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A Quiet Place (2018)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Tino, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I would also concur that Colin's first paragraph summation included more information about the creatures than I'd gleaned from the trailers (which I saw many times). The trailers seemed to go out of their way to show as little, and tell as little, about them as possible other than they hunt by sound.

    Agreeing with Tino.... I think Texas must have just frozen over.
     
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  2. Message #82 of 143 Apr 11, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2018
    Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    I can suspend my disbelief (almost) to the breaking point. As a result, I'm able to enjoy a movie before I pick it apart. That said, apart from the "unbelievable quiet" of an interior sequence towards the end of the film, I had no problem accepting (with some mental adjustments) that the isolated, controlled life of these people would have (and need) pressure valves, like family trips they've obviously taken many times before. They're dangerous and maybe stupid, but I buy that the psychological effects of a situation like these would give you a sense of control, however fleeting.

    I take a very, very hard line on spoilers, more so than anyone I know, and probably more so than anyone in this thread. Mostly I find the worst spoilers are just so unnecessary, only there via the assumption: "Only specific reveals will only pique your interest." I get that some people want spoilers. Robert Zemeckis famously asserted (after receiving criticism for his spoiler-filled trailer for What Lies Beneath) that people want to know everything that happens before the curtain rises. I think he's correct for a large portion of the population. Just not for all of us.

    You can convey a dramatic event, certainly the emotional effect of it, without specifying exactly who or how or when. In my own reviews I like to convey the emotional effect of important events, but I avoid specifying what they are. If was effectively surprised by an event, whether it's a minute or two hours into the movie, I don't ruin it for others. Period. Instead I set up mysteries that might motivate readers to want to see the movie. I talk about story foundations instead of plot reveals (summary overviews, emotional effects, conflicts, and relationships). You can write a funny, specific, illuminating, and motivating critique and still keep readers in the dark (where ideally they should be).

    Side rant: I reject unconditionally the "statute of limitations" defense of movie spoilers. I hear this all the time. "It was released in 1958, it's common knowledge! You had 60 years to see it!" What if the movie is new to someone? What if they've never heard of it? What if they're new to an appreciation of movies? What if they're a young person? Release date has no necessary bearing on "how much of a chance" any specific person has had to see it, and people who don't want to be spoiled shouldn't be punished for their age or lack of exposure.

    A Quiet Place was enjoyable, though in some ways it felt like a "first movie" (J.K. has directed before). He just went for it. I suspect he'll want to change gears for his next project, but I hope he doesn't try to return to some high-fallutin' David Foster Wallace adaptation. Genre filmmaking seems to suit him.

    I also hope "A Quiet Place" doesn't spin off into a series of low-budget straight to video franchise movies, a la Tremors, or a CW series. But a franchise is probably inevitable now, considering how much money it made...
     
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  3. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I believe the greatest film critics/reviewers are the ones that write a compelling informed review without spoiling anything.

    Or at least the very bare minimum of a plot outline. It’s not that hard.
     
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  4. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    Roger Ebert could be a little too free with what he shared in some of his reviews, but I count him among the greatest film critics ever. I do hate a review that spoils something unnecessarily. I think I do a pretty good job sharing what a film's about without spoiling anything (and for those that don't ever want to read what a movies about in my reviews, you can skip the first paragraph, but please do read the rest :) ).

    I read my fellow reviewers work here on HTF in part to support them, but also because I am genuinely interested in knowing what they thought about a film and why. I try to do that in my reviews, discuss why something works or doesn't, and maybe find an insight that a reader didn't themselves consider. I try to do that, can't say I always succeed.

    I cannot wait to see A Quiet Place. My wife, who once enjoyed scary movies, found that she didn't have the stomach for them after our son was born, and even she said she wants to see this one! It's a Paramount title so I should get the opportunity to review it and I guess a few people in this thread will review my review to see how well I did in covering the plot and will be sure to le me know if I did them wrong :)
     
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  5. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I just think "an unknown threat" goes too far in the wrong direction, as it implies the characters don't know what hunts them.

