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TGM
06-06-2014, 12:32 PM
EDGE OF TOMORROW

Director: Doug Liman

imdb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1631867/?ref_=nv_sr_1)

http://nukethefridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/edge_of_tomorrow_2014_movie-wide.jpg

TGM
06-06-2014, 01:12 PM
So I thought this was pretty impressive overall. Really clever, and honestly genuinely hilarious throughout a lot of it as well. Really enjoyable, and certainly a hell of a lot better than last year's Tom Cruise sci-fi outing.

Henry Gale
06-06-2014, 02:40 PM
I've realized over time just how much I took Cruise for granted and how much of a fan of his movies I actually am, and I guess that shouldn't surprise me considering my middle to high school years were when he was making things like Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, Last Samurai and Collateral in back to back years, and I watch catching up with the also then-recent Magnolia and Eyes Wide Shut. Also, M:I-2 came right before, and I was still young enough to love everything about that unreservedly (and haven't watched it since out of fear of how time might've tarnished it).

So I guess it was pretty disappointing in retrospect when his PR troubles with questionable unfiltered behaviour began to derail the quality of movies he made (particularly the years when Lions for Lambs, Valykrie, Knight and Day were his key vehicles), but I honestly like Oblivion a whole lot, was disappointed as hell when his At The Mountains Of Madness with Guillermo del Toro fell through, so I'm really happy with how Edge Of Tomorrow, having been shot so long ago, delayed, re-shot a bunch and then scheduled relatively quietly this week, seems to actually have snuck up on everyone as something really worth seeing, especially in a day and age when non-franchise/previously branded Summer movies with huge budgets are something of a miracle.

This article Amy Nicholson did for LA Weekly (http://www.laweekly.com/2014-05-22/news/the-last-movie-star/), despite being a bit too set on the semantics between jumping onto and bouncing on a couch, really puts his post-Oprah/Matt Lauer career in great perspective by setting it against the rise of uncontrollable publicity though internet media.

Sxottlan
06-06-2014, 08:49 PM
This was a lot of fun. Maybe Cruise's best in a while.

This was delayed? When was it shot? If they needed the extra time for editing, it worked. Excellent pacing.

Milky Joe
06-06-2014, 09:38 PM
So I guess it was pretty disappointing in retrospect when his PR troubles with questionable unfiltered behaviour began to derail the quality of movies he made (particularly the years when Lions for Lambs, Valykrie, Knight and Day were his key vehicles)

Hey, don't sleep on Knight and Day. It's really quite good.

Henry Gale
06-07-2014, 03:41 AM
Hey, don't sleep on Knight and Day. It's really quite good.

I... no like. I mean, I think it was breezy and worked well enough from scene to scene as I watched it, but I have very little actual recollection or lasting impressions of it. Other than Cruise frequently drugging and forcing Diaz into a bunch of situations.

It just felt more like something an up and coming actor would be glad do in an early stretch of their career to seem viable enough to jump onto better projects. With Cruise, especially at that point, it felt like too much of a step back.

transmogrifier
06-07-2014, 05:36 PM
Moderate nay. Cruise is good as a weaselly non-entity at the start, but it really is just Groundhog Day joins the army, but with little in the way of heart, and a very dull ending. And the aliens have a terribly generic design.

transmogrifier
06-07-2014, 05:38 PM
So I thought this was pretty impressive overall. Really clever, and honestly genuinely hilarious throughout a lot of it as well. Really enjoyable, and certainly a hell of a lot better than last year's Tom Cruise sci-fi outing.

I disagree. It's not clever in the slightest. It is a bunch of poorly outlined "rules," cliched "visions," and convenient machines that are invented by stereotypical crackpots and work perfectly first time,

transmogrifier
06-07-2014, 05:39 PM
My nay is less moderate than I thought.

Watashi
06-07-2014, 06:06 PM
I disagree. It's not clever in the slightest. It is a bunch of poorly outlined "rules," cliched "visions," and convenient machines that are invented by stereotypical crackpots and work perfectly first time,

You're looking at this as a movie-movie instead of a video game-movie. This is one of the few cases where "feels and looks like a video game" is a huge compliment.

It's a lot of fun. The ending is rushed and the science is goofy, but Cruise is great and Blunt is even better.

How badass is Emily Blunt in this movie? I immediately want a kickstart a Metroid movie with her character as Samus.

Watashi
06-07-2014, 06:08 PM
Also, Bill Paxton for all the awards.

Qrazy
06-07-2014, 07:10 PM
I have not seen this yet but I kind of dig this remix of the trailer track.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLxyNBR-3HI

Dukefrukem
06-07-2014, 10:03 PM
Wow, The Fault in our Stars destroyed this.

Ezee E
06-07-2014, 10:46 PM
I enjoyed this a lot. This is the type of action that I wished Transformers would have been. There's comedy, but it fits with the story, isn't cheesy, and is justified within the story.

Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise are both in fine form here. Like Watashi said, this is one of the better badass performances from an actress or quite some time.

The design of the aliens is a little weak is a legit criticism. I never really thought of them as terrifying, just impossible to stop.

And yes... seeing Bill Paxton was a neat surprise. Love his scenes.

Skitch
06-08-2014, 01:04 AM
Wow, The Fault in our Stars destroyed this.

Well of course it did, because I drafted it in my fantasy movie league. $#&!

Kurosawa Fan
06-08-2014, 03:13 AM
This was a lot of fun. It had a playfulness and a sense of humor that I wasn't expecting. It's not a great film by any means, but the running time flies by and I was thoroughly entertained throughout so long as I didn't think too hard about the science and the logic. Plus, Emily Blunt is amazing in every conceivable way.

Winston*
06-08-2014, 05:23 AM
I liked the aliens. I liked the way they moved. I liked this movie.

Winston*
06-08-2014, 05:28 AM
One thing that didn't make sense. The movie sets up Tom Cruise as this high profile propagandist who got millions to join the military, but then literally no one in the military recognises him.

Everything else was completely plausible. 100%.

Qrazy
06-12-2014, 06:14 PM
Qrazy's Protip: Freak out the less discerning moviegoers in your midst by memorizing the dialogue in this film and reciting it aloud in theater when you see the film for a second time.

Henry Gale
06-16-2014, 10:42 PM
Not sure what's suddenly going on with the marketing for this in North America, but it seems to have been completely rebooted after its first weekend disappointed here. I would say it's seemed to have kind of worked considering the relatively low drop off in the second weekend (42.5%), but I'd attribute that more to the strong word of mouth than the the recent TV spots that spend more than half of their durations plastering the screen with "THE BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER." / "YOU'RE JUST STUPID IF YOU DON'T SEE THIS AMAZING PIECE OF WORK" quotes.

The real kicker is the final title card at the end of the spot I saw during last night's NBA Finals was it now only touting the title as just "Edge", both in writing and voiceover.

And this is the now the poster all my online showtimes pages have for it: (Who needs to put titles on final posters?)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t1.0-9/p350x350/10355894_10154233353850137_189 4543693539380192_n.jpg

max314
06-16-2014, 11:18 PM
Finally saw it last night.

This is how action cinema ought to be done.

Granted, the film isn't about much more than promoting war as a character building exercise but, with respect to craft, the film's peaks are reminiscent of John McTiernan in his prime. And Edge of Tomorrow doesn't do much else other than peak.

★★★★★


Not sure what's suddenly going on with the marketing for this in North America, but it seems to have been completely rebooted after its first weekend disappointed here.

[...]

The real kicker is the final title card at the end of the spot I saw during last night's NBA Finals was it now only touting the title as just "Edge", both in writing and voiceover.

And this is the now the poster all my online showtimes pages have for it: (Who needs to put titles on final posters?)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t1.0-9/p350x350/10355894_10154233353850137_189 4543693539380192_n.jpg

That's just surreal.

What's going on with Warner Brothers recently?

Between Jupiter Ascending, the machine gun slating of their DC line, and now this... It seems the marketing guys at Warners have gone a little mad.

But mad is good.

[ETM]
06-17-2014, 10:57 PM
Really enjoyed this. I gave it five stars just to raise up the average a little bit.
Good pacing, loved the military tech, funny in all the right places, and HOW HOT IS EMILY BLUNT?!

I wish we had no-nonsense action films like this more often.

Fezzik
06-18-2014, 02:30 AM
How badass is Emily Blunt in this movie? I immediately want a kickstart a Metroid movie with her character as Samus.

I was saying that if they ever do a Mass Effect movie, she'd be perfect for Shepard.

Gittes
06-21-2014, 02:13 AM
I liked the aliens. I liked the way they moved. I liked this movie.

I concur.

