Re: Constantine

Nope, that sounds Hakanly.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Constantine

Thees whon.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fxpo … i=60978475

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Re: Constantine

Fan of the comic, saw if at the Cinema, bought it on DVD when it came out, dig it up occasionally to re-watch t, so yeah, I'm a fan.

I'm not one of the (many) comic fans who thought that it was an affront to the original. I'm with Trey in as much as the spine of the character is true to the comics, even though I'm a Brit and you stole our hero smile

I don't agree that it comes together too quickly (okay, maybe a little). We don't need more time with Mammon because it's a detective story, and the final scene is the 'parlour scene' when the culprits are revealed. Mammon is not the culprit, he's the 'murder weapon'. The culprits are developed and spent time with.

And the whole Perfect Movie thing -- Shia dies. How perfect is that?

And lastly, can I just say, you have Master Zap posting here? How cool is that? Now I have somewhere else to go beg help with misss_fast_shader_x smile

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Re: Constantine

I didn't realize you were famous, Zap.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Constantine

Hey guys, I'm new. Kind of. Been listening for well over a year, just decided to jump in on the forums to, uh, work through my feelings towards this movie, but plan to stick around.

Hadn't seen this movie, since I heard it sucked, so I pulled the blurry from Netflix and had at it.


The direction and writing are great. Can't knock them. I have no prior experience with the comic/character/world outside a wikipedial knowledge of the arcane. The internal logic is really smooth, and a treat for a film that is working at this production value. The writing at times does the hyper-noir, retain the lines from the comic thing, but almost the entire cast can pull that off.


The cinematography is solid, but suffers from an issue I first noticed in 300 (which by coincidence was commentarred by our [this] panel in the same day [EDIT: recently, rather]) so let's call it "300 Syndrome." Detour:

In 300, there's the shot of Leonidas, the Xerxian [zer-shin?] messenger, and crew walking towards the death-pit-thing in Sparta. Tracking West Wing style walking towards the camera. Dynamic, but utilitarian. Halfway through, mid conversation, cut to this dramatic, graphic (as in design) security camera style overhead framing the approaching group and the pit, and immediately cut back to simple coverage of a conversation. Soundtrack to their exchange uninterrupted. WHOA. WHY was this shot so dramatically different from all of the shots around it? Especially for something treated as an insert? Someone in the production wanted to hit on every meticulously detailed image from the graphic novel of 300 wether or not it started to fracture the rhythm and language of the cinematography. Quick double detour:

Snyder/Fong managed to skirt this in Watchmen since the blocking and pacing in the graphic novel were exceptionally cinematic, and even more so for the lateighties.

ANYWAY back to Constantine. There are some shots I feel were either pulled from a issue, serial, whatever that inspired the script, that, in the frame, are graphically superior to the shots surrounding them. Liken it to a multicourse meal at a restaurant thats pretty tasty. Three stars. But every few courses, some chef that can run a consistent five star pulls a dish that makes everything else start to taste like crap. It's awesome to see, but it doesn't work in context. Too good for the context. But, everyone feels compelled to keep it in, since it's a nod to the source material. The problem is that you're not trying to nod source material, you're trying to tell a fucking story. It all rings to this ironic antithesis to the first scene of 300, where they kill all the weak babies instead of the ones that are too strong.


The effects are all lovely and add to the production value I mentioned at which its a pleasure to see a movie moving through so smartly. Hell is beautiful, and I can appreciate the parallel planes thing for heaven/hell. There's an inexplicable shot where unconscious Angela still has tracking markers all over her face and stomach, which I would say is totally inexcusable, especially when the rest of the effects work is so grand. While I'm on the subject of effects, I'll say that Zap's pretty internet-famous, I appreciate all of the educational work he does on top of writing great shaders, and I plan to catch his mental ray fxphd course if I ever turn from compositing towards 3D.


So, performances. Djimon does a great smoldering voodoo guy, Shia does the same great riffs he's been doing since Even-fucking-Stevens, and Tilda Swinton is, you know, the best. And Wiesz. Wiesz, Wiesz, Viess. I'm a sucker for actresses who think too hard and always look like they're about to cry, so my opinions on her are compromised, but pairing her, with such a tremendously cerebral acting style to the guy that thinks his character should drink "weird wine from villages or something" is a magnification of the star-chef metaphor from earlier. Except it alternates every other bite. To the point where you can' tell if the restaurant is fucking with you.

All of the characters work except the most important one.

