It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

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Murdoch
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#176 Post by Murdoch » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:46 am

JamesF wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:50 am
I saw them together as a double bill and wondered throughout if a re-edit (or fan edit?) that hews closer to the structure of the book would mitigate some of the pacing issues, at least in the first film where it feels like a never-ending succession of noisy, exhausting jump scares with no real pay-off.
See, I didn't get the same feeling of the first film being a succession of jumpscares like I did with the second. Maybe it's because I found certain scares, like the lady from the painting, actually terrifying, whereas in the second it's largely Pennywise over and over. I'd probably find with a rewatch of the first the same tediousness in the scares as I found in the second, but perhaps the strong performances of the kids made them more palatable. In Two, it felt like Chastain and Jay Ryan were phoning it in, both mostly sleepwalking through their scenes and Chastain unable to muster much interest in either Ryan or McAvoy to make their love triangle in any way compelling.

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Big Ben
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#177 Post by Big Ben » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:46 pm

The thing about It proper, that is to say the book is that it's just not filmable in a marketable (Or legal) fashion so you inevitably have to have make compromises and that's really what Muschietti's films are. More toned down, less abstract versions of a gargantuan idiosyncratic text. I love the book to pieces. It's a weird, bloated thing that I keep coming back to again and again but I know deep down what I always saw in my head just wouldn't transfer to the big or small screen.

It Chapter 2 is a weird beast because at one level it's quite compotent. When it works, it works but when the veneer smudges a bit you've got one long ass movie that has to fill in a lot of space will one liners. Thankfully most of those jokes work but they're a compromise to fill out this very long story and to glue it all together until the very end. When the movie doesn't work it's quite evident and near the end I kept thinking "Get on with it!". Much like the book the latter half sags (The movie actually ribs on King himself multiple times on this front.) and that really, really translates onto both the 1990 miniseries adaptation and this one too although I think I prefer this newer one.

I suppose at some level this story will always have to have compromises for a variety of issues but I think it could do with some tweaks.

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Brian C
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#178 Post by Brian C » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:43 pm

I don't really see what Chapter Two has to offer except basically a repeat of chapter 1 but with an older cast.

It's also really remarkable how little ground the film is able to cover despite the rather abundant run time. The character dynamics are pretty much the same except that the fat kid isn't fat anymore, but this doesn't change how the group interacts with each other. Given that he's still haunted by his fat past anyway, it ends up seeming like an extraneous detail.

For that matter, there's zero sense of the passage of time within the town itself, because the film can't be bothered to have any characters outside of the Losers Club. Given It's cyclical nature, and the way that his power resides exclusively within the town, it seems odd to me that the setting of this story is so unimportant. Especially since, again, the film seemingly has the length to give justice to these kinds of novelistic details, and it's not like the movie needs to take a ton of time to bring the audience up to speed on who these people are. But the filmmakers don't seem to care - even the gruesome kids' deaths are sort of just waved away. No one in the town even seems to notice that the kids are being brutally murdered!

And that's all part of how the film's stakes seem so low. It's not clear to me whether the adult Losers are ever in actual danger, because It is made out to be a psychological manifestation more than a physical one to them. He turns up, they get scared ... but half the time they don't even need to run away, just nothing happens. Like
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Bev's visit to her childhood apartment - she encounters the creepy old lady and then Pennywise and the next thing we see, she's exiting the building. And I'm like ... wasn't she just sorta trapped? How'd she get away?
I think it boils down to the filmmakers not having a very clear idea of what It even is. It is one of the few classic King novels that I never read, but his focus is generally on the psychological aspects of the horror, while this film is far more interested I feel in the cinematic aspects of It itself. Chapter one to me was more successful just because this material is the stuff of childhood nightmares and so it felt like a more natural way to tell the story. Telling the story with a group of fortysomethings just feels kinda chintzy, though, unless the filmmakers are really willing to center the story around unresolved childhood traumas. But this movie's treatment is just too superficial to feel like it has any real weight.

