#1  
Old 06-29-2012, 10:05 AM
Savages



Directed by Oliver Stone

Written by Shane Salerno, Don Winslow, Oliver Stone

Genre: Crime/Thriller

Plot Outline: Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Blake Lively, John Travolta, DemiŠn Bichir, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch

Rated R for strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout

Runtime: 129 minutes


I've had a weird (bad) feeling about this one for a little while now, but some reviews are starting to trickle in and it sounds like a hell of a time. Really looking forward to it.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2012, 11:15 AM
It looks incredibly sleazy. I mean that in the best way possible.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2012, 02:15 PM
I did not know Stone directed it. I wish this guy would go back to good story telling. I hope this is one of his good ones. It looks really thin though. I really expect better from Mr Stone.
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2012, 06:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
It looks incredibly sleazy. I mean that in the best way possible.
Ha hell yeah. It just looks like good trashy fun (kinda in the same realm as True Romance). I'm all over this shit.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2012, 06:17 PM
I thought this was a Tony Scott film when I saw the trailer. And not one of the better ones.
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2012, 06:43 PM
There are a lot of movies in which I reply in my mind with the following statement, but don't bother posting about. One that sticks out is "Domino" from 2005. Gosh, that looked awful. Well, this is one more movie in which it needs to be said once again. And here it goes.

"Savages" looks fucking retarded.

This is from the same guy who who directed "Platoon," "Wall Street" and an impossibly acceptable sequel to it too many years later. Oliver Stone seems to go back and forth between quality movies he knows will be successful and experimental films that have proven to be risks (like "Natural Born Killers" and "Alexander"). I won't pretend that I've seen all all of his films by now, or half of them. I can say that I have seen his little-seen, underrated gem "The Hand" from 1981 and enjoy it. I can't blame him for changing things up. But if he's going to try something different again, surely it couldn't be a lot better than this piece of trash?
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2012, 08:27 AM
Looks like something I might check out on when it streams on Netflix
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2012, 09:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
It looks incredibly sleazy. I mean that in the best way possible.
Yes! That's exactly why I want to see it! Haha!

Savages looks like a trashy, over-the-top fun. I dig the cast as well. I'm not a huge fan of Oliver Stone, but this may turn out to be his first solid, entertaining film in a very long time. I'm there!

Strider
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2012, 03:54 PM
If It's a masterpiece you're after I don't think this Is the place to start looking, It looks like an over the top viloence fest a cinema movie for the boys I'm In.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2012, 03:58 PM
100% on Rotten Tomatoes! But it is only after five reviews. But that is a good start. It looks good enough to watch. Why not? Kudos to Oliver Stone. He wrote scareface you know? .
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:05 PM
A couple of young white guys with a bunch of guns taking on the cartel?



Oh, but one of them was a Navy SEAL you say? That changes everything.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2012, 05:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cop No. 633 View Post
A couple of young white guys with a bunch of guns taking on the cartel?



Oh, but one of them was a Navy SEAL you say? That changes everything.
One's prone to violence, the other....pacifist. What hijinks will ensue?!

Seriously though, I'll check this out.
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2012, 08:33 PM
Can't get over how hot Blake Lively looks in those trailers. I've never been one to see a movie just for eye candy (in fact, I can honestly say I've never done it in my life) but geez, that's a gorgeous girl.

I'll check it out in theaters if the reviews are good. Even though his movies have sucked, I actually kinda like Taylor Kitsch. Not a great actor by any means, but he has a certain charisma that somewhat works for me. Really like the rest of the cast.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cop No. 633 View Post
A couple of young white guys with a bunch of guns taking on the cartel?



Oh, but one of them was a Navy SEAL you say? That changes everything.
Yeah, Chon (Taylor Kitsch's character) is crazy as fuck in the book.
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2012, 02:31 AM
Just saw it and I must say, it was a pretty bad ass movie. Had a bit of a Traffic feel to it. All the performances are really good, and it even took me half the movie until i realized "Oh shit, that's Kick Ass!!!"

