Monthly Archives: January 2014

Absolute Beginners

ImageWho Bought It?: Megan, of course!

Why?: David Bowie + $2 Superstore Bargain Bin + the promise that it was a “flashy, extravagant rock musical!”

Non-Buyer’s Response: “This is the reason you don’t buy movies you haven’t seen.” – Max

Megan’s Thoughts: This may be a flashy, extravagant rock musical but it did not entertain me. After sitting through this 2 (but felt like 6) hour movie I found I had one big question: what was this movie about? Seemingly unable to keep itself on track, the plot twists from one character to another and touches on subjects of racism, economy, fascism and never seems to land anywhere. Though the production aspects were quite impressive (including a 10-minute one-take scene where our protagonist Colin (Eddie O’Connell) weaves in and out of the streets of London’s night life) it did not make up for the fact that the themes proved too difficult to juggle.

And David Bowie was only in like…10 minutes of this movie. I vote to toss.

Max’s Thoughts: I like to think of myself as a pretty astute viewer of film, but I have no clue what this movie was about. Was it about a girl? Was it about the invention of teenagers by marketing? Was it about London? Was it about Jazz? “A movie about everything is inevitably really about nothing at all,” is something I thought to myself after watching both Tree of Life and I Heart Huckabees and I think it applies here, though the lack of technical prowess present in Beginners demands it be a cut below those two films. The sound was poorly mixed and it seemed like all the dialogue was recorded off-set after they’d finished filming everything. I felt like there was something missing from the sound design. Maybe the proper reverb or a missing effect on the music and singing that would have made it feel like it was coming from within the scene rather than from within a studio. Maybe just better actors. There’s a reason I’ve never heard of anyone in this movie not named David Bowie. This movie is neither flashy nor extravagant, as my wife just said, but rather slow-moving and dreary despite all its flashing lights and wailing trumpets. TOSS IT!

Verdict: Toss.

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