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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:00 pm 
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This is expected to be the biggest ever opening weekend for a September release -- $50-60+ million... for an R-rated film, that's even more incredible


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Everyone was just so impressed by The Dark Tower


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Matthew McConaughey as Pennywise, now that would have been... probably not good either


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:07 pm 
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It getting clowns-only screening


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:54 pm 
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lacritfan wrote:


Surprised to see the White House get its own screening.

I’ll see myself out.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:29 am 
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Reviews are coming in, and they seem to be generally positive, if not really over-the-moon. Everyone can agree the kids are great in it, at least.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:15 pm 
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Having read some reviews, I am starting to wonder whether the preponderance of crappy online critics just want to like the new popular thing? I will be seeing this film and giving it a fair shake, but I am getting a whiff of "hey, I don't want to be the guy who isn't exuberant about this" from some of its reception and I don't know if it's a misplaced perception or not.

Anyway, this grossed $13.5 million last night, and it's looking like the prediction that Domino linked to of a $50-60 million weekend gross is going to get smashed, the article states that $65-75 million is more likely


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:38 pm 
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As an anecdote, a friend of mine who was really excited for this ended up hating it. I expect it will play out similarly here, but I guess we'll know soon enough.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:14 pm 

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I saw it earlier today and while the seven kids deserve all the praise in the world I pretty much hated the rest of the film. Pennywise here never has the weight of personality or the superficial charm masking something incredibly sinister that Tim Curry brought to the role. I think that's partly down to performance choices but mostly to the writing where his character largely appears just to give jump scares or to just look like a scary clowns. With Pennywise in the miniseries you felt like It was taking glee in taunting the kids, I never felt that here. I also have a lot of problems with the way some of the kids are written.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Mike is largely positioned as the outsider to the group. He doesn't really become part of the seven until close to the end and there's never a real sense of him bonding with the others. Stan is defined mostly as being Jewish. Bev gets a lot more to do and it feels like there's something progressive going on with the writing by having her be braver than the boys, but then they make her into a damsel in distress who is literally hanging around waiting to be rescued by the boys. It just feels slightly off when the three characters most marginalised or let down by the script are the three who aren't the average white males.


The biggest problem of all for me is that as a horror film, and a story that's powered by the most primal fears of children, it's never once frightening.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:24 pm 
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That's kind of how the book goes. Also while updating the story to the '80s makes it less normal I have no problem in believing kids from Maine might be distanced socially from women, Jews, and black people.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:32 pm 

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While I'd agree that a small town might have problems with inclusion when it comes to Jewish or black people, that's not really the issue with the film. They're included in the group, it's just the film does nothing with those characters. The fact they're marginalised isn't down to the characters or to plot points as they're presented in the story, it's down to the choices made by the writers.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:46 pm 
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There are specific reasons for Mike's otherness and Stan's lack of characterization in the book (spoilers for the book and presumably the sequel):
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Stan commits suicide within the first thirty pages of the book upon learning It is back, so he doesn't factor into the adult half of the book and thus his character is less important in the childhood half-- he solely exists to emphasize the horror of the survivors at refacing the threat. Mike only comes into the Loser's Club later on and is I believe the last member to join. He's also the one who stays in Derry and remembers and calls everyone back once Pennywise returns.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Having just finished the novel last weekend for the first time and not having seen the original miniseries, it seems to me that some of the problems people are having with the film really do go back to King's book. I've read a few reviews that echo rawlinson's post above about how Skarsgard doesn't have the charm or presence of Tim Curry. However, the book's version of Pennywise really didn't seem to have that much presence or personality either beyond just being a menacing figure. At no point is he ever really charming, and the kids find him generally frightening or at least disturbing at first glance (with the possible exception of Georgie). He (It) reminds me very much of Dracula as a character, one that many actors have breathed life into on screen but who doesn't register as much on the page. Again, having not seen the miniseries, I've always gotten the impression that Curry pulled a Robin Williams with the role and turned it into something far more dynamic and scene-stealing than what King wrote.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
One thing we do come to understand toward the end of the book is that It really doesn't experience human emotions as we know them until after It is first injured by the heroes. King explicitly states that It never even felt anger before that point. It feeds on humans, particularly children, because that's just It's nature. It draws upon their fears because it makes them taste better, but I didn't get the sense that It particularly relished taunting the children. Like an animal, It instinctively does what needs to be done to lure It's prey.

