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As every year on this day: V for Vendetta. Still brilliant, and it may actually still be getting better every time I watch it. Still relevant, too.

The Graphic Novel's message was unforgivingly dumbed down (and in some aspects completely altered) in the movie. There aren't really any grey areas in this movie. It is a very entertaining and engaging movie, no doubt, but it's hard to respect it as much knowing the source material, which presented much more daring and controversial political views.

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A couple days ago I watch The Da Vinci Code: Extended Edition on Blu. At 3 hours, it's even worse than it's theatrical cut. Zimmer's score is really the only good thing about this movie. But that's what you get when you don't make a proper adaptation. This thing has like 3 climaxes and resolutions.

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The Graphic Novel's message was unforgivingly dumbed down (and in some aspects completely altered) in the movie. There aren't really any grey areas in this movie. It is a very entertaining and engaging movie, no doubt, but it's hard to respect it as much knowing the source material, which presented much more daring and controversial political views.

I agree completely.

Karol

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The Graphic Novel's message was unforgivingly dumbed down (and in some aspects completely altered) in the movie. There aren't really any grey areas in this movie. It is a very entertaining and engaging movie, no doubt, but it's hard to respect it as much knowing the source material, which presented much more daring and controversial political views.

I agree completely.

Karol

Me too, and I haven't even read the graphic novel.

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Not mention he gets killed by a jellyfish. In that case, wouldn't the poison be in his body, thus voiding his organs?

Possibly not. The toxin of the jellyfish would have acted on the nervous system and was just enough to stop his heart by parallelization. With the body in ice, it would slow the spread of the toxin enough to keep the heart free of the poison.

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Watchmen: Interesting hybrid of mainly great things and sometimes not so good things. Yes, I loved it but it could've been better. Some snippets of the story, dialog and acting (the girl) weren't up to the film's own standards. But then again, I really expected a lot so I have to see it again sometime to form a better opinion. One thing is for sure, this is no DC or Marvel comic book. And the action scenes (the fighting scenes which are quite violent, btw) prove that Nolan's Batman choreography (with all its 'super close to the action' shots) aren't all that great. In the beginning, I kept thinking, OMG, Zack Snyder is the new Ridley Scott (the good Ridley Scott from his early period) and the funny thing is that there are at least 2 Ridley Scott commercials in Watchmen.

Damnit, now I want to see the Director's Cut!

Alex

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Watchmen: Interesting hybrid of mainly great things and sometimes not so good things. Yes, I loved it but it could've been better. Some snippets of the story, dialog and acting (the girl) weren't up to the film's own standards. But then again, I really expected a lot so I have to see it again sometime to form a better opinion. One thing is for sure, this is no DC or Marvel comic book. And the action scenes (the fighting scenes which are quite violent, btw) prove that Nolan's Batman choreography (with all its 'super close to the action' shots) aren't all that great. In the beginning, I kept thinking, OMG, Zack Snyder is the new Ridley Scott (the good Ridley Scott from his early period) and the funny thing is that there are at least 2 Ridley Scott commercials in Watchmen.

Alex

The Apple one and the Hovis one?

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Watchmen: Interesting hybrid of mainly great things and sometimes not so good things. Yes, I loved it but it could've been better. Some snippets of the story, dialog and acting (the girl) weren't up to the film's own standards. But then again, I really expected a lot so I have to see it again sometime to form a better opinion. One thing is for sure, this is no DC or Marvel comic book. And the action scenes (the fighting scenes which are quite violent, btw) prove that Nolan's Batman choreography (with all its 'super close to the action' shots) aren't all that great. In the beginning, I kept thinking, OMG, Zack Snyder is the new Ridley Scott (the good Ridley Scott from his early period) and the funny thing is that there are at least 2 Ridley Scott commercials in Watchmen.

Damnit, now I want to see the Director's Cut!

