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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » U - 571 (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: U - 571
Dwayne Caldwell
Master Film Handler

Posts: 323
From: Rockwall, TX, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 04-21-2000 05:18 AM      Profile for Dwayne Caldwell   Email Dwayne Caldwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is probably the best movie I've seen this year. Great action flick! It was entertaining, suspenseful, and destructive!
All the things I was looking and hoped for. This is Jonathan Mostow's second film. His first was Breakdown with Kurt Russell and J.T. Walsh (another good suspense movie). He obviously likes to take his time, and that's just fine with me. Just as long as he doesn't pull a Terrence Malick on us because this guy's got some talent (Mostow, not Malick). I'm not familiar with his fellow co-screenwriters Sam Montgomery and David Ayer, but I'll be keeping an eye out for them.

Kick ass sound mix. This movie definitely takes advantage of its surrounds. It really immerses you during the depth charge scenes. Very nice underwater explosions too. The gunfights are nice and loud without being overwhelming.

I should probably talk about the characters. Great cast. Matthew McConaughey does a good job as XO Lt. Andrew Tyler. He looks kinda strange during those wide eyed moments, but otherwise, he's very suitable for the role. Harvey Keitel makes a great Chief as Chief of the Boat Klough. Not outspoken, but not unheard. Like a C.O.B. should be. Bill Paxton's hair looked a little messed up, but that's obviously not a concern as far as characterization, and he does a good job as always. His hair just kept bothering me for some strange reason. I really liked the actor who played the Lt. Hirsch role, (I can't remember the actor's name, but he played that prick in Meet Joe Black) even though I figured he was gonna be a character I could care less about in the beginning of the film. But I was wrong. And the others are perfect for their parts. Just an all round good cast.


The score was pretty good. Not outlandish during the action scenes, yet not simple either. The composer's no John Williams or James Horner, but he gets the job done.

The plot is simple, and it's not a bad thing, because sometimes the simple plots make the best movies. Just take a look at another WWII movie -- Saving Private Ryan. Now U-571 is no Saving Private Ryan, and I didn't get the impression that it was trying to be. But it's still a damn good movie.

The situations are pretty edge of your seat, and there is a feeling of claustrophobia to heighten the suspense -- a tactic shared by all sub movies. And the feeling is further strengthened by the fact that the characters must still maintain secrecy in their mission lest they compromise their goal. It's a submarine movie. They tend to fall under the rubric of clandestine operations. There's a reason why it's called the silent service. But this doesn't feel like your average submarine movie. It may be the lack of hi-tech surroundings, but it doesn't feel archaic either.

I really can't think of any down sides to this movie. Maybe just the occasional statement from McConaughey and crew that feels like it's directed towards the audience to reveal us of the consequences if something goes wrong. But it's not too insulting. That and Bill's hair.

I was very pleased with the whole movie.
As I said before, it's great entertainment. Fans of action and submarine movies will get a real kick out of this one. Go check it out.

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The man with the magic hands.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17638
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 04-21-2000 05:56 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, everything he said above!

Well done sound mix, in scope (always a plus), good cinematography (except for some timing problems halfway through the movie as the sub is at the surface), good acting, directing, editing, etc.

My only real complaint it is wasn't long enough. I haven't seen a movie I really liked in 5 months, and damnit I didn't want this one to end after only 2 hours!

A definite "must see" if you like action and suspense movies. Two thumbs up! (Yes, both thumbs are mine.)

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Tyler Skinner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Pa
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 04-21-2000 11:26 AM      Profile for Tyler Skinner   Email Tyler Skinner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
okay, well I couldn't DISAGREE with you more.
This was just another movie thats a 2 hour version of the trailer. There were absolutely NO surprises, the characters were FLAT- I didn't cae about any of them, and the whole thing was an Americanized version of Das Boot, a MUCH better portrayal of U-boat action. I won't even go into detail about how the size of the boats were twice as large as they really were, or how when the battleship fired there were three water impacts even though there are only 2 front guns on a battleship... Yawn!

And whats this about Mallick having no talent??!! Thin Red Line was a hell of a lot better than that schlock propoganda piece of shit Saving Private Ryan.

