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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:47 pm 
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Live by Night is getting slaughtered. Not surprising, since as Ehrlich points out, Affleck's films as director keep getting less and less good, but I don't think anyone anticipated a nosedive quite yet


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2016
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:06 pm 
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I read an early report based on a Guild screener a few weeks ago that basically took the perspective of "somehow, each Ben Affleck movie this year has been worse than the last." And considering this one has marketed itself almost exclusively as the movie where Ben Affleck gets a hat, I'm really kind of hoping/expecting it to be the one to flop (The Accountant somehow having been a hit).


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2016
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
Live by Night is getting slaughtered. Not surprising, since as Ehrlich points out, Affleck's films as director keep getting less and less good, but I don't think anyone anticipated a nosedive quite yet

Yes but, in turn it also would not be surprising if this film was actually an artistic breakthrough for him, and critics are ganging up on him anyway, because they don't know anything anyway and they've already decided to knock him down a peg or two.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2016
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:55 pm 
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Brian C wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
Live by Night is getting slaughtered. Not surprising, since as Ehrlich points out, Affleck's films as director keep getting less and less good, but I don't think anyone anticipated a nosedive quite yet

Yes but, in turn it also would not be surprising if this film was actually an artistic breakthrough for him, and critics are ganging up on him anyway, because they don't know anything anyway and they've already decided to knock him down a peg or two.

It certainly looks that way from the trailers. I'm mildly intrigued to see it.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:53 pm 
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Saw it last night at an early screening at ArcLight Hollywood.

There are some very good pieces here - wonderful time period reproduction, an exciting big shootout, some solid humor - but the whole is fairly mediocre. I never connected with Affleck's main character, in particular due to an overdone info dump in the first 15 mins and too much voiceover, and those specific flaws just sink the movie too far. A decent one time see, but nothing really stays with you.

6/10


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am
That's a shame. I really loved Lehane's book, but I figured the film would be a letdown given how anemic its ad campaign has been, and the
fact that there's been no Oscars push. I just don't buy Affleck as the protagonist for this story.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2016
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:57 am 
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wow Live By Night has lots and lots and lots of writing. So much writing. Every iota of backstory is written as voice over narration, every detail of every transition is written as voice over narration, every character is written to talk out everything--and to talk out everything like Boondock Saints with boston accents and fuck variants used as punctionation or to indicate the character is experiencing emotions. So much writing, subplots and subplots and more subplots written in (don't worry, the movie is very tight, every subplot is written out and properly resolved, so there's no danger of the movie feeling underwritten. And it moves very slowly, I thought the film was about 140 minutes (without credits) turns out it was only 126 (with), all the subplots and the endless voiceover narration really drag the movie down, it feels like it could lose 45 minutes and would gain a bunch of narrative effectiveness.

It sort of feels wrong to really dislike the movie though, it's not a Heaven's Gate sort of film where the whole thing is pretty shitty. Most individual scenes are pretty good, the writing is bad, but the story is decent, it's incredibly predictable, but it's a genre piece, so it's kind of a given. there's not a lot of effort ever expended by the characters, but it's crafting a universe where their brand of 'cool' is all the cachet they need to succeed. But the whole thing is so over written, that even the solid efforts in the crafts, and the occasional good performance (Gleeson steals the film), can't overcome the weak script. In a way, it reminds me an awful lot of Casino, a film with a terrible script and gangsters written as invincible superheroes, you pretty much get the same thing here.

It was in the end credits that I realized why the editor and director were so committed to indulging all that writing:

Directed by Ben Affleck

Written by Ben Affleck

In a way, that second end card made the whole film make sense in a way it hadn't before.


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