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Thread: Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross)

  1. #1
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross)

    CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

    Director: Matt Ross

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  2. #2
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Walked out. Fucking irritating movie. Pot shots at casual dining restaurants. Preteens railing against totalitarianism. Celebrating Noam Chomsky's birthday. All the suburban kids wanna do is play Mortal Kombat! Fuck this movie.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  3. #3
    An angry Spinal is a sight to behold. I don't think I've ever seen this before. Any other films that have had this effect on you?

    PS: Your Nausicaa grade is broken.
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  4. #4
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw it about a month ago, and it's not sitting well with me, either. There are as many thought-provoking ideas as there are things to be annoyed by. I absolutely hated the ending.

    The score is great, though.
    Last edited by Ivan Drago; 10-06-2016 at 03:48 AM.
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  5. #5
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    Walked out. Fucking irritating movie. Pot shots at casual dining restaurants. Preteens railing against totalitarianism. Celebrating Noam Chomsky's birthday. All the suburban kids wanna do is play Mortal Kombat! Fuck this movie.
    The thing is, though, if you stuck it through, the movie doesn't paint either side as being either right or wrong. Viggo Mortenson's character is presented as being stubborn in his way of life to the point of it being flat out abusive to his family, while the more "normal" side of his family, initially introduced as antagonistic in certain instances, or just plain inferior in their way of living altogether, is actually shown to also have their heart in the right place and humanized in a way that really showcases how stubbornly ignorant Mortenson's character has been the whole time.

    I would agree with you had these turn of events not transpired by the end of the movie, but they did, and I loved how it almost mirrored modern society's stubbornly polarizing and extremist ways of thinking, particularly when it comes to social and political views, and how seemingly very few are willing to look at issues with an open minded perspective, instead blindly insisting that the other way of thinking is just wrong and vile, and that's that.

    This movie pushes that line of thinking to the forefront and showcases the folly in that way of living, and how all it does is isolate yourself and push people away from you. And it's only after they characters in this movie actually realized the error in their way of life, their way of thinking, and actually take responsibility and become accepting of others different walks of life that they can begin the healing process that brings them back together. This movie actually resonated extremely well for me in hindsight, and it was because of all of this. I dunno at what point that you walked out, but I assure you, by the end of it, it stops being the movie that you painted it out to be. The first half of this movie exists to show us just how much of an extremist Mortenson's character is, so that when the movie finally does turn on him, it really hits, and it really works. It's not the kind of movie that pushes one side as being the "correct" way of living and looks down on the more "traditional" lifestyle. By the end, it's quite the opposite, in fact.
    Last edited by TGM; 10-06-2016 at 04:14 AM.

  6. #6
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    An angry Spinal is a sight to behold. I don't think I've ever seen this before. Any other films that have had this effect on you?

    PS: Your Nausicaa grade is broken.
    Crash, Little Miss Sunshine, Rent. It made me feel like those movies. Couldn't bear the central characters. Didn't want to be on their side.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  7. #7
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    Couldn't bear the central characters. Didn't want to be on their side.
    What's funny is that the movie itself agrees with you on those points.

  8. #8
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    Walked out. Fucking irritating movie. Pot shots at casual dining restaurants. Preteens railing against totalitarianism. Celebrating Noam Chomsky's birthday. All the suburban kids wanna do is play Mortal Kombat! Fuck this movie.
    Thats exactly how I felt by the trailer.

  9. #9
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    What's funny is that the movie itself agrees with you on those points.
    I waited an hour for characters to balance out the smug, philosophical extremism. When they do encounter 'civilization', the family is portrayed with broad, sanctimonious strokes. If the filmmaker had something else to offer, he waited too long for me. My patience had expired.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  10. #10
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Thats exactly how I felt by the trailer.
    I wasn't exactly overly eager to see it. It happened to be playing at a time that worked for me and it was set in my area, so I thought I'd give it a try.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  11. #11
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    I waited an hour for characters to balance out the smug, philosophical extremism. When they do encounter 'civilization', the family is portrayed with broad, sanctimonious strokes. If the filmmaker had something else to offer, he waited too long for me. My patience had expired.
    See, I suppose I can understand that. But considering your harshest criticisms about the movie, now I'm curious what you would've thought of it had you stuck it all the way through.

  12. #12
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    See, I suppose I can understand that. But considering your harshest criticisms about the movie, now I'm curious what you would've thought of it had you stuck it all the way through.
    I appreciate your thoughts and that you had a different experience. I read the plot summary on Wikipedia and I think I would have found the rest of the movie just as intolerable. Maybe it's because it's election season and I'm tired to death of impassioned leftists divorced from practical considerations. Maybe I'm tired of all the social justice discussion that favors sanctimoniousness and academic jargon over true understanding of humanity. But this was not the right film at the right time for me.

    This review gets it right: "a grueling avalanche of quirk."
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (No, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  13. #13
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    I liked it.

  14. #14
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    I'm more on TGM's side. It's pretty unremarkable, but don't really understand getting riled up about it. Maybe because I live in a country that's about 1,000,000 times less politically polarised than the US, but I just took it as a fairly gentle satire of a particular way of thinking. Viggo was good.It had some funny moments.