Indeed, most of the reviews I've read so far regarding both the strengths and weaknesses of the new film pretty much reflect my own thoughts on the novel. And yes, most of rawlinson's concerns about Stan and Mike also stem from the book.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:35 pm 
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If I remember correctly King has explicitly compared It to Dracula so your comment is really on point. Also you impression of Curry is fairly right as well. A bit like Ledger's Joker Curry seems to be defining the character as one who likes having fun and most of the stuff you spoil boxed isn't really translated over to the miniseries.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Seeing this tonight, but part of the problem I always had with the miniseries was that Curry was just too entertaining to be really scary - he's just fun to watch, and he totally outpaces the rest of the show (maybe if it hadn't been bowlderized for TV it would've been more effective but there are too many pulled punches to be effective).


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:48 pm 
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domino's comment above reminded me that I've often thought that this was King's horror-world response to The Big Chill, or similar ensemble dramas! (Which perhaps means that it was inevitable that things would go full circle and Lawrence Kasdan would end up directing the film version of Dreamcatcher!)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:19 pm 

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I'm very familiar with the book too. The problem with the film is that it makes explicit changes, to characters backstories, to actual characterisation, to era, to plot, and I'm not just talking about things in the novel that would be obviously or notoriously difficult to translate to film, it makes changes that actively hurt the story and that didn't need to be made. But given that it is making changes, and the idea of them as adults doesn't factor into this film in any way, the fact that it makes changes that makes both Mike and Stan weaker figures than they are in the original story does bother me. And one particular plotline with Bev I just found incredibly unpleasant.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Such as?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:47 pm 
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I think that sounds like a fair argument, rawlinson, having obviously not seen this recent adaptation-- if they can change so much, why not change the characterization or narrative importance for these marginalized figures?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:16 pm 

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In terms of changes, you mean? Some major plot spoilers here.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Mike is now no longer the kid who knows the history of Derry because of his father's passion for town history. Now his father and mother both died in a house fire and he's living with his grandfather and being trained to slaughter sheep. Something that exists in the plot seemingly just to have him be able to take a bolt gun when they go to hunt Pennywise. The racism coming from Henry Bowers towards Mike is a much smaller thing in the film. He's now haunted by the sounds of his parents banging on the door of a burning building rather than the bird that pursues him in the novel. Ben is now the character most obsessed with Derry's past. But this information is all doled out very quickly and Mike disappears from the film for quite a long stretch and it hurts the idea presented that these characters need to be really close friends. We never actually see Mike enjoy being with the group, I know he's the outsider in the book and the last to join the gang, but in a novel you can afford to have characters disappear for long stretches and still make them important, here he feels very much an afterthought to the plotting.

Stan is now terrified by a strange painting in his father's office. His father is a Rabbi, Stan is coming up to his Bar Mitzvah... that's basically all we learn about him.

Bev is now a tough girl with a reputation as the school slut. The sexual abuse theme is brought very much to the foreground in the film. The film doesn't really do subtlety.

Richie is now no longer terrified of werewolves. Instead he has a crippling fear of clowns. The whole idea of him being a comedy nerd constantly doing impressions and voices is also far less important in the film than in either book or miniseries. The fact that it's not a Werewolf might seem minor, but from memory that played a huge part in them using silver slugs in the book.

