Michael Clayton: The Poll

Michael Clayton: The Poll

****
1
3%
*** 1/2
10
29%
***
15
43%
** 1/2
4
11%
**
4
11%
* 1/2
1
3%
*
0
No votes
1/2 *
0
No votes
0
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 35

ITALIANO
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Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:28 pm

If someone here gave this movie four stars - or even three stars and a half - what would he give La Dolce Vita then? Hiroshima Mon Amour? Stagecoach? Please...

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Postby Steph2 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:16 am

3 stars. And yeah I know how you guys feel. I got dizzy in the "best/worst/inclusion/exclusion" thread. I'm pretty sure I cast some incorrect votes accidentally as a result.

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Postby flipp525 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:51 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:This place has gotten more poll-happy than a Vegas house dancer, don'tcha know?

Anyway, ***1/2

I second that. I think it's a bit overload. The star polls are just boring.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:32 pm

This place has gotten more poll-happy than a Vegas house dancer, don'tcha know?

Anyway, ***1/2




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Postby OscarGuy » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:59 pm

Vote on Michael Clayton
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Postby flipp525 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:42 pm

Mister Tee wrote:I think the kid's book does, as Sonic says, provide a thematic overlay (you don't know who your allies or enemies are), but it also works as plot device -- i.e., Clooney, recognizing the title, would look through it to find the key receipt, where the goons wouldn't know it was important.

And along the same lines, one of the illustrations in the fantasy book also ends up sort of saving Clayton's life: the picture of the horses by the trees. When he saw the early morning tableau, he was so struck by it that he got out of his car to take a closer look. Then, boom.

Mister Tee wrote:I think Damien's point about Swinton stooping to extremes so quickly goes to problems I have with the film.

I got the impression that Karen had a very carefully measured, type A personality, one that could easily be coaxed into illegal activity if it meant holding onto the success or position she thought were being threatened. Looking at her CV, she somehow moved into a job she never even imagined she'd be considered for and her stronghold on that prestige was slipping because of what could potentially be exposed by Arthur and Clayton. It was an extreme decision that could've been toyed with and debated internally a bit longer before its execution. Even just one scene of her "going to the mirror" to find out what she needed to do, looking at herself intently and recognizing all she had to lose, and then deciding to give the go-ahead on the hit would've been enough for me. I never felt like the character wouldn't ever go there, but Mister Tee is correct in pointing out that the script doesn't necessarily allow for it either.




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"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby flipp525 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:13 pm

Damien wrote:I think the great performance in the film is Merritt Wever's as Anna -- I'll certainly remember her at year's end.

Just saw this and I absolutely agree. She was fantastic.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

99-1100896887

Postby 99-1100896887 » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:08 pm

You guys have been giving this thriller way too much attention to thinking things out logically.
It was a supremely satisfying film--sure there were loose ends--but we enjoyed it very much, which is what you hope to have done when you go to a movie and spend a fortune to see it. All the answers do not need to be there.
It was said of Arthur(Wilkinson's character) that he was manic-depressive and not taking his meds. Are any of you familiar with bipolarity? Well, I certainly am--my wife is bipolar, but not as extreme in her episodes as Arthur( who foamed at the mouth). And she [/b]never[/b] forgets her meds. Thus, gentlemen, he did not seem to us to be "over the top". We thought his performance was taut and somewhat electrifying--certainly eye-opening.
Swinton, all tics and picks, was also very good here. She did some little things that made me believe that she really had this part down: the attention to choosing the "right" clothes, and the picking of the lint from the bedcover in case the lint got on her dress. Her wonderful collapse at the end. Little things sure, but that is what makes a performance.
I would not be surprised if both she and Wilkinson were nominated. The screenplay certainly will.

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Postby Precious Doll » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:58 am

You can add me to the detractors of Michael Clayton. And I hated the pretentious last shot of George Clooney. Who the hell does Tony Gilroy think he is Tsai Ming-liang?
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Postby ITALIANO » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:44 am

I just found it too elaborate, too intentionally confusing (the main narrative structure especially, but even some unconclusive subplots), and then, after all this, too disappointingly simple, and not original enough. You'd think - hope - that such a complex set-up will develop into something unexpected, not necessarily "new" but at least intellectually challenging. But no - it turns out that the ending (well, the whole second part) is very easy, very banal if not downright predictable. And it's too bad, because though the script has lots of problems, it also has some very good (and reasonably intelligent) individual scenes; and the acting is generally excellent - Tom Wilkinson especially (over-the-top, maybe, but GOOD over-the-top, and right for the role - and, as The Original BJ has correctly noted, without his "welcome energy" the first part of the movie would be much less interesting, much more boring even). So yes, I must admit that the director is good with actors - but otherwise, which mood? The film has been unjustly compared to the great thrillers of the 70s, but unlike those, it's not edgy, and it doesn't create a personal, unforgettable atmosphere or climate.

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Postby The Original BJ » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:16 pm

Okay, I guess I'll be the curmudgeon on this one (though Italiano and Penelope may share some of my reservations). I found Michael Clayton passable -- I certainly liked it more than I disliked it -- but far inferior to what the mostly rave reviews promised. I'd even rank it below not-dazzling-but-quite-competent mainstream films like The Queen and The Constant Gardener, which have been showered with praise in past falls; while not groundbreaking, those films at least had unique stories to tell.