Travolta is getting dogged in the media right now, but the dude continually makes me a fan of his work, he is just a solid and reliable actor and in his limited role in this movie, he plays a bad ass corrupt DEA agent.

Blake Lively of course looks really sexy, Benicio Del Toro is bad ass... and I thought Salma Hayek was fuckin Gnarly in this flick.

Just a good Action/ Mexican Drug movie. Def worth the $$ to go see in theaters.
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  #16  
Old 07-05-2012, 08:11 PM
I just know that I'm not gonna like this. I'm not an Oliver Stone fan and the dialogue from the trailers/tv spots sounds fucking awful.

However....




God fucking damnit, I love this man.
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2012, 08:44 PM
Ha yeah Smiert you can't go wrong with Del Toro. (and he looks like he had a ball with this role in Savages)

I'm surprised you're not a fan of Stone homie. Platoon? Born on the 4th of July? Natural Born Killers? JFK?
None of those do anything for ya???

Last edited by echo_bravo; 07-05-2012 at 09:58 PM..
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2012, 03:58 PM
Did a wake & bake this morning and saw this
Pretty decent for the most part but definitely could of been better.

I did have some issues with some of the dialogue exchanges between O, Ben & Chon.
And Lively's narration could of been cut down imo. Some of it was cringeworthy as well.
"I have orgasms...he has wargasms" Really?

But I did really like Salma Hayek & Benico Del Toro in this. They both were great as the vicious cartel members and seemed like they had a lot of fun in their roles.

Overall a pretty entertaining movie but it could of been much better
7/10

Spoiler:
a lot of the criticism is in regards to the "cop out" ending. I guess I really didn't mind that much but I can completely understand how it would turn some movie goers off.

Last edited by echo_bravo; 07-07-2012 at 04:58 AM..
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2012, 10:51 PM
Thereís a running joke in Savages in which various characters, when confused or disgusted by the lifestyles of others, call each other savages. This would be a witty and self referential joke if any of the characters in this film actually had any bite. Directed by the once-great Oliver Stone, Savages lacks energy and cohesion, and plays like a very thin piece of pulp. Adapted from a novel by Don Winslow, who co-writes the script, the film is free of any political or economical commentary (staples of Stoneís work) and attempts to be a visceral, violent action film. By cooling the pace and attempting to put his own stamp on it, though, Stone has killed anything and everything exciting about Winslowís story.

Sure, this film has superficial style. Stone is up to his old tricks again, and in content and tone once can see traces of Natural Born Killers or U-Turn. But in his older years, he seems to have gone soft, or at least gone quiet. Thereís violence and drugs, unspeakable acts, controversial relationships. But thereís an overwhelming sense of vapidity. The waters of Californiaís oceans splash against the rocks and beautiful people walk in bathing suits, plotting and scheming, and weíre supposed to have fun, right? Isnít that the point of pulp? We donít look to pulp for hard hitting drama or a wealth of subtext. We look for fun and sleaze. Itís hard to have fun when the proceedings are utterly lugubrious, and completely messy. Thereís a lot going on in Savages; the film plays with linearity a bit and jumps around from character to character. Thereís never a lack of action. But thereís a lack of cohesion. Thereís no glue that holds it all together, and no narrative through line. Itís as if someone drew a lot of dots but forgot to connect them. The audience flails about, and itís maddening.

We are left with voice over, a crutch used for films that canít tell their stories well, and that has rarely been more true than here. Itís not that the narration serves as an expository information dump, which it does, but rather that Blake Lively has to be one of the worst narrators there is. A bland, tall, blonde presence, Livelyís voice quivers as she delivers flat, one-note narration that describes who every character is Ė and there are a lot of them. Lively plays O, one part of a 3-person love fest that includes Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Johnson). Despite my general like for both of them, Kitsch and Johnson are as bland as bland can be in this film. Despite Oís insistence that they have unique traits and personalities, that just doesnít seem to be the case. This creates a large disconnect between the film and the audience, and it makes it quite difficult to care. Although they are drug dealers and attractive, wealthy young people, they disappear into the scenery. Contrarily we have John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, and Salma Hayek. Savages is a film about big, broad characters, and performances donít get much bigger or broader than the ones these three give. They spew profanities, twirl their mustaches (literally and figuratively), and commit heinous acts of violence and madness. They are cartoon characters, and at odds with what the film attempts to do with itís younger cast. You donít necessarily look for depth in these people, but you look for a little zeal or soul. Iím still looking.

