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Mr. Beaks Reviews NEVER LET ME GO

Life is full of awful epiphanies, a series of shocks that, one by one, threaten to jolt the wonder out of our life. We start off with so much hope, eager to believe in every mystic, magical thing; then we learn, much to our horror, that these things cannot exist, that they are manmade fantasies designed to forestall despair. It's at this point that we resolve to fill our lives with knowledge or distraction; we mean to either make something of our time on this planet, or fill it with noise so as to drown out the ticking of the clock. We do what we can. And then one day we are old. That day arrives quickly for the three main characters in NEVER LET ME GO, a devastatingly precise adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's acclaimed novel from director Mark Romanek and screenwriter Alex Garland. We meet them as children, and watch with wistful recognition as they learn the fantasies so fastidiously built up for them by adults are nothing but lies. We empathize with their plight. But the lies they've been told are far more pernicious; there is a horrible secret being kept from them by their teachers at Hailsham boarding school. And once it's revealed, they do not run or fight or deny it; they simply accept it as a rotten proposition, and try not to think too much about the inevitable. They do what we do. Set in a dystopian alternate reality where a medical breakthrough has prolonged life beyond the age of 100, NEVER LET ME GO is technically a work of science-fiction. But Romanek and Garland, hewing closely to Ishiguro's text, have crafted a briskly-told coming-of-age story that's more A SEPARATE PEACE than BLADE RUNNER. The narrative is cleanly divided into three acts, the first of which is confined to the suffocatingly drab grounds of Hailsham, located somewhere in a drearily sunless section of England. The film is selectively narrated by Kathy (Carey Mulligan), who has grown up to become a "carer", which, we surmise from the prologue, has to do with tending to individuals confronting daunting medical procedures or disease. There is unmistakable foreshadowing here, but Garland is careful to keep us in the dark as to the disquieting purpose of Hailsham; mostly, he emphasizes the awkward stirrings of love and lust in these precocious youngsters. For Kathy and Tommy (Andrew Garfield), it's a tentative and painful period; for Ruth (Keira Knightley), it's a less anxious time given her confidence and physical beauty. And then, at a far too young age, they're told about "donation" and "completion". This is their destiny, and it is not comforting. Ruth copes with the trauma by cleaving to Tommy, who helplessly acquiesces to her assertive desires; this leaves Kathy as something of a heartbroken third wheel. This is the dynamic heading into the film's second act, which unfolds at "The Cottages", where these emotionally-addled creatures get their first opportunity to engage with the outside world. Ruth and Tommy are very much a couple, while Kathy is lovelorn - and her misery is only exacerbated when Ruth realizes she's still pining for Tommy. Considering that there's a potential benefit to the establishment of "true love", Ruth's taunting of Kathy isn't so much cruel as it is desperate; in a perverse way, it actually behooves her to extinguish Kathy's hope of one day luring Tommy away. There isn't much exposition in Ishiguro's novel, and there's even less in Garland's adaptation; this is a rare modern-day screenplay that demands (and rewards) the viewer's attention. This is of vital importance in the early going, when the world is meant to be as new and mysterious to us as it is the children; however, as the characters enter adulthood, and the wonder dies out, this understatement forces us to examine the supremely nuanced work of the three young actors, all of whom are at their very best. Knightley is predictably adept at conveying Ruth's possessive carnality, but she projects unexpected frailty and resignation during the "donation" stage of the story; she's turned in superlative work in the past, but she's never broken my heart quite like this. Her quiet swagger is deftly offset by Garfield's tightly-coiled awkwardness. Having recently seen him as a bold, womanizing reporter in RED RIDING, I was stunned by how effortlessly Garfield captured Tommy's skittish demeanor; Peter Parker will be a cinch for this kid. And everything will be easy for Mulligan, who strikes nary a false note as Kathy navigates the treacherous peaks and valleys of growing up. Mulligan's got the poise and the versatility of the greats - and she's just getting started. Though he's got three acting thoroughbreds at his disposal, Romanek wisely keeps the emotional temperature turned down for most of the movie. He's given the film a muted, slightly dilapidated look: there's nothing new in this world; aside from a few flourishes (like cars and computers), it feels like the characters are stuck in the 1950s (which, coincidentally, is when the "medical breakthrough" occurred). So when Romanek does allow a sliver of joy to break through the grayness (like when adolescent Kathy sways swooningly in time to fictional chanteuse Judy Bridgewater's rendition of "Never Let Me Go"*), it's completely overwhelming. Though there are obviously omissions and slight alterations to the narrative, there are few films that so perfectly replicate the experience of reading the book as NEVER LET ME GO. They both evoke a similar melancholy in asking the reader/viewer to consider life's brevity, and how we tend to accumulate more regrets than triumphs. Though quite different aesthetically, the emotional effect is not unlike watching an Ozu film - in fact, while I've no problem with Kathy's final voiceover (some critics are complaining, but how is this stating of the theme different from Scout spelling out the message of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD?), Garland could've easily swapped out the epilogue of Ishiguro's novel for Setsuko Hara's sad summation from TOKYO STORY. "Isn't life disappointing?" It is. But there is hope in the idea that we find comfort in other people. Briefly. Until they're gone. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