Alex

Better see the "ultimate cut" which should be out now in the US. It has all the story elements: the director's cut and the animated pirate story intercut with the main film. As far as I know it's 1 hour longer than the theatrical cut and this is the version everyone wanted to see in the first place. Sadly, neither the director or ultimate cuts are available to purchase in Europe, because of this lawsuit between Warner and Paramount earlier this year. Pity :(

Karol

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I saw the Apple one and a Chanel Nr. 5 (by the swimming pool) one.

Better see the "ultimate cut" which should be out now in the US. It has all the story elements: the director's cut and the animated pirate story intercut with the main film. As far as I know it's 1 hour longer than the theatrical cut and this is the version everyone wanted to see in the first place. Sadly, neither the director or ultimate cuts are available to purchase in Europe, because of this lawsuit between Warner and Paramount earlier this year. Pity :(

One hour longer seems like really much. Are you sure?

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Better see the "ultimate cut" which should be out now in the US.

This one?

Sadly, neither the director or ultimate cuts are available to purchase in Europe, because of this lawsuit between Warner and Paramount earlier this year. Pity :(

And that's why one shouldn't buy region-locked players. :(

But it looks like at least the DC is coming out here, too: Link (also on DVD).

I've not seen any version of the movie, but I'm getting intrigued.

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One hour longer seems like really much. Are you sure?

The director's cut is better than the theatrical cut, or I'm heard. And I've seen the animated feature on a separate DVD and it's quite good. In the comic book it is integral part of the whole. This is such a strange film anyway and the pacing is off in either version, so I'd say: get the fullest version possible. It should be at least interesting.

Yes.

But it looks like at least the DC is coming out here, too: Link (also on DVD).

Then I might actually get it then. Thank you. :(

Karol

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I will.

Wow, the Ultimate Cut of Watchmen lasts 251 minutes!!! The DC lasts 186 minutes.

According to Marian's link, they expect the Blu-ray of the UC to be region free.

Alex

This is actually inaccurate. The running time is something like 220 minutes. The only major difference between UC and DC is that the former contains the pirate story, which runs 25 minutes or so. I suppose there are also ins and outs for these parts in the form of the kid reading this comic next to the newsstand. But that's just my guess.

Karol

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Watchmen: Interesting hybrid of mainly great things and sometimes not so good things. Yes, I loved it but it could've been better. Some snippets of the story, dialog and acting (the girl) weren't up to the film's own standards. But then again, I really expected a lot so I have to see it again sometime to form a better opinion. One thing is for sure, this is no DC or Marvel comic book. And the action scenes (the fighting scenes which are quite violent, btw) prove that Nolan's Batman choreography (with all its 'super close to the action' shots) aren't all that great. In the beginning, I kept thinking, OMG, Zack Snyder is the new Ridley Scott (the good Ridley Scott from his early period) and the funny thing is that there are at least 2 Ridley Scott commercials in Watchmen.

Wow. I am shocked at this.

Morlock- Who kind of liked the movie, but has little to no respect for Zack Snyder, who as an artist, is an intellectual and moral vacuum.

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Caught the second half of Revenge of the Sith on TV. First time I've watched it since it came out and WOW, I didn't realise just how much like an extended videogame cutscene the whole thing honestly is - the cgi is pretty terrible in general, to be honest. Its a bit embarrassing to realise just how awful the movie really is actually, a right cringy stinker. McDiarmid was marvellous though.

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He's the only one who seems to realize what movie he's in.

Saw Fritz Lang's The Big Heat (1953). I'm not surprised to find this the third most popular Lang film after Metropolis and M- great, great, great film noir, starring Glenn Ford as a police detective looking into corruption in his city. Lee Marvin adds a great deal of violent emotion in what is (I believe) his first major screen performance (he has a famous scene where he pours scolding coffee on Gloria Graham's face). I loved how, theamatically, it connected with the two Lang films mentioned above, even though it's over 25 years later, in a different language, style, and genre.

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"The Entity" (1981) starring Barbara Hershey and Ron Silver. Supposedly based on a true story, I'd forgotten how creepy this movie actually was until I re-visited it the other night. Given the current interest in all things paranormal in movies currently out "Paranormal Activities", "The Fourth Kind", etc, it was refreshing to see that you didn't need CGI or OTT SP-FX to achieve a level of scariness.

