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Spartan -- D: Mamet -- S: Kilmer

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Spartan -- D: Mamet -- S: Kilmer

Old 03-13-04, 09:38 PM
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Spartan -- D: Mamet -- S: Kilmer

While I enjoyed watching how things played out (and the way Mamet sets things up, he never gets there, it's always a new development that scraps the "conceived" course of action, being nimble is a must for this protagonist played by Val Kilmer), his dialogue is wearing a little thin on me because he basically has most of the characters simply repeat fragments of their last phrase/sentence to maintain the trademark Mamet cadence. It's starting to sound forced by me.

But it's still watchable (in the "what's gonna happen next" department), though the vagaries of the plot leave something to be desired because I got the feeling that there were some mechanics of the plot that would fail under careful scrutiny (as in "well, wasn't that convenience..." category).

It was still one of the better movie viewing experience of 2004, so I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.

(After thinking about the film, I bumped it from a B to a B-.)

Last edited by Patman; 03-14-04 at 03:29 PM.
Old 03-13-04, 10:04 PM
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Glad you liked it - what did you think of Kilmer's performance? I've read both good and bad reviews about the job he did.
Old 03-13-04, 10:16 PM
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Kilmer's character was probably too guarded to really develop an affinity to the character. I can't even remember the character's name. Kilmer, with dark short hair, reminded me of John Travolta for some reason.
Old 03-13-04, 11:34 PM
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I thought Val Kilmer was excellent. He really anchored the film.
Old 03-13-04, 11:56 PM
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Kilmer has trouble keeping up with the dialog. But this is the best work he's done in the last 10 years.
Old 03-14-04, 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by scott shelton
Kilmer has trouble keeping up with the dialog.
A few of the reviews that I have read said the same exact thing. But if this is the best work he has done since he HEAT, I'm there.
Old 03-14-04, 02:37 AM
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I thought Kilmer was terrific, actually. Maybe the best I've ever seen him. He already speaks a little...weirdly to me but layering on the Mamet-speak really worked.
Old 03-14-04, 09:50 AM
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Kilmer has trouble keeping up with the dialog. But this is the best work he's done in the last 10 years.
That's good to hear, but my favorite Kilmer performance of the last decade is his one in The Salton Sea.
Old 03-14-04, 02:36 PM
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I give this a solid B as well. I enjoyed Val Kilmer's performance, though my favorite recent performance is still "The Salton Sea".
Old 03-14-04, 04:56 PM
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Kilmer was really good here. Perfect for mamet's dialogue. Who would've thunk it.

I really liked the picture. It was entertaining and smart. Pretty balsy if you think about our current political climate.
Old 03-15-04, 11:41 AM
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I liked the first 2/3's of the movie, but didn't care much for the last third.
Old 03-24-04, 06:15 PM
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Just saw this today, and I was disappointed. I thought Kilmer was fantastic, and is on a roll (with his The Salton Sea and Wonderland performances) anchoring mediocre movies. I must say, I'm losing my faith in David Mamet, who's phoned it in for Heist and Spartan. His writing, it seemed, used to contain plot twists that, if you watched the film again, you could see coming. After seeing Spartan and Heist, it seems that he's using the soap opera technique of adding twists for their own sake, with no rhyme or reason behind them. His dialogue still rules, though. I like the repetition he used in the Spartan screenplay. He needs to hire someone to edit his plotting, though. All-in-all, I agree with cdollaz, first 2/3 were great, the last 1/3 was ridiculous.
Old 03-26-04, 01:49 AM
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Awful film. Many unnecessary pieces in the plotline (Swedish crew started filming? what purpose did that serve?) and many parts of the story were completely unbelievable - do you think the secret service is that incompetent (leaving criminals alone in cars)? or that the President's daugther is a hooker? And things like "I'm her mother" were just ridiculous.
Old 03-26-04, 07:21 AM
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I was fairly impressed with the flick. A solid B for sure, save for Kilmer's performance. This comes no where near his Heat performance. The last 1/3 I thought was pretty good as well, especially when
Spoiler:
they are trying to get the daughter on the plane. I was getting so excited and nervous that I almost jumped up and yelled 'get her on the ****ing plane!'. Out of respect for other movie goers though, I held back.
Old 06-11-04, 11:15 AM
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I just saw the film and liked it, as I have all of Mamet's films. It's not brilliant, but displays a confidence in its story that makes it a pleasure to follow.

