Author Topic: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho  (Read 18928 times)

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9977
  • Eek
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2009, 10:39:00 PM »
Yeah, shooting a safe is really stupid, true, but that was the point, showing the stupidiy of the characters. I can agree that it's a stretch to believe these criminals would be that dumb, but again, I didn't feel like I needed to take the movie that seriously, so I was able to just have fun with it.

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28656
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2009, 10:40:26 PM »
So you admit to watching Out of Sight as if it were Schindler's List?
I admit to watching Out of Sight as a person of reasonable intelligence.

A person of reasonable intelligence would have fun with Out of Sight. Look at how far it got here. A POI would be able to roll with things that they might not like in a film and have fun anyways. A POI wouldn't treat the film as if it were trying to trick them.
Check out my blog of many topics

“I’m not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!”

FLYmeatwad

  • An Acronym
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28411
  • I am trying to impress myself. I have yet to do it
    • Processed Grass
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2009, 10:43:02 PM »
This comes back to the way Soderberg constructs Out of Sight. He wants the elements of the 'film' to stand out, it's high lighted in the still shots and the use of soundtrack. It plays on the use of songs, at times, in blaxploitation films, he's clearly not taking the film seriously and he doesn't want the audience to either, I would contend. Whether you agree with his choice to do this or think it worked is another matter, but I don't think it's a reasonable claim to attack the film's presentation without taking into account the director's apparent intention.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9977
  • Eek
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2009, 10:50:52 PM »
I don't necessarily dislike the movie for this reason, but in sam's defense there were some elements that I could see being used for his argument. There were a few moments, like when Cheadle shivs that guy, where things are played absolutely seriously. So it is a little hard to reconcile that this hardened criminal would be stupid enough to shoot at a safe.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9977
  • Eek
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2009, 10:56:58 PM »
So I really want to bring up the unique and stylish nature of MOPI. There's a lot that could be discussed, and I know FLY is dying to talk about a particular aspect, but I just want to find out what you guys thought of it in general? To be honest, at first I was prepared to entirely hate the movie based on how clever it was trying to be. As I got into the movie I pretty much got over it. I still felt through the rest of the movie sometimes it was trying really hard to be clever rather than actually being clever, but for the most part I really enjoyed everything it threw at me.

(will bring up a few examples in a moment)

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 25950
  • "Anime is for jerks."
    • Creative Criticism
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2009, 11:02:01 PM »
It's late, school in the morning and brain on the fritz. I promised Pix a verdict by tonight and by damn I'm gonna give him one. Once I get some time tomorrow I'll try to catch up on the discussion.

So yet another night in which I proceed to make myself even more hated. I must have some hidden self loathing issue. I kinda felt like my ideas were a mess. I apologize for how scatterbrained it all was but I find it hard to argue anything when both sides are such strongly opposed. I just don't know what good it would accomplish. In the end I only have to justify it in my own mind and I'd done that long before I posted anything here. So here let me try my best to sum it up:


Since I believe both films are failures where my decision comes to is what I think is the better failure.

Both films work with too many narrative ideas and not enough character ideas. I came out of both thinking a lot just happened but none of it made me feel any different about the characters. This really struck me with My Own Private Idaho because I really wanted to feel for this character who had lost basically his last contact with the world but I couldn't. I simply didn’t know his character enough to emotionally feel his plight.

However, that being said it's up to me to decide which film I think is more worthy of this verdict's time going forward.

For me it's easy. Out of Sight ends up being so ridiculously stupid and over the top I found it annoying. From the reactions it seems that most would disagree. Whatever, have fun with that. The film wants to be sexy and cool on one hand and footloose and goofy on the other. I couldn't buy it.

My Own Private Idaho, with all the numerous problems I have with it is a film I think one day I might revisit. The reason being is that I think Gus Van Sant is trying to create a mood of emptiness for the characters in which their home and family are gone. Having lived all 19 years of my life at home with my rather normal family (both parents, 3 siblings…no drugies/unexpected pregnancies/different lifestyles/fairly conservative and tight knit) I can't connect with this. I think 20 years down the road when I gain some distance from it that I might be able to better emotionally connect with this film.

Verdict:
My Own Private Idaho goes on, down that road with the goofy face.


Wherein I piss off Soderbergh fans out of pure spite:
Out of Sight is a film I despise. I know you guys think I'm just some crazy fun hater but I'm the guy who liked Flirting Scholar (which I'm sure would be brought up at some point so I'm doing it myself.). I think the difference for me is that Flirting Scholar from the get go goes insane and never lets up. With Out of Sight the first 30 minutes was setting up this sexy heist/chase drama which then proceeded to quickly turn into stupid, self indulgence moronic goofiness. If it stuck to what I saw in the first 30 minutes I think it could have worked. Instead, the film just devolves into insaneness.

In fact, I despise this film so much that sex, lies and videotapes mysteriously disappeared from my Netflix queue. Wonder how that happened.

"It's all research." -roujin

FLYmeatwad

  • An Acronym
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28411
  • I am trying to impress myself. I have yet to do it
    • Processed Grass
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2009, 11:03:37 PM »
Yes, as we can tell from the very start of the film we are in, at least visually, for one Hell of a film. The establishing shot through River's lens allows the audience to know where to focus attention and the stark and wide open rode provides a poetic quality that evokes the imagery of the unknown, long travels, and an empty past. We are also shown the desolation found in River's character.

But who cares about that when there's sex, you know what I'm saying? It's no secret that I really am fascinated by the way Van Sant presents his films, but with the sex scenes he took things to a whole different level. The frequent cuts and the still images practically made the people statuesque standing as art rather than people, juxtaposed beautifully against the perceived 'ugly' nature of the sex. We see prostitution being embraced, we see the 'betrayal' of River as a visually beautiful event while the film is telling us to feel sorry for River. We talked about the heightened reality and the surreal elements that are used in this film and I think the sex scenes are the peak of the film's artistic merits.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9977
  • Eek
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2009, 11:11:14 PM »
This is the point early on when I thought the movie was going to be hopeless.


A little much, don't you think?

Another one that was almost too much:


Regarding the sex scenes, I think the most interesting part is that it's not still images. They're just holding poses for the duration of the shots. That's what stood out most to me, and I'm not sure what to make of the way they're presented, but they're certainly unique.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9977
  • Eek
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2009, 11:20:50 PM »
Also, it's worth mentioning how beautiful the timelapse photography of landscapes is. It also serves as way to visualize the disjointed passage of time as Mike experiences it, so that's kinda cool too.





Still images don't do them justice, but my philosophy is screenshots are better than no screenshots.

worm@work

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 7454
Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2009, 11:23:55 PM »
but my philosophy is screenshots are better than no screenshots.

Yes, please :). I haven't watched My Own Private Idaho in a long while and your posting that initial screenshot reminded me of how thrown off I was by that image initially. Those screenshots are gorgeous.

 

love