One factor which I found obtrusive in some scenes, was Charles Bernstein's synth score and especially so in the final scene where Hershey returns to her home after the "attacks" on her. It'll be interesting to see if this is the score that Intrada will release shortly. A pre-cursor to his A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST score.

Hershey was brilliant as she always is in movies and the late Ron Silver plays her doctor who can't decide whether she's barking mad or completely sane. The scene where the paranormal scientists set up shop in Hershey's home is eerily familiar to the same type scene in POLTERGEIST a year later. All-in-all, an enjoyable romp down memory lane. ***/*****

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Watchmen: Interesting hybrid of mainly great things and sometimes not so good things. Yes, I loved it but it could've been better. Some snippets of the story, dialog and acting (the girl) weren't up to the film's own standards. But then again, I really expected a lot so I have to see it again sometime to form a better opinion. One thing is for sure, this is no DC or Marvel comic book. And the action scenes (the fighting scenes which are quite violent, btw) prove that Nolan's Batman choreography (with all its 'super close to the action' shots) aren't all that great. In the beginning, I kept thinking, OMG, Zack Snyder is the new Ridley Scott (the good Ridley Scott from his early period) and the funny thing is that there are at least 2 Ridley Scott commercials in Watchmen.

Wow. I am shocked at this.

Shocked at what exactly? I don't get it.

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Shocked at your vert positive response to it, shocked that you bring up Nolan and Scott, and shocked that you are mentioning them to complement Snyder.

Sure, why not? These were very honest responses. The film is certainly not perfect but I was fascinated the whole time: Smart dialog, great visuals and sickening violence. Like I already said, during the beginning of Watchmen, I sorta felt the same things I felt when I first saw Alien and Blade Runner. In fact, pure aesthetically, I'm more impressed with Snyder than with modern Ridley (I know, I know, he has the graphic novel to base himself on but I'm not familiar with the work of Alan Moore). And I was glad that Snyder didn't copy Nolan's or Bourne's style of fight scenes. I was actually really blown away by how Snyder handled them. Spoiler: That fight scene with The Comedian in his apartment truly shocked me. A lot of medium shots and yet it's full of vigor and very graphic (unlike the new trend). It too reminded me of the early Ridley Scott.

Oh yeah, I did not like most of the '80s songs. Donnie Darko utilizes '80s songs in a much better way.

Missing: I like this movie at the time but I can't say that I still do. It probably was better not to see this unflashy movie after Watchmen.

Alex

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Missing: I like this movie at the time but I can't say I still do. It probably was better not to see this unflashy movie after Watchmen.

Are you talking about the Ron Howard film? I saw that once, in theaters, and remember liking it. I've been meaning to see it again but something tells me it's awful.

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Are you talking about the Ron Howard film? I saw that once, in theaters, and remember liking it. I've been meaning to see it again but something tells me it's awful.

No, I'm talking about the Costa-Gavras film with Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spaceck.

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Are you talking about the Ron Howard film? I saw that once, in theaters, and remember liking it. I've been meaning to see it again but something tells me it's awful.

No, I'm talking about the Costa-Gavras film with Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spaceck.

Is that the one where Spaceck is liberated by Lee Marvin? Probably not!

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@Alex: In this particular case, I am biased, having read the comic before. But most of what thought about this film was similar to what I thought about 300. I did like this one more, becuase of the far superior source material. But there is practically nothing good in this film that showed any kind of cinematic imagination. There's the opening scene (The Comedian's death scene, which you mentioned), the main credits and maybe another shot or two. The violence is sickening in how inappropriately sexualized it...after the opening scene, the violence is of the same fetishized cool type of 300. I didn't hate all the music choices, but most of them implied a miniscule imagination, and a lack of caring for the content of the film. This film is divorced from thought, divorced from morality, divorced from cinematic creativity, and it's images are divorced from emotion. I can theoretically understand that this film looks good...but there is absolutely nothing behind it other than 'this looks cool'. Snyder may be a great visual artist, but so far he is a remarkably hollow film director. The pictorial beauty of his films are cumpletely banal compared to the beauty of Scott's early pics for sure, but even compared to something as recent as Kingdom of Heaven or Hannibal.

