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Spartan -- D: Mamet -- S: Kilmer

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Spartan -- D: Mamet -- S: Kilmer

Old 06-16-04, 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
The movie really is the shit.

Spanish Prisoner and House of Games are even better.

The brilliant thing about Spartan is it's constant refusal to continue in a strait line or to meet our expectations. Just when the story thread seems to be playing out to its natural conclusion some wrench gets thrown in the works and the whole thing gets called off or altered or f***ed.

The film has slight political subtext, but mostly lives in that Hitchcock-ian thriller world where the most absurd plot devices can be thrown at the audience and we swallow them whole without question because the director's momentum and narative assuredness are so supperb.
Spoiler:
Let's face it, a big politician's (maybe the President's) daughter being kidnapped and sold into white slavery and an unnamed elite unit responsible to get her back is one of the most absurd premises of the year.
But Mamet makes it work because he weaves such a fabulous spell that we want to believe in it. Many of his films contain confidence games, this film is a confidence game.
Very well put!! I totally agree and can't believe I neglected to mention the fact that this movie
Spoiler:
starts on paths that keep getting squashed and drastically altered and then starts out on another just as fabulously
....really ingenious and something that hasn't been done in quite awhile.
Old 06-16-04, 03:49 PM
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I disliked this film and wish I never saw it in the theaters....

The performances are wooden (the female and male young agents both were the most standout terrible). There is this part when Val Kilmer is talking during the shooting outside the house [don't think this reveals much] and he says this line like it is being read off his hand that made me laugh. 2nd is I just didn't care about the turns and when they happened they were uninteresting and predictable. Plus the way they use William H. Macy in this film had me telling everyone just so they could get a laugh over it. No offense to the Spartan fans here, I was foolish enough to spend $8 to see this.
Old 06-16-04, 04:06 PM
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cfloyd3-

I just want to make sure that you realize Mamet's dialogue is intentionally stylized and a bit theatrical. When you say the performances were wooden I wonder if you realize that he's very specific about how his dialogue is delivered.

Last edited by Pants; 06-16-04 at 04:32 PM.
Old 06-16-04, 04:11 PM
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I know of how Mamet does things. However, in this film it completely distracted me from enjoying the film and I found it absurd in parts like I discussed with Kilmer.
Old 06-16-04, 04:14 PM
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Re: David Mamet's "Spartan"...See this movie! & other comments thread!

Originally posted by scott1598
It was sheer gasp for breath action, suspense, and drama.
I think I get it.

Anyway, I thought this movie was alright. I didn't think it was exceptional, and I certainly didn't find it to be too clever, either. All in all, I'd say it was alright.
Old 07-08-04, 07:55 PM
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I'd give Spartan a 6/10. I agree that Macy's talents were wasted. It was suspenseful, but something that'll sit on my shelf for a year or so before I get the urge to watch it again.
Old 07-09-04, 09:10 PM
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Good flick. I'm a sucker for political thrillers, and this one sure did the trick.
Old 07-09-04, 10:16 PM
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"Where's the girl?"

This was by far the most laughable movie I have seen in a long time (and not in a good way).

My friends and I were laughing our asses off. The acting was bad, the story was worse, and the writing... well, it should have been labeled a comedy.

The film actually screwed up when I saw it and we had a 5 minute intermission. We started talking with the other theater goers about how bad the movie was - their was consensus.

I can't see how anyone would like this movie
Old 07-10-04, 12:53 AM
  #34  
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I saw this a couple week's back and enjoyed it immensely. Top-notch Mamet!
Old 07-10-04, 08:20 AM
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I get weary of the repetitve dialogue in Mamet's films. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm watching "Rain Man" when viewing a Mamet film...
Old 07-10-04, 10:18 PM
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I thought the repetitive dialogue worked out great for Spartan.

"Where's the girl?"

I loved that line because it really convinced me that their sole mission was to get the girl back regardless of the casualties, damages. Totally convincing film.
Old 07-11-04, 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by orangerory
This was by far the most laughable movie I have seen in a long time (and not in a good way).

My friends and I were laughing our asses off. The acting was bad, the story was worse, and the writing... well, it should have been labeled a comedy.

The film actually screwed up when I saw it and we had a 5 minute intermission. We started talking with the other theater goers about how bad the movie was - their was consensus.

