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View Full Version : Men, Women & Children (Jason Reitman)



Henry Gale
10-02-2014, 03:30 AM
http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/poster-trailer-for-jason-reitman-s-men-women-children-has-arrived-b9407028-750c-40cd-bdfa-ae140fb858b8.jpeg?width=1699&height=2654

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3179568/) / Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men,_Women_%26_Children_%28fil m%29) / Letterboxd (http://letterboxd.com/film/men-women-children/)

Ezee E
10-02-2014, 03:54 AM
Looks like the funniest unintentional movie of the year.

Henry Gale
10-02-2014, 04:25 AM
I feel so guilty using the ugly underbelly of the world wide interweb to share my thoughts on this, but here I go anyway!

The fuck was this...? Not necessarily the "why" or "how", but the simple puzzling "what" of its questionable efforts, overly slight thematic thrust, and then ultimately its existence.

I should start off by saying I did not see Labor Day (and not much said about it has made me feel like I have to), so going from Young Adult— my favourite film Reitman has made— to this was me trying to make sense of such a puzzling nosedive as much as I was baffled by half of what was happening on screen.

I don't know what it says that having to deal with some of this movie's plot points in my mind reduces me to feeling like using nothing but meme-y, inarticulate internet speak, but all I could think during some major character turns here was :| or NOT SURE IF SERIOUS. And that was often without the help of the instances it (often) segued those scenes into asides of the NASA Voyager travelling through space with Emma Thompson narrating either its history or a character's recent masturbation escapades. (I am not joking, and it probably sounds more subversively interesting there than it is for a moment in the film.)

The most unfortunate thing is that there are some really half-way compelling performances to be found in it, particularly from Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Judy Greer, Kaitlyn Dever and even the glimmers of interesting things Rosemarie DeWitt manages to do with her barely fleshed-out (but no less major) character. The problem is they're given people to play who we don't grasp a significant emotional understanding of in the slightest before the script pulls the trigger on their half-baked conflicts. Let's just focus on one character here who's completely detrimental to the film and embodies the unbelievable, contrived and cartoonishly inept ways the script functions: with a the complete lack of nuance or logic throughout.

It's Jennifer Garner's character, and her mission to "protect" her teenage daughter Brandy by monitoring every moment of her life, reading her texts, controlling her Facebook page and syncing them to her own phone. This of course just makes for a terrible household regime for Brandy, and despite the movie making you feel like it views it similarly unbearable, the movie ultimately takes her sort of attitude towards the pitfalls of technology elsewhere, almost endorsing her that way and how it never really gives any sense of awareness or presenting and understanding for us as to how her husband or her daughter would ever go along with it. With her parent's group and an insane third act action by her, her ultimatum seems to be to bring down the internet and destroy everyone in its path. With the comedically tone-deaf way so much of her storyline plays out and NO sense of where all this stems from, I half-expected there to be an emotional revelation late in the film that in her past she was abused by the inventor of the internet.

Also, a father cancelling an account for his son's MMORPG is weirdly played like an universally understandable emotion towards a form of media that it otherwise shuns or plays for nerdy obscurity when it does give it brief screentime. Yet, I was on the edge of my seat anticipating a dramatic homage to this (http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view4/1284634/remote-meets-butt-o.gif). Instead, we get the most over-the-top, implausibly megalomaniacal melodramatic development (Guess which character it's initiated by!) to push it into "high-drama" that it never recovers from or finds any real resolution to. Unless you count its eye-roll of a final shot, which doesn't really mean anything when you think about it.

Anyway, bottom line: Don't see this. Go outside, with a smart-device in hand if you care to. Understand what this movie doesn't seem to, which is that any sensible person uses technology as a shorthand to communication and a substitution for human interaction in circumstances that don't allow it, and that shots of people in public places with corresponding bubbles over their heads showing what they're looking at on their phones isn't inherently social commentary, it's just a visual effect that says nothing more than what we can already plainly see (a room of actors being told to ignore each other in unnatural ways).

