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I think more movies should be emotionally manipulative like Forrest Gump, it seems to a bit of a lost art these days. It takes a level of skill to ramp all the emotion up to 11 and makes audiences cry. Modern movies seem to shy away from it, thinking they are above all that. 
 

Like I also really love Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Sure the first hour is too long and slow, but Jackson knew how to wring every last bit of sadness out of that damn gorilla. 

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9 hours ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Maybe the reason you guys don’t like Forest Gump is because this forum is mostly dominated by the Left Wing and this film is clearly favouring Right Wing politics ? I think it’s just a difference in politically ideology rather than the film being bad imo.

This doesn't hold water. I liked Gump, still do and I've been given the nickname Liberal Dave.

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57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

The good thing about Forrest Gump is that its main message (don't think too much about things) works very well on the movie itself.

But yes, it has a crystal-clear conservative message. And I hate to break it to people here, but when you don't see a message, it means you agree with it.

Okay, and what is that message?

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21 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Work hard and don't question authority.

I guess? Though he also just goes off and runs for a long time and we see his mom not doing that at all.

Working hard is hardly a right wing viewpoint either. 

I guess my main takeaway was that Gump wasn't a particular role model and him being so lame meant that living his way wasn't meant to be emulated. I saw him constantly being taken advantage of and was never able to do what he really wanted to. Maybe that's why it bounced off of me.

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Surely a big part of Forrest Gump is the 'wisdom of the fool', in that he might not be the smartest person on the planet but he's able to navigate the fact that life can be quite shit, and hard, and turn it into something worthwhile. He does that by having a purpose in life and caring for the people he loves. His life is a direct comparison to Jenny, who reacts in a completely different manner to her shitty life and it brings only negativity.

He quite often is taken advantage of and treated badly, but he never takes it to heart, he turns the other cheek and continues to love and care for people, no matter how horrible they are to him. There is a moral lesson in there.

I'm not sure how anyone could watch the movie and think it's about how you get rewarded for being docile? Where are you even getting that from? The army section? In that case yes he follows orders and doesn't die, but that's pretty much what you should do in the army, it's about following orders! Otherwise that segment is about how he doesn't think about himself but puts others safety above his. 

Edited by Heartofice
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3 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Working hard is hardly a right wing viewpoint either.

Yes and no. Anyway, what screams US conservatism in Forrest Gump is the idea that you will -eventually- be rewarded through providence if you work hard enough. What makes the movie so magical is precisely the way in which Forrest's simple-mindedness ends up being a form of blessing in disguise, because the events keep turning in his favor.

And that, in technical terms, is called election or predestination, and the movie makes it a metaphor for exceptionalism.

5 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Really though, there is a bunch of different stuff going on in Forrest Gump, if your one takeaway from the movie is ‘work hard and don’t question authority’ then really that’s just what you got out of it and that’s you. 

If you can't see the link between Forrest's (and Jenny's) story and the background of US history/politics... I'm afraid you didn't understand much about the movie beyond the "oh, gee, what a moving story."

Forrest Gump is one of those rare movies in which there's so many "in-your-face" metaphors that it's easy to miss some. Every time I watch it, I chuckle because of stuff I've missed before.

It really didn't take me long to find a link about US history through Forrest Gump:
https://apsnews.org/1651/entertainment/american-history-through-the-lens-of-forrest-gump/

And an analysis of the message/ideology of the movie:

Quote

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1994/08/14/in-gump-we-trust/7e0c4985-e6b4-4492-9abd-72af4afffde0/

Gump is a brilliant reconstruction of the guiding myth of America that was shattered in the 1960s: America as the well-intentioned though sometimes clumsy giant that muddled through the world, trying to do good, often shedding its own goodness in ways that it could hardly understand, yet ultimately the savior of a world that never could fully appreciate the benefits it was receiving.

Gump's America has no class divisions, no intractable history of racism, no genocide of Indians, no sexism or homophobia or antisemitism or fundamental alienation. Gump walks through life with an innocence and kindness that redeems all. Everyone touched by him is eventually transformed, without ever having to work on anything in themselves, without ever having to confront the evil around them, without ever having to question the assumptions of their society, without ever having to make inner or outer change. It just happens, much the way that Gump becomes rich by chance when a hurricane destroys all competing shrimp boats (we see nothing of what economic pain that may have brought to others), or the way Gump becomes richer through chance investment. Since everything is an act of God, nobody has to do anything to achieve salvation. One simply is, and by grace one is touched and favored.

