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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.135.212
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010 - 09:44 am:   

Oh, I saw this yesterday and don't know how to feel about it. It's very subtle and very, very profound, but is it so subtle you feel it isn't profound? It's odd. I also kept wanting it to feel more Ballardian than it is, feel more 'unreal'. I wanted more drama, I suppose, as well as a bit more texture (there's a sense of niceness running through it that after a while feels too safe). I found it very moving in places but just ... I dunno. Another watch will sort it out.
The flaw, and I know this sounds daft; it knew it was profound.
Recommended, though.
(btw my viewing was spoiled by this very large chap who looked like a bald obese zombie in a Romero zombie film, or the chap in the film Communion, sounding like he was about to die at any minute. I've never heard such loud breathing or groans in a cinema)
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010 - 10:01 am:   

Director Gareth Edwards is interviewed in our local mag and he says he had no idea his film had any subtext at all & was quite surprised when people kept pointing it out. We're hoping to catch it tomorrow & if we do I'll post some thoughts.

But for now...Cthulhu fhtagn!!!!!!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.159.158
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010 - 11:00 am:   

This does sound good.

Tony, I appreciate your implied dilemma over the man with very loud breathing. He could well have been seriously ill, and there's no 'right' way of handling the situation he has a right to go to the cinema, but other people have a right to hear the film. One of those sad conflicts that life throws up.

Also hard to judge whether asking him after the film "Are you OK? Do you need anything?" would have been interpreted by him as supportive or as a veiled criticism. If he was alone, he might find it helpful if a friend or partner was with him, then very much not.

The Government's new Public Health programme is primarily a way of spreading the NHS budget over the gaps left by cuts in the social care budget, as well as declaring public health to be the responsibility of the individual rather than government or society... but it does, at least, encourage discussion of these issues.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.132.248.115
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010 - 06:06 pm:   

It's not a bad wee movie, but it suffers from a real absence of danger. The characters only rarely seem under threat. I liked it, but it will suffer from being misrepresented by its title and its advertising.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.135.212
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2010 - 04:43 pm:   

Joel - I actually agree with that aspect of government policy. I think for various reasons society has become scared to help one another and it's driving us apart. A friend of ours has just been saying how no-one helps with the pushing of cars in the snow now, something as simple as that and yet a hugely helpful thing. I didn't tell him that the other day I avoided helping people in just such a situation because I was actually nervous of the interaction, it being taken wrong. Nothing specific. In fact, I think over recent years I've developed a tendency towards not wanting to speak to others.
I am anxious of other people and think others are geting that way too. I can't see a way around changing it (though I try).
There was only me and the chap I was supporting and this poorly chap in the cinem,a seeing this film. I feel I should have said something.
It's odd, this feeling that film conjured. All the empty streets and people not really connecting for the most part. It felt like a reflection of what was happening with me in the audience.
Yes, John - no conflict in the film. It has a tone that's come about since series like The Office, that casual, fly on the wall approach, sort of lazy verite. It feels like it should strike us as real but it's becoming to me a little easy to dismiss, hard to get worked up about. Compare this film with the urgency of Close Encounters - somehow that film felt more real than this one, and yet it too felt naturalistic at the time.
(Poor Spielberg, btw...it's like he's gone, isn't it?)
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2010 - 06:14 pm:   

In our local mag Gareth Edwards says the title was a problem from the start. The film was originally called "Far From Home", but everyone agreed that it sounded too Disney. He settled eventually on "Monsters" to get the attention of potential distributors and because "at one point in the edit, the film worked without the creatures in. On an emotional level, you could have turned it into just a war zone. No one wants to admit it now, but there was this slight feeling of 'Do we need these creatures?' My whole reason for making the film was to do a monster movie. That's what I love. So I called it 'Monsters' and wouldn't budge from it. That way we had to deliver them."

I didn't feel cheated or misled because I'd read about the film before seeing it, so I knew not to expect the invasion/attack extravaganza promised by the trailer. But I understand if others felt duped.