*A different version than the one by Curtis Mayfield. Written by legendary songwriter Luther Dixon, Jane Monheit performs it for the soundtrack. The only previous recording of this song I've heard is by Lloyd Price. It's lovely.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Stacktrace or gtfo

    by lostboytexas

    also first

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Poor the firsters

    by palimpsest

    Pray for them all, for they know not what they do.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    i thought this was about vampire hitgirl

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    too many movies with phrases... also wasnt this reviewed a year ago?

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Why havent i heard of this one before?

    by PedroM

    Alex Garland? i´m in.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by Valenni


  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:35 p.m. CST

    On a serious note...

    by Valenni

    I hate these vampire films!! And Knightley has hardly any blood in her skeletal body :-( Anyway, who wants to see a 1950's period drama featuring 3 abused children vampires!!

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Science Woops Art Once Again...

    by zinc_chameleon

    Get as depressed as you want over this movie/novel, but science has moved past this grim approach about five years ago. There's no need to grow adult clones: Arnold's 2002 actioner 'The Sixth Day' is way closer to the truth. And finally, most humans who live to be 100 (and we'll all live to be 120, quite soon) are resolutely happy. I hope they found the right medications for Ishiguro...

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:49 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:56 p.m. CST


    by uberman

    I cant imagine it being anymore of a downer than A.I. was.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Wow. Lots of retardation so far in this TB.

    by dr sauch

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Holy shit I need to see this movie

    by IndustryKiller!

    Like RIGHT now.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Oh come on! It's only playing at the fucking Arclight??

    by IndustryKiller!

    I fucking hate that theater. I can't stand its corporate blandness, its ridiculous overpriced tickets, its assigned seating, its CONSTANT procurement of smaller films as exclusives (which robs great indie houses like Laemmles), and that everyone seems to think it's the greatest theater on Earth. Fuck the Arclight. A terrible place to watch a great intimate film.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    So happy its playing at the Arclight

    by TalkingBowlOfPunch

    It ensures that pretentious twats like IndustryKiller are nowhere near me.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by IndustryKiller!

    If that's your POV, LA must be tough on you. Have fun with that.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST

    This is NOT a vampire movie!!!

    by MyGodItsFullOfStars

    To the geniuses who think this is a vampire movie (as opposed to a "cloning movie," if that's the proper terminology): There's a difference between "Let the Right One In" and "Never Let Me Go"! Are you illiterate? It's like confusing The Pirates of Penzance with The Pirates of the Caribbean! WAKE UP and get off whatever drugs you're on.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST

    This is, in all honesty, the best review I've read

    by jimmay

    on this increasingly declining site in years. Bravo, sir.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:51 p.m. CST


    by TalkingBowlOfPunch

    Wannabes like you make me laugh

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    NEVER LET ME GO is like...

    by AsimovLives

    ... THE ISLAND for people who have more then two working brain cells inside their skulls.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Eating a meal during a movie is so wrong.

    by RPLocke

    If I want a meal during a movie I'd stay home.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 5:58 p.m. CST

    The Clone Wars - * Spoilers *

    by arctic monkey

    So...if I understand the story correctly...all these clones are just going to sit idly by and wait for harvesting? They're not going to run or struggle or fight back? And there's no explanation for their passiveness? Really?

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    arctic monkey

    by Canuck815

    Yeah, Ishiguru and the screenwriter have both kind of said you have to be willing to suspend disbelief for that. It's a dealbreaker for many people, but really the kids are conditioned to accept that they are going to have a short lifespan from a very young age. They are even kind of brought up to have a sense of pride if they are good donors. They said they just wanted to make a statement about life and death and the time we have, and weren't really out to make an Island-esque getaway story (this very question was actually brought up at the TIFF Q&A on the weekend).

