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post #1 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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For some reason, we don't have a thread for this movie.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1033575/

I watched this last nite and feel compelled to sing its praises today.

A wonderful and powerful movie.
Big laughs and big tears, The Descendants has it all.

This is a movie absolutely NOT for the kiddies.
This film is for "old" people.
Let me re-phrase that: mature/experienced travelers, as in those of us who have been around the block more than once.
The hard realities of life are not smoothed over, and are conveyed in terms of complete believability; I was absolutely pulled in.

The characters are just like real people: folks we know and live with.
Brilliantly portrayed by the actors.
Clooney is nothing short of terrific....maybe his best performance.

The screenplay won the Oscar....it is the best I have had in my HT in a long while.
Alexander Payne and crew deserve the awards they have received.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1033575/awards

A terrific achievement all-around and will help the cynical rekindle a love for great Hollywood drama.
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post #2 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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+1

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post #3 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Airboss View Post

+1

This movie fits very much with Payne's previous films:
Citizen Ruth
Election
About Schmidt
Sideways

All are wonderfully written slices of life.

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post #4 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 03:43 PM
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I posted this in My Week With Marilyn thread. There wasn't a Descendants thread and The Descendants was mentioned.

I watched The Descendants last night. I thought it was a very good movie and story. I look forward to watching it again.

Clooney was excellent, but I didn’t think much of the three kids. They were the weak link, IMO. Better kids and I would have put this one in the outstanding category.



I wanted to add. Relationship wise, The Descendants was eerily similar to Harrison Fords, Random Hearts. I couldn't imagine.
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post #5 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Relationship wise, The Descendants was eerily similar to Harrison Fords, Random Hearts. I couldn't imagine.

Never saw it.

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post #6 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 04:48 PM
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Ford’s wife dies in a plane crash. When he looks deeper into it he discovers she was having an affair. Good movie.
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post #7 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 09:01 PM
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Meh..this film is a lot like Sideways in that you have characters who all have sordid lives and secrets behind their image that comes out in dysfunctional and therapeutic ways.

But paul giamatti owned his role and made Sideways awesome whereas Clooney playing the easy card and of course had to be the sole inheritor of their million dollar trust fund..the head honcho who has "problems". "Oh poor me, I don't know what to do with all this money that I never earned". It was all too self serving BS I couldn't wait til it was over...all his kids were annoying spoiled ass holes you can't root for.
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post #8 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 09:24 PM
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It was a great movie in my opinion, and I thought George Clooney and Shailene Woodly (the older daughter to Matt King) played their roles superbly. Judy Greer (playing Brian Speers' wife) was great, too. Tomorrow, I'm about to watch the movie for the 3rd time.

Oh, and the wife liked this one, too.

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post #9 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 11:19 PM
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As I said in the other thread, this was a very good movie. The director knows how to twist a plot enough to make it interesting. You cannot beat Hawaiian scenery as a background. I liked the look on George Clooney's face when his daughter and her boyfriend stick up for him in the hospital.
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post #10 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 11:19 PM
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The films starts with 5 minutes of voice over by Clooney. Red flag #1...

It is dull, and he acts the same in ALL HIS MOVIES (of which I have seen a few). The man got a big break in Hollywood ONLY because of his looks and he is related to Rosemary Clooney.

I watched this movie and wow, Clooney's acting was bland and the same expression all through this movie honestly how could he get a golden globe never mind another Oscar nom?!

Huge cliche of a story. Tragedy happens within family and shakes them up while they grow closer to each other.

Because of that enormous cliche most of the characters next to Clooney are generic. The comic relief boyfriend. The little sister who is too young to understand what is going on. The older daughter who initially hates her father but who grows closer to him as the movie progresses.

The film is structured as being a road movie without being one. Noting bad with that but perhaps watch Little Miss Sunshine if you like that. It's a good movie that is actually about something. I think the director also liked that movie but forgot to copy the most important part.

Don't go see this. Really. Some of the scenes are so weird that it feels like a 12 year old did the cut.

What was the point to any of it, what was the point in Clooney going to find the man who was having an affair with his wife?


Also the most ridiculous scene in the whole film (for me at least) takes place at the end of the film when Judy Greer's character burst out in tears. Over a person who she has never met. Who her husband was seeing on the side. A character who only made 2 brief appearances in the movie until then but who we are supposed to emphasize with?!?!

