Colossal Discussion

For the discussion of non-Toho monster media, tokusatsu franchises, and also for mixed discussion of Toho and non-Toho kaiju media.
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Shhh! The Octopus
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Re: Nacho Vigalondo's "COLOSSAL" Kaiju Film?!?!

Postby Shhh! The Octopus » Thu May 11, 2017 5:56 am

RandomDeinonychus wrote:
Kaijunator wrote:Why did certain theaters wait to show this film? Why couldn't all of them play it starting on 4/7?

It's probably set up like a touring film or might even have been simulcast like Shin Godzilla apparently was and they wanted to make that process easier by limiting which theaters got it when.


I also think this film is not getting a bigger release simply because its not drawing. Check out last weekend. (at #22)
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=2017&wknd=17&p=.htm

They expanded it by over 100 movie theaters and its audience dropped by almost 10%. That almost never happens with any sort of expansion.

This past weekend they closed 84 screenings. There's no way this film is making back its $15 million budget at this point. Not even close.

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Re: Nacho Vigalondo's "COLOSSAL" Kaiju Film?!?!

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Thu May 11, 2017 8:13 am

Shhh! The Octopus wrote:I also think this film is not getting a bigger release simply because its not drawing. Check out last weekend. (at #22)
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=2017&wknd=17&p=.htm

They expanded it by over 100 movie theaters and its audience dropped by almost 10%. That almost never happens with any sort of expansion.

This past weekend they closed 84 screenings. There's no way this film is making back its $15 million budget at this point. Not even close.

It really is kind of strange that it didn't get a wider release. I can think of no other reason for the studio and director to have pulled that stunt of getting Toho on their ass than for the publicity it would generate, but then they totally squandered that.
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Re: Nacho Vigalondo's "COLOSSAL" Kaiju Film?!?!

Postby Kaijunator » Thu May 11, 2017 12:14 pm

Shhh! The Octopus wrote:
RandomDeinonychus wrote:
Kaijunator wrote:Why did certain theaters wait to show this film? Why couldn't all of them play it starting on 4/7?

It's probably set up like a touring film or might even have been simulcast like Shin Godzilla apparently was and they wanted to make that process easier by limiting which theaters got it when.


I also think this film is not getting a bigger release simply because its not drawing. Check out last weekend. (at #22)
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=2017&wknd=17&p=.htm

They expanded it by over 100 movie theaters and its audience dropped by almost 10%. That almost never happens with any sort of expansion.

This past weekend they closed 84 screenings. There's no way this film is making back its $15 million budget at this point. Not even close.

Darn. That sucks.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Mon May 15, 2017 9:13 pm

Colossal's first act is mildly entertaining, but the second half is so painfully stupid as to disqualify its even being compared with competently-made films. I've rarely witnessed such awful character writing in a film with known actors. There are so many COLOSSAL leaps of logic, and I don't mean in the petty sense like nitpicking monster physics or whatever. I mean there are fundamental flaws in how characters are written and given motivation. The character development is propelled not by a core of what the characters are that is gradually revealed but by the need to create a villain and ramp things up for a climax (rather than resolve ANY of the problems with Hathaway's character that are raised in the first part of the film). Truly, that scene in the bar near the end with the fireworks is cringe of "The Room" quality.

I'm also not usually one to get hung up on plot holes, but Colossal is practically taped together in some places! There are so many examples, but I mean, the entire plot hinges on Anne Hathaway's character being literally brain dead and not remembering anything about MeanGuy What's His Face and her history with him.

Very uneven film that goes completely off the rails by the end. Glad to see it bomb. Pretty hilarious to see how this had the exact same budget as Shin Godzilla but went in the complete opposite direction at the box office.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Kaijunator » Tue May 16, 2017 5:29 am

Jomei wrote:Glad to see it bomb.

Why would anyone be glad to see a film bomb? That's pretty mean, considering multiple people are losing quite a bit of money.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Tue May 16, 2017 9:26 am

Kaijunator wrote:
Jomei wrote:Glad to see it bomb.

