*** Official MINORITY REPORT Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Nick Sievers, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    Well since nobody else (aside from a couple in the discussion thread) has posted reviews for Minority Report I will post my little review. (On advice from Tino) [​IMG]
    I strongly feel that this is the best film I have been to this year. Which comes as a suprise to me because it starred Tom Cruise (who i'm not a big fan of, mostly) and director Speilberg (who I feel is very hit and miss with me). Spielberg with the help of Screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight) have crafted a sci-fi film that works for both people who love their dose of action but also enjoy a deeper story that dives into the ethics of this future law enforcement system. The latter does take a back seat to the 'who-dun-it' side of the story but it shouldn't detract from being sucked in to this futuristic world and be in awe of the world that has been created for the film.
    I loved the whole look of the film from the excellent use of CGI which was blended extremely well.
    Acting all around was solid, I was most impressed with Tom Cruise's performance, Max Von Sydow was solid but nothing in his performance really stood out for me (i've seen that character done before). Samantha Morton was the other standout performance as one of the Pre-Cogs.
    My only problem was with the ending, while it is far from being bad it was a little disapointing after being engrossed in the film for over 2hrs. But it is definitely a minor short-coming for me. There will probably be a lot of praise for the film around here on the HTF. The film really stuck and was more than I could have ever hoped. A real winner.
    ***1/2 out of **** and the best film I have seen so far this year. Get to your local cinema as soon as you can.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Minority Report". 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 then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.
    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Minority Report [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] (out of 5)
    There’s been a whole lot of bizarre Spielberg-bashing going on over the past few years, most of which decries the filmmaker’s tendency to lean a bit towards “overt sappiness” leading to “audience manipulation”; that last summer’s A.I. was a confused mess culminating with a trite and muddled finale; that the guy has simply lost his ‘edge’ – whatever that means. As far as I’m concerned, modern moviegoers should be THRILLED that they’re living in Spielberg’s era. The movies would be an infinitely worse place to visit were it not for a director of his storytelling caliber.
    So clearly I’m a fan. Forgive me for appreciating the talent that brought the world Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters and 1941. (No, I’m not kidding. I adore 1941.) He’s also given us the defining film about the Holocaust (Schindler’s List), one of the most underrated “war” films ever (Empire of the Sun), and the most shockingly realistic depictions of trench warfare ever filmed (Saving Private Ryan). Sure, there have been a few turkeys along the way, but even Hook and The Lost World have throngs of supporters. Though not all of Spielberg’s movies are classics, he’s simply never made a wholly bad film.
    Plowing full-steam ahead with the box-office collapse of A.I. behind him, Spielberg once again tackles the sticky genre known as ‘cerebral sci-fi’. No warp drives or Wookies here; Minority Report is glorious Science Fiction in the strictest sense of the phrase – and I’m betting that even the Spielberg fans who disliked A.I. will find much to enjoy with this one. It’s rare to find a film that dazzles the eye, challenges the brain, AND satisfies our lust for fast-paced action scenes, but Minority Report delivers all that and a whole lot more.
    The year is 2054 and Washington D.C. is six years into its “Precrime” experiment. Through the use of some ridiculously high-tech (and extremely cool) technology and the efforts of three human ‘precogs’, officers on the Precrime squad can actually predict when and where a murder will occur. After filtering the precogs’ visions through the massive computer displays, the squad is able to converge on the eventual crime scene and apprehend the killer before he commits his murderous act.
    In the six years since Precrime has been instituted, prediction rates have proven staggeringly accurate, and murders have gone down 90% - and the seemingly infallible experiment is about to go nationwide. It’s all very fascinating and safe – until Precrime Chief Jack Anderton is targeted as a future killer. Accused of killing a complete stranger (36 hours in the future), Jack must pull off the impossible: escape detection and avoid the omnipresent technology of his fellow officers while trying to prevent his pre-destined crime. But if the system is perfect...how can Jack avoid his fate?