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Big Ben
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#179 Post by Big Ben » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:29 pm

Brian C wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:43 pm
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Bev's visit to her childhood apartment - she encounters the creepy old lady and then Pennywise and the next thing we see, she's exiting the building. And I'm like ... wasn't she just sorta trapped? How'd she get away?
In regards to how and why these things happen.
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There are two reasons. Pennywise is sensitive to willpower via psychic energy and can be overwhelmed by a true desire of something. Bev's desire to leave is what allows her too. Cliche I know but it is what it is. But the real reason is Pennywise's arrogance. In the book the being is exceptionally arrogant being a near imoortal eldritch being. It describes these events like preparing a meal, with the fear being the seasoning. It's letting people go because it believes, through arrogance that it won't have any issues later. If you can spare the time the gargantuan tome is worth your time as it's far broader and goes into whatever we could call It's psychological motivations.
And I agree with your statement of superficiality but I'm unsure how the filmmakers could have worked in the extremely abstract concepts from the novel, such as a literal god turtle and the more phantasmagorical battle of the minds that takes place. Superficial is a good word but I'm unsure just how it could be done in a believable fashion.

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Brian C
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#180 Post by Brian C » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:15 am

Well, I guess. But my point is that the movie shouldn't really need the book as a supplemental guide. What you're describing is simply an unsuccessful adaptation by definition.

I'm sure the adaptation was a tough nut to crack, but that just means the filmmakers needed to be more radical in how they went about it. Probably the best course of action would have been to simply adapt the kids half and cut the adults half out completely, i.e., left well enough alone without the sequel. The first movie worked a lot better, with It being a manifestation of childhood traumas (school bullies, abusive homes, etc), but the second seems redundant. They fought It the first time, and then the second time ... fought It again. Big whoop. The least they could have done was reworked how It manifests itself to them as adults, to have some resonance with their adult lives, but the movie just gives us the exact same clown schtick again.

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domino harvey
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#181 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:27 am

I haven't seen either part, but from what I understand, I don't think the alleged unadaptability of this was the problem, as a laaaaarge portion of the blame appears to be on WB for focus grouping and note-ing this to death at every step of the way... and given the massive box office and popular kudos, I can't really say the studio was wrong from a bottom line perspective to do so

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Big Ben
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#182 Post by Big Ben » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:28 pm

Brian C wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:15 am
Well, I guess. But my point is that the movie shouldn't really need the book as a supplemental guide. What you're describing is simply an unsuccessful adaptation by definition.

I'm sure the adaptation was a tough nut to crack, but that just means the filmmakers needed to be more radical in how they went about it. Probably the best course of action would have been to simply adapt the kids half and cut the adults half out completely, i.e., left well enough alone without the sequel. The first movie worked a lot better, with It being a manifestation of childhood traumas (school bullies, abusive homes, etc), but the second seems redundant. They fought It the first time, and then the second time ... fought It again. Big whoop. The least they could have done was reworked how It manifests itself to them as adults, to have some resonance with their adult lives, but the movie just gives us the exact same clown schtick again.
It's actually way worse depending on how far you want to go. An entire figure, the god being Maturin (A cosmic opposite of Pennywise) is not present in the film or miniseries versions. He advises Bill on how to combat Pennywise with the Ritual present in both the book and the second film. And the creator being, Gan (God basically) also helps but if you want more information on how all of those beings tie into the greater mythos you need to read The Dark Tower series which, judging by my hardcover estimates, is over four thousand pages long. This is of course in addition to It which is over eleven hundred pages long. Also missing is a great deal of inner workings on Derry history, the inner thoughts of Pennywise himself and far broader thematic connections to King's universe(s) at large.

Oh and the ending of the book is somewhat different too:
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Pennywise at some level is Derry in the novel. And with his death comes widespread devastation to the town. Streets crack open and the earth breaks apart. The city floods and everything.
I don't disagree with you at all. It's just that so much of It relies on a broader connection to everything else I'm just unsure how to rework it.
domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:27 am
I haven't seen either part, but from what I understand, I don't think the alleged unadaptability of this was the problem, as a laaaaarge portion of the blame appears to be on WB for focus grouping and note-ing this to death at every step of the way... and given the massive box office and popular kudos, I can't really say the studio was wrong from a bottom line perspective to do so
Now that you mention this it makes a lot more sense. It feels like a very safe version of King's story. I'd have loved to have seen Fukunaga's balls to wall version but alas that will never be seen I'm afraid.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#183 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:25 pm

