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20-05-2018, 22:29   #1
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Film Club #1 - Good Time *Spoilers from post 12*

Welcome to Film Club - where the denizens of the film forum watch a particular film and discuss it in depth (hopefully)!

Film 1 - Good Time

Dir: Ben & Joshua Safdie
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Ben Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh


Netflix link:
Also available on iTunes, Google Play and other VOD services

Viewing notes: Sound and music play a really important role in the film, so if possible a decent sound system or good pair of headphones are recommended. Otherwise, play it loud

Go, watch, discuss
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20-05-2018, 23:48   #2
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Like this choice!

Haven't seen it yet, but remember it got quite favourable reviews on release.

JJ Leigh is top class.

And I've always enjoyed Barkhad Abdi.

Looking forward to it.
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21-05-2018, 00:51   #3
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I watched this on release but this is an excuse to give it another viewing. Good film selection to start the film club
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21-05-2018, 06:51   #4
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Watched this on a flight from China a few days ago. Was very impressed at how skillfully it was directed. The color of it reminded me of an old favorite Judgement Night.
I like the opening scene a lot, it more then perfectly sets your relationship up with the two protagonists for the rest of the film.
Spoiler: Trying to decide if Pattison is a good buy or a bad guy is a nice running theme - he could save his brother from getting arrested if he hadn't run off, but then uses the stolen money and does his best to fix everything there after redeeming himself. The poor lad drinking the acid tab liquid is seriously funny when he wakes up :D
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21-05-2018, 08:33   #5
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Looking forward to this. Thanks for puttting time and effort into setting this whole thing up. It's really appreciated.
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21-05-2018, 14:15   #6
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Really liked this film when I watched recently. I'll see if I can squeeze in a rewatch, if not then I was given a free copy of the vinyl soundtrack so will stick that on if nothing else.
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21-05-2018, 14:27   #7
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This is a great idea.
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21-05-2018, 17:17   #8
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Should spoliers be necessary? A pain on devices and surely peeps participating here will have seen the movie, that being the point?
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21-05-2018, 17:17   #9
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A few initial observations and questions to help kick things off (you don't need to read these until you've watched it - probably better going in blind!):

How'd you find the use of sound? It's an unusually loud and aggressive use of noise and soundtrack... how do you think it helped the film establish it's tone, or did it not work for you?

Did it remind you of anything? I'm going to throw it out there and say that, despite its obvious influence from 1980s cinema, it reminded me most of a darker version of Curb Your Enthusiasm at times. I'll expand on that later

Any thoughts on the film's use of close-ups?

How'd you find the climax? Spoiler: Personally I love the way a film that is typically shot in tight close-ups goes wide here. IMO it cleverly shows Connie's arrest from Ray's perspective, before shifting to Connie's perspective for Ray's arrest. It really works to amplify the sort of horror of the unfolding drama, but interestingly does so by showing it all at something of a remove - unusual choice given the film is so immediate for the rest of the running time.

The film Spoiler: opens and closes on scenes of relative calm... did that work for you, or would you have preferred a different approach given the generally nervy, tense nature of the rest of the film?

Last edited by johnny_ultimate; 21-05-2018 at 17:22.
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21-05-2018, 17:31   #10
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Originally Posted by meep View Post
Should spoliers be necessary? A pain on devices and surely peeps participating here will have seen the movie, that being the point?
We’ll definitely put a spoiler warning in shortly once a few more people have watched it, just want to give a day or two beforehand
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21-05-2018, 20:44   #11
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Be watching this tomorrow, great idea.
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22-05-2018, 08:10   #12
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Was my favourite film from last year and I watch the thing nearly every couple of weeks since released on blu-Rayz. I went into this blind when I first saw it. I prefer nowadays to go into see films not knowing anything about their story or seeing any trailers. This method does not always work, but when it does and I end up seeing pure Gold like this, it is a great experience.

The soundtrack to me is one of the best film soundtracks ever made but I'm a bit biased in that regard as I'm a big Oneohtrix Point Never fan. Lopatin's music has always had that motion picture soundtrack scope to all of the works he has done and his stuff is well worth checking out if you liked this. He has a new album out in two weeks, and I'm lucky enough to have gotten tickets to go see his MYRIAD show in July which is also heavily visually/imagery based live work. The track "Leaving The Park" is brilliant on this and much like the works he did on previous LP's "Rifts" and "Returnal" which are really really good.
The music and sound design goes so well with the layer upon layer of neon colours splashed throughout the entire jittery paced thing. I love the sound design usage of actual noise's from day to day things you would hear anywhere, and those noises turned up to 11 - television sets, radios, plastic cups, keys being pressed on a smartphone, wheelchair lifts that sound like JCB's.... I though that was brilliant and mildly nightmarish to go with the whole thing