We have here a modern and compelling civil religion that has served as the spiritual backdrop to much of 20th century American economic and political rapaciousness. Like Gump, many Americans have gone through the experience of the 20th century without ever comprehending how their good fortune was connected to the oppression of others. They are not people engaged in historical amnesia -- they never knew or understood the world in the first place in any other terms besides the naive terms and vacuous categories supplied them by the dominant culture which they cheerfully and frenetically embraced.

 

A bit harsh I'm afraid, and I would nuance some elements, but the overall analysis is quite accurate. And when you take into account the fact that the movie was basically released in the wake of the so-called "conservative revolution" of the Reagan years, the movie basically becomes an extended version of the "It's morning in America" clip.

Yeah, I'm fun at parties.

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Oh my god that Washington post article is garbage. It's the epitome of finding the evidence to fit your narrative. I'm not even sure a single word in it relates to the actual movie itself. But I guess it's a useful insight into the sort of naval gazing level of commentary that some people get too wrapped up in. 
 

10 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

If you can't see the link between Forrest's (and Jenny's) story and the background of US history/politics... I'm afraid you didn't understand much about the movie beyond the "oh, gee, what a moving story."

Yes the movie uses the backdrop of US history to tell it's story, but there is a point at which you can just start reading too much into a movie, again, to just fit your narrative. The themes of the movie are actually incredibly obvious. You have to really twist yourself into knots (and also become incredibly selective)  to make it fit the message you are trying make it portray.

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13 hours ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Maybe the reason you guys don’t like Forest Gump is because this forum is mostly dominated by the Left Wing and this film is clearly favouring Right Wing politics ? I think it’s just a difference in politically ideology rather than the film being bad imo.

 

 

Framing this as a gotcha is weird when (1) I explicitly brought it up because I find it unpleasantly conservative (even though like I say it's not actually the reason I hate it, I hated it long before I started having political inclinations) and (2) this started specifically as a discussion about enjoying films despite disagreeing with them morally. I hate Forrest Gump way more than the other three films I listed but of them Hero and Zootopia are much more objectionable in that particular sense, and 300 only isn't because (like Forrest Gump) it's not really a message movie. 

 

9 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I think more movies should be emotionally manipulative like Forrest Gump, it seems to a bit of a lost art these days. It takes a level of skill to ramp all the emotion up to 11 and makes audiences cry. Modern movies seem to shy away from it, thinking they are above all that. 

 

I don't mind nakedly emotional movies in principle. It's not as if I hate Shawshank Redemption. I just thought Forrest Gump did it awfully. 

 

I mean I love this scene. I can't complain about movies that dial it up to 11.
 

 

Edited by polishgenius
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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

Framing this as a gotcha is weird when (1) I explicitly brought it up because I find it unpleasantly conservative (even though like I say it's not actually the reason I hate it, I hated it long before I started having political inclinations) and (2) this started specifically as a discussion about enjoying films despite disagreeing with them morally. I hate Forrest Gump way more than the other three films I listed but of them Hero and Zootopia are much more objectionable in that particular sense, and 300 only isn't because (like Forrest Gump) it's not really a message movie.

That’s because you’re a woke MUTHAFUCKAAH!

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Watching Reacher, I don't notice it being any worse than season 1, which I remember exactly zero information about the plot.  It's dumb, superficial action entertainment.  There is no there there.  And, that's fine sometimes.

Also rewatched 1948's The Heiress, a masterpiece of directing, casting, acting.  It's funny that William Wyler is practically forgotten when it comes to 'best directors' lists these days.  Rewatched LOTR, which triggered a remembrance of how much I hate ROP and its dumb version of Galadriel.

Edited by Cas Stark
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20 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Hate is too strong a word… so I’ll go with really boring, moralistic, excessively sugary, tries too hard to emotionally manipulate the audience, and kind of dumb. But great cast! 
I also can’t say I’m a Zemeckis fan… the Back to the Future films were fun, as was Romancing the Stone, and I kind of enjoyed Contact despite its warts. But come on, Castaway?[b] Death Becomes Her? Allied? :bawl: [/b]

Oh, you don't like Death Becomes Her? After all these years you reveal this black mark on your name? NOW a warning?

Blocked.

18 hours ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Maybe the reason you guys don’t like Forest Gump is because this forum is mostly dominated by the Left Wing and this film is clearly favouring Right Wing politics ? I think it’s just a difference in politically ideology rather than the film being bad imo.

