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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:07 am 
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Big Ben wrote:
Annihilation, the new Natalie Portman Sci-Fi venture is also getting raves.

Having read the novel Annihilation is taken from, I'm really looking forward to it. And for those unaware of the release issues, this is the film which was deemed TOO INTELLIGENT for audiences and thus outside of the US, Brazil and China (?) has been sold to Netflix where it will screen in 17 days...


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2018
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:27 am 
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Dr Amicus wrote:
Big Ben wrote:
That would be Girl's Trip from last year as movielocke mentioned. I was quite surprised myself. Annihilation, the new Natalie Portman Sci-Fi venture is also getting raves.

Having read the novel Annihilation is taken from, I'm really looking forward to it. And for those unaware of the release issues, this is the film which was deemed TOO INTELLIGENT for audiences and thus outside of the US, Brazil and China (?) has been sold to Netflix where it will screen in 17 days...

Wait, too intelligent for non-U.S. audiences? The same U.S. that thought none of its denizens would touch Harry Potter if it had 'philosopher' in the title? Quite a reversal.

I didn't find the novel particularly cerebral, but then I'd guess by 'too intelligent' they mean there's more chatting than shooting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2018
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:54 am 
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My understanding is Paramount didn't know how to market it, so, yes, apparently


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:17 am 
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Dr Amicus wrote:
Big Ben wrote:
outside of the US, Brazil and China (?) has been sold to Netflix where it will screen in 17 days...

Add Canada to that list as well.

Anyway, I saw this last night, having read the source novel around Christmas. The first thing I should say that it is significantly different than the book, sometimes in ways that make the ridiculous "whitewashing" complaints even more ridiculous than they were before (e.g. it's a four woman team in the book, but 5 in the movie, so it's not exactly a one to one comparison). That said, I enjoyed the movie more than the book, though it's not without criticism. The characters in the movie act more naturally and realistically than they do in the book, which also helps. However, the film is trying at times to be both monster movie and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and while the intelligent stuff largely holds up, I found the monster stuff a bit silly. But it does get better as it goes along. This might be a hard position to defend, and I'll have to think about it a bit more myself, but I think this might be Natalie Portman's best performance.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:24 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm
I saw this last night, and mostly enjoyed it despite some pretty significant flaws (plot contrivances, some horrendous dialogue). Where the film succeeded for me was
[Reveal] Spoiler:
in choosing not to provide the audience with any cathartic explanation for the events that occur. In this way Garland makes the real "horror" of this film not the jump scares or set pieces - the beat/boar that has refracted its victim's scream/psychological state at death is especially spooky - but rather that we, as surrogates for the explorers, are transported into a space without predictable or explainable laws that govern it. Each event that occurs, how each character reacts to this world, and the effects that the world has on each character in an individually different, specific, and seemingly random way makes the film akin to a sort-of psychological version of The Thing. This nightmarish scenario worked for me, though I wouldn't be surprised if this gets one of those F Cinemascores due to exactly why this film is horrific, which directly clashes with audience expectations for some explanation. Ultimately I suspect people will be grasping at straws for meaning (the group I saw it with tried for an hour after the showing, to no avail) and this will frustrate many, but that's exactly what the characters in this film are doing unsuccessfully and this feels like the point. We're left with no concrete answers when we live in a world in which we feel safe *due* to expected scientific laws, and this is a more frightening scenario than most sci-fi/horror films present effectively.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:34 am 
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The white-washing argument is pretty weird since, if I remember, no one in the novel is given any race at all. It's only in the second book that two characters have their racial backgrounds revealed by-the-by. If you assume the rest of the characters are as white as they act and talk, then in the movie a few white characters become non-white and a few non-white characters white, exactly as tho' the makers had only read the first novel and were imagining these nameless ciphers anew (which the writer/director claims indeed to be the case). People are complaining about something that mattered so little the book didn't bother to mention it.

But then I didn't get the fuss over Ghost in the Shell, either, considering that's a story about a woman whose identity is taken from her.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:08 pm 
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I only read the book a couple of weeks back and didn't pick up on any mentions of race - I've subsequently seen the extracts "proving" the whitewashing case, and they're arguable at best. I've got the next two books sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read - I remember a couple of reviews saying the second book is the weakest part. Those who have read the later books, would you agree?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:12 pm 
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The blowback died down rather quickly because the screenplay was written and the film was cast and then the author made the clarification about race in the second book. In short even people who are usually very vocal about this sort of thing came to the correct conclusion that there was no malice involved here intentional or otherwise. In short it's fizzled into a non issue. Don't feel it's really worth discussing past that.


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