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Should probably add..

    by Canuck815

    that the movie was great, but make sure to read the book after. There's a lot of little things left out/altered that don't really take away from the movie, but will make you appreciate the story more. If anything, the book has a few more of the lighthearted moments the movie left out. It really was a bit of a downer.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST

    im not illiterate

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    i just dont know what the vampire girl american remake is called...

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Well stated...

    by Admiral Akwelches

    Ishiguro handles the complexity of life that is for most of us full of disappointments, rejection, loss, the way the most gentle of doctors (the one who reminds us of our favorite grandfather - be him real or idealized), would tell us we have cancer and no hope of beating it. Great review, written with a building anticipation and dread that spurs soldiers into battle.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    hated this god damn book

    by BBMovieGuys

    nuff said

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Industry, assigned seating...

    by HansBubi a beautiful thing when (1) in a major city, and (2) customers can choose their seats online before showing up to the theater. I'm not sure if the theater you're referring to meets my two criteria.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 7:18 p.m. CST



  • Sept. 15, 2010, 7:19 p.m. CST



    Like the Island eh? How is THAT not a spoiler????? Stupid AssyMuff.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Nice review Beaks,

    by FrecklesBauer

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

    jesus christ

    by BadMrWonka

    you drooling imbeciles don't deserve a book or a movie as good as this one.<p>just stay at home and watch the Paranormal Activity 2 trailer over and over.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Parts: The Clonus Horror

    by jimmay

    The original, and worst clone-farm movie. Check it out, preferably the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Seeing this next weekend.

    by CatVutt

    Sounds good.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 10:06 p.m. CST

    I'm Still Here ... Let Me In ...

    by ReportAbuse

    Never Let Me Go! (You again?) It's kind of a funny story.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 10:17 p.m. CST


    by tatoosh

    Boring movie season. This movie looks boring as hell. I'm so bored I'm drinking bleach. I'm so bored I'm drinking bleach. I'M....SO....BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRED!!!!!!!!!!!! The Dead Milkmen ruled. Still bored though. This site hasn't had an interesting article in weeks. ZZZZZzzzzzzzz....

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 10:21 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    Could Never Let Me Go be confused with Let Me In? Possibly, but were Up and Up In the Air confused for each other and were The 9 and Nine confused for each other? Or was it 9 and The Nine? And what about District 9? Just pay attention, folks.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 10:48 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 11:09 p.m. CST

    some of you would be bored if

    by gotilk

    aliens landed and communicated by pushing orgasms telepathically. THROW THE RITALIN AWAY!

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 1:06 a.m. CST


    by IndustryKiller!

    Hey man, just fyi, I hear there are some great Thursday specials at the Saddle Ranch in Universal City, figured it seems about your scene.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 3:25 a.m. CST

    My cat insists I get those glasses

    by NippleEffect

    cat's about to be introduced to the 8th day of the week<p> punt day

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 5:41 a.m. CST

    thanks movie industry

    by CostCo

    ...for so successfully destroying the reputation of an entire genre of literature that reviewers become apologists when they have to review a science fiction movie without big robots, space battles or wacky costumes in. the science fiction i used to read as a kid was all about IDEAS, not explosions and FX. and this movie, and the book, are both Science Fiction. why apologize for that fact?

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 7:33 a.m. CST

    I think this is the worst TB I've ever read.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST

    ...oh, and the movie sounds good. The hard part...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...will be deciding whether to watch it when I'm in a rare good mood that needs crushing...or when I'm feeling crappy and really want to take the despair to 11.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    No need to suspend disbelief at all

    by The McPoyle Clan

    If you live in this world, you see the actions of people who have been conditioned since a very young age to believe in certain things and passively accept them without question.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Dystopian movie recommendation seeker

    by MyGodItsFullOfStars

    Since I currently have a fetish for dystopian cinema (probably the result of current 21st-century angst), I'll probably see "Never Let Me Go," even though it sounds like a 99 on the depression meter. But I'm curious to hear from the experts out there (not the ones who think this is a vampire movie) about what they might consider to be the best dystopian flicks. I'm deeply familiar with a lot of the classics (Clockwork Orange, the Charlton Heston trilogy, Brazil, Blade Runner, etc.) and stinkers (Logan's Run, that legendary piece of crap), so does anyone wanna toss me some other titles?

