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|Index||181 reviews in total|
I do not come to this from the perspective that (seemingly) aimless
things are of no value, quite the opposite. In fact, it is my primary
area of study in films and elsewhere - asymmetrical space and
emptiness, meant in the Buddhist context. Experiences of this sort what
they can do is cleanse you of the fabricated narrative qualities of
self, assuming we are in capable hands. And I am into Cronenberg and
like-minded filmmakers - Ruiz, Antonioni, Lynch - who investigate
architectural ways of tangling with this fabrication of self.
So I am sorry to see this fail so hard, worse than his Jung film. That is because the observations are dear to me, from a philosophy that is ten times more powerful than Jung's, and so is the man. And a thing like this simply kills the passion. Here's the gist of it.
We all move through town maybe on our way to get a haircut. We all do this in relative insulation from the noise of the world, oblivious inside small bubbles of scheming and personal narrative. There is talk, sex, a string of encounters with a few people we let in. And deep down the effort is not strictly for any of these, except as tokens of the desire to control as much of the narrative as possible.
This is all fine, true. It's true even, or especially in a Buddhist context. There is no such thing as balance. Future time is thought. Things are transient and there's no drama or loaded meaning to it, just the way it is. The Sufi rapper died of natural causes. Asymmetry is the true shape.
The rest is dressing, the backdrop of financial collapse something that currently has a lot of traction, the notion of the end of times something that always has. Pattinson is part of that contemporary scenery, but simply inadequate in a role that calls for commanding empty space instead of acting to fill it.
Minor issue. Up until he leaves the limo, you can't fault the presentation, sterile and tight as the man's control over matter. But, once he does, you expect an encounter with a universe that shatters him and words, and expands understanding. No dice.
Jarmusch recently failed in a similar way and on the same subject, but was saved by a much better fashion sense. Both films clarify asymmetry instead of making it the fabric of the film. Both try to sway you with rhetorics instead of paradox.
Both films, because they cannot deeply penetrate their subject, make it seem as though truth can be found in words and we can reason ourselves out of the hole of reason, if only more would be explained to us. We don't even get close to a real shift in the gears of reason here.
You will know more about these things if you get to know why Zen calligraphers handpaint an imperfect cycle of enlightenment - this is not the yinyang btw. Even more, if you take up skiing or dancing with a partner. I am serious. If it absolutely has to be a film, watch Blowup.
This is something like Fight Club without the aggressively sexual appeal to violence and the apocalypse. It explains what Cronenberg was trying to portray in Crash - that was a big gamble for him, purely the ritual of dissolving self so the energy would have to expand past the controlled limits of narrative. He didn't succeed and it has all been downhill since.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this movie to have a similar social commentary to American
Psycho - showing just how dark and pathological and neurotic (and
slightly mentally ill) the wealthy can be. I find this to be a fitting
movie for appropriate social commentary, but I probably would not watch
it again. This was MOSTLY dialogue, mostly in a moving limo, and it was
really abstract at times.
What I did like about the movie was showing the wretched world of the wealthy. Some of them rise to the top out of a burning desire to control and dominate, and they exhibit a warpath of destruction to others around them when things go wrong. It goes to show that they are not good-hearted people.
In a world where people make money off of money, what really is the purpose to life? How in the world can anybody find any inkling of interest and/or happiness in betting on various currencies rising and falling, let alone wishing/ensuring that they do so? Who actually finds joy in that? Surely, only people whose sole concern is making lots of money. Nobody with a heart or care for anyone outside of themselves. The wealthy know the destruction they are doing, devastating the lives of most people to get what they want. Robert Pattinson plays the 'damaged' person well, I enjoyed his performance in Remember Me.
As unusual and perhaps awful as the movie was - really nothing does happen - except maybe 5 minutes of activity spread across 1 1/2 hours - I found it important. It's important to analyze the assumptions about our society, about hierarchy, money, etc. It makes you think about how we ought to live without excessive wealth, global economics, etc.
