Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines

Discussion in 'Misc. Films' started by Hunter Rider, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Persona

    Persona Registered

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    This movie was always going to have a tough time in the States given that the books aren't popular here (I have a great library close to me and they don't even carry them, even now) and there aren't any name attractions in the cast.

    But releasing it the same weekend as Spiderverse? Yeah, doomed.
     
  2. Marvolo

    Marvolo Registered

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    Let's be real. Who the **** could have predicted Sony would make a good spiderman cartoon film? Theyve been ****ting the bed with Spiderman for 11 years, and I dont think anyone suspected they would clean house with Spiderverse. So no it wasnt a guaranteed disaster to release Mortal engines against it.
     
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  3. terry78

    terry78 BUY MY BOOK!!!!

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    I didn't even know what Mortal Engines was until the first trailer.
     
  4. Marvolo

    Marvolo Registered

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    I only found out about the books when the film was greenlit.
     
  5. OutOfBoose

    OutOfBoose Russian Hacker

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    Ouch. Didn't expect it to bomb so hard. And looks like the film itself is trash too.

    I wonder if the same fate awaits Battle Angel.
     
  6. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Registered

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    Spider-Verse only opened with $35 million though. I'm sure it will do well over Christmas, but it wasn't like it did huge business. Especially as a Spider-Man film. Even LEGO Batman Movie opened higher in February.
     
  7. 2kt09

    2kt09 Snyder Rent-Free

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    I don't think it would have made much difference if Jackson directed this or not. A lot of the old guard who innovated mainstream spectacle filmmaking had their careers erode.
    Tim Burton did a YA movie a couple years back & that felt like a return to form, but that didn't do the kind of business his older hits did.
     
  8. Sithborg

    Sithborg Oooh, plot twist!

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    Opened up at about the same as Jumanji, so the story isn't over yet for Spider-verse.

    But yeah, Spider-verse wasn't why this failed.
     
  9. LibidoLoca

    LibidoLoca Sensually Delicious

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    Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter?
     
  10. Schlosser85

    Schlosser85 Watchful Protector

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    That was Timur Bekmambetov.

    I'd assume they were referring to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
     
  11. LibidoLoca

    LibidoLoca Sensually Delicious

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    Is that YA? I thought that was more a children's book series.
     
  12. Schlosser85

    Schlosser85 Watchful Protector

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    It's categorized as YA.

    And Burton had nothing to do with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
     
  13. :eek:

    :eek: Registered

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  14. samsnee

    samsnee Ok

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    Performance isn’t surprising to me. These big budget fantasy films don’t sell as well as they used to. The trailer didn’t really have any amazing effects we haven’t seen before and the cast were all unknowns except for Weaving.

    I can’t really remember the last successful one. Maybe they thought it would do better overseas?
     
  15. THORin

    THORin Farewell to Agents of SHIELD...

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    Well, I'm still gonna see it tomorrow. It still looks good to me, despite bad press.
     
  16. LibidoLoca

    LibidoLoca Sensually Delicious

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    He produced it.
     
  17. Flash525

    Flash525 The Scarlet Messenger

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    I think Battle Angel has more interest behind it. I know nothing of either film aside from what I've seen on their respective trailers, but I never had any obligation or desire to see Mortal Engines; based off a book or not, the concept of mobile cities that eat each other just doesn't sound remotely interesting.

    I think it's just the films concept that's let it down.
     
  18. Schlosser85

    Schlosser85 Watchful Protector

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    Battle Angel looks totally uninteresting to me.
     
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  19. Mandon Knight

    Mandon Knight NCC-1701

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    BA:A will do well in Japan & China and some parts of Europe but I can't see the US 'buying into it', I think its gonna be like Ghost in the Shell in terms of reception. Appreciate there is more 'risk' involved with the budget and names attached to Battle Angel but as for Mortel Engines, for me, it's down to the severe lack of advertising, awareness and barely anyone being made aware of the book series before hand and the film makers making zero connection to it either.
     
  20. Mandon Knight

    Mandon Knight NCC-1701

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  21. scarlet-witch

    scarlet-witch Stormborn

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    This was always going to bomb, they barely advertised it and the YA post apocalyptic fad has faded tremendously since The Hunger Games wrapped up. It's a shame because it could've been interesting but the studio didn't seem to have any faith in it.
     
  22. OutOfBoose

    OutOfBoose Russian Hacker

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    Trailers don't convince it can be anything special or worthy of time. They demonstrated no interesting drama or humor. Only good CGI, that doesn't excite anyone today. Heroine looks bizarre as hell and there's little to no sense for her to look like that. Promo focuses on her special-ness, yet shows only her battle skills in slow motion, which is also not something that will wow audiences today on it's own.
     