  15. #15
    I think TGM's post is a well articulated and a valid take, but Spinal makes a sharp point.

    The movie leans hard left and it paints everybody in normal society as a square. Its observations about life and culture are trite. The arguments the characters make are plainly stupid and could be easily dismissed by anyone with a high school education.

    The bigger problem is that Viggo's change of heart doesn't take place until the end of the movie. Before that, you're trapped with 1 narcissistic asshole and 5 complete automatons. The asshole is extremely aggravating, as assholes are, and the automatons have no personalities of their own. The dad here isn't just abusive. He's dumb. He's got his head so far up his ass that he doesn't realize he's raised a bunch of walking Wikipedia pages, not happy children. (I breathed a sigh of relief when Frank Langella offered to take the kids in and look after them.)

    I thought for awhile that the movie was about a guy who adheres to a rigid belief system even more rigidly as a way of grieving for his wife. But the movie isn't structured to explore any of that emotional depth, and instead falls back to sitcom writing. Any potential is lost to goofy set-ups.

    I haven't seen everything yet this year that I want to, but I think this is a shoe-in for Worst of the Year, because it's so preciously well-intentioned and so massively misguided.

    That said, I would have enjoyed this immensely if I had seen it with Spinal. I swear to God, if I could have kept him in the theater the look on his face during the funeral pyre scene--where everybody busts out into an a cappella version of GnR's Sweet Child O' Mine--my God, that would have been priceless.

  16. #16
    I thought this was pretty solid. I never really felt pressured to sympathize with the protagonist's political leanings. His character does operate at the extremes, like DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street (as a random example) or something like that, but I didn't feel like his views were pushed onto the viewer. His actions were consistent with his worldview, which I generally find more important than actually agreeing with everything the character does. And I agree with TGM, ultimately, the portrayals on each side do become pretty balanced, if not even more favorable to the "establishment" side. Frank Langella's character and his wife come out looking the best in this, IMO.
    Last edited by DavidSeven; 10-28-2016 at 09:06 PM.
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  17. #17
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    I'm an hour into this and feeling Spinal-y.

    Da 5 Bloods - ** 1/2
    Le Choc Du Futur - ** 1/2
    TFW NO - 1/2 *


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  18. #18
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    Viggo's character can be seen as both the protagonist and antagonist of the film. His voice is strong so it may seem like the discussion is one sided, but I do think throughout the film we see how this lifestyle is harmful to the children. It's just not emphasized until later in the film.

    I do wish some of the counter points were better articulated. Especially when the one kid was like, "Celebrating Noam Chomsky's birthday is stupid, why can't we be normal." But when given the chance he didn't know how to make the argument.

  19. #19
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    I wish I saw this poster before I saw the movie. It would've set me up for what I was about to see:


    Da 5 Bloods - ** 1/2
    Le Choc Du Futur - ** 1/2
    TFW NO - 1/2 *


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  20. #20
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    So I wish MC made more of a fuss about this movie, or maybe I wish I just ventured into this thread, but this is my favorite movie of 2016 thus far.

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  21. #21
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    Walked out. Fucking irritating movie. Pot shots at casual dining restaurants. Preteens railing against totalitarianism. Celebrating Noam Chomsky's birthday. All the suburban kids wanna do is play Mortal Kombat! Fuck this movie.
    I really don't understand your anger here. Other than being annoyed and bored, in all of the Malick movies I've ever seen, I still sat through this.

    Captain Fantastic, was a brisk walking in the park compared to Tree of Life.

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    Nothing Until Black Widow

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    Tom Claney's Breakpoint ★★★

    TV Show Currently Watching | Watched
    Mandalorian (Favreau) ★★
    Jack Ryan (S2) ★★

    Currently Reading | Read
    Howard Stern Comes Again (Stern)


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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies

  22. #22
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I really don't understand your anger here.
    I do. I felt that way during the trailer, lord knows how I'd feel if I watched the movie.

    I really need to see where I come out on Tree of Life. Been sitting on my shelf too long.

  23. #23
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Captain Fantastic, was a brisk walking in the park compared to Tree of Life.
    Brother, do I understand your pain on that one. And almost everything Malick.

    I gave this a Yay because it's entertaining and occassionally very funy, but it has one fundamental problem which I have been able to pin down upon reflection. For a movie about ferocious individuality, this follows the guidelines of a typical Hollywood script too slavishly. It wouldn't be as serious in a movie about someone else, but to portray this incredibly rebellious attitude only to, beat by beat, deliver the most conventional narrative and dramatic structure available... is self-defeating. And the epilogue with the singing and the digging of the corpse is just corny.

    I never felt irritated by the characters or like validating Langella's lifestyle, by the way. Viggo's character is a victim of his own hubris to be sure but he's also right and it's a great thing that he's done.

    Also loved that he often drinks mate. It was kind of the perfect character for him to apply that custom to.

  24. #24
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    On second reflection, this is not very good. The subplot with the kid who blames Viggo for his mother's death is particularly badly handled. There's no actual resolution to that, he just changes his mind about his father off screen in a convenient moment for the plot to move forward.

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