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Passengers ranks...

Great (9-10)
0 (0%)
Good (7-8)
1 (33.3%)
Average (4-6)
2 (66.7%)
Poor (2-3)
0 (0%)
Anus of Cinema (0-1)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 3

Author Topic: Passengers  (Read 1033 times)

Kale Pasta

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2016, 11:51:25 am »
I mean, Lawrence may be overhyped a bit at this point but that doesn't change the fact that she's charismatic and capable of an incredible performance. She was absolutely deserving of her Oscar and honestly I thought she should've won for American Hustle the next year. Sure it's a bit annoying that Mystique is now kind of the central character in the X-Men franchise but I can't blame her for the studio wanting to capitalize on her popularity. Fact is, I think she's a very good actress and I can see her and Pratt having good chemistry and making for a strong leading pair.

Yeah, she's charismatic in the way Donald Trump is charismatic, I guess. She appeals to really, really stupid people and because she's rich and famous, she makes their behavior seem mainstream and socially acceptable. Plus she's just needlessly mean-spirited. Like when she made fun of that foreign reporter. Or when she made up that bogus story about the Hawaiian rocks or whatever the fuck it was. Or when she called Christian Bale "fatman" after spending a few weeks talking about women and body image. Or when she complained about her life so much that Letterman had to tell her "No whining on the yacht." I'm sorry. I do not see the appeal. Just when you think she's as shallow as it gets, she somehow manages to drain a little more water out of the pool.

Her acting is a more subjective point, I suppose, and I do think she was okay in the first two Hunger Games films and American Hustle. That's about it, though. She certainly hasn't done anything Oscar-worthy. But nowadays, any woman with a little meat on her bones is "making a statement" about body image and they get showered with awards. And yeah, subjectivity, I know... but at the same time, I really can't see the argument for giving Jennifer Lawrence an Oscar any more than I can see the argument for giving one to Leo. I guess it's just a popularity contest at this point, as it likely always has been. They should just start giving out awards for Twitter followers and end this sham of pretending that it actually has something to do with acting talent.

As for your assertion that the movie's premise looks cool... what? Dude, you don't like Alien, Blade Runner, or Children of Men. I have never thought of you as a sci-fi fan, unless you count BVS or The Dark Knight as sci-fi (which I don't). Why in God's name does this appeal to you?
Should've cleared this up in an earlier post, but when I was talking about charisma, I meant strictly on screen. I don't really pay much attention to what actors and actresses do off screen, so I could really care less about her interviews and whatever else. I thought her performances in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle were both excellent, and I don't think the Oscar she received had anything to do with her popularity, well, maybe a little but I thought the SLP performance was strong enough to win on its own merit. On an aside, even though Leo's my favorite actor, I did think his Oscar last year was a bit of a makeup for him never winning before (I thought he should've won for Wolf of Wall Street, personally).

Anyway, as for your final point, those three movies don't mean that I don't care for sci-fi. Three of my top 10 all time (Inception, Looper, Source Code) are sci-fi films. I think it's more that the sci-fi films I tend to enjoy have some sort of premise that interests me (notice that each of the three in my top 10 have a clear "hook", while Alien and Blade Runner don't really have that. Children of Men was an outlier, I think). Again, it's not like I'm counting down the days till Passengers' release, but I would say that I'm looking forward to it and expect to have a good time based on the premise and talent involved (I thought The Imitation Game was quite a good film as well).

Believe me, I have no trouble dissociating someone's public life from their art. Clint Eastwood's a senile old geezer and I still love his movies. But that requires there to be something there artistically. Eastwood is a success because regardless of what he supports politically, he'll still be able to make quality films. People like him despite his public life, not because of it. Do you see the difference? Lawrence isn't getting these roles because of her acting talent; she's getting them because people quote her on Facebook and "retweet" her, which in turn is only because she starred in a bunch of shitty YA films with a built-in audience. The Hunger Games would have been a success with or without the presence of Ms. Lawrence onscreen, I promise you that. If Shailene Woodley or Kristen Stewart had played Katniss, I guarantee that they'd be the ones starring in Passengers now.

The point I'm trying to make is that the reasoning behind Lawrence's popularity is her usage in memes and her regular appearance on rag magazine covers-- not her acting ability, which as Braden noted, is hardly anything to heap praise upon. So while I try to separate the person from their art and judge the art independently, I really don't see anything "artistic" about this woman's performances. They're passable. She fills space. She says the lines. She vaguely resembles the character from the book. That's about it.

Anyway, not sure what you mean by the bolded part, but I'd argue that this movie looks like it has more in common with Transformers than it does with any of those films you listed (two of which I like a lot). Nothing about this seems "high-concept" to me, at least from what I've gleaned from the trailers. It's just a dumb action movie in a sci-fi setting. I dunno, it doesn't seem like your kind of thing.
I won't deny that Lawrence's public persona has certainly gained her both fans and fame. It just has nothing to do with why I like her. You can say she's an average actress and that's fine, but personally, I think she's capable of turning in very strong performances when given good material to work with. Whether this movie will supply said material I have no idea (only trailer I saw was whichever one played before my showing of Arrival). However, that doesn't change the fact that her presence in the film does enhance my desire to see it. I mean, if it gets a 30 on RT or whatever then there's little chance I'm going to the theater for it. If it gets a 70 or something though, I'd probably check it out given my relative interest in the premise and talent involved.

I'm gonna explain the bolded piece here, because I know it was confusing. In my opinion, the coolest premise I've ever seen is from In Time, a little seen Andrew Niccol sci-fi piece about a world where time is literally money, meaning the poor die young and the rich can live for as long as they want (trailer at the bottom of my post if you're interested). That kind of premise can basically be summed up in a sentence or two and instantly catches my attention. Similarly, Looper's about a future where time travel is possible and used to assassinate people (with Joe having to escape from himself), Source Code is about the existence of a machine that can be used to replay a moment over and over, Inception about the ability to enter someone's mind and plant an idea. Do you see how those have a sort of "one liner" premise that's instantly intriguing? I guess I just like it when sci-fi puts an interesting spin on the future.

Now, compare that to Alien. I'm not saying it's a death sentence for a film or anything like that, but what's the interesting spin of Alien? People get trapped on a ship with an alien who wants to kill them? Just doesn't excite me, as a look into an alternative future, in the same way. The reason I'm not that excited for Passengers is that it kind of looks to be between the two, not grasping for a really original perspective but also supplying some intrigue in that regard. Hope that made some sense.

In Time trailer:


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