    There are more fascinating concepts and dazzling ideas in Minority Report than in any five science-fiction flicks combined. Though the advertisements are wisely touting Minority Report as an action flick (you gotta get people in the door), the truth is that the film most closely resembles a satisfying old gumshoe mystery from the 1950s. Although the technology and setting might be extraordinarily advanced, Minority Report is simply about one (hopefully) innocent man trying to clear his name. Various red herrings and McGuffins abound, and Spielberg keeps the plot chugging along quite nicely while introducing us to some fascinating characters, jaw-dropping effects, starkly stunning landscapes, and deliciously high-minded moral dilemmas.
    Let’s take a brief sidetrack to mention the late author Philip K. Dick. This visionary science fiction writer provided the source material for the classic films Blade Runner and Total Recall. (OK, his works also inspired the so-so Peter Weller flick Screamers and the moronic Gary Sinise film Impostor, but let’s focus on the positive here.) Minority Report, though it may not measure up to the deservedly immortal status of Blade Runner, certainly fits in well with both the Ridley Scott masterpiece and Paul Verhoeven’s Mars-bound mini-classic. In other words, “Thank You” to the late Mr. Dick; your phenomenal stories have inspired at least three great films that otherwise would never have been conceived. (You don’t really think that Hollywood screenwriters could come up with sci-fi ideas this clever, do you?) Scott Frank (writer of several quality films, most notably Out of Sight and Get Shorty) and first-timer Jon Cohen have adapted Dick’s story brilliantly, keeping the author’s prodigiously warped (yet logical) concepts and ironic tone, while fleshing out the story to involve a whole lot more. Minority Report may not be an entirely flawless film, but the screenplay is solid gold.
    As the coolly kinetic Jack Anderton, Tom Cruise proves once again (for those who refuse to believe it) that he’s a supremely underrated actor. I realize it’s fashionable to denigrate the skills of whoever’s currently on top, but in Cruise’s case it’s clear that talent and popularity are not mutually exclusive. Colin Farrell (Hart’s War) offers his best work to date as a Justice Department liaison who spearheads the manhunt for the wayward officer, while the seemingly immortal Max Von Sydow is his usual rascally self playing Jack’s longtime friend and mentor. The hidden gold (and one of the film’s best assets) comes in the shape of Samantha Morton, playing one of the three all-seeing precogs. Though she spends much of the film floating in a giant bathtub, her character figures into the proceedings a lot more as the chase progresses, and the young actress (best known for her work in Jesus’ Son or Sweet and Lowdown) is spot-on perfect. (For another example of how far south this character could have gone, think Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element...or better yet, don’t.) Peter Stormare (the fascinating psychotic in Fargo) contribiutes a fantastically warped turn as the future's most sleazy surgeon. Neal McDonough (last seen in HBO’s Band of Brothers) and Steve Harris (one of the only worthwhile aspects of 1999’s Mod Squad) add some color, offering strong supporting performances as two of Jack’s former subordinates who are now tailing their estranged pal.
    There are so many challenging ideas and clever constructs in Minority Report that you’ll be chuckling at the sheer ingenuity of it all. A sequence in which an army of robotic spiders infiltrate a decrepit tenement ranks among the coolest I’ve seen in years, the soon-to-be-famous ‘jet-pack’ escape is dizzyingly exciting, Jack’s sprint through an automobile assembly line is pure escapist wizardry, and there’s a covert chase through a mall that’s one of the smartest action bits ever conceived. (Imagine trying to protect someone who can see five minutes into the future; if they offer any practical advice – you should definitely listen!)
    Minority Report works on just about every level it shoots for. It’s a fascinating science fiction film, full of weighty moral questions and ‘what-if’ scenarios. Though it’s certainly not littered with wall-to-wall mayhem, the action sequences are elaborate, intricate and altogether invigorating. There’s that oh-so-controversial “human element” so prevalent in Spielberg’s work, and in this case it’s a healthy heart indeed.
    Fans of staggering special effects and massive set design will have a field day feasting on Minority Report, while those looking for compelling acting performances and a challenging-yet-satisfying screenplay will have nothing to complain about. Say what you will about Steven Spielberg, but I for one am quite glad to have him around. Minority Report marks his best work since 1993’s Schindler’s List, and it’s easily one of this year’s best movies.
     
