New Movie Hot Seat: J. Edgar

26 Nov

Welcome to New Movie Hot Seat where once a month we review new films that’s opened in theaters this month.  We will have a live debate discussing the pros and cons of one of the newly released films, then vote if it’s worth the money.  The film selected for our hot seat is J.Edgar.

The live debate will begin Saturday: 12/03/2011 @ 3pE/8pUTC

Please join us!!

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52 Responses to “New Movie Hot Seat: J. Edgar”

  1. Littlebells November 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM #

    Hi OB!

    I’m seeing The Muppets today! *squee* Where should I leave my review? Here?

    🙂

    • comic relief November 26, 2011 at 1:17 PM #

      LB,

      Good luck with the muppets. Yet, I don’t think the risk is high; I have heard good things about it.

  2. Littlebells November 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM #

    MUST. SEE. THE. MUPPETS!!!! Incorporating their films mashed with their television program, some great jokes, sweet songs, great cameos, and musical numbers, the nostalgia is incredible! I relived my entire childhood with them and am about to go buy the soundtrack.

    “munuh munhuh, doo doo dododoo. munhuh munuh Doo dododoo. munuh, munuh…”

    5 stars from me!

    • Littlebells November 26, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

      FYI, my song and dance 3 year old was dancing in the aisle throughout. I love that she enjoyed just as much as I did a million years ago! 🙂

      • comic relief November 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM #

        Guess it doesn’t matter but I thought “Mah Na Mah Na” was from Sesame Street. Oh, so what…..

        Glad to see that the “Rainbow Connection” is back too, regardless.

    • Open Book November 27, 2011 at 1:33 PM #

      Hahahaha!! This is AWESOME!!

  3. Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:03 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Welcome to our discussion. If u have seen the film please chime in, If not that’s o.k. a few of us have seen it.

  4. Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 3:04 PM #

    Hi OB!

    When did you see it and what was the general make up of the audience?

    • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:09 PM #

      I saw it on a Wednesday afternoon. The audience was a mix of ages 30’s to 60’s I guess? Male and female audience. No teens. Also, the theater was half full.

  5. comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM #

    The muppets were awsome, thanks LB.

    • Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 3:08 PM #

      Oh I’m glad you liked it, CR. It may not win any Oscar ( well maybe musical???) but it definitely takes you to that child inside. I am really hoping the CD is in my stocking. 😉

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:08 PM #

      Sorry, I did not mean to change the subject.

      • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:09 PM #

        Did u see J.Edgar CR?

        • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

          I SAW IT……………….. during the day so the make-up may not useful. There were mostly adults there.

          For my eyes, in his second major film role, I believed Armie Hammer from beginning to end. I’m sure he was too good for the tastes of many.

  6. Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

    How did the audience respond to the film?

    • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:14 PM #

      They seemed to be o.k. with it. but it was hard to tell. People were pretty quiet soooo!

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

      I’d say kind of “somber,” (sorry terrible adjective but I was so glued on the film I may not have noticed what was going on with the audience) it might be more exact to look at Rotten Tomatoes to get a clue.

      Content wise the film was possibly (too) packed with a lot of horrible American history. Also visible (Hoover’s) arch right wing political philosophy seemed to also be sharing the screen with a developing gay romance. Both seemed to be alternating positions from foreground to background.

      • ozzie20 December 3, 2011 at 3:24 PM #

        When you say horrible history do you mean the turbulent time period?

  7. Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:13 PM #

    So I have mixed feelings about this film. This was not one of Clint Eastwood’s best films IMO! The back and forth of Edgar as a young adult to old age was too unfocused.

    • Lurker December 3, 2011 at 3:18 PM #

      Sounds interesting, do you think that was due to the editor or the director’s vision?

      • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:23 PM #

        Clint is good at linear directing and story telling. IMO!! This was a non-linear approach and it was not structured well. After awhile it sorta dragged in places.

        • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:45 PM #

          I think the film would be memorable to most.

  8. Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 3:15 PM #

    I take it there were lots of flashbacks. If that is the case, how do you think a screenwriter can make a smoother transition between past and present? How do you think Eastwood or any other director could do a better job translating that to the screen?

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:24 PM #

      These are great questions. I did not realize (until I started talking about it) that I didn’t think Eastwood knew what he wanted to talk about.

    • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

      I think the actor needs to play the age of the character they are portraying rather than try to play someone ten or twenty years older. I would have preferred they spent more time on young Edgar. Also, there was way too much detail and complexity to have made this into a non-linear story. I think it would have worked better as a linear story with a few flashbacks at the end. IMO!!

  9. Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

    What I did like about the film was the focus on Edgar’s hard work ethic. It would have been nice to see more of that. Let me just say the old age make-up was sooo distracting. It became impossible to focus on the story. I HATE THAT!!!!

    • Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM #

      So pretty craptastic, eh?

    • Lurker December 3, 2011 at 3:36 PM #

      Any thoughts on Leo’s performance vs Billy Crudup (in Public Enemies) both playing J Edgar recently?

      • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:50 PM #

        Leo was very compelling.

        • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:21 PM #

          I have to agree.

  10. ozzie20 December 3, 2011 at 3:22 PM #

    I’m here! I did have a mini freak out when I couldn’t see the article at the top of the page before remembering to scroll down, lol! My brain is just not working at 100% at the moment!

    Anyway, my question is what were Leo’s and Armie’s acting like? Leo seems to be doing some heavy serious roles right now and unless you count Inception in that (I’m not sure you would) I don’t really have much to go on. Armie is brilliant in The Social Network so I imagine he is good too.

    • Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:35 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!

