*** Official "CHANGING LANES" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Changing Lanes". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link.
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got back from a lunchtime viewing of Changing Lanes. It is the best movie I have seen this year.

    The script is tight and the story moves along at a good pace. It isn't a predictable script, and I was glad to see that. I was afraid after seeing the trailer that it would be pretty straightforward, but the twists and turns along the way kept me guessing how it would all end up.

    Lead acting (Affleck and Jackson) is strong. Affleck is completely believable in this role, as is Jackson. It really isn't a stretch for either of them and this is not Oscar material, but I enjoyed watching them play their parts.

    I did have some questions regarding some of the plot, ("Why didn't he..." kinds of questions), but that is inevitable in this kind of story. Actually, thinking about how you personally would act in this situation is at the very heart of the movie.

    My main criticism is that some of the lighter moments seem oddly placed. A scene that could have been very suspenseful or dramatic is often somewhat funny. I was annoyed on several occasions because of laughter from the audience at a scene I felt was dramatic. It could be that I was expecting a more dramatic/suspenseful movie that it actually is, or maybe the audience I shared the theater with was looking for humor. Either way, I would have preferred the movie keep a more suspenseful tone throughout. It doesn't lessen the film much, and many of you might enjoy the lighter tone. I'm still confused as to whether or not it was intended.

    I'm giving this film an 8/10. It unseats Panic Room (7/10) from the top of my 2002 list. How long it will remain at the top remains to be seen.
     
  3. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    You know when you walk into a theater, drawn by the promise of a situational movie that will offer an honest amount of entertainment. The kind where you'll get just your money's worth, but walk out of the theater with that slight feeling of wonder. The wonder of what the movie might have been like if they had tried a little harder, reached a little farther, wrote a little better, and acted a little beyond the material. Changing Lanes is the kind of film that fulfills that wonder. One of those rare films that doesn't settle for average but really tries, and succeeds, at being better than necessary.
    I'm still in awe at how well this was drawn together. I was so completely skeptical about this movie based on the trailers. The trailers would have you believe that you're watching a slightly more adult version of Spy vs Spy that would lead to a violent and bloody conclusion based on a long series of contrived and unbelievable circumstances. I walked in prepared for such a movie, and found something so much better.
    First off, I have to say that there is not one single mistake as far as the choice of actors or their preformances. Everyone from the leads down to Amanda Peet are right on target. We've always known that Sam Jackson has the chops to do good work, and it's shown very impressively in this movie. The script gives him a great deal of character development, and tons of depth, which he takes and throws out with not a small amount of subtlety. But special mention has to made of Ben Affleck. Let me say that seeing his name above a movie titled "The Sum of All Fears" seemed far too appropriate. But based on this, I feel suddenly confident about what he might bring to that movie. Forget Reindeer Games and Bounce. He really gives out something special. I don't think I once thought to myself how someone else could have done a better job.
    Despite what the trailers may have you think, the story of this movie is quite different. It offers some excellent setup for the characters, some great scenes in between, and a very satisfying conclusion. The events may be reaching as far as credibility goes, but the movie never oversteps the boundaries.
    From a filmmaking perspective, the movie has a lot to offer. There is some nice camerawork that doesn't try to be very gimmicky, but very effectively works with the actors. There is also some very nice editing that helps mesh the two characters lives at each point of the day and is also put to good use.
    I think I can safely put this up alongside Panic Room as one of the truly great movies of 2002. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I walked into Chasing Lanes this evening, expecting to see a smash-em up "I got you" light popcorn film that would be some back and forth between two characters outdoing themselves.

    I was pleasently suprised. Because in the midst of a film that could have been about bang-em up "I'm going to get you" moments, Changing Lanes took the harder road. The characters actually were more then flat, vengeful figures. They were three dimensional people who, in many ways, you could both sympathize with and revile in a matter of minutes.

    The film steered clear of the normal cliches and proposed moments that gave the characters backstory that helped give them motivation - something that is sorely lacking in many films.

    It has been since Pulp Fiction that I believe Samuel L. Jackson has turned in a more on-point performance, truly bringing life to a troubled character. The story that was behind his character, involving his marriage and future was well done and more the roles provided far more then just "props".

    Ben Affleck really took me aback; after being in a series of dubious films, Affleck turned in a top notch performance that really captured a role and put a lot more into his character.. far more.. then you would have expected from the trailer. But what made Affleck's character interesting was the people around him, specifically Amanda Peete, who delivers a doozy of a speech over a luncheon meal that puts his life into perspective and in that instance clues us in on a great deal of backstory.

    While it is early in the year, Changing Lanes has a chance to be upon my Top 10 at the end. What is sad about the film is that the advertising campaign woefully misrepresens what this film really is; I believe a lot of people went in thinking they would watch one film, and during the movie realized it was not a slam-bam action film. But on its own merits, the film stands out.

