Words fail to support me in this troubled moment, during which I have to recollect the ordeal that was watching Cosmopolis.
Well, a bit of background: I went there with a friend of mine yesterday and there were 8 spectators in total. At around half 2 of them left the hall, and everyone was so far away from each other that you could literally speak with a normal tone of voice. That's pretty much the only good thing I can say about this movie.
The bad: the movie is boring, dull, repetitive, boring, repetitive, dumb, repetitive, shallow, repetitive, stupid.
I read a review which said that "Pattinson gave a convincing performance". I swore to myself to find whoever wrote that bunch of crap: Pattinson has one single expression in the whole movie and you'd give everything to avoid watching it one more time.
The movie is boring and stupid beyond belief, it's mental masturbation of a 16 year old who smoked weed, without being funny. The movie tries to be edgy but the only disturbing thing is that I payed real money to see it, which is a crime.
I wish you could give negative votes to movies because this is by far the worst I've seen in a theater, ever. And I've watched Alone in the Dark.
Cippalippus fucked around with this message at May 30, 2012 around 13:03
|# ? May 30, 2012 12:59|
|# ? May 24, 2013 06:15|
Repetitive and vacuous, a truly truly bad film. Of ten brave souls who entered the film, only four stayed the course.
The concept is a little interesting. A collapse of Capitalism slowly plays out throughout the film. The protagonist is so rich that he is essentially cut off from these events, despite, bearing responsibility for them. That's interesting enough as a reflection on the current banking crisis.
Sometimes it looks and sounds pretty good. The car in particular has carries a great sense of being completely cut off from the world around it.
There is a very occasional grain of dark humour.
All of this collapses under the weight of a tonne of stilted, pseudo-philosophical dialogue. It's all absolutely vacuous, a load of sound.
What little plot there is says everything the film has to say about Packer's character and techno-capitalism. The excruciating dialogue is supposed to be reflection on the events of the film, but is just a ham fisted clutch of pop science and long words. Talking about super-duper complex patterns and human error in stock markets is not clever. Stewing technology, optimism, the future, the present, capitalism, and the pace of life in a ten minute monologue is not clever.
Finally, Robert Pattinson's acting is pretty abominable. I feel he's a bit of a Keanu. They'll give Pattinson a call when they need someone a bit aloof, a bit woody. So yeah he was great at playing an emotionless banker.
64057 fucked around with this message at Jun 24, 2012 around 10:25
|# ? Jun 24, 2012 10:23|
Cosmopolis isn't really a film. It's more like watching actors in a limo read the book Cosmopolis. The decision to lift 90 percent of the dialogue directly from the novel makes this film closer to the recent Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus than it has any right to be.
On the other hand, the book this was based on is an underrated masterpiece of speculative fiction. It was released in 2003 to lukewarm reviews, but if you read it today its striking how prescient DeLillo was in foreshadowing aspects of our world nine years later (especially the "Occupy Wall-Street" protests).
So I have mixed feelings about this film.
- The film was faithful to DeLillo's trademark subtle dark humor, which my audience only caught on to in the second half of the film (the theatre was dead quiet before that point).
- I'm not convinced Pattinson can truly act, but I couldn't see anyone else playing this role. Something about him, maybe his creepy asymmetrical face, really fit this character.
- The claustrophobic sound design inside the limo (the main location in the movie) was great.
- Paul Giamatti's performance really stood out, shattering the carefully constructed antiseptic tone that had been built up until his appearance.
- At times you can see the actors visibly straining to deliver the endless paragraphs of stuffy dialogue. Some handle this thankless task admirably, but Samantha Morton especially just can't do it convincingly. I don't blame her.
- They kept ridiculously faithful to the book, except they cut out the one major sub-plot that would have been the most cinematic. An odd choice.
This could have been this decade's American Psycho, but instead its one of those films that is fascinating more for its flaws than its strengths. Still worth watching, in my opinion.
Lord Krangdar fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2012 around 07:11
|# ? Jul 10, 2012 07:05|
What a terrible non-film of a film. No plot whatsoever, just aimless rambling.
