Ronald Epstein

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Robin9

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I've never seen this film. Is it as bad as its reputation suggests?
 

Matt Hough

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I've never seen this film. Is it as bad as its reputation suggests?
It's tolerable and that's about it. It can't hold a candle to Chinatown, and in fact draws upon it for inspiration and lets it down. I reviewed the DVD a million years ago when Paramount first released it on DVD, and I don't think I've watched it since.
 
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atcolomb

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The price has come down to $9.99 and will pre-order it. I did like it but you really have to pay attention to the story and the characters. Robert Towne was the original director before Jack Nicholson took over and it was a planned trilogy.
 
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lark144

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It's tolerable and that's about it. It can't hold a candle to Chinatown, and in fact draws upon it for inspiration and lets it down. I reviewed the DVD a million years ago when Paramount first released it on DVD, and I don't think I've watched it since.
There was a plot? The only thing I remember are the ties Jack Nicholson and Harvey Keitel wore.
 

JoeDoakes

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It's an excellent film. I think to appreciate it, you have to be deeply versed in Chinatown as it's really a Jake Gittes redemption picture.
 

haineshisway

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It's an excellent film. I think to appreciate it, you have to be deeply versed in Chinatown as it's really a Jake Gittes redemption picture.
I'm deeply versed in Chinatown and I also know a terrible film when I see one and The Two Jakes is, IMO, terrible in every way, from the performances to the score - in fact, there's not a thing that works other than the nice clothing. It's the anti-Chinatown in terms of mood, craft, and, oh, everything else.
 

JoeDoakes

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I'm deeply versed in Chinatown and I also know a terrible film when I see one and The Two Jakes is, IMO, terrible in every way, from the performances to the score - in fact, there's not a thing that works other than the nice clothing. It's the anti-Chinatown in terms of mood, craft, and, oh, everything else.
I don't recall the score. Maybe you're correct on that. The rest, no so much. Of course, it's not the enormous classic Chinatown is, but that wasn't my point.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I was admittedly tired and fell asleep (w/in maybe 15min) trying to watch it one time a couple months back on CBS All Access.

Seemed to get mixed reviews... though Roger Ebert seemed to like it well enough for what that's worth...


I may try to watch it again before long, if I still have access...

_Man_
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Ok, decided to give it another try last night while I still have access on CBS All Access...

And found it kinda meh. I wouldn't say it's a bad film. As Ebert might say, it (seems to) effectively does what the filmmakers probably set out to do, but it also seems so lifeless and stuck w/ this rather monotonous sense of melancholy throughout and would easily put me to sleep...

It actually reminded me a little of Melancholia, which has nothing to do w/ this flick, except for the tone perhaps (and that film was even named for it) and a premise that would usually belong to a suspense thriller or the like, but doesn't end up playing like one at all... oh, plus Roger Ebert liked both to some extent and gave each 3-1/2 stars...

And somewhat like Melancholia, don't know if I'll ever give it another try. Maybe the next time I watch Chinatown I guess... that is, if I also happen to have access again?

_Man_
 
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It's tolerable and that's about it. It can't hold a candle to Chinatown, and in fact draws upon it for inspiration and lets it down. I reviewed the DVD a million years ago when Paramount first released it on DVD, and I don't think I've watched it since.
I had the same reaction. I didn't think it was anywhere near the quality or tone of Chinatown. Chinatown had a low-key subtlety that made it seem realistic; Two Jakes felt too overblown, like it was trying too hard. For one example, there's a scene in which Jake goes ballistic on someone in a police station, and it felt so overblown and unrealistic - like it belonged in some run-of-the-mill action movie.
 

Reggie W

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So, I'll just weigh in with my thoughts having not seen this picture in a long time. I liked it when I saw it BUT felt it was nowhere near as good as Chinatown and quite obviously Polanski and Nicholson are different kinds of filmmakers/storytellers. Polanski likes to tweak and manipulate an audience always doing things to make you squirm, think, anticipate things. Nicholson as a director basically just shows you things and has his actors deliver dialogue he hopes you will be transfixed by...but he has none of Polanski's sense of mischief or ability to manipulate.

I think the best approach to a film like this is not to compare it to the first film. Chinatown is a brilliant picture in pretty much every way. This picture is a much lesser film that looks to continue the story (and be the middle part of a trilogy) and is made by a filmmaker that does not possess the same talents as the previous film's director.

I think if you judge this film using the first film as a gauge...well...this will fall way, way short of expectations. If you watch it just to see Nicholson take a stab at telling the middle part of the trilogy then it might be more fun...with the exception of the fact that the final picture never happened so this amounts to the end of the tale.

It is sort of a screenwriter's film in that the dialogue is very important and you have to pay attention to what is going on and and being said. Plus as someone else stated, this picture assumes you saw and have a pretty good recall of Chinatown. So, in some ways that makes it better to watch as a double feature right after Chinatown. The only issue with that is it will be a bit jarring, I think, that it is not as beautifully told and photographed as Polanski's film.

Anyway, I am certainly going to pick this up and do a double feature of the two films on a Saturday or Sunday. I look forward to being immersed in that world and honestly I miss Jack Nicholson so it will be cool to spend some time watching him in these two pictures.
 
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theonemacduff

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Saw it a long time back and loved it. But.... it does have a story that you have to pay attention to. It does not deliver its narrative beats in the usual Hollywood way which you can see coming a mile distant. Once you've seen it, of course, you can go back and spot the telegraphing; but there are remarkably few such moments in that it's a story that requires the audience to engage and to think. And as someone noted above, Ebert too, this isn't so much about story as about characters trying to fit into their lives, and about their sadness at the things we lose, or even have to give up, as we go along. Like I said, I'm biased because I love the film. It reminds me too, of Chandler's The Long Goodbye, which is also about friendships that are unreasonable because they're based on impulse, and about how long it takes someone to decide that even if they like someone, they still, in the end, have to judge their actions. So yeah, worth a spin or two, I'd say.
 

John Dirk

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Like many here, this film was a huge disappointment to me. I have it in my collection as an adjunct to Chinatown but it will likely never be viewed again.
 
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