If it isnít already clear, I found this film completely frustrating. All of the elements for a fun, violent, pulpy thriller are in place, including John Travolta, who should be a requirement of anything pulp. Yet Stone simply drops the ball. The film is completely vanilla, and that becomes painfully clear when it comes to a close. Contrary to what was originally intended, Stone utilizes a narrative trick in the filmís final moments that came off as a smack in the face. I felt cheated, and I considered it to be a sin of storytelling. Oliver Stone has gone soft.
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2012, 10:52 PM
Your Sister's Sister

Double post. Sorry!
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  #21  
Old 07-07-2012, 04:04 AM
Well that was disappointing.

Spoiler:
This movie is so full of itself. It thinks it's oh so clever with Blake Lively's lame voice over and the first fake ending. And when we get the real ending it's rushed and anticlimatic.


John Travolta's character is by far the most interesting character in the movie IMO. So it's kind of disappointing that his screen time is actually quite minimal.

It's a well acted, good looking movie that opens promisingly enough despite some atrocious dialog here and there. But the middle portion of the movie starts getting a bit dull. There is a very brutal torture scene that woke me up and the movie had my attention but the ending was a letdown for reasons I already went in to.

I'm a huge fan of Oliver Stone's but this is definitely one of his lesser efforts and, sadly, one of the year's biggest disappointments.

6/10

PS: I will say this about the movie: the sex scenes are HOT!
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  #22  
Old 07-07-2012, 07:58 PM
Oh ya.. i forgot to mention... there is a scene later in the movie that is shot at an Apartment Complex (They show a clock tower), was my apartment complex!!

I actually remember when they shot it.. cuz I left and they were setting up, and when I came home that night I asked the gate guard what they filmed and he didn't know, but I do remember him saying "Some Travolta movie"!

I do agree about the ending:

Spoiler:
I remember the ending that happened when they all die.. but the second ending is a bit of a blur, I know it has Travolta coming in and arresting everyone, but I don't remember what happened after that? She said that they broke up, but then got back together later?? Can some kind schmoe refresh my memory! Thanks
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  #23  
Old 07-08-2012, 10:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
Oliver Stone has gone soft.
This is what I figured and why I said in the upcoming thread on this that I would wait until I read some reviews. Looks like my instinct was right and I will wait for rental.

And so it remains, Stone hasn't made a really good movie since Any Given Sunday. Too bad because he was one of the best working. I never thought Stone would go gutless. I guess limp dick syndrome happens to the best of them.
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  #24  
Old 07-08-2012, 02:34 PM
Savages - 7/10

The movie has three main problems. The voice over is not good, Blake Lively is miscast, and the ending has issues. While those three things might normally completely ruin a movie, I actually dug Savages quite a bit. I love the concept of young, intelligent people building up a hugely successful business. Add to that a clash with a Mexican cartel, and you have the makings of a very entertaining movie. The story has plenty of twists and turns, which, for the most part, tend to work quite well. And everything in the last act leading up to the ending is pretty great. Performance wise, as I said, Lively is miscast, but everyone else is very good. Taylor Kitsch has had a bit of a rough go with two bombs earlier this summer, but I think if he sticks to smaller stuff like this and Friday Night Lights, he'll be just fine. He has a grit and rawness to him that doesn't necessarily translate well to big, stupid blockbusters. Aaron Johnson was great and is turning into one of the better young actors currently working. Salma Hayek looked kind of annoying from the trailers, but she was pretty damn fierce and gives one of her best performances in a while. The guy who clearly takes the cake though is Benicio Del Toro who is absolutely fantastic as Lado. He's creepy and ruthless while also being chillingly calm. Stylistically, I enjoyed what Stone did. His last handful of movies have been fine visually, but nothing special. He tries some different things here and it works for the most part (and certainly suits the story). I also should mention the soundtrack, which is the best of the year so far, easily. Every song choice was perfect.

