Did Paul Schrader deserve to be bounced?

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Schrader: Social Menace?

Paul, you gotta get out of here, man.
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Total votes : 46

Postby Eyeball Kid » Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:03 pm

My only quibble with The Card Counter is Schrader doesn't come up with a believable scenario where Haddish and Isaac's characters would seriously be interested in one another. It's like he first wanted to do the Bresson ending so he had to reverse-engineer a reason to get there.
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Postby loaf angel » Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:32 pm

lol

CARD COUNTER has opened so it's safe to return to Facebook. Focus was worried how a seemingly innocuous social media comment can distract from their efforts to promote a film (they had such an experience with Stillwater). What happened while I was gone? Entered sobriety (seven weeks and counting). Saw BRUCE ON BWAY again, even more moving the second time. Over the years Bruce physical presence has morphed from Billy the Kid to a dustbowl portrait by Walker Evans. Venice, Telluride. Received favorable reviews on Card Counter. Announced next project, Master Gardener. Enjoyed HACKS--like most others I know. SWAN SONG surprisingly stuck in mind (who knew Sandusky Ohio was ground zero for male homosexuality?). Thought Jamie Dornan in BELFAST a revelation.
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:36 pm

I wonder if his embracing sobriety will mean fewer of his, uh, wilder FB posts
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Postby Executive Producer » Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:49 pm

yeah this was incredible, the music being Light Sleeper Jr made it especially great but it's the perfect follow up to First Reformed

Eyeball Kid wrote:What did Isaac say on the phone after his "reenactment" with Dafoe? I didn't quite catch it.Toggle Spoiler


he said I'd like to report a homicide and then gave the addressToggle Spoiler
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:03 pm

I don't know anything about real-world laws regarding this sort of thing but he went back to military prison after killing Dafoe? This was done as a civilian.Toggle Spoiler
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Postby blurst of times » Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:31 pm

he's back on facebook lol


saw card counter yesterday. thought it was great! oddly appropriate movie to watch on 9/11. i don't know if this is a gripe exactly, but i was really hoping that the story didn't end the way it did (with cirk going to kill gordo. when isaac never explicitly tells him not to go after him during their motel sit-down, i had a strong feeling that's exactly what would happenToggle Spoiler), but the more i think about it, the more i realize it was inevitable. agree that it's a fitting follow-up to first reformed.
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Postby badhat » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:20 pm

i got to page 3 of this thread before realizing it wasnt about

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Postby delgriffith » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:27 pm

i didn't think this was very good, unfortunately. i guess i'll keep turning it over in my mind for a while
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Postby Buzz Fledderjohn » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:32 pm

not much about the haddish character made sense, including the actress playing her (not good!)

otherwise thought this was great
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Postby delgriffith » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:47 pm

may have been exacerbated by me being high but the ADR during the scene where they're walking through the light park was remarkably bad. to the point where i thought it was weirdly amazing/deliberately bad?
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Postby Executive Producer » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:48 pm

yeha I thought it was switching narrators for a sec
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Postby Buzz Fledderjohn » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:54 pm

delgriffith wrote:may have been exacerbated by me being high but the ADR during the scene where they're walking through the light park was remarkably bad. to the point where i thought it was weirdly amazing/deliberately bad?


100%, the scene was fine until you saw them up close talking
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Postby Organic Croutons » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:55 pm

man I am a hater. Came to this thread expecting to find like minded people shitting on this. Went to see it on the strength of First Reformed, some of Paul Schrader's screenwriting, and liking Oscar Isaac. Went in blind besides that...


thought it was just two stories that made no sense together. the abu ghraib story meets poker/gambling

I know "liking" characters isnt always the aim but I was basically ambivalent to every single character. didnt like didnt dislike, wasn't interested

not enough willem dafoe he was barely in it. weirdly cast too.

didn't like the music

the fingers on the glass at the end was god awful, the final 5-10 seconds of the movie

the poker scenes were completely dull

someone explain the sheets wrapped around all the hotel furniture? this was cool and obviously some sort of traumatic response to PTSD/prison/abu ghraib or whatever but it was sort of surreal and just completely out of place to the entire rest of the movie

the scene at the end with the kid where he basically did scared straight to him to try to set his life on track. wtf?

I am a big poker player and I understand that most people aren't so you've sort of got to dumb things down a bit. but the scene in the diner where he tells the kid the "best hand of texas holdem ever played" or whatever was really quite ordinary. A card counter would never promote or play roulette unless he was just being destructive. Card counting and poker are also 2 entirely different skills but thats a minor gripe, I'm sure there's some people who would do both I guess? But it's sort of like being a dual sport Deion Sanders athlete or something.

Thought it sucked as a poker movie. Sucked as a revenge movie. Didn't even try really on the surrealism front so I guess gets a pass there. Sucked as a abu ghraib/torture/PTSD movie

lots of sort of explaining to the audience needlessly. almost like inception shit with Ellen Page. Like "here is what a horse/staker/stable is. In Holdem 3 cards come these are community cards. Zzzzzzzzz
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Postby Buzz Fledderjohn » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:56 pm

i thought tye sheridan was bad for the first bit but then realized he's just kind of playing a dumb kid and think he pulled that off fine
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Postby Organic Croutons » Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:01 pm

Also the casino interiors were all bland as fuck. If you wanted to make it shitty and depressing they could've done a way better job. If you just wanted to make it boring and mundane then fine, mission accomplished along with the rest of the film. Most of those poker rooms just looked offsite in a Marriot convention room somewhere. The USA player guy was idiotic too. I sort get what the intention was there but that's not a thing.... Like the caricature isn't even really rooted in anything.
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Postby Organic Croutons » Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:06 pm

There's also not a middleman(Tiffany Haddish) for stakers. This is not a thing. Not sure why Paul Schrader didn't just write a story where the woman was wealthy and was staking her own $$$??

