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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Man On Fire (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Man On Fire
Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 04-23-2004 12:22 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dakota Fanning is IMHO one of the best child actors/actresses to come out of Hollywood in a long time. I predict she'll be up for an award soon. If not for this movie, soon. The story was good, and well told. Denzel Washington, whom I rarely like (although not because I think he's a bad actor - he's just never in a movie I care for it seems) was good too.

But I do have one complaint. Enough with the goddamn shoddy camera work already! Jesus! Whip pan left - oops too far, back right, zoom in, focus, split image, flash... AH! Enough!! I'd give this movie four and half stars out of five, but I'm docking THREE AND A HALF for the freakin headache I have courtesy of the dumb ass director. 1 star out of 5.

We actually have a reel with an unsteady picture but since so much of the movie is shot using a seizure cam, the folks who screened it before me failed to notice the bad reel.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1392
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 04-23-2004 02:26 AM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey - I liked this film. It had a "Seven" feel to it (concerning the camera work).

4 out of 5 stars

Denzel does a great acting job. Christopher Walken's part could have been better.

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Wolff King Morrow
Master Film Handler

Posts: 490
From: Denton, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 04-23-2004 06:18 AM      Profile for Wolff King Morrow   Author's Homepage   Email Wolff King Morrow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was also slightly annoyed by the camera "effects" and found it actually took away from some scenes that the viewer would be focused and concentrated on.

Other than that, this was an excellent movie!

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Lance C. McFetridge
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Penn Yan, New York
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 04-23-2004 12:45 PM      Profile for Lance C. McFetridge   Email Lance C. McFetridge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I liked it and thought the camera effects added to the story.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10517
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-23-2004 09:08 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't seen the movie yet, but I did see an HBO "First Look" feature on it.

The director and cinematographer used a really old, hand-crank film camera for a lot of the weird shots to speed up and slow down the action. Unfortunately, it also appears they did lots and lots and lots of that clichéd aperture jerking (y'know, where the image flashes way bright and then down dim, etc.). That's music video bullshit, and a very dated late 80's early 90's look to be quite frank about it.

The story premise looks very interesting, so I may check out the show. I just hope I don't wind up hating it like I hated Tony Scott's way overly stylized "Spy Game." That movie went overboard with the herky-jerky camera shots, along with really stupid helicopter camera shot pans (closeup of Redford, closeup of Pitt, cut to circling shot from helicopter, repeat this sequence 8 times in 15 seconds, vomit).

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Richard Greco
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1180
From: Plant City, FL
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted 04-23-2004 10:04 PM      Profile for Richard Greco   Email Richard Greco   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Definate 4 stars

Dakota Fanning is superb in this.
Denzel is good in anything he does.
Christopher is amazing too.

I liked it!!!

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 04-24-2004 12:58 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dennis Benjamin
It had a "Seven" feel to it
Well over half of the shots had an "Opening Credits of Se7en" feel to them... which I thought was way too much.
quote:
I ... thought the camera effects added to the story
I thought they added about as much as a severely flickering xenon bulb and a bad intermittent sprocket would add to the story.

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Wolff King Morrow
Master Film Handler

Posts: 490
From: Denton, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 04-24-2004 04:22 AM      Profile for Wolff King Morrow   Author's Homepage   Email Wolff King Morrow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark J. Marshall
Well over half of the shots had an "Opening Credits of Se7en" feel to them... which I thought was way too much.
Haha! Someone else using the "wordplay" my brother and I always laugh about! We've been referring to Seven as "Se7en" ever since we saw that title (because we though it was corny to use such wordplay). Another scab-picker is "5-ive". Lame...

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Jeremy Fuentes
Mmmm, Dr. Pepper!

Posts: 1168
From: Corpus Christi, TX United States
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 04-24-2004 10:43 PM      Profile for Jeremy Fuentes   Email Jeremy Fuentes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah,why do people do that 4our?

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Lance C. McFetridge
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Penn Yan, New York
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 04-25-2004 09:23 AM      Profile for Lance C. McFetridge   Email Lance C. McFetridge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark J. Marshall

I thought they added about as much as a severely flickering xenon bulb and a bad intermittent sprocket would add to the story.