  4. Billy C.

    Billy C. Agent

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    I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I agree that Mr. Cruise is very talented and it shows here in spades. I didn't care much for the massive grain and washed out images that are prevalent throughout. I know it's a stylistic choice and probably went a long way to set a mood through much of the film but I thought it was overused. I was continuously fascinated by the technology on display although much of it seemed a bit out of reach in the next 50 years. Automatic cars... perhaps, but roads that go vertical?? I don't know how it is in DC but it takes 10 years just to get a pothole fixed around here. As much as I enjoyed the movie I just couldn't get passed the paradox issue that inevitable arises from predicting (especially seeing) the future. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just say that my mind still hasn't gotten around how the plot could have possibly played out like it did - precogs or no precogs. Oh, what the heck - don't read this if you don't want a major spoiler...
    Supposedly, Director Burgess sets up Anderton by using the only thing that could possibly make Anderton kill a man - his son. What exactly did Burgess do to set that in motion? The only reason that Anderton would have gone to the hotel room and 'stumbled upon' his son's 'killer' would be because he is already on the run. He wouldn't have been on the run if the precogs hadn't seen him commit the murder. And he wouldn't have committed the murder unless he was on the run (ooooh - my head hurts already). In any case, I don't see how Burgess affected any of that.

    Anyway - all-in-all an excellent movie. I give it [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Tyler Ruggeri

    Tyler Ruggeri Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm back from the 12:30 show, and you can color me unimpressed. The near-unanimous four star raves from just about everybody had me revved up, but ultimately Minority Report is a solid action thriller padded by 45 minutes of Spielberg dreck at the end. Don't get me wrong, up until that point I was completely engaged by the turn of events in the film, but the story gets predictable to the point of being silly. While tossing up a few nice surprises and a unique handling of innovations of the future, Spielberg keeps us entertained but, as I said before, I found the third act to be pretty lacking. It was so tiresome and cliched; I could easily predict the turn of events that would ensue. The last few minutes is just the typical Spielberg gook. Overall I would have to say it rates **1/2 out of **** or a C+, being brought down mostly by the unnecessary last third.

    Tyler Ruggeri
     
  6. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Billy,
    If Burgess hadn't killed Agatha's mother, then Anderton wouldn't have investigated the Minority Report from Agatha regarding the drowning. Remember, he went to Burgess with his findings before going on the run. It was his investigation of the drowning that forced Burgess to pay the guy in the hotel room to bait Anderton into action. I could be confusing myself, but I think Anderton uncovered the drowning anomoly before going on the run.

    As for the actual movie, I loved it. #2 in my list behind Spiderman, but well above Clone Wars. I was thouroughly engrossed in the storyline, the action and the futuristic setting. Very, very engaging film. I am beginning to admire Tom Cruise more and more due to his recently choices of filmmaking. I thought Vanilla Sky was great and it's obvious he's choosing movies that challenge his acting ability as well as challenge the audience.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Minority Report 9 of 10 (NO SPOILERS)

    While watching the film I couldn't help but feel the similarities to other films based by P.K. Dick's novels, especially Total Recall. And in the end it is the comparison to that film, and to Blade Runner, that keeps MR from being a 10.

    It's not that the ending is more formula - that can be lived with - but it's the lack of INTROSPECTION with the final ending that leaves the film flat. At the end of TR you have something to think about...was that real or a dream and how can we know. At the end of BR you are left to ponder how human and replicant will live...or is Deckard even a human. Big questions left for the audience to think about as they leave the theater (and which are some of the most debated questions from films ever).