    And then I look like a buffoon because people will think I believed the characters were ignorant of the nature of the threat.

    I look like a buffoon enough as it is - I need to safeguard myself from additional buffoonery! :D
     
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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The more I think about it, the more I think I would confine my specific plot details on A Quiet Place to the opening sequence. I think describing that sequence sets up the world that the characters inhabit and the precautions they have to take, I think it makes it clear that there's something horrifying out there without explicitly showing it, and I think that sequence also makes clear the dire consequences for making an innocent mistake within those circumstances. The filmmaking techniques employed in the opening sequence are repeated throughout, and it's also a good example of the tone that the film will maintain throughout.
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I've changed my mind - I'm going full Zemeckis with my review's synopsis and spilling 85% of the plot beans!

    And I'm doing it solely out of spite! :laugh:
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I'm totally with you in that I don't think your question was a spoiler. I think it was the basic foundation for the entire film.

    But since everyone else thinks it is...
    I would even argue that the death of their youngest child is the inciting action that puts the rest of the film in context. The relationships that the two surviving siblings have, both with each other and with their parents, is heavily colored by that shared trauma of losing the youngest child. I think you could very fairly write a review that begins with something to the effect of, "After losing their youngest child, the remaining members of the Abbott family must find a way to not only survive but to move forward in a world where even the most innocent sound can spell certain doom."

    I also know that there are some people who prefer not to watch films where children die. They don't mind a movie where the children live, but would choose to avoid seeing a film where everything that unfolds in the story is a reaction to the death of a child. So while that wouldn't be my primarily reason for mentioning it, I think that for as many people who might be upset that something from the first ten minutes of the film was revealed in a review, there are probably just as many people who would be upset that it wasn't mentioned. Ultimately, I think if a person wants to view a film with the absolute minimum amount of knowledge, it's best to avoid reading reviews at all. And, conversely, to be able to analyze the film and talk about what works and what doesn't, the reviewer needs to be able to discuss aspects of the film relevant to their point. i think a major theme in this film is coping with the death of a child, so I think a review that doesn't mention that point might miss out on discussing a lot of the film if they're trying to avoid mentioning that at all costs.
     
  9. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    He would talk about entire sections of certain movies, spoiling anything about that specific area of the film.
    Giving away the ending of films was the only taboo for him and rightly so.
    I really miss his reviews.
     
  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    And I think that's why Ebert reviews have enduring value. They're discussion pieces that have life beyond the initial question of, "Should I go out and see this movie tonight?" His critical analysis, more often than not, does stand the test of time and is often just as good, if not better, than longer and more encyclopedic academic essays on individual films.

    And still, I didn't read an Ebert review before I watch the movie. But when he was still with us, you can bet that the Ebert review was the first thing I'd look at when I'd get home from the movie.
     
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  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    How do we know
    the youngest kid died? We never see a corpse - maybe the creatures took him to live with them and raised them as their own. He'll "go native" and then in the sequel, he'll lead the creatures on a mission to kill his family! :laugh:
     
  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I'm willing to accept from the context clues given both in that scene and the film as a whole that that is indeed what we witnessed.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  14. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    An unknown threat to us-the audience-not the characters.
     
  15. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    But if I say it in the synopsis, it sounds like the characters don't know what the threat is. "Unknown threat" implies "unknown to the characters", not to the viewer...
     
  17. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    How about, "While dealing with a significant threat to their survival, the family must ...."
     
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  18. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    There you go....
     
  19. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I still think that's too vague. "A significant threat" could mean so many different possibilities!

    Even if the trailers don't show the aliens (I guess), I think they make it clear that the family is stalked by creatures who will prey on them if they make noise.

    I saw the movie only after watching trailers, and I wasn't surprised to see the creatures - I knew they'd be a factor. It's not exactly a shock when you find out what the "significant threat" is...
     
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  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don't think Malcolm's description is bad, but I also think that there's the potential to get the wrong idea -- it could leave the reader with the impression that only this one specific family is dealing with a threat that's specific to them, rather than giving a more accurate impression that society at large has collapsed due to a planet-wide thread against all of humanity.
     
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