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Old 21-07-2013, 01:29
JCR
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No thread? Nicolas Winding Refn's follow up to Drive is provoking some interesting reactions to say the least-

Five star review from The Guardian

New York Observer review saying it "may not be the worst movie ever made, but it is unquestionably in the top five." (has spoilers)

Trailers: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/i...lygodforgives/

Only God Forgives opens on the 2nd of August in the UK. May God have mercy on the brave souls who see it.
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Old 21-07-2013, 02:15
Declan_Khan
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I have watched Into the Void and Irreversible. To compare this to them is a disservice to both.

This is a soulless and turgid bore with very little of everything. Very little acting, very little dialogue, very little camera movement aside from slow pans, slow zooms and zoom outs and a very slow threadbare plot. The soundtrack is sparse and the cinematography is beautiful but everything is saturated or neon if not in complete darkness. It's beautiful at first but becomes incredibly repetitive. There is not a single relatable or likeable character in the film at all The karaoke scenes are meant to contrast the brutality but just come of as comic intermissions rather than poignant instances depicting a man capable of great vocal beauty and incredible violence. I did manage to get through it one go but I will never watch it again as it offers nothing a Daft Punk video doesn't and at least those are only 4 minutes long aside from their experimental full length movie and even that was more enjoyable than this. I found it even more of a chore than Once Upon A Time In The West and about as interesting as watching glow in the dark paint dry.

Compared to Driver this is absolutely terrible in every way and a real waste of the talents involved. I had really been looking forward to this since last winter and it was a real let down aside from the soundtrack and cinematography.

If you want to test your resolve or need a mildly disturbing cure for insomnia, this is the film for you. If not, I'd suggest just going and watching Kickboxer instead, at least that revels in it's cheesiness rather than purports it's pretense as high art while being as engaging as a locked toilet door.
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Old 21-07-2013, 02:33
JCR
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Hadn't realized it had leaked already... hmm.

Is it a worse movie than A Serbian Film? (ASF being the high watermark for a stupid exploitation movie pretending it's art, in my 'umble opinion). That's pretty much my only interest in it.. I'll guess we'll all see.
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Old 21-07-2013, 03:06
Declan_Khan
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Hadn't realized it had leaked already... hmm.

Is it a worse movie than A Serbian Film? (ASF being the high watermark for a stupid exploitation movie pretending it's art, in my 'umble opinion). That's pretty much my only interest in it.. I'll guess we'll all see.
A Serbian Film is disgustingly exploitative and horrifically tasteless. I have seen the full uncut version and while very disturbing and an uncomfortable watch much like Eden Lake, as a fantastically bleak farce and exploration into depravity it has some aspects of interest in the vein of Salo and mines the deeper recesses of sick absurdist voyeurism like Audition or Suspiria.

This for me was a poorly executed exercise in excess with no real redeeming qualities aside from the aforementioned lighting and cinematography with only enough dialogue to barely fill 3 pages and so much pointless and stilted screen time it was almost like a music video on mute for 70 minutes. The violence is mostly off screen aside from one fight scene which itself is incredibly stilted and poorly choreographed given the two involved are meant to be experienced Muay Thai trainers. While brutal it is incredibly boring and unrealistic given the supposed experience of those involved.The editing is so choppy you'd think Refn had used a hatchet rather than a digital editing suite.

They might as well have called it Pai Mei Has A Shave And Goes To Thailand To Bore You To Sleep Under Neon Lights In Between Dark Red Scenes Of Tedious Supposed Metaphorical Significance On A Quest For Pointless Vengeance.
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Old 21-07-2013, 03:13
JFDonaghy
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i actually kind of liked it but at the same time kind of disappointed i stayed in to watch this.

felt like the movie would benefit if it was shorter..around 66/70 odd minutes.
the first half hour feels like you've been watching it for ages..the film picks up when Kristin Scott Thomas arrives.

story is pretty poor, relies on symbolism.
cinematography and the soundtrack are good.

Spoiler


you just don't feel any type of way watching it.

i do wonder how the movie would be getting received if Refn went with the original actor he had lined up before Gosling.
expectations were way too high.
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Old 21-07-2013, 03:23
Declan_Khan
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Honestly I felt KST was wasted in this. Just as soon as she arrives ostentatiously it cuts away so we can't enjoy the fall out.

The implied Oedipal relationship with her sons is suggested but glossed over so the subplot that could have provided some depth and justification to her sons is never actually provided.

The violence is heavily suggested but barely depicted on screen which goes against the basic cinematic ideal of "show, don't tell."

It's stylistic immoral naval gazing with no characters with any redeeming qualities wrapped up in their own bizarre forms of justice, none of which seem to coalesce into anything sensible or logical. Chang's actions towards the father just seemed bloody stupid to me in light of the previous 5 minutes which seemed to suggest him endorsing that form of justice only to mete out his own.

