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The Counselor Quick Review


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted October 25 2013 - 08:47 PM

I had such high hopes for this.  A fantastic cast in a film that from the preview trailers looked as though it could be incredible.  Instead, the film presents as just a series of things that happen and never really fits together.  Cormac McCarthy.  Ridley Scott.  An all star cast.  How could you go wrong, I thought?

 

Well, the film isn't a complete train wreck but frankly it isn't very good. There are a lot of sequences that just don't work together at all, and you get the gut feeling that McCarthy is a much better book-author then a screenplay guy.

 

C-


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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted October 28 2013 - 12:48 PM

Yeah, it's a pretty problematic film.  The biggest problem being Cameron Diaz/Malkina.

 

It's not just her performance...which is not up to par.  Not for her co-stars, and not for the language McCarthy gives her.

 

But, a real serious flaw of the film is the character of Malkina herself.

 

This story is, very literally, a cautionary tale.  That's an old folklore/fairy tale designed to warn people away from doing bad things.  McCarthy even TELLS us this is a cautionary tale in an uncharacteristically on the nose exchange about 'cautionary' diamonds.  It's a clunky scene at best.

 

The basis of the cautionary tale is a story where the protag gets warned multiple times not to do something.  He does it anyhow, and everyone pays for the misstep in very terrible ways.  Finis.  That is this movie in a nutshell.

 

But, Malkina works outside of these parameters.  I'm supposed to buy that she is the evil mastermind behind the events?  First of all, I don't.  Second, cautionary tales don't have evil masterminds.  They have the nebulous forces of evil and wrong doing.  The universe punishes you for doing the wrong thing.  Everything about the Malkina character in this film screams Hollywood formula in an attempt to make sense of the cautionary tale.  And, it rings terribly false.  Either remove Malkina entirely or make her a background character who ends up as dead as Penelope Cruz and this film is improved 1000 fold.



#3 of 7 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 28 2013 - 01:37 PM

Two issues for this movie...

 

1. Seems everybody did it for a paycheck.

2. Cameron Diaz. Why is she in this movie? Is she really trying to be taken seriously?

 

Put in somebody else...damn near any other actress, the movie works. Hell even Anne Hathaway(at least she has the chops to cover this type of character...believably)

 

Note to Cameron Diaz. How 'bout next time you do a movie where you really do muss up your hair...



#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 31 2013 - 10:34 AM

Can we please try to use spoiler tags in threads with titles like "Quick Review?"


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#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted November 06 2013 - 07:11 PM

The first 15 or 20 minutes are downright horrible and I really sat up in my seat fearing this thing was going to drag.  However, once Pitt hit the screen I thought things really started to pick up and even though the thing is incredibly flawed, the cast kept me entertained enough to where I enjoyed it.  There's no question that with the talent involved this should have been much better and I think the November release date had people thinking Oscars when in fact this here would have been better off in Jan.  I thought there were several great scenes but many bad ones surrounding them.  The stuff with Pitt trying to talk Fassbender out of this lifestyle was quite great and I loved the jailhouse sequence with Perez.  This is really an old-fashioned morality tale that has the feel of something from the 30s but with the violence of today.  I enjoyed all the performances and I thought Fassbender was extremely good and especially in the final ten minutes.  Diaz wasn't horrible but she just doesn't have the talent to hold herself against the rest of the cast.

 

*** but very flawed.



#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted December 02 2013 - 01:36 PM

The first 1/3 of the film didn't work all too well, but like Michael said, once Pitt entered the screen it got much better. Ending scene was brilliant.Interesting, yet flawed film. Very simple story with a series of lengthy dialogue scenes. Some violence here and there.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Vic Pardo

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Posted December 04 2013 - 01:19 PM

Yeah, it's a pretty problematic film.  The biggest problem being Cameron Diaz/Malkina.

 

It's not just her performance...which is not up to par.  Not for her co-stars, and not for the language McCarthy gives her.

 

But, a real serious flaw of the film is the character of Malkina herself.

 

This story is, very literally, a cautionary tale.  That's an old folklore/fairy tale designed to warn people away from doing bad things.  McCarthy even TELLS us this is a cautionary tale in an uncharacteristically on the nose exchange about 'cautionary' diamonds.  It's a clunky scene at best.

 

The basis of the cautionary tale is a story where the protag gets warned multiple times not to do something.  He does it anyhow, and everyone pays for the misstep in very terrible ways.  Finis.  That is this movie in a nutshell.

 

But, Malkina works outside of these parameters.  I'm supposed to buy that she is the evil mastermind behind the events?  First of all, I don't.  Second, cautionary tales don't have evil masterminds.  They have the nebulous forces of evil and wrong doing.  The universe punishes you for doing the wrong thing.  Everything about the Malkina character in this film screams Hollywood formula in an attempt to make sense of the cautionary tale.  And, it rings terribly false.  Either remove Malkina entirely or make her a background character who ends up as dead as Penelope Cruz and this film is improved 1000 fold.

 

Good points. Her character really threw me off. I didn't buy it either. She should have wound up the way you said. 

 

The other thing that derailed the film for me was: too much talk. All these underworld characters overstating the obvious, things they would never articulate to each other, because they wouldn't have to!  But the audience has to know these things. How to convey them? In a book, a character thinks it. In a better movie, a character narrates it. Case in point: GOODFELLAS. Henry Hill tells us, the viewer, everything we need to know about mob customs/practices/attitudes. He doesn't have to have it explained to him or explain it to another character, but he has to convey it to us, hence the narration and the final talking-to-the-camera bit.

 

Also, I lost track of who got the $20 million and who was working for who. That bothered me.


Edited by Vic Pardo, December 04 2013 - 01:21 PM.





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