    **** / ****
     
  5. Derek Faber

    Derek Faber Stunt Coordinator

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    Just saw this movie, and it is a thriller/drama in which I didn't know where it was going(outside of the tidbits shown in trailers).
    Amazing writing acting and directing.
    Best movie so far of 2002.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    I just got back from seeing this movie.
    One word, EXCELLENT!
    Finally a movie where Ben Affleck shines, and Samuel L Jackson as well.
    I HIGHLY recommend this enjoyable movie.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I'm tempted to give this a [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] rating but the story seemed to drag a bit and I felt quite indifferent about it. It could have been my mood as well.
    It really strives to be a better movie and the end is rather good.
    I'd say a conditional [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of 4 at this point but I'm poised to watch it again and it might go for the full 4 star
     
  8. Richard WWW

    Richard WWW Stunt Coordinator

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    I liked Changing Lanes, and would recommend it to my friends. I do, however have one problem with it. The ending.
    We're all aware that it's a big risk to have a movie end on a downer, but I thought the ending was a little too neat and happy. When Affleck almost was killed, I thought, "there's no way this is going to end up good. Someone's either going to die or end up in jail." I just didn't buy it that these two guys who have spent the whole day messing each other over could just calm down and bury the hatchet at the end.
    I can see one or possibly both major characters coming to realize the destructive nature of their thirst for revenge, but developing the ability to sit down together and discuss the day's festivities is a little far-fetched to me.
    I did not, however, have a problem with the final shot of the film, as it is exactly what I would expect of a co-dependent, dysfunctional family.
    Nonetheless, I thought it was a well-made, engrossing film. I wouldn't go to see it again, but I might watch it on tv. It made me examine my own tendencies to fight back when I feel I've been slighted or wronged, and that is probably a good thing.
    Post Edited By Administrator. Please remember to use spoiler tags when revealing plot lines in your film reviews because some people read reviews to get an idea about a film before seeing it for themselves.
    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    I finally saw this one. In my judgement, Changing Lanes is the best American film so far this year. The title perfectly sums up that point in the lives of the two main characters (Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson), who were at a crossroads prior to colliding with each other.
    The marketing of this film was very creative. It is always nice to be surprised by a film that turns out to be a whole lot more than what the previews make it out to be. Just don’t do it to me the other way around or else… [​IMG]
    There are some solid performances here. After some meaty roles including 2000’s Bounce, Ben Affleck continues to excel in his craft. Samuel L. Jackson, in a departure from his previous larger-than-life roles of recent years, finally finds a role where he can truly shine. The supporting cast is equally good including Sydney Pollack, Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, William Hurt and Amanda Peet.
    Films like Changing Lanes dealing with adult subject matters are usually not shown until the Fall that’s why I was surprised that this one debuted in the Spring. The New York city setting is perfect with its hustle and bustle lifestyle.
    This one is definitely recommended before the onslaught of summer blockbusters and sequels starting this weekend.
    ~Edwin
     
  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Well, I put this in the 2002 film thread, but it belongs here too.
    Changing Lanes 10 of 10
    I guess not everyone else was quite as thrilled with this film as I was, but I thought it had AAward level aspects, particularly the script and acting.
    For all those that thought Affleck had turned to crap with his recent string of roles, this film is a pleasant surprise. Affleck outshines all the other actors, even Jackson, Hurt, etc, though many of those efforts are close to his. When Peet has a revealing discussion with Affleck, I could feel his gut being sucked out of him, very believable acting.
    As for that script, well, it had me in knots of tension for most of the film. Here we are watching 2 guys, 2 very realistic characters in realistic circumstances, tearing each other down in an eye for an eye situation getting out of control. Or perhaps there is no such thing as out of control as the film really delivers a moral that it's that entire process of revenge/justice that is wrong.
    The end is a little pat and I think the film could have backed off just a tad and still been highly satisfying for audiences without feeling like a "happy joy joy" ending. But that doesn't deter from the film.
    As for tone, style, score...think of Tigerland but shot in NYC. The film sounds and looks very much like that film. The indy/arthouse touch to the big name stars and potential action/thriller vehicle works in good balance to make the film mainstream enough to engage the audience but artful enough for it to feel genuine.
    What is it with films like these getting dumped off just before summer in this no man's land of film - Erin Brockovich, The Pledge, Changing Lanes, Memento have all had to fight from an outsiders view of the Oscar race out in March/April.
     
  11. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Glad you loved it too. I posted my thoughts in the discussion thread but let me repeat here that I thought Changing Lanes is the best film I have seen so far in 2002. I agree with all the above praises of the film and more. See it before it leaves theaters.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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