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST

    ...MyGod, read 1984. I was expecting...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...a good book with quaint notions about the "future", but 1984 knocked me on my ass.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Hey Beaks any comment on the notion...

    by Cameron1

    that this is an emotional torture porn film as espoused by a couple of critics including filmfreakcentral's Bill Chambers? Cus damn if he didn't seem to nail down a specific kind of oscar bait exploitation in his TIFF capsure review of Never Let Me Go.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    ...and of course CITY OF LOST CHILDREN...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...CHILDREN OF MEN, GATTACA, and 12 MONKEYS...if you haven't seen them already.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    That review was a religious experience!!

    by belasco_house

    Or anti-religious... or something...<p> I need to sit down<p> <p> Why the hell am I standing up?

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 10:36 a.m. CST

    the problem isn't their passivity...

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Obviously you can indoctrinate or create that sort of demeanor. It seems to me cloning parts as needed would be more effective and less murky. Or do these fully cloned bodies serve as some sort of Venture-style backup?

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    (SPOILER) @ Cream Cheese

    by Ray Garraty #47

    Nope - bodies aren't backups, organs are harvested a la carte as needed. You are right about cloning organs instead of people making a lot more sense but the novel doesn't lend itself to that type of analysis easily. (I mean that respectfully-obviously you are free to analyse it however you want). In the novel I always felt like the clones never revolted because they felt like providing the organs was their reason to exist, a responsibility. They had questions but they were handled with childlike curiosity and eventual acceptance. The theme of the book is that if you sit around and DO NOTHING, then you are powerless and your life will go by without you and you can be manipulated for good or ill by others. It's not a "rise against" type of story; the theme is more important to the storyteller than the plot, if that makes any sense. <p> On a lighter note, Lloyd Price is AWESOME. He sang "Stagger Lee" on Treme this season and he sounds like he's been recieving some cloned organs himself. Great voice. Also, if you read "The Road" and "Never Let Me Go" back to back, I think it would be possible to die from depression-related organ failure.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by ColonelFatheart

    METROPOLIS or Godard's ALPHAVILLE, which is a bit of a slog but still essential viewing. <p>ROBOCOP, too ... although I'm pretty sure you've seen that by now. <p>And, hey, I liked LOGAN'S RUN. It's dated, yeah, and a little cheesy, but it hits some pretty profound, poetic notes about aging and mortality toward the end, particularly the parts in the ruined Capitol building.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Why get depressed over a fantasy?

    by zinc_chameleon

    It's set in an alternate Earth, where a rough version of cloning is perfected in the early 1950s. But that isn't anything like today's bio-engineering. Google'nano neuro knitting' to see where things are really at. If someone created a dreadful fantasy piece about at 1940's alternate Earth where antibiotics didn't exist, would you get weepy and forlorn? I'd be more likely to wonder what's in the fridge at that point, and get up and look.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Great review, just nails the movie

    by Smilin'Jack Ruby

    But no mention that Charlotte Rampling effectively plays the same character here as she did in "Babylon A.D.?!?!?" Took me right out of the movie.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST

    ...zinc_chameleon, read the first paragraph of the...

    by FlickaPoo again. I haven't seen the movie yet, but most good SF just uses science and fiction to highlight something that is already true.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Depression and Fantasy Genre

    by Ray Garraty #47

    It's the sign of a well-created story regardless of genre if you feel some strong emotion for the characters and their plight, isn't it?

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST

    It's about suspension of disbelief...

    by zinc_chameleon

    for thoughtful sf, it's important that the world building is convincing. That's why the neuroscience in Avatar pulled me in, but Inception threw me out. Cameron worked on convincing us that Avatars were real, but Inception's science wasn't as good as 'This Island Earth', which has some of the best sf-bullshit dialog you'll ever hear. I'd have to be convinced that a society that could perfect cloning at this level couldn't find a way to do it non-violently. Until then, I'm neither depressed, nor impressed.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I went into this book

    by Bass Ackwards

    For some reason I went into this book thinking it was a story about a school for psychic kids. Kept waiting for the story to pick up when the kids finally realized their powers, didn't quite go the way I was expecting.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Terrible book

    by banville

    Just dreadful, a huge disappointment.<p> My guess is this film is one that people will admire rather than actually like or enjoy.