I liked the first chapter quite a bit, but this second one slowly became intolerable. It's so corny and sentimental and, what's stranger, nostalgic about a movie that came out just two years ago. It was a mistake to rewatch the first chapter yesterday in preparation, because so much of the second chapter is spent with what may as well be outtakes and deleted scenes from the first one. I didn't care about all these people walking through old locations and memories and whatever because I never got to spend any time with them as adults. I was basically watching some new acquaintances fondly remember a movie that just came out. It's the weirdest goddamn feeling to spend three hours fondly remembering last season's blockbuster.

black&huge
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#184 Post by black&huge » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 pm

I watched Chapter 2 last night. I fail to see the problems fans and critics are having with it versus the first one. The first chapter is a mechanical chore and all I can really glean is that people were enamored by the comraderie of the kids which I fail to see as anything discernibly presented and actually downright boring. That being said Chapter 2 didn't go the extra mile it only inched over to best the first but that's only because it wouldn't have taken much effort whatsoever.

What is being said overall on and off this board is that it's a tiresome parade of jump scares, goofy cgi monsters that also aren't scary, etc but that's EXACTLY what the first movie was. At least Chapter 2 made an effort to cover the lack of expanding characters and mythos majorly absent in both by unapologetically making an entertaining throughline of the cheap spectacle and I'm strictly speaking in context of what these new versions actually are. Chapter 2 gives us the full ride of the gimmick while Chapter 1 was too self aware that it had to stop to "develop" a story that wasn't really there.

If the major draw of watching the central group of characters is that they're kids with foulmouths with the addition of seeing their personal tragedies and anxieties executed in very cheap network television ways then I can ask why exactly it was so captivating to the majority. I think as adults having to relive those tragedies even if through a questionable decision to just callback to the first film by having numerous characters and creatures return worked a whole lot better. It bypassed the absolute wastefulness of part 1 essentially giving us a second first movie, perhaps the only version that matters.

Taking into account both TV and film adaptations it is disappointing the films are just structural remakes  of the former. It may seem to work easier for the audience to follow the kids in one big half and the adults in the second but as was touched upon in this thread I do not think the confusing cocaine-fueled structure of the novel is unadaptable. Why not challenge the audience in this way if these were ever claimed to be more than fast food horror? In fact with enough planning I think there could exist a relatively streamlined version that constantly hops back and forth between kids/adults like the novel. It would also feel much less like cheating the audience using the hand-holding halved structure.

Lastly this is more just me wanting to mention this because it was extremely confusing but:
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What is to be interpreted when the leper spits that sludge in Eddie's face and "angel of the morning" suddenly plays? It literally just pops in and out of the soundtrack for a couple seconds. I don't buy that it's just a joke because obviously it is but there was no previous setup to that song being significant to him in any way.
I enjoyed the film, surprisingly.

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Murdoch
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#185 Post by Murdoch » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:00 pm

black&huge wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 pm
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What is to be interpreted when the leper spits that sludge in Eddie's face and "angel of the morning" suddenly plays? It literally just pops in and out of the soundtrack for a couple seconds. I don't buy that it's just a joke because obviously it is but there was no previous setup to that song being significant to him in any way.
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I don't think it was anything other than an upbeat song thrown in for some easy laughs. It's a very odd moment, I agree.

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pianocrash
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Re: It (Andrés Muschietti, 2017/2019)

#186 Post by pianocrash » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:21 pm

Murdoch wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:00 pm
black&huge wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 pm
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What is to be interpreted when the leper spits that sludge in Eddie's face and "angel of the morning" suddenly plays? It literally just pops in and out of the soundtrack for a couple seconds. I don't buy that it's just a joke because obviously it is but there was no previous setup to that song being significant to him in any way.
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I don't think it was anything other than an upbeat song thrown in for some easy laughs. It's a very odd moment, I agree.
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However, this was not as disorienting as having the same actor portraying both Eddie's mother & current wife, but that's life.

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