    But the end of MR undercuts itself in this manner. It's not that the narrative comes to a conclusion in a neat bow, as I think that happened in both BR and TR in most ways. Rather it is that we can see that a lot of the philosophy shown in the film, the themes and questions explored can NOT POSSIBLY be answered by the end of the film even if the primary plot is concluded. Yet Spielberg would have you believe that they are, and that is the one fault in the film.

    Up to that point is a world that feels very much like other PK Dick worlds, the personal advertising, the use and abuse of technology, and of course the odd personalities (Tim Blake Nelson is STELLER in that regard).

    Tom Cruise is a tremendous actor and he brings the "A" game to this film as well. He is also given the moments to show it. Colin Farrell as well has a terrific screen presence here on par with what you got from him in "Tigerland".

    The film is done with heavy grain, which makes it look more like Tigerland than Total Recall, and the odd side-effect of this is that the technology and effects take a bit of a back seat to the story. Several of the CGI effects seem no more impressive than other average CGI effects we've seen and perhaps lamented. HOWEVER, since they are not the primary focus of the scene but only a means to tell the story they work splendidly.

    A large part of that is due to Spielberg's ability to tell a story. It's a trait that hasn't diminished here. One example involves jumping from car to car on the side of a building. The SS touch is a great shot from inside a car as Cruise lands on it. To me touches like that sell the scene and anchor the effects. More directors should take note of that.

    I should also say that one other drawback to the film is that we have already seen a lot of this technology, these futuristic ideas and plotlines before, even in much lesser films. Spielberg's touch makes it feel much more natural than many of those films, however. Cruise working his job feels natural and right, like real work rather than a fantasy world.

    The script is tight and the dialog is solid, sometimes stepping into sublime (Blake's line "When you go digging into the past you get dirty" hits in just the right weird manner thanks in large part to Blake himself).

    The story is solid SF and opens up doors on numerous moral dilemmas. Had it finished up by not packing those neatly away the film would have been at the top of SS work. As it stands I think it sits somewhere in the Jurassic Park range, better than AI at times but possibly, ultimately a little weaker than AI as a work of Sci-Fi.
     
  8. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I don't have time to write up my full review now (gotta help parents move into their new house) ... but I'll write a full one as soon as I get back.
    Overall, I really enjoyed myself at this film. To me, it almost felt like a futuristic/sci-fi version of LA Confidential. Especially the scene where
    Burgess shoots Witwer.
    No time to talk now, but I do have time to give the film
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    Incredible movie. Easily the best thing I've seen this summer and, in my opinion, one of the best sci-fi movies I've ever seen.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Spielberg and Cruise should really take a bow, great movie.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Yeah, I get to be a dissenting reviewer.

    I liked the 1st half or so (the production values of what life might look like in the year 2054), but the 2nd half was dull, plodding, boring, and predictable (it should be a precrime to make a movie this dull for its conclusion).

    I'll admit that there was some funny scenes/lines in the movies, but the audience didn't quite get the humor in them.

    To say anymore requires that I post in the Discussion thread, so I'll leave it that I was not too impressived by the film.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of C+.
     
  11. steve jaros

    steve jaros Second Unit

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    This film lived up to the positive hype. It has the stylistic beauty, plot coherence, and emotional resonance that SS strove for but failed to achieve with AI.

    Parts of the film - like the lobby scene where the 'precog' navigates Cruise's character's escape from the pre-crime forces using split-second forecasting - are Spielberg at his very best, in other words as good as anyone else alive can be. Even the parts that don't reach these crescendos are still damn good.

    About the only negative is that the film ends awkwardly (too many false endings) and in a pedestrian mode. But this is a minor complaint. Overall, give it 3 out of 4 stars.
     
