The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

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Ribs
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#26 Post by Ribs » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:12 pm

The way it's done like it's absolutely nothing and not really distracting in the film makes me 100% certain that Spielberg has no idea what Mr. Show is

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domino harvey
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#27 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:20 pm

Most slept-on biographical perf of the year: Bradley Whitford as Michael Gross

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jbeall
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#28 Post by jbeall » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:32 am

I feel like Trump ratcheting up his attacks on the press makes the Nixon tape scenes more pertinent than Spielberg intended. The film seems more interested in the gender dynamic of Katherine Graham's courage. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, except that, as is typical of Spielberg
SpoilerShow
it's done in a way that's heavy-handed. There's a moment early on when Bradlee expresses admiration for Graham's competence, which makes his wife's later monologue redundant. And of course the scene mentioned earlier in this thread. At any rate, Graham's fear of alienating her upper-crust friends is certainly interesting, and there's an exploration to be made of how the well-connected "pull punches" in order to remain well-connected, but I thought the to-that-point unprecedented hostility and vindictiveness of Nixon and his administration was under-explored. But again, this is me watching the film in August 2018, with the background of Trump whipping his MAGAts into a lather about the press.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#29 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:24 am

Streep is really good in this, though-- I know like Cate Blanchett we often take for granted how consistently gifted her perfs are, but Streep is easily the best thing about the film, and it's probably one of her best roles. Honestly, after reading this thread, I was prepared for saccharine heavy handedness in those courthouse scenes and what is actually on screen is nowhere near some of the claims. Some of you should watch an actual non-Sirk studio era melodrama some time

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knives
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#30 Post by knives » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:34 am

Likewise. I feel that though this is pretty middle tier Spielberg outside the one shot it doesn't really feature any of his flaws. Merely his focus was the least interesting to me.

connor
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#31 Post by connor » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:58 am

This movie was not good. And I love Spielberg. All of the faults of Bridge of Spies with none of the redeeming moments.

Constitutional liberal patriotism is where Spielberg movies (and the Democratic Party) go to die--Amistad and Bridge both crash and burn when they arrive at that particular fetish. Except for Lincoln and even that has that great scene about how Honest Abe is twisting the hell out of the constitution in order to do what he needs to do.

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#32 Post by MoonlitKnight » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:13 am

jbeall wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:32 am
The film seems more interested in the gender dynamic of Katherine Graham's courage. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, except that, as is typical of Spielberg
SpoilerShow
it's done in a way that's heavy-handed. There's a moment early on when Bradlee expresses admiration for Graham's competence, which makes his wife's later monologue redundant. And of course the scene mentioned earlier in this thread. At any rate, Graham's fear of alienating her upper-crust friends is certainly interesting, and there's an exploration to be made of how the well-connected "pull punches" in order to remain well-connected, but I thought the to-that-point unprecedented hostility and vindictiveness of Nixon and his administration was under-explored.
Indeed, it annoyed me that virtually all of the heroism was placed on Katherine Graham's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers (which should've been a no-brainer) and virtually none on Daniel Ellsberg, who actually blew the whistle and leaked the info on said government corruption the first place (and, who, let's face it, would almost certainly be made into a pariah today à la Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden :-# ).

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colinr0380
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#33 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:51 pm

Well said, MoonlitKnight.

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tenia
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#34 Post by tenia » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:00 pm

I was actually extremely surprised by how little screentime is dedicated to Ellsberg.

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Brian C
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#35 Post by Brian C » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:31 pm

The movie isn’t about Ellsberg, though. You might as well criticize SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for not giving enough credit to the Russians fighting on the Eastern front.

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#36 Post by MoonlitKnight » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:10 pm

Well, that's a false equivalence if I ever heard one. The Russians don't even factor into SPR. But in this film it's gone to fairly great lengths at the beginning to show Ellsberg learning about this info and then making the decision to copy it and take it with him to potentially distribute... and then just sort of disappears until the plot (briefly) needs him once more. And after that moment he's never even mentioned again. :-k

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domino harvey
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#37 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:13 pm

This movie is about the decision to publish the papers, not the decision to leak them to the paper

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knives
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#38 Post by knives » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:13 pm

Would the Deep Throat in All the President's Men be an easier comparison for you to swallow? It's pretty clear that the point of the analogy is to show that the film is about her and he's here exclusively because he's the one who activates the plot, but his relationship to the characters and themes never rises above plot.

