that has no story but good cinematography. Actually you can but only the cinematographer will care. And only on a cinematography board will cinematography outweigh the other more important elements that make a film watchable.


Huh? I think you'll find that many, many, many reviews of bad films has mentioned good cinematography.

Here's a few quotes from Roger Ebert:

re: The river Wild -- "Robert Elswit's cinematography is great looking; people are going to want to know where this river is, so they can raft it. But in the specifics of the situation, the movie is always a little wrong"

"The climax is the running of the Gauntlet, which is well-photographed but so much of a preordained set piece it's hardly worth the bother"


Re: The Sheltering Sky -- "Bertolucci has done almost everything right in this movie except to communicate the theme. His leading actors are John Malkovich, as Porter, and Debra Winger, as Kit, and they strike just the right notes - smart, jaded, tired, knowing each other too well, not that thrilled about everything they know. His cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, makes the desert as alive as Freddie Francis did for David Lean in "Lawrence of Arabia." His location photography is always authentic and convincing, right down to the flies on the skins of the actors. It is all here, and yet at the end, thinking of the film, I was left with the impression of my fingers closing on air."

``Free Willy 3: The Rescue'' is filled with sparkling nature cinematography by Tobias Schliessler, and looks great. "

Re: Van Helsing -- "CGI can get a little boring when it allows characters to fall hundreds of feet and somehow survive, or when they swoop at the ends of ropes as well as Spider-Man, but without Spidey's superpowers. But they can also be used to create a visual feast, and here the cinematography by Allen Daviau ("E.T.") and the production design by Allen Cameron join with Sommers' imagination for spectacular sights. "

Re: Batman Forever -- " The movie looks great, of course"

"`Far and Away" is a movie that joins astonishing visual splendor with a story so simple-minded it seems intended for adolescents"

Re: Catwoman -- "The filmmakers have given great thought to photographing Berry, who looks fabulous, and little thought to providing her with a strong character, story, supporting characters or action sequences."

"Alien Nation" was not an inexpensive movie. The makeup took trouble, the photography looks good, the cast and technical credits are top-drawer. So what went wrong?"

"Alien 3" is one of the best-looking bad movies I have ever seen"

etc.
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#14 Walter Graff

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 11:59 AM

Glad someone fell for it and did hte pasting for me. My point prooven. As one of your quotes said:


"Alien 3" is one of the best-looking bad movies I have ever seen"

Still a bad movie. Cinematography can't make a bad movie good as all of your quotes show. Only a story can. And a good story and good cinematography is like magic. No one goes to a movie that sucks but looks good because it sucks yet looks good, except maybe 2001. If that was the case than movies like Ishtar would have been huge. Only critics do because they have to so might as well find redeeming values in a good movie.
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#15 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:08 PM

Glad someone fell for it and did hte pasting for me. My point prooven. As one of your quotes said:


"Alien 3" is one of the best-looking bad movies I have ever seen"

Still a bad movie. Cinematography can't make a bad movie good as all of your quotes show. Only a story can. And a good story and good cinematography is like magic. No one goes to a movie that sucks but looks good because it sucks yet looks good, except maybe 2001. If that was the case than movies like Ishtar would have been huge. Only critics do because they have to so might as well find redeeming values in a good movie.


Perhaps you should explain your point in less self-contradictory terms then?

Because I was responding to "You'll find plenty of the second comment, but none of the first."

I've certainly not proven THAT point for you...

"Good cinematography adds to the value of a film, but it certainly not a major factor in what makes a film good. Actually it is, but only after a good story was told"

Ah ok. Good point. good cinematography is not a major factor in what makes a film good. Except when it is. Gotcha.

Listen I get the whole story first thing, just the way you are expressing your point here is severely muddled. That is all.

Best,
R.
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#16 Paul Bruening

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:34 PM

Meanwhile... back at the Juno ranch:

My wife cried. So did the woman to my right. So did the three women seated in front of me. So did the woman sitting behind me as well as her guy sitting beside her. Craziest of all was that dumb SOB sitting in my seat, choking back tears.

I've been bitching to anyone who'd listen about the utter meaninglessness of so many movies that stream out of the factory. Juno was lousy with meaning. Real life and it wasn't boring. Damn, that was good story telling.
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#17 Walter Graff

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:48 PM

I was too lazy to look up the quotes you so kindly found. And they simply show that a good movie is a good movie because of a script first and formost. One doesn't in anyway need good cinematography to make a good movie (eg Breaking the Waves). A good story is like a beautiful flute. By itself playing a well written piece it is wonderful and stands alone. It's always story first. But when a story is good, and the auxiliary parts are good (eg wardrobe, cinematography, music), you have the equivalent of an orchestra. Cinematography is like one of those instruments in that orchestra, except it is an instrument that can not carry a song by itself (eg the kettle drum). But use that kettle drum with other elements that make a melody and you have a great piece of music. But taken in terms of cinematogrphy alone you have movies no one ever heard of eg Riding Giants. It's all subjective when it comes to what makes folks like a film, but without a story, I can't grasp a film no matter how good it looks.
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#18 Chuck Bowdoin

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 01:58 PM

I'd tend to disagree where you say "or even good cinematography for that matter;" I think the raw optical and aural style have just as much to do with the film itself as the narrative does, because the story only exists in relation to those elements. I mean, that's like saying a novel is enjoyable mostly because of the story, and the author's voice and style doesn't matter. I don't understand the separation.