I can understand most people would probably abhor this movie. But if you put aside expectations of action, drama, etc or anything actually happening for that matter, you can maybe look at this with fresh eyes and see it as somewhat of an anthropological/sociological view of the wealthy. It really is only meant to show you how these people live, how they think, what they feel, what they worry about, what matters to them. A taste of their world. These are NOT nice people. Not the illusions we idolize in our media.
There were a few good lines, one about how the middle class doesn't hate the rich because they're 10 seconds away from being rich themselves. And a few others in the style of Fight Club or American Psycho.
If you are a fan of social commentary, such as Fight Club, American Beauty, American Psycho, etc - then you might enjoy this movie - at least once. It's not really something you watch twice. The guy goes through a downward spiral and it just shows the pathology behind his way of life. Not easy watching.
To date I've avoided any film featuring Robert Pattinson (biting
people), but this one had me intrigued (especially as he doesn't bit
anyone). The film has been described as: pretentious, self indulgent,
cold, cynical, philosophical, incoherent, complicated, demanding,
bizarre, unconventional, nonsensical and dialog-heavy. If (like me) you
look at these as positive points, this could be a film for you. If
you'd rather see: giant robots, lovesick vampires or effeminate
pirates, *maybe* this isn't your thing - who knows...
David Cronenberg tends to go for something more abstract and off-the-wall, which he has succeeded in doing here. Would possibly also appeal to fans of David Lynch.
As a New Yorker, a former Wall Streeter, and a fan of movies that remain in the brain after the lights come up, I was thrilled with Cosmopolis. This film is a brilliant combination of source material (DeLillo's dialogue), sly direction (Cronenberg's opening shot makes a stretch limo look like a great white shark), and a flawless cast. In many ways it is more like a theatrical performance than a movie, and it is all about the dialogue, but the claustrophobic setting of the limo is somehow very cinematic as well. Each character is efficiently defined by rich, layered performances. The antsy tech-guy, the punk Asian quant math genius, the voluptuous art dealer, the frigid wife, the wanton female body guard, and even the old neighborhood barber -- each of these roles is perfectly delineated by exquisite performances from the supporting cast. But Pattinson and Giamatti both give Oscar-worthy performances culminating in their confrontation in the final scene. The audience in the New York theatre where I saw the film was completely silent, riveted during that final scene. We all let our breath out at the same moment as the credits started to roll. This film begs to be seen more than once and I'm sure that it will be discussed and studied for a long time to come.
Interesting and weird to say the very least. Really enjoyed the dialog and humorous commentary on the relevance today - the funeral, medical exam and end sequence make this movie rock! Pattinson carries this role with ease. The surprise performance for me though was Pattinson and Gadon together. Their sexual tension and the way she reacted to him and his sexual come-ons as a new couple were very comical... kept me on the edge of my seat really. I keep hearing comparisons to American Psycho. I think you could make some comparisons but this is a totally different movie. A true Cronensberg film, it could have used more budget on the photography and graphics for today's film work but it didn't distract me enough to change my outlook on the film. Nowadays all we have to look forward to are DC comic and Marvel movies. So, Cosmopolis was a welcome delight. An adult film on commerce and downward spiral of a neurotic millionaire.
So I'd read a few reviews for Cosmpolis and thought I knew what to
expect; dry and random and David Cronenberg (so possibly violent but
definitely weird) and I tried really hard to get into this. but holy
cow. After 15 minutes of meandering, incoherent, unrelated dialogue
with several random emotionless people my mind started to wander. I
tried to bring it back, tried to focus but nope, I'm bored.
We meet billionaire Eric Packer, he's young, good looking and wants a haircut so sets out across Manhattan in a stretch limo despite the threat of a presidential motorcade, violent anarchists and a funeral procession. I watched Packer (Pattinson) interact with a random cast of characters in and out of his limo, I watched him get a cardiogram, a prostate exam (while carrying on a conversation) his wife hops in and out, he eats breakfast, he eats lunch, he has sex with a couple of different women. I was bored. I tried to figure out what the hell was going on, is there a point to this?