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tenia
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#39 Post by tenia » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:13 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:13 pm
This movie is about the decision to publish the papers, not the decision to leak them to the paper
I know that, but I still was surprised by how little Ellsberg ends up showing up on screen nevertheless. Especially since after understanding he would be indeed only appearing early in the movie, he actually shows up again later but again for very little screentime. As MK said, there's a whole process shown early in the movie then nothing but oh wait ! oh no, nothing really again.
I don't know. It seemed weird to me to have this heavy introduction and then not much more later. Some kind of balance issue.

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#40 Post by MoonlitKnight » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:15 am

Perhaps that's why the film never rises above the level of 'decent,' since it chooses to focus on a less compelling aspect of the whole Pentagon Papers saga (again, publishing this info should've been a no-brainer, IMO). And it's all the more ironic given that the WaPo would be unlikely to take on such a scoop today; they're now pretty much pro-Establishment all the way (which is almost certainly why entities like WikiLeaks now exist). I sometimes wonder how much info that our government files under 'classified' is only actually classified because it involves them doing something unethical -- and they know it, so that's how they can cover it up from the general public. Of course, this may not be the place for such a discussion... :-$

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domino harvey
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#41 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:44 am

I feel like you didn't even watch the movie, because the film spent an awful lot of time explaining why the decision to publish was a difficult one

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#42 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:13 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:44 am
I feel like you didn't even watch the movie, because the film spent an awful lot of time explaining why the decision to publish was a difficult one
I haven't seen the film, but the decision to publish and the ensuing court case challenging publication is an enormous chapter in law and journalism - you can't underestimate the stakes in that decision, and to say it was an easy "no-brainer" choice completely misses why it was so historical and so difficult.

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#43 Post by MoonlitKnight » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:41 pm

Except our government never should've been involved in that shit in the first place. Exposing the corruption of one's government should NOT be considered criminal -- EVER. These people need to stop being all buddy-buddy with each other if it's going to affect how they do their job. The press is generally considered our unofficial fourth branch of government; when they're bought off/compelled to be quiet about what the other branches may be doing, what's their point of existing? I don't know why this is even up for debate. To quote MLK, it's never the wrong time to do the right thing.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#44 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:46 pm

So, the movie is flawed because it accurately relays history you disagree with?

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swo17
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#45 Post by swo17 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:47 pm

This is the same reason I don't watch murder mysteries--no one should be committing murder EVER

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tenia
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#46 Post by tenia » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:16 pm

I... didn't see that one coming. What I felt about Ellsberg's small screentime is how weird it ends up in the movie cut. There's a great deal about him at the beginning, almost leading us to believe he'll come back as an important character (and you'd think he is, in a way, since he brought the documents in the first place), but he doesn't, even in cases where you feel "well, they're just going to trace it back to Ellsberg". Then, much later, he's back, but only for a very brief moment.

It's more an editing/screenwriting thing than anything. And in any case, I wouldn't know enough about the historical background to compare the movie to it, but yeah, his character's treatment felt either light, or misbalanced. I don't know.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#47 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:20 pm

He's there so viewers who don't know the whole story already have a sense of what's going on. I can't imagine telling this story without acknowledging the method with which the info was obtained initially and then again for the paper, but this still isn't his film (and makes no claims otherwise). I have no idea why some members are struggling with this completely innocuous inclusion

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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#48 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:20 pm

knives wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:13 pm
Would the Deep Throat in All the President's Men be an easier comparison for you to swallow?
Would have been impossible to expand on Deep Throat's character, motivations, etc. in 1976, for obvious reasons, so maybe not the best comparison. But I like your pun, intended or not.

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knives
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#49 Post by knives » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:55 pm

You're right on a purely factual level of course, but if at least part of the argument is structural that seems like a good comparison point.

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tenia
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Re: The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)

#50 Post by tenia » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:49 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:20 pm
He's there so viewers who don't know the whole story already have a sense of what's going on. I can't imagine telling this story without acknowledging the method with which the info was obtained initially and then again for the paper, but this still isn't his film (and makes no claims otherwise). I have no idea why some members are struggling with this completely innocuous inclusion
Let's say it this way : it's a very minor thing, and maybe it's because I usually like Matthew Rhys, but it's just that Ellsberg's inclusion in the movie can feel a bit strange, even if it's clearly not his movie. It's just a small screenwriting articulation that feel at times strange, while nothing truly bothering, but still.

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