I ran out of the theatre when I saw the performance of the little girl hearing her mother was going to die. So bad.

Without looking back.
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post #11 of 57 Old 04-21-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

The films starts with 5 minutes of voice over by Clooney. Red flag #1...

It is dull, and he acts the same in ALL HIS MOVIES (of which I have seen a few). The man got a big break in Hollywood ONLY because of his looks and he is related to Rosemary Clooney.

I watched this movie and wow, Clooney's acting was bland and the same expression all through this movie honestly how could he get a golden globe never mind another Oscar nom?!

Huge cliche of a story. Tragedy happens within family and shakes them up while they grow closer to each other.

Because of that enormous cliche most of the characters next to Clooney are generic. The comic relief boyfriend. The little sister who is too young to understand what is going on. The older daughter who initially hates her father but who grows closer to him as the movie progresses.

The film is structured as being a road movie without being one. Noting bad with that but perhaps watch Little Miss Sunshine if you like that. It's a good movie that is actually about something. I think the director also liked that movie but forgot to copy the most important part.

Don't go see this. Really. Some of the scenes are so weird that it feels like a 12 year old did the cut.

What was the point to any of it, what was the point in Clooney going to find the man who was having an affair with his wife?


Also the most ridiculous scene in the whole film (for me at least) takes place at the end of the film when Judy Greer's character burst out in tears. Over a person who she has never met. Who her husband was seeing on the side. A character who only made 2 brief appearances in the movie until then but who we are supposed to emphasize with?!?!

I ran out of the theatre when I saw the performance of the little girl hearing her mother was going to die. So bad.

Without looking back.

Hahaha

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post #12 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

Meh..this film is a lot like Sideways in that you have characters who all have sordid lives and secrets behind their image that comes out in dysfunctional and therapeutic ways.

But paul giamatti owned his role and made Sideways awesome whereas Clooney playing the easy card and of course had to be the sole inheritor of their million dollar trust fund..the head honcho who has "problems". "Oh poor me, I don't know what to do with all this money that I never earned". It was all too self serving BS I couldn't wait til it was over...all his kids were annoying spoiled ass holes you can't root for.

He was the trust fund administrator. Not the sole inheritor. I don't think that makes any difference to your feelings about the movie, but I found that this factor compounded the gravity of his situation as he had to deal with his wife's imminent death, coping with the discovery of his wife's infidelity, and then a gaggle of cousins eager to cash out the trust fund regardless of what. All elements of an intriguing tapestry of human emotions and predicaments. There are a lot more subtle family dynamics going on that made it an engaging movie.
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post #13 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

The films starts with 5 minutes of voice over by Clooney. Red flag #1...

It is dull, and he acts the same in ALL HIS MOVIES (of which I have seen a few). The man got a big break in Hollywood ONLY because of his looks and he is related to Rosemary Clooney.

I watched this movie and wow, Clooney's acting was bland and the same expression all through this movie honestly how could he get a golden globe never mind another Oscar nom?!

Huge cliche of a story. Tragedy happens within family and shakes them up while they grow closer to each other.

Because of that enormous cliche most of the characters next to Clooney are generic. The comic relief boyfriend. The little sister who is too young to understand what is going on. The older daughter who initially hates her father but who grows closer to him as the movie progresses.

The film is structured as being a road movie without being one. Noting bad with that but perhaps watch Little Miss Sunshine if you like that. It's a good movie that is actually about something. I think the director also liked that movie but forgot to copy the most important part.

Don't go see this. Really. Some of the scenes are so weird that it feels like a 12 year old did the cut.

What was the point to any of it, what was the point in Clooney going to find the man who was having an affair with his wife?


Also the most ridiculous scene in the whole film (for me at least) takes place at the end of the film when Judy Greer's character burst out in tears. Over a person who she has never met. Who her husband was seeing on the side. A character who only made 2 brief appearances in the movie until then but who we are supposed to emphasize with?!?!

I ran out of the theatre when I saw the performance of the little girl hearing her mother was going to die. So bad.

Without looking back.

Some interesting observations there especially calling it a road movie without being on the "road". That one was one of my thoughts as well, but I thought that was kind of a positive here to putting a twist on that "genre" if you will.
Yes the circumstances and the characters were, familiar and predictable, but I thought they were believable and honest. I thought the younger girl performance was spot on, Clooney was not type cast here, yet he excelled nonetheless. I though that the last minute change of heart of the land deal was a bit all too cliched, but it was in line with the characters the writer[ who I believe is a Hawaii native who played Clooney's secretary ] have created. Unlike you I do recommend for viewing, but I didn't think it was deserving of the BP nod, but nonetheless it's a good movie.