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There's the opening scene (The Comedian's death scene, which you mentioned), the main credits and maybe another shot or two. The violence is sickening in how inappropriately sexualized it...after the opening scene, the violence is of the same fetishized cool type of 300.

What baffles me about the use of violence is the fact almost every violent act in the film is amplified, but at the end,

it becomes almost polite. In the comic book it was all different. There was no gory display until the infamous catastrophe. It made sense at that point to make it horrific so there is this impact on the reader. But here is all this is lost. I don't quite get it. The movie is pretty hardcore up to this point.

Why this reverse all of a sudden? They wouldn't turn it into happy ending anyway. Ah, well...

Karol

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@Alex: In this particular case, I am biased, having read the comic before. But most of what thought about this film was similar to what I thought about 300. I did like this one more, becuase of the far superior source material. But there is practically nothing good in this film that showed any kind of cinematic imagination. There's the opening scene (The Comedian's death scene, which you mentioned), the main credits and maybe another shot or two. The violence is sickening in how inappropriately sexualized it...after the opening scene, the violence is of the same fetishized cool type of 300. I didn't hate all the music choices, but most of them implied a miniscule imagination, and a lack of caring for the content of the film. This film is divorced from thought, divorced from morality, divorced from cinematic creativity, and it's images are divorced from emotion. I can theoretically understand that this film looks good...but there is absolutely nothing behind it other than 'this looks cool'. Snyder may be a great visual artist, but so far he is a remarkably hollow film director. The pictorial beauty of his films are cumpletely banal compared to the beauty of Scott's early pics for sure, but even compared to something as recent as Kingdom of Heaven or Hannibal.

Well, I know I agree with "a great visual artist" and you're probably right about Snyder being "a hollow film director" (whatever that means in Hollywood) but I like Snyder's tone, which I recognize in both films. Something in his movies is keeping me alert, is keeping me on the edge. I was intrigued for 3 hours so I know he's not a bad storyteller. Znyder is something of an oddball. I know what I saw was atypical for Hollywood and I'm glad something like this got through approval. What strikes me is that you "kinda" like it, Morlock. Three or four years ago, you would have loathed it, just like Koray and Datameister. Interesting.

And yes, the tone of the violence switches in later scenes. The later fights weren't meant to be dramatic.

Also, I sincerely disagree with KOH and Hannibal being superior in aesthetical department. Yes, Watchmen lacks a poetic beauty of Scott's early films but most of Ridley's later films have that Tony Scott/Jerry Bruckheimer touch which I do not like. I find them workmanlike but very hollow and not so artistic.

Alex

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Three or four years ago, you would have loathed it, just like Koray and Datameister.

I can't speak for Koray, but I never said I loathed it. Like I said, it had a good eye candy factor, and I decided to watch the whole thing despite the fact that I was seeing it for free and had numerous good stopping points when I could have left. But at the end of the film, I was just struck by how little comprehension I had of the plot, and of how little I cared or knew about the characters. That doesn't translate to loathing the film; it just means I have little connection to it.

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But at the end of the film, I was just struck by how little comprehension I had of the plot, and of how little I cared or knew about the characters. That doesn't translate to loathing the film; it just means I have little connection to it.

That's exactly the point. Art mirrors life. Watchmen is an allegory of the times. No connection is the modus operandi of the society now. It's all about direct connection with tiny sources via cellphone etc. The bigger picture is no longer in view.

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I think Datameister means there weren't any sympathetic characters to whom he could relate. You know, like Bruce Willis character in the Die Hard series or the Harrison Ford character in the Indiana Jones series or the Michael J. Fox character in the Back To The Future series, et cetera.

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And yes, the tone of the violence switches in later scenes. The later fights weren't meant to be dramatic.

