Author Topic: Passengers  (Read 67 times)

smirnoff

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Passengers
« on: March 19, 2017, 01:24:20 AM »
Passengers - 9/10

This is why I don't bother reading anything before watching a movie. This was fantastic. FANTASTIC! What did I know about it going in? Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in space. Had I read any of the reviews (37% RT) it would've confirmed what my cynical mind suspected, that this was nothing but a generic star vehicle about two characters on a vehicle traveling to distant stars... and I never would have watched it! Man, I was so into this. Every element. The ship they were on for example. It was was so thoroughly realized! Like this might be the most ambitious and richly conceived space ship I've ever seen in a film. What an achievement of design! Vast, beautiful, functional, sensible, radically different! The ship in 2001 might as well be a flying log cabin by comparison. I don't mean in technology, but in detail and size and how much of it we get to see and interact with! Even the ship in Sunshine, which is outwardly a straggering thing to look at, is inside a pretty run of the mill space vessel (the payload room notwithstanding). Love the story here too... I thought every beat of it worked, even where it felt inevitable. I was so on board I would've let a lot go, but I didn't find I needed to. This movie flattens anything else I've seen from 2016. Looking forward to seeing it again.

Passengers is bad. One of the worst I saw this past year, though I will agree the design of the ship is spectacular.

Our experiences were very different eh. When you say "the entire existence of Aurora Lane’s character is to serve the purposes of Jim Preston" I agree, in a sense. But not in the same sense I think you mean it. Jim did wake her up for entirely selfish reasons, so in that sense she is serving his purposes. By simply existing she serves that purpose (i.e. Jim is no longer alone). That's a purpose she cannot escape from, given the circumstances aboard the ship. But it sounds like you feel the film reduced her character further still... to a person with no other reason to exist. She certainly struggles to find another reason. I mean, like Jim, she starts out faced with the thought "what the hell am I going to do with the rest of my life". She's looking for purpose in a situation where no one has ever had to find a purpose before. She knows something nobody riding the bus has ever known. That she'll die before she arrives at the next stop. Her purpose was arriving. Now what is it? And I think that's what she sets out to write about. But they both flounder in this struggle to find purpose, which made me feel for them.

And I did not feel I could judge Jim's decisions too harshly. No more than I could judge Tom Hank's character in Castaway for talking to a volleyball. It was horrible but understandable. Selfish but human. Desperate and regrettable but would she or anyone else have done any different... sooner or later?

PS. Pratt's naked ass was the only gratuitous body shot I remember. There was no particular need to see his ass just then. It's not as though the audience had reason to believe he showered in pants, and that shot was to establish that he did not. It would've been more germane to show his ass while he in the public areas of the ship, since it was established that he traversed the ship without pants from time to time. Generally I thought the film was pretty indifferent towards that stuff, never showing much even when there was an opportunity. Shooting for whatever rating, but no worse of for it.

I was really on board with the film for the part where Jim is alone. Once Aurora wakes up, I wavered, but even then I was curious to see where it went. Ultimately, we aren't going to be on the same page with this one. As for the "gratuitous" shots, yes, Pratt is the only one to show nudity, but there are numerous times throughout the film where Tyldum utilizes the "male gaze" type shot towards Lawrence, which further communicated to my experience that her character was there to serve the purposes of Jim. We can discuss further in a spoiler thread if you would like. Don't want to go into too much detail here.

Please do. My reaction was somewhere between both of yours and I'm curious to read people discussing the most interesting aspect of the film.

So I definitely want to hear more on this subject because my experience was so different. When you say Tyldum utilizes the "male gaze" type shot... I don't want to act like I don't know what you might mean by that, but to me it seems like a very strong term to use in regards to this film. Did you feel it overstepped the needs of the story and waded into a area which was exclusively "let's show Jennifer Lawrence's ass because it's nice"?

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 09:20:37 AM »
smirnoff, I read your review a while ago and I've been meaning to respond to it. I loved a lot of the sci-fi elements like you, especially the design of the ship. I watched the movie with an engineer who proceeded to explain to me how some things were just physically impossible, but that still left a lot of good ideas. And honestly, I was more interested by the economic aspects of the thing by that point. What I have to disagree with is the story. It's not that great. It begins as a stranded-alone segment, evolves into a weak romance and then escalates into fight-the-clock action. None of those elements are particularly well done, they're just serviceable. There are a few moral questions that punctuate the movie, but they're not treated in any interesting way. And you rated this higher than Fury Road, so I really don't get it.
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Corndog

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 09:29:16 AM »
Re: Male Gaze

In a way, yes, I do feel like it went into the showing off JLaw's body because it is nice. It was never really done to serve the story in my opinion. It's been some time since I've seen it, so coming up with specific examples may be challenging, but the sex scene, her swimsuit, and what stands out the most was her coming across the table at Jim. It also feels like its from some sort of male fantasy where you get to hand pick your girlfriend.

And then to DH's point, it raises interesting moral questions/dilemma's but never attempts to answer them. Jim's awakening of Aurora is entirely selfish, and to your point he was alone for a whole year, and that is tremendous strain on your psyche, but it's also essentially murder. I found the film sexist because of this point, and the point I made above insomuch as Aurora is there for Jim and Jim is never there for Aurora. She serves his purpose throughout the film all the way to the very end when it would have been some nice karmic justice for him to have to sacrifice himself saving the ship, but instead he makes it Or for him to save Aurora by putting her back to sleep in the medical chamber and choosing, after seeing who she is in real life instead of her "audition" video, after realizing what he had done to her, to sacrifice his purposes for hers, which was still to make it to the colony planet. Instead they don't use that technology and conceivably live "happily ever after" on the ship until they died before everyone else woke up.

This movie certainly has problems.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 09:37:04 AM »
Would you find it sexist if a women had awoken a man instead?
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Corndog

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 09:57:50 AM »
Yes.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 10:15:29 AM »
It's creepy either way.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 10:21:11 AM »
Yes.

I don't think that can be viewed as sexist either way. The person wakes up someone they are romantically/physically attracted to. Pratt just happens to be a straight male. It's not about sexism and how we think about gender, it's about utilitarianism and how we think of others.
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Corndog

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 10:25:10 AM »
I suppose that is true, but you have to see that gender does play into it still. Because Jim is a straight male, he needs a straight female. He is not seeking out another male, or a gay female. Her gender is essential.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 10:28:34 AM »
Sure, but sexism is about discriminating against one sex and thinking both sexes are not equal. He does not see her as less important than him or anything like that, he is just gravitating towards the kind of person he is attracted to. If he were a gay male he would wake up another male and you wouldn't be calling him sexist. He's not sexist, he is extremely lonely, and also a bit of a jerk. By waking her up he is saying that people are there to serve your needs and fill your emotional vacuums, regardless of gender.
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