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Are we going to talk about Netflix's "Bright"?


Damphousse
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*Thread may contain spoilers*

We were told by all the critics "Bright" was the worst film of 2017.  I finally saw it.  It was actually a pretty decent movie.  There are so many movies that win Oscars that I find unwatchable.  And now there is universal hatred for a pretty solid movie.

Have the critics gone completely mad?  What do you guys think of the movie?

I wasn't expecting it to be really deep.  And dealing with the topic of race relations is always going to be tricky.  This movie wasn't an Academy Award winning MLK biopic, but it was never meant to be.  Some stuff was cringe worthy.  Some stuff was a bit ham fisted, but overall?  Hardly the worst movie of the year.

It is amazing to me how universal the condemnation of this movie was... and how many days it took for a sequel to get the green light.  Is there a precedent for a movie getting that much horrible press and becoming an instance hit with a guaranteed sequel within days?  A lot of critics lost credibility with that film.

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I haven't believed in what critics had to say in a very long time. I, generally, look at the overall score of what everyone from regular viewers thought of it and what critics think... If there is an uneven shift, on either side.... I might check it out to see why one side hated it while another side loved it. 

You have to think that critic's job is to critique.... They have nothing else to do. So, with their vast repository of movies that they have watched... They compare it to stuff like Citizen Kane, Casablanca and the sort... Anything less.... Or not original is a cliché or remake... You can't please these people. I wonder if I filmed dog poo for 90 min., while Morgan Freeman narrates some existential bullshit - it might be universally panned (by critics) as being something truly unique and groundbreaking.

As for Bright.... For me.... It has a solid foundation, and there is a lot of anticipation for where it can go in terms of story.... But it just left us a speckle of ice from the tip of the iceberg... Not even the tip of it....

**SPOILERS**

I would like to have seen when and where the main orc came from.... His back ground - I mean he is goofy, but he came from a terrible background to become the first Orc Police Officer. What motivated him to do that... Other than the superficial stuff that he says.... What about his tusks.... Never got a clear idea (some visuals would have helped) of why his tusks were sawed down.

Now that we know Will Smith is a Bright... What's next? Off to Hogwart's Adult Night School?

Now the Dark Lord rising... I really wanted to see this happen... Oh well..? Whatever.

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You guys must be mad high when you watched bright. As the movie was such a let down. I found the idea kinda fun with LOTR thousands years later. It started off ok with the training day kinda vibe. But it went down the drain really fast with the magic wands, magic, weak plot and weak character development. 

I feel the same about those kingsman movies, I really dont get what people like about it. Its one of the only movies I actually stopped watching because it was that bad.

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Well guys, it was pretty bad:

One of the biggest problems with Bright was that there was so much to learn about that world and its mythology but there was no "fish out of water" character to help the audience learn what the f*ck was going on. Even a pre-movie title paragraph explaining anything would have been helpful. There's a reason star wars has the title crawl, and lord of the rings has the voiceover, etc.

Plus, Will Smith's character didn't start out likeable at all. He was a dick, and a complainer, and his "turn" to good guy basically happened out of thin air. He goes from hating his partner to killing other cops in an instant, and there was really no reason in the story for him to do so other than the necessity to get the movie to the next plot point.

The nail on the coffin to me was that it tried to be a dozen things and didn't do any of them well. Hats off for trying, but it wasn't a good fantasy film, it wasn't a good drama, it wasn't a good dystopian movie, it wasn't a good buddy cop film... at best it was a so-so action film.

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12 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

You guys must be mad high when you watched bright. As the movie was such a let down.

I was told by every critic it was the "worst movie of the year".  How does one go "down" from there?

3 minutes ago, EthanAlexander said:

 at best it was a so-so action film.

But was it the "worst movie of the year"?

That's my point.  There are plenty of so-so movies put out every year.  None is universally called the "worst movie".

The other thing you guys are glossing over is it got a stratospheric audience rating and got a sequel deal signed within days.  I'm just wondering about the predictive power of certain people or groups of people.  There are some movies that people love that I think are "so-so".  I don't call those movies "the worst movie of the year".

13 minutes ago, EthanAlexander said:

Plus, Will Smith's character didn't start out likeable at all. He was a dick, and a complainer, and his "turn" to good guy basically happened out of thin air. He goes from hating his partner to killing other cops in an instant, and there was really no reason in the story for him to do so other than the necessity to get the movie to the next plot point.

He had to kill them because they wanted to keep the wand at all costs... including murder.  Being a racist dick doesn't make someone a murder.

Anyway, the movie was not Oscar material but I was just shocked at the universal outcry... and the subsequent stunning success.

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I watched "Bright" pretty much BECAUSE of the negative reviews (and also it is Netflix's most expensive one ever, that alone is worth a watch).