It has also occurred to me that Emily Blunt might make an amazing Samus Aran (I just noticed that Watashi already made the same point):

https://24.media.tumblr.com/a6e9e0188552863e6046705c492357 be/tumblr_n6vpsnaI7s1stymtto1_500 .jpg

dreamdead
06-22-2014, 12:51 PM
Agree that the film doesn't really consider the implications of promoting war and that the film's coda sufficiently masks any real stakes, and thus feels tacked on (or at least undercuts the themes of self-sacrifice earlier expressed). That said, after going into Days of Future Past and Godzilla with high hopes, this is the only film that feels like it has quality in its direction, script, and energy--while elements are fairly rote in their tinkering with Groundhog Day-meets-war, the characters have a sense of development. There's real pathos in it for me when Cage keeps trying to prolong the fireside coffee, haunted by his inability to get past that level.

Like Wats said, the design for this feels very much influenced by video games, and connects itself to the psychological desire to hold onto your ally (Blunt) at all costs. This is the first "summer" film from this year that doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste. Blunt is so damn good here--hopefully this opens up more interesting high-profile material for her if she's interested.

Gittes
06-23-2014, 02:19 AM
the film's coda sufficiently masks any real stakes

I'm not sure if I agree. I can't see how the film's conclusion is different, in that respect, from other conclusions to various action films. Before Cage is hurtled backwards in time, many audience members were probably keenly aware of his mortality. How does his survival negate the fact that, at the time of the climax, spectators likely assumed that his life was in jeopardy? Are you arguing that his survival retroactively deprives the climax of any legitimate sense of peril? This would not be drastically different from other films where the protagonist eventually succeeds, nor does it legitimately change the initial experience of the climax. Uncertainty was still maintained during that point, as the film didn't unequivocally telegraph the fact that time would be reset and Cage would make it out alive and well.


Agree that the film doesn't really consider the implications of promoting war

Good observation. However, what about the juxtaposition of the detached Cage, with his assured and glib rhetoric, and the debilitating terror he later experiences on the battlefield? Following this, the film seems to be acknowledging the friction between the promotion of war and the immeasurable horror that such promotion belies. Encouraging war necessarily entails abstracting war, disguising its disturbing complexities in favour of galvanizing rhetoric (i.e., Cage's interviews from the opening montage, the posters of Rita, etc.). Edge of Tomorrow also reminds us that promotional rhetoric not only enacts an abstraction of war, but relies on individuals who are themselves practicing a kind of personal and intellectual abstraction. Cage can't even fathom the idea of joining the effort, as distance and privilege have allowed him (and General Brigham) to reduce the reality of war into a muted referent: something to be rhetorically manipulated and deployed, but never substantially understood or experienced.

The film then proceeds to reify the abstraction, as it forces Cage into battle, and foregrounds the attendant trauma and carnage that, naturally, is unrepresented in promotional media. The same idea is also realized with more romantic inflections, as the larger than life "Full Metal Bitch" is granted personal and human shadings. She is made understandable to Cage as something other than a hyperbolized icon. So, as Cage is repeatedly brought into unbearable contiguity with the actual nightmare of the battlefield, he is made newly sensitive to its horrors, as well as the human cost of the war effort. While his ascent from coward to combatant is occasionally really striking and exhilarating, this is wisely leavened by the fact that our exhilaration relies on a patently imaginative conceit, and his marginal victories are punctuated by innumerable instances of death and failure.

Also, early in the film, General Brigham frets about how the public will react once the bodies start piling up, especially given the emphatic optimism of his speeches. This again indicates, in miniature, one of the film's key thematic preoccupations: the incongruity between the remote endorsement of war and the devastation of the battlefield. Moreover, Cage was commissioned to film the war effort and, given the opening montage, we can assume that this would have yielded another meretricious "representation" of a far messier reality. Indeed, one of the film's salient features is the battlefield as a nightmarish miasma of fear, death, and cruel contingencies, and here, even the principal stars of the film are not afforded implausible invulnerability.

Even Sergeant Farrell rhapsodizing about the nobility of battle and sacrifice is rendered dubious: he and his men are summarily killed, and their deaths occur in a battle whose conclusion is foregone. Barring the fortuity of Cage inheriting the Alpha's ability, the human war effort was doomed from the outset. Following this, it seems that Edge of Tomorrow isn't uncritically endorsing the efficacy of war or its promotion. The final victory isn't a straightforward vindication of Farrell's speech, either, since it relies on a fantastical conceit, and is motivated by the forging of empathetic connections with people that Cage might have otherwise reduced to atomized statistics or promotional tools (i.e., Rita).

dreamdead
06-29-2014, 02:07 PM
I'm not sure if I agree. I can't see how the film's conclusion is different, in that respect, from other conclusions to various action films. Before Cage is hurtled backwards in time, many audience members were probably keenly aware of his mortality. How does his survival negate the fact that, at the time of the climax, spectators likely assumed that his life was in jeopardy? Are you arguing that his survival retroactively deprives the climax of any legitimate sense of peril? This would not be drastically different from other films where the protagonist eventually succeeds, nor does it legitimately change the initial experience of the climax. Uncertainty was still maintained during that point, as the film didn't unequivocally telegraph the fact that time would be reset and Cage would make it out alive and well.

Interesting point. When I made these comments about masking the stakes, I was thinking more directly about the crew that Cage gets to assist him. Since they have so much less power in understanding what they've done, it reduces their stakes in helping Cage. That's the central weakness--additionally, Liman could have donated a few more minutes to securing Cage's empathy with the various members of the crew. It's clear that Cage wants to help them survive during each run. It's less clear that he has any interest in who they are as individuals--and this distinction is valuable. So when he highlights the one African American as sending the lost member's checks back to that person's family, the film would be so much more resonant if it had earlier set up that dynamic, not marginalized it as unnecessary to be shown.



Good observation. However, what about the juxtaposition of the detached Cage, with his assured and glib rhetoric, and the debilitating terror he later experiences on the battlefield? Following this, the film seems to be acknowledging the friction between the promotion of war and the immeasurable horror that such promotion belies. Encouraging war necessarily entails abstracting war, disguising its disturbing complexities in favour of galvanizing rhetoric (i.e., Cage's interviews from the opening montage, the posters of Rita, etc.). Edge of Tomorrow also reminds us that promotional rhetoric not only enacts an abstraction of war, but relies on individuals who are themselves practicing a kind of personal and intellectual abstraction. Cage can't even fathom the idea of joining the effort, as distance and privilege have allowed him (and General Brigham) to reduce the reality of war into a muted referent: something to be rhetorically manipulated and deployed, but never substantially understood or experienced.

The film then proceeds to reify the abstraction, as it forces Cage into battle, and foregrounds the attendant trauma and carnage that, naturally, is unrepresented in promotional media. The same idea is also realized with more romantic inflections, as the larger than life "Full Metal Bitch" is granted personal and human shadings. She is made understandable to Cage as something other than a hyperbolized icon. So, as Cage is repeatedly brought into unbearable contiguity with the actual nightmare of the battlefield, he is made newly sensitive to its horrors, as well as the human cost of the war effort. While his ascent from coward to combatant is occasionally really striking and exhilarating, this is wisely leavened by the fact that our exhilaration relies on a patently imaginative conceit, and his marginal victories are punctuated by innumerable instances of death and failure.


With your argument here you've successfully convinced me of the validity of your angle. I hadn't stopped to consider the degree to which Liman is full-heartedly interrogating how quickly those who diagnose war machinations can see the clear damage of it on the human psyche.



Even Sergeant Farrell rhapsodizing about the nobility of battle and sacrifice is rendered dubious: he and his men are summarily killed, and their deaths occur in a battle whose conclusion is foregone. Barring the fortuity of Cage inheriting the Alpha's ability, the human war effort was doomed from the outset. Following this, it seems that Edge of Tomorrow isn't uncritically endorsing the efficacy of war or its promotion. The final victory isn't a straightforward vindication of Farrell's speech, either, since it relies on a fantastical conceit, and is motivated by the forging of empathetic connections with people that Cage might have otherwise reduced to atomized statistics or promotional tools (i.e., Rita).

Interesting take here, too.

number8
06-30-2014, 04:56 AM
Well. Better than Source Code, I guess.

I just find Doug Liman's action scenes really dull, which is why I've always been mystified by those who think Identity was the best Bourne movie (if I have to choose, I prefer action that I can't see but can feel, rather than one I can see but not feel). The only sequence I found lively in this movie is the part when they're breaking into Whitehall and Cruise is choreographing Blunt. A heist movie with this gimmick would be pretty fun. I like the trial-and-error montage the most, so needless to say, everything after he loses his power is boring as hell, and looks swiped from Matrix Revolutions.

