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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » THE GREAT WALL

Author Topic: THE GREAT WALL
Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 02-26-2017 06:27 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Regal/UA Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn NY
PRESENTATION: 3D, Reserved Seats, IMAX 12 Channel Sound
RATING: 3.5/5 stars

Action and visuals = REALLY spectacular
Plotline = passable, enough to hold your interest
Characterization = oh so predictable but with enough humor to so you could care about them in a kind of fleeting way.

That said, the visuals really are breathtaking. Monsters that will scare you shitless and the odds of winning against them so overwhelming that the director is actually able to create a sense of fear even though you don't care too much whether or not most of his characters get eaten for dinner, but you DO care that these beast are not going to win. You just picture yourself in the middle of this kind of situation with those seemingly insurmountable odds, be it monsters or dealing with tech support on the phone, and you actually get that sinking feel in the pit of your stomach.

Any you have to hand it to the digital artists, ANYTHING that a filmmaker can imagine can now be translated to the screen and made believeable. Let me tell you, this stuff looks GOOD...IF it were in focus.

You know I have been pro-IMAX 3D as the best way of seeing 3D (other than at home on a 3D TV or with a JVC 3D D-ILA projector). That said, I have no idea what was going on at this presentation -- the image, while it was characteristically bright as IMAX 3D goes, the focus on many shots was soft and just when I was going to say it simply is out of focus, here comes a closeup that looked fine. This couldn't possibly be the way this was created; either there was something wrong with the IMAX projector setup or the way it was authored for IMAX in this location; whatever it was, it was a Great Wall disappointment.

Anyway, if you like human vs. monster action, beautiful visuals (some of the overhead 3D shots were just wow-able, and if you like a smattering of antiquity thrown in (supposedly, the story originated in one of the many Chinese legend/myths that are told about the Great Wall) or if you want to be amazed at the inventiveness of the types of pre-modern war defenses used to thwart enemies who might try to breach the wall, then this is a fun film for you.

Also, Damon once again brings that understated, almost below-the-surface humor to the character where he seems to be playing it with the understanding that neither he nor the audience is taking any of this seriously and that's a joke between us. Seems like he was doing that in THE MARTIAN as well. You expect he's going to chuckle after he says some of the lines. If anyone can figure out what Willem Dafoe is doing in this picture, let me know.

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1330
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008

 - posted 03-04-2017 09:38 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Having read some of the negative reviews, I was expecting a pretty 'meh' movie but was actually quite pleased and entertained by it. Sure it had it's flaws, but technically it held my attention, and unlike that hideous other Universal fantasy movie 'Warcraft' (which bored me to tears) this was a step up.

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