Was it one of the top 1% of films last year? No. Maybe not even the top 5%? But no way did it come within a million miles of being within the bottom half of films in 2017.

My biggest criticism is I felt perhaps it was trying to do "too much", I felt like there was so much  of the world unexplained that it needed to be part of trilogy (like the Lord of The Rings is).
But maybe that was Netflix's intention all along....

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2 hours ago, Damphousse said:

He had to kill them because they wanted to keep the wand at all costs... including murder.  Being a racist dick doesn't make someone a murder.

"They were going to kill him, so he had to stop them." BUT WHY? This is what I mean by "he did it because the plot needed him to."

Please don't excuse poor writing.

His character had no traits that indicated he was concerned for his partner, or anybody but himself and his family. If anything, he should have killed his partner because that would have been the best thing to do for his family. 

See, now if killing his partner would have somehow meant his family would be in danger, that would have been at least excusable, but the way it went down was very, very poorly done.

---

Anyway, no it wasn't the worst movie of the year, but it was very bad and I was left very disappointed.

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14 minutes ago, EthanAlexander said:

"They were going to kill him, so he had to stop them." BUT WHY? This is what I mean by "he did it because the plot needed him to."

Please don't excuse poor writing.

His character had no traits that indicated he was concerned for his partner, or anybody but himself and his family. If anything, he should have killed his partner because that would have been the best thing to do for his family. 

See, now if killing his partner would have somehow meant his family would be in danger, that would have been at least excusable, but the way it went down was very, very poorly done.

Most people will not kill at all let alone an innocent person...

Quote

From these responses it seems that Americans in Vietnam had little hesitation to engage their enemy. Yet the observations of these veterans prompt the question of why, on average, nearly two of every 10 men were not firing when their unit was in contact. The apparent problem was not of the magnitude Marshall had reported for World War II, but losing the firepower of so many soldiers was still no small matter. In a unit with 500 riflemen, some 80 would not engage. Unlike the numbers from Marshall’s work, these estimates came directly from the men who had fought in the cities, jungles, firebases and rice paddies of Vietnam. Why did so many not fire?

http://www.historynet.com/men-against-fire-how-many-soldiers-actually-fired-their-weapons-at-the-enemy-during-the-vietnam-war.htm

Bright was an action movie with all kinds of senseless violence.  I'm not going to knock the one part of the movie where someone shows some realistic humanity.  People in real life don't just stroll through the neighborhood slinging it around like John Wayne constantly.

I respect your opinion, but if you pay attention to the scene Will Smith is way deep into a confrontation with the other cops well before orc killing comes up.  Will Smith gets into a shoving match with multiple cops over stealing the wand alone.  The orc killing only comes up later.  Will Smith is a cop.  He didn't wake up that morning planning on robbing and killing.  Of course there is going to be some hesitation.  Also even when Will Smith indicates he is going to kill the orcs the other cops decide they are going to kill him regardless.  I mean they are cops.  They know they can't have any wild cards in a criminal conspiracy.  And once Will Smith has some time to think about it he realizes they are going to kill him anyway.  That's why he is ready for them when they come out of the building.  After Will Smith's first hesitation at stealing the wand he was screwed.  Killing the orc wasn't going to fix that.  The guy was thinking on his feet in real time and it took a while for him to figure out what was what and what to do about it.

By the way I liked your "fish out of water" thing.  I am not a writer so I appreciate you pointing that out.  I think we all agree you are dropped into this world with little to no explanation and everyone in the movie knows most of what is going on.  You are left to just tag along for the ride as a clueless friend that nobody talks to.  And oddly I think that is why a sequel is such a popular idea.  People are left with so many questions they want to see more.

I have seen this in a lot of fantasy/sci fi movies.  They try and introduce a whole new world and have some epic struggle along with a resolution all in one two hour movie.  The idea of having a slow paced less exciting first movie just to get people up to speed makes more sense to me.

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45 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

Most people will not kill at all let alone an innocent person...

http://www.historynet.com/men-against-fire-how-many-soldiers-actually-fired-their-weapons-at-the-enemy-during-the-vietnam-war.htm

Bright was an action movie with all kinds of senseless violence.  I'm not going to knock the one part of the movie where someone shows some realistic humanity.  People in real life don't just stroll through the neighborhood slinging it around like John Wayne constantly.