Best thing about the movie is Tom Cruise's death yells, either the hilarious off-screen high pitched screaming or the very gamer-like frustrated "son of a bitch!" outbursts.

I also kinda adore the ending because I imagine that Blunt's character wouldn't give Cruise's the time of day when he's not actively saving her life. So I just like to think that after the credits roll he's all in love with her and she just nopes away. Moderate yay for that.

Sxottlan
06-30-2014, 06:50 AM
I found the speed of the aliens to be genuinely frightening.

Does make wonder why the allies were not taking advantage of what would be obvious air superiority. Seems like a lot of bunker busters dropped from bombers would do the trick.

[ETM]
06-30-2014, 09:01 PM
Does make wonder why the allies were not taking advantage of what would be obvious air superiority. Seems like a lot of bunker busters dropped from bombers would do the trick.

I'm guessing they tried that, numerous times, in previous engagements... you know, before they reset time again and took measures against it?

Gittes
07-01-2014, 12:10 AM
Interesting point. When I made these comments about masking the stakes, I was thinking more directly about the crew that Cage gets to assist him. Since they have so much less power in understanding what they've done, it reduces their stakes in helping Cage. That's the central weakness--additionally, Liman could have donated a few more minutes to securing Cage's empathy with the various members of the crew. It's clear that Cage wants to help them survive during each run. It's less clear that he has any interest in who they are as individuals--and this distinction is valuable. So when he highlights the one African American as sending the lost member's checks back to that person's family, the film would be so much more resonant if it had earlier set up that dynamic, not marginalized it as unnecessary to be shown.

Ah, I see. Interesting points. You're right; much of the actual development of Cage's interest in the crew members exists in the ellipses of the film. It's eventually made clear that he's come to understand and care about them, but the actual process of understanding is truncated (which is decidedly not the case for Cage's relationship with Rita, whose development is given more substantial consideration).



I also kinda adore the ending because I imagine that Blunt's character wouldn't give Cruise's the time of day when he's not actively saving her life. So I just like to think that after the credits roll he's all in love with her and she just nopes away. Moderate yay for that.
That's an interesting view. I think this idea is contestable, though, given everything that Cage will likely tell her. He'll surely have no trouble convincing her that he inherited the Alpha's power, for starters, and then there's the considerable array of information that only she would know about. While Rita won't remember much of what happened, it's probable that she will eventually recognize the plausibility of Cage's story, and come to the shocking realization that, in actuality, they destroyed the Omega and ended the war.

Of course, even the most credible summation of events and personal details is a poor substitute for the actual experience of bonding with someone in multiple life-or-death scenarios. Even so, I suspect that Cage's intimate experiences with Rita would at least grant him a certain advantage as he tries to court her.

Irish
07-10-2014, 01:00 AM
For run-n-gun sci fi, this was extraordinary. Shockingly good.

I was surprised that Cruise allowed himself to be shown in a negative light, and just how dark the humor was. They built a lot on top of a tired premise and a derivative idea.

I enjoyed the consistency the most. This movie doesn't run out of steam after 45 minutes. The setup is hopeless and it stays that way. The stakes get graver even though nothing has actually changed. The humor never drops off. The romance is natural and unforced and delivered with a light touch.

What I liked most about this movie is what it says about people. Cruise and Blunt's characters must've fought the equivalent of 1,000 wars across innumerable days. How easy would it have been for them to just let go? They'd be out of it, and nobody would ever know. The nightmare Groundhog Day scenario here caught my imagination. It's brings an idea like 'battle fatigue' to a different level. They don't win by wits (the aliens are smarter than they are). They win by brute forcing the problem, by essentially being obstinate.

That said: I think you guys are over praising Blunt a bit. She's a capable actress and I've never seen her turn in a "bad" performance but I think she's better at choosing roles. She tends to avoid stuff that only requires the female lead to be arm candy. She's got a knack for zeroing in on actable parts. She doesn't do projects for the profile (eg Gwenyth Paltrow or Angelina Jolie). Blunt's character is well written and well positioned, and she's able to build on it, sure. But I almost consider that a given at her skill level.

Also: What about Tom Cruise? The guy is an insane workhorse and a lot of the times, his work feels almost mechanical in its execution. Edge of Tomorrow reminded me that he's one of the best performers working.


Agree that the film doesn't really consider the implications of promoting war and that the film's coda sufficiently masks any real stakes, and thus feels tacked on (or at least undercuts the themes of self-sacrifice earlier expressed).

I'm not quite able to suss out what you mean by the latter part of your sentence here -- but I didn't think this movie promoted war at all. They bend over backwards to make allusions to World War II, the last "good" war, and make the humans the innocent victims, the underdogs. It very much feels like a war-as-adventure film from decades past. Saying this promoted war seems like saying Die Hard promoted violence or Friday the 13th promoted murder.


There's real pathos in it for me when Cage keeps trying to prolong the fireside coffee, haunted by his inability to get past that level.

My feel there wasn't that he was haunted by an inability to get past that level, but that he had run out of options and stopped trying. Because no matter what he does, she dies. And he's not willing to win the war and lose her in the process.

MarcusBrody
07-11-2014, 08:41 AM
I'm in India all summer, so I'm a bit late in seeing things.

I really enjoyed this. I'm not going to go back and even read all the discussion because I don't imagine that thinking about all the possibilities of contradiction in the time travel paradigm would really make me enjoy it more. As a straight action film, though, I rather loved it. I thought that it balanced its humor well when it was employed. Overall, one of the better action films I've seen in a while.

Gittes
07-12-2014, 05:14 AM
the possibilities of contradiction in the time travel paradigm

This hasn't really been substantially discussed in this thread.

MarcusBrody
07-13-2014, 05:35 AM
This hasn't really been substantially discussed in this thread.

That's true. I meant discussions more generally, as it's been well-discussed a number of other places (particularly the RT forums, which I also read). For what it's worth, I think the discussion in this thread about the the film's position regarding war is a much more interesting discussion.

transmogrifier
07-14-2014, 12:18 PM
I can't believe I'm the only nay-sayer on this. It is so generic and half-hearted. Solid entertainment for 2/3rds, but the last act is a complete bore.

number8
07-14-2014, 01:58 PM
I can't believe I'm the only nay-sayer on this. It is so generic and half-hearted. Solid entertainment for 2/3rds, but the last act is a complete bore.

I mean, I completely agree, but "solid entertainment for 2/3rds" is somewhat enough for a mild yay from me.

MarcusBrody
07-14-2014, 02:39 PM
I mean, I completely agree, but "solid entertainment for 2/3rds" is somewhat enough for a mild yay from me.

I thought the last part of the third act was a bit of a letdown, but I liked at least the first half of it. The change in tone from the middle act worked for me.

Sven
07-21-2014, 10:10 PM
Love tentacle time beasts so much. Love films about creation, even if it's the creation of experience. Love me some Tom Cruise running for his life. Love (mostly) tight storytelling, punctuated by humor and tension. In these ways, this film succeeds.

Hate badass women with guns geek fan service. Hate that this badass woman is a half-assed creation, existing ultimate to give Cruise a smooch. Hate illogical cruxes and useless red herrings. In these ways, this film was annoying.

Relate most with trans, but also liked it mostly. Tentacle time beasts, man.

Watashi
07-21-2014, 10:37 PM
Leave it to Sven to praise the one thing most people dislike (aliens) and dislike the one thing most people praise (Blunt's character).

She doesn't use a gun. She doesn't exist to pander. She is not sexualized in any way.

Sven
07-21-2014, 10:42 PM
Blunt's character was a cipher. A foil on which Cruise can exercise his experience and dominance. Someone constructed to conclude with a consummating kiss. She was very much sexualized, the footage of her sinewy, seal-like introduction highlighting the sexy sheens and curves of her toned body replaying over and over again.

And she uses a gun many times, hombre. Come on.

Irish
07-22-2014, 12:13 AM
A foil on which Cruise can exercise his experience and dominance.

Huh? For a majority of the film, she's more knowledgeable and experienced than he is. This is the biggest part of her appeal.


And she uses a gun many times, hombre. Come on.

Double huh? Outside the beach scenes, there isn't a lot of mano e mano fighting. When it happens, it's mostly centered around Cruise.

Ezee E
07-22-2014, 12:14 AM
Isn't she introduced by shooting up a shitload of aliens and being bad-ass?

And her yoga in the middle of the practice battleground is very much sexualized. And I liked it.

Irish
07-22-2014, 12:25 AM
There's a difference between sexualized and sexual.

That shot of her in the training room is from the POV of Cruise's character. The first time we see it, the film immediately cuts back to a close up of his face.

