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|Index||364 reviews in total|
This film tries too hard to pull at heartstrings. Sentimental movies should just "happen" - they shouldn't be contrived messes. I read one reviewer say that this film should have been titled "Oliver! 2: Electric Boogaloo" and that about sums it up. The actors plod through horrid direction - the music is as banal as it comes, and why is it that every kid genius MUST play the role as sub-autistic? Not every genius is socially damaged. This movie should be burned or relegated to the Lifetime Movie Network. This film insulted me as a film-goer and music lover. I should have been crying at the end of the film, and instead I just left angry that this one even got out the gate. A lighter touch in directing, and better musical direction would have turned this into a good film - the story is interesting, but it was painted with a jackhammer instead of a brush.
I rented August Rush a few days ago with good expectations, I just
heard wonderful things about this film, so I was excited to see it. I
watched the film last night and I am very much in love with this movie,
everything about it was just so sweet and lovely. This movie reminded
me of the story of Oliver Twist, it's a different take on the story
with the power of music and just listening. The cast, the story, the
editing, the direction, the music, nothing is off about August Rush.
Freddie Highmore has such an incredible talent for such a young age,
but his face says so much and his acting is just perfect and makes the
audience just fall in love with him. Keri Russell is just pulling in
one great performance to another, from Waitress to August Rush, she's
just lovely. We also have the talented Jonathan Rhys Meyers from the
Tudors, the incredible Terrence Howard, then a disturbing yet memorable
performance from Robin Williams.
Evan Taylor is an orphan who is just convinced that he can hear his parent's music, that they do want him and he goes out to find them. Lyla and Louis, Evan's parents, were two young people who found a strong connection and had a one night stand, but Lyla's father takes her away from Louis and when a horrible accident happens, Lyla's father lies to her telling her that her baby died, but behind her back puts the baby up for adoption. Evan is set to find his parents but come across a musical group of kids, who are making money for Wizzard, when Evan plays music, it's magical, Wizzard exposes Evan giving him a new name, August Rush and makes money off of him. But when Lyla finds out about her son being alive, she goes to New York to find him, Louis starts thinking about Lyla and finds out where she lives, Chicago, but when he finds out she's gone, he goes to New York to relive his band days, instead they find each other and the musical genius their love created.
August Rush is one of the first films of the year that I'm rating a perfect 10, because there is nothing wrong with this film, to be honest, I think it deserves a higher rating than a 7.4. Is this a masterpiece? No, I'm not sure if it will be remembered several years from now, but I do know that this was a great movie and I would be so happy to watch it again. It's perfect for the family to watch, it's perfect for a group of friends, or just even for yourself if you are looking for a good movie to watch. August Rush is a movie that I'm sure will work it's way into your heart, it's a magical film that is absolutely perfect.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is perhaps one of the worst movies I've seen, and certainly
the only one I've rated as a one. And I know awful. I've seen Meet the
Feebles and House of the Dead, and this movie didn't measure up to it.
It wasn't even the kind of awful that you could laugh at. It wasn't the
sappiness of it, I'm a total sap. It was the sheer transparency of the
awfulness. The wretched playing of the harmonica during the "touching"
one night stand wherein the characters hardly talked, but somehow
managed to form a life-long connection was simply stupid. Not just the
harmonica, mind you, the whole thing. There were scenes that were okay,
but when Evan was playing the neck of the guitar, who was strumming the
instrument? Robin Williams delivered his lines with such shallowness,
his performance was unbelievable. The dialogue between Lyla and Lori
(or whatever her roommate's name was) was so thin and stretched, it
caused me physical pain to endure it. For instance, after Lyla had just
learned her father had forged her name to put her son up for adoption,
and called her friend, who oh-so-sympathetically said: "Pull yourself
together!" I don't know a single person who would say that to someone
after such a terrible shock. Inane.
Cuba Gooding Jr. and the little girl from the church were probably the only actors in the movie who managed to give their character's life, rather than relinquishing themselves to being caricatures of absurdity. Jonathan Rhys Meyers did an okay job, but his hotness could have been blinding me.
As someone who has always been accused of being a dreamer and having my head in the clouds, this movie is less about dreamers than about those seeking an escape. It makes a travesty of the hard work musicians put into their art by insinuating that if you "follow the music" and saw the physics behind it all, you too could be an August Rush. Don't even get me started on the sheer stupidity of his being able to pick up music theory after only being shown the basic notes on the piano.