  • Sept. 16, 2010, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Totally thought this was Let Me In

    by army_of_me


  • Sept. 17, 2010, 3:36 a.m. CST


    by qusiba

    welcome to: The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short shippingcompetitive priceany size availableaccept the paypal 90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$ jordan shoes $32 90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$ nike shox $32Christan Audigier bikini $23Ed Hardy Bikini $23Smful short_t-shirt_woman $15ed hardy short_tank_woman $16Sandal $32christian louboutin $80Sunglass $15COACH_Necklace $27handbag $33AF tank woman $17puma slipper woman $30 90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 8:36 a.m. CST

    If it makes any difference,

    by Ray Garraty #47

    The harvesting of the organs is not a violent act. You are put under general anasthesia and a caregiver is waiting to comfort you when you wake up. But I get where you're coming from - to me the world-building is not as important as the characters.

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Terrible film and even more terrible worldview

    by caprica

    That view of life couldn't possibly be more wrong Beaks. Good luck to you though.

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 10:40 a.m. CST

    NEVER LET ME GO and....

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    ...LET ME IN to your pussy until I am BURIED waist deep because I am GOING THE DISTANCE...much further than THE OTHER GUYS.

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Eating a meal during a movie is so wrong, by RPLocke

    by Sonny_Williams

    Obviously most people feel the same way, which is why the Alamo Drafthouse concept is such a dismal failure. Oh wait, it's a huge SUCCESS!! Once again proving that Locke marches to the beating of his own cock...

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    I actually agree with RPLocke on that

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    If you can't go 2 hours without eating a meal, something is very, very wrong. Listening to people stuff their faces with popcorn is annoying enough.

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    When I see a movie, i'm watching the movie

    by RPLocke

    I hate being distracted.

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    So it's a feel-good family film?

    by gurugurugaijin

    Sounds like I might have to go see it with some straight razors handy.

  • Sept. 17, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    i'll see it

    by frank cotton

    frank is a glutton for this sort of thing. chicks will flock to see it, but they will end up so depressed that there will be no happy sex afterwards. BEAKS - brutal first paragraph dude, good thing i was already wasted, or i'd have been bummed...

  • Sept. 18, 2010, 2:33 a.m. CST


    by qusiba

    welcome to: The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short shippingcompetitive priceany size availableaccept the paypal 90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$ jordan shoes $32 90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$ nike shox $32Christan Audigier bikini $23Ed Hardy Bikini $23Smful short_t-shirt_woman $15ed hardy short_tank_woman $16Sandal $32christian louboutin $80Sunglass $15COACH_Necklace $27handbag $33AF tank woman $17puma slipper woman $30 90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$

  • Sept. 18, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Carey Mulligan

    by Doctor_Strangepork

    She's the only girl alive that doesn't instantly make my stomach hurt.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Children of Men + The Island +Atonement

    by doodler

    i like each of those things (to varying degrees), but all in one melodrama/romance flick? With A.I.'s ethical debates raging in the background? <P> Blade Runner w/o the action? Thank you, no.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Blade Runner had action?

    by RPLocke

    All I remember was some car flying around.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    It was by far the best movie of the year for me. And this is after seeing The Town yesterday. My wife and I left the theater and went straight to B&N to get the book. The entire theater was in sniffles during the car I'm talking about. Not a dry eye in the house. Absolutely stunned by Carey Mulligan and the entire cast, including the little kids. Great cinema is alive and well thanks to the likes of Mark Romanek. <p> Yes, shades of Blade Runner, AI, The Island, etc. but this movie to me rises above them all. A masterful tale about love, friendship, the meaning of living, mortality ... perfectly told. I would not change a frame of this film. I know some people have certain problems with the story but I share in none of the criticism. Everything portrayed was valid within the reality of this world. Carey Mulligan's accolades are well deserved. This was a truly haunting film. I hope more people see and support it.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:01 a.m. CST

    That is one bleak opening paragraph, Beaks

    by Jim_Kirks_Crunchy_Delicious_Chair_Apple

    Wow. Try some Cool Ranch Doritos.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 2:02 a.m. CST

    Mr. Beaks?

    by MyScreenplayWasRejected

    More like Mr. Bleak.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Lousy poster

    by The StarWolf

    Doesn't give you a clue as to what the film's about. Romance? Actioner? Crime? Just "Best Novel of the Decade" and, if you haven't read it, have no reason to want to go see it. They need a new head of marketing .

