Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Poster

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Don't call it Fahrenheit 451 if you want to do your own thing ...
Maria-decima21 May 2018
I'm all for creative new spins on ideas from great works, such as Ray Bradbury's F451, but just don't call it Fahrenheit 451. Another reviewer asked why so many negative reviews, well it's because when you choose to make an adaption of such a beloved book, you do the author and fans justice by sticking to the main themes of the movie and pivotal points and roles. If you want to make such a loosely based version, call it The Fireman or something. I don't want to be a huge fan of a book, get excited it's being remade, have the expectation it is going to follow the book because it's named as such, only to watch something that misses the mark. This was disappointing.
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Such a waste.....
brixton8721 May 2018
As a massive fan of the novel, I was eager to see how it was going to be adapted using today's effects. What I got was a script that butchered the original storyline so much, I was confused as to what I was watching. If I hadn't initially read the book, I wouldn't have a clue as to what the idea behind burning every book in existence was.. The main subject of the book was thrown away and what is left is a forgettable piece of film that all involved should be ashamed of. I'm only giving it 2 stars because I like the previous work of Michael Shannon. TRUST ME, READ THE BOOK! It's is more relevant now than it was when it was written.
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I Am Rating This For Ray Bradbury.
jegd-847-63140721 May 2018
Ray Bradbury stated in a lecture (at UCLA) that his novel 'Fahrenheit 451' wasn't about censorship. He made it clear that the theme of his book IS about the role of mass media and its effect on the populace. Basically he believed the old "idiot box" makes people less capable of assimilating complex information. Popular opinion dictated that 'Fahrenheit 451' is about censorship, because Bradbury wrote the book during an era of actual book burnings. For example: During a college lecture on his novel, when he presented the truth of the book's theme to an auditorium full of students, he was stopped in his tracks by someone loudly exclaiming "No! It's about censorship!". After regaining his composure, Bradbury then tried to correct the student by holding up his novel and pointing to his name on the cover. Others chimed in quickly and consensous agreed that the novel was about censorship. Bradbury was so angered by the students that he stormed out and vowed he'd never give another lecture on it again.

The update in this film replaces mainstream media television with the appeal of the internet. The dystopian outcome, the broken free will of the populace, and the depressive tone of Bradbury's story was altered to focus on fireman (police) brutality and the surveillance state. Bahrani's film ignores so much of what the novel outlines, to preach a politically correct message, that it becomes superficial. So slick and verbally facile to the point of becoming the horror Ray Bradbury illustrated so elequently in print - Media is a blunt form of distraction compared to the thought-provoking nature of books.
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dan_aamot23 June 2018
If I could insert the "ironic" meme that uses Palpatine from the Star Wars prequels, I would. Ray Bradbury's classic book was about how media dumbs down the populace and how books were censored to keep people from thinking freely, which is exactly what the makers of this movie did. They dumbed down the themes of the source material and put them through the PC spin machine to create a film that exemplifies exactly what Bradbury warned about. It only got more than one star because of the great visuals and acting from Shannon.
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The Movie Burns Fahrenheit 451
DaMarco-27 June 2018
In so many ways this movie strays far from a book that didn't need embellishment or change. It was all right there on the page. So, this movie, adapted from a novel about burning books, uses a script that burns the original text in effigy, with its writer/director missing the irony all the while.

Of course, "Fahrenheit 451" is about more than just burning books. It is really about destroying all sorts of philosophies, artistic expression, free thinking, and sagacious wisdom. The film touches on that but creates a new narrative that has little to do with the lessons of the original story.

The opening starts well enough, with the classic pieces of literature and great art burning away and seemingly setting the tone for the message.

But what happened to the message? From here, the film goes into its own creation of ideas, none of them good. While the novel is set in no particular place, the film chooses Cleveland as the locale for these events. The firemen are heroes whose exploits are all over TV and social media. They practice a military-like brand of machismo and are practically the pro athletes of the future.

Changes from the novel are disastrous choices. While Guy is married to a despondent woman named Mildred in the book, here he is single, which removes one of the many sources of his confused allegiance and some necessary conflict for the story. In the novel Clarisse is a youthful, optimistic, free-thinking girl but in the film she is a gothic, post-college radical about ten years older. It's like taking Dorothy from the "Wizard of Oz" and transmorphing her into Patty Hearst. Clarisse is meant to bring some light into Guy's empty world but here she is turned into a potential lover and one of the reasons he strays from his job of burning books. The film's Clarisse is nowhere near as engaging or likable as the one in the book, despite being on the right side of the political divide.

The second greatest crime in this faulty adaptation is that the film is dull and protracted. While it has exciting and engaging visuals, the pace is slow and the events are dragged out, with little to no character development. And then there are the film's inventions, which border on the absurd. The society of people who memorize books have put their DNA into a bird that is supposed to...what? Fly out into the world and spread it's (and literature's) seed? Does this make sense to anyone?

