Mystic River [R]

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by sch2383, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I saw it tonight and I was blown away. After it ended, I just had to sit there for a little bit to collect myself. It was one of the best movies I have seen in the past 4 or 5 years. You owe it to yourself to go see it. Everybody was great, especially Sean Penn and Tim Robbins. It is not often a movie lives up to its hype, but Mystic River did.
     
  2. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
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    It took cinema 108 years to find it's Vermeer, whereby offscreen sources of light do not illuminate the characters' souls as we would expect, but rather hide their sins. Eastwood is a master.
     
  3. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I consider myself an educated person, and yet I have absolutely no idea what this all means. I can literally watch it zip right over my head. This is why GringoTex is one of my favorite posters.
     
  4. art

    art Member

    Jul 2, 2000
    Portland OR
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He liked it. As did I. It's my kind of film...all about the writing and acting. Which are both outstanding.
     
  5. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
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    Writing and acting can only take you as far as a good made-for-tv movie. The emotional impact is created through Eastwood's harrowing lighting, framing and pacing. One critic said it was like a Law&Order episode written by Shakespeare. I disagree. It's like a Law&Order episode painted by Vermeer.
     
  6. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
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    Bolivia
    I'm a big fan of yours,too.
     
  7. art

    art Member

    Jul 2, 2000
    Portland OR
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That Dutch art dealer? Perhaps. If "simplicity masking mystery" is your thing, I guess that is an apt description. I don't hate Vermeer's paintings, though I've never really understood his boyfan following.

    Sorry, that kinda sounded rude. I mean no disrespect.

    Still, the spoken word is king in my world.
     
  8. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
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    "Simplicity masking mystery" has nothing to do with Vermeers. Maybe that's why you don't understand his paintings.

    That's fine, but it's anti-cinema. Spoken word is a theatrical construct. That's why cinema was born silent.
     
  9. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    And not technical limitations? Silent movies were shot from single POV, no zooms or movement, and as wordy as screen space allowed - a lot like theater.

    Though I do agree with your point. Looking forward to this film.
     
  10. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
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    For the the first 10 years, as filmmakers were figuring out the medium. But then for the next 20 years, the camera moved in silent films more than it would at any time until the 1960s. Dialogue was at a very minimum- maybe a few hundred words per film. POV was always plural (a "subjective" cinema wasn't experimented with until later).

    As for technical limitations: sound and color could have been used from the very beginning if thought important. But it just seemed natural that movies be silent and in b&w. Because that's the way we dream.
     
  11. art

    art Member

    Jul 2, 2000
    Portland OR
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sure it does. Vermeer painitings are loaded with symbolism and allegory.

    Me, I prefer Mandarian or Giger.
     
  12. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Back to the movie itself,


    [spolier alert]















    the general consensus is that it represents a dialectic response to Eastwood's earlier work. I'm not so sure I agree with this. The enactment of vigilante violence is very similar to High Plains Drifter, with one exception: whereas the Lone Gunman's thirst was motivated by revenge, Penn's thirst is motivated by justice. His cause for violence is even more noble. Is his tragedy that he was morally wrong or that he simply made a mistake? Besides, Robbins' murder is almost a mercy killing anyway. Thoughts?
     
  13. Soccernova78

    Soccernova78 Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Beyond The Infinite
    Saw it yesteday and I concur completely. It was the best movie I have seen in years. Robbins gave an absolutely haunting performance. Somehow it was simultaneously lyrical and hard edged. Beautiful yet relentlessly unsentimental. After a slow start the story had me riveted and guessing for the remainder of the movie.
     
  14. cj herrera

    cj herrera New Member

    May 7, 1999
    Oakland, damn straig
    MORE SPOILER DISCUSSION>>>>>>>>










    I'm not sure on the first question, but my hunch is both. He is certainly morally compromised (modern tragedy) and certainly toyed with by fate (classical tragedy).

    What's really interesting about the morality/situational ethics aspect is Laura Linney's character -- talk about an enabler. That last speech of hers was creepy beyond belief and pretty damn good. That's a whole universe they've created, built around their own sense of right and wrong.

    re: the Robbins' question.
    I disagree on the mercy killing, if only for his son. Eastwood sure drives that point home at the end -- the lifelong, continually spiraling effects of all this as played out on the boy's face at the end.

