*** Official JUNO Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Juno". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

    All HTF member film reviews of "Juno" should be posted to the http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...ew-thread.html.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


    Crawdaddy
     
  2. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    As I said in my review, I loved this movie. Ellen Page gives the best performance of the year, male or female. Diablo Cody's screenplay is smarty and witty.

    The only bad thing I can say about this movie is that Michael Cera and Jason Bateman don't share a scene together. [​IMG]
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    It would have been great if Jason Bateman could have just given Michael Cera a raised eyebrow about the whole pregnancy situation if they did share a scene together (given their former father-son relationship from Arrested Development).
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    This thread is surprisingly empty for all the noise this gem has made.

    Pretty strange that some of the most fun I've at the theater this year has involved pregnancies in comedies (Knocked Up, Waitress and this).

    --
    H
     
  5. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I plan on seeing Juno this week.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  7. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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    At the risk of providing this thread's first dissenting view of "Juno," and particularly Diablo Cody's overpraised screenplay, here goes:

    I know my opinion will be in the minority and I know there are--and will be--a lot of people who genuinely love "Juno" and more power to them, especially since I will never convince them otherwise. I wasn't in the "Little Miss Sunshine" fan club either so maybe I'm just bitter and have given up on life.

    Like "Little Miss Sunshine" before it, I enjoyed "Juno" but was completely annoyed by it at the same time. Frankly I wanted someone to slap Juno in every single scene but nobody ever did.

    Apart from Ellen Page's performance (basically the same performance she gave in Hard Candy, only without the sadism) the dialogue is what has garnered the lion's share of "Juno's" praise but, from a screenwriting point of view it has one major weakness: every single character sounds exactly the same. That's a pretty common flaw in first screenplays, so this is somewhat understandable and hopefully Cody's next script will be an improvement but the director, Jason Reitman, should have intervened and sent it back for a polish.

    Even the guy from the convenience store speaks in the same pseudo-hipster tongue as Juno. So do her boyfriend, her stepmother, Jason Bateman, etc. When Juno's stepmother gives the smackdown to that poor hospital worker, she no longer talks like Juno's stepmother, she talks like Diablo Cody. It is unfortunate that this screenplay will probably win the Oscar because it will not only validate Cody's hipster-speak dialogue but it will serve to encourage other screenwriters to imitate it, much like what happened in the post-Pulp Fiction days.

    Another problem is Juno's knowledge of pop culture from the 70's-80's. It is quite impressive considering that, if the movie takes place in present day as it seems to, she wouldn't have even been born until the 90's. Though I'd like to think there are 16-year-old girls living in small Minnesota towns who are well versed in the films of Dario Argento and know all about Thundercats minutia, I just don't believe it. It sounds like the screenwriter's voice, not the character's.

    I also don't believe Juno's parents--at least in the characterizations given here--would take as much crap from her as they do. Perhaps the casting is the problem: if the actors playing the parents played them as some of those hippie parents who let their kids get away with murder, it would have been more believable. Perhaps if Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner were playing them instead?

    For me, the best, most believable and well-played character in the movie was Jennifer Garner's. She was the one character who I genuinely wanted to find a happy ending. Every other character I wanted to slap. Hard.
     
  8. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    Wow. I wish I could have written this post. The smartass hipster dialogue and the pop-culture references come off as smarmy rather than endearing. The standard indie flick quirks (animated titles for the different seasons, etc) are annoying as well.

    I hated Little Miss Sunshine too.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, in this day of the internet where if you show enough of an interest in something, you can pretty much become well-versed in it by consuming all the info from webpages/list-servs/groups, and then acting on the lists of CDs/films recommendation that would be of interest to you, and thus becoming well-steeped into that bit of pop culture, no matter if it's 20-30 years beyond your own existence. I think kids like Juno are part of that ever-expanding pop-wank fanbase these days. Sure, they didn't "live" it, but they have otherwise dug in deep and can repoire with the best of the old-timers. It's all about appreciating the work, and whether that piece of art/cinema/music speaks to you, decades after it was originally created and put out "there".

    That being said, I liked the film, but didn't love it as much as most of the critics do. For me, it just doesn't ask enough of the big questions, and Bleeker is just such a strange vacant entity in the 9 months of pregnancy, even though they are in close proximity with one another enough to have some truly deep (for them at the tender age of 16) conversations of what the impact Juno's pregnancy has on them, both as people and in relation to one another. I guess I just needed Bleeker to have a little more backbone to his character and offer something beside his sperm to the situation.
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm not surprised there's already a backlash against this movie. I loved it but even as I was watching it, I knew there would be people who hated it (probably most of the same people who hated Little Miss Sunshine).
     
