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Taking Lives discussion (possible spoilers)

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Taking Lives discussion (possible spoilers)

Old 03-13-04, 09:41 PM
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Taking Lives discussion (possible spoilers)

Just got back from seeing a sneak preview of this movie. Very good. Stars Angelina Jolie as a FBI detective tracking a killer. Full of twists, turns and shocking moments this movie was excellent. I must say that this type of movie is hard to discuss without spoilers so if you don't want to know anything don't be reading this thread. I'm not using spoiler tags because using them in every post will get annoying. Ye' be warned.

I had the killer pegged 30 minutes in, and it didn't even matter. The ups and downs the director takes you on are well worth the journey, right from the first 10 minutes of the film. The entire audience jumped at the same parts and winced, and gasped at others. Very nice.

The movie also stars Kiefer Sutherland and Ethan Hawke, both of which do an excellent job.

Anyone else catch it?
Old 03-13-04, 09:48 PM
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I also pegged the bad guy in the 1st act, and then the middle act was okay, but the 3rd act and epilogue was so over-written and just so predictable (though I like my idea better than what transpired):

Spoiler:
It's true that Scott didn't really react like an expectant mother of 7 months after getting hit and thrown down - which was mainly to elicit shock from the audience, I was so waiting for Scott to reach underneath the fake belly for the gun that she should have stashed in there, and then have her blow away the bad guy's gonads in a final clinch.


That would have been lovely as hell.
Old 03-13-04, 09:56 PM
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I caught this on the sneak peak this evening as well. Here's my short review.

I found Angelina Jolie pretty appealing (one of the few times where she gets to play a determined, but normal female character that isn't too cocky or extremely assertive) in this film. But...

I also pegged the bad guy in the 1st act, and then the middle act was okay (classic cat-n-mouse structure on display with enough red herrings to yank the audience's chain quite a bit, plus provide quite a few spook-out moments to get the audience to jump and gasp and scream), but the 3rd act and epilogue was so over-written and just so predictable that I sat there waiting for the damn movie to end because the story was already over in my mind. I'v share my alternate ending in the post above.

I give is 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
Old 03-14-04, 12:32 PM
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I thought the film was awful, but that's just me.

Spoiler:
I hated the ending. If the ending was a few minutes shorter and that Angelina's character (Scott) was pregnant and Ethan's character did actually stab her, that would've been pretty dark and twisted and probably would've made the film for me. But nope, the film chickened out and had her fake the entire thing (I never knew they made fake pregnant stomachs before) as she stabs Ethan and we have to wait another five minutes for the film to end. How sad. A PG-13 film can have a dark ending (Secret Window), but not an R rated film.


I also hated the film. The entire film was "copied" from every other police thriller in the past ten years. Just look at the opening title sequence, almost entirely copied from the movie Se7en for an example. The film was too predictable and too "happy ending" for me. This is why Se7en still remains one of the best of it's kind.
Old 03-14-04, 02:33 PM
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The SEVEN comparison is absolutely right. There should be litigation!

As a genre exercise, I liked the film. Jolie was good, and itís cool to see the French supporting cast get a chance to shine. Itís paced well, and has that one good ďboo!Ē jolt in the middle of the film.

As mentioned, the ending is ridiculously overcooked, to a point where it stops the movie dead. Itís not such a bad idea for an ending
Spoiler:
(letting the killer chase the cops when chasing him didn't work)
, but more that it takes forever to play out. The film moves at a pretty good clip, then the ending comesÖ

I think Caruso is a good filmmaker with strong visual ideas (if derivative of SEVEN in this film), and itís clear he was on a leash. But considering other examples of the genre recently (the appalling TWISTED), I thought LIVES was decent enough.
Old 03-14-04, 04:32 PM
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I think Caruso is a good filmmaker with strong visual ideas
I agree, just look at The Salton Sea. He might've been on a leash from Warner (Salton Sea was more of an indie film, especially since Warner gave it a limited release) or it could've been the script. Who knows. I just hope the third time is the charm for him, I would love to see more from him.
Old 03-16-04, 12:49 PM
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See the First 9 Minutes and 8 Seconds of Taking Lives on the Official Site
Old 03-20-04, 11:30 PM
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I thought this was fairly good. It was entertaining, but I often also thought it seemed to copy from Seven to much. I thought, that's prett good, but it's been done already, and better in Seven.