Why would anyone be glad to see a film bomb? That's pretty mean, considering multiple people are losing quite a bit of money.


Bad movies failing decreases the likelihood of more similar bad movies being made.

I'm also glad to see the Power Rangers movie under-perform. It was an aesthetic disaster, and I'm happy there probably won't be more coming out. Maybe the studios can spend that money on something better.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Wed May 17, 2017 11:18 pm

I have to say, as much as I enjoyed the film as kind of a novelty, the bar/fireworks scene was pretty bad. The writing seemed like kind of a poor attempt at that sort of leisurely, repetitive Quentin Tarantino monologue style, and neither Jason Sudeikis nor his character seemed right for that kind of material - there's a reason none of Tarantino's movies deal with ordinary people dealing with slice-of-life, mundane interpersonal conflicts; his whole style is based on genre films that deal with larger-than-life, unusual characters, and trying to have some random twenty-or-thirtysomething loser deliver lines that are as stylized as that while making some petty spiteful display towards the ex of the girl he likes just doesn't really make dramatic sense.

Also, the flames composited into the aftermath looked absolutely terrible; especially the ones on the projection screen - if you have stock footage of a horizontal strip of flames that appear to move straight up, you don't turn them at an angle when you insert them into the shot - then you've got flames going sideways in the presumably still indoor air of a bar. Also, I'm pretty sure you could see where the flames at times reached beyond the upper edge of the frame of the stock footage, making them appear to cut off along a perfectly straight line in mid-air. That was really glaring to me, and pretty inexplicable considering that the effects in the rest of the film generally looked pretty decent.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Sat May 20, 2017 11:19 am

Jomei wrote:I mean there are fundamental flaws in how characters are written and given motivation. The character development is propelled not by a core of what the characters are that is gradually revealed but by the need to create a villain and ramp things up for a climax (rather than resolve ANY of the problems with Hathaway's character that are raised in the first part of the film). Truly, that scene in the bar near the end with the fireworks is cringe of "The Room" quality.

The fireworks scene was a bit much, sure, but not out of character for the villain. I mean, the guy shows the direction his character is going to take almost from his first scene--he's controlling and possessive of the heroine throughout. It just starts off as "innocuous" behaviors that movies and TV have taught us to read as endearing instead of creepy.

The only character misstep I can think of is the one you mentioned here:
...the entire plot hinges on Anne Hathaway's character being literally brain dead and not remembering anything about MeanGuy What's His Face and her history with him.

That flashback added nothing of substance to the film and, frankly, reduced the villain to somehow who had just always been a bully when the rest of the film did such a good job of portraying him as the exact sort of entitled douchebag and abuser that women deal with all the time. You don't need a history of jerkish behavior to become That Guy.

Plus,
Spoiler:
you'd think the heroine would have recognized the toy she played with as a kid destroying Seoul.


The biggest problem I had with the film (aside from reducing the deaths of hundreds of Koreans to something the white heroine could use to sort out her issues), was definitely the fact that it was a typical Hollywood film expecting me to feel bad for someone who's a "broke loser", but manages to prove she's not broke at all at every turn. Bad enough it's treated as misfortune that she has to move back home to her parent's huge, empty house--the ending hinges on her being able to just fly to Seoul on a whim. The least they could have done is show her having to give up something in order to afford that trip.

Honestly, though, I enjoyed the film overall and the more other people rave about it the more I want to give it another chance. I felt it was good, not great, but definitely worth watching.

Pretty hilarious to see how this had the exact same budget as Shin Godzilla but went in the complete opposite direction at the box office.

Are you talking globally or in America? Because aside from their budgets and being giant monster movies focused more on the human characters, I don't see anything that makes the two comparable. Shin Godzilla was treated as an event worldwide even if it was a limited release in America, while Colossal was kind of dumped into a few theaters at random times. I don't even see any worldwide data on Box Office Mojo, so I have no idea what kind of international release it got.