I'm not sure what that means- 'Weren't meant to be dramatic'. They were shot like a porn film, fetishized and de-contextualized.

Also, I sincerely disagree with KOH and Hannibal being superior in aesthetical department. Yes, Watchmen lacks a poetic beauty of Scott's early films but most of Ridley's later films have that Tony Scott/Jerry Bruckheimer touch which I do not like. I find them workmanlike but very hollow and not so artistic.

Well, they have emotion, which I don't think Snyder has at all. The images of Hannibal have a real weight to them. Snyder's images are only about cool. Nothing else. Not beauty, nothing even approaching poetry, but cool. I guess that makes him some sort of pop visual artist. Fine. But he is not making films. The most cinematic his senses get are music videos, only without the invention of the really good director in the field.

I guess that Scott is to blame for the Snyders of the world, but, to me, the difference between the two is telling. It's a misunderstanding of Scott's sensibility, that he makes pretty and compelling images but nothing more, that leads to the Snyders. I do think that film, being a visual medium, can achieve greatness and transcendance in purely visual terms. But they have to have some weight. Some kind of weight of emotion, or story-telling. To my mind, Snyder's images might achieve mythology, but nothing human, nothing average, nothing relatable...just the coolest of the cool. He's sculpting his monster without basic film grammar, only trying to pull off a Ridley shot, every single time. He's not a story-teller. Ridley may have the exterior of a neat, dry, cigar smoking technician, but there is a huge amount of emotion in his best films (The Duellists, Blade Runner, and to my mind, Hannibal and Kingdom of Heaven). The Duellists ain't sophisticated but someone cared an awful lot about these characters and their story. I don't get that from Snyder, at all. He's got a fraction of the skill and none of the emotion, beyond the sense of the mythic (which is downgraded to 'cool' by overuse).

Whoa...I'm not sure where that mini-rant came from. I do know I've been thinking a lot about the morality of film aesthetics recently (old and modern neorealism representing such a great contrast). These well-meaning nice directors who seem to be enthusiastic about their projects but are woefully unsuited for the job really get me worked up for some reason. I know I sound very harsh about some of these films, but even though I would much rather attack a film that I activly hated than one that I kinda enjoyed...something about them is so much more frustrating. Bad films are easy to deal with, mediocrity is more complicated.

I still enjoyed this one because he's got enough money, enough skill, enough good acting (three performances I liked), and a good enough source that even without intelligence or a moral sense, it was still entertaining enough. I actually went to see it twice, to see if the first time was not just a reaction to my dislike for 300 and my appreciation for the comic.

Morlock- Really enjoying this discussion

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I'm not sure what that means- 'Weren't meant to be dramatic'.

There's a big difference in drama between the scene with The Comedian (in relation to what he means to the story and the other characters) and the scene with the 12 punks in the alley. The latter was the Watchmen just having a good time by reliving the old days. Comic book fights always have that fetish thing going on. Only, in my book, Snyder does it better than most other directors. :D

Well, they have emotion, which I don't think Snyder has at all. The images of Hannibal have a real weight to them. Snyder's images are only about cool. Nothing else. Not beauty, nothing even approaching poetry, but cool. I guess that makes him some sort of pop visual artist. Fine. But he is not making films. The most cinematic his senses get are music videos, only without the invention of the really good director in the field.

I don't think that's it because I don't like music videos and certainly not when they last 3 hours long! :P

However, I believe Snyder's images do possess a great "beauty" (even when it's a dark, dirty alley or the choreography/cinematography of a fight). They just don't have the similar emotional, touching beauty of young Scott.

I guess that Scott is to blame for the Snyders of the world, but, to me, the difference between the two is telling. It's a misunderstanding of Scott's sensibility, that he makes pretty and compelling images but nothing more, that leads to the Snyders. I do think that film, being a visual medium, can achieve greatness and transcendance in purely visual terms. But they have to have some weight. Some kind of weight of emotion, or story-telling. To my mind, Snyder's images might achieve mythology, but nothing human, nothing average, nothing relatable...just the coolest of the cool.

