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In The Valley of Elah - (Dir. Haggis/Jones/Theron)

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In The Valley of Elah - (Dir. Haggis/Jones/Theron)

Old 09-20-07, 12:54 AM
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In The Valley of Elah - (Dir. Haggis/Jones/Theron)

Just got back from a screening.

Great performance by Jones and and a well made first hour can't really save this movie. As the last 20 minutes turns into an over-the-top, in-your-face liberal wankfest it becomes more cringe worthy than "Good Luck Chuck". 5/10
Old 09-20-07, 02:30 AM
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Liberal wankfest? That's what I thought when I saw the trailer.

I though 'meh, well maybe'. Then I saw that Susan Surrandon is in it. Something about her presence that bothers me.

As it is, I'll catch it on cable someday.
Old 09-20-07, 10:25 AM
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Definitely want to check this one out (for the performances if nothing else), despite what the pundits say. It had a very poor per-screen average in just a handful of theaters though...

Last edited by Artman; 09-20-07 at 03:54 PM.
Old 09-20-07, 02:01 PM
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Jones?
Old 09-20-07, 02:59 PM
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Davy Jones



I mean Tommy Lee
Old 09-20-07, 03:11 PM
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it's called Haggis overkill - I have no desire to see this.
Old 09-20-07, 06:07 PM
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I will see this, but there's a reason there's no conservative wankfest...(insert something clever).

Haggis is okay, we'll see this w/e. Mostly going for Jones' performance. This is a start of a lot of Iraq/political/ films...wonder how long before people will get burned. Also, opening here in our arthouse is "No End in Sight" a doc on how Bush admins screwed up the "war".
Old 09-22-07, 02:07 PM
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An aside, but I just had to reply to this comment from the review:

There seems to be two camps on "Crash:" one side couldn't stand a note, found Haggis to be a hack of the highest order, and retch at the thought of a movie that even entertains the notion of profundity.

I don't see what the last comment has to do with the first two. Obviously he's saying "people who didn't like Crash don't like profound movies" but this is pretty obviously just a strawman, as it's perfectly possible that people can love profound movies without thinking Crash is one of them. Hell, this was the major debate about the film, whether it was bold and honest or loud and trite, and it's not fair to characterize people who disliked Crash as simply "retching at the thought of profundity."

As for this movie, I can't say I'm particularly interested. Haggis has the subtlety and artistic touch of a brick through a window, and although I'm sure I'd be on his side politically for this film, it's not something I feel like sitting through as an audience member as I don't get the feeling Haggis has anything new, interesting or vital to say.
Old 09-22-07, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sethsez
An aside, but I just had to reply to this comment from the review:

There seems to be two camps on "Crash:" one side couldn't stand a note, found Haggis to be a hack of the highest order, and retch at the thought of a movie that even entertains the notion of profundity.

I don't see what the last comment has to do with the first two. Obviously he's saying "people who didn't like Crash don't like profound movies" but this is pretty obviously just a strawman, as it's perfectly possible that people can love profound movies without thinking Crash is one of them. Hell, this was the major debate about the film, whether it was bold and honest or loud and trite, and it's not fair to characterize people who disliked Crash as simply "retching at the thought of profundity."
Comment makes sense to me. The "debate" on Crash was never a fair fight. It was one of passion. I think Orndorf was just reflecting that mindset for his Crash discussion.
Old 09-22-07, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by duluthdemon
Comment makes sense to me. The "debate" on Crash was never a fair fight. It was one of passion. I think Orndorf was just reflecting that mindset for his Crash discussion.
The problem is that he confuses "retching at Crash" with "retching at any movie with profundity." It's certainly easy to dismiss criticism of a movie by lumping it in with a wide assortment of films and then just assuming the critic hates all of them (example: "anyone who doesn't like Delta Farce just hates to laugh"), but it's far from accurate.
Old 09-22-07, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by duluthdemon
Comment makes sense to me. The "debate" on Crash was never a fair fight. It was one of passion. I think Orndorf was just reflecting that mindset for his Crash discussion.
When did Mr. Wonderful become a film critic?
Old 09-22-07, 11:58 PM
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This was better than I'd thought. Haggis did add some overly heavy handed messages, but not as much as Crash. The ending was "I get your point" moment.

