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Missed opportunity, 2 December 2014

After reading a lot of bad reviews I decided to watch this movie, thinking it couldn't possibly be that bad. Not with Will Smith in the cast and M. Night Shyamalan in the director seat.

I was wrong...

I'm not sure where Shyamalan was going with this, but as far as I'm concerned it didn't work out. You could argue that it wasn't bad directing and bad acting, that it was a choice and that it all had a purpose, but if that's the case, it didn't translate on the screen for me.

When this movie was announced, I thought it had all the ingredients to be awesome. All I can see tho, is a missed opportunity.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great, not perfect..., 3 June 2014

I've always been a fan of Martin Scorcese's work. He's had great cooperations with Leonardo Dicaprio before, so for me, this was a must see. However, I have some mixed feelings about the result.

On the upside I thought the level of acting was great. I have always been a fan of Leonardo Dicaprio's work, and, even though I didn't feel that much sympathy for his character, he portrayed Jordan Belfort beautifully. Jonah Hill did a solid job as well, and I liked the absolutely gorgeous Margot Robbie very much (and not just because she didn't leave much to the imagination). As you can expect from Martin Scorcese, the movie is very well made, the photography was great, and the music supported the scenes very well. As far as atmosphere goes, you could really feel the madness. And last but not least, I was happy there was room for some humor.

On the downside, I felt it was a very superficial portrait. I haven't read the book, so I don't know how close the storytelling of the movie is to the book, but at times the movie felt like a giant collection of moments out of Jordan Belfort's life, rather than the story of his life. Even though the movie lasts for three hours, there's little or no room for character development. The focus was also continuously on Jordan himself and his side of the story. For example the whole fraud aspect was shown as his big success. There was no room for his victims in the movie. The investigation by the FBI was also rather non existing, as is his relationship with Naomi. After he gets to know her and marries her, she almost completely disappears to the background.

In conclusion, it's a good movie, with a powerful portrayal of Jordan Belfort, for which I'm still giving an 8/10. However, the story could have been told better, making it more of a story, allowing characters to develop and showing more than just one side of it.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A well made movie, 27 December 2013

I thought The Desolation of Smaug was a very well made movie.

It wasn't a literal adaption of the book, which I think is only normal. After all you can't compare reading a book to watching a movie. Reading a book 'only' requires to let your imagination run free to create the story, the characters, the scenery, ... in your mind. If you missed something or didn't get something right away, ... you just read back. A movie has the challenge of showing you the story and doing so in a convincing way.

In my opinion The Desolation of Smaug is a rather intelligent retelling of the story, with amazing quality of visuals (nature, sets, ...).

Sure the pace of the movie isn't all that high, and it makes one wonder if it was really necessary to make three parts. However, allowing the time to get to know the (many many) characters (especially if you didn't read the book), to let the magnitude of the scenery sink in, and to properly tell the story, I thought the slow pace was a plus and reason enough to forgive the sometimes lengthy passages.

354 out of 611 people found the following review useful:
Nice adaption from the book, but..., 22 March 2012

One of the things I liked the most about reading 'The Hunger Games' was the intensity of how it was written. Feeling the story seemed maybe even more important than reading it, so when I went to see the movie, my expectations were very high.

On the upside: Great performance by the main characters, excellent visuals and well directed.

On the downside: The book gives a lot of context as to how the characters feel and how things have come to be the way they are. The movie changes a number of things to make it at all possible to show the story and for me the choices made took down the quality of the story a bit. To give at least some context, it took the movie a while to get really started and even despite that, some of the characters, again in my opinion, didn't really develop in depth the way they should.

Long story short, I liked the movie and thought it was a nice adaptation from the book, but it lacked a bit the intensity from the book.