So ultimately, while Savages has some issues that I think could honestly have been eliminated with a little more editing (except Lively's performance, of course), it was a great diversion from the onslaught of over-budgeted blockbusters. If you want an interesting story with lots of twists and turns, some solid performances and a boomin' soundtrack, give Savages a look.

Also, echo, how did the book end?

Last edited by Bourne101; 07-08-2012 at 10:16 PM..
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  #25  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:48 AM
When I started hearing bad reviews I instantly was skeptical and lowered my expectations big time. Initially I was really looking forward to it, with Johnson who I'm a fan of, and del Toro, plus Stone, and [on the surface] a good looking plot I was in.

Now I've seen the film and it was junk.

Just a hollow film, with awful characters, horrific narration from Lively. Travolta was GOD AWFUL in this film, Hamming it up like no bodies business. I thought del Toro and Hayek saved the film as much as they could.

BUt the script was shit, the ending was ABSURD and annoying, and I simply won't be mad if I never see this again. Sure it looks good, and Lively is a stunner, but as a film its stale and uninteresting.

Full Review: Savages - http://bit.ly/PDiZ0V
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  #26  
Old 07-09-2012, 06:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Also, echo, how did the book end?
Spoiler:
They all die
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  #27  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:47 AM
Based on the novel by Don Winslow and Directed by Oliver Stone this tale of super succesful
marijuana salesmen and the woman they share,and the Mexican drug cartel they are at odds
with is quite entertaining until its conclusion.

Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson),is the zen/philanthropic brains behind the business and and Chon (Taylor Kitsch)
is the scarred,ex Navy Seal muscle.They share the lovely and loving plaything Ophelia (Blake Lively) they
live well and life is good,until a Baja cartel comes calling looking for a piece of the business.The guy's
say no to their demanding offer,the cartel kidnap Ophelia and then the fireworks begin.

Aside from a mainly empty Blake Lively who i enjoyed in The Town but in Savages not so much.
Her character just comes off far to vapid for me.
As Ben Aaron Taylor-Johnson does well as a man who is suddenly thrown into a world of violence
he must participate in.As Chon Taylor Kitsch is icy slow burn cool.
As Elena SŠnchezof head of the Baja Cartel Salma Hayek is terrific.She goes from loving mom
to cold,and ballsy in 0 to 3 seconds.
As her henchman Lado, Benicio del Toro displays all the right amounts of brutality and skills a sociopathic
enforcer should.
As a tuned up,shadowy and on the take DEA agent,John Travolta is equally terrific and whenever he's on screen i
wish he had been given more to do.
I really loved the entire network the guy's put together to protect themselves From computer tech's to
ex Navy Seals who must try to outsmart and outgun the Cartel.

Some cheesy dialogue and an at times grating narration are a minus to the film.Oh and about that aforemen-
tioned ending.I wonder what reactions Savages received during test screenings.Was it the cause of
the ending delivered to the audience? As the film was reaching its end 2 ladies seated next to me exclaimed
"It better not end like this!!" So im thinking yes its likely about 100 people exclaimed the same thing which lead to the
ending.

In the end i still enjoyed this tale of the drug business and the paths it leads to which are quite deadly.