Eric Packers financial empire crumbles, my mind wanders, I tried to bring it back (I don't care anymore) I'm bored. Packer gets half a haircut, brandishes a gun, shoots someone (where did that come from?) Meets a man in a decrepit apartment, has a super long and involved dialogue with him, cries a few tears and blood is spilled. What the hell did I just watch?
I read a review that described the writing here as "jazz like" and that describes this movie perfectly. I don't like jazz. 10/18/14
Read the book because the movie doesn't go into as much detail as the book. Also, the movie is missing the finer points and some scenes from the book. Points for trying, David Cronenberg. The locations and shots are adequate. But this is a movie about dialogue. And dialogue is the main focus if you have only a certain amount of scenes to watch in a cinema. And that's why they hired big name actors to fill in the blanks, because you're main focus will be on them delivering lines of psychobabble in nearly every scene. Juliette Binoche. Paul Giamatti. Robert Pattinson. Sarah Gadan. Amazing actors! Just seems their talents are a little wasted here.
David Cronenberg attempts to visualize the fiction of novelist Don DeLillo, whose impenetrable novels are difficult and tedious (I couldn't even finish one of his novellas) and the result is pretty much what you'd expect: slow, dense and written in a vacuum. With material like this, it's up to the actors to give it life, even if the film is written in a manner unable to give them individuality. Good thing they do. Robert Pattinson (not bad, actually) plays a billionaire trying to construct a world of harmony; when the Chinese yuan fails to conform to his notion of order, he brings down the world around him. He's surrounded by Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel, Samantha Morton and, weirdest of weird, Paul Giamatti. This is a particularly polarizing movie (me, I admired it in the way I'd admire a Thomas Pynchon novel--which is to say, with a wince) that really benefits from its availability on video. Worth watching--twice.
To be honest, I didn't really "like" Cosmopolis, if you define liking a
movie by the will to see it again and the good time it gave you. That
being said, I did appreciate how it delves into the close future of how
we live. All of the characters are pretentious, speaking what they see
as multi-layered metaphors just for the sake of appearing deep and
intelligent, whereas if you listen to their conversations they sound
like a modern interpretation of the Babel tower. They engage in double-
sided monologues, there's no real communication - their egotism has
grown so much.
I like how the movie is a commentary on how people are drifting more and more towards the kind of idle beings whose lives are devoid of any sense and emotion and the only thing that gives them anything resembling a rush of blood is meaningless sex and counting abstract sums of money they earn. The relationship between Eric and his wife is a really obvious example of this - they are a married couple, yet they're as detached from each other, as two complete strangers would be in our time. That's why Eric reaches for such extreme methods of inducing any kind of a shock or emotion in himself.
All in all, the movie is a story of a world ruled by empty shells, where even the people conscious enough to be protesting against the humongous financial gap are too busy with themselves to make a difference.
Deep ramblings and sharp set designs make this critique of our modern
Monsters, the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe, a fascinating
Film that is not very accessible for a wide audience. The dialog is
surreal and fanciful Poetry about the nature of Money manipulation and
The desensitization and "cremation of care" that accompanies this World where elevated Egos and IQ's inhabit, is painfully presented. A stunning patina coats everything in shiny reflections and oozing blue monitors, but the truth is, nobody is home and like Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) says..."I am just not here".
These shallow, empty and completely out of touch "People" are chilling to behold. They exist in a World of numbers and verbosity, passionless sex, and detached delusion. This Film is a fascinating but chilling expression of style about the suppression of organic substance.
Self absorption and complete lack of compassion, ("I have no charities" says the multi- billionaire) is on display here and it is not a pretty picture, but visually this is a pretty Picture. Until the end. From the beginning that is where this was all headed. Finance as finality.
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