I watched it before I was aware enough to consider any political implications. Its just not a good film, overly lonng, stupid, saccharine. I'm sure it appeals to some audiences, but I am not them.

Revisiting when I was older the messaging was certainly even more off putting

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On 1/20/2024 at 7:17 PM, Veltigar said:

I had the good fortune to attend a screening of Poor Things yesterday.

Saw it today, and my thoughts are very similar to yours -- a real work of strange whimsy from Lanthimos, hilariously adapted by McNamara from the Alasdair Gray novel (notably, they cut out a metatextual aspect of the book, in which Bella's husband -- there named Archibald McCandless -- puts forward her history... and then Bella responds saying it's foolish nonsense and untrue, and Gray presents himself as the editor of the text rather than its authorm too)... McNamara would be a brilliant choice for adapting Flashman, come to think of it.

I don't know if it's my favorite film this year -- I think Oppenheimer was just brilliantly made all around -- but it was very unique and impressive. Loved the fantastical quality of this sort of steampunk alternate world, with its fairytale-illustration quality. The Lisbon depicted in the film was particularly fantastical.

 

On 1/29/2024 at 12:44 PM, Isis said:

Went to see Poor Things last night. I thought it was fabulous and hilarious. Loved the cinematography, the costumes, the sound. Mark Ruffalo must have had a great time hamming it up so much. 

From interviews, he definitely did seem to enjoy it. He was terrific. Everyone was, really. Great film.

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18 hours ago, Mr. Chatywin et al. said:

I do think Reilly was the better fit though, that said, McKay has said he regrets the fallout and that it was mostly on him. However, I don't think their brand of comedy works as much these days and in general comedy is in a bad spot. Black/horror comedy still puts out a lot of decent stuff, but McKay and Ferrell's style feels kind of dead right now. 

Yes, Reilly is plainly just physically the better choice.  IIRC per McKay it wasn't exactly the fact that he cast Reilly, just that he failed to communicate with Ferrell before doing so.

Anyway, I think McKay and Ferrell's comedy can still work today.  I'm always surprised how much students/young people still enjoy and are very familiar with the apex of McKay/Ferrell during the aughts from Anchorman to Talladega Nights to Step Brothers to Other Guys.  It's an amusing contrast - if I ask them about political events during the aughts - even the Iraq War?  Crickets...

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11 hours ago, Ran said:

Saw it today, and my thoughts are very similar to yours -- a real work of strange whimsy from Lanthimos, hilariously adapted by McNamara from the Alasdair Gray novel (notably, they cut out a metatextual aspect of the book, in which Bella's husband -- there named Archibald McCandless -- puts forward her history... and then Bella responds saying it's foolish nonsense and untrue, and Gray presents himself as the editor of the text rather than its authorm too)... McNamara would be a brilliant choice for adapting Flashman, come to think of it.

Glad you like it. I feel like it's a bit underseen at the moment, which is a shame for a great film like this.

If only the bolded could be arranged. I'd love to see a new attempt to bring Flashman to the big screen. McNamara would have to adapt one of the later Flashman novels though, one of those where Flashman interacts with a famous woman from history, as it does feel like McNamara is especially interested in (and good at) writing meaty parts for women (as evidenced by The Great, Poor Things, The Favourite and arguably even Cruella).

11 hours ago, Ran said:

I don't know if it's my favorite film this year -- I think Oppenheimer was just brilliantly made all around -- but it was very unique and impressive. Loved the fantastical quality of this sort of steampunk alternate world, with its fairytale-illustration quality. The Lisbon depicted in the film was particularly fantastical.

I like Oppenheimer (and what I'm about to write is mostly the same text I could write about Killers of the Flower Moon), but I didn't love it mostly because I didn't feel like it pushed the envelop in the way something like Poor Things does. It's excessively long, elides some of the moral complexity in Oppenheimer's story despite of this length, and it just feels a little bit safe in comparison to a film like Poor Things. It is indeed very competently made and the performances are great, but the whole doesn't transcend the sum of its parts in my opinion.

I think it's actually easier to illustrate what I mean by referring to Killers of the Flower Moon

Spoiler

For me, the best scene of Scorsese's film was the final radio play performance in which the director himself shows up. I thought that was a pretty original way to close down the film and provide some commentary on what we had just seen. It was exciting I guess.

Poor Things is full of those kind of scenes, while something like Oppenheimer is a bit lacking there. Definitely a film that you should see in theatre, but I don't know whether it's a film that I would want to show someone in 30 years (although Nolan's star power will probably keep it in circulation).

 

 

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