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Harry says Mark Romanek's NEVER LET ME GO is truly Fantastic!

NEVER LET ME GO leaves me concerned regarding an American audience’s ability to fully comprehend and empathize with the characters they’re watching on a screen. Mark Romanek’s latest film is based upon Kazuo Ishiguro’s brilliant novel, NEVER LET ME GO. If you’re familiar with Ishiguro’s REMAINS OF THE DAY – you’ll realize the sort of film you’re getting yourself into. Like REMAINS OF THE DAY, this is about a servant class. Only the servants of NEVER LET ME GO, do not pour coffee, nor do they wash you’re clothes. But one day, when you need them, their organs will be yours – and the servants do not resent their lot in life – they simply live the best life that they can expect to have until the time is called upon to make their first donation. NEVER LET ME GO begins at a boarding school in the seventies, somewhere in the English countryside. Their entire lives have been at this school. They are not watching the latest movies, nor reading anything that the school does not provide. They’ve never had parents that told them how their parents met, fell in love… none of that. They are not taught ambition, nor do they long for growing up. Instead they are taught that they are special, that their reason for existence is a noble one, something to live up to, not run from. Their entire lives are about giving longer lives to others. So don’t go to NEVER LET ME GO, if you’re wanting a LOGAN’S RUN or a REPOMEN style movie. This is a film that isn’t about evading fate, but embracing it. Living the life you have, no matter how short it may be. There’s a powerful scene where the children are all sitting in their class like good little boys & girls, when their teacher stands before them – and contrary to the rules of the school – she lays out their lives. Telling them that they will only barely grow up. But that there will be no time for the dreams of youth – none of these kids will become Astronauts, Doctors or travel to the United States. That shortly after they reach an age of maturity they will begin to have their organs harvested, thus saving the lives of their ‘originals’ – And you can see this revelation having an effect upon the kids. Most simply accept it, others see it as a call to enjoy what life they have. To fall in love. Because that they can do. Ultimately though – this isn’t a story about the world they live in. You won’t be seeing scientific whiz-bangery – that isn’t what this film is about. Ultimately, this is about nearly unrequited childhood love. This is about life and death. Now – once this film becomes the domain of Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley – there’s a sadness that clouds the sides of the frames. We know that once it becomes their story, their story hasn’t much longer. Carey Mulligan’s Kathy is in love with Andrew Garfield’s Tommy – and Keira Knightley’s Ruth saw their true love and coveted it. So she stole Tommy away from the shy Kathy. This is something we see happen while they are children, but we can see the ramifications throughout their short lives. True Love denied by one who will take any love she can have. It is only late in these abbreviated lives that Ruth can see this and admit this – As I was watching the film, I began empathizing with these characters, not because they resemble anything in my life – but because as I sat there in the theater, I began to imagine a life unlike my own. One where I was never allowed to be exposed to all the things that made me me. A world where I was made to think about life in a microcosm. What if I had only ever known and lived with the friends I had made in Elementary School. There was a girl in Elementary that was sweet on me, and upon whom I was also sweet. Imagining no parents or family. The film didn’t start ripping at my heart, until a moment later in the film that puts these three main characters in a car, driving to spend one last journey together – and realizing… this is most likely the last time these three would spend – and Ruth is making the most of it. She has a big sin in her heart that she must fix before she dies – and she knows she won’t have. But honestly – it was just the idea of a roadtrip with those you love dearest before saying goodbye. Making good on the petty things we’ve done in life – and wondering if I’d ever see my friend Edward Shelton again. I haven’t seen Edward since High School graduation. We used to talk on the phone a couple of times a year, but beginning 5 months prior to my wedding – he disappeared. Right now, I don’t know if he’s alive or dead – but if he’s either, I’d like for him to contact me. And that thought hit me on this driving scene in the film. Mark’s film is immaculately shot. The 3 main periods of the film, each being shot with a different evocative film stock – framed and shot like a classic Ozu film, this is a film that allows you to think and feel about the situations and characters on screen. Andrew Garfield is the discovery of the year. From his work in RED RIDING, to his work in THE SOCIAL NETWORK and especially his heart-wrenching work in this. He loves life – and when the end is near – he wants to hang on most. Making a desperate shot in the dark attempt. Relying on a personal mythology that many of the students created to give one hope of getting to stick around, a little longer. In that scene – when Charlotte Rampling enters the situation and it becomes about their reality – you can see the betrayal and the hopelessness enter his eyes… At the same time, if your eyes check in with Carey Mulligan’s Kathy – you can see that she gets it before him. And I get the sense that she knew all along. Part of why she loves Tommy is because of his capacity to hope for more. Partly because of his eyes and what she sees there. Mainly I like to think it is because of a cassette tape he once gave her that I get the feeling she has loved her whole life. Ultimately – this is a similar story to BLADE RUNNER – without the running. They want more life, but they’re not homicidal about it. They’re polite, hopeful and when they’re rejected – it’s like when your insurance company won’t cover a life-saving surgery. It just sucks. You don’t run into the hospital with a gun, you perhaps try more paperwork, but ultimately you know you’re pretty much fucked. By looking at the cast – I get the idea that they get to live to the Rock Star death age of 27. I find myself thinking a lot about this film. At many levels it can be considered a bit of a downer. But I don’t see it that way. Mainly because Carey’s Kathy doesn’t see it that way. Kathy is such a beautiful spirit in this film. She’s the least fearful of the three, mainly because she set herself up to be an aide to those that have begun their period of donation. By being close to death and seeing how demystifying it is… She has a peace about her and she is radiant in comparison to the other two. In many ways the lesson of the film is to not concentrate upon your ending, but rather – focus upon the life you are living. And that’s outstanding. For a film to make you appreciate the life you have. To demystify death. That teaches elegance in life and in death. That’s a high calling for any piece of art – and Mark Romanek has brought those aspects of Kazuo Ishiguro, along with the lessons of duty and the limitations of class to life beautifully. This is one of the great films of 2010. With ONE HOUR PHOTO and NEVER LET ME GO – Mark Romanek is a very curious director to watch. Let’s see what he comes up with next!