      I thought Leo was great! I just think the old age make-up was a distraction. Armie and Leo were both great. I think the make-up was way over the top.

      • ozzie20 December 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM #

        That’s good to know. Not so much for the make up though.That’s one thing that annoys me!

        • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM #

          Ozzie,

          Seems like Leo found all of his evidnce for he movie in the screen play, I think to learn more than that one would have to did deeper. Something I did n’t mention lateron the page is his leadership in regard to modern forenstics is incredible.

          Had we had J. Edgar Hoover a centrury sooner we might have been able to find Jack the Ripper.

  11. Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM #

    Ok, I have to leave for the day, but here are some other questions I had for you:

    Despite lack of sufficient evidence of Hoover’s private life, how well do you think it was portrayed?

    How historical did the film seem to be and was it authentic?

    What was the chemistry like between Hoover and Clyde? (It is Clyde right?)

    Whose performance was the most memorable and why?

    How was the script?

    How was overall production design?

    That’s all I can think of at the moment…:)

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:43 PM #

      LB,

      “Despite lack of sufficient evidence of Hoover’s private life, how well do you think it was portrayed?”

      Excellent questions, in a real since I’m not sure the movie proved anything. I always heard Hoover was a cross dresser. I have never heard he was gay. You may be right. I don’t know whether his gay identity has ever been proven (yet).

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:51 PM #

      “How historical did the film seem to be and was it authentic?”

      I have heard things about most of the other things said about Hoover’s influence on politics. So unfortunately, despite having exact references, I do believe most of the other things were true. I accept that J. Edgar Hoover was one of America’s greatest opponents to crime and liberal and progressive politics that you can find in the twentieth century. Actually according to many and the movie, he thought that the left politics and criminality were one and the same.

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:56 PM #

      “What was the chemistry like between Hoover and Clyde? (It is Clyde right?)”

      Because of your first question, I’m wondering whether “Clyde existed.” I would love to know where the source material from this book came from? That way I could be more sure of my respect or criticism of the film.

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:00 PM #

      “Whose performance was the most memorable and why?”

      I have a hard time no being impressed with Leo. Judy Dench demonstrated her spectacular norm as usual. Some may feel Naomi Watts performance was minimized. But her understated presence illustrated just how much she was managed by Hoover. For me her performance was very useful in defining his psychological influence.

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:02 PM #

      “How was the script?”

      The script was ultimately responsible for all of the frailties mentioned above.

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:04 PM #

      How was overall production design?

      Professional, refined, yet very modest.

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:09 PM #

      “That’s all I can think of at the moment…:)”

      Thanks I’m exhausted.

      What Eastwood did well, is paint hoover as a very complex individual whose motivations were not always known. As of right now, I think this is Eastwood’s only enduring accomplishment with the film.

  12. comic relief December 3, 2011 at 3:38 PM #

    Here is Michael Mann’s Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp. Hoover was significant part of this film as well, but mann was far more conservative in picturing J.Edgar than Eastwood.

    The scene below features Dillinger being killed by federal agents.

  13. Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:48 PM #

    Hi LB! & Bye LB…LOL!!

    Let me see if I can answer your great Q’s.

    1. Despite lack of sufficient evidence of Hoover’s private life, how well do you think it was portrayed? The portrayal in the beginning was strong. I think it got to murky at the middle and end.

    2. How historical did the film seem to be and was it authentic?
    It seemed pretty authentic. I think production design and costumes helped that along. Again the make-up was horrible.

    3. What was the chemistry like between Hoover and Clyde? (It is Clyde right?)
    The chemistry was very good.

    4. Whose performance was the most memorable and why? I think Leo was the most compelling. He really showed Edgar’s strengths and weaknesses really well. U really felt the insecurities of his character.

    5. How was the script?
    Not the best IMO!! Not very well structured. All over the place. The ending did not resonate as anything special. I think audiences could have benefited from less flashbacks which could have supported the ending better. It just got too jumbled up at the end.

    6. How was overall production design?
    Very good!

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:11 PM #

      agreed.

  14. Open Book December 3, 2011 at 3:54 PM #

    Well everyone!

    I’m going to head out. If u have more Q’s I will check back later and try and respond.

    • comic relief December 3, 2011 at 4:12 PM #

      …me too. Bye all.

  15. Littlebells December 3, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

    Great answers!

    Lastly, would you see this film again and would you recommend it to fans?

    • Open Book December 4, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

      I personally will wait to see it again on DVD.

      I think the performances are good and compelling. For a wide release drama there’s not much to choose from. If u are in the mood to see a drama with good performances than yes I would recommend it.

      • comic relief December 4, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

        I would to see the film again if it were free.

        • Littlebells December 5, 2011 at 12:44 AM #

          hmmmmmm….

          • comic relief December 5, 2011 at 2:08 PM #

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            Now I feel guilty. It’s not that I want to reduce this film to whether it can be a savings saver or not.

            Leo is very compelling. But this is the second time I’ve seen him with one of these older American directors who are known for linear story-telling, (who it APPEARS) Leo has persuaded to jump in the non-linear storytelling pool with young accomplished directors like Nolan, Ritchie, etc. In both cases (Scorsese in “Shutter Island” and Eastwood for “J. Edgar”) the results were disastrous. Now there’s no way I can prove this, yet after the debacles (IMO), masters like Scorsese just returned to his usual storytelling M.O. with “Hugo” with a huge helping of CGI and everyone is happy again. I expect Eastwood will do the same.

            For these reasons I am content to wait for “J.Edgar” to be distributed in another format.

            I hope that was less of a cop out.

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