Scale of 1-10 a 7
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  #28  
Old 07-09-2012, 06:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
Spoiler:
They all die
Spoiler:
So basically it was kind of like the first, fake ending?
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  #29  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:13 AM
I will have to see this sometime. Maybe Wednesday.
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  #30  
Old 07-24-2012, 03:04 PM
Oliver Stoneís Savages is a film that believes that it is such a cool, hip, and bloody crime film that thereís just one problem, almost everybody elseís dedication to the film. Sure, the film looks nice, but the story, actors, and directing to a point just feels hollow and uninspired, resulting to the fact that it really doesnít matter what the hell happens at the closing moments because this film just doesnít give a damn. Now, Iíve expressed my dislike to many films, most recently Ridley Scottís Prometheus, but thereís at least some semblance of potential that the cast and crew are trying to create with this film. Savages feels like a ďpaycheckĒ film, where everybody showed up, put the least amount of effort into the film, and left with the faintest recollection that they just made a movie.

The story sounds like something with potential, two well financed pot dealers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) cross the ruthless drug cartel, resulting in their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively) being kidnapped. Thatís a pretty zany and off-the-wall crime story, but you wouldnít now that with the actors and direction completely on autopilot. Kitsch and Johnson barely make a stamp on their characters, and all that youíll come away from the flick is ďThat one dude is the violent army dude, while the other dude was the Buddhist oneĒ. They have little to no charisma, leading to protagonists that some viewers will care less whether they make it to the end. Blake Lively is vapor in this film, a girlfriend with a personality of a peanut. There could be the argument that sheís stoned all the time, but a little personality would go a long way, especially since sheís also the narrator.

The rest of the cast make due with what they have, but itís not especially memorable either. Benicio Del Toro plays the charismatic side villain Lado, pulling strings in the background to make sure he gets out on top. Del Toro gives it his all, but the majority of the film is such a bore that his performance feels lost in the shuffle. Selma Hayek has energy as the main cartel boss but sheís saddled with the lifeless Lively in certain scenes, so she makes an attempt to make every effort that the viewer wonít fall asleep. John Travolta plays a corrupt DEA agent that plays both sides of the cartel and Kitsch/Johnsonís characters, and he makes due with what heís expected. The one time where the film actually comes to some sort of life is when Del Toro and Travoltaís characters meet for the first time, and you sort of wish the film was focused on them.

If youíve seen an Oliver Stone film, especially more trippy ones, heís pretty much going back to his directing playbook on this one. All flash and fade in-outs; itís typical Stone direction that tries to make the film feel more interesting than it really is. Unfortunately, the main cast members, as well as the pacing in the middle act, make the earthly feeling of the cinematography look like a self-help video to make you pass out.

Thereís a lot of vitriol and hatred for Savages, and I sincerely apologize. I donít go out of my way to outright hate a film. But, a movie of this lazy caliber is pretty inexcusable, with half of the cast not really giving a crap, and a story that should feel more exciting than it really is. If anything could come out positive with a viewing of this film, itís a probably a drinking game where you and your friends take a drink every time the word SAVAGES is brought up.

Unfortunately, youíll probably end up passing out halfway through the movie, sober as a judge.

3/10
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  #31  
Old 07-26-2012, 11:07 AM
I agree with Mr.HyDe807, this movie has very little appeal.

Two guys, a girl, and a drug cartel. Two guys piss of the drug cartel and so the drug cartel kidnaps the girl in order to get the two guys to play ball. From there, it's basically a back and forth of strategy, double-crossing, and a finale that wants to be hip, but just turns out beings stupid.

I didn't buy the three-way love story in that the characters didn't really do much other than have sex and say how much they live each other and how much they want to be together. All words, no emotion. It was difficult rooting for these guys when I didn't really care about any of them. Seeing Salma Hayek in various neglige was nice, but she didn't bring much to the role of the cartel leader trying to get the two guys to play ball. John Travolta and especially Benicio del Toro are the best things about this movie as a corrupt DEA agent and a cartel henchman respectively, as they seemed to actually give a damn about what was going in the movie, but even they couldn't save this one.

Oliver Stone tries to put in some style into the movie, but it didn't add much to the story. When all is said and done, the ending throws you a bit of a curveball which ultimately turned out to be lame also. It was a very disappointing movie.

4/10
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  #32  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:52 PM
I don't think the movie is as bad as you guys do, but I definitely agree that it's not very good and is the year's biggest disappointment to date.