I totally agree with this statement. Subsequent posters have listed instances in which people felt movies still were weak, despite having beautiful cinematography. That's fine. However, the look (and by extension, the entire topic of "execution") still greatly influences how the audience "accepts" (or not) the story and the character performances. I'll bet there are tons of movies which otherwise would be considered only middling, but the beautiful look and style were enough to push the movie "over the edge." Of course, we can't point to instances of those; most likely a movie review of such movies would simply state, "Boy, this was a pretty good movie."

While there are probably many instances of movies that look great but are criticized for still being weak, I bet there are just as many (if not more) instances where people like or love movies simply because the visuals on screen are so beautiful (and the people wouldn't have to be consciously aware that that's the reason they're reacting that way), despite the fact that if one were to "scientifically analyze" the script of such movies, you might find it lacking in depth. (And frankly, I think if one were to enjoy a movie just based solely on the beauty of the cinematography... I actually think that's a "valid" reason for liking a movie. This is an audio visual medium after all. For movies, I don't feel that style and "substance" are seperate. Visuals and style ARE substance in a movie. [or at least half the equation].)

I'll bet there exists just as many instances where a reviewer says something like, "Well, the performances have potential, and the story premise isn't bad, but the execution is sloppy and ugly." If an actor gives a great performance, yet it is captured on a cheap ugly home-camcorder, I am CONVINCED that that is far greater a handicap for the movie to overcome than if the movie is technically and aesthetically beautiful, but the actors are simply average.

A previous poster said something to the effect that movies are about stories and character and not visuals. Well, in my opinion they're about both. I really do feel that if the look of a film is wrong (or ugly) it negatively effects everyone's experience in the audience, even the fabled "joe sixpack." However, it's only some people (such as film reviewers) that might be consciously aware of how the cinematography affected (or took away from) the potential of the movie, and can articulate such thoughts in words. The "joe sixpack" person might not be aware of why they're not liking the movie; they might say something like, "The story was really stupid" (when it really wasn't, in theory); but the shoddy visuals affected his perception just the same.

[PS: Hi. I'm a new poster here. I should add the caveat that all of the above opinions come from someone with absolutely no knowledge of cinematography or movie-making. I really shouldn't be here, actually.]

Edited by Chuck Bowdoin, 13 January 2008 - 02:01 PM.

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#19 Walter Graff

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 02:09 PM

"I bet there are just as many (if not more) instances where people like or love movies simply because the visuals on screen are so beautiful"

And there are cases where sometimes a very poorly shot film is a key factor in it's success such as Evil Dead. If it wasn't for the poor cinematogrphy of the film, it might not have been as scarey as it was. Blair Witch could get that honor too come ot think of it although I hated that film.

Anyway you slice it, in order of importantce I see it as story way on top then an ensamble of acting, cinematography, music, wardrobe, etc. But it's all subjectiove and no one here is correct, only correct for what they like or dislike about films as it relates to their own taste. My top film of this year is Cashback and that had little to do with the cinematogrphy which was ok but uneven. But the story trumps anything else that was a detractor for me.
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#20 Chuck Bowdoin

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 02:25 PM

And there are cases where sometimes a very poorly shot film is a key factor in it's success such as Evil Dead. If it wasn't for the poor cinematogrphy of the film, it might not have been as scarey as it was. Blair Witch could get that honor too come ot think of it although I hated that film.

Anyway you slice it, in order of importantce I see it as story way on top then an ensamble of acting, cinematography, music, wardrobe, etc. But it's all subjectiove and no one here is correct, only correct for what they like or dislike about films as it relates to their own taste. My top film of this year is Cashback and that had little to do with the cinematogrphy which was ok but uneven. But the story trumps anything else that was a detractor for me.



But I'm not sure if one could call "Evil Dead 2" poorly shot, since it was totally appropriate to the material. In fact, one could argue that that was the ONLY way that film would work as well as it did--to have that look--so it actually had very good cinematography.

I guess what I'm saying is, I have no idea how one can differentiate between what is just the story element in a movie and what is the cinematography portion. They're so intertwined. It's kind of like trying to determine what's more important to a person's survival, their brain or their heart? They're sort of part of the same package.

I mean, on paper would you really say that Evil Dead 2 had a good "story?" I bet it might look very negligible. But becuase of the way it was ultimately executed (a combination of cinematography and camera move choices) it "became" a good story.

Anyway, not trying to be argumentative. Just my two cents.

Edited by Chuck Bowdoin, 13 January 2008 - 02:27 PM.

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