  12. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    I thought the film distinctly average and bordering on pompous. And I really wish Spielberg would get a new cinematographer. It was like watching a movie through mesh and really, really distracting.
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Wow. I get to be another one in the dissent ;( I loved AI. But I found this movie lacked. And I thought Tom Cruise was lacking in his role.

    The first half was interesting.. and then it seemed to just go downhill. The second half was overly predictable, tended to border not just on the dull side but very droned in it's message, and the ending was not very good.

    At best, I'd give Minority Report a C. At worst, it may drop lower. Considering my wife walked out and waited in the car, hard to rank it much higher.
     
  14. nate n

    nate n Stunt Coordinator

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    Great movie but should have ended about a half hour earlier than intended. This would have left some pondering for viewers, instead of childly explaining to us the outcome the last half hour. But overall a very good film. The story was fantastic, touching on many issues. A few twists here and there was very pleasant.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Another dissenting vote. Well-made, but there are at least two plot points that are too trite and clunky to qualify this as a "masterpiece."
     
  16. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    The year is 2054, Scott...
    And, this film just doesn't cut that high grade with me. I give it a slightly above average "C+".
    While Spielberg IS a master storyteller, I find it interesting that the director most villified for his schmaltz and emotional manipulation has gone so far in the other direction so quickly.
    This film's strengths lie in tone, look (though the washed out look begins to wear), vision, theme, and complex plot. But, it's VAST weakness is in its lack of character depth. I'd go into specifics, but there is no need. We NEVER get to know enough about: Agatha, Von Sydow, Witwer, Anderton's Wife, or any of his fellow cops. They are ALL ciphers.
    What little we DO learn about Anderton is focused on his obsession with his child and his skill at evading his men.
    There is NO emotional involvement or attachment. In "Blade Runner", you CARE about Deckard. You LIKE him, and you want him to do the right thing. You learn quite a bit about Rachel and about Roy Batty and his plight. In "Total Recall", you are ROOTING big time for Arny and his new gal by the end.
    All we get in MR is a BAD, HACK, HOLLYWOOD end shot of Anderton and his wife. I guess we're supposed to be glad he has miraculously overcome his past and his marriage problems. I don't know how, since the film isn't about that, but that shot tells us it's so.
    Of course, the obvious plot problem that all he has to do is hang low for 36 hours is damaging...
    But, a bigger problem is the thematic premise that the precogs are being treated as "less than human" for a system that is supposed to be good for us. Instead of focusing on this dehumanizing problem, the film becomes a typical detective story. How can any Dick adaptation skip past this problem? And, no, it is not solved because Von Sydow is taken down for murdering Agatha's mom and they go free when the system fails. The question that the system is wrong because they should not be treated this way is NEVER addressed.
    Oh well, I don't plan on buying the DVD, but it was an alright film experience just because Cruise and Morton are great and Spielberg (despite the lack of emotion and the cornball ending) is still watchable even when he's not at his best.
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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  18. Jay W

    Jay W Supporting Actor

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    Excellent film, eventually it wasn't the premise of the movie or an elaborate plot that stood out - it was the ability of SS to craft an interesting tale and fashion the world to just bring the viewer in for the whole 2 hours or so of the film. Very solid job by Cruise in this one, and was given ample opportunity to shine here by SS.

    It raises a bunch of interesting underlying themes (which I completely agree with Seth about the ending btw), but again to me it was the fact the movie was told with such care and detail that it was thoroughly engrossing. One of the best of the year for me, and film-making at its finest.

    ****/****
     
  19. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    For a brief moment the old Spielberg has returned and brought us one of the most inventive, involving, and exciting flicks of the year.

    I feel like the man who made my childhood so memorable with greats like Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters, and the Indy movies died a long time ago. He was replaced with a clone who possessed none of the magic of the original, a clone who churned out bad toy commercials like The Lost World. A clone who ruined an otherwise great war movie with bookend sequences whose only purpose seemed to be to grab the audience by the short and curlies and yell "CRY FOR ME!!!" in a flood of melodrama and manufactured sentiment. This clone also took what was supposed to be a grand homage to Kubrick and poured more maple syrup on it than is contained in every IHOP in the known world combined.