In real life you are very right. From a feature film writing perspective though, there's just no reason for him to "turn" on a character level, which is very frustrating for me as a filmmaker and movie-lover. BTW I don't think you have to agree with me, but you did ask for our opinions in the first post ;)

45 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

I respect your opinion, but if you pay attention to the scene Will Smith is way deep into a confrontation with the other cops well before orc killing comes up.  Will Smith gets into a shoving match with multiple cops over stealing the wand alone.  The orc killing only comes up later.  Will Smith is a cop.  He didn't wake up that morning planning on robbing and killing.  Of course there is going to be some hesitation.  Also even when Will Smith indicates he is going to kill the orcs the other cops decide they are going to kill him regardless.  I mean they are cops.  They know they can't have any wild cards in a criminal conspiracy.  And once Will Smith has some time to think about it he realizes they are going to kill him anyway.  That's why he is ready for them when they come out of the building.  After Will Smith's first hesitation at stealing the wand he was screwed.  Killing the orc wasn't going to fix that.  The guy was thinking on his feet in real time and it took a while for him to figure out what was what and what to do about it.

These are all very good points. These reasons would have had more impact though if in the rest of the first act he had shown character traits more in line with him standing up for what's right even when it means potential harm. Another possibility would have been some other kind of plot device like "if these particular cops get the wand then the whole world will die." This is how plenty of "bad" characters start their journey to becoming the good guy. Sadly, this wasn't employed because it had to be used on the next part of the plot :lol:

45 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

By the way I liked your "fish out of water" thing.  I am not a writer so I appreciate you pointing that out. 

Thanks. Most of my frustration comes from the fact that I believe this could have been an outstanding movie but it tried to do too much. Because of that, it missed simple things like the fish out of water, which is a very common plot device. The most applicable example would probably be Neo in the Matrix. The audience gets to learn along with him and it works perfectly even though the world he's in is so different than our own.

 

EDIT: OH AND LAST THING:

Will Smith's character should have been the one who died and got brought back to life. The orc cop was already a good cop so it had little meaning. But if Will Smith had been the one to sacrifice himself and then rise again, it would have helped with an actual character arch. 

It's frustrating how good this movie could have been with simple changes like that :bawling:

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Ooo, a reasonable discussion of this over here. It's hard to find one that doesn't involve mindless critic and studio bashing. Personally I was looking forward to watching it since fantasy cyberpunk is a genre very close to my heart. Some good comments in here and maybe I should watch it after all, even if it's not so good.

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  • 1 month later...

It was above my (low) expectations.  I only watched it because everyone else in the family had, by some minor miracle, agreed to watch the same movie at the same time on the same day!

My beef with it was that it was very likely a predictable formula-follower, and my cinematic tastes have been broadened by excellent western and foreign films such that the formula has all the appeal of McDonalds - you eat it because it's convenient and maybe it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be but then you're disappointed anyway.  It was a formula-follower, but had some interesting fight scenes, gave me a laugh, and provided a family moment.

My kids (14 and 12) have short attention spans and like talking during films, and considering their tastes are very western, it's quite commonplace for them to accurately predict (out loud) the whole plot in first few scenes of a movie.  I think they like the formula because it's predictable and I suspect they'll grow out of it at some point, but it's a little stale for me at this point.

In terms of what critics think, it's just a matter of taste and perspective - their verdicts are based on taste but their perspective is that they somehow know something we don't..

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1 hour ago, kye said:

In terms of what critics think, it's just a matter of taste and perspective - their verdicts are based on taste but their perspective is that they somehow know something we don't..

In defense of critics:  Real ones don't really exist much anymore, so let's not throw the whole profession under the bus because the internet content machine has diluted the craft. 

A good critic is always going to be subjective, of course, but they do offer legitimate wisdom and insight regardless of their personal preferences.  For instance, I loved reading Roger Ebert's criticisms about film, but thought his taste about certain filmmaking was way too generous.

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10 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

In defense of critics:  Real ones don't really exist much anymore, so let's not throw the whole profession under the bus because the internet content machine has diluted the craft. 

A good critic is always going to be subjective, of course, but they do offer legitimate wisdom and insight regardless of their personal preferences.  For instance, I loved reading Roger Ebert's criticisms about film, but thought his taste about certain filmmaking was way too generous.

I'm definitely not an expert, but I've followed a few critics for long enough to understand their tastes, and eventually I understood them well enough to reduce their recommendations down to a 1:1 relationship - ie, if X critic likes it then I will too.  I did this with both Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton (very famous critics here in Australia) as well as the reviewers from Future Music magazine (magazine about technology-based music creation).

I guess maybe there's a difference between getting recommendations from a critic and getting enjoyment and learning from what they say about a film.  I am pretty much only interested in the former because I don't make narrative pieces.

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14 minutes ago, kye said:

I am pretty much only interested in the former because I don't make narrative pieces.

I'd also suggest considering the later. Appreciating another's opinion, if not their actual taste in a film, is a way to get turned onto cinema you might never otherwise see.

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