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Max

Michael Giacchino's The Book of Henry (2017)

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What are the odds, after seeing the reviews, Trevorrow starts citing the film as an 'intentionally satirical reflection of the genre' or something equally pretentious?

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Gosh.. if they still go with Teverrow  I will be very surprised. I mean, what has he done to deserve such an assignment. Sure "Safety not Guaranteed" was a good indie movie, more due to the actors than the direction, but ok. Than he got Jurassic World which was ok at best. Now he, with full control, directed a movie that is being panned across the board. While great directors are need of opportunities they give one o for the most anticipted movies ever tô an inexpiriences and amateur director. 

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2 hours ago, saulocf said:

Than he got Jurassic World which was ok at best. 

 

"Ok" is exactly what they need. Especially if it helped rake in over a billion.

6 hours ago, crumbs said:

Only early, but getting savaged by critics so far.

 

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_book_of_henry/

 

Someone please tell me why this increasingly mediocre director is responsible for writing and directing what will probably be John Williams' final Star Wars score? :angry:

 

Oh jeez. Sounds like a terrible misfire all around.

 

I just saw the trailer, seems quite conflicted.

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1 minute ago, Jay said:

But is the movie bad because it was directed poorly, or just written poorly?

Some reviews that I read really bash the directing. Saying that Teverrow could not bring any style to the movie and was not able to handle the scripts turns. At least most of the reviews praise the score. Saying that does other than Watts is the only thing keeping the movie together.

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1 minute ago, BloodBoal said:

 

A good director can make a great movie out of poor script!

 

I don't think that's true.  Maybe a great director can make a good movie out of a poor script, but what GREAT movies have poor scripts?

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

I don't think that's true.  Maybe a great director can make a good movie out of a poor script, but what GREAT movies have poor scripts?

Avatar, Titanic, and almost all of James Cameron'a films 

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Aliens and Terminator might be genre fare but they have fantastic scripts.

 

Joblo review:

Quote

THE BOOK OF HENRY really is Razzie-level bad, and a serious misfire for Trevorrow, who’ll still probably bounce back without too much effort once he plunges into STAR WARS: EPISODE IX (and he’ll do an OK job - one bad movie - even one as bad as this doesn’t automatically signal doom). It’s an awful curio that probably belongs on a “shelf of the dammed” next to movies like WINTER’S TALE and JUPITER ASCENDING. Hopefully it’ll get by without much notice, because this is truly one of the worst films I’ve seen in a good, long while.

 

Yikes.

 

The thing that irritates me most about Trevorrow is how pedestrian his direction is. Everything is so... mediocre, visually uninteresting, devoid of vision. It's like a logical computer directing a movie based on a series of formulas input by a marketing team, rather than an artist with a creative vision. I guess that's why he keeps getting gigs, because the Executives must love shit like that.

 

Worse still, he's reuniting for Episode IX with that same bland cinematographer who made the visually sterile Jurassic World. Joy! :mellow:

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23 minutes ago, KK said:

 

"Ok" is exactly what they need. Especially if it helped rake in over a billion.

 

Also, this really pisses me off. I mean, Disney is taking risks by choosing Breaking Bad and Brick director Rian Johnson to direct episode 8. Why would they choose such a safe option for ep 9 if it is the one that will finish the trilogy. My guess (and hope) is that he will be fired by this time next year.

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25 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

A good director can make a great movie out of a poor script!

 

I actually agree. At the very least, a good director/production team can make a movie that a lot of people love, even if the script is terrible.

 

12 minutes ago, crumbs said:

Aliens and Terminator might be genre fare but they have fantastic scripts.

 

Having only just seen Terminator for the first time the other day, I can see how the dialogue and set pieces became so iconic, but I found the story so incredibly weak that I wondered if these now iconic lines may have come from a talented script doctor who was just trying to salvage the thing. Even with those lines, it was the direction and Ahnold's sense of presence that made the movie.

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34 minutes ago, crumbs said:

Aliens and Terminator might be genre fare but they have fantastic scripts.

That is why I said "most of his movies". :) Titanic, Avatar, True Lies and Abyss have really ok to poor scripts

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

 

I don't think that's true.  Maybe a great director can make a good movie out of a poor script, but what GREAT movies have poor scripts?