Plus, you know, Shin Godzilla has Godzilla in its title--there's bound to be at least a few folks in the general audience who would be curious to see it. Colossal has no such name value, aside from its stars. And it's starting to appear as though the days when you had to cast big name actors to draw in audiences are beginning to fade.

(The massive success of Get Out compared to the lukewarm reception of Ghost in The Shell is a pretty great example of this)
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Shhh! The Octopus » Sun May 21, 2017 5:40 am

Shin Godzilla was treated as an event worldwide even if it was a limited release in America,


Huh? It got a small release in a handful of markets.


International numbers for Colossal

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=intl&id=colossal.htm

Just as sucky as the domestic numbers.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Sun May 21, 2017 3:59 pm

RandomDeinonychus wrote:The fireworks scene was a bit much, sure, but not out of character for the villain. I mean, the guy shows the direction his character is going to take almost from his first scene--he's controlling and possessive of the heroine throughout. It just starts off as "innocuous" behaviors that movies and TV have taught us to read as endearing instead of creepy


Most of those behaviors weren't only innocuous--they were downright helpful. A former classmate is in dire straits and can't afford anything to furnish the home she's squatting in besides an inflatable mattress, and we're going to say giving her some spare furniture and whatnot is "creepy?" Offering her a job so she can get on her feet is controlling and possessive? Boo @ you. They give him this one moment to foreshadow that he has control issues in which he blows up at one of his friends for making a move on her in a bar--another terribly written scene with no character justification as to why he'd react that way--but even that could easily be read as simply being over-protective. Another thing we're "taught" is that men are supposed to look out for women who might be vulnerable of being taken advantage of.

No evil would have been "out of character" for this guy because the writing was ludicrous. None of his maliciousness is ever justified by character. He's just bad because because because because because... because of the terrible things he does! (and then they say, "Well, it's not out of character!") The depths of evil and pointless destructiveness he sinks to in order to control Hathaway needs some anchor in his motivation. Hell, if there had been a passionate romance between them at some point that had ended badly, that'd at least be something, but... there's nothing. Just him being a monster because the plot demands it.

That flashback added nothing of substance to the film and, frankly, reduced the villain to somehow who had just always been a bully when the rest of the film did such a good job of portraying him as the exact sort of entitled douchebag and abuser that women deal with all the time.


There was nothing to reduce. The villain was always a one-dimensional failure of writing simply there to redeem Hathaway's trainwreck of a character by making her a victim. Making him "always a bully" is merely a lateral move, as up until that reveal he's been transformed from helpful, perhaps overprotective guy into a total monster for literally no reason. No development, no nuance. The writing fails on all levels--dialog, plot, character. Whoever's responsible for the camerawork in the film does have some talent, but unfortunately it's wasted on this outrageously bad script.

Are you talking globally or in America? Because aside from their budgets and being giant monster movies focused more on the human characters, I don't see anything that makes the two comparable.


You're right. Comparing them at all is almost an insult to Shin Godzilla, but it's still fun to laugh at how Mr. Nacho took $15 and pissed it away on a half-baked idea while Anno took that same investment, created a masterpiece, and raked in the cash and awards. :D

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Mon May 22, 2017 9:23 am

Jomei wrote:
RandomDeinonychus wrote:The fireworks scene was a bit much, sure, but not out of character for the villain. I mean, the guy shows the direction his character is going to take almost from his first scene--he's controlling and possessive of the heroine throughout. It just starts off as "innocuous" behaviors that movies and TV have taught us to read as endearing instead of creepy


Most of those behaviors weren't only innocuous--they were downright helpful. A former classmate is in dire straits and can't afford anything to furnish the home she's squatting in besides an inflatable mattress, and we're going to say giving her some spare furniture and whatnot is "creepy?" Offering her a job so she can get on her feet is controlling and possessive? Boo @ you.

Except nothing he does is just "helpful." It's not so much what he does, but how he does it.

