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2000-07-07 15:09:42+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

The Scotch Night crowd went to see The Patriot[Wiki] last night. Wow, was that movie lame. Melodrama at its most forced. Bad dialog. Cinematography that dragged my attention kicking and screaming towards the empty spaces. Historical and technical inaccuracies that just shattered any illusion of believability. And it was freakin' long. I wish we'd read Ed Johnson-Ott's review of The Patriot. Todd's a little more forgiving, so maybe he'll pipe in here, but a popular sentiment as we were leaving was "maybe we should have gone to see Big Momma's House[Wiki] after all"... From Salon's dissection of the violence of the movie: "If the Nazis had won the war in Europe, and their propaganda ministry had decided to make a film about the American Revolution, "The Patriot" is exactly the movie you could expect to see -- minus the computer-generated effects, of course. (Doubters should take a look at Goebbels' pre-Pearl Harbor efforts at inflaming isolationist Anglophobia.)"

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2000-07-07 18:14:28+00 by: TC

Ok, DISCLAIMER I'm the pollyanna in the Scotch Night crowd Bad things #1 The film is 3 hours it should be 2:30 tops #2 They messed with the film speed "a la Gladiator" in the big battle scenes although the earlier smaller scenes were excellent #3 too many story elements were "shoe horned" into the movie ergo a 3 hour movie happend #4 the usual misses on historical accuracy and plausability (i.e. women sleeping in compression corrsets that cause their breast to hit their chins) Good Things #1 Well developed characters... some complex interactions #2 good music score that drives the emotions correctly #3 story plays well on the family vs principles conflict and "is" emotionally compelling #4 while most was predictable fomula story telling there were some unexpected events that "worked" #5 some of the "one liners" made me laugh "out loud even" Summary I had a good time and will probably watch it again when it comes out on DVD but wish is was 30 minutes shorter....

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:09+00 by: Dan Lyke

Someone calling themselves "Heroinsmoker" passed along a review of The Patriot from the slaveowner's perspective. I actually would be cool with the length if they'd used the time for the right thing. I'd drunk a boatload of water at Scotch Night[Wiki] so I had to go out to the bathroom twice. Each time by the time I got back the major story turn hadn't happened. Yet I cringed every time they'd force a reaction from an actor rather than hold a shot to see a semblance of an emotion dawn on a face. I think that messing with the film speed would have been okay too if they'd actually been showing something that looked like 18th century combat. Instead they've got people waving muzzle loading pistols around like they were Antonio Banderas in a Robert Rodriguez action flick, and while they had a bit of the multi-layering thing going on in the climactic battle, the whole reason for the marching in lines and calling the weapons positions got glossed over by those few shots of making musket balls, and one or two hints at tamping wadding. I think had they made the actual relatively low casualty rate from the bullets themselves more of a story point the deaths from resulting infections could have been at least as touching as the manufactured atrocities which they did dwell on. I agree that too many stories were shoe-horned in, but I disagree on the well developed characters. The leads were all cardboard, Gibson's character had no real depth, he had one motivation with only a token conflict, and heck, the "Hamster Style" gag in Orgazmo[Wiki] had more emotional appeal than that dark history. I'd much rather have seen more complex characters with deeper motivations than a revenge flick with a few too many people. I agree that the dialog had a few bright moments, but they clashed so strongly with the tortuous attempts at "olden-days" language that I thought they stood out too much.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:09+00 by: webwide

I liked the movie, but was a bit disappointed. The overriding theme of the movie appeared to be Gibson's struggle w/ anger and vengeance. Political motivations on each side were dealt with only lightly. We *were* given a good sense of what it must have been like to have been in the military during that time period. One thing I did not get from this movie was any sort of a sense of patriotism. A recent re-reading of the Declaration of Independence provided more.