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Paranormal Film 'Red Lights' - Anyone Seen It?

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  • 28-06-2012 7:32pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭


    So there's a film out at the mo' called 'Red Lights', starring Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro. It's basically about a couple of sceptical physicists (played by Weaver and Murphy) who doggedly try to debunk claims of paranormal phenomena.

    Things get extra-eventful when a famous, blind, psychic spoon bender (hmm.. Uri Geller?? :rolleyes:) named Simon Silver (played by De Niro) starts doing live shows again following a 30-year hiatus. Murphy convinces a jaded Weaver to go and actively investigate Silver and, in the course of their investigations, things really kick off. Silver turns out not to be above manipulation and threats, not unlike Geller in real life actually.

    I saw it at the weekend and thought it was fairly good. Not great, but good. It's probably interesting to anyone who routinely wonders about the validity or invalidity of paranormal phenomena, i.e. most of the regulars on this forum. I definitely found it interesting anyway, even though parts of it are (ironically) predictable. :)

    Loved the ending. Very good twist.



Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 25,953 ✭✭✭✭kryogen


    Film thread is
    > that way man!

    :) only joking, havent seen it yet and dont want the end ruined, though Im pretty sure I know most of the twist from what I have seen in other places, maybe you could spoiler for me?

    I have heard terrible, terrible things about the film, was supposed to go see it last week, but have been on the fence since I got some feedback from people who have seen it


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,354 ✭✭✭Urizen


    I saw it a few days ago.

    I'll avoid spoilers as much as I can. This is a bad movie. The script is shoddy, the cinematography made me want to kill the drunken cameraman, and the jump scares don't belong there. But it's unintentionally hilarious to people who have any actual knowledge of paranormal investigation. When the Zener cards come out, and investigating a medium right at the start, you'll be pointing at the screen and excitedly whispering 'I know that! I know what that is!'... Well, at least I was.

    But seriously, there are much worse ways to spend an afternoon. The acting is pretty damn good, and the paranormal fanboy in me was well amused. For all its flaws, this is a pretty entertaining film. Some nice gags in there too.

    Finally, myself and my friend who was with me predicted the ending. We were both right. THERE'S your proof of psychic power! Case closed *dusts hands*

    Besides, it'll probably win an Oscar or two, so you may as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    kryogen wrote: »
    I have heard terrible, terrible things about the film, was supposed to go see it last week, but have been on the fence since I got some feedback from people who have seen it

    I had read a few crap-ish reviews of it before seeing it myself but, seeing as it was rated nowhere near as badly as the recent-ish 'The Devil Inside' (similar sort of carry-on really), and the cast was actually made up of known, decent actors, I went along regardless.

    The film definitely isn't perfect and, as I said, is pretty predictable, but I still found it watchable; if only to see how a subject like this was being approached on the big screen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    Urizen wrote: »
    The script is shoddy, the cinematography made me want to kill the drunken cameraman, and the jump scares don't belong there.

    Yeah, the script was pretty weak. I even think it was an insult to the likes of Murphy, Weaver and De Niro but, even at that, the three of them still manage somehow to make lemonade out of lemons, if you will.

    I thought there were a lot of missed opportunities for more jokes in the film, which would have actually made it smarter and more self-aware and wouldn't have undermined the tone or plot in any way. Let's face it, the paranormal is ripe for piss-taking anyway and they really should have exploited that more here.
    Urizen wrote: »
    But it's unintentionally hilarious to people who have any actual knowledge of paranormal investigation. When the Zener cards come out, and investigating a medium right at the start, you'll be pointing at the screen and excitedly whispering 'I know that! I know what that is!'... Well, at least I was.

    That's the thing - for people who know about this stuff, the film is very funny and entertaining in the 'wrong' way. The Zener cards scene was great. Easy, but worth the inclusion for the craic. Non-paranormal heads would be like, "Oh wow... Wait, no. Damn," so let them enjoy it. biggrin.gif Oh, and I'm sure Sally Morgan will be legging it to her local cinema to see this, seeing as there'll be a lot she can identify with, ha, ha.

    BTW, I thought they underused that small baldy guy who was the head of the SPRC (he's also acted in 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy') - the half-assed development of his character seemed to come to naught in the end. We didn't hear anything more from him or the SPRC, so I thought that was lazy of the director.

    I was guessing that the SPRC in the film was sort of modelled on the real-life Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in the UK, with a hint of the Stanford Institute thrown in as well.
    Urizen wrote: »
    But seriously, there are much worse ways to spend an afternoon. The acting is pretty damn good, and the paranormal fanboy in me was well amused. For all its flaws, this is a pretty entertaining film. Some nice gags in there too.

    Agreed. I've seen far worse films than this one. Probably too many to mention here.
    Urizen wrote: »
    Finally, myself and my friend who was with me predicted the ending. We were both right. THERE'S your proof of psychic power! Case closed *dusts hands*

    I have to say that I didn't see what the ending would be until well over half way into it all. I had inklings, but I wasn't 100% sure either, so I held my breath.
    Urizen wrote: »
    Besides, it'll probably win an Oscar or two, so you may as well.

    Are you being serious? Well, I suppose Cillian Murphy should get a Best Actor nomination, if only for doing his level best in a film whose plot has more holes than Mayo's secondary roads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,354 ✭✭✭Urizen


    Are you being serious? Well, I suppose Cillian Murphy should get a Best Actor nomination, if only for doing his level best in a film whose plot has more holes than Mayo's secondary roads.

    It sure felt like Oscar bait to me. Three big names, relatively green director. The potential is there.

    Seriously, what else could have attracted DeNiro?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 791 ✭✭✭Shreddingblood


    Cillian Murphy has done nothing but sh1te since inception and this is no different. The only film I can think of which is stupider is In Time starring Justin Timberlake.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    Cillian Murphy has done nothing but sh1te since inception and this is no different. The only film I can think of which is stupider is In Time starring Justin Timberlake.