I lowered my grade from a 6 to a 5. Not as bad as Natural Born Killers, but it's definitely one of Oliver Stone's worst movies sadly.
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  #33  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:25 PM
In the minority

I loved it, worked on multiple levels for me. First time I've liked Kitsch in anything. Though the movie did have a lot of similarities to previous films (looked like they shot in the same hotel as True Romance) I was pleasantly surprised at how much I dug this movie. Lively and Del Toro being the stand outs. Overall I would give it an 8/10 and plan on seeing it again.

Just read Umma Thurman was in this but don't remember seeing her anywhere? Can anybody shed light on this for me?
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  #34  
Old 08-02-2012, 12:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DareDevil View Post
Just read Umma Thurman was in this but don't remember seeing her anywhere? Can anybody shed light on this for me?
Yeah her character was cut from the film.
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:20 PM
when is this coming out on DVD / Blu-Ray / VOD? I didn't get around to it and the reviews weren't great but I still want to see it
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  #36  
Old 11-02-2012, 12:14 PM
This was bad. Very bad in fact. So bad I am struggling to find the words to describe how bad.

Based upon what I heard, I knew going in this wasn't going to be Natural Born Killers. I figured I wasn't getting the Oliver Stone who made Wall Street back. I knew it was tame, that Stone has long since lost his edge. I did not go in with high expectations or looking for anything provocative. My expectations were as low as they can possibly be. And it still disappointed by A LOT.

The screenplay was so bad. People often talk about cringe worthy dialogue and unless it's B movie bad, I usually don't get bothered by it. However, this was worse. In fact, I think this may be one of the shittiest scripts ever considering the budget. And what a waste of talent. Hayek, Del Toro, Travolta, etc., and they all mailed it in. The only one who was even remotely interesting was Travolta.

As I said, I didn't expect this to be a return for Stone. I wasn't expecting it to be a really good movie but I was expecting it to at least be watchable. I wouldn't recommend wasting your time with this even if it was free. This has just taken my top spot for worst movie of the year.
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  #37  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:05 AM
I rented this last night. It was worth my $1.25 and that is it. SO many decent actors and this is what we get? Horrible.

The trailer made it out to seem like some sort of an action film: It was not. Boring as fuck
So there are 4 sex scenes including a threesome and no nudity. How sad.
The whole concept is just a joke, but I am willing to overlook it as it is a movie.
The slow, boring pace of the movie is laughable. Nothing ever happens.
Del Toro is the film. It is more about him than anyone else.
I guess I was supposed to be shocked the violence of the Mexican Cartels, I wasn't.
They would have been better off going all Taken or Rambo to find their stolen love.

2/10
I have zero faith in Stone to give us anything good anymore. He should just go back and make a few more Vietnam movies.

Last edited by Erroneous; 12-15-2012 at 11:35 AM..
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  #38  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:25 AM
This movie was just bad, like bad for any director not just one who is critically acclaimed and has a history of making some flawed pictures. This was just bad for anyone. The characters--especially Blake Lively--were just unbearable. Besides being the stereotypes of every role they played, the story is all over the place, the violence and heavy doses of mayhem seem completely overused just to give the film its full R-rating. Stone should just stick to his 'political' pictures.

3/10
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  #39  
Old 12-16-2012, 01:48 AM
Rewatched this today ( the unrated version) and honestly it just wasn't that good. Really liked the book but I don't think Stone did a good job here. I initially gave it a 7/10 but I'll probably drop it down to a 5/10 after rewatching it.

I did however love Del Toro, Travolta and Hayek in this. They were all very entertaining. Just wasnt too fond of the lead actors.
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  #40  
Old 12-16-2012, 01:56 AM
I don't have a problem with any of the acting in the movie. I did hate Blake Lively's voice over, but I blame the script more than her delivery. Even Meryl Streep couldn't make that shit sound good. It was just a shockingly dull movie with an incredibly stupid ending.
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