Just a brightly lit and dark crimson mess of a transparent failure to imitate Gaspar Noe's films.
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Old 21-07-2013, 13:19
JCR
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Watched the first 40 minutes, it's an odd bird. The long periods of silence and really awkward dialogue seem to suggest a director who watched Eraserhead one too many times as a teen.

I don't think it's one of the worst films ever, but I wouldn't say it was any good either (based on the first half). I too think it'd have been better if Gosling hadn't been parachuted into it.

Be interesting to see if The Guardian quietly pull that review giving it 5/5.
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Old 21-07-2013, 20:28
Declan_Khan
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Eraserhead at least had that disturbing grind of a soundtrack and emotive expressions.

They won't pull it, it's The Guardian, this is the kind of thing they lap up for it's "garish neo noir filmic quality which examines the underbelly of the human desire for revenge and justice by any means."
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Old 25-07-2013, 22:00
JCR
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LOL, Empire gave it five stars as well. Going to be interesting how many walk outs there are on opening weekend from people going because of these way too positive reviews.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:07
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I know of Nicolas Winding Refn's work but hadn't seen anything until i saw Drive which i thought was brilliant, so knowing Only God Forgives is his follow-up and starring once again Ryan Gosling i knew this is a film i would need to see.

Read the thread and then checked out the reviews for OGF which is out this Friday. Been getting fantastic reviews alongside very negative reviews despite what's been said on here.

Empire - 5/5
The Guardian - 5/5
Den of Geek - 4/5
Digital Spy - 4/5
Total Film - 3/5
The Independent - 3/5
The Telegraph - 3/5
Rolling Stone - 2/5
Daily Express - 2/5
The Observer - 0/4

I'm seeing it Friday so hopefully i'll know which camp i'll be in but i think this quote says it all:

More than all of this, Only God Forgives is a film about testing: testing boundaries, testing taste, testing an audience, testing critics. It’s certainly provoked a reaction, with responses ranging from “one of the best movies of the year” to “fatally dull” to the “dumbest picture made by people of talent this year”.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:11
JCR
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I'm in the 'it's awful' camp.

There is an elephant in the room in the Kristin Scott Thomas performance as well; not all her fault- the script does her no favours, but I'd be amazed if she wasn't up for the worst actress razzie award at year end.
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Old 01-08-2013, 23:37
Johnny Clay
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Hmm. I'm in the 'it's disappointing' camp.

Refn's Drive was a mostly stylistic exercise that allowed some touching sentiments to echo through its inner void, giving them extra power. Clever. This wants to be more - much more - but we're left with a film that's all dressed up and nowhere to go.

Technically it is often very impressive, the cast all do good work (even KST - yes!), and Refn's imagery is frequently highly persuasive. Though dedicated in part to Alejandro Jodorowsky, its gliding camerawork and often symetrical mise-en-scene recall Shining-era Kubrick (it lifts a line of dialogue too: "Are you out of your f*cking mind?"). Shame then, that he doesn't quite have Kubrick's skill of mining hidden depths in what first seems standard material.

I'd agree that Refn does a good job of hinting at bigger themes early on, even if the film is at its most narratively obscure. Yet much of this amounts to nought as the film slowly evolves into a strangely pedestrian revenge tale, with only a dour endgame to mark it out from so many others. And maybe I'm getting old, but I started to suspect that despite such artful trappings, this might well be celebrating violence just as much the more usual, low-rent culprits.

A questionable 6/10 then. The Guardian give it 5/5 do they? Aye, it figures...
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Old 03-08-2013, 22:04
5panky
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I didn't like it, and I'm open to lots of genres.

It reminded me of Kubricks style: minimal dialogue, slow corridor shots, moody lighting.

But the film lacked Kubricks quality of having an interesting story at the core or interesting characters.

It was arty just for the sake of being arty.
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Old 03-08-2013, 22:21
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With movies this divisive I feel like I have to see them.
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Old 03-08-2013, 23:51
MrSuper
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Saw this last night. I can say no one walked out of the screening, it was sold out.

I can't say i disliked it because i didn't, but at the same time i can't say i liked it either because i felt no connection with what i saw whatsoever - not emotional nor a mental one. It was just a strange film. It didn't resonate with me. I do agree that it's an arty film for high art's sake.

Ryan Gosling says less in this film than he does in Drive. The plot is barely there (avenging his brother's death), the film moves at a snail's place, very little dialogue, a lot of singing in Thai, the violence is bloody and very extreme but not nearly as violent as i was led to believe and Kristin Scott Thomas is probably the best thing in it and that's not saying much, but the actor who plays Chang is also very good. The showdown between him and Gosling is the centrepiece of the film.

Other than that watching it up on the big screen the film is beautifully directed and shot - the cinematography, lighting, colours, mood, ambiance - it's gorgeous. Overall though it's all style and no substance.