Moreover, HBO was cheap and lazy with this production, using a very recognizable 2018 downtown Los Angeles as a substitute for futuristic Cleveland. This reminds me of the 1970s, when L.A.'s Bonaventure Hotel stood in as New Chicago for "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century." If they didn't want to spring for a special effects skyline, couldn't they have just used the real Cleveland? Or at least the skyline of another world city that is less recognizable to Americans like Helsinki or Johannesburg?

When I first heard Michael B. Jordan was cast as Guy Montag, I was delighted. I think he's an extraordinary actor and one need only revisit "Fruitvale Station" to see why. But not only do they put him to terrible use in this, I was really uncomfortable watching an African American actor playing a character who struggles to read, given the abhorrent track record our nation has with providing fair and equal education to minorities. Those scenes made an entirely different statement than the what the producers thought they were making.

Worst of all, this was not just a bore but a very dark one at that. It's never daytime, it's never sunny, and there's never any reason to believe people in this film's self-contained society would feel any reason to not join a revolt. There is no joy in this society, and the "bread & circus" of burning books hardly seems like enough to enthrall the inhabitants of this dystopia.

One of the flaws of the novel was its climax, the nuclear bomb destruction of the principal city by an unnamed enemy. To the reader it comes as a complete surprise and plays as a deus ex machina. Also, Bradbury wrote it just a few years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and there was very little knowledge about nuclear fallout, so his characters go back into the city afterwards with the limited information of the 1950s. Nonetheless, this was a central point about the self-destruction of society, and an update of that idea could easily have been used here. It isn't and the film is the lesser for it.

As a fan of the novel, I am truly disappointed. Like so many others, I appreciate the Truffaut's 1966 film made in Great Britain with Julie Christie and Oskar Werner, but it always had a very British personality. I'll grant the story has a universal theme but I did want to see what an American production could do with this material. Based on this film, I am still waiting.
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savethewhales-089056 June 2018
No wonder this movie has such horrible reviews. It's nothing like the book. Which is completely ridiculous given what book it is. The film is trash. I agree with previous posts: if you want to make your own thing, call it something different. Don't dare call it Farenheit 451. You've taken one of man's more beautiful creations and basterdized it. By creating this movie, the producers are in a way just as bad as the firemen in the book.
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Why did nobody stop Ramin Bahrani?
Goalfred20 May 2018
SPOILER: It is evident from the interview on IndieWire that Ramin Bahrani doesn't understand the book at all and he didn't know how to turn it in to a watchable film. So why did nobody stop him?! Such a shame and missed opportunity. "A third of the novel continues after Montag kills Beatty and I didn't know how I could make that work as a dramatic film because for one-third there's suddenly no tension," Bahrani said.
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Fizzled out mess. Oh the irony..
jimlacy200320 May 2018
Another TV movie that didn't have to me made.

The brain trust at HBO decided: "Hey you know that great book by Ray Bradbury?", "And you know the 1996 version was pretty successful right?" "Lets make a jazzed up modern version!" Executive #2: "Sounds like a plan!"

Nope, this was horrible. It was so bad it's as if they tried to make it so.

Ray Bradbury was an artistic genius (whom I was lucky to meet in the early 80's); his written words flow like poetry. This mess is a a complete disservice to Ray, other than maybe, hopefully, it will get a few more people to actually the real book, or watch the superior 1966 out of disgust for this thing.

Ironically, this was sort of the dumbed-down social justice warrior revisioning of the book. The irony is so thick it's palpable..
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Very Disappointing
mccammonjw8 July 2018
I cannot believe that the Bradbury estate would have given its blessing to such a poor interpretation of the book. The original movie wasn't perfect but it was far truer to the book than this. For a long time, I have noticed that screen writers are too lazy to read the books they base movies on or are too stupid to understand them.
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If You've Read the Book, Don't Watch This Movie
angelamarymartin17 August 2018
For months, I waited with anticipation for HBO's adaptation of my favorite book Fahrenheit 451 to make its début; I was a huge fan of the book-obviously seeing as it's my favorite-and I also quite enjoyed the first 1996 movie adaptation when my teacher shared it with our class in 2011. Naturally, the 1996 lacked a few things, but seeing as the technological capabilities were limited then compared to what we have now that is to be expected, so when I heard HBO was doing an updated movie I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to see all of the things that had had to be left out in the 1996 version and when it popped up on my Hulu account to watch I was definitely excited...until I turned the movie on.

The cast wasn't anything close to the characters in the novel, nor were the personalities that they portrayed onscreen. The story itself-to me at least-seemed to be changed and even dumbed down for the audience of todays generation and that saddened me alone. I could have stomached most of the movie if they had stayed true to the original plot. To me they have utterly destroyed one of my favorite books.