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:07 a.m. CST

    totally agree Harry

    by TheDark0Knight

    this was a wonderful flick.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:11 a.m. CST

    9/11 was an inside job


  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:14 a.m. CST

    can you believe this flopped so hard?


    5 million opening weekend? I guess my perception of reality was distorted from all the AICN hype for these 2 films.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:18 a.m. CST

    what the uck is Never Let Me Go?


    I thought this was a Let Me In review lol

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST

    nice review

    by mojination

    It's cool to imagine what Romanek's Wolfman could've been. He seems so adept at exploring some pretty heavy inner dichotomies. He has a great baroque aesthetic.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Harry did you actually read the book ?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Not being rude, but just wondering and a bit cynical when people say comments about a brilliant book. <p> Have read it and I thought it was pretty brilliant, well written. <p>

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:43 a.m. CST


    by runfoodrun

    I love Romanek's work, and this movie is gorgeous to look at...but it's a bore and offers nothing new, and I never once cared for the characters.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:49 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry Harry...

    by Animorganimate

    But does anyone actually care what Harry has to say anymore...let alone read his reviews anymore? Doesn't he seem like the ultimate sell-out? It may just be me...seriously. If I'm wrong, let me know. I love this site and don't want to believe it...but Harry just seems like such a tool now. Again, if I'm wrong...please correct me and show a review from this year that Harry has been spot on about...because I really want to believe.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Looks super serious...

    by Grasscutter

    and boring. Boring's the worse crime a film can commit.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:05 a.m. CST

    sounds heartbreaking

    by antonphd

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 2:30 a.m. CST

    looks amazing

    by Gh0ulardi

    love mark romanek. why isn't this in wide release? too arthousey for the general public?