PS. If you're thinking of taking your wife, gf, partner to see this because Ryan Gosling is in it - don't. It's not a 'date' movie.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:59
Pinkvelvet
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I gave up after about 7 minutes. I just couldn't and it a second longer. I'm glad my initial reaction seems to be valid for the rest of the film. Thought it was slow, pretentious drivel.
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:13
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I gave up after about 7 minutes. I just couldn't and it a second longer. I'm glad my initial reaction seems to be valid for the rest of the film. Thought it was slow, pretentious drivel.
Wow, you really gave it a chance didn't you?

I saw it last night and liked it, although it wasn't a patch on Drive. The plot seems extremely bare bones on the surface, but if you dig around a bit and pay close attention (especially to the Karaoke scenes) it is actually fairly deep. I can totally understand why many people will dislike it though (well, those who give it longer than 7 minutes anyway...), it's definitely a marmite film, and absolutely NOT a date movie, i saw quite a few groups of girls walk out who quite obviously went to see it purely for Gosling and weren't aware of what the film was going to be like. It's very much an art house film, and not something that will go down well with a mainstream cinema goer.
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Old 05-08-2013, 20:30
Fred E Star
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I lasted 40 minutes (and I've watched Eraserhead twice!)! Awful, dull, pretentious nonsense.
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Old 05-08-2013, 21:04
barbeler
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Is Steven Segal in it

I thought Eraserhead was brilliant - but there again, it might just have been the mushrooms.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:47
Trsvis_Bickle
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I know of Nicolas Winding Refn's work but hadn't seen anything until i saw Drive which i thought was brilliant, so knowing Only God Forgives is his follow-up and starring once again Ryan Gosling i knew this is a film i would need to see.

Read the thread and then checked out the reviews for OGF which is out this Friday. Been getting fantastic reviews alongside very negative reviews despite what's been said on here.

Empire - 5/5
The Guardian - 5/5
Den of Geek - 4/5
Digital Spy - 4/5
Total Film - 3/5
The Independent - 3/5
The Telegraph - 3/5
Rolling Stone - 2/5
Daily Express - 2/5
The Observer - 0/4


I'm seeing it Friday so hopefully i'll know which camp i'll be in but i think this quote says it all:
Mmm, not sure that those reviews are hugely mixed when you look at their sources. Empire seems to be a try-hard hipster rag these days, Digital Spy's 'critics' know very little about cinema and as for Den of Geek? Well, the name says it all, really. I'm sure they're the 'go to' guys for 5,000 words on the minutiae of the latest StarTrek film and why it departs from the 'canon' but otherwise? Meh.

For me, The Guardian is the outlier there. I assume it's Peter Bradshaw, a critic for whom I have great respect. Robbie Collin of The Telegraph is normally articulate and well-argued, as is the FT's Nigel Andrews.. The Observer is another valued source. Those four are pretty much the only critics/newspapers I take any notice of these days and even then I don't follow them slavishly; I went to see the latest Simon Pegg offering after Nigel Andrews slated it. Sadly, he was mostly right.

The consensus seems to be that Only God Forgives looks great but doesn't hang together as a film. I think the Guardian bod might have got a bit carried away with the photography and forgotten about the other elements that make a good film.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:53
Trsvis_Bickle
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Is Steven Segal in it

I thought Eraserhead was brilliant - but there again, it might just have been the mushrooms.
No, it's the fact that Eraserhead is one of most bizarre, imaginative, disturbing and nerve-jangling films that's ever been made. I literally felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise at some points and the film haunted me for weeks.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:41
sinbad8982
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Its definitely a Marmite film, I thought it was visually superb and despite the lack of dialogue and exposition the narrative was quite strong. I was fully expecting to be disappointed after the bad reviews and wasn't at all.
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Old 02-01-2014, 20:26
Will_Bennetts
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I really disliked Drive . So I'm guessing i will hate this ?
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:26
Takae
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^ Most likely, yes.

I was given a Blu-ray Steelbook edition of Only God Forgives as a New Year present.

I never intended to watch it after a good friend - who knows my taste better than I do - advised me to re-watch 3-Iron or Paris Texas (both from my favourite-films list). Now I have the disc, I'll watch it this weekend. Hope I'll like it.

Edit:
The Guardian [...] Peter Bradshaw, a critic for whom I have great respect.
Bradshaw tends to play safe, though. He likes films that feature directors and/or cast with a proven pedigree background, and can be generally quite critical towards those with a largely unproven background until they're universally recognised. That's probably why I'm always surprised when he likes a film I didn't expect him to like, e.g. The Raid: Redemption, which basically has everything he usually dislikes in an action film.

In short, I generally enjoy reading his reviews, but it does annoy me when he seems to care more about protecting his reputation as a critic at times. Also when he gushes, he really gushes. Often for, IMO, wrong reasons.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:05
Thunder Lips
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I really disliked Drive . So I'm guessing i will hate this ?
Probably on the merit of it being self-indulgent tripe that goes nowhere but still feels like it takes forever to get there. It really isn't all that similar to Drive at all though, so your opinion of that film has little bearing.
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