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sethos

The First Look/Reviews Thread

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It's why the review committees try to never set up screenings near LA because you get so many poser wanna-bees trying to prove how superior they are.

 

Where do they tend to set up the screenings then, and what are the purposes of the screenings?

 

Usually 30 miles away in orange county. The purpose is to try and get a sense of how the movie is playing to an average audience. Not an undustry crowd of people that make movies for a living.

 

Around LA you get many who say to the screeners handing out free tickets -- "no, i'm not in the industry" and then they go and get in the talk-about after the film. And when you ask a wanna-bee poser or even a seasoned pro what he thinks should change they suddenly get the spotlight to flex their superior knowledge. This can actually skew the results and cause the film to be altered in ways that could actually hurt it. It's my theory that audience members are not critics and therefore should not be asked technical questions of what should be changed.

 

"Did you like the lead character?" "No, he was nasty and kicked cats..." "Well we better make him more likabe then." Well what if that was the intention ? That actual statement was made in one the reviews - "John is a smart ass - isn;t very likable" - as if that were a bad thing. Asking a generakl audience to edit your film is assinine and can round off every interesting edge..

 

You're so right.

Movie by audience consensus is horrible compared with those who go out and make their work and let it stand in its own right. I've always said that's got to be the main driving force behind Constanteen's motivation being butchered.

"Mainstream movie audiences are not ready for an anti-hero"

 

I've been to a few screenings in London where the producers have asked questions - but they tend to be smaller focus group screenings. I think single scene changes can be derived from those screenings - eg "Why is that kid with a hat following Keanu around in the first place?" but not "Why is Keanu's character such a dick?". Bloody heck, Hollywood, CHALLENGE YOUR AUDIENCE A BIT !

 

I remember one film - a gentle British comedy of the Ken Loach type, where they had a scene of a kid wanking on the sofa, and they overegged the scene by cutting backwards and forwards from the kid to his mom walking up the garden path. I thought it was an attempt to match the Farrelly Bros and AMerican Pie type of thing, and told the director so (also telling him that I loved the film, and there was this bit with a homeless man who seemed to symbolise Jesus ... and the director said "Erm, we hadn't thought of that.")

In the finished version, that scene was three cuts - kid wanking on sofa, mom walking into house looking at kid on sofa in horror, kid embrrassedly running off clutching the Freemans Catalogue to his groin. Gosh British films are so understated !

 

Still, they changed the soundtrack from all the ska songs to a very ordinary one :-(

 

But you know, I am paying them to make me a film and entertain me, not to try and make MY film.

 

Imagine Da Vinci ...

 

"Yes, Leo, that's nice, but can you give her a smile where we can see her teeth?"

"And a castle in the background. Being invaded by Vikings."

"Oh and perhaps some titty."

"And a nicer hat."

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Well, to be fair Adrian, I've heard that that's exactly how that UFO ended up in the Mona Lisa!

 

Ah, and thank you Sethos.

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Guys, I want to ask something. I was reading those reviews from moviehole, and in one of them the person says about Constantine: "I can understand some of his reasoning in dealing with what he has to deal with but he just comes across as a jerk though out the whole movie and when you don't give damn about the main character, that's when you know the movie is in trouble."

 

Please, forgive me if I´m saying a stupid thing (I´m not a long time fan of the comic), but isn´t that just the way John Constantine acts the whole time, like a jerk?

 

No, he's not a jerk all the time. He has a deep love and respect for his sister and neice, and whilst he does take the piss out of Chas, it's always fairly affectionate. He's also a stand-up guy to his friends when he's not sacrificing them or accidentally putting them in the path of danger. Read Dangerous Habits and you'll see that when he's not playing the role of the brash, nasty magician, Constantine takes time out to make friends with an elderly dying man and puts his life on the line to save the soul of one of his friends. There's also the rather moving scene where he can't bring himself to tell Chas about his illness.