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:
The particular pleasure of "Spartan" is to watch the characters gradually define themselves and the plot gradually emerge like your face in a steamy mirror. You see the outlines, and then your nose, and then you see that somebody is standing behind you, and then you see it's you -- so who is the guy in the mirror? Work with me here. I'm trying to describe how the movie operates without revealing what it does.
How do you see the ending? Do you think it reveals something altogether new about Kilmer's character?
Old 06-15-04, 08:41 PM
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David Mamet's "Spartan"...See this movie! & other comments thread!

Just out on DVD and all I have to say is UNBELIEVABLE!!
I am not a Mamet fan, nor do I think I have even seen another one of his films. I love movies and I was blown away by this one. It was sheer gasp for breath action, suspense, and drama. The tension created is so amazingly produced.

I have not been this ecstatic about a movie in awhile and am really sorry I didn't catch in theaters because I know the effect would have been enhanced, but just as well. I have not even posted a thread like this, but I just want people to enjoy this movie and feel the entertainment or at least post comments of likes and dislikes for those who have seen thereafter...

The movie comments so much about how twisted politics and society is. How manipulative the higher ups can be and the lengths gone through to hide the ultimate truths. I don't really want to get into a whole debate because I just took this movie to be thoroughly entertaining.

Truly, a treat just enjoyed on DVD. It is barebones with just a commentary for those who want to know. I only listened to a snippet of Val Kilmer towards the end. He sounded rather dull and almost asleep, but that was at the end so who knows what life he might have had in the beginning if any at all.
Regardless, he was fantastic in this role and I wish he would do more of these roles. I think "Salton Sea" was a start and then this, but more this that that if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I know long and drawn out, but just to reiterate...

For a fun, suspensful, truly enjoyable and entertaining movie lover's movie with a bit of political undertones...see David Mamet's "Spartan"

Other comments need only tap some keys...
Old 06-15-04, 09:56 PM
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Och! Sounds good and I typically love Mamet. Hand't heard of this one until now, will def check it out, thanks.

-Gunshy
Old 06-15-04, 10:05 PM
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Enjoyed it. It's no Spanish Prisoner, but even average Mamet is pretty damn good.
Old 06-15-04, 10:18 PM
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http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=352677
Old 06-15-04, 11:21 PM
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I'm sorry, but why the hell do you put "thread" at the end of all your titles? We all know it's a thread. It's starting to bug me.
Old 06-16-04, 12:34 AM
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Re: David Mamet's "Spartan"...See this movie! & other comments thread!

Originally posted by scott1598
Just out on DVD and all I have to say is UNBELIEVABLE!!
I am not a Mamet fan, nor do I think I have even seen another one of his films. I love movies and I was blown away by this one. It was sheer gasp for breath action, suspense, and drama. The tension created is so amazingly produced.
Saw it the other day. Maybe it's just me, but I thought everything was just way too predictable. Kilmer was okay. Al Bundy's character was just bad, and William H. Macy wasn't nearly as good as he was in the Cooler. Granted, it was a smaller part.

I'd give it maybe a 5 out of 10. Watchable, but I certianly have no desire to see it again. The twists were just too obvious most of the time.
Old 06-16-04, 10:01 AM
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Re: Re: David Mamet's "Spartan"...See this movie! & other comments thread!

Originally posted by mgbfan
Saw it the other day. Maybe it's just me, but I thought everything was just way too predictable.
Even the scene where
Spoiler:
Derek Luke gets shot!!?!?!


I'll agree that I saw a lot of the twists and turns coming, but that one made me jump out of my seat with a HOLY SHIT!!!!!!! Great flick IMO.

MATT
Old 06-16-04, 10:41 AM
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One of the best of the year.
Old 06-16-04, 11:51 AM
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Re: Re: Re: David Mamet's "Spartan"...See this movie! & other comments thread!

Originally posted by mdc3000
Even the scene where
Spoiler:
Derek Luke gets shot!!?!?!

The timing of that one was a surprise, I'll agree to that.
Old 06-16-04, 12:59 PM
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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.

Last edited by Pants; 06-16-04 at 01:10 PM.

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