Watashi
07-22-2014, 12:29 AM
She uses a giant sword made out of a helicopter blade. That's her signature mark. I don't remember her shooting people.

Also her iconic push-up is not show how "hawt" she is, but to show her toughness and experience over the novice Cruise.

number8
07-22-2014, 12:38 AM
I don't get the praise for her character. I'm pretty over the whole badass-female-character-who-still-becomes-love-interest thing. It's not as bad as in Riddick, but yawn all the same.

Sven
07-22-2014, 12:39 AM
Huh? For a majority of the film, she's more knowledgeable and experienced than he is. This is the biggest part of her appeal.

Hmmm... nah. Pretty much after their first few meet cutes, his experience takes on a level of authority that surpasses hers, easily. She becomes his plaything. She really doesn't offer much of anything beyond


Double huh? Outside the beach scenes, there isn't a lot of mano e mano fighting. When it happens, it's mostly centered around Cruise.

Sure. And I confess that I was using "badass woman with guns" as a catch-all to mean "tough chicks who are defined by large weapons", a common and irritating trope in geek culture. But it's naive to think that Blunt's role in the film goes much further than looking hot with a kill-tool. She stands around all sweaty all the time, looking hot and lusting for violence... then, when Mr. Cruise starts impressing her with his experience, she gets all putty-like and kissy. That's her character.

Watashi
07-22-2014, 12:40 AM
I really don't think she becomes the love interest. I think people are reading too much into that kiss.

Sven
07-22-2014, 12:41 AM
She uses a giant sword made out of a helicopter blade. That's her signature mark. I don't remember her shooting people.

Well, the obvious one is that she shoots Cruise with a handgun over and over...


Also her iconic push-up is not show how "hawt" she is, but to show her toughness and experience over the novice Cruise.

...which is sold the first time (along with the "hawt"), and then we get to see it many many times, not to be reminded of her skills, which are well established.

Irish
07-22-2014, 12:49 AM
I don't get the praise for her character. I'm pretty over the whole badass-female-character-who-still-becomes-love-interest thing. It's not as bad as in Riddick, but yawn all the same.

Her character is given the kind of hero's introduction usually reserved for male leads. And for the a majority of the film, she operates under her own agency without becoming a satellite to the male lead. And she isn't obviously and continually objectified in a way that female leads usually are.

Edit: Also, for a so-called 'strong female character,' she isn't burdened with a tragic backstory, the way female heroes usually are.

That's why people praise her character.


I really don't think she becomes the love interest.

There's an entire subplot and specific scenes devoted to the romance story.

Watashi
07-22-2014, 01:01 AM
For a industry that fetishes women in tight leather and cleavage, I'll take Blunt's strong "badass" character as a breath of fresh air. Along with Katniss. We should want more of these characters. Not less.

Sven
07-22-2014, 01:06 AM
And for the a majority of the film, she operates under her own agency without becoming a satellite to the male lead. And she isn't obviously and continually objectified in a way that female leads usually are.

I don't know, man. I JUST saw this movie yesterday and I'm comfortable assessing her agency as subverted to Cruise's expertise throughout, as well as being constantly drooled over by the photography and genre tropes employed. Yours here is one of those assessments that I cannot help but simply deem incorrect.

transmogrifier
07-22-2014, 01:32 AM
Of course she is objectified. Due to the very premise of the film, she provides a specific challenge to be overcome by the lead character. She has to have her buttons pushed in an exact way in order to get her on board, like any other video game. It's the nature of the premise, though, so not a huge problem, I don't think. She's cetainly not a deep character; people just seem to be naturally over-excited by the idea of a hot female exhibiting typically male action movie traits. Certainly, her character could just as easily been male, but then you'd have to think that the yoga scenes probably wouldn't exist, right?

Sven
07-22-2014, 01:36 AM
Nice cutting to the quick, sir.

Irish
07-22-2014, 01:41 AM
The point was that she wasn't a sexual object. This is different than being a plot object.

She may not be a deep character, but who in this film is? It's a sci fi actioner. It's not trying to deep.

She operates more as a partner to Cruise, not a subordinate. The two are on equal footing, even though the movie is told for his point of view. The fact that her gender could be easily switched, in this context, is actually something of a huge leap forward. Especially if you consider the way women are usually written.

I dunno about the yoga scene. Given the rumors about Cruise's personal life... Yeah, they could probably still exist. :D

transmogrifier
07-22-2014, 01:56 AM
There be spoilers here:

Basically, her character is hot female because it enables Cruise's character (and audience) to be all like "Wow, a hot female who's a badass!? That's unusual." Which of course is a major plot point. The film basically uses her femininity as a proxy for "weakness" (rooted in movie cliche and gender stereotypes) to demonstrate how the time loop can be used to instill great skill in anyone, and thus provides a template for Cruise to shrug off his cowardice and bureaucratic incompetence. I'm not sure that is a great victory for feminism.

So when I say Blunt's character could have been played by a man, it would have to have been someone like Wallace Shawn or Jay Baruchel. But guess who most people want to see in tight pants?

Gittes
07-22-2014, 02:36 AM
With regards to Blunt being "constantly drooled over by the photography," I do not believe this coheres with the film itself, at least if "drooling" is referring to the same kind of "overexcitement" that transmogrifier described, which strikes me as an unpleasant distortion of what's actually established. Cage's initial glimpse of Blunt on the battlefield, for example, is a case of a POV shot informed by the imposing, reverential grandeur of the propaganda posters: Rita emerges as someone resembling the consummate warrior of those images, and is then given more human shading throughout the film, as she bonds with Cage (and then bonds again, etc.).

The one-armed Mayurasana pose is an impressive feat of considerable athleticism. It elicits our admiration. However, the salient feature here is Blunt's strength and agility. I believe it was Linda Holmes, on the NPR: Pop Culture podcast, who first expressed this point as such. Holmes, if I recall correctly, was specifically referring to her graceful movement from Chaturanga Dandasana to Bhujangasana (see below), which is given recursive attention throughout the film, and appears at least three times. The repetition of this shot is not necessarily a case of the director exploiting a conceit in order to partake in a bit of distended leering. Rather, each return achieves incremental gains in poignancy, as we're catapulted back to a point when Cage and Rita are defined less by respect and understanding than the distance of hierarchical superiority. As we revisit this stolid variation on the "meet cute" origin point, we're struck by a sense of intimacy built and (now that time has been reset and he's back here again) summarily deflated.

The repetition also allows the film to mine the small magic of that first glimpse, where Blunt's beauty, strength, and grace are given emphatic (but not tasteless) accentuation. As David Bordwell is prone to mentioning, so much of American cinema is about narrative redundancy and, thanks to Edge of Tomorrow's conceit, this film is uniquely poised to fulfill that tradition. The repetition of Cage meeting Blunt is a bit different, though, as we're not necessarily being reminded of established narrative information, but rather building on affect (as mentioned above: the sense of bonds built and bonds lost), which is valuable. Although, it also has the effect of reinforcing and substantiating Cruise's emotional ties to this character; his affection for her is given considerable attention through the replaying of this formative POV shot, which, we assume, is something like love (or infatuation, or admiration) at first sight. I would have to revisit the film to clarify this argument but, given the conceit, the three shots might also constitute a trajectory of discrete, meaningful gazes, from the apprehensive admiration of the first encounter to something more freighted with longing and affection later on.

Given all of this, as well as Rita's expertise, commanding presence, and assured athleticism, Blunt is undeniably one of the film's marvels. As Irish astutely noted, however, she's not a sexual object.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sbHoQ1fFtFg/UrDkKkiPiNI/AAAAAAAAX3o/8a_8lFCdDsI/s400/gif_emilyblunt_whoa.gif

Gittes
07-22-2014, 02:54 AM
There be spoilers here:

Basically, her character is hot female because it enables Cruise's character (and audience) to be all like "Wow, a hot female who's a badass!? That's unusual." Which of course is a major plot point. The film basically uses her femininity as a proxy for "weakness" (rooted in movie cliche and gender stereotypes) to demonstrate how the time loop can be used to instill great skill in anyone, and thus provides a template for Cruise to shrug off his cowardice and bureaucratic incompetence. I'm not sure that is a great victory for feminism.

So when I say Blunt's character could have been played by a man, it would have to have been someone like Wallace Shawn or Jay Baruchel. But guess who most people want to see in tight pants?

This is an interesting criticism, but I'm inclined to disagree. The film never explicitly forwards the idea that Rita's former acquisition of the Alpha's ability significantly underwrites her formidability and agency. Cage, on the other hand, is explicitly positioned as an inexperienced coward. His refinement into a capable warrior is only made possible through the film's imaginative conceit and Rita's instruction. That's his particular journey, though, and it's informed by his established inadequacies and fears. There's no reason to believe that Rita's respective experience would have necessarily mirrored that journey.