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:10 a.m. CST

    I feel bad for Mark Romanek

    by BookhouseBoy

    It seems he's had a long run of really shitty luck in movies. Will definitely check this out.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:48 a.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:49 a.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:50 a.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:50 a.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Because Kazuo Ishiguro sure as heck saw THE ISLAND

    by JonChambers

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 4:17 a.m. CST

    D. Vader would never...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...let me go!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Really Harry?!

    by billyhitchcock1

    No Norman Wisdom obit? Really?....Really!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 5:29 a.m. CST

    THE CHOPPAH fuckin' loves Norman Wisdom


    Big in Albania, where he provided the one ray of comedic sunshine against the gloom of communism.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 6:03 a.m. CST

    JonChambers, do you mean 'The Island'...

    by RonnieBarzel

    ...that came out in July 2005, four months after 'Never Let Me Go' was published?

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    I Liked This Movie Better When It Was Called "The Island"

    by derek_vinyard

    fuck you, harry, how can you not mention that movie? either way, fuck you and ishijapso. american audiences will recognize the similarities and boycott this derivative garbage.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    sounds pretty good...but dude?

    by shiekybaby

    Could we possibly have any more spoilers in there? holy jeez, i feel like i just read the cliff notes.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 8:38 a.m. CST

    blah blah, where's the DVD Column?

    by guerillakarma

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Harry, that was a superb take on the film. For me, that was your best review ever. I seriously believe that your trademark child-like, reminisicent take on things helped you see the film in a unique way, to recognize and fully embrace its message. Understandably, the performances touched you as they touched me. But I think they touched you even more. <P> True, everything about this movie has been done before. Everything. Questions about the soul, love triangle, questioning the morality of cloning. But I can't think of a movie doing it better and making itself more relevant to our lives. That's why I continue to be haunted by it. I can't wait to see it again and again. <P> This is no sci-fi tale, so potential viewers be warned. This is a movie that was aptly described by Harry. It's a tale about humanity, love, guilt, redemption, fate, friendship, duty. All that and more. It's the best film of the year, if that even means anything. For me, it was simply one of the best films I'd ever seen. Even if you think Harry gives away everything in his review, you'd be doing yourself an injustice by not seeing it for yourself. The brilliance of this film lies not in its plot points and story but in the performances and execution, and how they make you FEEL. It embodies the power of cinema like few films do. Mark Romanek can rightly be called a master.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 9:07 a.m. CST

    See Harry, here is what honorable sites do..

    by coconutgroves

    See the disclosure at the end of this piece? With your reviews, we can't tell if you truly like something or have been paid.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 9:19 a.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    Pull my finger.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Sounds great, but SPOILER warning, please.

    by Flip63Hole

    No need to tell the whole plot, Harry.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    did you not see the spoiler box around the article link?

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST


    by noswad

    All you people whining about how Never Let Me Go is a copy of The Island...The Island was a blatant rip-off of Parts: The Clonus Horror. "The big-budget 2005 DreamWorks production The Island, also about a colony that breeds clones to harvest organs for the elite, mirrors Clonus in a number of ways. The makers of Clonus filed suit, claiming copyright infringement. On August 25, 2006, the court presiding over this case ruled that it could proceed to trial. According to a 2007 interview with Clonus screenwriter Bob Sullivan, DreamWorks and Clonus Associates reached a settlement, the specific terms of which are sealed.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    The only books Harold reads...


    Are cookbooks. It's like porn for him. <p> Fat fuck ginger sell out!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Flip63Hole

    Yeah, I did, but Jesus, people can review movies without having to tell every friggin' plot point. It got to where it read less like a review and more like a long synopsis.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    a LOTTA Hate for Harry....

    by benlinus

    why is that? and more importantly, does HK even CARE? To me it seems like he doesnt. The direction of this site has really taken a turn for the worst. I remember WAY BACK WHEN I looked forward to the big Guys reviews, NOW they are just self absored, incoherent blatherings about jacking off into a sock. What a disgrace. The only thing I read regarding Harry is the venom spewed on the TB's. I stopped taking Knowles seriously a LONG time ago (Godzilla? Phantom Menace?)

