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Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by aoiookami, Dec 31, 2005.
Don't flatter yourself.
Indeed...I'm not easily impressed, not by a long shot. I just happen to find the commentary on violence here solid, and it's done in a cutthroat, harsh way that appealed to me. A film that can be smart, and can make me cringe at the same time, is definitely something that doesn't happen often for me, but it works here. Another much more popular film, Man Bites Dog, in a way does the same thing, but it doesn't work for me as well as this film does. There's dark humor in both, and I feel it's better executed in Funny Games. Man Bites Dog does it a bit too much in an exploitive way.
Violence or social commentary in films doesn't impress me...if it's done well, and in a thought-provoking way, THEN we can talk...
I'm sorry that my opinion differs from yours. Please forgive me.
You provide arguements on the mediocrity of the movie, or on the easily impressed crowd that happens to like it?
You know this ain't the problem here. You know it.
Well, I only see one line in my post that has anything to do with the easily impressionable. But that wasn't the point to begin with.
I think that we can all agree that the horror genre is, like others, 10% innovation and 90% duplication. I feel that, too often, any variance to the norm is often accepted with open arms simply because it is different. This is part of human nature and extends beyond film commentary. Things that are quirky get their 15 minutes before dying fast. A fine example of this in film is the unexplainable popularity of Napoleon Dynamite. It is a comedy with no actual jokes, and expects you to laugh instead of encourages you to laugh.
The main problem with Funny Games (which might be its strength, in another view) is that most of its acceptance from the audience comes from the ending. If you legitimately like the ending, that's fine. But I watch a lot of films from every genre and this type of ending is completely, and entirely old hat. This ending is an elaboration on the "it was all a dream" concept. But more akin to a Shyamalan mind-fucking without a condom.
I'll elaborate on that... At this point, there is no reason that anyone familiar with Shyamalan should be surprised at a Shyamalan film. A twist should be expected. Provided he continues this path as a director, you should be able to pick out the ending to the film before you even have a full grasp of the plot. The Village is an abortion of a movie because when you take away the ending, you soon realize that the film is a set-up, completely devoid of any major plot to begin with. It will remain very pretty though.
Now, the "without a condom" bit is because the "mind-fuck" dirties up everything before it with its message. If you were to end the film without the trickery, what is left? Very solid acting from the victims, I will give it that. But it isn't far removed from The Last House on the Left, or any number of other films that involve home invasion. The most literate example would be Polanski's Death and the Maiden which stars Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver. But that film actually moves in different directions and keeps you guessing because the characters are uncertain of their reality as well. Of course, without the ending, Funny Games wouldn't exist because it would be just another well-acted, albeit mean-spirited film. It would at least be structurally sound but not a particularly pretty so, unlike Shyamalan, there is little reason to revisit. The message, what little weight it carries, has been delivered.
The director isn't incompetent, and there were particularly well done scenes, but after the ending what are they worth? Those victims you may have felt so strongly for? They don't exist. The emotions that they themselves displayed? They were faked. Why? Because the film lets you know that you have been watching a movie. The art of cinema, horror or otherwise, has always been to entertain the audience and transplant them into another world. A successful film succeeds in this. It makes you forget you need to take a piss or an argument you may have had earlier that day. For, at least 90 minutes, you are removed from reality (unless of course, you are watching a documentary, although there could be arguments made against that as well) There is no point in delivering this message that you are watching a movie because you are in fact watching a movie. You will realize this when the credits roll and you either walk back to your car or put the disc back in your Netflix envelope. There is no point in commenting on violence in film and how the audience loves it because you should be well aware that you like violence because you already know that you enjoy violent movies. I would love to see a follow up film where the protagonists go tell some Eskimos that it is cold outside and a McDonald's drive-thru employee that they are not rich. It would be as much a commentary as put forth here.
Placing an even more abysmal cap on the film is the post-ending ending. You know the one, where they go to another house to "do it all over again?" How many times have we seen this used? How does supplying the wink-wink-nudge-nudge warrant my respect as a viewer?
From a character perspective the two "protagonists" are completely non-descript. They go through their actions to do what exactly besides "amuse me (the viewer)"? They have no other motive. They revel in an arrogance that even I can not comprehend. They, like the victims, don't even exist - although the argument could be made that they are representative of the filmmakers or writers since they represent the commentary. Any good character with reasonable development has a quirk or two that distinguishes them from another but they don't. They simply act clever.