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 1:18 p.m. CST

    do those fucking spam ads get weeded out?

    by Wirraway

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Re: IndustryKiller and TalkingBowl

    by SK229

    With all due respect, I've lived in L.A. and New York, been to the Arclight and every other theater many times... but I hate to tell you, New York has the market cornered on pretentious twat filmgoers, mmmkay? In L.A., people actually LIKE movies. In New York, they hate movies unless it's the worst kind of pandering, feel-smart, sadomasochistic, passive-aggressive, pretentious shit to grace the screen... either that or their friend had something to do with making said shit and they'll love it no matter what. Oh, and even the 'good' theaters suck ass. In L.A., you can go to the most out-of-the-way senior citizen loving theater in Marina del Rey and still get super fucking clean floors, seats, bathrooms, and counters as well as amazing sound and a screen free of baseball sized spitballs. That's usually the most basic set-up in L.A... in New York, that's known as the Ziegfeld.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Trailer is bloody terrible

    by Ray_Tango

    This review makes the film sound significantly better than the awful trailer. "Oh look at me I'm a smart British'ish film with dramatic acting and a subdued colour palette, with restrained cinematography, and oh yeah, most these actors have been nominated for an Oscar, and they act really dramatically, and oh, oh, there's a character shouting and looking up." Fucking yaaaawn.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Beaks is one of this site's saving graces

    by Kammich

    Almost every talkbacker complains about the vapid quality of the movie reviews, or general lack thereof... yet Beaks posts a concise, deeply thought provoking movie review and some people still complain about it. Just can't please everyone, I guess. keep up the good work Beaks.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 4:26 a.m. CST


    by CostCo

    that visual style of 'Britishness' you loathe so readily? Mark Romanek. Not a Brit.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 4:48 a.m. CST


    by CostCo

    it's clear that different people find different 'hooks' in films that let the into the film' world. although there was plenty of evidence scientific research in AVATAR, much of it was pushed aside in order to fit the simple story. i found that the design work, the beautiful detail and complex creatures that drew me in to AVATAR, despite its woeful plot. with INCEPTION, of course there's a lot less science there, in fact, there's almost no science in INCEPTION. it's one of those stories that takes a single scientific development and weaves a story about how this development affects the lives of a group of characters. i suspect NEVER LET ME GO is in this category. i just hope it's as successful at crafting a number of rules about that technology, and sticking to them, as INCEPTION was.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    zinc as well

    by t_kwilly

    making a blanket comment that those who live to 100 are resolutely happy is absurd. people sustain life mainly out of fear of death or an unsubstantial past. living to 120 just amplifies these issues. add in the guilt of a family that doesn't want to be "blamed" for the death of a dying relative and i feel the need to call you out. if your comment is based only on the novel, i stand down. if it is supposed to reflect our world, i do not.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST


    by t_kwilly

    I'm on your side, but I thought Inception was weak. They dodged the science in a workable manner, but I lose my patience with any/all movies that devolve into shoot-outs or tense stand-offs at the end WHEN THE ENTIRE SETUP FOR THE FILM IS SMARTER THAN A GUN BATTLE. It's reached a point where I feel that my favorite "new" film will be a 15-20 minute action scene followed by tense escapes and finally a good 30 minute drama about why everything occurred and what may happen next.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Hey FlickaPoo, you read A Brave New World

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    or Utopia? <p> If you loved 1984, check 'em out. Utopia is absolutely brilliant.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Full of Stars - Zardoz

    by Turingtestee

    Saw it recently and it is an odd one. A Boy and His Dog as well. Both currently making the rounds on cable TV. Delicatessen.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 8:28 a.m. CST

    I'm Still Here ... Let Me In

    by susankq1111

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  • Sept. 29, 2010, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Beaks banned D.Vader for this:

    by Transhuman

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 1:11 p.m. CST

    I Liked This Movie Much, Much, Much Better When It Was Called "T

    by derek_vinyard

    i mean, give me a fucking break. "the island" came out in 2005, the same year ishijapso published his "original novel". now, i know michael bay has been churning out junk the last few years, but "the isalnd" is a thing of beauty. this just leans so heavily on that film, that it's ludicrous to present it as original. besides, i'd rather fuck scarlett over those two androgynous british bitches any day.

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I Meant "The Island"

    by derek_vinyard

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Banning D Vader

    by lock67ca

    Was a classless and shitty move. He did nothing to deserve it and Beaks damn well knows it. That was just fucking retarded.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST

    "Never Let Me Go"

    by tensticks

    Something this site will never do to the author of this article, unfortunately.