The character of Henry Bowers is used... let's just say oddly. He's presented as a massively threatening figure, but then that threat is completely thrown away. In the book he and his gang pursue the kids into the sewer, where they're killed by Pennywise and Henry is driven insane. In the film, he kills his father as in the book, follows them, gets into a tussle with Mike and Mike knocks him to what would seemingly be his death. Certainly there's nothing of him being arrested or blamed for the murders. He gets one very anti-climactic scene and he's gone from the film.


Bev gets into a fight with her father when he tries to rape her. She knocks him out, at which point Pennywise takes her, kidnapping her and taking her to the sewer. The rest of the gang go to rescue her. She's not afraid of Pennywise and it's explicitly stated in the film that he's unable to kill her because she doesn't fear him. Instead he shows her the deadlights at which point she floats up into the air in a catatonic state, where she waits to be rescued by the boys, the boys pull her back down to the ground, but she's still catatonic. At which point Ben kisses her and she wakes up. That's the bit I found incredibly insulting, btw. She's the heart of the film and Sophia Lillis gives a superb performance, she's depicted as the bravest and kindest characters and that's thrown away in favour of turning her into a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued by the boys and receive a kiss from a boy that loves her. Absolutely hideous. I also had problems with how much Bev is sexualised in the film given that the character is 13 and the actress was around 14. The one piece of fun bonding the kids do together is a sequence where they all go swimming and Bev strips to her underwear. Which is fine. But that's followed by a sequence of her lying sunbathing, still in her underwear, while all the boys stare at her, and it just felt creepy. Obviously it's a huge step up from the group sex of the novel, but it felt unnecessary.

When Eddie's arm is broken it no longer happens because of an attack by Henry and his friends. It's now caused by It in the Neibolt House, following this attack the gang have a massive falling out, Bill attacks Richie, they don't talk for weeks, etc.

The silver slugs are now no longer part of the story. Instead it's the bolt gun and a random assortment of weapons. Which very much undercuts the idea from the novel that it's no so much the weapons that are important, but the fact the children believe in them so much. It's the power of belief that helps them beat It as much as anything else. Here it just feels like friendship and a good smacking with some iron bars is enough.

The whole thing of It being this extra-dimensional entity is obviously gone from the film. At least in terms of the level of explanation the novel gives. I think that's understandable, it's something difficult to interpret to film, just as the group sex would be impossible. I understand why changes like that are made. But some of the others sit really oddly. The thing with Pennywise not being able to kill unless the person is terrified of him. We see several sequences of the children alone, vulnerable, and petrified, yet Pennywise doesn't take them. Yet at the end of the film he has Bill at his mercy and promises the other kids that if they leave he'll take Bill as his last victim and then go to rest for 27 years. It makes him quite a pathetic figure. But if It is aware that it needs to feed, if it knows it can only do it when kids are scared of him, then why not kill them at earlier points in the film? Why unless it's getting enjoyment from tormenting them?

I also had problems with the film in terms of tone, the rock fight where Mike joins the gang is filmed for laughs and it just feels bizarre. As does a running joke about Ben's love for New Kids on the Block.

I really wanted to like It, but I felt like I was watching a Blumhouse sequel.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:17 pm 
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I haven't seen this yet, but based on rawlinson's posts and what others have said, I can list some differences from the Fukunaga script.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
- Some of the more grotesque violence from the Fukunaga version is changed. Georgie gets tossed around like a rag doll as Pennywise feeds on him in the script's opening, whereas in the movie he gets off a little easier and just gets his arm ripped off. Bowers stabs his dad in the eye in the script, with the knife left in when the body is discovered, while in the movie he just stabs him in the neck (apparently that's how it goes down in the book).

- There are no flashbacks to Pennywise attacks in old Derry in the movie, while in the Fukunaga version we see the massacres at the Silver Dollar Saloon and the Black Spot.

- Mike has a much bigger part in the Fukunaga version, and his father is the one having him work in a slaughterhouse. Bowers is also a much more central antagonist in that script (Stan, on the other hand, seems to get the short end of the stick no matter what version you consult).