He gives her things because he wants her to feel like she owes him, and everything he does for her he says they discussed previously when she can't remember it. For instance, why would you offer a friend a job when they were obviously drunk and then act like you thought they would remember it the next day? At the very least, he should say, "Hey, do you remember us talking about you working for me last night?" But no, the film very clearly has him guilt her into holding up an agreement they made when she was in no shape to agree to anything.

Even the "good" things he does for her are just how possessive and potential abusive people behave: they try to win you over with gifts so they can get you to feel beholden to them. Taking his actions at face value would be ignoring the far from subtle clues that he's doing it in a very shady way. Notice that, after he actually gets violent with her, he tries to apologize by giving her even more stuff.

Making him "always a bully" is merely a lateral move, as up until that reveal he's been transformed from helpful, perhaps overprotective guy into a total monster for literally no reason. No development, no nuance.

Yeah, no, there was definitely nuance. Making him "always a bully" was the stupidest way to give us a motive for his behavior, because that isn't how guys like him work. He honestly believes the world owes him something, that Gloria in particular owes him something, and as soon as he is given actual power he decides to use it to right the way he feels he has been "wronged."

They give him this one moment to foreshadow that he has control issues in which he blows up at one of his friends for making a move on her in a bar--another terribly written scene with no character justification as to why he'd react that way--but even that could easily be read as simply being over-protective. Another thing we're "taught" is that men are supposed to look out for women who might be vulnerable of being taken advantage of.

Okay, I admit it's been at least a month since I watched this film, but there are clues from the beginning that he feels entitled to her in some way. He mentions following all her exploits since she left, which she is surprised by--that sounds a lot more intense than merely following her Facebook or otherwise casually checking in on her.

And yes, we are supposed to read his blow-up as possessive because it is in no way proportional to what happened. The guy (who I'll touch on in a minute) went in for a kiss, Gloria made it clear she wasn't interested, and he backed off. If he had been pushing her, that would be one thing, but he wasn't. Also, the whole point of that scene is that the character is doing something that seems to be right but is still sending off alarm bells because of how he does it.

I won't argue that the film makes some annoying character choices, though. Why the hell does it expect us to give a crap about the younger guy that Gloria hooks up with and that the villain is jealous of? That doofus was just standing by the entire time, doing nothing even when it should be clear to everyone that the jerk had gone off the deep end. (He even rides in the passenger seat when the villain is driving drunk) That he did it with a hangdog expression does not mean he earned the right for a knowing smile at the end when he saw the heroine on the news. He should have just disappeared from the story after he served his purpose.

And, again, the film calls out toxic masculinity (which, again, does not mean "men are toxic" but means men being forced to perform to a level of masculinity that is actually harmful to them and others) but completely fails to also call out white feminism (the behavior by some women that indicates that feminism is only important if it benefits white women). There is basically one line pointing out how Westerners view disasters like what befalls Seoul, and then the rest of it is about Gloria using the deaths of hundreds of faceless Koreans to get over her personal issues. Even the one speaking role for a Korean person involves the woman immediately shifting her focus from the terror her country has been facing to listen to Gloria's problems.

So don't think I'm arguing that the film is a brilliant, flawless classic and you're too uncultured to understand that. It was a good movie, but nothing as special as some have been saying.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby DaiKamonohashi » Mon May 22, 2017 10:34 am

The young guy is basically every person who ever sees abuse happening and spinelessly stands by and does nothing. That's the point of his character. That there are people in a position to do something that don't do anything.

Also, still not seeing the movie as racist.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Mon May 22, 2017 10:48 am

DaiKamonohashi wrote:The young guy is basically every person who ever sees abuse happening and spinelessly stands by and does nothing. That's the point of his character. That there are people in a position to do something that don't do anything.

And I had no problem with that aspect. I had a problem with the movie acting like he was anything more by giving him that last shot. If they'd done that with the addict character, that would have actually made some sense.

Also, still not seeing the movie as racist.