It might just be the whitest White People Problems movie I have ever seen. And as a decidedly white person (who has been known to use the internet, no less!), I can simply not endorse its implications.

* / 3.2

Henry Gale
10-02-2014, 04:26 AM
Looks like the funniest unintentional movie of the year.

I mean, less than a week ago I saw The Guest without having seen a single frame of it beforehand, only knowing its general buzz (festival and otherwise) and that I had won a screening to it, and that payed off beautifully. An elating surprise that I can't wait to experience again and tell everyone I imagine would love it to go see it too.

This is also the way I went into Men, Women & Children and hooo boy did it not pan out the same way. Basically the other end of the spectrum.

It's just a baffling, wasted effort, made even worse by the barely focused-on nuggets of promise it contains along the way. The score's is kinda decent too. Maybe they can re-use it for a better movie sometime.

Ivan Drago
10-02-2014, 07:06 PM
The negative buzz surrounding this is disappointing, especially considering its excellent trailer.

Henry Gale
10-02-2014, 07:30 PM
The negative buzz surrounding this is disappointing, especially considering its excellent trailer.

See, I never saw it, and now I doubt I'll be able to go back and disassociate the feelings I have towards how the footage plays in the grand scheme of the movie compared to how it might work as a solidly crafted promo.

[EDIT: Nevermind, if you mean this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri2m3k2k7Qo), then yeah, that's a much more creative and interesting take on the subjects of the characters' stories and the connections between those moments in two minutes than what Reitman does with them in two hours. I will recommend for people to watch that teaser and then pretend the movie never came out.]

The poster is still nice to look at though, especially since it establishes a more thought-provoking or even quietly emotional image than anything in the actual film. I wish there was a scene that resembled it in the slightest.

number8
10-09-2014, 03:12 PM
My favorite twitter reaction I saw about this movie:

"The zeitgeist has filed a restraining order on Jason Reitman."

eternity
10-20-2014, 02:54 AM
This is not just a case of a talented director swinging for the fences and missing. This is not even a case of a talented director swinging for the fences and accidentally throwing the bat toward the pitcher.

This is a case of a talented director swinging for the fences and throwing the fucking bat over the fucking fence.

Holy shit is this is a bad movie. It's like the most over the top parody of the "important movie" that I'm not sure if anyone could possibly top it.

Worst movie of the year. I can't believe that the guy who made Young Adult had the audacity to make a movie about SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!!!!!1! chock full of "important" themes such as September 11th, eating disorders, and the completely necessary "important movie" mainstay that I don't even have to bring up. You know what I'm talking about. Every shitty "important movie" goes there and boy does this one go there. As if that weren't enough, it's all framed by Carl's Sagan Pale Blue FUCKING Dot. SERIOUSLY. FUCKING SERIOUSLY.

After this and Labor Day, it's clear that Reitman is currently obsessed with miscarriages and young boys masturbating and should probably be court ordered to never depict these things on screen ever again.

IMPORTANT MOVIE.

Watashi
10-20-2014, 03:55 AM
I feel that this movie was made to be shown in a community college course on the effects of social media.

Ezee E
10-20-2014, 04:12 AM
The new M. Night Shyamalan.

Philip J. Fry
02-15-2015, 04:45 AM
This movie has a teenage guy fucking a football and yet it is boring. Jesus F. Christ this movie was a piece of shit!

Henry Gale
02-16-2015, 05:00 AM
This movie has a teenage guy fucking a football and yet it is boring. Jesus F. Christ this movie was a piece of shit!

��

Wait.. WHAT. Apparently it's well within this movie's dumb unmemorable powers that something this absurdly funny happened in it and I can't even recall it.

Philip J. Fry
02-17-2015, 04:28 AM
Wait.. WHAT. Apparently it's well within this movie's dumb unmemorable powers that something this absurdly funny happened in it and I can't even recall it.With Emma Thompson narrating the process!! But yeah, that's my point, when your movie can't even make something like that work, your movie is a pile of crap.

The only reason I remember it is because I precisely thought they had squandered a golden opportunity on that scene.