Long story short, if you genuinely love the book and want to see it come to life on the big screen, don't watch this. If you're looking for an action/thriller sort if thing that seems to barely have a decent storyline and you've never read the book, then you're good.
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They need not have bothered
meyuk30 May 2018
Great book. The 1966 film version was good for it's time. This version was weak, boring and failed to explain the background to events. Ray Bradbury would have held his head in his hands and cried at this insult to his work.
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Book burners
Prismark1010 June 2018
I found Francois Truffaut's film version of Fahrenheit 451 hard going, not helped by a distant performance from star Oskar Werner.

Ramin Bahrani reimagines the Ray Bradbury novel. He sets it in an era of fake news, fake history, disinformation. Propaganda at its best. Burn books and you can reinvent an alternative timeline.

Set in a future Dystopia, Guy Montag (Michael P Jordan) and his mentor Captain Beatty (Michael Shannon) are firemen after a second civil war America who burn books, a tradition that goes far back as Benjamin Franklin! It is easier to control people if they could not find information and think for themselves. It was easy to keep people happy if they do not get offended from what they read.

Montag carries out his work diligently and is in line for promotion but gets taken in by the Eels, a counter group who preserve the information contained in books. They learn books by heart, the upload it on the net, they rebel against the government.

Shannon can play the villain in his sleep. Jordan has the harder part but he is rather vacuous, maybe he is meant to be that way, a person who has never learned to think or question for himself.

There are some good ideas in this film but they never hang together or are fully realised. With two failed adaptations, I think Bradbury's novel might come across better on the page than on the screen.
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Unfortunately Not So Good - Hit And Miss
neener370720 May 2018
Though it was strong in a couple moments, for the most part I was disappointed with this, it really could ave been so much better, especially considering the immense resources of HBO. It goes back and forth between completely ridiculous to somewhat interesting. Unfortunately it is also a pale imitation to the novel its based on, only using the bare skeleton of the story, and not delving into what truly made the novel profound. Michael B. Jordan's character was so completely ridiculous and different than the novel version in the first 15 minutes that I nearly stopped watching it, but thankfully that subsides. There were many things from the book I expected to see, only to piss me off when they were either not there at all, or altered in some way for no justifiable reason. So while many of the basic plot points are there, tough some of them changed, it just didn't possess what the book did.

I did like Michael Shannon's character and his acting, and while Jordan's character is completely off-putting, it does get tolerable as the film goes on. There were a couple of meaningful discussions, but the essential meaning of the book burning is completely missed, it was to create a people void of free thought, and while that is hinted at, for the most part its nowhere near as deep and introspective as the novel, its a very basic rendering of and incredibly deep story. I for the most part was disappointed, it could have been so much better, all the had to do was pay attention to the source material, and not just scan over it. Also the re-writing of many of the characters is inconceivable to me, no idea why they would do it.

Meh... I didn't like it very much.
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I knew 5 minutes in...
ahelene120 May 2018
This was going to be bad.... The line " you dream of running from me, you wake up and apologize" (Or something like that) made me think that I didn't know if I could make it through this movie. Which is a shame because I really like both lead actors. Maybe the director just didn't direct them correctly but Ray Bradbury must be turning in his grave at this retelling. I've seen the movie Equilibrium which is loosely based on the book, and while it's no masterpiece it is boatloads better than this
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The Weight Of Fire
pauletterich-la20 May 2018
I've seen Truffaut's version from the 60's two or three times even if it wasn't perfect for a great admirer of the book but it had Oskar Werner and Julie Christie and Cyril Cusack and a phenomenal score by Bernard Herrmann. This 2018 version has an interesting production design but the the actual center of this warning tale is completely lost. The pacing is infuriating and Michael Shannon as good as he is, he's becoming the go to guy to play the bad guy. Here everything is on the nose and by the numbers. So, disappointed. Michael B Jordan has amazing eyes but I wish he can find a great actor's director. He certainly deserve it.
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Ray Bradbury is turning in his grave
What a shameful interpretation of a phenomenal authors wonderful work... why?
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cshackelford-7841324 May 2018
You know how some movies get panned for following source material too closely and getting bogged down because of it? Yeah this isn't one of those times. There were books, and those books were burned, but that was about as close as it came. The updated plot didn't really make much sense, and the entire film sort of felt like a giant montage. And while it was a montage with flamethrowers, which is fun I guess, there was little character motivation given in between. Very little information given as well about how and why society has taken this route to begin with besides 'government = bad + fire.' Add in a really abysmal end, and we're left with a film that is bad enough to truly be flabbergasting. I mean, it could have been worse, but they would have had to really give it the old college try.

The only way I can think of to sum up my feelings is that it's a film that assumes you have read the book but really, really hopes that you haven't.