Which brings me to my main problem with Michael Clayton: I'm not exactly sure why this story needed to be told. Mister Tee qualified his response to the film by saying that the film says nothing new, and features few narrative surprises. These were actually two fairly major issues I had with the film. In fact, I kept waiting for the narrative to kick into high gear; aside from some admittedly nifty time jumping, I found the film's plot fairly standard, its insights unrevelatory. (It didn't even really succeed for me as it did for Sabin, as a mood piece. I found Gilroy's style solid enough, but, as with much of the film, hardly unique.)

And Tee, I had the same problem you did with the middle section. Once Wilkinson's character disappeared, I thought, okay, here we go...but then Michael Clayton just found him in his hotel room. Talk about deflating your narrative momentum. And as for Swinton's actions, my problem isn't that they were implausible, it's that, as a plot point, it's not a particularly surprising or original one. OF COURSE a big corporation (at least the ones in movies) would stoop to THAT!

This is not to say I didn't like much of it. Clooney, Pollack, and Swinton are all perfectly cast, though the latter is unfortunately a little underutilized (even though I think I liked her best.) Wilkinson's not award-worthy, but I enjoyed him more than most -- perhaps because he brought some welcome energy to the way-too-laid-back storyline (I completely agree with Damien on that point). A number of the film's tete-a-tetes, particularly the final Clooney-Swinton standoff, are gripping and effective. And of course I liked its relative intelligence, especially when compared to the majority of thrillers these days, even ones supposedly geared toward adults. However, I feel it's this selling point that has caused many critics to go wildly overboard with praise. As a solid legal thriller, it's engrossing...but never once did this film ever remotely approach greatness for me.

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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:03 am

Okay: SPOILERS AHEAD

Kevin Drum started a discussion of the film on on his Washington Monthly site. Among things people suggested: perhaps Clayton went through his brother the cop to arrange for false info to be released (i.e., that he was dead) to set up a trap, making the details of corpse/watch/wallet less relevant; he might have thrown the wallet and watch into the car because he wasn't sure what devices had been used to track him; the fact that he had owed $80,000 might point suspicion for the bomb at loan sharks rather than the company (though Drum and his posters seemed to take for granted it was the mob who'd loaned the money, an impression I'd not shared).

I think Damien's point about Swinton stooping to extremes so quickly goes to problems I have with the film. Lots of people in the film behave murkily -- Pollack assumes the case has a bad odor, but chooses to ignore his misgivings; Clooney lets his suspicions about Wilkinson's death go unmentioned -- but they're not overtly evil. Swinton, on the other hand, seems to go to 10 on the amorality scale almost immediately. Couldn't they have been interim steps taken by her hired goons to discourage Wilkinson...something short of quick murder? Alternatively, there could have been more on Swinton's reasons for going over the top -- her insecurity about matching up to Ken Howard's success (though it's his big screw-up -- signing the document -- that has put her in this position); her feelings as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated role. Just what does Ken Howard expect her to be, anyway? A Michael Clayton for his firm? Is that the role Howard has played all these years, and now he wants to go "legitimate", expecting Swinton to take over the dirty work? I could accept any of these things, but the script doesn't take the time to explore them, making the film as a whole feel more like pulp fiction than the character study it seems to aspire to.

I think the kid's book does, as Sonic says, provide a thematic overlay (you don't know who your allies or enemies are), but it also works as plot device -- i.e., Clooney, recognizing the title, would look through it to find the key receipt, where the goons wouldn't know it was important.

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Postby OscarGuy » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:09 am

It's because you're using the color white and not the color light gray. White will show up on a light-gray background...light-gray will not...

<span sstyle='color:"dddddd"'>Test using color="dddddd"</span>

So, if this is the color you can't read, use color="dddddd" in []'s, but don't forget the closing tag /color []'s.

now, I could get you the exact hexidecimal code for the color used as the background if you want to write it down, but I figure 6 D's is easier to remember than e8e8e8.




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"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:48 am

Sonic Youth wrote:Magilla, I'm sorry if what you're saying is I spoilt the movie for you. It's the same technique I've always used for hiding spoilers in reviews. And it looks as concealed as it always has to me.

Well, no, you didn't spoil it for me, but I was concerned about others. The best spoiler alert is still "SPOILERS follow, don't read further it you don't want to know what I'm about to say" or words to that effect. No need to add all the blank lines.

I don't know why the whiteouts no longer work on my computer. I do have a new monitor. Maybe it's the higher resolution.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:06 am

Magilla, I'm sorry if what you're saying is I spoilt the movie for you. It's the same technique I've always used for hiding spoilers in reviews. And it looks as concealed as it always has to me.

Damien
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(Double protection)
Damien, [color=white]Bones? Teeth?

Sorry, I'm not buying that his skeleton would vaporize but not his wallet. Granted, I'm no expert, but a car explosion in the open air isn't a crematorium.

Clooney's son helped set up the premise and theme of the movie at the beginning, where he interacts in a universe where no one knows who the friend or enemy is.

Clooney position was similar to Harvey Keitel's in Pulp Fiction. He covertly cleaned up any incriminating messes that would get someone in trouble or create a scandal. The question I have is why such a vital, invaluable job didn't pay much money.

As for the corporation stooping to killing people. You mean, it's not a given that corporations do this?
:p[/color]
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