I found the movie offensive.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kirsten Sheridan got to direct this screenplay through her Father
Director Jim Sheridan. This Film is truly ridiculous its about a filthy
rich spoiled girl Lyla Novachec (Kerrie Russel) who is a concert
cellist who meets a wealthy contrived cliché Irish prima-dona Rock Star
Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and has unprotected sex on the first night
without even getting undressed to do it. As with the dumb Juno she
manages to get pregnant straight away. Louis's accent is more Scottish
Lyla has the baby but somehow her father tels her that the baby was lost whilst adopting it out. Of course this is totally impossible in the American Private Hospital system and she would have had to sign a thousand forms , and with her wealth she would have been a private insured patient and the nurses and doctors would have informed her of every detail. Finally what of the funeral of the baby? Look it was totally pathetic from that point. The music in the film was the epitome of mediocrity with the exception a precocious African -American girl who was part of a soul Gospel choir and these types are not rare in the USA these days. Lyla's baby Evan Taylor alias August Rush (Freddie Highmore) grows up to be a grinning introvert who makes his way back to New York and becomes part of the this busking empire headed by a busking pimp Maxwell played by Robin Williams. August Rush has this extraordinary ability to play guitar like a fifty year old accomplished genius on his first try and a few days later is writing symphonies with full musical notation on his first attempt which is absurd and impossible.
The whole idea of the story is the fated re-union of the mediocre musicians Lyla and Louis with there genetically inherited musical genius son August by magical coincidence at the famous Julliard School for the rich concert. Apparently August had won a scholarship to Julliard which is ridiculous as it is a school for the very wealthy only.
A schmaltzy movie for morons
I have only myself to blame for ending up in a cinema watching this. I
knew absolutely nothing about it before turning up and thought I'd give
it a go.
I can't believe that people are still making such utterly nauseating schmaltz. It's not even feelgood schmaltz, it's schmaltz of the lowest quality, which makes you want to grab the 2 hours of your life back spent watching it. The only reason we stayed until the end was out of purely scientific curiosity to see quite how bad the film could get.
The plot was laughable and all the performances were either unremarkable or really quite bad.
Honestly, give it a miss and spend your time staring into space instead - it would be much more worthwhile.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I couldn't believe my ears in opening VO already. Sappy & cheesy to
high heaven. And it only got worse. We were able to predict the entire
plot to details, including the obvious ending. Beside being more soapy
than all the soap operas together, it has also really primitive spots.
Even Mozart took much longer time to learn to play and write music than
this Hollywood invention - and that was a real prodigy & genius.
The final piece of music, that was supposed to be the revelation of this musical genius was exactly the same - soap. Not only that, half of it was arrangement of Bach's music. It was rather funny to hear the composer at the Q&A after the screening telling the audience about weeks of sleepless nights "composing" this. It's music of such quality that one would almost believe that it was written by a little boy who did not know how to read music 6 months ago. Definitely not a work of a genius ;-) It is hard to believe that an institution like NY Phil would go into project like this. This is such a disservice to classical music and all the musicians who know that there is nothing possible by talent solely. One of the worst movies ever. Even if I take it as an urban fairy-tale, it's just too much of a kitsch.
August Rush is, from one vantage point, a quintessentially mainstream
film. It's a feel-good movie. As such, it's slickly polished into
something that will be digestible to a wide audience - the downside of
which is that somewhat generic quality that pervades films which swim
safely in the shallow end of the pool. Of course, being commercial
doesn't make a film bad. This one will have its audience, and there is
enough emotion and good intention there to give the right movie-goer
the quasi catharsis he or she is looking for.
To my mind, though, this film has a fundamental, glaring problem. It centers itself thematically around music, yet it demonstrates a thorough lack of musical understanding. People who have never considered nor been exposed to the processes behind music might not notice a problem, but to those who have, the film's central character will more closely resemble a comic-book-superhero version of a musician than any musician, genius or no, who has ever lived.
This young lad's extraordinary ability (to reach professionalism at any instrument, and even theory\notation, within seconds of coming into contact with it for the first time) is only a symptom of the problem. Another is the film's complete lack of effort to realistically correlate the music being produced with the way the instruments are being played. For instance, the camera may close in on a hand playing ascending notes on a piano, and yet we hear descending notes. Or more glaringly, an intricate song may be formed by swinging both arms at the strings of a guitar without even dealing with frets. In another scene, synthetic sounds are used in the score to represent real instruments being played.
This sort of thing is common in a lot of commercial cinema, and I can usually accept it. The reason I can't here is that this film purports to be ABOUT music, yet is entirely ignorant and pedestrian in its representation of it.