So when breaking the film apart, re-examining it, it doesn't really hold up. The whole of it exists for a single part. Where is the art/fun/uniqueness in that?
How anyone can enjoy a punch line which makes a complete mockery of the joke is simply beyond me.
So, I am sorry if you disagree or take offense, but I really do feel that anyone that likes this type of film is pretty easy to impress, or doesn't have much exposure to truly different experiences.
For an example, (and I don't look to make him out to be stupid, because I don't believe he is) aoiookami states in the Rate/Comment thread the following...
"More films like this and less teeny bopper, pg-13 'money maker's' Please."
...as a horror fan, I can understand his outcry for less PG-13 tamed down films. But I certainly don't understand his clamoring for "more films like this" because if all that was made was charade films trying to pass as both art and horror I think that the state of horror cinema would be substantially less creative than it currently is, even with a self-imposed rating restriction.
WoW.... great review!! Thanks
No one has a problem that you hate the movie, or your above post. Bash the movie all you want. But when you say you can't believe how easily impressed people are, you patronize anyone who enjoys this film (i.e., majority in this thread), especially myself who wrote the review and thought the movie WAS great and clever. It has nothing to do with a differing opinion, but everything to do with saying anyone who differs from your opinion is just easily impressed.
It isn't about agreeing with my opinion, aoiookami. It is about liking or disliking THIS film. I am sure if we broke it down and sat and chatted for hours upon hours about movies we would find we agree and disagree on a lot of things. Nothing is wrong with that.
In regards to THIS film, I stand by every statement I made in this thread. Perhaps I said it harshly or bluntly, but that is how I am and that is how I feel.
Clever to me, is a film that does not use the same ending that Wayne's World did.
So you hate this movie so much that you feel you have to insult and make assumptions about everyone that enjoys it? Sorry but thats pretty pathetic.
Get off your high horse. "doesn't have much exposure to truly different experiences". Please. You probably havnt seen anymore cinema than anyone else in this thread.
I haven't insulted anyone, and I think I gave you more than enough credit for your review and opinion.
With maybe a few exceptions, I highly doubt that. Highly.
In other news, anyone interested in checking out the trailer for Cache, by the same dir. as Funny Games, go here; http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony/cache/ It's being put out by Sony Pictures Classics, looks like an r1 dvd release is pretty likely
This actually looks strong. At least the trailer is interesting and has a very strong cast. Anything with Binoche is worth watching once.
Can't stop thinking/talking about Funny Games, so I thought I'd chime in on this +year-old discussion!
I think a lot of people here have a lot of good points, but I just want to address this one:
Actually, this approach to filmmaking isn't entirely new or unheard of. In the theatre, it's called a Brechtian approach, where the actors routinely address the audiences to distance them from what's going on stage. It's a technique that destroys the "illusion" that they are witnessing reality.
Now, whether or not you think it works for this film or at all is a different matter, but I think it is safe to assume that Haneke wanted to distance the viewers from the situation in the film. He wants the audience to think about what they are watching in terms of actually being an audience. It's like voyeurism where the object of one's attention knows you are watching. Do you still watch, or look away?
I don't think this will make you feel differently about the movie, I just wanted to point this out!
In film, it's called garbage.
You are correct in that thought.
What saddens me about the remake is that I'm compelled to see it. Not because I want to give this film another chance or the time of day, and certainly not because I want to put out $8 for it, but because I love Naomi Watts. I could potentially be convinced to watch a remake of that "2girls1cup" video if it starred Naomi Watts. Which, while abhorrent, had about as much to say as Funny Games.
I saw the original FUNNY GAMES two days before seeing the remake.Apart from a couple of VERY minor shots it is a scene for scene remake,same sets ups,set,the works.Odd seeing it with a different cast.If you liked it before then you might like it again.If you hated it before,well,it's the same film,just in English.
Actually, that video and its global response says a whole lot about our society today. :nervous:
Consider me easy to impress - I have a lot of respect for both versions. The English version seems more unsettling, since it takes that slow burn European arthouse style and transposes it into a more refined English style. We can thank the SAW and HOSTEL films for this remake's relevance here in North America - if anything it makes Haneke's original predictions about our society's relationship with violence even more telling with their success. He definitely plays a fine game of restraint and release, continually making us aware of our need for violence. Highly recommended.
My friend, I've never considered you anything but. :lol:
is > Meatballs 4.