benbess

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Thanks for the detailed review!

But just to briefly give another pov, I actually liked this movie a lot. For me personally, it was one of the best Zemeckis has directed in the last 15 years or so. I don't feel like his "uncanny valley" movies like The Polar Express have aged very well, but this one being toys avoids that. But it just didn't connect at the box office....

Welcome to Marwen
Domestic Total Gross: $10,763,520
Distributor: Universal Release Date: December 21, 2018
Genre: Drama Runtime: 1 hrs. 56 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Production Budget: $39 million
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $10,763,520 84.2%
+ Foreign: $2,017,172 15.8%
= Worldwide: $12,780,692
 
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Josh Steinberg

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The production budget was only $39 million? I thought I remembered it being much higher, but that number makes more sense.
 

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The production budget was only $39 million? I thought I remembered it being much higher, but that number makes more sense.
I have a feeling than many of the key cast and crew may have worked for a reduced fee in exchange for a percentage of the profits, hence the "low" budget (at least for a Zemeckis film).
 
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benbess

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Since like the reviewer I'm a long-time fan of Zemeckis, I decided to go back and rate the movies of his I've seen (and remember well enough to rate). I think I saw parts of I Wanna Hold Your Hand from 1978 and Used Cars from 1980 on TV in the early 80s, but I don't have any strong impressions of those movies almost 40 years later.

Romancing the Stone: B
I liked this silly Indiana Jones-inspired adventure a lot in the theater back in 1984, but when I saw it again many years later it seemed solid and amusing, but somehow a bit less wonderful.

Back to the Future: A+
I still think this is an amazing classic.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit: A+
Ditto

Back to the Future Part II: A-
Dark, strange, and unexpected, I still really like this one.

Back to the Future Part III: A
Still a spectacular and funny feel-good classic that makes you think.

Death Becomes Her: B-
Interesting, surreal, and sarcastic epic of relationship failures. Not really my cup of tea, but I guess it's become a little of a cult classic?

Forrest Gump: B+
The special effects and the story have not completely held up for me on this one.

Contact: A-
One of the more intelligent and interesting sci fi films of the last 25 years.

What Lies Beneath: ??
I think I missed this one. Now I want to see it.

Cast Away: B+
I haven't seen it since 2000, but I liked it a lot then.

The Polar Express: B-
I like this one somewhat, but the fx were uncanny valley at the time, and haven't aged that well.

Beowulf: B-
Ditto

A Christmas Carol: B
This is actually my favorite of his cgi epics.

Flight: ??
Missed this one, but I'd like to see it.

The Walk: ??
Missed this one too. I'm nervous about heights in real life, and wasn't sure I was up to a full movie that might make my feet hurt. But I guess I'd still like to see it someday.

Allied: B
I liked this one, esp. since I'm fond of World War II movies, but it wasn't quite a classic of the genre.

Welcome to Marwen: A-
So this is my highest rated Zemeckis movie since Contact.
 
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TravisR

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Flight: ??
Missed this one, but I'd like to see it.

The Walk: ??
Missed this one too. I'm nervous about heights in real life, and wasn't sure I was up to a full movie that might make my feet hurt. But I guess I'd still like to see it someday.
Both are completely worth seeing. The Walk is my favorite Zemeckis movie since Back To The Future Part III.
 

Johnny Angell

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The Polar Express: B-
I like this one somewhat, but the fx were uncanny valley at the time, and haven't aged that well.
I’m the opposite. When I first saw PE, the uncanny valley bothered me and now I see it much less. The 3D is spectacular, the story is very good. It’s a Xmas tradition at our house.
 
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Just saw Welcome to Marwen on Blu. Excellent film, and IMHO one of Zemeckis' top five best movies.

Huge fan of the TV series The Office (US version), and I saw a lot of shades of Michael Scott in the Steve Carell character here (M. Hogancamp). Also liked the cameo by Gwendoline Christie as Hogancamp's caregiver?!

Very good story & visual effects re: the dolls "coming to life"; the fantasy world is seamlessly woven into the actual real-life events. Poignant & touching, without being sappy. Interesting how the character dealt with his trauma by creating a fantasy world, but then at the end realized that he couldn't continue living a fantasy life forever (hence his dumping his medication down the sink).