It's not intentionally racist, don't misunderstand me. It isn't mocking Koreans outright or treating their deaths as funny. It is possible to be offensive without meaning to be.

I really doubt that the director honestly realized how it came across, or if he did he only made the slightest acknowledgement of that.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Mon May 22, 2017 10:59 am

RandomDeinonychus wrote:He gives her things because he wants her to feel like she owes him, and everything he does for her he says they discussed previously when she can't remember it. For instance, why would you offer a friend a job when they were obviously drunk and then act like you thought they would remember it the next day?


Two problems. One, there's never any characterization that justifies him immediately wanting to make her "feel like she owes him." He's helpful from the moment they coincidentally cross paths. Second, it's entirely plausible he made these offers over drinks without realizing how much she was overdoing it. People make plans and discuss things over drinks, and if someone forgets, that's on them.

All the things you point out in the early parts of the film are basically benign except in the event that this guy is evil and scheming from the very beginning to possess and control her. And that takes us back to the problem of characterization and motivation. Throughout your post, you dance around this, and we're going full Carousel at this point. Even the actors have conceded in interviews that we really don't learn much about why this character is this way. This is why I say he's lacking nuance--he's a walking stereotype of an evil, controlling man but with hardly a shade of nuance to make him a person. And later, once he's totally jumped the shark, there's not enough of an anchor in characterization for perceptive viewers to believe the extreme lengths he goes to. Again, it's cartoonish. Pair his ludicrously over-the-top actions with the glaring lack of characterization, and you have one of the worst-written characters I've ever seen in film. Truly bad.

At the very least, he should say, "Hey, do you remember us talking about you working for me last night?" But no, the film very clearly has him guilt her into holding up an agreement they made when she was in no shape to agree to anything.


I didn't recall any such guilting going on. Regardless, again, she's responsible for what she says and does when drunk as is everyone else in the world. And if she changes her mind the next day, she's responsible for asserting that like any other adult on Earth. But oh, that's right. The movie lets her completely off the hook for everything by distracting viewers with a one-dimensional bully. I guess they got you.

Even the "good" things he does for her are just how possessive and potential abusive people behave: they try to win you over with gifts so they can get you to feel beholden to them.


Boy, that's a twisted way of looking at the world.

Yeah, no, there was definitely nuance.


Where?

He honestly believes the world owes him something
,

Based on what in the film?

that Gloria in particular owes him something,


Which is shown in the film how? And what is the rationale for why he thinks Gloria in particular owes him? This is the big question. As I said before, if they'd had a passionate relationship in the past and he felt it was unfinished, or...?

and as soon as he is given actual power he decides to use it to right the way he feels he has been "wronged


Not shown in the film. You seem to have this evil type of man in your mind that you've internalized from somewhere and are using it to fill in the many, many gaps in this character.

Okay, I admit it's been at least a month since I watched this film, but there are clues from the beginning that he feels entitled to her in some way. He mentions following all her exploits since she left, which she is surprised by--that sounds a lot more intense than merely following her Facebook or otherwise casually checking in on her.


It's actually a lot less intense than that. She was a writer for a major publication. It has been a while since you saw the film, huh? As a writer from a small town myself, I can tell you it's not that bizarre for classmates to look at your pieces if they're online. :lol:

And, again, the film calls out toxic masculinity (which, again, does not mean "men are toxic" but means men being forced to perform to a level of masculinity that is actually harmful to them and others) but completely fails to also call out white feminism (the behavior by some women that indicates that feminism is only important if it benefits white women).


Well here's what's been filling in those gaps in the logic of the film. Personally, I think it's lazy writing--and more than a little bit sexist--to substitute trendy feminist pseudo-psychology for male character writing and development. And speaking of masculinity, would have been nice if any of the other characters had been at all masculine in positive ways. Notice how the film gives us only two types of men: pure evil for no reason and pure creampuffs, and the only notable (and not drug-addicted) people of the latter type just happen to be sexually available for our heroine's taking. What did they mean by this? Really jogs the noggin.

