The Island (spoilers)

ourchair

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Just caught The Island this evening, here's a quickshot review:

At first glance, The Island seems to be just another Big Loud Stupid Michael Bay Film.

One of the good things is that Bay drops the cheesy melodrama that hampered Armageddon and forgoes the machismo that drove The Rock and focuses entirely on telling his story instead of pretending that he can craft something with show stopping emotional resonance.

Some critics will probably slam this film because it covers a lot of sci fi tropes --- the value of human life, memories and truth, social and ethical implications of cloning etc --- all of which have been explored better in more ambitious films like Blade Runner and Total Recall, but that's hardly the point.

What Bay does is use the ostensible dramatic weight of a science fiction premise to propel a high-tech action thriller. One that begins with the slow and eerie feel of a suspense mystery and then subsequently launches rapid-fire adrenaline. Fortunately, both parts work to spectacular results.

I give this film 8/10: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:
 
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Ultxon

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I went and saw this movie the day before it came out [adavnced screening]. I'd have to agree that the movie's sci-fi ideas were unoriginal. In fact, I remeber whispereing to my friend near the ending, "Victor Vs. the Monster!" Personnaly I thought it had an hour long ending. Half way through the movei I really wanted it to end. And personally I think there needs to be some kinda cap on summer films for chase scenes. It got to the point in the film where the chase scenes were comedic only because of how repetitive they were. Plus I did think that some of the "survivals" were laughably contrived or really bent my sense of beleving in the movie. Plus that whole "Jesus was good to you guys" bit just made me laugh for the wrong reasons.

"Wow, this whole scene dosen't make a hell of a lot of sense". "I have an idea lets add someone pointing out the ridicoulsness of it."

"Or how about we tell the audience that we are just coping-out in order to give you some really good effects. "

There are a couple good qualities to the movie. For one, the acting of Mcgregor is pretty good. The only issue I had was wanting to tear off that wart he had on his forhead. I would say that this gets a C grade, mostly because of some nice FX, and some good acting.
 

Ice

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Goodwill said:
I thought I heard it was R since there was nudity... I was wondering if this was true.
Dont think R if you here the word nudity. Depends what kind of there is, first of all.
 

thee great one

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I thought it was decent. A little drugout, but that could of been cause it was a midnight movie and I work and had to work the next day.
 

ourchair

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Goodwill said:
I thought I heard it was R since there was nudity... I was wondering if this was true.
My ticket receipt/stub clearly says it was PG-13.

But then again, the distributors could have toned it down for any number of reasons whehter for sales or for some unreasonable demands from the local censor board.

On the other hand, the local censors are so bad at cutting you can usually tell when they do that, so I would've noticed if they made cuts even if it was the first time I'd seen the movie.
 

Ultxon

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My stub also said PG-13. I didn't really see an instance of "really bad" nudity. Forgot to say this but Michael Clarke Duncan is in it. I didn't know until I went. He is easily better than the 2 main characters in my book.
 

cmdrjanjalani

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It's a lot better than Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, but it's a shame that it won't do as well. Only 12 million in US Box office.

I found it unbelievable that Bay was able to hold off on the explosions for 1/3 of the movie. :D

It's PG-13 where I watch, and I didn't see anything that would warrant any higher than that. The probably more "offensive" parts were the violence. Some of the deaths of Merrick's henchmen looked really painful. But it was nothing to some of the more disagreeable ratings I have seen for the past few years in the Philippines: Titanic was rated PG-7 but the scene with Kate Winslet topless was shown uncut. Thomas Crown Affair had Rene Russo showing her breasts about 5 times, and a couple of nude scenes, but the movie was only rated PG-13.
 
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ourchair

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cmdrjanjalani said:
The probably more "offensive" parts were the violence. Some of the deaths of Merrick's henchmen looked really painful.
Those deaths weren't any more offensive than the deaths in The Rock or in his more recent film, Bad Boys II. Perhaps some people are recalling the more kid-friendly widescreen destruction scenes of Pearl Harbor, which received a G rating in the Philippines?

cmdrjanjalani said:
It's a lot better than Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, but it's a shame that it won't do as well. Only 12 million in US Box office.
I think both of Bay's prior films are all right, but I'm glad he saw room for improvement in removing the hamfisted melodrama. But 12 million in box office?! Not that I care, but why is it doing that badly? I thought it was a given that this movie was going to earn its money back quickly.

I'm getting the feeling critics are slamming this film mostly because it covers the implications of cloning and stem cell research in a DECIDEDLY superficial manner, and the fact that Bay isn't even trying to give it any more depth than that is something they want to hold against him.

Almost every negative review I've read is a variation on "it's about cloning but it's not very deep, it's still a Big Loud Michael Bay movie so it's kinda stupid." Which is completely missing the point, of course.
 
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ourchair

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Goodwill said:
:lol: Yeah, this movie didn't appeal to me to begin with, so, now that DJF said it's ****, I won't go see it!
Yeah, because a three-sentence post is good consumer advice.
 

Shade

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it wasn't great, but hey, it is a summer movie. it was fun, and ewan mcgregor is charming goddammit.

and if that doesn't convince you, it's got steve buscemi. steve buscemi.

you want a better movie against genetic manipulation, check out gattaca. quite good.

i'd also like to point out plot hole(s)- anyone else catch these?- first off, why'd the echo series go wrong? did they ever properly explain that? and how did lincoln six echo (i'm guessing on that number) get the memories stuck in his head? i mean, c'mon, i refuse to go along with cloning transplanting memories.

also, this is just a minor annoyance, but the whole reason behind the place... a little contrived? does anyone buy that having the clones as veggies would kill the organs? t'would have been more effective (and would've made sean bean into more of a bastard) if the organs were viable in the vegetable clones... but better as walking talking folk.

wouldn't work without the spark of life, my foot.

post script: does sean bean ever play nice people?

