Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#76 Post by knives » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:31 pm

I’ll come out as another lover of this movie. Maybe my favorite Johnson with the sub Wes Anderson playing with chronological setting being a particular satisfying part for me. I found the plot mechanics to be secondary to this clash which is probably what helped me to enjoy this as Agatha Christie mysteries are among my least favorite anything.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#77 Post by DarkImbecile » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:34 pm

When I saw you posted to this thread, I really wanted you to dislike this for a totally ludicrous reason so I could reply “Knives, out”

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knives
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#78 Post by knives » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:47 pm

I could still do that. Um, not enough ass shot of Chris Evans?

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#79 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:30 am

I liked this a lot more on a revisit, as the absence of mystery allowed me to attend to the assorted ingredients Johnson pours into this comprehensive vision. I knew he was doing a lot, but the degrees of ambition run a lot deeper than I remembered, especially the narrative trajectory, which pulls from all characters, not only Craig's Southern Poirot or de Armas' innocent moralist. The first act could have easily failed, as we get visually reconstructed memories from ten-plus people with a mixture of outright lies, falsehoods-by-way-of-willful-perspective, and hidden truths, yet Johnson doesn't only make it work but translates this arrangement into an extremely digestible flow.

Helping out here are the colorful details, and they're embedded and layered in nearly every scene. The intricate architectural blueprints of the house come clear to us across a series of scenes without revealing this as their purpose. The three detectives' dynamic presents a diversity in personality resembling both comedy troupes from film history and America as it is now, with Stanfield breaking his detective role seamlessly with blunt, witty slang to illustrate his points, and Segan never even attempting to become a detective, embodying a privileged, witless, branded third-wheel whose entire psychology seems to reject doing any actual work. Craig and de Armas are both fishes out of water in a New England charade of classist narcissism, and their affinity of foreignness is felt throughout as our surrogates to sniff the shit. We get plenty of cues to relate to the family early on, but Johnson pulls us away from identifying too strongly. I think he lets the audience off way too easy by shifting back to these two and 'other'ing the family from them and the viewer, and overall plays it very safe with the method by which he expresses the obvious cultural references, but hey, they still work fine on the surface in step with the film's congenial tone.

The references that do work for me though aren't the loud political gags, but smaller details pasted in the cracks. Even the significant prop of Naloxone works on name-recognition following its ubiquitous prevalence in the opioid epidemic (at least in the Boston area, a sizable chunk of people I know have it on hand here), and speaking of, it’s ultimately a great anthropological study of the concealed hypocrisy in the upper class of Boston suburbs, and Northeast egocentricity in general. Meg is the most frustrating character of them all, one that the film makes a point to exploit but whom de Armas forgives effortlessly, and if we read between the lines we can pity Meg for wanting to do the right thing but reacting wrongly in a silver-spoon fight/flight mode when her privilege of tuition at Smith College is threatened. And I don't mean pity because she's got a fair point to turn on her friend and put actions in motion to ruin her family's life, but because her worldview has given her no tolerance to what kind of problems one needs to sacrifice their morals for, and so this is her bar, tragic and pathetic at once. The shells of microaggressions in New England are expressed in many ways here, from racism and self-pity clumsily hidden under a thin sheet of progressiveness to selfishness manifesting as kindness and empathy, but the depiction of moral relativism applied unknowingly whenever stimulated is an apt description of the 21st century sensitization effect. Johnson magnifies, with bitter humor, how the coddling generation isn't a post-9/11 gen x phenomenon but extends all the way up to boomers who don't even know it. Plummer and de Armas' warmth contrasts with nearly everyone else to optimistically proclaim that the world belongs to the humble and the grateful.

On a purely cinematic level, the film is very fun, and I don't care so much that everything is so contrived- that seems to be the point. Luck and skill are balanced here- and the latter is demonstrated by ridiculously superhuman mental gymnastics we aren't privy to and.. holding back vomit, in the classical definition of "skill." However, the skill of humanistic development, of being kind and moral against self-preservation- or as an advanced form of it, is what matters, and it's somehow presented to us in a recycled motion without ever feeling at-odds with the vibe of forward-momentum entertainment- quite the opposite, actually, often lending itself to being explicitly part of the action. And who doesn't want to give a Fuck Off stare to one's enemies, as a quiet form of violence set to Sweet Virginia?

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#80 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:46 pm


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captveg
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#81 Post by captveg » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:16 pm

I get that this is Netflix paying out Lionsgate's expected box office returns on the two films, but $450m on two films just for the rights to make them? Assuming they can make both of them for under $100m total (the first film had a $40m budget), that's a conservative estimate of $550m spend on two movies. And that's if production costs stay essentially flat. Unreal.

The streaming wars heating up for sure.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#82 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:38 pm

According to this, it doesn't sound like Lionsgate is getting anything from Netflix, since Johnson and his co-producer Ram Bergman own the IP and the the deal for the original gave Lionsgate no rights to sequels. I assume the $450m includes the money that Johnson and Bergman will use to make the movies (which I also suspect will come in north of $100m total—certainly salaries are going to go way up now that everyone knows this is a bona fide big-money franchise), but that's definitely a hefty payday on top.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#83 Post by Monterey Jack » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:41 pm

Surreal to me that Johnson will personally make more money on Knives Out than on making a Star Wars movie.

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captveg
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#84 Post by captveg » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:01 pm

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:38 pm
According to this, it doesn't sound like Lionsgate is getting anything from Netflix, since Johnson and his co-producer Ram Bergman own the IP and the the deal for the original gave Lionsgate no rights to sequels. I assume the $450m includes the money that Johnson and Bergman will use to make the movies (which I also suspect will come in north of $100m total—certainly salaries are going to go way up now that everyone knows this is a bona fide big-money franchise), but that's definitely a hefty payday on top.
Thanks. That makes it a little more understandable (but still...)

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#85 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 11, 2021 10:26 pm

Edward Norton and Dave Bautista have signed on to the sequel

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#86 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu May 13, 2021 12:00 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:26 pm
Edward Norton and Dave Bautista have signed on to the sequel
+ Janelle Monáe

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#87 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu May 13, 2021 6:08 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 12:00 am
therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:26 pm
Edward Norton and Dave Bautista have signed on to the sequel
+ Janelle Monáe
+ Kathryn Hahn

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#88 Post by Monterey Jack » Thu May 13, 2021 10:39 pm

Guess it was Agatha All Along...

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Pavel
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#89 Post by Pavel » Wed May 19, 2021 2:13 am

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 6:08 pm
therewillbeblus wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 12:00 am
therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:26 pm
Edward Norton and Dave Bautista have signed on to the sequel
+ Janelle Monáe
+ Kathryn Hahn
+ Leslie Odom, Jr.

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domino harvey
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#90 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 19, 2021 10:42 am

This thread has turned into a game of "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing..."

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#91 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu May 20, 2021 3:43 pm

Well today I'm bringing Kate Hudson

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

#92 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:08 pm

In case anyone missed Rian's release of the storyboards:

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