As for liberal wankfest? I disagree. Jones' character is completely a Republican, but whether that is important depends I guess on your own POV. I am a Dem, but I feel as if the movie portrays niether party to blame, just america has failed the people and we'll call some wrong when something's wrong, despite our own political allienances.

Liberal, Conservative, I can't imagine anyone now approving of this war.

Grade: B-
Old 09-23-07, 12:00 AM
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I love Paul Haggis. I loved "EZ Streets". I loved "Crash". And I just saw "In the Valley of Elah" today and thought it was excellent.

Tommy Lee Jones is superb. The entire film is wonderfully cast. I don't take it as any kind of political statement -- to me, it's just a heartbreaking story of loss, and the tragic side effects of war -- any war.
Old 09-23-07, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sethsez
The problem is that he confuses "retching at Crash" with "retching at any movie with profundity." It's certainly easy to dismiss criticism of a movie by lumping it in with a wide assortment of films and then just assuming the critic hates all of them (example: "anyone who doesn't like Delta Farce just hates to laugh"), but it's far from accurate.


Welcome to the world of film criticism.
Old 09-23-07, 07:44 PM
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one of the better pictures ive seen this year
Old 09-24-07, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle-frank
one of the better pictures ive seen this year
Same here as well.
Old 09-29-07, 09:12 PM
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Tommy Lee Jones turns in a terrific, low key performance as Hank, a father looking for his AWOL son in the army. Having a former military investigations background helps Hank in picking up leads to follow, which leads him to his son's army base and the town that it resides in to look for answers to his son's disappearance. Charlize Theron does a nice job as a detective not all that respected by her male peers, mainly due to her gender, but she manages to provide some help to Hank, and Hank begrudgingly returns the favor with his years of investigative experience. The mystery is little too telegraphed in spots, but the tone and acting performances transcend the scripts shortcomings here and there.

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
Old 09-30-07, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
Same here as well.
I concur, loved it, minus a few cheesy pieces of dialog and/or actions that were just a little to over the top for me. Jones was great, and am not a big Jones fan.
Old 02-19-08, 08:02 PM
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Just got done watching it from Netflix. Yet another great (and overlooked) film from 2007. Like "Jesse James" and "Gone Baby Gone", I prey this too gets the audience it so richly deserves. Jones has never been better. But he's not the only one. Sarrandon and Theron are also terrific. A must rent! Rating 9/10.
Old 02-20-08, 07:21 PM
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I just saw it as well. Actually did a Blind Buy on Blu-Ray.....it doesn't have a lot of re-watch value. Jones deserves the Oscar for this but I'm sure he won't get it. The ending was a little hard to interpret... Can anyone enlighten me?

So Mike provoked the soldiers? If so, why such a horrific death. The ending scene when the PFC walks into Mikes old room to unpack...and Jones just gives him the look. Definitely an emotional scene. I'm sure it happens all too much.
Old 02-20-08, 08:26 PM
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This has a "Long Wait" at Netflix so I went to rent it at Hollywood Video. There were none on the shelf and the clerk said they only received one copy in store. WTF? They had 30 copies of 'Rendition'.
Old 02-20-08, 08:37 PM
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Ya...same here w/netflix so i took the risk and bought it. After seeing it, eh it's worth a rental but not worth to have on video imo.
Old 02-20-08, 08:51 PM
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cool to see 4 no country for old men actors in another movie together.

this was a pretty good flick. some emotional scenes.
Old 02-20-08, 09:28 PM
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Good, not great movie, although exponentially better than Crash (but then again, what isn't?).

Tommy Lee Jones is phenomenal - one of the most devastating performances I've ever seen. I was never a big fan of his until this year, then he comes along and gives not just my first but also my second favorite performance of the year, in this and No Country for Old Men (and I see a lot of movies/performances, including all 20 nominated for Oscars this year). I bought the Blu-Ray mainly just for his work in this, even though the plot is sorta standard fare.

Charlize Theron is also very good, and underappreciated, in this one.
Old 02-20-08, 11:07 PM
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Just watched this, I was sort of let down. I was expecting a bigger payoff at the end about what happened to his son, but there was none.

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