Irish
07-22-2014, 02:56 AM
Two terrific reads there, Mitt. (Do you keep a blog anywhere?)

I agree with your take on trans' post -- but I think what he's saying kinda sorta works on a meta level. At the start of the film, Cage works the PR circuit. He spins the exo-skeleton as a suit that makes anyone, with a minimum of training, into an effective soldier.

If I'm getting him right, trans is saying that for the audience to find Rita's character plausible, she has to be a woman. If Cage says that the suit makes an noob into a pro, and then Jason Statham shows up, the point is lost. We can always believe a woman is a noob, but not a man. Does that make sense? Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Anyway-- I agree with you otherwise. The film never actually positions her as weak. Any perception that she is says more about our own biases than the film's subtext.

I think she's a hero not too dissimilar to Ripley or Sarah Conner, but without the tired motherhood angle.

transmogrifier
07-22-2014, 03:24 AM
If I'm getting him right, trans is saying that for the audience to find Rita's character plausible, she has to be a woman. If Cage says that the suit makes an noob into a pro, and then Jason Statham shows up, the point is lost. We can always believe a woman is a noob, but not a man. Does that make sense? Maybe I'm reading too much into it.


Pretty much. If it had been Jason Statham, when it was unveiled that he had also experienced the time loop and become the bad-arse off the back of it, the whole thing will just be met with a bit of cognitive dissonance (and re-evaluation) for the audience, because up until that point Statham would have been just doing what is expected of a typical Statham character anyway. It would have been interesting for us to realize that he was just a regular guy manufactured into this war icon through dumb luck.

This movie wants everything spelled out in a simple way, though. For me, at least, as soon as it became clear that Blunt was a fighting machine, I was waiting for her to reveal that she had gone through the same thing as Cruise. Simply because she was female.

Ezee E
07-22-2014, 04:58 AM
Thanks for posting the push up gif.

Pop Trash
07-22-2014, 05:18 AM
fyi Irish's vote was counted twice up there.

Irish
07-22-2014, 05:41 AM
As it always should be. :P

Gittes
07-22-2014, 12:21 PM
Two terrific reads there, Mitt. (Do you keep a blog anywhere?)

I agree with your take on trans' post -- but I think what he's saying kinda sorta works on a meta level. At the start of the film, Cage works the PR circuit. He spins the exo-skeleton as a suit that makes anyone, with a minimum of training, into an effective soldier.

If I'm getting him right, trans is saying that for the audience to find Rita's character plausible, she has to be a woman. If Cage says that the suit makes an noob into a pro, and then Jason Statham shows up, the point is lost. We can always believe a woman is a noob, but not a man. Does that make sense? Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

No blog yet, which is why this forum has had to bear the interminable strain of so much of my writing. :)

The suit is never actually presented as something that can turn a novice into an expert, though, is it? Perhaps Cage's PR claims should be taken with a grain of salt, as it doesn't quite jibe with the difficulties he experiences throughout the film, where you get a really strong sense of just how complicated and unwieldily those suits are. His training sessions with Rita also seem pretty onerous and lengthy and ultimately amount to something more than "a minimum of training," no? My recollection of that aspect might be off, though.

At any rate, the idea that the easy learning curve of the suits is required because, otherwise, we couldn't possibly believe in the combative prowess of a woman, is ridiculous. As the failures of Cage and his comrades shows (i.e., their utter decimation on the battlefield), the suits alone, even when 'mastered,' do not miraculously elevate people into formidable soldiers.

Either way, I think transmogrifier is claiming that Rita's efficiency as a fighter is necessarily attributable to her brief inheritance of the Alpha's power, as if there's otherwise no way to fathom the skill that she's cultivated. I'm not arguing that her experiences in that regard are irrelevant, though. It's just that this interpretation strikes me as something rooted in specious assumptions, as her previous weakness is not something explicitly endorsed by the film.



Anyway-- I agree with you otherwise. The film never actually positions her as weak. Any perception that she is says more about our own biases than the film's subtext.

Right. Transmogrifier, I believe, is arguing that Edge of Tomorrow does not depart from what he recognizes as a broader, odious tendency in cinema, wherein female characters are given problematic representations, and portrayed as weak or less capable than men, etc. I think that Edge of Tomorrow represents a welcome departure from this tendency, though. His characterization of Rita as weak seems to rely on dubious inferences and speculative details from outside the narrative parameters of the script.


Pretty much. If it had been Jason Statham, when it was unveiled that he had also experienced the time loop and become the bad-arse off the back of it, the whole thing will just be met with a bit of cognitive dissonance (and re-evaluation) for the audience, because up until that point Statham would have been just doing what is expected of a typical Statham character anyway. It would have been interesting for us to realize that he was just a regular guy manufactured into this war icon through dumb luck.
Instead of being overly redundant, I'll refer back to my last post as as well my response to Irish, above. As far as I recall, the film does not wholly link Rita's prowess to the Groundhog Day conceit, or suggest that she was weak before the contingency of acquiring the Alpha's power. There are also capable female characters presented elsewhere in the film, like in the J Squad.

Irish
07-22-2014, 12:24 PM
Anyway, the suit is never presented as something expressly designed to turn a novice into an expert, is it? Cage never makes that claim and I don't remember anything from the film supporting that idea.

The opening talk show bits depict Cage discussing the new suit technology, how it will render a soldier highly effective with a minimum of training. In another moment, they talk about Rita, "The Angel of Verdun." I can't remember if the two are directly connected, but they appear close enough in the same context that it would be easy to conflate the two.

(Also, I love the fact that everything he says there turns out to be bullshit. That entire opening plays to the film's dark humor.)


I think transmogrifier is arguing that Edge of Tomorrow does not depart from what he recognizes as a broader, odious tendency in cinema, wherein female characters are given problematic representations, and portrayed as weak or less capable than men, etc. I think that Edge of Tomorrow represents a welcome departure from this tendency, though. His characterization of Rita as weak seems to rely on dubious inferences and speculative details from outside the narrative parameters of the script.

Agreed-- if the story positions Rita that way for effect, it isn't so much a problem with the movie itself but with society at large. (At least in the way it plays to our assumption that a woman is weaker, less knowledgeable and less effective than a male counterpart in the same role). It's still a pretty keen obervation, though. Trans is right that a male character in that position would require some kind of explanation.

Irish
07-22-2014, 12:36 PM
Mitty, you weirdo, stop editing and deleting your posts. This is getting confusing. :P


The suit is never actually presented as something that can turn a novice into an expert, though, is it? Perhaps Cage's PR claims should be taken with a grain of salt, as it doesn't quite jibe with the difficulties he experiences throughout the film, where you get a really strong sense of just how complicated and unwieldily those suits are. His training sessions with Rita also seem pretty onerous and lengthy and ultimately amount to something more than "minimum training," no? My recollection of that aspect might be off, though.

I'm thinking of it like this: Socially, men will automatically assume that a woman is weaker and less capable in the same role as a man. That's why "Rita" is female in this movie. Because the film's plot requires an explanation as to how that character won single handedly at Verdun.

If "Rita" is played by Jason Statham, we'd assume he's capable because he's Jason Statham. The audience knows a Jason Statham doesn't need a suit or alien superpowers to kick ass. He kicks ass because he's Jason Statham.

If you flip the genders around, you hit what trans refers to as cognitive dissonance. Jason Statham kicking ass requires no explanation. Emily Blunt kicking ass does. That's what Trans is referring to, I think, when he positions the film as passively sexist. He's right. But then he's also pointing to a much bigger issue, one that takes place at a societal level, not solely a narrative one.

Gittes
07-22-2014, 12:47 PM
The opening talk show bits depict Cage discussing the new suit technology, how it will render a soldier highly effective with a minimum of training. In another moment, they talk about Rita, "The Angel of Verdun." I can't remember if the two are directly connected, but they appear close enough in the same context that it would be easy to conflate the two.

Nice, close observations. That's interesting. I'm not sure, though.. that still seems ambiguous enough (and suspect, given the source) that it doesn't really expose Rita as a previously weak character whose only claim to strength is through the donning of the mechanized armour. Even if you take that as a given, the mastery of those suits may be more of an achievement than Cage's rhetoric indicates, and then there's the actual effort of being deployed and enduring the challenges of the battlefield. The point is, Rita trained and transformed herself into an excellent soldier, which itself ascribes a capacity and strength to a female character that probably strikes many as novel. Of course, she must have approached her role as an amateur at some point, but this obviously applies to any of her other male or female comrades. The point is that the film forwards an equivalency between male and female combatants, as far as the potential for competent warfare is concerned.