    But it seems like Robbins' Dave had a shot at pulling it together -- he was doing a decent job with his son, and that would be the only redemption/cure for his pain. Although if you play the story out, and you think of Robbins doing time for the murder he committed, than maybe I'm wrong as wrong can be.

    As completely off topic side note, let me just say this was not the best moviegoing choice for a new parent. Great, but extremely difficult. It's weird to think that all my experiences-- art and otherwise--are now permanently changed.
     
  15. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    SPOILERS






















    OK,

    there seems to be discussion about the ending and motivation, tragedy, etc.. I didn't take it that way. I thought the important point was that there is no definitve way to ascribe motivation to the act of violence. Violence is its own impulse, decorated by such a strange mix of motivation that tries to justify/control/explain it. "Justice," for instance, is a way to put a culturally acceptable spin onto the same basic impulse as murder. In this case, Penn's motives seem to be a thick soup, not just "justice" but also a seeming desire for power as well as the desire to rid himself of one of his most painful memories (It struck me that he probably always had some deep-seated desire to kill Dave, which sublimated itself into his violent lifestyle.). To hold that he had any single motivation is to oversimplify rthe picture.True motivation becomes a muddy issue, but the demanding nature of the impulse is everpresent and clear.

    That may be a poor reading, but it's an interesting one.
     
  16. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I was thinking that the a perfect ending would have been Penn's character walking down the street. When the parade started, I was wondering what the hell was going on out there, but after the speech and the final looks shared by the characters it made sense.
     
  17. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    I've seen it twice more since my original posts and have come to some conclusions: Laura Linney's character is the only moral one in the story, as she's the only one who articulates a clear moral vision. Her children will never suffer society's molestation, and she will assure that her husband will continue to finacially support the families of the lost souls he's done away with. It's a cruel and cold vision- but a moral one.

    The boy has the same lost look on his face whenever he's with his dad. Robbins is a doomed character who only causes misery for his family. Marcia Gay Harden betrays him because it's the only way she can save her family.

    His son was his lifesaver, when as a father, he should be his son's lifesaver. It was an inverted relationship that could only end in tragedy. It's better that he's dead.

    I agree completely. I'm also a parent of a young child, and if nothing else, this film stressed to me that fatherhood isn't merely a gift or a blessing. It's a responsibility to protect innocence, and one's entire worth should be based on the success therein.
     
  18. BadAzzSnowboarder

    BadAzzSnowboarder New Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Malibu, CA
    Jimmy's wife towards the end of the film did what any loyal wife who puts priorities towards her family more than anything else would have done. Judging or coming to her own conclusions on what was the right thing to do or not the right thing to do was besides the point in her mind. What was most important was that her husband's past misdeeds and the one he had inadvertently committed should never contribute to their children being brought up in a broken home with Jimmy in prison. She laid all of that trip on him during that speech of hers to tend to his guilty conscience and to ease his passage to move on. Why should their children, who are innocent in Jimmy's tarnished past, be raised fatherless? This was what drove his wife to convince him to not turn himself in.

    With destiny and poetic justice being such a prevalent force all throughout the movie, in the end, I sensed Jimmy would in fact have a grim meeting with destiny once more for his sins. You have to remember, it was the son of the father he had murdered who then murdered his daughter. It wasn't just coincidence that when Just-Ray Harris' son and his friend were playing with a gun, it struck Jimmy's daughter. Fate and poetic justice had to do with her selection. Jimmy's daughter was sacrificed as consequence for his murder of Ray Harris. A death that left the Harris children without a father and to be brought up in a broken home.

    In the end scene, Sean seemed to know this by giving Jimmy that hand gesture resembling a hand-gun and not bothering to arrest him. Whatever future bodes for Jimmy, it won't be one with closure as the lingering shot of a dejected Dave's son had shown. Fate and poetic justice will once again come back to haunt Jimmy.

    Regarding the issue of whether Dave's death was a mercy killing or not, I believe it was. Jimmy states in the movie that the last time he saw the Dave he knew, was when he was in the backseat being taken away and when he came back it wasn't him anymore. Dave was already dead when he escaped. Jimmy did him a favor by releasing him from his own misery and his own demons. Even all throughout the movie, Dave trudged along like a zombie trapped inside his own horrific past.