The Deja Thoris character is obviously based on the character of the same name from the Edgar Rice Burroughs "Mars" series of sci-fi novels - from the early 1900's.

Also liked the "Back to the Future" homage with the flying car - very cool.

I just read more about the true story behind the film; it's interesting that, as is usually the case, the actual details re: the events are significantly different than what's depicted in the film. I.e., IRL the artist Carell portrayed in the film (M. Hogancamp) was actually initially friendly with the five guys @ the bar who beat him up after he made his confession to them. In the film, however - these five guys (with one being the ringleader) initiate the aggression by insulting him/challenging him - and that's when he made his confession; in other words, the film makes it look like he's minding his own business & didn't know the guys - before they go after him without cause. In either case, the beat-down was heinous & the guys deserve to be severely punished - going to jail for life would be a very fitting punishment for all of them. That being said, I can see why they didn't depict the story as it actually happened:

https://www.eonline.com/news/997772/the-heartbreaking-true-story-behind-welcome-to-marwen

Also, the list grading many of Zemeckis' other films is making me want to re-watch/watch them; he's definitely got an impressive filmography.
 
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Mike Frezon

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A couple of posters here have used a phrase I've never come across in my years at the HTF: "uncanny valley."

What does this mean?

Thanks for the review, Todd. I wasn't sure what to make of this film from the teaser trailers when it was released. I feel like I now have a much better understanding. It might be an interesting film to see.
 

Tino

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Both my wife and I enjoyed this film a lot. The visual effects were amazing.
 

Tino

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A couple of posters here have used a phrase I've never come across in my years at the HTF: "uncanny valley."

What does this mean?
The phrase refers to the inability of some cgi films to properly render human eyes.
 

Mike Frezon

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The phrase refers to the inability of some cgi films to properly render human eyes.
Thanks, Tino. :thumbsup:

How oddly incongruous/specific (I cannot imagine how "uncanny valley" would come to mean "screwed-up eyes")! :laugh:

I recently railed about the LOUSY CGI in the film A Dog's Way Home. Whenever a CGI animal appeared on screen it was painfully obvious to me and so distracting it really took me out of the film. I should come up with a nonsensical phrase to describe that sensation of mine. Maybe something like "culinary driveway."
 

Johnny Angell

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A couple of posters here have used a phrase I've never come across in my years at the HTF: "uncanny valley."

What does this mean?

Thanks for the review, Todd. I wasn't sure what to make of this film from the teaser trailers when it was released. I feel like I now have a much better understanding. It might be an interesting film to see.
That phrase is used a lot in discussing another zemeckis film, Polar Express. I think the expression refers mostly to the eyes, since that’s were we can see the spark of life, but not just the eyes.

When a filmmaker uses some sort of animation to acheive life-like results, but falls short, that is the uncanny valley. We don’t apply it to traditional animation since no effort to achieve reality is being attempted. It is also very subjective. When I first I first watched Polar I thought it was in the UV, but I have since come to believe that the film crosses the valley, just barely.
 

Mike Frezon

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THAT was fascinating. Mostly because I'm still a bit freaked out that I don't ever remember hearing the phrase before. Wikipedia says it was actually discussed at length in an episode of 30 Rock...but I have no recollection of it. I also think I've read discussions on the HTF about Polar Express but, again, have no recollection of the phrase "uncanny valley." It just seems like the type of thing I would remember because of the odd (lack of any real) connection between the words in the phrase and its meaning. Those things interest me.

Thanks, Malcolm.
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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THAT was fascinating. Mostly because I'm still a bit freaked out that I don't ever remember hearing the phrase before. Wikipedia says it was actually discussed at length in an episode of 30 Rock...but I have no recollection of it. I also think I've read discussions on the HTF about Polar Express but, again, have no recollection of the phrase "uncanny valley." It just seems like the type of thing I would remember because of the odd (lack of any real) connection between the words in the phrase and its meaning. Those things interest me.

Thanks, Malcolm.
Blame it on old age ;)
 

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