[edit] ourchair's review is about what mine would be. i'm not going to bother retyping all of that in my own words [/edit]
 

ProjectX2

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Shade said:
post script: does sean bean ever play nice people?

He played Boromir. I like Boromir. And Sean Bean.
 

ourchair

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Shade said:
and if that doesn't convince you, it's got steve buscemi. steve buscemi.
Steve Buscemi is the shiznit, the bomb and the man all in one. I was so sad when they killed him. I'm like, great now we're stuck with only the stoic serious characters.

Shade said:
you want a better movie against genetic manipulation, check out gattaca. quite good.
Exactly. Gattaca is awesome, and watching The Island for a deep meditation on social issues related to genetics is completely not the point.

Shade said:
i'd also like to point out plot hole(s)- anyone else catch these?- first off, why'd the echo series go wrong? did they ever properly explain that?
Yeah, maybe the no-prize explanation is that the alpha betas gammas and deltas, being earlier batches were less perfect in cloning and thus less likely to develop cloned memories, but the organs remained functional.

Shade said:
does anyone buy that having the clones as veggies would kill the organs? t'would have been more effective if the organs were viable in the vegetable clones... but better as walking talking folk. wouldn't work without the spark of life, my foot.
But see "without the spark of life" is the screenwriter pretending he knows how to insert deep existential thinking into a summer blockbuster. :p
 

David Blue

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This is extreme thread necromancy (and there's be a little more of that till I cover the movies I like most and want to say something about), but better to bring them back from the dead than to create redundant threads or post off topic.

ourchair said:
Steve Buscemi is the shiznit, the bomb and the man all in one. I was so sad when they killed him. I'm like, great now we're stuck with only the stoic serious characters.
Fair enough, tastes differ. But it didn't occur to me that continuing to gaze at Scarlett Johansson (and Ewan McGregor) was a problem.

Nor did I think of our artificial Adam and Eve as "stoic". Rather they were childlike and charming - exactly as they should have been.

Shade said:
i'd also like to point out plot hole(s)- anyone else catch these?- first off, why'd the echo series go wrong? did they ever properly explain that?
There was no explanation for that. It was not what the movie was about. It was just part of the setup.

The only person who might have supplied an authoritative explanation for the recovering memories in the Echo, Foxtrot, Gamma and Helo lines was Doctor Henry Merrick - and he didn't know. There was no time for him to do more than identify the problem. So you can supply lots of possible explanations, but there is no way to say which is right.

The explanation that first occurred to me was that the scanning process picked up all sorts of things about the sponsor, not just genetics but gene expressions (as we saw), and then you had to edit stuff out, like diseases (such as the cirrhotic hepatitis that would have to be edited out of a copy of Tom Lincoln), and memories; and the later models may have been built on the assumption that since memories had never been a problem they weren't a problem, and screening out diseases more effectively or reducing costs or whatever was a higher priority.

ourchair said:
Yeah, maybe the no-prize explanation is that the alpha betas gammas and deltas, being earlier batches were less perfect in cloning and thus less likely to develop cloned memories, but the organs remained functional.
That works too.

ourchair said:
and how did lincoln six echo (i'm guessing on that number) get the memories stuck in his head? i mean, c'mon, i refuse to go along with cloning transplanting memories.
They weren't transplanted, merely copied, in that hour long scan. That was not just picking up a DNA sample.

ourchair said:
Exactly. Gattaca is awesome, and watching The Island for a deep meditation on social issues related to genetics is completely not the point.
I found The Island (2005) to be a strong story with very sympathetic (and extremely well-acted) characters and startlingly authentic, complex deeply interwoven religious and social/political/philosophical issues. The religious theme dominated, tying the whole movie together. (Above all with the symbolic angel and the wing flapping sound effect in the cathedral scene.) It was really something special.

Of course it was already completely smashed at the American box office, and I knew this when I saw it.

Shade said:
does anyone buy that having the clones as veggies would kill the organs? t'would have been more effective if the organs were viable in the vegetable clones... but better as walking talking folk. wouldn't work without the spark of life, my foot.]
The reason you have to do that is because we live in a society that is going more and more Doctor Merrick's way.

You need to give the clones every chance to win over the sympathy of the audience, to get them to accept that they are human. Becase most people in real life, on the real life issues that The Island (2005) implicitly took sides on, start on the oposite side. If someone they knew needed an organ, they wouldn't want to know where it came from, they'd just say "do it."

Just as McCord said, people want to eat the steak - and they don't want to see what happens inside that meat factory.

Grim history shows is that all it takes is a brand and a shackle and lies and they stop seeing a human being and start seeing "property" or "a product".

All the rhetoric Doctor Merrick was spouting was taken from real life, and it works. It's easy to convince people to accept a category of homo sapiens but not human, or human but "not a real person, like me" in McCord's words. It's terrifyingly easy to get people to buy that.

So you absolutely need the strong visual images - Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta running for their lives - to set against the lies.

ourchair said:
But see "without the spark of life" is the screenwriter pretending he knows how to insert deep existential thinking into a summer blockbuster. :p
It was orthodox religious, not existential thinking, and obviously the box office condemned it. But it is there and it is very beautiful.

If I went by box office and not by what I saw and heard in the movie theatre, I would say Armageddon -1998- was the goods and The Island (2005) was nothing special. Instead, for me, it's the other way around.
 

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