  11. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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  12. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    The "hipster" dialogue, while it seemed a bit cutesy, didn't really bother me. Maybe that's what I get for watching too much of Joss Whedon's stuff (it's a common criticism of his work). I didn't feel everyone sounded the same though. I didn't think the boyfriend sounded like Juno at all except for some vocab that I would imagine would rub off on a close friend. I didn't feel Jason Bateman's character sounded like her either. The first time she comes over, he makes note of the way she talks uses it in a later scene with her. But as the movie went on, I guess I got used to it the language at least. Otherwise, I can see where you're coming from (the step mom telling off the ultrasound chick, the convenience store dude - moments that seemed somewhat out of place). It just worked well enough for me for these things not to bother me too deeply.

    Anyway, saw it. Quite fond of it. It's a sweet little movie. Not necessarily one that's terrible deep, but one that put a smile on my face. [​IMG]
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, that scene just made me think "What a bitch" rather than "Good for her standing up for her step daughter".
     
  14. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    I don't have anything to say about it [​IMG] I do need to write a (quite positive) review, but I'll get to it. Page gives a fantastic performance, as does the supporting cast. It's surprisingly strong towards the end.

    Not much to discuss besides just having a good opinion about it.
     
  15. Mark Kalzer

    Mark Kalzer Second Unit

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    Just for the record... I hated 'Little Miss Sunshine' (Okay maybe not so much as hate... but resent the fact that it looked for a while it might deny 'The Departed' of its Oscar worthiness it later received.) for the simple reason that I found as much as it pitched itself as an indie, it ended up feeling as cliche and any common Hollywood committee written screenplay.

    I just found that it's screenplay just wasn't clever enough as it wanted to be. It had this irrirtating tendency to setup arbitrary barriers to the characters progress that were more annoying then constructive. They were as arbitrary as two dimensional characters saying, 'No, you can't go to the pageant. You have to stay here and do paperwork guys.'.

    It all just feel down to that basic Hollywood ideal that the most complicated of family situations can all be resolved just by the sheer power of family love, which shows itself in a completely random dance sequence at the end. (I also cannot stand the Hollywood cliche that dancing resolves everything! Only 'Hairspray' can get away with that!) As per usual in Hollywood it sidesteps actually confronting the problems head on with a trite 'love conquers all' like resolution.

    Now as for Juno... it was quite a pleasurable experience. Juno was a fascinating character, very intelligent and witty, but still naive as even the smartest of us are at that age. I appreciated the sheer honesty and depth of these characters. They aren't the overplayed Hollywood archetypes but complicated people, all dealing with that quite un-Hollywood question of 'does love really conquer all?'

    I wish I could say more but I'm still digesting this film in my head.
     
  16. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Ha. Funny you should say this, I was just thinking that judging by the romantic stuff I am seeing lately, the Hollywood idea of the ideal man nowadays is essentially a doormat.

    I liked the movie a lot BTW.

    There were very genuine moments sprinkled throughout all the "cuteness". The first and most powerful for me was when at the end of the conversation where she told the parents about the pregnancy, her father expressed disappointment in words that I wish I could remember right now. I keeping with the script, it was a light and quirky comment, yet (pardon the pun) pregnant with meaning. Her answer was the same way. For just a fleeting moment, you can see the pain of a girl who knows she has dissapointed her father.

    SD Brian, regarding you LMS spoiler, that is kind of the point! It was pretty obvious to me that that segment is searing an indictment of the whole over-sexualized child pageant nonsense.

    --
    H
     
  17. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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  18. Nick C.

    Nick C. Second Unit

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    What do folks think of that awkward romantic undertone with Mark (Bateman) and Juno? Especially during the basement scene. The phone call and horror movie watching scenes were fine, but the dancing, then Mark revealing his plans to leave Vanessa and being surprised Juno didn't support the decision... a disturbing Woody Allen-ish situation in my book
     
  19. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    I love this movie. Every critic I bothered to read loved this movie. DVD Talk, however, just put it in its "honorable mentions" list for worst movies of 2007.
     
  20. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    The movie attempted to force in new dialogue in much the same way Clueless did. Only it felt uncomfortable and forced. "Wizard," for example. Granted I don't talk to many youngin's, but this was a new one to me. Page felt awkward delivering this dialogue, as though the actress resents having her intelligence insulted and having to pretend she's dumb.

    Otherwise it was a very okay movie. Performances were strong, direction was serviceable, the soundtrack was decent.
     

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