Since I have never had either at my theatre, I can't compare it to that.

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Peter Kerchinsky
Master Film Handler

Posts: 326
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 04-26-2004 04:57 AM      Profile for Peter Kerchinsky   Email Peter Kerchinsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Too damn long!

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Pravin Ratnam
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 827
From: Atlanta, GA,USA
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 04-30-2004 01:33 AM      Profile for Pravin Ratnam   Email Pravin Ratnam   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
aaah, April has been my summer moviegoing season with all the action movies out in the last 5 weeks. Dawn of The Dead was a fine start to my spring and Man on Fire ends it.

I found the movie watchable, but i left pretty pissed off at Tony Scott. He did an awful job directing this movie. Not only did he probably hire a trained chimp to use the camera, he also hired some trained monkey to include a jittery effect in the post production process in scenes where the camera wasn't shaky enough. And the use of those lightning like visual FX to denote some kind of mood was annoying. He overdid it. The pathetic thing is Tony Scott had a decent enough script to make an entertaining movie. He obviously is an insecure old man trying to be hip. Someone should tell him that the methods he overuses were trendy ... way back in 1995. I also hated the use of that Gladiator like song during the sad scenes. All I could visualize was Russel Crowe laying on the ground whenever that tune would come up with some lady singing in some foreign language.

Other than that, I am a sucker for vigilante movies, so I kind of liked it.

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Ken Lackner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1856
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 05-12-2004 11:38 PM      Profile for Ken Lackner   Email Ken Lackner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Finally saw this one tonight and ended up walking out. But what I did see I did not like (which is why, obviously, I walked out). Comepletely agree about the horrible camera effects. The opening titles gave me a whopper of a headache. But I thought to myself, this is just the titles, I'm sure the whole movie won't be like this. I wish I could say I was wrong.

Also thougth the movie was way too long. We know the girl is going to get kidnapped. Why did it take an hour just to get to that part?

Agreed that Christopher Walken and Dakota Fanning did excellent jobs. They were the film's redeeming qualities.

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Michael Schaffer
"Where is the
Boardwalk Hotel?"

Posts: 4143
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 05-13-2004 12:43 AM      Profile for Michael Schaffer   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Schaffer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
SPOILER [Eek!]

I didn`t understand why Denzel had to die in the end (except to make it more dramatic). He had The Voice`s brother and his (or his brothers?) pregnant girl, shouldn`t that be enough to make him give up the girl?
How can parents name a child "Dakota"? That sounds like a cowboy name, like "Texas Johnson" or "Oklahoma Willie". Why do you give a child a place name? OK, "Dakota" is still better than, say, "Albuquerque" - the poor child with that name would have to spell it every single time the name is asked...

[ 05-15-2004, 02:52 AM: Message edited by: Michael Schaffer ]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10517
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 05-13-2004 05:48 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Pravin Ratnam
Someone should tell him that the methods he overuses were trendy ... way back in 1995.
Actually, you would need to go back nearly another decade for the shots to be trendy. That aperture flash-edit thing is pure, tired schtick now. The effect was seen in music videos for REM and others back in the late 1980's. Same thing goes for a lot of the other grungy, stressed camera effects too. The thing which really annoys the hell out of me about Tony Scott's recent directorial efforts (and the same thing can be said about Michael Bay and a number of other all-style/no-substance "I-wanna-be-John-Woo" guys) is he tries to make a movie survive by all the over-stylization and little else. All the jittery, gimmicky camera shots take you right out of the movie. "Man On Fire" had a lot more potential going for it than what delivered. Sort of the same result as Scott's "Spy Game".

IMHO, David Fincher is one guy who can do the flash and style thing correctly. He only seems to use it were it works "musically" with the feeling and rhythm of the shot and story point. Like Tony Scott, Fincher has directed TV commercials (as well as filmed lots of music videos), but I think David Fincher does more to pay attention to the movie as a whole rather than trying to make it feel like a 2 hour long movie trailer.

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