The Great Gatsby - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, May 11, 2013.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Baz Luhrman and Leo Dicaprio team up again in "The Great Gatsby", based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of a high society love affair in the roaring 20's.

    Being a Luhrman directed film, you know you're going to get some fabulous set design and vivid colors and images. The excesses that play well in that department also hinders the script, a bloated mess that does little to endear or engage the viewer in Gatsby's quest to reign in Daisy (Carey Mulligan) after a 5 year absence, as Daisy married old money while Gatsby was fighting in WWI. Upon returning from the war, Gatsby is a ridiculously rich man, hosting parties nightly and currying favor with influential people. Using Gatsby's neighbor, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) to narrate the tale, such narration quickly wears out its welcome. Weirdly enough all I could think while watching this film was "#richpeoplesproblems"

    All in all, just an overly long and soulless adaptation of a time-worn literary classic.

    I give it 2 stars, or a grade of C.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I hated the first hour and enjoyed the second. The cast is really good but Baz Luhrman can't get out of Moulin Rouge mode (which worked great for that movie but I couldn't stand it here) until half way through the movie. Once he calms his style down, the cast can shine and the movie gets much better. Also, the pop music didn't work as an anachronism- it was just out of place and obnoxious but once again, that went away in the second half and the movie was all the better for its disappearance.
     
  3. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Absolutely agreed. Although I understand why the first hour was needed, it just seemed to drag on. It's only when all the exposition-way too much, IMO-is gone that the actors get to do anything worth watching. I'm really not a fan of Carey Mulligan here; she doesn't bring anything to the movie or provide a reason for Gatsby to be enamored with her. She's just...there.

    In all honesty, I went to see what the movie looked like and for DiCaprio. On those counts, I wasn't disappointed. Everything else is secondary.
     
  4. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Agree. Daisy is an actively unlikable character in the movie - you just wanna slap Gatsby upside his head and tell him to move on to someone nicer, prettier and more interesting! Daisy is such a self-centered figure that it makes little sense that so many are so fascinated by her...
     
  5. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Supporting Actor

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    I watched the very nice blu-ray of Redford's Gatsby Friday night, I have always loved that version, and I confess it is very hard for me to get up the gumption to go see this new version, especially based on what I have read about it. Probably a netflix only for me.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'd been down for some Nick and Jordan sideplot. :D
     
  7. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    I'll be the democratic response. I loved the film, start to finish. I admit to being a huge Baz Luhrmann fan, but that does not give him a free pass. Australia was a misfire...a well-intentioned and occasionally great looking film but a misfire nonetheless. With the delay from Christmas, I was worried for Gatsby. I wasn't worried about the 3D, nor was I worried about the cast or the production, but I was worried about the film.Quite a few of the criticisms are valid, but I feel most of them are irrelevant. This film is stunning in its execution, and the details of the story are carried by the lead performers. There isn't any real subtlety in the telling of this story, but that matches up with my memory of the novel, and certainly our cultural memory of it. And Baz has never been subtle in the least. He puts it on the screen, and tells the story brashly and brazenly. He always has, and I love that about his films. I don't think any other director can do such overwhelming sequences of passionate declarations of love, and they are a wonder to behold. I know they feel hollow to some, but they absolutely work for me.I thought Leonardo Dicaprio gave an incredible performance. Gatsby is a hard role to approach and get right, and I think he really does. It's not easy to be seen through other people's eyes the entire film. I think the film did contrast him with the rich and selfish characters, but without turning him into something he wasn't. You see him through Nick's POV, and they don't show any actions that set him apart. His motivation does. The small details set him apart.The rest of the performers are equally engaged with the heightened material. This isn't the real world on display. They make that obvious from the opening frames. The production design is off the charts, the music matches the tones perfectly, and the overall impact is intoxicating, challenging, and potent.If you like Luhrmann's films, this is a great example. Highly recommended.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm surprise by the box office this first weekend as I didn't think today's audience would care to watch such a film. I don't plan on watching this film because I never like any of the characters from my first reading the book in high school to watching the Redford film some 40 years ago. If they had an actress I liked playing Daisy, I might have talked myself into giving it a shot again, but Mulligan is simply not appealing enough for that particular role.
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    DiCaprio was really good (which isn't a surprise) but I was also pretty impressed with Joel Edgerton as Tom.
     