    I thought the old Spielberg who had enthralled me in my youth was long gone, and that the awesome experience of seeing E.T. on the big screen again earlier this year was only salt in the wound. As it turns out, it was an omen of things to come. While "Minority Report" is strictly an adult-aimed film (it will likely bore most kids, and the ones who aren't bored will likely have nightmares about some of the scenes), the magic and inventiveness contained in Spielberg's earlier films is back, if only for this summer. If you want characters who are real-life, flawed humans that you can emotionally invest in, a smart and twisty plotline that leaves you hooked the whole way through, (though there are some definite plot-holes...but a movie attempting something like this pretty much HAS to have some), some genuinely exciting chase and action sequences, a good deal of great black/macabre humor throughout, and some great performances (especially Cruise, and I can count the number of movies where I've actually appreciated his acting talents on one hand), then by all means go see this flick.


    As a Star Wars junkie, I can easily say this is a far better ride than Episode 2. As a comics and comics-movie junkie, I can say that this is a better ride than Spider-Man. Folks, I tend to loathe anything recent that has Spielberg's name attached to it, but even I cannot deny the overall greatness of this flick. It's not an Oscar contender by any means, but I'd say it's definitely a thinking man's popcorn flick (though don't think too hard, or you'll get caught up in the plot-holes). GO SEE IT!!

    Too bad Spielberg will continue selling out by making this 2:35:1 film available in pan and scan for the uneducated just so he can make a few extra bucks.

    You know I had to get in one last cheapshot, and worst of all you know it's true (unless this movie does poorly at the box office and doesn't merit seperate OAR and MAR releases).



    BTW, some company out there needs to make "sick sticks" a reality....it is by far the coolest cinematic invention since the lightsaber.
     
  20. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Good review, Nick. You've 'echoed' a lot of my sentiments, although I am leaning toward the not-SOOO-favorable. While I saw a first half that I felt was tightly wound, perfectly acted, and subsequently gripping, the second half unraveled, meandered, and left me wanting, less.
    Although, I cannot exactly pinpoint the flaws with the latter stages, quicker pace, better editing would have shaped a scintillating story into a tour de force film. However, my initial disdain for all-things Tom Cruise has completely dissolved with watchings of Vanilla Sky and Minority Report - this guy doesn't seem to be making the same mistakes as his other mega-A-list-actor buddies, Arnold, Sly, or Ben Affleck [​IMG]. This guy is an actor - he pulls this film from the precarious perch of sterile and almost singlehandedly turns it into a gripping and sypathetic piece. I'm going to start watching this guy.
    On a side note...after this summer's giant popcorn fare - the other, more publicized CGI-exhibition pieces, I went through an overkill of looking at screens that showed scenes so delineated between real objects and blue screen. The abruptness of the SFX in those films was disruptive and overwhelming, to the point of collapsing on any semblance of a story.
    The CGI in Minority Report,...what CGI? It, the movie, looked so real. Unlike the two-dimensional, shiny, too-brand new nature of the CGI in AOTC, Minority Report had a completely convincing, overall tactile quality to the set and the environments. And more importantly, it seemed seamless - instead of a pickfest of CGI, I had a chance to get engrossed in the film. It also helped to see that the phones that wrapped around the ear, as worn by Max von Sydow's character, are not CGI or custom built, but actually real life headphones that can be purchased - I should know, since I own them.
    While I enjoyed this movie overall, I was tested by this movie's less-than-compelling 2nd half. Nevertheless, this 'smaller' but ambitious gem by Spielberg, while fails to hit the mark found in paradigm setters, Jaws and Blade Runner, still fares better than 95% of the films available today.
     

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