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Dark Waters (2019)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by steve jaros, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
    Title: Dark Waters

    Tagline: The truth has a man on the inside.

    Genre: Drama, History

    Director: Todd Haynes

    Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, Bill Pullman, William Jackson Harper, Louisa Krause, Scarlett Hicks, Caleb Dwayne Tucker, Ming Wang, Sydney Miles, Kevin Crowley

    Release Date:

    Runtime: 126

    Plot: A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against the DuPont chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.

     
  2. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    Saw this Mark Ruffalo project (he is a producer as well as the star) yesterday.

    This is one of those "attorney fights long odds to take down a big institution" movies, a line that stretches back to "Erin Brockovich" and before that "The Verdict" and I'm sure many more. But, one thing Dark Waters has in common with at least those two films is ... It's a good film. The movie is captivating throughout. The acting (excellent cast), direction, pacing, and cinematography are all engaging, and it has a great story to tell.

    Recommended ... A-
     
    TravisR, benbess and Sam Favate like this.
  3. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I want to see this. I think Ruffalo is great, and this seems right up his alley.
     
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  4. GlennF

    GlennF Second Unit
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    Steve Jaros - you are the second person to recommend this movie. Might have to check it out now. I think the studio has done a terrible job of promoting it.
     
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  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yeah, I'll be seeing this movie in the coming days.
     
  6. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I saw it last weekend and liked it. It's good, and I'm glad I saw it, but I would not one of the best movies of the year or anything. Right now there's a lot of competition for mature adult audiences, so I feel like it might get lost in the shuffle. We'll see how it does.

    Todd Haynes did his usual good work directing it, and he assembled a very fine cast who are all very committed and give engaging performances But the movie itself is a pretty standard legal drama. If it hadn't attracted this level of talent, the same script could probably have been a TV movie of the week in lesser hands.
     
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  7. MartinP.

    MartinP. Screenwriter

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    I agree with Jake mostly. The subject matter is quite involving/interesting, but the person that Mark Ruffalo is playing is not an interesting character like Erin Brockovich or Richard Jewell. He's a persistent low key committed lawyer pursuing a task. I also thought Anne Hathaway was trying too hard in her role. I like both these actors a lot, but it's the subject matter that's more interesting here than the characters.

    Also, movies like this always work better when there is some kind of humor in them and this one does not, and it's all filmed in a bleak and cheerless way, though it takes place over time. A friend I saw it with was really bothered by that as he knows that area and I jokingly said, "Well that's the way the rest of the country thinks West Virginia looks like." Heh!

    I also kept wondering why Todd Haines directed this movie. It seems out of step with the kinds of movies he usually is interested in making.
     
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I think this is a solid "B" movie. Well-meaning and effective, especially given the current deregulatory frenzy. Some claim that businesses will always "do what's right" because it'll benefit their bottom line, but the movie reminds us that they'll usually do what's cheapest and easiest, no matter what potential harm may stem from these actions.

    The first half works better than the second, mainly because the story naturally loses steam. As the case builds, there's more tension, whereas the second half tends to feel somewhat repetitive and monotonous.

    I'm a bit torn in terms of the characters. On one hand, I appreciate that the film focuses mainly on the case itself and doesn't get too bogged down in the usual melodrama.

    However, this leaves us without as much emotional investment as we might like. We care about justice being served, but we don't quite bond with the characters as much as we should.

    Ruffalo does nicely in a role without as much personality as we might prefer, and the overqualified supporting cast adds strength.

    Hathaway seems wasted, though, as she's too big a star for a role that doesn't get much to do. Again, I'm happy the movie doesn't make her a stereotypical nagging wife, but she still lacks enough screen time to bloom into a viable character.

    It's a good movie, but not one that excels in any particular way. It feels more important for its message than for its cinematic value...
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Another movie that I won't get to see in a movie theater. Anyhow, a digital purchase for me.
     
  11. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    This is another one of a glut of serious adult dramas that just didn't have long enough to establish itself in theaters before Jumanji and Star Wars came along to push it out. It was good, but I think they should have released it at a less competitive time of year and could have gotten more out of it without having to fight the tentpoles for available screens. I get that they probably wanted it out near the end of the year due to awards season, but it doesn't seem to have any momentum in the race, so an off-season release might have actually served the film better in being able to run longer and find audiences over the long term.
     

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