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post #14 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 12:59 AM
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Agree. Mediocre film at best.

Clooney cannot act. He's always the same in every role.

Structurally the movie meanders and is incoherent. Three stories told here, one poorly; another is superfluous:

1) Middle-aged man is forced to confront his shortcomings as father and husband by the sudden death of his wife. Competent acting and writing of daughters makes this OK. I liked the daughters, esp. the older one. I also liked the minor character of Julie Speers, but the whole subplot about the wife's infidelity lacks cohesion and drama. Incidentally, I would never take my daughter to confront the man who has cuckolded me; the girl has suffered enough.

2) Theme of death/human mortality not at all dealt with adequately. It's sanitized and wrapped in plastic.

3) Story about land just an excuse for Clooney and Hollywood to pat themselves on the back for their sanctimonious political correctness, an excuse for advocating for indigenous culture and taking a jab at capitalism (which, of course, they profit from handsomely).

Speaking of indigenous culture, I positively HATE slack key. The movie runs at the mouth with this rubbery mush.

Film functions as a travelogue for Hawaii, with meaningless pretty pictures.

Serious, critically-acclaimed, mainstream adult dramas are few and far between these days. The last two I've seen, this and The Help, have both been ruined by politically correct agendas. I'm sick and tired of Hollywood preaching to me and ramming their biases down my throat. It reflects a media culture of conformity, intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice.


4/10 stars
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post #15 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
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... The movie runs at the mouth with this rubbery mush. ...

That made me chuckle.
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post #16 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

.

Zoey, your lack of fondness for Mr. Clooney aside, for just a moment...
I have spent a GREAT deal of time in Hawaii, and have spent a great deal of time with Hawaiians.
Their outlook on LIFE is remarkably different from anywhere else in this country I am familiar with.
I saw nothing in this movie that seemed implausible (in terms of behavior).
Hawaiians...ARE different....in a good way...IMO.

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post #17 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 06:03 AM
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Wow! Maybe I wasn't the only one drinking last night.

Did someone throw the cure for cancer in a bonfire? Was the local pharmacy out of meds? So much energy expelled to characterize a fictional movie.
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post #18 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Maybe I wasn't the only one drinking last night.

Did someone throw the cure for cancer in a bonfire? Was the local pharmacy out of meds? So much energy expelled to characterize a GREAT fictional movie.

fixed.

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post #19 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
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Zoey, your lack of fondness for Mr. Clooney aside, for just a moment...
I have spent a GREAT deal of time in Hawaii, and have spent a great deal of time with Hawaiians.
Their outlook on LIFE is remarkably different from anywhere else in this country I am familiar with.
I saw nothing in this movie that seemed implausible (in terms of behavior).
Hawaiians...ARE different....in a good way...IMO.

Oh I know, it's like a different planet over there so much more laid back and not so much a rat race. Keep in mind and as implausible as it may seem to you guys when I dislike a film I enjoy breaking it down and poking fun at it... but I WILL NEVER EVER discourage anyone from seeing it.

Some do and make sure nobody sees it but for me it's the opposite esp when a film like the descendants which was so well received and a family film no way would I not recommend it...sometimes on something like Machete but that's rare. But that doesn't mean I won't give an evaluation and feedback. The more movies one can enjoy, the better so keep that in mind next you see me berating a film which is right around the block.
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post #20 of 57 Old 04-22-2012, 03:28 PM
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Enjoyed the film. This style can be good if you're in the right mood.
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post #21 of 57 Old 04-23-2012, 10:10 AM
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Nice cinematography, good story but not remarkable. Best picture? No. Best actor? No. If the movie had been made with an unknown cast with a smaller budget it would not have garnered all of the media attention it did. It seemed like a straight to Netflix type of film, good for a casual viewing.

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post #22 of 57 Old 08-09-2012, 01:29 AM
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I watched thing one tonight and REALLY enjoyed it. I was wasted afterwards. Probably the issue that some folks here have is that it's a movie designed for grownups. But, don't worry, there will probably be another Fast and Furious flick or some such.