 

A good director wouldn't sign on to a movie if it really was that bad. Or he/she would see the warning signs ahead of time and salvage something decent out of it.

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I don't know why they would fire Trevorrow over this, seeing as he's already deep into pre-production. It's not like he's going to be losing craploads of money for a studio with these poor reviews. If this was John Carter, then I'd wonder, but even Andrew Stanton was able to fall back on Finding Dory which was a guaranteed hit like Episode IX. 

 

2 hours ago, saulocf said:

That is why I said "most of his movies". :) Titanic, Avatar, True Lies and Abyss have really ok to poor scripts

 

Do you think Avatar, True Lies, and Abyss are all truly great movies, though? 

 

Titanic is one of the better examples of a problematic script significantly elevated by its direction. Some of Spielberg's come to mind as well, like Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. But I don't know if too many people who think about these things critically would consider both the films genuinely great and the scripts merely average or below.

 

I think there's something to be said for how a screenplay with kinda lame dialogue or two-dimensional characters can have other more subtle but crucial strengths like the structure of its plotting or consistency of tone, which can be exploited by a savvy director. Titanic is corny but filled with memorable situations hooked around visual ideas, even something as simple as a spitting contest (and then calling back to it) or Rose trying to find an instrument to cut Jack loose. In that sense Cameron knew what he was doing writing that thing.

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4 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

I don't know why they would fire Trevorrow over this, seeing as he's already deep into pre-production. It's not like he's going to be losing craploads of money for a studio with these poor reviews. If this was John Carter, then I'd wonder, but even Andrew Stanton was able to fall back on Finding Dory which was a guaranteed hit like Episode IX. 

 

Key difference being that Stanton had made two masterpieces of animation.  Whereas Trevorrow has made an ok movie, a pile of shit, and now apparently a "wtf were you even going for."

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17 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Key difference being that Stanton had made two masterpieces of animation. 

 

Michael Cimino made The Deer Hunter right before Heaven's Gate, Francis Ford Coppola made Apocalypse Now right before One From the Heart etc.

 

The only reason Stanton got to make another big-budget movie for Disney right away was because he pitched a sequel to a hit. Whether or not Finding Nemo is a masterpiece is irrelevant.

 

I guess Book of Henry could affect Trevorrow's chances to direct anything original for awhile, but I dunno, if he makes a good Star Wars and it makes the money, then I think he'll survive. Depends on how big of a flop this ends up being, but it looks like it only cost $10 million? The guy who should really be worried is Gregg Hurwitz who wrote it (and this is his first movie.)

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The reviews are nasty. The Guardian says 

'In its pure misjudged ickiness, bad-acting ropiness, and its quirksy, smirksy passive-aggressive tweeness, this insidiously terrible film could hardly get any more skin-crawling.' 
 
I can't deny. I am almost tempted to see what's SO BAD about it. Even the terrible reviews agree that it is atleast original in that it is atleast unpredictable. But I might wait for the DVD.

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Just now, TheUlyssesian said:

I can't deny. I am almost tempted to see what's SO BAD about it. Even the terrible reviews agree that it is atleast original in that it is atleast unpredictable. But I might wait for the DVD.

 

Me too. So tempted.  I wanna watch a trainwreck.  Maybe in my younger days when I had nothing but free time.

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36 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

Do you think Avatar, True Lies, and Abyss are all truly great movies, though? 

Nah, I was just listing James Cameron's films that have bad script because someone said that Terminator and Aliens have good scripts despite that I said that I find most of his films badly written. Other than Lee Curtis I don't even like True Lies. Having said that, I do think that Avatar is great, despite its problems. The universe is fascinating and no one can be direct a grand film like Cameron

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On 6/15/2017 at 0:39 PM, saulocf said:

That is why I said "most of his movies". :) Titanic, Avatar, True Lies and Abyss have really ok to poor scripts

 

True Lies has fantastic hilarious cracking dialogue, so can't say I agree with you there. 

 

21 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

 

Michael Cimino made The Deer Hunter right before Heaven's Gate, Francis Ford Coppola made Apocalypse Now right before One From the Heart etc.

 

The only reason Stanton got to make another big-budget movie for Disney right away was because he pitched a sequel to a hit. Whether or not Finding Nemo is a masterpiece is irrelevant.