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Do they ever show...

    by Hipshot

    What happens to those who don't mildly accept their fate? There will always be those who buck the system. Without showing that, especially in a situation like this, it is "Gone With The Wind" with human organ banks instead of slaves, happily serving the needs of their masters with no thought for their own needs and futures. Pure upper-class fantasy.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Post the fucking DVD column!

    by Davidhessstation

    It's been weeks now, Christ!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    benlinus, you are right

    by coconutgroves

    What did it for me was his Inception review, or lack thereof. He intentionally waited because he knew he'd have nerd backlash against him. And I don't trust his reviews at all since he doesn't disclose you pays for advertising or travel. This is an outdated site with submarginal news - there are much better sites, like Slashfilm. So why am I posting this? Because its been a habit of mine to check aicn for over a decade and I hope Harry can solve the sites problems. But in reality, this site is so far behind the times and has lost so much credibility.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    He's right... Slashfilm is a good site

    by moorE12

    they have Thor pics, info about the new Landis movie.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:47 p.m. CST

    sounds interesting

    by STLost

    I just reserved the book at the library.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "Do they ever show what happens to those who don't mildly accept their fate?"<p> Thank you for nailing what creeps me out about this movie, same as Speilberg's MINORITY REPORT creeped me out a while back...what seems to be the unquestioning acceptance by the director of an ugly premise.<p> (In MR's case, the notion that people should be found guilty and sentenced for a crime that never actually happened wasn't really questioned, just the idea that someone could manipulate the system to their own ends)<p> Thus, the comparison to BLADE RUNNER is bullshit...the core of that movie is an angry rejection of the notion that an intelligent being should be confined to a mayfly existence for the comfort and luxury of another...this movie seems to be shrugging at that inhumanity. Jeezus, even THE ISLAND had a fairly harrowing scene where the seemingly big, tough linebacker played by Michael Clarke Duncan loses his shit at his imminent, unfair demise...are they telling me that this critically-lauded flick can't even be that honest?

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    My wife's reading the book now. Me next. Really anxious.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Grim to a fault

    by CarsonDyle62

    I'm a huge Ishiguro fan, and the book really stayed with me. I suppose the highest compliment I can pay the author is that his novel made me want to live life to the fullest (no doubt this was Ishiguro's intension). My problem with the film version is that, right from the beginning, it strikes such a constant and unwavering note of sorrow and woe that by the climax I'm all sorrowed out. Whereas the end of the novel moved me to tears, the end of the film left me feeling oddly spent and unmoved. To put it in visual terms, it's like a subject so shrouded in shadow that you can't make out the edges, and are therefore unable to discern the contrast between the two. Whether you're talking about good and evil, sorrow and sadness, anger and hate, or life and death, it's hard to appreciate one without having a sense of the other. It's the contrast that gives them their power. The film gave me so much grief and so little light that, after a while, I stopped being able to feel the grief. Don't get me wrong; Romanek is a talented director, but I wish his every artistic choice had not been so earnestly calculated to remind me of how sad I should be (God knows the tediously doleful music didn't help). I know not everyone will agree with me, but I strongly suspect that had the film given us one or two moments in which the doomed characters were shown enjoying their brief lives it would have made their premature demise register more deeply and profoundly. As it stands, Romanek's adaptation of the book left me with the feeling of having attended a funeral for people I never knew.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    It's been discussed around the web. Some people have a real problem with it. I didn't, and don't think you should either. <P> Yes, there is a reference in the film (and presumably the book, too) that Harry pointed out. A mythology created by the clones to give themselves hope to defy their lot. So that sense of rebellion against circumstance is portrayed. I think the problem is is it's not portrayed in a way people want. <P> But that's not a problem with the story. Understand that these people were conditioned from infancy to accept, to obey. They are brainwashed. And they have bracelets that, I believe, would do them great harm should they not follow the rules. It's not explicitly stated in the movie, but there were enough scenes involving the bracelets to suggest that they play a huge part in the clone control system <P> The comparisons to Blade Runner and The Island are remote. Don't go in expecting a 'clone' of those movies. This is something completely different. It's also far better. <P> I think one would immediately assume that it's part of human nature to rebel against the kind of cruel tyranny these clones live under. I think that's a fair assumption. But I also think that in the real world, those who live under such extraordinary circumstances cope by following along. It's a survival mechanism. And you have to understand that for them, the very basic drive to survive, to simply live, is paramount. <P> So no, they don't run like the Replicants or ScarJo and Ewen. But what they do is just as logical and, sadly, painful to witness.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I get what you're saying. I think there's a fine sprinkling of lightness in the movie but it is overwhelmed by sorrow and impending doom. But for me, as someone who didn't read the book yet, it was effective. I'm not saying I enjoyed it, but I did feel as though I had a powerful experience watching it. <P> I did mourn Ruth because of her attempt to redeem herself (and she did). I did mourn Tommy because he died so soon after declaring his love for Kathy. There was simply no time for them to experience a life together, but just enough to share a first kiss and a night together. That was fucking heartbreaking.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Norman Wisdom obit