I can't see how anyone would like this movie
you probably didn't understand it then. I can't see how anyone who lambastes it so intensely could really understand what Mamet was going for!
Old 07-26-04, 01:25 AM
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What's up with the ending....???
Old 07-26-04, 01:28 AM
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What do you mean? Maybe you should watch it again.
Old 07-26-04, 02:02 AM
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I want to make a T-Shirt with a pic of stone-faced Kilmer pointing a gun, with text underneath reading "WHERE'S THE GIRL." in cold, sincere letters...
Old 07-26-04, 03:42 AM
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It could be the best movie I've seen so far this year. I've tried to get everyone I know to watch it.
Old 07-26-04, 12:37 PM
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I was defiinitely disappointed with this movie. I guess my expectations were too high.

I'll give it 2 stars out of 4 or a grade of a C/C+.

I bought this used at Hollywood Video and I'm gonna try to return it.
Old 03-25-05, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyler_Durden
I just read Ebert's review of the film and got to thinking - what does the final scene of the film "reveal"? I'm especially puzzled by this part of the review: How do you see the ending? Do you think it reveals something altogether new about Kilmer's character?
Just watched this after a blind buy at Movie Gallery. It was an interesting film, and I though Val Kilmer was pretty solid, but William H. Macy seemed kind of odd in his role. I understand that David Mamet is well-respected by some here, but I can't seem to REALLY like his stuff. Maybe it's because I haven't seen his plays, or I haven't watched the right films of his.

I'm gonna ask the same question, though...what do we take from the ending? Is Kilmer a trafficker, or has he just retired to a place that is away from the US? Also, unless the footage was held for a while before release, I don't buy his "healing factor" and ability to grow a beard as quickly as he did. (nitpick, I know). I also agree that some things were a little too convenient to overlook, but luck favors the prepared.

All in all, good movie and worth a watch.
Old 03-25-05, 11:08 AM
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this was a solid movie, very entertaining. A-
Old 03-25-05, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by reubs82
I'm gonna ask the same question, though...what do we take from the ending? Is Kilmer a trafficker, or has he just retired to a place that is away from the US? Also, unless the footage was held for a while before release, I don't buy his "healing factor" and ability to grow a beard as quickly as he did. (nitpick, I know). I also agree that some things were a little too convenient to overlook, but luck favors the prepared.
I saw the ending as a statement that he couldn't go home again. There were so many people who didn't want the trouble of the girl anymore, that if they found out who helped her back, Kilmer would be killed. He did what was right, and was punished for it.

I think the timeline of events had to be compressed a bit, at least on Kilmer's end. I think we are supposed to assume that he's been there for at least a month, trying to settle into his new life. It is possible that the girl was held in Europe (which is where I assume the Swedish News group was flying) for a while, in order to figure out how to release the news that she wasn't dead after all.

I really liked this movie, and although the script contained some really awkward Mamet-isms ("Would you like a cigarette?", "Can you produce one?"), I really liked the sparse detail that the script let out: I liked the fact that we were never really told who the girl was and who her father was. It gave the beginning of the movie a lot more tension and mystery. There were some plot contrivances, but not more that any other action movie in this vein.
Old 03-25-05, 09:58 PM
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I agree that it was nice to have only a bit of info about the girl, I felt that the trailer gave away an awful lot of the film. The "twist" about halfway through wasn't even a twist if you'd seen the trailer. I felt it needed a little more body and a little less trailer and it could have been a solid film. These are just thoughts after having thought about it for a bit.

I've only seen it once, though, so if I go back and rewatch it I may view it a bit differently.
Old 03-26-05, 07:11 AM
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"The French have a spy school ..." oh, this'll be a fun thread.
Old 03-26-05, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by reubs82
I felt that the trailer gave away an awful lot of the film. The "twist" about halfway through wasn't even a twist if you'd seen the trailer.
Just one of the many reasons why you should never watch trailers.
Old 03-26-05, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JParks94563
I took the ending of Spartan to be that Kilmer's character was a deep cover agent for the British all along. A sleeper. NATO block countries have spied on each other for years, the French have had a spy school to train gov. agents to steal technilogical secrets from the US for years. Anyones thoughts?
I don't see how you were able to come to that conclusion without some massive leaps of logic. It doesn't even make sense in the context of the story.
Old 03-26-05, 01:43 PM
  #50  
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good movie, solid story line, love kilmer.

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