Great screenplay and direction but visually felt a tad too after-effectsy.
Also the whole time I couldn't help but feel that someone from Japan would find it an uncomfortable watch due to how dehumanized the opposing Japanese side felt. I guess that's good 'ol Melly Mel for ya.
Its a pretty tough call to paint the Japanese occupation of Okinawa as anything remotely human.. Ive shot there many times for doc,s.. interviewed locals who lived through it and also Japanese soldiers stationed there.. both sides of a very ugly story.. yes many Japanese might feel uncomfortable .. probably because they have no idea what happened there, as its been written out of history ..along with anything else "unpleasant"..
Thought the film was a bit saccharine .. old fashioned.. swelling music type .. not a big Mel fan .. the actual story is pretty amazing .. and I'm sure a really good Doc would be better..
I just saw Hacksaw and didn't really much care for it. The reason it took such a long time to get made is that the real person, couldn't get anyone to tell his story truthful. Yet the moment you watch the movie, you understand pretty quickly how much fiction was added. I couldn't help but grab my phone whilst watching and look up the truth of the story. Once you read the truth, it's not such an incredible story after all.
Personally, I felt the lead character to be bland and uninteresting. He doesn't really go through a personal struggle because he is the same person from the start of the movie to the end. My roomie pointed out that Forest Gump was the same way, but he was far more likable due to his adventures. I didn't find any "adventure" in Hacksaw, just another person preying to jesus for mercy... hundreds of thousands of others got killed, he survived.
I didn't much care for the depiction of the location very much. The "ridge" itself wasn't nearly that tall and if you research, you'll find the mistakes the Americans made in the movie, never happened. The battle lasted weeks/months, not days as depicted in the movie. The big 'rescue' was over the course of a long time, not a few days as in the movie. So pretty much everything in the movie that makes it interesting, was fictional in some way or another.
Over-all it wasn't a bad movie, but people are calling it the next Saving Private Ryan and it's surly not even on the same planet, let alone continent as Ryan. The only saving grace were the interviews at the end of the movie showing the actual people and telling the final bits of the story. Honestly, I would have MUCH rather seen a doc then what was made.
Gibson tries to tell these religious stories and ya know, the people who actually go to theaters, they don't care.
I thought it was a lot better than Saving Private Ryan. You take out the first 10 minutes of that film and no one holds it on the pedestal it's on today.
I don't know what two movies you saw, but the Hacksaw Ridge and Saving Private Ryan that I've seen, aren't even in the same galaxy together. Forget the first 10 minutes of Ryan, I could care less about it. What makes Ryan so good is skilled filmmaking, it depicts what war was really like. The characters are complex and as they wade through the story, they change/grow along with it. They aren't just fictional characters, they have a soul which allows them to live and die. Spielberg also brought in the element of these guys being regular blokes. Something that you don't see very much in WWII movies, where the characters are generally over the top (Like Hacksaw) and have zero depth to them.
When I watched Hacksaw, I didn't feel for any of the characters. I could care less of any of them lived or died because none of them had depth. Even the lead in my view was just a complete total whack job who should have been locked up. The cliched drill instructor scenes to add character development was just pitiful. That's called poor writing, it's called "paying it safe" for general audiences. Build scenes which are complete bullshit in order to introduce characters who will be important down the road. You can't tell me for a minute those scenes in the bunker early on had anything realistic in them, it was complete bogus hollywood bullshit and it's poor filmmaking. A real movie would have left all that on the cutting room floor and told that back story during the conflict through dialog with other soldiers. Now I get they wanted to show people's distaste for him, so his efforts at the end were herculean, but if you have to LIE in order to achieve that, you've just failed.
So yea... Hacksaw was a joke and very poorly written.
My friend looked up the true story as well after watching and discovered the hero guy lived the rest of his life on disability without a major injury, which is really funny.
When I watched Hacksaw, I didn't feel for any of the characters. I could care less of any of them lived or died
I mean.. what's happening on the screen isn't real so yeah lol. If we're speaking in terms of impressing GENERAL audiences I view Hacksaw Ridge as pacing itself much better than SPR with the spreading of war gore and emotion (bad or not).
From a visual and technical perspective, sure SPR is better (Hacksaw was way synthetic), but it felt as if it was banking a little too firmly on the viewer caring about the characters, leading to less exciting scenes than the first 10 minutes. I feel big budget filmmaking needs to be the perfect blend of art and entertainment. Hacksaw's individual halves were not on par with SPR, but it blended them better leading to something that went by a lot quicker (minute for minute of course).
Edited by Macks Fiiod, 24 February 2017 - 04:40 PM.
Ahh, you don't like the "pause before the storm" atmosphere that makes movies like SPR so great. Where you can spend "down time" with characters in scenes that don't necessarily move the plot forward, but move the character arc forward. The church scene or the record playing scene near the end. Truly well-written scenes that are so critical to the characters development and pacing of the movie.
Hacksaw was literally wall to wall dialog or action. This writing technique only works because modern audiences don't have any ability to sit back and enjoy what's on screen. They need to be force fed information constantly or they find whatever they're watching to be boring. True cinema doesn't force feed anything to the audience, it allows the audience to think about it, digest and put their own spin on the events depicted.
Again, this is what separates really good cinema from really not great cinema. Saving Private Ryan was made in 1997, it's 20 years old and to this day, we're still talking about it. Hacksaw Ridge will be long forgotten after this awards season is over. It won't have another theatrical run, it won't have a huge cult following like SPR. It will disappear like almost all modern movies do and that in of itself is why the two aren't even in the same galaxy together.
Hacksaw was literally wall to wall dialog or action. This writing technique only works because modern audiences don't have any ability to sit back and enjoy what's on screen. They need to be force fed information constantly or they find whatever they're watching to be boring.
Yes but does that formula not leave room for many other stylistic choices? Skillfully crafted dialogue? So on?
My art and entertainment statement means to imply you play to what those masses want but sneak the craft in so the other artists can appreciate as well. The Hurt Locker is a great example of what I'm talking about. Much better than Hacksaw. Had all the funnies, action, pacing, etc. while still showing visual dexterity and not reducing itself to the cheesiness of Hacksaw.
Well, your point is a subject we've absolutely talked about before. LOL AND for better or worse, we don't quite see eye to eye on the topic of great dialog vs great movie. I think there are a lot of bad movies with great dialog. I also feel there are movies that could have been great, that were hindered by their lack of decent dialog.
When watching Hacksaw, I felt like I was reading the script. A lot of the stuff you may like that kept you interested, was stuff that made me cringe whilst watching.
Hurt Locker was a great movie though. It, like Saving Private Ryan is long-lasting, something to this day we go back and watch because it's so damn good. It's the character that makes it good though. You first need a compelling character, once you have that, it's easy to write dialog for them. When you try to make a character compelling through dialog, you're going to loose. This is the difference between a great script and a poor one. Hacksaw tried to make characters via what they said, instead of the actions they performed. Saving Private Ryan makes characters out of the action they performed, highlighted by the dialog.
Remember, this is a visual medium, so the most important thing isn't TELLING the audience via dialog what the character is, the most important thing is SHOWING THEM what they do.. even if it's just a glimpse, that's the critical element in my opinion, that separates great filmmakers from "entertainers" just looking too make a buck.