I too was thinking of the ending Patman mentioned in the spoiler. I thought that would be sorta fun, instead of the way it turned up..

I would give it a 3 out of 5, worth checking out as a matinee, which is the only way I see movies..

There were a couple of good jump moments, at least the people around me thought, kicking the back of my chair.
Old 03-20-04, 11:38 PM
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enjoyed it, jolie was great as was hawke. some se7en rips for sure, but still fun. I'm in the minority cuz I for one liked the ending (although when you analyze it too much it's unlikely) but still fun, got some good jumps from the crowd!
Old 03-21-04, 02:27 AM
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Is it just me, or does Ethan Hawke sound a little bit like Tom Cruise? I noticed this in "Training Day" as well.
Old 03-21-04, 09:48 AM
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I thought the movie was great. For a while I psyched my own self out because the killer was so obvious that I thought it couldnt have been her/him. The twist at the end was neat and both antagonist and protaganist put together well thought out plans which I really enjoyed since so many movies tend to screw up how a person gets to what they want to do. Very good acting and a good crime thriller.
Old 03-21-04, 10:24 AM
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I just read about the "twist" ending on moviepooper.com and am sooo glad that I didn't waste money on this movie.

I wish Angelina would make better decisions for the roles she takes, and she always gives a solid performance in spite of lackluster material.
Old 03-21-04, 10:31 AM
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WARNING: SPOILER!!!

IT SUCKED!!!
Old 03-21-04, 11:20 AM
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Do all thrillers need a twist ending?

Let me re-phrase that: do all thrillers need a twist ending that is meant to be oh so clever but winds up being oh so lame in yet another let's catch the serial killer plot?
Old 03-21-04, 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
WARNING: SPOILER!!!

IT SUCKED!!!
WARNING:
Old 03-22-04, 10:06 AM
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I thought it was a terrible movie, but sadly I kind of liked it. Jolie is just beautiful and amazing, even though she's not the world's best actress.

Worst actor here: Oliver Martinez.

Worst scenes: The hand punching through the matress. Right . . . .

Jolie jumping in the car for the big chase scene and the tire spinning forever. Right again . . .
Old 03-24-04, 08:34 AM
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I had heard really good things about this movie, and after TWISTED i was really in the mood for a good thriller that would actually thrill and not be so transparent.

Unfortunately, Taking Lives was not the movie I was hoping for. Sure, there is some good style and the performances are fine, but from the get go, we know who the killer is. This makes every twist and turn dull instead of "exciting". Sometimes I can still go with a movie after I know what's going to happen, but this one just dragged and dragged.

Kiefer was underused I thought. He's a great character actor and he was given nothing to do in this movie (in a role that is little more than a glorified cameo)... I had loved Caruso's Salton Sea, so maybe I had the bar pegged too high...

Right now when movies like Hidalgo, Eternal Sunshine and Dawn of the Dead are in theatres, I can't recommend that anyone waste their cash on this flick, when the others are so much better.

MATT
Old 03-28-04, 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by Patman
I also pegged the bad guy in the 1st act, and then the middle act was okay, but the 3rd act and epilogue was so over-written and just so predictable (though I like my idea better than what transpired):

Spoiler:
It's true that Scott didn't really react like an expectant mother of 7 months after getting hit and thrown down - which was mainly to elicit shock from the audience, I was so waiting for Scott to reach underneath the fake belly for the gun that she should have stashed in there, and then have her blow away the bad guy's gonads in a final clinch.


Exactly what I was thinking.
Old 09-23-04, 03:30 PM
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I was told how good this movie was by many people, so I was severely dissapointed last night when I watched it. I thought it tried to be like Seven, Silence of the Lambs, etc... Movies which far exceed this piece of crap.

I liked the atmosphere build up at the beginning and was really expecting this to be a good movie but it just unraveled to the point where I almost turned it off. Here area a couple of points that really bugged me:

1. Near the end when the killer is finally revealed, why is Jolie running down the stairs like a madwoman on Baywatch? She had no reason to do this, and I was seriously waiting for the Baywatch theme oto come on, but it didn't. And she just happens to go meet that art guy before all hell breaks lose? Again why did she go????

2. The ending dragged on and on till I was desperate for the movie too end.

3. I picked the killer right away which anybody in their right mind would chose as well.

And throughout the entire movie I also thought that Ethan Hawke looked and sounded a lot like Tom Cruise, which is a good thing. I think?

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