Agreed-- if the story positions Rita that way for effect, it isn't so much a problem with the movie itself but with society at large. (At least in the way it plays to our assumption that a woman is weaker, less knowledgeable and less effective than a male counterpart in the same role). It's still a pretty keen obervation, though. Trans is right that a male character in that position would require some kind of explanation.

It's a good observation from someone who is clearly engaging with the film in a thoughtful way. I just don't happen to agree with it outside of the way it speaks to broader generic expectations, which I believe this film is productively subverting.

Gittes
07-22-2014, 01:20 PM
Mitty, you weirdo, stop editing and deleting your posts. This is getting confusing. :P

:lol: Sorry. It's a weirdly trivial bit of fastidiousness, I know, and evidently not the greatest posting habit. I'll stop doing it.



I'm thinking of it like this: Socially, men will automatically assume that a woman is weaker and less capable in the same role as a man. That's why "Rita" is female in this movie. Because the film's plot requires an explanation as to how that character won single handedly at Verdun.

If "Rita" is played by Jason Statham, we'd assume he's capable because he's Jason Statham. The audience knows a Jason Statham doesn't need a suit or alien superpowers to kick ass. He kicks ass because he's Jason Statham.

If you flip the genders around, you hit what trans refers to as cognitive dissonance. Jason Statham kicking ass requires no explanation. Emily Blunt kicking ass does. That's what Trans is referring to, I think, when he positions the film as passively sexist. He's right. But then he's also pointing to a much bigger issue, one that takes place at a societal level, not solely a narrative one.

I'll have to take a break from this discussion for a bit after this, as I've been working on something else and I'm a little too tired to properly engage with this. For now, though, here's my reply, which turned out to be longer than intended, as exhaustion is apparently sapping my capacity for brevity (sorry; if you're pressed for time, feel free to skip over the first paragraph):

In other words, if you'll excuse my paraphrasing of your point, Rita's victory at Verdun is read as a dangling cause that requires an explanation. However, this is a symptom of spectatorial expectations, rather than thoughtlessly sexist filmmaking. So the film itself isn't really sexist at all. We wouldn't recognize this as a dangling cause if Statham played "Rita," because we would expect him to be playing the kind of remarkable character that stands out among the masses. If, in this scenario, we're still hewing to the script, then Statham would still be given an "edge," thanks to the fortuity of the Alpha's blood, and legions of his comrades would still be slain at Verdun. The only thing that changes is that, later, we're kind of surprised when Statham's ingenuity is revealed to have been motivated by something other than the associations of his "badass" star persona, but again, that's a symptom of spectatorial assumptions and cinematic conventions. The role of the seasoned veteran who is tied to the central conceit, and who mentors the cowardly Cage, needs to be filled, and regardless of whether the role is played by a male action star or a female actor, there's nothing about the film that strikes me as inherently sexist. Countless soldiers were killed at Verdun and someone, male or female, required some kind of fantastical advantage in order to eke out any sort of success. The gender choice, in this scenario, is arbitrary, and that's part of the virtue of the film, right? The negative expectations and assumptions are something separate that may inform our spectatorial experience of this film, but do not seem to expressly inform the design of the film itself (not in any negative sense, at least).

I mean, Rita was still a soldier before Verdun, and this fact, coupled with the inclusion of other female soldiers (who have managed to endure even without being the beneficiaries of the kind of luck Rita briefly inherited), is one of the key virtues of the movie. I didn't get the sense that the inclusion of Rita and other female soldiers needed to be substantially "explained," after all. It's a film that locates multiple females in roles of unusual combative agency, and the only time it attempts to offer an explanation is when it's actually necessary (there's no other way that anyone, male or female, could have similarly succeeded at Verdun, given the circumstances). The fact that Rita happens to gain an advantage over her comrades does not obviate the intelligence and fortitude that she, and other female soldiers, clearly possess even outside of those unique circumstances.

I guess one possible rejoinder to all of this would be that, were Statham cast as the mentor, then Liman might have done away with the idea of the Verdun massacre entirely and simply relied on the fact that his star's capabilities would be self-evident. Statham would be a readymade mentor. This would lend credence to the idea that the film seems eager to to motivate Rita's formidability and to render it credible, simply because she's a woman. Again, though, this doesn't quite agree with the fact that, even if you set aside the Verdun massacre, Rita's mere existence as a soldier (which Liman does not bend over backwards to motivate or explain) speaks volumes in and of itself. She's one of several competent female soldiers, so she's already earned that distinction and the honour, intelligence and capability thus entailed. She just happens to also be one of two people who were allowed to achieve a kind of preternatural efficiency. It's not as if Rita's ability to function as a solider at all, to gain that sense of equivalency with the majority of her male and female comrades, is similarly dependent on anything quite so fantastical.

Also, Cage needs someone who has an intimate understanding of what he's going through, so the alternate possibility of excising Verdun doesn't quite work.

Is any of this making sense or am I inadvertently bloviating?

number8
07-22-2014, 03:00 PM
But then he's also pointing to a much bigger issue, one that takes place at a societal level, not solely a narrative one.

Points for this bit, because this is what I immediately thought when I read that. The movie itself doesn't actually comment on this observation.

It's worth pointing out that the character originated in a Japanese geek novel, where there is no such cognitive dissonance. No one ever really questions female characters with superior strength/combat skills in otaku/anime culture, because it's been so common and blase that it's accepted without much question.

number8
07-22-2014, 03:12 PM
It's the same in kung fu culture, too. When Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon came out in the US, many critics who weren't used to the genre were blown away by its portrayal of powerful women, and when Michelle Yeoh was asked about it, she just shrugged and said that it's not at all a rare or standout thing to see women overpower men in wuxia. They've been portrayed that way for hundreds of years going back to ancient novels.

Irish
07-22-2014, 09:49 PM
Is any of this making sense or am I inadvertently bloviating?

You're making sense just fine (if this is bloviating, go ahead and bloviate; I dig it).

Sven
07-24-2014, 01:01 AM
Right. Transmogrifier, I believe, is arguing that Edge of Tomorrow does not depart from what he recognizes as a broader, odious tendency in cinema, wherein female characters are given problematic representations, and portrayed as weak or less capable than men, etc. I think that Edge of Tomorrow represents a welcome departure from this tendency, though. His characterization of Rita as weak seems to rely on dubious inferences and speculative details from outside the narrative parameters of the script.

I don't wanna assume trans's argument, but my own perspective on this is that when one starts assessing texts solely on the parameters offered by the authors, one risks vacuum criticism, whereby expounding at length on the functions of a particular narrative element winds up an exercise in pure, irrelevant spectation. To this end, it seems like some here are employing a limited scope on generic representation. Blunt's character is, thoroughly, a cliche. And I still haven't heard a convincing, empowering justification for the presentation of her confident, no-nonsense personality as a rocky obstacle for Cruise to smooth out and get smoochy with.

Also, for such a supposedly strong character, she's remarkably stripped of any actual defining traits beside her hardassery. As far as I recall, she's single-minded throughout. Paxton's character has more dimension than she does. But that's a distraction. The argument is that she's a sexual object, presented as a beacon of femininity to be bagged by the lead male.


There are also capable female characters presented elsewhere in the film, like in the J Squad.

Absurd. There's one other female character, she's in J Squad, and she's essentially a cipher, established, as they all are, as ragtag fodder.

Gittes
07-24-2014, 09:00 AM
I don't wanna assume trans's argument, but my own perspective on this is that when one starts assessing texts solely on the parameters offered by the authors, one risks vacuum criticism, whereby expounding at length on the functions of a particular narrative element winds up an exercise in pure, irrelevant spectation.

OK, I guess (I'm having trouble thinking of an example of something I've read that actually struck me as truly ''irrelevant spectation'' -- by the way, is ''spectation,'' rather than ''spectatorship,'' a legitimate word?). At any rate, it's nice that you used the word ''risks,'' as I've hopefully neither endorsed nor practiced anything ''irrelevant'' in this thread. My point is that some of the specific comments I responded to do not cohere with the film. It's fine to think beyond the strict purview of a text, of course, but certain examples will be less convincing than others. I was just about to dive into my argument again, but so much has already been stated in multiple posts that can be read in their entirety by anyone interested. Irish has raised good points throughout the last two pages, as well (see here (http://matchcut.artboiled.com/showthread.php?5486-Edge-of-Tomorrow-(Doug-Liman)&p=519736&viewfull=1#post519736), for instance). Many of those also directly relate to what you're discussing in this most recent post.



To this end, it seems like some here are employing a limited scope on generic representation.