Floating somewhere near the heart of the problem is the fact that neither the music in the film, nor the film's fallacious representation of the musical process, does anything to convey the true depth and power of music, even remotely, despite some early dialog which suggested it may at least scratch the surface. To every musician watching the film, it will be glaringly obvious that the director is not a musician, nor truly passionate about music, and should therefore not have directed the film.
Here, in my belief, lies the biggest mistake of the Hollywood system - When the primary force determining what project gets made, and by whom, is money, filmmakers are rarely expressing their own voice. I don't remember the last time I saw a Hollywood film which genuinely felt like it was the vision of an artist who really had something to say.
Perhaps this film actually was written by someone who loves and understands music and wanted to convey something about it, but the fact that you can't tell simply by watching the film is a testament to its failure.
If you have absolutely no clue about making music or art you probably
will catch the fairy tale wave and be carried away by this movie. But
be warned, if you have the slightest sense of playing music yourself or
are an artist, it is more likely that you find this movie ridiculous or
are even offended (like some of the other postings stated)
My only explanation of this very mixed movie (great premise/story, some of the actors great, but everything else quite a mess) is what must be the inexperience and ignorance of the director. There is a reason why good directors and actors spend weeks on studying character/environment. Because if you don't, you run the risk of creating something laughable that isn't a comedy.
This movie is neither art nor does it portray art very well. It's as cheesy as a fast food double cheese burger can get without the burger and the bun and as valuable. Too bad for this great story.
I give it 2 stars out of 10. One star for the minimum score that you
get for being a movie, and one star for Jamia Simone Nash singing. The
rest of it was terrible.
Maybe I am biased because of the man in the theatre who snored for the last half of it (nobody had the heart to wake him up, and he probably enjoyed his two hours more than the rest of us). To begin with, the plot is ridiculous. The story is taken directly from Oliver Twist, but the actual events, it isn't even believable in the fairytale context that it is told.
The central love story is based on a night of rooftop sex with strangers who have about 3 minutes of the corniest lines I could possibly come up with before going at it like guinea pigs in heat: Who are you Lyla?" She pauses, smiles then looks off in the distance, "I'm just.. me." And it just goes on and on like that.
The rest of the movie is filled with similar vomit inducing dialogue; I don't know how many times "You've got to believe in your music" was repeated.
Most of the characters are cardboard cutouts: There's rich cellist girl with overbearing father, brooding punk rocker, inner city black kid who talks just like you'd expect, and perpetually dazed and confused skinny white kid who gets picked on but always follows his dream.
The cinematography is mostly boring and standard, what you might see in a car commercial or something similarly mundane. The music isn't bad, but whenever it come on, it sidetracks the movie for another 5 minutes rather than contributes to it.
Lastly, I found the movie incredibly racist as well. If you are white, you fall in love, follow your dreams and go to Juilliard. You might fall on tough times and meet some black people, but you will be later raised up to the position that you deserve. If you are black, you can be a social worker or a panhandler, and sleep in a church or a condemned theatre.
A relative (whom I knew to be a very accurate reverse barometer of
movie quality) recommended this stinker to me. She raved and raved, on
and on. I know, I should have known better, but in a weak moment I
watched it. My family, who have a working knowledge of good music and
good movies, spotted the fraud in moments and quickly wandered away.
But I, like some pathetic boob, watched it to the dreadful conclusion.
By the end I was laughing out loud at the painful, unintentionally
hilarious clichés. There are too many illogical, vapid, um ..... cheesy
(it really is best descriptive adjective for this tripe) scenes, which
crowded in on each other like rats trying to escape a flooded sewer.
Speaking of sewer -- Oh the smell! Oh the humanity!
Never mind all the schmaltzy lost child and quixotic Fagin references. However, I ask myself in retrospective incredulity, could a movie about music be so utterly devoid of musical quality? Didn't any of the producers or directors even have a modicum of knowledge or appreciation for music? They had to all had to have totally tin ears to allow such musical trash to permeate nearly the whole misguided effort. And what of the classical musicians who were forced by some demonic overlord to perform this wretched stuff? They must have been wearing ear plugs under their long hair. Awful, awful, awful!
Do yourself a favor, stay away at all costs. I will never regain the brain cells destroyed by this menace! I will live the remainder of my life haunted by images of o-so pathetic street urchins, gospel choirs (who never sing about God or Jesus?), faux Irish bands with fake accents, and beautiful cello ingenues, who seem to have masted the instrument without knowing any bowing or fingering technique, only to play the most insipid music ever to despoil a sheet of manuscript paper. The small Elgar snippet near the end was fine, but even Elgar couldn't save this movie. Arrg, arrg, gurgle!
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