Keanu is the biggest problem with this movie. I like him most of the time. He plays desperate, confused, and exasperated really well, so my gripes with him towards the end of the film are limited. The guy can also fight, so he can express himself physically. Whenever he is trying to turn any gears in his head, he falls apart. Could be that I'm just not on his wavelength or, but he just has this idea of "say this mean and gruff" without really ever going to the emotional depth necessary to give his character and his wackier comic lines a solid delivery. "Balthazar… figures." HOW can you watch that and not squirm? The character of Constantine, as played by Reeves feels as though he should be a couple decades older, and carry the emotional weight of decades of torture by literal demons to all of his actions. There's a failure in the logic of his performance. I don't have an acting background, but I'd love to hear someone ring in on what school Keanu is playing to. Because I don't get it, and he ruins this film for me.

Which is funny, since it most likely wouldn't have been made without his attachment.


So, I'm Paul. Nice to meet everyone. TL;DRs expected. This post is largely cathartic, and I'll keep it pithy in the future. Cheers.

Last edited by paulou (2010-06-01 22:02:41)

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Re: Constantine

Welcome to the forum, fucking excellent post, sir.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Constantine

paulou wrote:

The cinematography is solid, but suffers from an issue I first noticed in 300 (which by coincidence was commentarred by our panel in the same day) so let's call it "300 Syndrome."

Are you saying that you also participate in audio commentaries available for download on the Web? Please explain further. With links.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Constantine

Nah, sorry. by "our panel" I meant something like "these fine fellows." It was mentioned in the 300 show that Constantine was done on the same day.

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Re: Constantine

Did we do Constantine and 300 on the same day?

I don't think we did.

Now I'm trying to remember what movie we did with 300. I think the other one we did with Constantine was Sunshine.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Constantine

Constantine and Sunshine were the same day, yep.   I wasn't there for 300 so if there was a second movie that day it'd be a commentary I'm also not in...

Re: Constantine

I listened to all three in like two days, so I'm probably mistaken.

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Re: Constantine

TimK wrote:

I'm pretty sure it's pronounced "Digimon."

That's pretty much what I've always thought as well.

This was one of my first DIFs and I really enjoyed it. I saw this movie when it first hit DVD and I thought it was pretty good at the time, but nothing special really. Just another in a long list of supernatural adventure/thrillers and mediocre comic book adaptation. Watching it again years later and with the DIF commentary, I found it to actually be surprisingly detailed and there were a few levels of nuance that I had missed my first time through. I have a newfound appreciation for this movie and my opinions are not easily swayed because I can entertain a thought without agreeing with it (i.e. I can agree with all the reasons someone likes or dislikes a movie without also liking/disliking it myself). However, in retrospect this was a better movie than I gave it credit for the first time out. The fact that your commentary changed my mind about this movie is what has made me really interested in listening to every single other commentary you guys have recorded.

Thanks.

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Re: Constantine

As a control, listen to a commentary which says the film sucks and see if you then hate the film. It might be you more than this podcast smile

(this is the first test of a new keyboard. So far, sFG*_@@@@+-!)

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: Constantine

Invid wrote:

As a control, listen to a commentary which says the film sucks and see if you then hate the film. It might be you more than this podcast smile

(this is the first test of a new keyboard. So far, sFG*_@@@@+-!)

Well, Apollo 18 is one of my favorite films still...

ROFL

Just kidding. Teague, please don't my account. Also I never saw "The Devil Inside" in spite of my fondness for found footage movies because the reviews were so god awful but now that I've heard about the ending from the A18 commentary I'm kind of curious to see just how bad it is.

I've done over a dozen DIFs so far and Constantine is the only one that has changed my feelings on the movie, although to be fair it's not like I went from dislike to like. I really enjoyed Constantine, I just thought it was more schlocky than I do now (although I still think that the golden cross shotgun he uses at the end is still one of the cheesiest movie props I've ever seen and it kind of took me out of it a bit). I still love Jackie Brown even though the crew was pretty luke warm on it at best. Dark City I hold in pretty high regard even though I think they could have taken the premise a bit further to reach Matrix level coolness. My opinions are not easily swayed because I don't come to them lightly or unintentionally (I always know -why- I like or dislike something), but I'll fully acknowledge that I won't notice everything and more data about something is more likely to change my opinion than an opinion that is contrary to my own.

Nope, Constantine is the only one  that I've significantly shifted my position on, but I hope that'll change the more I listen because I like to learn just as much as I like to be entertained.

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Re: Constantine

Well, Apollo 18 is one of my favorite films still...

ROFL

That was so close.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Constantine

Links seems to be busted. Anyone have a copy?

not long to go now...

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Re: Constantine

FAXED

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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43

Re: Constantine

Oh good. Thanks Teague, now I can go download it and listen to it in arrears during my "listen to DiF in order" listen-through.

Re: Constantine

Ben wrote:

Oh good. Thanks Teague, now I can go download it and listen to it in arrears during my "listen to DiF in order" listen-through.

This seems like a highly positive thing to do.

God loves you!

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