I appreciate that this criticism (which is primarilly aimed at me, I think) is so tactfully stated, but that wasn't my intention. I have carefully praised this film using measured words like ''productive,'' ''achievement,'' and ''virtue,'' and phrases like ''unusual combative agency,'' etc. My aim has not been to sanctify the film nor to argue for its infallibility. Despite my emphatic praise, I never forwarded Edge of Tomorrow as a perfect antidote to the hazards of generic representation, and all the problematic and/or odious tendencies specifically related to female representation.


Paxton's character has more dimension than she does.

No. I'm not interested in arguing for the profound depth of any of the characters, but there's a little bit more shading to Rita. For example, her ''hardassery,'' as you put it, is at least given motivation in a small moment of vulnerability where she discusses the trauma of repeatedly losing a former comrade. I suspect this is not the sort of thing that will strike you as an inspired or substantial piece of character development, and that's probably fair, but she's given more consideration than Sergeant Farrell.


The argument is that she's a sexual object, presented as a beacon of femininity to be bagged by the lead male.

I've already addressed the ''sexual object'' claim. As for the rest of your sentence, Rita is clearly relevant to Cage as more than a romantic or sexual conquest. In terms of the romantic developments, Cage and Rita's dynamic was rather chaste. The only real concession to the generic demands of romantic interplay is a single kiss, which could be read as a superfluous event that ought to have been excised to make their bond more interesting, but it's at least effectively substantiated and timed. Cage's earlier comment about sex is a strange outlier, given the nature of their interactions elsewhere, but his lewdness is framed as something to be ridiculed and is met with disdain by Rita. Otherwise, their relationship is primarily characterized by the hurtles of instruction, hierarchical distance and the resultant repartee, wartime variations on detail-oriented gamesmanship and improvisational ingenuity, the spectre of loss (past and imminent), the gradual and mutual exchange of respect, the bonds forged between comrades-in-arms, etc. There was nothing here that broached the problematic territory of, say, Skyfall (if you've seen the film and/or observed the discourse around it, you're probably aware of at least one particularly contentious scene).


There's one other female character, she's in J Squad, and she's essentially a cipher, established, as they all are, as ragtag fodder.

Yes, there is one other female character (I'm not sure if the extras suggested more diversity) and, in retrospect, I could have adjusted my sentence accordingly and perhaps saved myself from the terse ignominy of being called ''absurd.'' Also, if you like, see my second paragraph in this post, as well as my elaboration of my argument in other posts. I wasn't arguing for her depth, I was arguing against the idea that the film evinces a desperate and condescending need to motivate and account for physically strong, competent female characters. Again, I'm talking about measures of productivity and novelty, not Edge of Tomorrow as the high-water mark exemplar for female representation in cinema.

Irish
07-24-2014, 09:30 AM
Paxton's character exists for exposition and comic relief. He's able to put a decent, Paxton-y spin on it but that character is just as shallow as all the others. (I also suspect his casting, a la Spinal's ILD/Salieri observation in another thread, is a little in-joke. The drill sergeant is the polar opposite of the character he played in Aliens).


Again, I'm talking about measures of productivity and novelty, not Edge of Tomorrow as the high watermark exemplar for female representation in cinema.

Total aside, but: I'm willing to throw more praise at her than you are, Mitts, mostly because I feel the bar is so low (cf. Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3).

Irish
07-24-2014, 09:46 AM
Cage's earlier comment about sex is a strange outlier, given the nature of their interactions elsewhere, but his lewdness is framed as something to be ridiculed and is met with disdain by Rita.

Another total aside, but: I didn't think this was an outlier. Cage is a spin-doctor who dodges combat by becoming a PR guy for the army. He totally misreads Brendan Gleeson at the start of the movie. He isn't able to charm anyone at the base, from the drill sergeant to J Squad. He's selfish (his reaction to hearing about Rita's Verdun experience is Oh good, there's a cure for me). He doesn't care about the war. He misreads Rita as badly as he did Gleeson. That's where the awkward sex comment came from.

One of the things I liked about the movie was how subtly it puts his arc across. He saves the world because he has no other choice and in the process learns how to connect to another human being. His relationship with Rita is never positioned as a traditional romance, and it's certainly not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am thing.

Sven
07-24-2014, 03:14 PM
I'mma drop this, because it's circles now. I think we're approaching this from different trajectories. I'll just say two things:

The film's "measured productivity" in its handling of gender is at odds with the vast pool of decades of films, genre ones too, with women not intended to be kissed.

"Spectation" is bloviating. "Spectatorship" would've been better.

One more thing: I still voted positive on the film. I really love that shot where he gets hit by the truck and his helmet stays in the same place.

Gittes
07-24-2014, 08:34 PM
The film's "measured productivity" in its handling of gender is at odds with the vast pool of decades of films, genre ones too, with women not intended to be kissed.

Just to be clear, I never used the kiss to buttress my argument but, rather, in my previous post, specifically noted that the film may have benefitted from its excision. Of course, given the several points made in this thread, reducing Rita to a single teleological endpoint ("to be kissed") strikes me as reductive. If the combative agency and competence of the female characters, as well as the many specific observations and claims about Rita and Cage that have been posted in this thread, in fact represent absolutely nothing productive or remotely valuable, then I'd be very interested in the plethora of recent genre films that square with that contention. As it stands, and as my posts indicate, I still find something to appreciate here, and very little to warrant some of the opprobrium that has been expressed in this thread.

Sven
07-24-2014, 10:21 PM
The crux of it for me is the fact that from the moment I heard about this movie, I knew that Blunt was ultimately going to wind up acquiescing to Cruise's insistence. The necessity for that is so deeply ingrained into the genre and target demographic that it's not really a mark against the film. I'm mostly just responding to the onslaught of praise for her role, and minorly lamenting the autopilot with which she's steered when the rest of the movie was more creative.

I would point to the Resident Evil films and the sci-fi satires of Verhoeven for top-of-my-head examples of films that more satisfactorily address the role of women in genre.

Irish
07-25-2014, 12:10 AM
I would point to the Resident Evil films and the sci-fi satires of Verhoeven for top-of-my-head examples of films that more satisfactorily address the role of women in genre.

Uh oh. Here we go again. (Let's forget about Weaver in a Alien, Hamilton in The Terminator, Petty in Tank Girl & go straight for ... Denise Richards?).

Mitty, if you take this bait I will never forgive you. ;)

Henry Gale
08-15-2014, 07:00 PM
Not sure what's suddenly going on with the marketing for this in North America, but it seems to have been completely rebooted after its first weekend disappointed here. I would say it's seemed to have kind of worked considering the relatively low drop off in the second weekend (42.5%), but I'd attribute that more to the strong word of mouth than the the recent TV spots that spend more than half of their durations plastering the screen with "THE BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER." / "YOU'RE JUST STUPID IF YOU DON'T SEE THIS AMAZING PIECE OF WORK" quotes.

The real kicker is the final title card at the end of the spot I saw during last night's NBA Finals was it now only touting the title as just "Edge", both in writing and voiceover.

And this is the now the poster all my online showtimes pages have for it: (Who needs to put titles on final posters?)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t1.0-9/p350x350/10355894_10154233353850137_189 4543693539380192_n.jpg

So I wasn't on the wrong track with noticing this late in its theatrical release, because now with the digital and retail releases on the horizon it looks like they're basically changing the title to

Live. Die. Repeat.: Edge of Tomorrow


http://filmfork-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/content/edge.jpg

http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/vz3Kn8I5p9JY84BdB-fRCJ0w8VM=/775x0/filters:no_upscale%28%29/cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/654420/ldr.0.png

The Dissolve's article on this (http://thedissolve.com/news/2991-wait-edge-of-tomorrow-has-become-live-die-repeat-a/) drew my attention to it. My theory? If this does well enough on home video with the new title, Live. Die. Repeat. just became the title for an ongoing franchise!

And no, I still haven't seen it. :/

Pop Trash
08-16-2014, 03:43 AM
That's so weird. Has there ever been another major Hollywood movie that's gotten its title renamed long after its come out? It's usually only foreign genre films (like horror or Kung Fu) that have multiple English titles.

transmogrifier
08-16-2014, 04:27 AM
The title they went with was so gutlessly generic, that they deserve the embarrassment of publicly trying to rebrand it.

Irish
08-16-2014, 04:57 AM
Has there ever been another major Hollywood movie that's gotten its title renamed long after its come out?

Off the top of my head, the only ones I can think of are silly shit like Star Wars: A New Hope and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

8's post in another thread reminds me that Neighborhood Watch was changed to The Watch right before it was released.

Not quite the same, but here's a weird little article on the non-sensical differences between US and UK title (http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/when-movie-titles-change)s (Diehard 4.0, anyone?). I remember that Bend It Like Beckham had a a slew of different titles, depending on the market in which it was released.