- Bev does not get captured in the Fukunaga version, and the New Kids on the Block running gag was not in the script at all. She is implied to be a victim of sexual abuse in it, though.

- The climax is completely changed from the Fukunaga version, with that script having cosmic horror elements (including a giant starfish creature and an oculus the kids have to cross through in order to fight Pennywise) not carried over.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:38 pm 
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I'm not really sure what constitutes a spoiler or not, so these are comments about the novel and what I know of the recent film adaptation
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Bev's relationship with men is a key element of her character throughout the novel. The (misguided, and borderline pornographic) confrontation with her abusive boyfriend early in the novel shows how her awareness of how other men see her has manifested as an adult in a low threshold of self-worth (she's picked someone who sees her as a worthless sex object), but there's a conscious awareness of her effect on men throughout, especially the all boys Losers Club. This of course leads to the highly contentious "solution" to a shared problem late in the novel that (justly) was never, ever going to make a movie adaptation.

I'm surprised to hear they've changed Ben's character. He and Bev are I think the most fully-fleshed and interesting child characters, and if Ben is the one who stays in Derry, that suggests he doesn't get the empty but hoped for handsome/popular adulthood of the novel, which once more undermines his character's journey.

Nothing about this new movie sounds promising to me. It may still be a good or great horror film regardless of its fidelity to the source text, I'm not judging it unseen. But from what I know it does not appear to capture any of the interesting threads of the novel. I maintain that anyone making an adaptation that didn't use the same intercutting as the novel was doomed, though. The novel is about how the "safe" childhood fears learned from popular culture (Rodan, the Werewolf, &c) were real for the children who experienced them and alternates this with a subconscious fear of adulthood (Taking the setting to a post-JFK/Watergate/fill-in-the-blank era of skepticism and awareness wrecks the cultural commentary aspect as well). The adult passages contrast this with showing the effect of childhood trauma on adult psyches and how these elements manifest when triggered. How who we are is defined by who we were. The movie has now taken away half of the equation. I think the novel has a lot of problems, as I wrote earlier this year, but it's apparent that this film's successful marketing campaign is going to pay off with big business regardless of the film's quality, so it's a shame they didn't try to practice a little more fidelity-- anyone who saw those trailers could have given a shit that it was set in the 80s.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:16 am 
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So I have seen the film and I greatly enjoyed it. I haven't read the book and it's been years since I've seen the TV movie so I'm coming to it fairly fresh. Pennywise is fairly weak here since he's basically a Freddy Krueger clone in clown makeup. However, as someone who appreciates genuinely creepy monster design, there were several creatures that effectively gave me chills. What I liked most, and this may be largely due to the source material, is how everything outside of the group of friends felt so sinister - oppressive and abusive adults, violent bullies, depressing home lives. I got the feeling that these kids really did rely on each other to survive, which is a point often lost or poorly conveyed in these types of ensemble casts. The final face-off against Pennywise is much more satisfying than the TV movie, and there are enough sweet moments to balance out the barrage of scares. Bill Skarsgard is no Tim Curry and there is some very poor looking CGI in this, but overall I found it effective and look forward to the next part.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:10 am 
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I know we're not really a box office-obsessed community here but I'm positively shaking with how quickly this film's projections multiplied; just last week, it was at $50 million, on Wednesday it was at $65 million, last night it was at $80 million, and now Deadline's officially said it's expecting it to end up with a $100+ million opening. It's almost definitely going to outgross the Exorcist (not adjusted for Inflation, obviously) and become the highest grossing Horror film of all time without exception.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:22 am 
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It's a great example of successfully marketing an untapped (well, under-tapped?) common fear of clowns and exploiting nostalgia for the miniseries (which, as Everything is Terrible's recent supercut shows, was surely worse than this could possibly be regardless of source text fidelity)


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