  10. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I haven't seen the movie yet but I did catch the Redford version a month or so back and didn't care for it much. I have really high expectations on this simply because of DiCaprio but like Robert said, I'm downright shocked that this film made so much money. I'm guessing it still wasn't enough to make this a "hit" but it seems like it did a lot better than most thought. I do wonder if this was due to the studio dropping the "great picture" stuff and instead pushing the popular soundtrack on people. It seems a lot of teens are going to this thing because of the music.

    I also find it somewhat shocking how many reviews are attacking Mulligan because of her looks. I personally think she's one of the best actresses out there right now but I guess there's a price to pay going from small movies to the mainstream.


    And for those who have seen the film...... 2D or 3D? I'm thinking about going for the 3D but I want to know if it takes away from the actual story.
     
  11. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    I see no reason for this movie to be in 3D with the exception of some camera moves sprinkled throughout. They look just fine in 2D and I can't imagine spending the extra coin for 3D.
     
  12. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Travis, contrasting Edgerton in this compared to Patrick in Zero Dark Thirty...very impressive. And I also enjoyed Mulligan's performance. I have only seen her in Drive, but she was pretty luminous as Daisy. The earlier choice was Scarlett J, who I feel would have been miscast pretty egregiously. I thought Mulligan handled herself well amidst everything else. I think she is supposed to be frustrating and flighty as well.I didn't comment on the 3D. I thought it was great. I try to only see films in 3D if they have been shot that way (Hugo, Avatar, Life of Pi, or if they are animated...I made an exception for Titanic). This was worth the up charge. I was impressed when it was showy, and equally impressed when it was subtle. A solid 3D experience from a gifted visualist.I'm excited it did well, mostly for Baz. I'm sure the soundtrack and Leo carried the film to this opening. I was worried it would tank. I think this is worth the cinema viewing for film fans, even if the source material isn't your cup of tea. It may not be for everybody, but it is a unique vision of a singular director.
     
  13. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    For those into the occasional visual schlock...

    This fits right in. Besides, is Elle Woods the real life? Cher Horowitz is even more vapid than Daisy...
     
  14. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I read an IMDB review that praised DiCaprio but said Redford was too old when he played the part in 1974.

    In 1974, Redford was 38.

    In 2013, DiCaprio is... 38! :lol:
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    The 3-D was done very well. While I didn't care for Luhrman's stylistic flourishes, they still worked well in 3-D. I'm assuming that Luhrman shot it 3-D (or at least knew he'd be converting it) because it certainly doesn't look like a 2-D movie.


    As for Carey Mulligan, I thought she was fine in the role. The movie is very faithful to the book and Daisy, while important, doesn't get a huge spotlight in either the book or movie. Since she doesn't get a whole lot of screen time, I can see people wondering "What's the big deal about that broad?" but purely on a physical level, I think Mulligan captures the beauty that the character is supposed to have.
     
  16. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I too am surprised at how much money this is making. I guess in the Big Picture, even if it isn't a great film, it's a good sign that classic lit can still work (in box office terms) as source material.

    Interestingly, I read that the percentage of receipts coming from 3D screenings is freakishly low for a live-action film. Something like 33%. The marketing certainly hasn't been playing up the 3D angle.

    Speaking of Carey Mulligan's looks. . .have you ever seen her and Katie Holmes in the same place at the same time? :)
     
  17. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    This was an interesting audio book, but Tobey Maguire should not be hired to read any more books, terrible VO.

    The one dialog scene in the film (the climax)--the only scene that lacked any VO--was excellent. Shame about the other 85% of the film being VOed.

    I never read the book, but the treatment of Daisy by both men is atrocious and incredibly misogynistic--though Gatsby is clearly worse with his gaslighting tactics. And was the gay subtext with how much Nick Loves Gatsby in the book as well?
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I've been think that Mulligan is having the film career that Katie Holmes wishes she had.
     
  19. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    For those that keep inquiring, the film was shot 3D. Luhrmann even visited the set of Hugo to help in planning the shoot.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Which is??????
     

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