A real shame given the undeniable talent on board. Nice cinematography, very odd soundtrack but at the end of the day, the story is complete rubbish.
|# ? Jul 10, 2012 10:16|
This film is worth a watch. However, it is problematic. The film follows a billionaire financier but does not deal with the tired 'greedy banker' narratives. This is a cold, cerebral film that looks in part at the systemic flow of information and capital. By dispensing with easily recognisable and cliched narratives this film has captured a far more prescient aspect of current society that is further reflected by a highly contemporary, cold cinematography somewhat reminiscent of other recent films like "Drive" and "Shame".
Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) enters his hermetically-sealed limo to make a journey through New York to get his hair cut. As he travels, his journey is punctuated with visits from co-workers and aquaintances. The first thing you notice from these interactions is the dense and stilted dialogue in contrast to sparse silences and long pauses that is in many ways reminiscent of a Pinter play or even Beckett's "Waiting for Godot". In many ways it's an anti-human play where characters give the impression of playing at human, which is made explicit in Packer's autistic interactions with his wife where they reflexively comment on their interactions with each other.
The characters' dialogue reinforces this anti-human approach. It, like their interactions with Packer, is continual, yet disconnected and transient. They talk on finance, metaphor, capitalism, and power but in succh a way that they seem to enact themselves through the information they produce for Packer. It's not dialogue as communication with other characters - it is dialogue purely to project themselves. There are repeated instances where the veracity of what they speak is shown to be unimportant such as a character's repeated statement of that they "Don't know this".
What is highlighted by these interactions is the arbitrariness of their content. Capital becomes rats and peoples' ages and interests are totally contingent and transient. In many ways the characters seem so alienated from their own environment and place, highlighted by the unreal New York and science-fiction spaceship limousine, that they are alienated from their own humanness. They are as much a fiction as the markets they attempt to control and controlled equally as much by the sheer volume and mass of information that they process and produce. There is so much information on a superficial level that any depth becomes meaningless. There is only a single character in the film who expresses any kind of humanity or emotional core but he is presented as a transgressor, as a desperate and futile attempt to hold and control a meaning that constantly eludes him. Meaning and narrative are impossible to hold onto in this world.
However, the film's biggest focus is also its most problematic element. This is a film not short on ideas, but its focus on transience, inhumanity, and alienation makes it short on emotion. I feel that this is done entirely on purpose and suits the themes that the film explores but, without an emotional core to the film or characters, its distance from the audience could easily bore viewers. In contrast to the emotional core that has driven the plots of later Cronenberg films, such as Eastern Promises, he returns to the coldness of films like Videodrome. However, he refuses to turn his metaphors loose on-screen. Without the visceral body-horror and confusion, or any other means to make the viewer invest in the film, Cosmopolis fails as a film. Its conceit works in the dry and rarefied page of a book but it looks weak on film.
It cuts itself off from humanity and emotion so successfully and so completely that watching the film you can't help but feel like Eric Packer looking out the window of his limousine. However, it is its (entirely purposeful) failure on an emotional film level that makes it so unique and compelling. I would recommend this problem film for at least one watch.
John_Anon_Smith fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2012 around 13:39
|# ? Jul 16, 2012 09:22|
|# ? May 24, 2013 06:15|
This movie is not for everybody. In fact it's probably only for a very small group of people, most of whom I'd assume were fans of the book and of DeLillo generally (of which I am one).
The bad thing about this movie is it's not a movie, by which I mean it follows none of the accepted rules and forms for films. Instead it strives to be a visual adaptation of the book. What this means to you is that you shouldn't expect plot or dramatic acting. You should expect, and will receive, mostly dialogue.
Like in the novel, the dialogue is the story. DeLillo basically sets up a vague (prescient) approximation of our current society and then uses various characters and venues to discuss that society and its implications. The details of the collapse and the public reaction to it are only meant as metaphors.
Now to the real question - is the dialogue meaningless? If you read Baudrillard or Lyotard and thought it was meaningless babble, or you are one of those who gleefully felt like the Sokal affair affirmed every suspicion you had about modern academia - basically if you denigrate post-modern thought and social philosophy as stupid and pretentious, then you will hate this movie and find it meaningless. It's not going to change your mind.
Otherwise you'll find it interesting.
|# ? Feb 9, 2013 23:16|