 

I guess Book of Henry could affect Trevorrow's chances to direct anything original for awhile, but I dunno, if he makes a good Star Wars and it makes the money, then I think he'll survive. Depends on how big of a flop this ends up being, but it looks like it only cost $10 million? The guy who should really be worried is Gregg Hurwitz who wrote it (and this is his first movie.)

 

I doubt Book of Henry will affect his Star Wars directing gig, unless he pulls a Josh Trank on set or something, a little seen soon to be forgotten in three weeks small film probably isn't going to get him fired from Episode IX.

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

I hadn't seen this tweet from Trevorrow before this morning

 

 

I'm not sure infantilizing yourself is the best tactic....

 

Yep, pretty infantile response to the criticism IMO.

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I finished the album and I like the score.  It's nice to have a new score from a favorite composer that isn't another giant blockbuster type score.  There's a lot of different colors throughout the score which I appreciated.


It's not very catchy and I probably won't think to listen to it often, but I do like it after one listen for sure.

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I've listened to this album 3 times now, I like it a lot.

 

I wish I could buy it on physical CD.

 

Maybe Varese will come to the rescue like they did with Jupiter Ascending

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It's hard to think about how much of Jurassic World is down to Trevorrow, how much of The Book of Henry was him, or how much SWIX will be him too.

 

I was so disappointed after seeing Jurassic World, gone was the Spielbergian craft, those panning and tracking shots, the warmth and magic, the visual palette in JW is instead flat, CGI and boring. I came out of the theatre so crestfallen because it felt like a hollow imitation of what JP had created. 

 

 

5 minutes ago, Jay said:

I've listened to this album 3 times now, I like it a lot.

 

I wish I could buy it on physical CD.

 

Maybe Varese will come to the rescue like they did with Jupiter Ascending

With signed copies *fingers crossed

I guess another flop Giacchino is attached to, as well...

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As someone who has actually seen the movie, I can say that in my opinion the critics are being way too unfair to it. It isn't nearly as bad as they have made it out to be. And I have seen a LOT of bad movies, lol. It's kind of impossible to compare this to The Room, as someone mentioned. The movie has a lot of issues and holes, for sure, but I found it mostly harmless with some effective scenes and performances. I think people are honestly looking for a fight.

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I agree. I saw the movie Thursday night, and I found it perfectly enjoyable. It seems to me that the critics felt "betrayed" by the genre shift or felt that the genre shift was a result of "clumsiness" on Trevorrow's part, but honestly, the genre shift (i.e., the preparation for and suspense of the film's third act) was my favorite part of the movie. I also enjoyed Naomi Watts' performance. Overall, I don't think the movie deserves the disgust the critics appear to have for it, and I'm still very excited to see Trevorrow's Episode IX.

 

I like Giacchino's score, too. Admittedly, I'm a bigger fan of his blockbuster scores than his smaller scores, but I like the colors in this one, and the score plays well throughout the movie. The score in the "Research and Development" scene really stood out to me in the theater, so I was happy to hear that cue on the soundtrack.

 

Also, I'm not bothered by Giacchino's punny track titles like some are, but I did find it odd that he chose "regular" track titles for this with the exception of 

Spoiler

"Shaking, Not Stirred," which plays while Henry is having a seizure. That just feels kind of inappropriate to me... The same with "Do You Have Prince Albert in a Can?" which (I think) plays as Watts' character stops her neighbor from abusing his stepdaughter by making a phone call (like a prank call). I'm not sure if a joke track title is appropriate for the material here...

Anyway, other than those and "The Parable of the Talents," the rest of the track titles just reflect events in the movie (unless I'm missing a pun somewhere).

 

On 6/10/2017 at 10:58 AM, Richard said:

Hey, Max! Missed you, dude! Welcome back.

 

Thanks, Richard! Nice to be back! I'm sad I missed most of the discussions on Giacchino's recent scores, but at least I'm back in time for Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes!

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One of my favorite movie podcasts, Blank Check With Griffin & David, put out an episode on The Book of Henry.  They hated it passionately and lay out why very slowly and clearly (and amusingly).  Anyway, they actually single out Giacchino's score as being "really bad," at least as it functions in the film, and say how disappointed they were when they saw his name credited, because they usually like his work.

 

Listen if interested.  It's a fun, silly podcast by guys who really love movies.

 

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