  23. THORin

    THORin Farewell to Agents of SHIELD...

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    Well, I've got my tickets to go see Mortal Engines today at around noon.
     
  24. terry78

    terry78 BUY MY BOOK!!!!

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    If they have tie in promotions with Alita that would probably go farther,in it getting more interest. You want to make sure everybody knows about it and having merch is one of the ways. Toys, fast food, whatever . Unless it's like insanely dark and violent I could see them having action figures and playsets if they wanted.
     
  25. Persona

    Persona Registered

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    I enjoyed this movie--but a lot of that was probably due to my familiarity with the narrative and characters and locations from the book and going all "aha!" from the little world-building nuggets that tie to the rest of the book and series.

    I really think all the Hester flash-back stuff should have been a 5-10 minute prologue. They had a choice with the prologue--set up the world or set up Hester's character. They went with the first one for the prologue--and I totally get it and it's in keeping with the book--but the movie starts to suffer as the story progresses because Hester's supposed to be the main character but she never really FEELS like the main character, especially as the plot gets more jumbled with extra characters and plot twists/turns, etc. I mean, we really lose focus on Hester in the third act, and that's unfortunate because then nothing really resonates in the climax or denouement.

    We get Hester's back-story in two separate flashbacks and the movie totally grinds to a halt with these, even though the material they contain is quite good. It's just a very awkward structural thing that worked fine in the book but doesn't work at all here. We're supposed to be already invested in Hester at this point and we're simply not, and I don't think it's as much Hera Hilmar's fault (though I do think maybe she's not quite enough a magnetic or physical presence for the part) as the way the story is structured. I think if we had been given the backstory up-front and then the movie kept a bit closer to Hester's character arc as it goes through its spectacular contortions, the film would have worked much better.

    It's a shame because there really is a lot to love about this movie. Some of the scenes are just bonkers stuff (I was totally enamored with the "PREPARE TO INGEST" prologue even if I think it should have happened later in the film, and anything with Shrike, and the Scuttlebutt through slave market scenes). The FX are stylized and not always convincing but lots of fun, the design elements are really great. The sound mix, unfortunately, often was forced to subdue to Junkie XL's utterly bombastic score, which has some nice motifs for London and Shrike and a couple nice softer passages, but far too often ends up sounding generic because Holkenborg is just laying it on so thick. At one-point we hear Shrike's bad-ass theme buried under layers upon layers of drums and synth choirs and it's just like, dude, take it easy.

    I think Sheehan is perfectly likable as the male lead, even though the movie's not sure what to do with him half the time other than have him act nervous or talk about how he wants to be an aviator, and Hugo chews scenery nicely as Thaddeus Valentine and there are some very choice elements involving his storyline (especially its finish) but it's not his best role, to be sure. The movie definitely feels truncated (not that I want it to be longer, but it needed to be more efficient in what it focused on and how it told its story). Valentine's daughter has a storyline, which was far cooler in the book and the climax of which in the movie must have hit the cutting room floor. There is a fairly important secondary character that simply disappears from the movie. And then we have the Anti-Tractionist fighter pilots, who the film barely spends any time with and yet I think we're supposed to care about, or at least know who they are. This was something the movie actually added, can you believe it--did The Hobbit dwarves teach PJ and Boyens nothing? In an already overstuffed film, about half-way through we're introduced to a diverse gang of rebels and I don't think the movie even takes a second to give us all their names, but then they play vital roles in the final battle. Blink a couple times and you'll miss Frankie Adams from The Expanse.

    So many missed opportunities, really. There are so many moments where you almost feel it working, but then here comes a poorly placed flashback or a scene that requires your emotional involvement when the movie hasn't done enough to earn that--and the editing and pacing overall is just wonky. It's a shame, though, because Rivers does bring a panache to the FX sequences and as rote as the final battle is, I was surprisingly into it. And it's a very cool and unique world--you've seen this plot before, but not this world, and when the movie spends some time on its more original components--like the Shrike/Hester relationship--it feels like something new and kind of awesome, actually. Unfortunately, most of the characters don't translate to screen that well (apart from Shrike and maybe Anna Fang) and while the film didn't make any big changes to the book's story, every little change it did make made the main story feel more conventional and predictable.

    I do hope everyone checks it out at some point, though. As far as sub-40%-on-RT movies go, it's gotta be one of the better ones.
     
    THORin, Dr. and moviedoors like this.

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