The film reminds me of "Withnail & I" ...a lot. Sort of like an american cyberpunk version printed in an early 90's 2000AD colour comic strip. The need to escape the decaying city, the total disasters, the timeline done in actual day/night/day, the various random encounters, the encounters with characters in a worse state than the main two protagonists, the entertaining bleak environment, the absolute entitlement of Connie's character, just like Withnail - "Don't be confused, it's just gonna make it worse for me!" Spoiler: The resolution at the end as one of the lads can finally get away from the terrible influence of the other... Really reminded me of that other great film. Some great laughs in parts of this thing too, Spoiler: you have the whole day flashback of Buddy Duress's character, brilliant timed delivery of his lines with the snappy editing of his release day from prison "We took over this place like it was our f**kin office" - "As soon as he hears the word JAIL, he f**kin' freaks, talkin' about "I'm not getting ripped off by one of you punks again" and he just f**kin' steps on the gas. And that was it, and just takes off. Then I hear the word COPS, I lose it, like I gotta fack out of here." The first time I seen that whole quick fire segment of the film, along with the delivery of the lines in that strong accent, I completely lost it in a fit of laughter for a good five minutes non stop.

Its just a brilliantly made, well written, forward pushing piece of work that just portrays a basic story you can empathise with. I loved it, I can't wait to watch it again next month.
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23-05-2018, 22:45   #13
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Spoilers from this post onward.

This would make a good double bill with The Florida Project. Both are about the dregs of society, living precariously without a safety net, mostly left to their own devices until the crumpling institutions come blundering in to "rescue" the vulnerable person they are meant to be protecting.

The close-ups at the end felt suffocating. Especially after the huge wide shots of the previous scene. Interesting how those shots reduce Connie to a rat in a horizontal maze, reflecting his own belief that there is no going up but if you are smart enough maybe you can wiggle your way out of trouble (maybe he's right, but he's not nearly smart enough unfortunately). Where as Ray, who believes everyone is equal and that one day he will be driving a Lamborghini, plunges vertically to his death as if there was there was never any other way to go. And then we return to Nick, who seems much the same as he did at the beginning, except now we understand his anger. A part of me wanted some catharsis, maybe Nick would finally break. But nope. The film keeps playing over the credits, making you switch off on these miserable characters.

My favourite line: Connie while watching Cops on tv: “jesus christ, change the channel, i don’t want to see them justify this sh*t”. Ironically he spends most of the movie taking advantage of black people. Partially because it's Queens but mainly because as a lower class criminal his race is the only advantage he has.

Last edited by Sad Professor; 23-05-2018 at 22:49.
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24-05-2018, 10:38   #14
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Watched this last night. By and large enjoyed it.

A few meandering thought:

I loved the lighting throughout. Gave a real manic feel to Connie's increasingly desperate situation. I tried to fixate on one room at times to see if the lighting was changing from room to room or were the lights actually changing colour out of shot. I think the colours were changing as we got lost through various rooms. It reminded me of the opening scene in Irreversible but not quite as nauseating. The general structure of the film reminded me of Irreversible overall; how we followed Connie from place to place without much of a roadmap. Towards the end when Ray (I think) open the balcony, we that it was broad daylight at that stage which was quite a shock. Perhaps the impending arrival of the police is being represented by the stark, cold, reality of the bright light invading their manic, colourful bubble. You could go as far to say the first time they get tainted by colour is when the cash explodes in their faces. The colour ruined the money.

Mostly enjoyed the soundtrack. The 80's feel didn't always work for me. It was a huge feature of the movie. It reminded me of watching Dunkirk. In both films there is very little happening on screen at times but an overbearing soundtrack is dictating how you should feel. Connie is creeping through the hospital or driving in a cab with pumping 80's synth giving it far more weight than the visuals suggest. It truly makes it a feast of the senses although a bit jarring at times. The balance was off between music and voice; I found myself turning up and down the volume and wish I had subtitles.

The plot itself was somewhat lacking for me. It reminded me of American Honey. I think I prefer when I have an idea where a film is going. This is probably my personal preference rather than issues with the films themselves. Both this and American Honey are meandering and go for place to place on a whim. Is this what Connie's life is always like? Or is this a horrible episode? His personality would suggest that he is constantly manipulating everyone around him. I would have liked to know more about him. The scene where Ray explained his backstory was a bit a jarring. It didn't fit with the flow of the film up till then and it certainly didn't fit with Connie's character to sit and listen to a five minute soliloquy. Ray's character didn't make much sense to me. Why did he bother hanging around with Connie? Why did accept to share half the money with Connie? I guess he's just another brain dead criminal?

Connie was very entertaining. After the interactions with the child and her grandmother, you could truly see what a con artist he is. From then on, every situation he got himself into, I couldn't wait to see how he'd get himself out of it. Stealing the security guard's identity and drowning him in acid? Fcuking lol . Someone mentioned a dark Curb Your Enthusiasm. I can definitely see this. I want to put Connie in all sorts of situations now.
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24-05-2018, 16:23   #15
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The 70s/80s inspired aesthetics and ambiance felt right to me and seemed to capture the present moment. I mean, that's what culture is now: the past dialled up to the max and endlessly recycled, like the garish amusement park at the end of the film. It added to the feeling of emptiness and the sense that there's no future for these characters, or at least none that they can imagine. Like the rest of society, they are stuck in a loop.
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