And then at the end they throw us the sentimental "This is dedicated to all the men..." Bla Bla Bla, it should have said, 'this is dedicated to all you saps who actually liked this piece of shit even though it was formulated to make money on the expence of historical accuracy"


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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17638
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 04-21-2000 06:11 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The benefits of NOT seeing the trailer! Perhaps we should just ban all trailers.

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Tyler Skinner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Pa
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 04-21-2000 07:53 PM      Profile for Tyler Skinner   Email Tyler Skinner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
yeah, we should just show 8 minutes of Ads :-)

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Dwayne Caldwell
Master Film Handler

Posts: 323
From: Rockwall, TX, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 04-21-2000 08:26 PM      Profile for Dwayne Caldwell   Email Dwayne Caldwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You want to talk about a yawn fest, let's talk about The Thin Red Line. The only good thing about Thin Red Line was John Toll's cinemaography. Thin Red Line was just a WWII film told with different perspective narratives that were all over the place with no focus. What's so philosophical about that? I'm sorry. I guess I'm too much of an action freak to grasp the power of Terrence Malick. I shouldn't say that about him not having any talent though. After all, I haven't seen his other TWO films. I'd have to disagree with you about Thin Red Line being better than Saving Private Ryan, Tyler. I'm sorry but that's easily one of Spielburg's best films. Much better than that piece of shit Schindler's List. And I'm NOT anti-Semitic. I happen to enjoy the works of Ethan and Joel Cohen very much.
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The man with the magic hands.

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Tyler Skinner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Pa
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 04-21-2000 08:59 PM      Profile for Tyler Skinner   Email Tyler Skinner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
>>You want to talk about a yawn fest, let's talk about The Thin Red Line. The only good thing about Thin Red Line was John Toll's cinemaographer.

Toll's Cinematography wasn't the only good thing, it was the best thing! How this movie lost to SPR in Cinematography must be mob related. SPR's entire look was based on post processing and poorly ripping off Full Metal Jacket. Read the American Cinematographer issues on both films and tell me which one is shot better.

The Thin Red Line was more than just a WWII film, it was a character study on the relationship between soldiers, the insignificance of man, and the relationship to the enemy. The Japanese were portrayed much better than the "Evil Germans" in Saving Private Ryan, you could actually see the depravity of the Japanese who were being forced to fight, and understand their emotions where-as in Saving Private Ryan, the Germans were all the stereopypical hollywood views of Germans based on 50 years of dramatized WWII films.

The Thin Red line also showed a deeper side of war, a war against ones self and nature. The Cinematography clearly portrayed how nature contrasted with the violence going on around it. Shots like the blood being splattered across the glowing green leaves, and the bird dieing in the bullet tattered weeds. These are strong, powerful, images that any true hollywood action/ war film wouldn't have the balls to show. Like Saving Private Ryan.

Saving Private Ryan was powerful in the first 20 minutes, then it fell off into the homogonized hollywood motif's Spielberg loves to throw at us. Sorry, but Spielberg is a master manipulator, and he's great at sucking in audiences and making them feel whatever he wants.

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Dwayne Caldwell
Master Film Handler

Posts: 323
From: Rockwall, TX, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 04-21-2000 09:31 PM      Profile for Dwayne Caldwell   Email Dwayne Caldwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes Tyler. I do have issues of both movies from A.C. So I know about the shutter streaking Full Metal Jacket effect and the ENR silver retention process they used in Ryan. And you're right. Thin Red Line is an exquisite work of art... photographically speaking. (And I completely forgot about Hans Zimmer's score! Excellent soundtrack.) And the stereotypicial depiction of the Nazis in Ryan is a turnoff (note the lack of that stereotype in U-571). But you must understand that if I wanted character study as it pertains to WWII, I'd just pick up a book on the subject and read about it. And I think Malick could have pulled that off without dragging it all out like that. Thin Red Line does have some things to say about the de-humanization process of war but it was lost on me because it was too damn boring, and I've heard it all before. Look at Full Metal Jacket. All Joker wanted was a kill for his country (actually, he wanted to be the first kid on his block to get a confirmed kill) and it was done out of humanity when he put that Vietnamese sniper out of her misery. Meanwhile his photographer friend was squeamish in the beginning, but by the end of the film looked as blood thirsty as the rest of the marines in the platoon. Or what about Platoon? "We weren't fighting the enemy. We were fighting ourselves." That's probably paraphased. I don't remember the movie very much. Apocalypse Now. Now there's a movie dealing with de-humanization in a beautiful land. I can't seem to think of any examples in the WWII time frame aside from Line. I know war isn't glamorous. But there's something about seeing it on screen that can detach me from that reality. I would sing a different tune if I were actually in a situation like that, but I'm not, so I don't. I didn't see U-571 or Saving Private Ryan to explore the effects of war on the human psyche or the ravaging effects of war on nature. I watched them expecting to be entertained.