 

The problem with the script (this may be altered post screening) is that John doesn't really have any friends, so the other side of his personality (assuming the movie version has one) is never given a chance to shine. This is largely down to Chas' transformation from hard-nosed Cockney ex-criminal into a puppy-eyed loser who idolises Constantine. Since ChaZ is so young, the only reason he hangs around with Constantine is that he wants to become him. And since John is (chortle) so old, they can't think of any plausible reason why he'd want this annoying little runt trying to hump his leg, so they have him treat ChaZ like shit and lose him at every opportunity. Naturally, this just makes him look like a twat.

 

Without a Chas of similar age, John's only peer is Papa Midnite, and they have such an antagonistic relationship that there's only one bit of likeable banter between them, right at the end of the film before Constantine goes charging in to save the day.

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Very good post James, all I'd add is that the movie Constantine is driven by his need to appease God, to win his way into Heaven. In Dangerous Habits, John had accepted his death by cancer till he doomed himself to becoming the First's personal fucktoy by crossing him in order to save an old friend's soul.

 

Tears, interesting info, thanks for sharing.

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James is bang on. Constantine is realistic, so he's a shit sometimes, he's sweet and decent at others. He's the "realest" character in comics (I think) because he is so fully rounded. Humans let each other down all the time, in a million different ways, with consequences ranging from tiny to catastrophic, John is pitched somewhere in the middle, as are we all.

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Chas sprouts wings and becomes an angel at the end?!!!!  Who the fuck's idea was that????  Sorry but I loved the first screening and din;t see this last one and that certainly wasn't in there or in any of the scripts.  Fuck, why even try sometimes...

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I think we're a bad influence on you Tears, you're starting to sound more and more like Tom!

 

The Chaz-centric scene in question does seem to be terribly ill-advised and sounds like the kind of thing that'd have an audience guffawing amongst themselves - can't you just picture the cheese-tastic special effects involved ? Do you think he'll wear his flatcap for that bit ?

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i just hope we get chainsaw-wielding John in Constantine 2, just like in Tainted Love (or was it Fear and Loathing?)

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"Fear & Loathing", Rogan.

BUT, be careful what you wish for! We'll end up with Demon Constantine wearing a hockey mask, carrying around a chainsaw killing innocent people and nice angels

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I can already see it in my mind : Freddy VS Jason VS Constantine... :p

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The Chaz-centric scene in question does seem to be terribly ill-advised and sounds like the kind of thing that'd have an audience guffawing amongst themselves - can't you just picture the cheese-tastic special effects involved ?  Do you think he'll wear his flatcap for that bit ?

 

No no no no no. I want the film to do well but this sounds like a huge mistake. I hope someone sees sense and gets rid of it, assuming there's still time before things become set in stone.

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Did they have to use the same gun as Van Helsing? I'm sure it's probably from the comic

 

Oooh. Ill informed. That made me very uncomfortable.

 

 

they'll probably justify it by saying it's the shotgun from Ennis's run, though Johnny-boy never used it as such... :(

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I can understand people not wanting the movie to be spoiled for them, but after going into the reviews without fair warning, I'm not upset.  The spoilers just make the movie sound even stupider than we had previously believed it to be.

 

same here. whether I'll be watching it or not will depend exclusively on my mood in a given day and how much money I have. Quite frankly, it doesn't seem to be the kind of movie I enjoy watching, so if it's not a good adaptation of the comic (and we all know the answer to that) and it's not my cup of tea, it looks like I'll be waiting until it's aired on cable tv.

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You know, I always found the "Ace of Winchester's" to be the silliest plot thread in all of "Hellblazer", so it only makes sense that they'd try to adapt it for the movie (and, of course, make it worse!).

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It was mentioned briefly in "Confessions of an Irish Rebel" (the one right after Damnation's Flame). John and Brendan nicked it from Papa Midnite.

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...Which was the reason that Midnite had the vendetta against John.

It's a rifle or a shotgun that is meant to kill demons. Seemed too superheroey for my taste. Didn't fit with "Hellblazer", IMO.

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...Which was the reason that Midnite had the vendetta against John.

It's a rifle or a shotgun that is meant to kill demons. Seemed too superheroey for my taste. Didn't fit with "Hellblazer", IMO.

 

They didn't explain what the gun did till it appeared in Hitman, though.

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