There is basically one line pointing out how Westerners view disasters like what befalls Seoul, and then the rest of it is about Gloria using the deaths of hundreds of faceless Koreans to get over her personal issues. Even the one speaking role for a Korean person involves the woman immediately shifting her focus from the terror her country has been facing to listen to Gloria's problems.


Except she really doesn't work through any issues at all. Before the metaphor works and she's able to link her own drunken behavior and its consequences with the "Colossal" consequences in Seoul, responsibility is essentially shifted to the bad man.

But I mean, if you want to feel bad about erasing the presence of a culture, notice how Vigalondo hijacked kaiju concepts and stylings, blatantly, cynically exploited Japanese characters for his promotions, and then set the film in Korea. Couldn't even give a small nod to the actual culture that gave his film its only distinctive elements.

This stinker gets worse the more I think about it.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Mon May 22, 2017 11:21 am

Jomei wrote:But I mean, if you want to feel bad about erasing the presence of a culture, notice how Vigalondo hijacked kaiju concepts and stylings, blatantly, cynically exploited Japanese characters for his promotions, and then set the film in Korea. Couldn't even give a small nod to the actual culture that gave his film its only distinctive elements.

To be totally fair, I think that was less about cultural erasure and more a crass attempt to gain publicity via scandal. Let's give the guy credit for the right kind of sleazy maneuver, come on now.

There is no way that nobody involved in the movie's production didn't know how quick Toho is to sue people and didn't tell him that. I mean, just look what happened to Subway.

The fact that the movie is set in Korea and features a monster that looks nothing like Godzilla shows that they later took pains to make it blatantly separate from Godzilla.

Jomei wrote:
RandomDeinonychus wrote:Even the "good" things he does for her are just how possessive and potential abusive people behave: they try to win you over with gifts so they can get you to feel beholden to them.


Boy, that's a twisted way of looking at the world.

If I said that was the only motive behind anyone doing anything nice ever, then sure. But that's not what I said, I said that it is how abusive and possessive people behave, specifically because they know that most people do these things because of their inherent decency.

I guess you're just lucky to have never known anyone who has had to encounter that kind of person in their life.

You seem to have this evil type of man in your mind that you've internalized from somewhere and are using it to fill in the many, many gaps in this character.

I've internalized nothing in this case because people like him do exist and behave much like him. If the writing around it is lazy, it's probably because nobody involved in the film realized that that wasn't immediately obvious. Which, again, is why I didn't like that he was revealed to have always been a bully, because it feels like a really lazy way to give people a motive for his actions.

Some people start out perfectly fine and the something goes wrong in their life that turns them into an asshole. Hell, the film mentions he went through a rough break-up at some point in the past with someone and sometimes even that can be enough for someone to suddenly embrace a horrifying world view.

I mean, hey, when I was a kid I thought that Burke turning out to be the human villain in Aliens was surprising because he seemed like such a decent guy early on. It was only as I got older that I realized there are definitely hints early on that he is trying to manipulate Ripley to get what he wants. But I guess that was just lazy writing, huh? :P
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Mon May 22, 2017 11:42 am

RandomDeinonychus wrote:I've internalized nothing in this case because people like him do exist and behave much like him.


Only in the vague sense. The extreme leaps he takes in logic and action strain credulity. And the thing is that those people who behave that way usually have a lot more complexity and internal logic in their motivation. Guys who feel entitled to a woman usually have a reason that makes sense to them at least. Again, even something like a drunken hookup between Hathaway and Sudeikis could have at least given a sliver of credibility to his feeling entitled to keep her around. As is, he's (apparently) laying a trap from square one... for... reasons...

Some people start out perfectly fine and the something goes wrong in their life that turns them into an asshole. Hell, the film mentions he went through a rough break-up at some point in the past with someone and sometimes even that can be enough for someone to suddenly embrace a horrifying world view.


There's nothing really evidencing him having taken on a horrible world view, though. His house is a mess, sure, but even when he talks about the breakup, he's pretty zen about it. "I guess she got bored. That can happen here." Or something to that effect. Not even a hint of blame. If he's taken on this horrible worldview, is he a sociopath just hiding his resentment in that moment?

I don't remember all the details regarding Burke in Aliens, but isn't he acting as an agent of a major corporation? There are all kinds of plausible motivation. It's established how valuable those company assets are, and for a person in a high-stakes position with company funds and property up in the air, it makes all kinds of sense to mislead people and take some risks. Yes, it's morally questionable, but his lies of omission (If I'm recalling this correctly) seem a sin plausibly in balance with the loss/gain proposition for the company and for him professionally.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Mon May 22, 2017 12:29 pm

Okay, this is the last I'm going to say because there's really nothing more I can say that I haven't already, so I'm just going to get this out and then drop it because I'd rather waste my energy on arguments about even more trivial matters:

Jomei wrote:There's nothing really evidencing him having taken on a horrible world view, though. His house is a mess, sure, but even when he talks about the breakup, he's pretty zen about it. "I guess she got bored. That can happen here." Or something to that effect. Not even a hint of blame. If he's taken on this horrible worldview, is he a sociopath just hiding his resentment in that moment?

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He may not be a "true" sociopath, but he is definitely supposed to be internalizing a lot of resentment. Come on, he has a picture of himself with his ex that has her face scratched out in his house. If he wasn't holding in a lot of resentment, why even keep that picture at all?

Oh, and how about the fact that he sees noting wrong with deliberately destroying a city full of people? That's a pretty big clue, too.

Guys who feel entitled to a woman usually have a reason that makes sense to them at least. Again, even something like a drunken hookup between Hathaway and Sudeikis could have at least given a sliver of credibility to his feeling entitled to keep her around. As is, he's (apparently) laying a trap from square one... for... reasons...

Haven't you heard of guys who use the "friend zone" complaint because they are attracted to a woman but she isn't attracted to them? A hookup is not even remotely required to make them think they own her or she owes them something. And to them, yes, that does "make sense"--that's the whole problem.

I don't remember all the details regarding Burke in Aliens, but isn't he acting as an agent of a major corporation? There are all kinds of plausible motivation. It's established how valuable those company assets are, and for a person in a high-stakes position with company funds and property up in the air, it makes all kinds of sense to mislead people and take some risks. Yes, it's morally questionable, but his lies of omission (If I'm recalling this correctly) seem a sin plausibly in balance with the loss/gain proposition for the company and for him professionally.

Image

You should rewatch Aliens, pronto. For one thing, it's awesome and everybody should watch it frequently. For another, you're talking about it as though I just mean Burke objecting to the "take off and nuke the site from orbit" plan, when it is so much more than that.

Burke heard Ripley's story about a crashed ship full of acid-blooded monsters that use humans to grown their young and sent orders for the colonists to go check out those coordinates. (The theatrical cut reveals this much later in the narrative, the extended cut shows us the colonists getting the order and finding the ship but still waits to reveal it was Burke who sent the order) He talked Ripley into joining the expedition out to the colony, while pretending he wanted to destroy any xenomorphs instead of bringing them back for study. Then he tries to have Ripley and Newt get impregnated by the two facehuggers they find in the lab, while also intending to murder the rest of the crew in a cryo "accident" to make sure he got the aliens inside them back to the company.

And on top of that, he leaves them all to die the first chance he gets--he just chooses the wrong door to try and leave through.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Mon May 22, 2017 1:04 pm

RandomDeinonychus wrote:He may not be a "true" sociopath, but he is definitely supposed to be internalizing a lot of resentment. Come on, he has a picture of himself with his ex that has her face scratched out in his house. If he wasn't holding in a lot of resentment, why even keep that picture at all?


I was talking about in the conversation re: his breakup. But yes, the scratched-out photo is another example of an over-the-top cliche detail.

Oh, and how about the fact that he sees noting wrong with deliberately destroying a city full of people? That's a pretty big clue, too.


You're still not seeing how the film does nothing to justify THAT LEVEL of evil in this character? Even Hitler had reasons, wrong as we think they were. Realistic villains, even truly deplorable ones, have plausible motivations. So were you arguing he was or wasn't a pure evil sociopath? What happened to the "toxic masculinity" thing? It's an eat your cake or have it situation because the idea of "toxic masculinity" is it's a socialized problem, whereas the other interpretation of Sudeikis is he's just a born monster.

Haven't you heard of guys who use the "friend zone" complaint because they are attracted to a woman but she isn't attracted to them? A hookup is not even remotely required to make them think they own her or she owes them something. And to them, yes, that does "make sense"--that's the whole problem.


That's not fleshed out in the film, though. You're filling in gaps with this pop psychology stuff again, but there's no moment in the film at which he confesses feelings to her or anything like that. I also think this "friend zone" harping is seriously overblown and that it's mostly the domain of hormonal teenage boys venting frustration. It's not something a realistic character gets THIS hung up on with so little development, let alone starts murdering South Koreans over just to prove a point.

I mean, you can't seem to decide whether he's a pure evil sociopath since birth who can hide his feelings but sometimes acts completely irrationally against his own interest... or the walking, pandering manifestation of every Jezebel article on "toxic masculinity." The fact that your defense of this character has to swerve violently back and forth between these two ridiculous readings should tell you something is very wrong with the writing.

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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby RandomDeinonychus » Mon May 22, 2017 1:56 pm

Jomei wrote:The fact that your defense of this character has to swerve violently back and forth between these two ridiculous readings should tell you something is very wrong with the writing.

I told you everything that the movie shows us from the beginning to indicate that he is not what he seems and you dismissed it and even went so far as to say it showed he was being a good guy. That tells me the writing is not the problem.

Especially if you weren't joking when you said you felt Burke in Aliens was just "morally questionable." :shock:

And I've wasted way too much time defending a movie that I didn't even think was all that great.
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Re: Colossal Discussion

Postby Jomei » Mon May 22, 2017 2:59 pm

RandomDeinonychus wrote:I told you everything that the movie shows us from the beginning to indicate that he is not what he seems and you dismissed it and even went so far as to say it showed he was being a good guy. That tells me the writing is not the problem.


Except I didn't dismiss those moments as not happening. I simply pointed out that they were easily readable as sincere kindness and don't develop him into what he is by the end. And yes, had he done those things (the ride home, the furniture to help out a broke, desperate person, the offer of a job to get her on her feet) and not the crazy stuff, then ABSOLUTELY, yes, he would have been a good guy. That's what I was saying. The problem isn't that he isn't what he seems at first--it's that he isn't given plausible motivations that are thoroughly developed, and nothing at all sufficient for the laughable, cartoonish extremes his character goes to later.

I can't make it any clearer than that.

Especially if you weren't joking when you said you felt Burke in Aliens was just "morally questionable." :shock:


It's called understatement. Burke is a better character, though, because while his putting people in unnecessary danger without their informed consent is reprehensible (that better?), we understand exactly why he does it and can even understand how people who aren't pure, cartoon evil might make similar selfish decisions, not out of hate but out of self interest, rationalizing putting others at risk and hoping it goes smoothly. (Again, I don't remember the details, but isn't he responsible for going on the mission? Would you not at least entertain withholding information in order to convince capable soldiers to come along and keep you safe? )With Sudeikis's character, we can't imagine anyone other than a hateful, malicious monster doing what he does.

Remember: this guy goes from a helpful albeit somewhat controlling, responsible business-owning guy to a remorseless mass murderer setting off explosives in his own bar just to intimidate people over the course of days with virtually no development. Walter White took five seasons to turn into less of a monster. Okay, so he wasn't as helpful as he looked on the surface at first. It's still a Colossal leap.

And I've wasted way too much time defending a movie that I didn't even think was all that great.


I agree that it's a waste of time defending this movie.


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