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post #23 of 57 Old 08-09-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I watched thing one tonight and REALLY enjoyed it. I was wasted afterwards. Probably the issue that some folks here have is that it's a movie designed for grownups. But, don't worry, there will probably be another Fast and Furious flick or some such.
It is absolutely a movie for grown-ups.wink.gif

Easily one of last year's best.
In fact, I rate it higher than The Artist.

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post #24 of 57 Old 08-09-2012, 01:04 PM
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It is dull, and he acts the same in ALL HIS MOVIES (of which I have seen a few).
Do you like Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, Cary Grant, James Stewart, James Cagney?


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post #25 of 57 Old 08-10-2012, 05:19 PM
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I think Clooney is one of his generation's finest film actors. But you have to pay attention, his characterizations are at the granular level, very subtle conveyance of mood and motivation and whatever.

Michael Clayton and Out Of Sight are my two favorites of his, and he's quite different in those two.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

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post #26 of 57 Old 08-10-2012, 05:35 PM
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Also "Up in the Air" as well.

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post #27 of 57 Old 08-10-2012, 05:54 PM
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I warmed up to Clooney after The American; he has came a long way from ER, not just a pretty face anymore. I do not share his political viewpoint, but enjoyed the movie all the same, as I enjoyed MI-4 regardless of Tom Cruise's personal life and belief.

For an old fart, I do enjoy the Descendants but not a keeper, just another rental. There were a lot of subtleties in this movie that I would not have fathomed during my younger days. It is one of those movies that I have to be in the mood to watch, unlike something like Transformers.
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post #28 of 57 Old 08-10-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
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Also "Up in the Air" as well.

Yeah, throw that in too, but I have a hard time noticing George when Vera is anywhere around - I just love her.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #29 of 57 Old 08-10-2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
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Do you like Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, Cary Grant, James Stewart, James Cagney?
I'm not sure what's your point, are you trying to say those actors you mentioned were similar in that they all acted the same?

well if you are, it's a lame attempt because trying to lump clooney with that list is like trying to lump a Fiat with a Shelby. In a totally diff league.
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post #30 of 57 Old 08-11-2012, 02:05 AM
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I really liked the movie. It seemed a pretty accurate portrayal of life here. Most films filmed here are going to look like a travelogue for Hawaii since it's pretty hard to take a bad picture anywhere you point the camera. Hawaii actually looks just like it did in the movie.

I thought the kid who played Sid did a wonderful job of a high school jock with a Punahou education. (I believe the director has a friend that went to Punahou he would visit here.) Smart, articulate and a lot happening below the surface if you get past his slacker style. I also think Bo Bridges was perfect as the semi-alcoholic trust fund baby. The scenes on Kauai in the bar were spot on.

At the end when Clooney changes his mind and doesn't go with developing the land is not really the perfect Hollywood ending. He still needs to figure out how to keep it without developing it. The taxes must be killer on that much private land. Something will need to be done in the future, whether it's giving some back to state or developing a portion.

Slack Key/Hawaiian music is everywhere so it seemed natural there was so much of it in this movie. About four months ago I went to a service for a friend who had died and Jeff Peterson played a song he had written for the occasion.

It's always kind of cool to see places you recognize in a movie and this one had tons of places for me. From Queens hospital, the corner Clooney jogs around, the house where Clooney lives, Punahou school, streets in Kahala where the realtor has a listing, just about every scene was recognizable to me.

My daughter is 22 now and I can totally see us going together to check out a guy if my wife was having an affair.

I didn't think they glossed over Clooney's wife's death. In my experience, she seemed to go down hill quickly and looked like how someone would look after pulling life support, which I have had to do.

I didn't see any holes in the movie. I'm neutral on Clooney. If he got any initial breaks because of Rosemary, he still had to eventually earn his own way, which in my opinion, he has. There's many kids of famous actors that try but don't really succeed. Sylvester Stallone's kid who recently past away comes to mind. Also, how's Bruce Willis kid's career going? But then I don't particularly like Tim Robbins so it's hard for me to accept the character he's playing even if he's doing a great job, so I can understand someone not liking Clooney.

The author Kaui Hart Hemmings was born in Hawaii. Her dad, big wave surfer, Fred Hemmings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hemmings was also born here, so she does have some sense of what it is like to grow up and live in Hawaii.

Great movie and one that I think will hold up over time.

Aloha.
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