I liked it a lot. It's refreshingly cerebral and very moving, the kind of film there simply isn't enough of. Edwards is right - you don't really need the creatures at all (except for the final scene, which I won't spoil), but they really are fantastic. I'd never have guessed how little this film cost to make just from seeing it.

And the title? Well, I don't know what else you could call it, really. It has a message, but I didn't find it smug or knowing in the slightest. What really intrigued me was the fact that the British director hadn't spotted the obvious political subtext in the idea of a massive wall across the American/Mexican border, to keep the "aliens" out. LOL To an American it's painfully obvious and if this had been an American director I might have groaned at the heavy-handed symbolism. But it's apparently wholly accidental, which just shows how stories can work on multiple levels without anyone intending them to.

If it suffers from a lack of danger, I don't really see that as a problem either. It's not an action film, but a very human story. It takes its time and feels very natural. No implausible heroics or other silliness that strains credibility in most mainstream films. I personally think it's a little gem.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2010 - 06:21 pm:   

My Lady P has said it better than I could. What I will say is that Monsters feels a lot like the 'Quiet SF' that British TV used to do so well, depicting the aftermath of some disaster rather than the disaster itself, and focusing on just a couple of characters for the entire running time.

It really is worth watching and is the opposite end of the spectrum to Z-Grade Drive-In silliness like Skyline. In fact it's nice to know that all sorts of monster movies are still being made.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.135.212
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2010 - 06:37 pm:   

I wasn't after big bangs or fights, just the sense that the main characters were actually a bit nervous about where they were going. I actually experience more trepidation catching the bus to Peterlee.
I din't dislike the film at all, in fact I quite liked it, it just felt like the relaxed naturalism makes me feel like reacting in the same way.
For me the message was about understanding that all creatures want to do is connect, human and otherwise. It was also about realising things change, and that at some point we will be gone (Mayan temple), that all that matters are fleeting moments.
Everyone writes with subtext in mind. We're cleverer than we think, and in fact are almost physically unable to write about 'nothing'..
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.143.135.212
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2010 - 06:39 pm:   

My big annoying film in this vein is Lost in Translation. Grr!
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.68
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 09:36 am:   

I very much liked Monsters, and I must say I didn't find it lacking in unease. More of that would have negated the sense that after six years people are simply getting on with their lives despite the alien presence, I think.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.173.165.221
Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 12:57 am:   

In the space of twenty-four hours I've seen both SKYLINE and MONSTERS. I loved the latter, and would agree with Lady P. and with Ramsey too.
Highly recommended.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 03:34 am:   

SPOILER



I assume everyone spotted that the end was the beginning (or is it the beginning is the end?) and that the fate of the main characters is - sort of - revealed then.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.173.165.221
Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 11:28 am:   

John - yes, I assumed that was the case.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.202.203
Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 - 04:22 pm:   

By unease I don't mean a sense of physical danger, more 'psychic'. I didn't feel the presence of a changing world, that dreamlike awe that might have been there with, say, a Roeg (who made Australia feel very alien in Walkabout).
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 01:02 am:   

Just watched MONSTERS and, quite frankly, I thought it was absolutely fucking brilliant - one of the best films I've seen in years. It worked for me on every level: drama, love story, monster movie, metaphor. In parts, I thought it was almost unbearably moving; at other times it was utterly beautiful; and there were a few scenes where the suspense had me holding my breath - that hasn't happened to me for a long time.

Fantastic.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.88.56
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 03:08 pm:   

I probably need to rewatch. I was practically alone in the audience with a dying man if you remember right.
(It hasn't lingered in my memory, though, like that fun-at-the-time District 9 hasn't, either.)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.88.56
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 03:12 pm:   

Mick (if you're still here) - what was skyline like?
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.181.84.113
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 08:57 pm:   

Tony - yep, still here, but just not so often. Thought SKYLINE was a load of tosh - clever effects, but that's all - similar to BATTLE: LOS ANGELES or whatever it's called.

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