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The man with the magic hands.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-21-2000 10:28 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, I actually _liked_ the U-571 trailer! (only saw it once, tho...)

Agreed to all of the positive comments about this film. This is one of the few action pictures that I a) actually saw and b) enjoyed. Acting and directing were consistently excellent; cinematography was good; editing didn't have _too_ many continuity errors and the mix was good.

This is one of those rare action pictures that deserves to do well...

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Dwayne Caldwell
Master Film Handler

Posts: 323
From: Rockwall, TX, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 04-21-2000 10:54 PM      Profile for Dwayne Caldwell   Email Dwayne Caldwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Damn striaght.

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The man with the magic hands.

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Tyler Skinner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Pa
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 04-21-2000 11:01 PM      Profile for Tyler Skinner   Email Tyler Skinner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Great! A PG-13 movie that seems to have good word of mouth, I'm sure our concessions manager will be happy with his bonus...blech!
I don't get a fucking bonus for giving perfect presentation to these sellout shows that shoot his per-cap through the roof.

ANyway, Dwayne we obviously watched Thin Red Line in 2 different ways and I like it a lot more than you, I can respect that. At least w are in agreement on the cinematography. Seems the cinematographer are allways getting shafted by the academy, this year Frederick Elmes got screwed for his beautiful work in Straight Story, so it goes eh?...

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Dwayne Caldwell
Master Film Handler

Posts: 323
From: Rockwall, TX, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 04-22-2000 12:01 AM      Profile for Dwayne Caldwell   Email Dwayne Caldwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I still need to check The Straight Story out. I'm getting kind of behind on my movies here. I'm getting used to Academy members having no idea what the hell they're talking about. And it's not just cinematography. Remember when Braveheart got shafted for best original score? What the hell does Il Postino got that beats Horner's composition? Better accordion music? But at least they exercised enough decent judgment to give John Toll another oscar that year. Toll kicks ass.

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The man with the magic hands.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-22-2000 10:57 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Screw the academy.

One of the best films of 1999 was "The War Zone." Yet it received practically zero recognition from anyone, despite the fact that it was beautifully directed and photographed. Admittedly, the subject matter (incest) was such that its commercial potential was basically nonexistant, but that doesn't mean that the Academy couldn't have at least nominated it for best cinematography or something...

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17638
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 04-22-2000 02:07 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know guys. There's something inherently boring-sounding about an old man riding a lawn mower across the country. I think Tyler may simply be confusing cinematography with scenery. If I had a say in it, no flat movie would even be able to be considered for a cinematography award.

Tyler are you sure you aren't an old projectionist of mine posing as someone else? We even called him "Tyler" from his pure love for the movie "Fight Club." He would just ramble about it on and on every day about "The Thin Red Line" until virtually the entire management staff was ready to get a plane ticket to Hollywood so we could burn the damn negative. And no, I have not seen the flick. He talked so much about it I now refuse to even give it a chance.

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Tyler Skinner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Pa
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 04-22-2000 03:39 PM      Profile for Tyler Skinner   Email Tyler Skinner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No Brad, I don't think I have ever worked with you, although I would love the chance to.

And I am definately not confusing Scenery with Cinematography. You should check out both movies "Straight Story" and "Thin Red Line" both of which ARE SCOPE!


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