Henry Gale
08-16-2014, 05:04 AM
That's so weird. Has there ever been another major Hollywood movie that's gotten its title renamed long after its come out? It's usually only foreign genre films (like horror or Kung Fu) that have multiple English titles.

The only mildly similar examples I can think of coming close are late-game changes before release. Like, when X2 suddenly added the "X-Men United" subtitle in its marketing with only a couple of weeks before to go before it came out, similarly Shrek Forever After suddenly became Shrek: The Final Chapter with its advertising, and Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant almost entirely lost all traces of the first half of that by the time it was released amongst Twilight's high tide.


The title they went with was so gutlessly generic, that they deserve the embarrassment of publicly trying to rebrand it.

No doubt. Even if I'm now used to the title and it technically makes thematic sense to it, it just reads so blandly and seems to take people a second to put together what it is when it's said out loud without associating Cruise and Blunt with it.

Shoulda just been All You Need Is Kill.

transmogrifier
08-16-2014, 05:31 AM
No doubt. Even if I'm now used to the title and it technically makes thematic sense to it, it just reads so blandly and seems to take people a second to put together what it is when it's said out loud without associating Cruise and Blunt with it.

Shoulda just been All You Need Is Kill.

If the title of your sci-fi actioner could also easily be the title of a teen tearjerker melodrama, then something has gone wrong.

I'm surprised at the number of people who don't like the title "All You Need is Kill." I think it is great, though its non-grammatical nature is more of a piece with the original Japanese book, I guess.

Henry Gale
08-16-2014, 05:41 AM
If the title of your sci-fi actioner could also easily be the title of a teen tearjerker melodrama, then something has gone wrong.

I'm surprised at the number of people who don't like the title "All You Need is Kill." I think it is great, though its non-grammatical nature is more of a piece with the original Japanese book, I guess.

My parents were convinced that it was the title of an old soap opera. With the internet's help we eventually settled that they were simultaneously (understandably) merging Search For Tomorrow and The Edge of Night. Same general ballpark of wishy-washiness.

And yeah, AYNIK it might not roll off the tongue, but it's so distinct and unmistakable once you hear it that I feel like it just took one focus group sampling between some random people to worry the studio that was too weird and they suddenly preferred EOT.

Irish
08-16-2014, 05:47 AM
All You Need is Kill sticks in your head but it's a bad title for a Cruise movie. It doesn't set expectations or hint at what the movie is like. It sounds like the subtitle to a slasher film-- Saw IX: All You Need is Kill. I think you can do strange or ungrammatical titles but only if the advertising or the movie itself explains it in some fashion (eg: "Love Actually").

Edge of Tomorrow is worse, because it carries similar problems and like trans' said, it's generic as hell.

Skitch
08-16-2014, 11:30 AM
I still call this movie All You Need Is Kill, and I have no intention of changing that.

Oh, and I enjoyed it too.

amberlita
08-16-2014, 11:48 AM
Off the top of my head, the only ones I can think of are silly shit like Star Wars: A New Hope and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

8's post in another thread reminds me that Neighborhood Watch was changed to The Watch right before it was released.

Not quite the same, but here's a weird little article on the non-sensical differences between US and UK title (http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/when-movie-titles-change)s (Diehard 4.0, anyone?). I remember that Bend It Like Beckham had a a slew of different titles, depending on the market in which it was released.

Mad Max 2 and The Road Warrior. As far as I know that had a good reason. Something about Mad Max not having a wide release date in the U.S. by the time Mad Max 2 came out, so it was changed to The Road Warrior for U.S. release. But I dunno. I was a toddler. :)

transmogrifier
08-19-2014, 02:47 AM
IMDB listing has changed the title (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1631867/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_4).

max314
08-19-2014, 09:45 PM
Looks like they changed it back again.

Make up your minds, Warners!

transmogrifier
08-19-2014, 11:23 PM
Ha, they did too.

MadMan
08-30-2014, 05:18 AM
I really dug this movie despite the generic aliens. The action sequences were great, the humor was rather strong (and unexpected) and Blunt and Cruise had natural chemistry together. Also I'm just going to consider Bill Paxton's character as being a modern day, older version of Hudson from Aliens.

Henry Gale
09-03-2014, 11:02 PM
Alright, fiiiiinally got around to seeing this (in the theatre and everything, helping it cross that $100 million mark (http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/KingPatel/news/?a=106979)) and yeah, it's fairly fantastic, even beyond the built-up expectations I'd amounted for it.

It just feels so matter-of-factly tight in how its constructed (regardless of the arduous production journey it took to get to that result) and simultaneously effervescent and grim with its sturdy atmospherics, thanks just as much to its central conceit as how it smartly scripts and inhabits it emotionally, with Cruise and especially Blunt (seriously, every movie she's in now seems to be so much better simply because she's in it) basically at their best.

The first few minutes with boring news montages and Gleeson and Cruise green-screened into real-life cable news shows (Was this to easily cut and paste them to other region-specific news sets for international audiences?) had me pretty damn worried, but once those two actors went from shoddy talking head-devices to characters hashing things out in that room together, things instantly turned around.

But aside from a rare wonky bits like that, my potential quibbles with the ending's retroactive ramifications to its storytelling that I'm still trying to sort through in my head, and some disappointingly telegraphed or rote moments (that are often amongst the repeated bits), I'd basically hold this as something close to a modern major action masterpiece. Premise is everything until it can't live up to it, and Edge of Tomorrow (as it was still called in the credits at my screening) takes hold of its potential pretty damn spectacularly. There are moments and montages here that just vibe with editing, pathos and performance without a single word or new piece of linear plotting that just gave me chills, scenes like the coffee one that just hit me right in the gut, and vibrant battle and dialogue scenes that just satisfy the most instinctual and non-ignorable '80s / '90s action movie-loving part of me that felt thrown into a relic of that sort of prime era of original big studio action filmmaking because of how old-fashioned it was in its grounded ingenuity despite how technologically advanced and modernly glossy it was.

In an ideal reality, this became one of the biggest movies of this summer, and that success didn't send the message to the studio system to balloon it into a franchise, but to simply take similar chances in what they condition current audiences to expect. The joy of going to the movies should be being able to walk into a $200+ million-budgeted Summer Action-Adventure tentpole starring one of the biggest stars on Earth and end up being excited, mentally stimulated and emotionally rejuvenated by it. It's a shame when that ends up feeling like a pipe dream or some sort of miraculous case, but it's even better when that sort of thing actually finds a way to exist. Whaddya know, here it is.

D_Davis
09-14-2014, 03:37 AM
So that was the best film I've seen in probably 8 years. Just brilliant. Top 10 book of all time, possibly a top 10 movie.

Sven
09-14-2014, 04:36 AM
The film's prevailing element in my mind is the awesome tentacle time beasts. My feelings are certainly inclined toward tenderness.

Grouchy
11-21-2014, 07:07 PM
Pretty damn good entertainment. It's a lot of fun seeing Cruise portray a phony soldier who doesn't want to engage in any combat and the story is powerfully made and carries the right amount of self-awareness and comedy. I wasn't so enamored with Blunt's character but she's of course a good actress. Brendan Glesson was more of a scene stealer, truth be told.

By the way, it might be because I watched it late at night and kind of drunk, but isn't it a bit odd how they get rid of Blunt's companion halfway through the movie? I'm talking about the one played by the Game of Thrones guy.

Spun Lepton
11-26-2014, 07:24 PM
I'm a sucker for all things time-travel. Loved it.

Pop Trash
12-29-2014, 07:59 PM
Stating the obvious, but this would be incredibly radical if Groundhog Day didn't exist. As it is, it's still quite entertaining, especially the witty editing groove it gets into during the second act.

Tom Cruise's acting tics still bother me (if you watch closely he still sometimes does the jaw muscle flex he was doing way back in Top Gun) but Blunt is good and Paxton rules of course.

This is also a better Halo movie than any actual Halo movie Hollywood may or may not produce.

Dead & Messed Up
07-17-2018, 06:33 PM
I've become sorta low-key obsessed with this film since watching it for the first time last year.

I really, really, really like this movie.

Irish
07-18-2018, 12:55 AM
Dammit, now I gotta rewatch this thing

Dukefrukem
07-18-2018, 02:27 AM
40-1 is a pretty good MC score.

Irish
07-19-2018, 01:49 AM
Watched it again last night, third time, and I think I liked it a little bit more. (Although the ending is the tiniest bit of a slog.)

[ETM]
12-25-2018, 11:52 PM
Just caught this again on TV. I love it SO much. I have had a constant crush on Emily Blunt ever since I first saw it.

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