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Grand Canyon - Worst ever or great?

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Grand Canyon - Worst ever or great?

Old 01-21-03, 01:45 AM
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Grand Canyon - Worst ever or great?

So i picked up lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon the other day at k-mart for $5.99 because i remembered enjoying it quite a bit. I watched it tonight and enjoyed it...found it a little heavy-handed, but all-in-all a very good film. I was at Amazon.com later and looked to see what kind of votes it had and was surprised to see so many ones and a reference to a NY Times piece that declared it the "worst film ever made." That seemed a bit strong to me to say the least....so i'm curious, what do y'all think?

I'll just say that my theory is that more conservative minded folks hated it, whilst liberal-minded folks loved it.....so feel free to confirm or deny in either category.
Old 01-21-03, 02:07 AM
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Grand Canyon is one of those rare films that tend to cause very polar responses. Miracle Mile is another film like this that springs to mind. Let me say up front that I fall into the crowd of those who like the film.

I can offer to theories as to why so many people simply don't care for this film at all.

1. It is a bit on the overly-idealistic side, perhaps a little too simplistic in its outlook on humanity.

2. It defines a question but doesn't carry through with an answer. I can only imagine how dreadful a film it would have been if it had tried to, but that is beside the point. It offers a workaround rather than a solution (and a fairly chimerical workaround at that), and I think this somehow offended many viewers.

While I am not especially conservative, I am not sure why it would especially offend conservatives. I can think of many mainstream films far more offensive to that ideology.
Old 01-21-03, 03:27 PM
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Robert Altman's Short-Cuts would be the perfect companion piece to Grand Canyon as it is the other side of the same coin - the more jaded cynical side.
Old 01-21-03, 04:43 PM
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I think it's interesting, but like you say, somewhat heavy handed. It's really cheap and I might pick it up to see it again, but I remember being intrigued by it, but feeling it was a bit over-idealistic. Definitely some positive qualities to it, though.
Old 01-21-03, 04:53 PM
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Grand Canyon and Short Cuts are both in my top 25 films of all times.

Steve Martin, "That's your problem, you don't watch enough movies, all of lifes questions are answered in the movies."
Old 01-23-03, 05:51 AM
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It misfires on some levels but that can be easily overlooked I find. It has a rare sense of meaning or gravity about it (like Magnolia) that's very rare and poignant. I think anyone who can tolerate non-action movies should watch it when they can set aside a little time to pay attention and appreciate it.

And Mary-Louise Parker (West Wing) is great in it! And nude too.
Old 01-23-03, 05:20 PM
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I hated Grand Canyon but loved Short Cuts. Altman is a better Director of those intertwined multi story movies. He is the best at them
Old 01-26-03, 11:20 AM
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i liked the movie. really liked it. now i want to see it again! this film reminds me of "smoke" , the movie w/ harvey keitel. both kind of warm & fuzzy movies, or maybe I just saw them around the same time.
Old 01-26-03, 11:29 AM
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I really enjoyed this movie and i consider myself a conservative. i don't see how you can make a blanket statement like that. It denotes prejudice.
Old 01-26-03, 12:50 PM
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it's not prejudiced....talk about kneejerk reactions, geez......I didn't say that all conservatives hate the film, but I wondered if many of those who do hate it tend to be of a more conservative mindset. In the end, I have no idea why people hate the movie so much, I was speculating based on a lot of the negative comments I've read about it - they just seemed to denote some classic conservative opinions about the film. take a few of these examples from Amazon:

"You've got to laugh at all the encounter groupies and EST adherents who have written Amazon reviews praising this garbage. The film is perfectly suited to their mushy thinking."

"This is perhaps the most specious film ever made -- pure candle-and-incense crowd hooey!"

"But it's hollow to the core, and, as previous reviews have noted, not-so-latently racist in an un-thought out, almost shocking, white liberal way."

"If I was white and saw this unprocessed kneejerk liberal bull, I'm be scared to death of black folks."

"The politics of this brooding white boy abomination are benignly immoral and positively disgusting."

"Well, the anti-intellectuals and fuzzy Seattle ur-thinkers have certainly coughed up a mouthful of valentines to this Lawrence Kasdan abomination. Yes, this is without doubt the most pretentious and outlandishly sententious film every made."

One other hallmark of many of the complaints were that it was 'racist.' Now that I really don't understand. It's a social commentary on what was a very real problem - and invariably still is - that plagued black neighborhoods. Is it racist to point out the families trying to make a life amidst the chaos? I don't think so, but that's just me....the guy who
Spoiler:
shoots steve martin
wasn't black, and Danny Glover's character seems to be as normal and upstanding as any character in any movie. I don't know, as I said, i'm just a bit amazed that people could hate what I think is a very good film with such vehemence.....
Old 01-26-03, 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by brizz
it's not prejudiced....talk about kneejerk reactions, geez......I didn't say that all conservatives hate the film
I don't tend to agree with brizz on much (and I suspect brizz would agree with that ), but his original comments certainly didn't warrant your reaction Dave.

but I wondered if many of those who do hate it tend to be of a more conservative mindset. In the end, I have no idea why people hate the movie so much, I was speculating based on a lot of the negative comments I've read about it - they just seemed to denote some classic conservative opinions about the film. take a few of these examples from Amazon:

"You've got to laugh at all the encounter groupies and EST adherents who have written Amazon reviews praising this garbage. The film is perfectly suited to their mushy thinking."

"This is perhaps the most specious film ever made -- pure candle-and-incense crowd hooey!"

"But it's hollow to the core, and, as previous reviews have noted, not-so-latently racist in an un-thought out, almost shocking, white liberal way."

"If I was white and saw this unprocessed kneejerk liberal bull, I'm be scared to death of black folks."

"The politics of this brooding white boy abomination are benignly immoral and positively disgusting."

"Well, the anti-intellectuals and fuzzy Seattle ur-thinkers have certainly coughed up a mouthful of valentines to this Lawrence Kasdan abomination. Yes, this is without doubt the most pretentious and outlandishly sententious film every made."

One other hallmark of many of the complaints were that it was 'racist.' Now that I really don't understand. It's a social commentary on what was a very real problem - and invariably still is - that plagued black neighborhoods. Is it racist to point out the families trying to make a life amidst the chaos? I don't think so, but that's just me....the guy who
Spoiler:
shoots steve martin
wasn't black, and Danny Glover's character seems to be as normal and upstanding as any character in any movie. I don't know, as I said, i'm just a bit amazed that people could hate what I think is a very good film with such vehemence.....
I would certainly love to debate, on its merits, the silly assertion that this film is somehow racist. Kasdan was admittedly a little fanciful, but also very honest in his handling of the race issues in this film.

"Sententious?" Sheesh, I had to look that one up.

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