I gave it a star for the Satie Gnossienne. The actual film made me hate myself for finishing it.
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Exactly what Bradbury predicted...
toddmeyerhowell22 November 2019
Bradbury's novel is a warning about what would happen if we burned books and outlawed intellect. This movie's misconception of characters and sophomoric language is exactly the future he feared.
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Change is good. Too much change is not.
kriles-1195320 May 2018
Overall, I was disappointed. I fully expected an update and more special effects, simply because it has been decades since the original came out and the original novel was rife for good special effects but what I couldn't accept was the major plot changes that occurred. Not to ruin it for anyone with spoilers but they completely changed a major plot point which essentially changed the entire feel and structure of the original novel and movie. The original movie was much more true to the book in this respect. Another problem I had with it was that, in the original, Montag was married. This gave him an added layer of depth which the remake missed out on. The original movie did alter the book ending to leave you with a more optimistic feeling and I was fine with that because it still stayed true to the major theme of the novel but the remake took the ending, tore it out of the original script and had someone who has no idea what Fahrenheit 451 is, write the last scene.

The acting was good. Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon delivered, as always. The production was great as most HBO produced projects are but the story just never delivered.
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Dreadful remake
officerdonb26 August 2018
This may be a remake which is never as good as the original but this one just doesn't hit the point. I remember reading the book and seeing the movie back in the 70s while in high school and it was a discussion of events in my English class this movie didn't do anything to invigorate my mind. I ended up not watching the whole thing.

PS, Just Trivia in 80/90's I was a California Police Officer the Penal Code Section for Arson was 451, who knew that the legislator had a sense of humor.
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elysejfactor20 May 2018
When a movie has already been made to perfection, under the deft direction of Francois Truffaut, FOR HEAVENS SAKE, LEAVE IT ALONE. The cast tries to rise above the constraints of a poorly written screenplay and inept direction, sadly, to no avail. There's no use getting into specifics. See the original and don't waste your time on worthless covers.
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Poorly cast and terrible acting from the lead actor
richard-c-harrisii3 July 2018
This movie could have been exponentially greater had they not cast Michael B. Jordan as Montag. MBJ portrayal of this character was so bad that no matter how good of an actor Michael Shannon is, there was no saving this movie. Sad really, because this is such an amazing story from Ray Bradbury and the failure of this rendition means we probably won't get to see an updated version for years to come. This is definitely a don't waste your time watching type of movie, just a let down in every way. How the heck does Michael B. Jordan keep getting work. He literally ruins everything he is in.
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If You're Going To Reimagine A Classic, Then Use Classic Imagination
PurpleCrayon201421 May 2018
Ramin Bahrani's previously has created wonderful, original pieces. Amir Naderi is responsible for lending creation to many 'foreign language' films. Together, they take the literary classic Fahrenheit 451 and burn it to ashes, defiling the very existence of Rad Bradbury. The works of Bahrani and Naderi have always catered to a specialty niche, but these two have no clue how to deliver a presentation for mass appeal. Although no film can capture every letter of every sentence of every page of a book, Bahrani and Naderi decided to just cast aside the majority of the original Fahrenheit 451 in favor of their own interpretation of how Fahrenheit 451 should be presented. There are many folk at HBO FILMS that need to be looking for another job for allowing Bahrani and Naderi to bastardize a literary classic. Now, Michael Shannon is one of the greatest accomplished actors of the 21 century with a huge range of unique characters portrayed, yet in Fahrenheit 451 his Captain Beatty is a 'paint by the numbers' portrayal-not too much, not too little, just enough to get paid and go home. In contrast, there is Michael B. Jordan, who plays the same damn limited range character in every one of his films. Please stop casting Michael B. Jordan unless your film requires a limited 2 dimensional character. Meanwhile, the expertise of Khandi Alexander was limited and confined. In summary, if you have read Fahrenheit 451, you will be offended by this film. If you are looking for a writer, producer, director for a film that will appeal to a large audience, avoid Ramin Bahrani and Amir Naderi.
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pacmauro20 May 2018
Bradbury and Truffaut are for sure turning in their graves.

It seems to me that the idea of a remake nowadays is to make such remake as PC as possible destroying in the process as much as possible of the original story to render it unrecognizable.

Take Michelangelo's David for instance. Remakes is the same as adding another arm, two extra legs, castrating and painting the statue. Thats's what they did to Fahrenheit 451.

Nothing works in this aberration.

Still I recommend that people watch it. It shows exactly how the 21st century newspeak and thought police operate.
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Just not good!
rob-sibley22 August 2018
Watched this on the airplane. I was excited to see it because I enjoyed the 1966 movie. But this was just not interesting at all. As with the recent "Murder On The Orient Express" one would be better served watching the original.
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