    True, but I think the films themselves are culpable here. 'Tron: Legacy' was fairly crap too, but Murphy was okay in it. You can be a great actor but be stuck in a sh*te film, which isn't your fault entirely.

    I've heard that films can sometimes seem better than they turn out to be when actors are reading the scripts initially. I mean, if I had seen the script for 'Avatar' in the early stages, I would have thought it was crap but, when they made it come to life on the screen, we all know now that it was obviously a different story.

    All the top actors have acted in a few turkeys at some point, and even having an Oscar under your belt won't make you immune to choosing crap films. Cuba Gooding Jnr. (won an Oscar for 'Jerry Maguire' in 1996 - has acted in utter dross since then) is a good example here.

    Also, Ryan Reynolds starred in 'The Green Lantern' late last year, which was a heap of sh*te, yet, just a few months later, he was savage in the excellent 'Safe House'. Incidentally, the guy who directed 'Red Lights' is the same guy who directed Reynolds in the lauded film 'Buried' a few years back.

    IMO, Murphy could star in Fair City and still retain his thespian clout by giving a decent performance.

    Anyway, Murphy seems to have developed a pattern of choosing roles in more abstract or metaphysical, or at least thought-provoking, films of late. I think he's good in these kinds of films, tbh. He might do okay at doing a '500 Days Of Summer'-type dramedy/rom-com in the future too, but that's beside the point..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    Urizen wrote: »
    It sure felt like Oscar bait to me. Three big names, relatively green director. The potential is there.

    Seriously, what else could have attracted DeNiro?

    Yeah, it's definitely possible. I just thought you were being sarcastic when you said that first (sometimes I find it hard to detect what's sarcasm and what isn't online, sorry).

    Taking into account his role in 'Red Lights', it's clear De Niro has been opting for 'softer' and more 'out there' film roles over the last few years though. He was in a semi-flop-of-a-film called 'Hide and Seek' a few years ago, where he was dealing with a daughter who had an imaginary friend. The director of that wasn't too renowned, and De Niro's fellow 'star power' was questionable too (Famke Janssen, a very young Dakota Fanning??).

    Then, he was in that fairytale sort of film 'Stardust' (which was alright overall for that genre), where he played a gay captain of a flying ship. It was a long, long way from 'Taxi Driver', that's for sure. :)

    More recently, De Niro was in that chemically-induced mental enhancement film 'Limitless', where he was going into business with a smarter-than-average (thanks to some wonder pill) guy played by Bradley Cooper. Wasn't a bad film.

    De Niro seems to be doing less of the gritty, bad-ass roles that he became known for in his younger days. I suppose he's obviously getting old too and is probably wondering about the broader picture and what awaits (or doesn't await) him when he pops his clogs, and this attitude is influencing his film choices.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,278 ✭✭✭ceadaoin.


    Seriously this is the worst film I've seen in a long time yet it was strangely entertaining. Probably because of the quality actors. Myself and my sister cracked up laughing at the end it was that bad. Worth it for the laugh!

    Urizen wrote: »
    It sure felt like Oscar bait to me. Three big names, relatively green director. The potential is there.

    Seriously, what else could have attracted DeNiro?

    Probably the bags of cash he got paid for doing it! Oscar material? Hmm...I doubt it!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 25,953 ✭✭✭✭kryogen


    Im not gonna read that spolier Mr Morrison! I have a feeling you misunderstood me and thought I wanted to know then end :) I dont just in case I do end up going to see it


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    ceadaoin. wrote: »
    [...] Probably the bags of cash he got paid for doing it! Oscar material? Hmm...I doubt it!

    As of 2012, De Niro has a net worth of $185 million (about €146 million). As well as acting, he owns TriBeCa film productions and several posh restaurants in New York as well. So, I doubt he's so badly stuck for a few bob that he signs up for below-par films for "the bags of cash."

    De Niro could easily get a role in any of the major blockbusters ('Iron Man', 'Spiderman', 'Batman', etc.) if he wanted to, and he'd obviously get paid a hell of a lot more, and receive near-guaranteed, subsequent handsome financial dividends (due to box office success and DVD release), for acting in those than signing up to a film that isn't quite a sure thing, e.g. 'Red Lights'.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 25,953 ✭✭✭✭kryogen


    It's what puzzles me about De Niro, some of (lets be honest, and awful lot of) his choices for roles, well maybe not the roles, but the films themselves have been terrible. He definitely doesn't do it for the money, he is far past that stage of his career and could retire and do nothing if he wanted. He must see something in the roles I guess.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    kryogen wrote: »
    It's what puzzles me about De Niro, some of (lets be honest, and awful lot of) his choices for roles, well maybe not the roles, but the films themselves have been terrible. He definitely doesn't do it for the money, he is far past that stage of his career and could retire and do nothing if he wanted. He must see something in the roles I guess.

    I know - I think the same things. Only he knows for sure why he's choosing those roles in mediocre films, although this interview with him from 1998 discusses his craft, maybe providing some insight into the whats and whys of his work: Looking at this, I can see why De Niro doesn't do too many interviews. :)

    I suppose if I were him, and I'd been working almost non-stop for 30-odd years, I'd find it hard to hang up my boots and do absolutely nothing when I have the choice to work in whatever types of films I want. No doubt it'd feel weird. I'd say he does it for the fun and fulfillment aspects at this stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,354 ✭✭✭Urizen


    Shark Tale. 'Nuff said :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭MrMojoRisin


    Urizen wrote: »
    Shark Tale. 'Nuff said :P

    Ah now, but the film had a quality song! "Workin' at the CAR WASH!!" :D


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