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A New York Spy gets a look at the Dylan flick I'M NOT THERE!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I moderated a panel with Eli Roth at the New York Comic-Con (and interviewed an idol of mine, Stephen King) and talked to a few readers in my brief time at the Con... it seems as if I kinda inadvertently recruited a spy while at the Con and now that spy has seen I'M NOT THERE with a Q&A with director Todd Haynes and actor Bruce Greenwood. Enjoy "Marshmeli's" review.

Hey Quint, Tonight I saw a movie and since it hasn't been release yet I figured I would send you a review of it. Hoping to get the chance to run into you again this year at NYC Comic Con, my fiancee (girlfriend at that time) and I meet you right after Eli Roth's session while waiting in line to have our posters signed. Now, on to the review: I will make this review nice and short because I know you have previously ran reviews of the film. If you use this on the site you can call me marshmeli. Tonight I saw I'm Not There at the Museum of the Moving Image screening in NYC with Todd Haynes and Bruce Greenwood at the end for a Q&A. Right off the bat I can say that it was a very interesting and different film - as you can tell from the premise of it being the early career of Bob Dylan portrayed by 6 different actors who are of different ages, sex and even race. There is definately a lot to take in and it REALLY helps if you know about Bob Dylan. I know a decent amount about him by being a fan of his music, but my Fiancee who also went with me (you can call her "my better half") knew little to nothing about him and did not like the movie at all. Not a typical mainstream movie, the individual stories meld together at different points in time. I felt, when jumping from character to character the main concern while gathering all the information should be the attitudes and opinions/views of what each Dylan is saying and living not so much the context of how and where it is happening (though that is important in its own right). The film is also very interesting because the story of John/Jack (Bale) is shown as a pseudo-documentary so that a nice change of pace in the film. The editing is top notch and the acting is superb. Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw have the most amount of screen time though all the actors have ample time and each story is entertaining. Jude's (Blanchett) story was the most enjoyable and informative to me along with John/Jack's. You really feel the actors are engulfed in Dylan's life but are just a different visual representation of him. They each do a great job with their voices, again though, Cate really nails it. I was also able to attend the Concert on Thursday in celebration of the film at the Beacon Theater and most of the artists from the great soundtrack where there performing. As Todd mentioned in the Q&A having the actors mainly lip sync in the film to the covers of the Dylan's amazing songs was a nice touch and helped the viewer know that you were watching a character playing a different persona of Dylan and not just an actor in Biopic imitating the musician. For me, there was also 2 enjoyable cameos of musicians in the film: Richie Havens early on; and Jim James (from My Morning Jacket) towards the end. Another interesting thing I learned from the Q&A was that Todd always intended to cast the Jude character as a female. All and all, I was happy to see the film. However, I can definitely not recommend it to everyone and for non-Dylan fans who may not enjoy watching a non-linear story with lots of interpretation I may go as far to suggest waiting until the DVD is out, it may help for an easier time to follow the story. If you would like to view the story about one of the most brilliant musicians ever and want to see a non-traditional biopic, this is the film for you.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 11, 2007, 6:10 a.m. CST

    i am there

    by darwinwins

    bob dylan's mississippi is my favorite song and since he's from the midwest, we support our own.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 6:41 a.m. CST

    I wouldn't go out with someone who knew nothing about Bob Dylan

    by Sepulchrave

    I mean...nothing. I don't care whether people are fans or not, but it's like being unaware of Elvis or Lennon or Buddha. It bespeaks an almost limitless cultural ignorance.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I love Dylan but this sounds gimmicky.

    by kikuchiyoboy

    I'll see it but after all those wonderful docs about Dylan it's hard to think of a biopic as window into Dylan. <br> <br> It sounds interesting enough, but I hope the multiple faces of Dylan don't distract me too much. Sucks the reviewers girl didn't like it. He should sit her down to one of his docs. There's no way you can NOT be facinated by the world of Dylan.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Remember that Adam Sandler movie

    by Napoleon Park

    where he had long curly hair, need a shave and wore a coat and scarf and looked exactly like the cover to Blonde On Blonde? First time I saw a commercial for that I thought THAT was a Dylan movie.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Bernie Mac..

    by nolan bautista

    has a turn at a young Dylan..he's pretty dead on..

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST

    my thoughts exactly, sepulchrave

    by Mostholy

    Good call.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    I don't get it

    by JoeSixPack


  • Nov. 11, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Does it show Dylan 420 w/the Beatles?

    by JeffManSixtyFo

    and how the Fabs made Ringo "the royal taste tester" and smoke the first doobie to his head before they tried it.Now THATS a movie worth watching

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 5:23 p.m. CST

    David Cross as Ginsberg

    by th1nk

    'Nuff said.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 8:22 p.m. CST

    The film is mess.

    by CatVutt

    Cate B is brilliant, anytime her parts of the film are up on screen it works very well. The rest? Mostly painful preciousness, and in serious need of a recut. If I'm making this movie, Richard Friggin' Gere ain't even in the damn thing. His section is mind-numbingly dull and virtually pointless. And when we're at the two hour mark and getting a drawn out scene of one of our faux Dylans getting pissy and then yelling at a Paparazzi...are you fucking kidding me? Really? You've dragged me through two hours for this cliche' garbage? And don't get me started on the absymal 'documentary' stuff. All of it is a very one-note riff on various Dylan visual gags, and by the third or fourth one, you're just groaning, not finding them clever. Get the thing on DVD and watch the Cate bits, skip the rest.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST


    by Mostholy

    It's not pretentious to call ignorant people ignorant. It just is.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Bein' a pretentious douche is workin out gr8 4 me, ya dumbfuk

    by Sepulchrave

    You pathetic little insect. Get back to your X Box.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Anyone who waited....

    by LORDRANDO a line to meet eli roth is automatically suspect....their opinion doesnt count for shit to me...i like real films, not snuff films....sickos

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Spazatronic 2000

    by RenoNevada2000

    I can almost guarantee that just about anything you listen to can be traced either to classic rock,50s rock and roll or jump blues. If any of that stuff sucks, what does it say about the music that you listen which is built on the formers' foundations?

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I listen solely to eskimo chants

    by seppukudkurosawa

    sung over the sound of plucked walrus rib-cage guitars. What does Jerry Lee Lewis have to do with that?<p>

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by LegoKenobi

    they both play guitars.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 1:32 p.m. CST

    follow up - my point

    by LegoKenobi

    my point is, RenoNevada2000 is right: unless you only listen to western music made before about 1920 (or music from other non-western areas from before the 1960s), it's pretty impossible to find something contemporary that's NOT influenced by jazz, rock or blues. even contemporary electronic musicians and rap artists will admit to being influenced by all those types of music, and will readily admit to liking them, so what's wrong with accepting the full scope of the western musical legacy? 'sall good, brutha.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Can't we wait till the guy's dead?

    by Bot-Bot

    I mean, normally when you raise someone to the status of sainthood, as they've done with Dylan, you need to wait a few decades so the myth isn't shattered by the reality of a mumbling old ex-alcoholic with a massive ego.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 6:40 a.m. CST

    This review reads

    by giallo_25

    as if written by a 12 year old.