Plenty of people get staking but its done on twitter, to friends in the community on large forums, from aspirational failed gamblers who are connected to a good gambler, etc. Not a semi seductress woman that stands over the games scanning for fresh meat.
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:32 am

I thought Haddish was fine she just seems to have been in a different movie.
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Postby Buzz Fledderjohn » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:58 am

Organic Croutons wrote:Also the casino interiors were all bland as fuck. If you wanted to make it shitty and depressing they could've done a way better job. If you just wanted to make it boring and mundane then fine, mission accomplished along with the rest of the film. Most of those poker rooms just looked offsite in a Marriot convention room somewhere. The USA player guy was idiotic too. I sort get what the intention was there but that's not a thing.... Like the caricature isn't even really rooted in anything.


seems like paul wanted to make this as hyper-real as possible - i don't think the goal was to make the casinos as shitty and depressing as possible or to make them snazzy bond casinos. i feel like most casinos in kansas city, cleveland, etc. are probably in the boring marriott middle ground depicted in this film. same with the bars and diners they sit at, hotels he stays at, etc. felt real to me.

whether that contributes to a good movie or not is your call though!

re: the USA guy and the "two movies, one about poker and one about torture" critiques, clearly paul set up a bunch of symbolism between the two (that was spelled out explicitly at one point when talking about going too far or whatever, forget the terms) so i assume that guy represents.....something
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Postby Buzz Fledderjohn » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:59 am

Eyeball Kid wrote:I thought Haddish was fine she just seems to have been in a different movie.


i just don't think she's a good actor. if we're grading her on a curve because she's funny and typically doesn't do roles like this, then i guess she gets like a C but i'd rather not grade actors on a curve. doesn't help that the character sucked too.
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:09 am

The whole romantic subplot was a dud and the only thing that kept me from loving this film. Still liked it a whole lot!

I've never seen Haddish in anything else.
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Postby Rainbow Battle Kid » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:16 am

Buzz Fledderjohn wrote:
delgriffith wrote:may have been exacerbated by me being high but the ADR during the scene where they're walking through the light park was remarkably bad. to the point where i thought it was weirdly amazing/deliberately bad?


100%, the scene was fine until you saw them up close talking


scorcese has some of the worst ADR in a lot of his movies, so maybe it's a "I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!" kinda thing
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:25 am

I also briefly thought Haddish's v.o. in that one scene was introducing her as a second narrator
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:26 am

I wonder if that was one of the scenes Schrader has said he would have reshot if production hadn't been suspended because of COVID
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Postby blurst of times » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:43 am

i thought haddish's character/performance were...fine? she was necessary to the movie imo as the angel over tell's shoulder, as opposed to cirk's devil. her being bubbly countered the darkness in the rest of the movie, and it made sense to me that tell would fall for her after he'd spent a bunch of time with her (and no one else besides cirk). it didn't always work i guess, but i didn't think she was glaringly bad either

but i agree that that scene in the park with the adr was distracting lol. i initially thought it was either a dream sequence or yeah, like she was becoming a narrator
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Postby A WOMAN IN TROUBLE » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:30 pm

i most liked thatoscar isaac’s character kept calling st louis “saint louie”
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Postby saranclaps » Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:37 am

Good flick.
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Postby landspeedrecord » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:11 am

rather be an idiot than a sheeple
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Postby spix et chicho » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:21 am

yeah for whatever reason I had the exact opposite reaction to all the points made on this page (I did notice the weird ADR but who *really* gives a shit about things like that? nerds that's who)
i was pretty skeptical for the first 30 mins but it won me over. the incongruousness of a gambling/torture/romance story somehow clicked together for me very well; as mentioned the Been Jr. score, tacky at first, burrows its way in through repetitiveness and becomes, as in light sleeper (as explained by schrader) the protagonist's 3rd voice. the first abu ghraib dream was harrowing as hell. and yeah I pretty much wanted to intensely fist pump when he inevitably got to the pickpocket ending again

it's true that haddish's acting was pretty mediocre but after a bit it didn't bother me. I watch those old 80s 90s movies like this and there's always a weak link like that and it doesn't really affect my feelings toward the film, and she was really quite charming as a love interest and source of warmth and levity, just a bit wooden in delivery sometimes. schrader hasn't entirely absorbed the like bressonian non-acting thing, he still demands rigorous performances from his leads, but I think it's good to keep those approaches in mind when skill level doesn't match up on the screen. as a viewer it feels petty to let those things distract you from the core of a film
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Postby spix et chicho » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:37 am

FILMMAKER: You’ve scored Light Sleeper with rock ballads that have an almost literal relationship to what’s on screen. The approach makes the film warmer but it also makes the emotional drama kind of obvious.

SCHRADER: Yeah, I don’t’ mind that. Some people have said that it’s a little too obvious, but I like it. That gets to be a personal call. When I wrote the script I had Bob Dylan’s lyrics and I asked Bob for fives songs and he offered five other songs. I didn’t want the songs he wanted to give me and he didn’t want to give me the songs I wanted. But the idea even from the script stage was to have a third voice for the character. He has his dialogue voice and his diary voice and his song voice, which is his most romantic voice. Having it come out of the mouth of another person allowed it to be more romantic. [The music] sounds sort of like film scoring but in fact it’s another way the character can talk to you.
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:12 pm

I loved the music in the film and thought it was one of the best things about it.
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