    Dave was as dead as the vampires he kept rambling about in a stream-of-consciousness meltdown in that scene with him and and his wife.
     
  19. 655321

    655321 New Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    The Mission, SF
    Guys...my girlfriend and I saw this last night and were pretty moved by it. I copied and pasted some of the earlier postings here and she sent this to me in reply (it touches on a couple of things that noone else has yet).

    Once again...spoiler.















    "...what about Sean
    (Kevin Bacon)'s wife & the silent calls? what relevance did that really
    serve? Does it help explain why Sean doesn't arrest Jimmy (by helping to
    assert the image of him having idealistic family views/values)? That wasn't
    explained/ developed enough for my liking, or maybe I just missed something.
    . .


    Or does Sean not arrest Jimmy b/c they have an unwavering bond, a
    brotherhood so to speak, b/c they were both left to watch Davey being taken
    away, only to have him return & in a sense serve as a constant reminder that
    it could've just as easily have been them? (Assuming that Jimmy is not
    arrested.)


    The motive, or more appropriately non-motive, of the shooting death of
    Jimmy's daughter doesn't really sit well with me. The two boys were
    supposedly just playing with the gun? They seem a little old for that & b/c
    the younger, mute Harris boy seems so dependent on his older brother, I
    think it's more of a motive to do what they did. . .like they were trying to
    scare/threaten her and it just got out of hand, things went too far.
    (Remember, she was beaten with a hockey stick, too.) Even Sean seems to
    gloss over this when sitting on the curb telling Jimmy "why" they killed
    her. I dunno, it just seems a little far-fetched, almost too much like a
    classic tragedy, too Shakespearean, too coincidental; but then again, maybe
    that's the point. That the younger Harris brother is so dependent on his
    older brother (sorry, names are escaping me) is made clear to the audience,
    that that's another tragedy -- he, the younger Harris, will ultimately end
    up alone.


    Thinking about Jimmy's wife's speech at the end of the movie, it doesn't
    seem as far-fetched as my first impression led me to believe. No one
    mentioned this, but she wasn't the mother of the older daughter. She
    seemed to have a jealous tendency towards the older daughter, which to me
    are explicitly evident in two scenes: at the hospital cafeteria when Jimmy
    is describing his former wife; and on the morning of the First Communion,
    when Jimmy gets a call in to help out at the store & his wife reminds him
    that he also has 2 other little girls. I'm not saying that she'd ever wish
    this on the eldest daughter, but I think she feels very protective of her
    own family, her flesh & blood, and her speech in the bedroom just serves as
    a reminder of how important she views her family.
     
  20. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    I saw this Sunday night. I definately need to see it again. I missed the first 5 minutes which really pissed me off, but I gathered what happened in those minutes. Still I feel the movie would have hitme much more had I actually seen the beginning.
     
  21. Levante

    Levante Member+

    Jul 28, 2001
    I saw this last night and quite frankly, I was disappointed. Perhaps it was all the hype that was built around it and it didn't live up to my expectations.


    Some of my thoughts.

    Dave's killing wasn't just a mercy killing. At that point Jimmy was going to kill him if he admitted to the killing of his daughter because it seemed like the most plausible explanation. Jimmy, however, uses Dave's tragedy to justify his actions when he says that "Dave left when they saw the car leave."

    Tim Robbins was excellent in this film, the changes in his emotions from subdued, lost Dave, to an angry and raging lunatic were brilliant.

    Dave's is a lost cause, but it seems like he let it get to that point. He makes it clear to Jimmy when he's pleading for his life. You have to wonder, when someone that was sexually abused saw this film, would they sympathize with Dave or abhor his lack of fighting spirit?

    Sean isn't developed in the story. I'd have liked to have known more about the events leading up to the falling out with his wife.

    I agree with Gringo.......if anything, this movie makes me understand that fatherhood won't be just a miracle or a gift. It will be a huge responsibility where as a parent I will have to decide when to protect and when to let my kids grow.

    Jimmy had all of this coming to him.........and I think that he has more to pay.



    Overall.....I expected more though.
     

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