  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST


    by How2fish

    This movie is fantasy pure and simple if history has taught us anything about real life it this...people won't calmly wait to be butchered if they know its coming. You might drug them or cage them but you will have to do one or the other...the idea that a young man or woman in the prime of life will allow themselves to be harvested is revolting, we will die for family,country,honor or just a abundance of testosterone but to let a stranger live we have to die..bullshit.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    by CarsonDyle62

    I think Isiguro should be applauded for having the courage and imagination to tell a story about people who accept their fates as opposed to defying them. Granted, the theme of accepting one's fate flies in the face of Hollywood's escapist mentality, but the fact remains that human beings frequently find it easier (safer) to play the hand they've been dealt in life rather than brave the unknowns of defiance, escape or rebellion (sadly, this is something the Nazis understood very well). People on this planet live with doomed marriages, horrible jobs, intolerable injustice, etc. everyday, and they do so on a massive scale. The fact that Isiguro decided to focus his story on those for whom escape is apparently not a psychological option in no way diminishes the power of that story. One may not agree with the philosophy of accepting one's fate, but to fault the writer for wishing to explore so human a theme seems unreasonable. For one thing, the tension created by the characters' seeming ambivalence regarding their disposable lot in life is one of the things Ishiguru uses to hold our attention. More importantly, the themes of spiritual, psychological, or political impotence are as relevant as they've always been. I realize there are those who would like to have seen some sort of sci-fi "mythology" inserted into the film so as to better understand the character's actions (or lack thereof), but to me that feels like the sort of tedious, expository hand-holding that makes so many modern sci-fi films feel forced and artificial. Sometimes less is more.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:36 p.m. CST

    apostrophic failure

    by thx185

    Harry: "nor do they wash you’re clothes" damn_dirty_ape: "You're not alone. This site used to be superb..." Jesus guys

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 4:55 p.m. CST

    wow harry...

    by billyhitchcock1 really aren't gonna do an obituary for one of the most celebrated comedic actors in the history of movies?! nice one! well done choppah, if you keep filling the gaps i'll keep visiting :-)

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Its like a variation of Michael Marshall Smith's Spares

    by Spikey

    Great book from 96 and Speilberg bought the rights to it way back but dont expect itll ever be made.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Tuesday and no DVD column

    by MattmanReturns

    Harry's busy eating.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Beauty and the Beast came out on Blu-Ray today

    by MattmanReturns

    No big deal, Harry. