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Spartan..The Movie

Lil'Timmy

TRIBE Promoter
Yeah so I went to a screening of Spartan last night. Its the new Val Kilmer flick, and I must say I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good crime thriller. It's written and directed by David Mamet, so one could expect quality. Granted it had its predictable points and whatnot, but all the actors including William H Macey, Ed "Al Bundy" O'Niel and Derek Luke were pretty good.
 
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JESuX

TRIBE Member
i thought the acting was weak, at best.

val kilmer sounded as if he was trying to channel Vince Vaughan with a coke hangover... It didn't work out too well for his character, I thought... but meh. All in all it was interesting.

Timmah, you rock the house with your free movies, man! I'll even go watch Haunted Mansion again...















okay. maybe not haunted mansion.
 
I have to say this wasn't anything that I expect. While it is by definition a David Mamet film, it's a very different direction for him, and a bit of a next step from Heist.

The plot of this is a bit more complicated and not quite as self explanitory as other Hollywood fare, you're not quite clear on who's missing until about 15-20 minutes in. Mamet's trademark dialogue pops up from time to time, but this is more a film where dialogue is more about being real rather than being for the sake of the audience. Explanations are more drawn by yourself and by making sure that you pay attention to what's happening on screen, and making sure you understand the plot twists that come along the way (which are really well concieved, and add some unexpected turns).

Problem is, with the focus on realistic dialogue and a very solid plot, the characters in this film suffer immensely, and the actors aren't given much to work with. Val Kilmer I thought was alright in a role that is so focused on his goal, that there's not much about him we can learn about, other than he's spent a career in military and probably done a fair bit of black ops work. Same goes for William H. Macy and Ed O'Neil, who mark their presence, but really are more glorified cameos than anything else.

Spartan is not your typical Mamet flick and that will most likely disappoint the more faithful Mamet fans. He does action scenes with a very clean, direct and curt style, choosing not to let them become the centre of the film, which probably wouldn't be said in the hands of another Hollywood director. Plot is the reason to see this film, and characters, unfortunately suffer a distant second.
 
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vveerrgg

TRIBE Promoter
hey i just watched that too.... pretty good. got alittle stupid in the middle... but the beginning and near the end it was good.
 

chipotle

Well-Known TRIBEr
I liked this movie...when I remember more about it I will post something more thoughful but right now.

I liked it because I thought it had a very entertaining storyline and it was interesting for the most part.
 

vveerrgg

TRIBE Promoter
any movie where ther'es a president who sells his daughter out for a re-election bid is a fuckin crazy good movie in my books...

even crazier the ending.... one of those WTF kinda things..... poor character.. if that's anywheren near reality i feel sorry for all those involved.
 

Mephisto

TRIBE Member
mamet writes and shoots a tight movie(spanish prisoner, oleana, ronin, etc), only gives you just enough and expects you to meet him half way as a mechanism for creating his so-called 'real' tension. not a perfect film but pretty strong, mamet likes to shoot like he's on a stage so at some points it kind of starts to trip over itself rushing into the next beat. anyone who is a fan of mamet and a fan of film should read his books- "on directing" and "the three uses of a knife". it's too bad spartan pretty much just hit the theatres cold with almost no marketing last year...i'm not even sure if it ended up going wide.

if you have the dvd be sure to checkout the commentary for confirmation that kilmer really is losing his marbles lol
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
gah, vveerrgg, post warnings before spoilers, dude. most people haven't seen this movie yet.

(although your spoiler was not entirely correct.)
 

crazedcanuck

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by el presidente Highsteppa
I have to say this wasn't anything that I expect. While it is by definition a David Mamet film, it's a very different direction for him, and a bit of a next step from Heist.

The plot of this is a bit more complicated and not quite as self explanitory as other Hollywood fare, you're not quite clear on who's missing until about 15-20 minutes in. Mamet's trademark dialogue pops up from time to time, but this is more a film where dialogue is more about being real rather than being for the sake of the audience. Explanations are more drawn by yourself and by making sure that you pay attention to what's happening on screen, and making sure you understand the plot twists that come along the way (which are really well concieved, and add some unexpected turns).

Problem is, with the focus on realistic dialogue and a very solid plot, the characters in this film suffer immensely, and the actors aren't given much to work with. Val Kilmer I thought was alright in a role that is so focused on his goal, that there's not much about him we can learn about, other than he's spent a career in military and probably done a fair bit of black ops work. Same goes for William H. Macy and Ed O'Neil, who mark their presence, but really are more glorified cameos than anything else.

Spartan is not your typical Mamet flick and that will most likely disappoint the more faithful Mamet fans. He does action scenes with a very clean, direct and curt style, choosing not to let them become the centre of the film, which probably wouldn't be said in the hands of another Hollywood director. Plot is the reason to see this film, and characters, unfortunately suffer a distant second.

I agree completely.

Also, the movie just felt like an empty exercise... the editing, especially from the start, just left me feeling jumbled.

Odd, code-riddled dialogue.. cut scene.. new location, more ramble... It felt like there was another hour of movie that they cut out, and we were seeing it from the 20 minute point on.

To be honest, I thought it was a TBS made for TV movie when it popped up on TMN a few nights ago.. I watched it again from TMN on demand.. and although I like the premise, it just felt very cut and paste.

Terrible film-making. (not god-awful, but bloody awkward)
 

Mephisto

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by crazedcanuck
I agree completely.

Also, the movie just felt like an empty exercise... the editing, especially from the start, just left me feeling jumbled.

Odd, code-riddled dialogue.. cut scene.. new location, more ramble... It felt like there was another hour of movie that they cut out, and we were seeing it from the 20 minute point on.

that's mamet though, he doesn't give you gobs of extraneous exposition that clogs up the running time of so many other films. a lot of times what you don't say is just as important as what you dangle in front of people's faces on screen. he pares down so much in post and only gives you just enough stacking on the beats like cases of empties on the morning after. scene. wipe. scene. wipe.



but in the end, to each their own and all that
 
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terrawrist III

TRIBE Member
half hour in and STILL don't know what the fuck is going on :D ...should I keep going??

thinking about turning it off in favour of the Station agent
 

RhesusMonkey

TRIBE Member
"Indicate That You've Heard Me." has now become popular within my family's conversations...

I thought the movie was really well done. I think there's a lot more to the movie than you;d take away initially... Kilmer's character, while he seems to be delivering his lines in a robotic monotone, you realize that that is the character... he's a highly trained killer in the military, who does everything methodically and from routine, similar to a robot. I thought the movie was almost scary in its realism to that fact.

meh. I also really like The Cooler, even though I could do without having seen certain actor's asses...
 
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