I relate to his images very much, Morlock. Snyder is quite a master in mise-en scène, just like Ridley Scott (early period) or a Stanley Kubrick (early period, middle and late period). And just like his role models, I can clearly notice that Snyder is truly obsessed with visual detail. I suspect Snyder is probably more superficial or perhaps just different in other departments. I see that his actors are almost devoid of depth. Maybe the characters are only needed to serve his mythological approach, like you cleverly suggested, and then they don't need emotional "depth". I don't know, for a better understanding, I really have to see the film more than once. I was too occupied watching the movie and following the story. But I know Snyder kept me glued to the screen for 3 hours, and that's really something, because most movies don't. The question on my mind is, will the movie survive a second viewing? At this moment, I haven't got a clue.

He's not a story-teller.

You know, that's what everyone said about Ridley Scott when he made Alien and Blade Runner: He just shoots cool pictures with no meaning or storytelling abilities. I disagreed back then and I must disagree now. I think Snyder just doesn't tell it the way you happen to like it. I was even surprised that there was a storyteller at work in 300, which is a basically a movie without much story.

Alex

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I think Datameister means there weren't any sympathetic characters to whom he could relate. You know, like Bruce Willis character in the Die Hard series or the Harrison Ford character in the Indiana Jones series or the Michael J. Fox character in the Back To The Future series, et cetera.

:D I won't dignify that with a serious response. Glad you liked the film more than I did, Alex.

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The storyteller in 300 was Frank Miller.

Yes! All that is good/brilliant storywise about those two films has nothing to do with Zack Snyder. That's the problem. He has an eye to stage some of these sequences, that's true, but doesn't add any substance of his own (i.e. something that wasn't already there, I mean). I don't like Watchmen-the movie. I like Watchmen. That's what keeps me interested in this, really. It's curious for me to see this as a live moving thing, that's it. But I prefer when director DOES something creatively with the source material. And this is not the case here. Not from the story perspective anyway.

Karol

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Watched part of 2010 (again).

Noticed a subtle difference between this one and 2001.

Kubrick often points his camera directly at HAL's eye, making it like HAL is looking straight at us.

Hyams always shoots HAL under a (slight) angle. probably to avoid showing a reflection of his lense in the "eye" of HAL.

The difference in how we percieve HAL is rather profound.

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Kubrick often points his camera directly at HAL's eye, making it like HAL is looking straight at us.

Hyams always shoots HAL under a (slight) angle. probably to avoid showing a reflection of his lense in the "eye" of HAL.

The difference in how we percieve HAL is rather profound.

Good observation!

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A Christmas Carol.

still don't see how a cartoon can cost 200 million dollars, it certainly doesn't show on the screen.

I don't see the point of having Jim Carrey, who I've always thought to be a very limited actor comedian.

Here he does his best Alistar Sims. He channels him.

The movie is often very good.

But at times its so dark and I mean as in lighting that its pointless for the 3D.

Still at other times its quite beautifully lit.

The movie is very dark and I mean story wise. I've read some critics questioning this and I realize they are very ignorant of the story. This is not a children's tale. This is damned near a horror story.

Overall I liked it alot, better than the George C Scott version, the June Lockhart version, but not the perfect Alistar Sims version which is a great movie anytime of the year.

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still don't see how a cartoon can cost 200 million dollars

Neither do I, but a CGI flick like A Christmas Carol is a whole 'nother story. If you look into the process of creating a single frame of a computer-animated motion picture, you'll realize that there's an incredible amount of work that goes into even the less spectacular-looking ones. Then you have to create 24 of those frames for every second of every minute of every hour, and a "farm" of computers has to spend a lot of time rendering it all. It's an expensive, time-consuming process that requires no small amount of ingenuity on the parts of all those involved. Time + talent + technology = lots of money.

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still don't believe it at all.

Its a fricking cartoon, it might be CGI but its still a cartoon.

If it really costs that then they should go back to using just humans and make a real movie.

BTW hand drawn would have been much more beautiful.

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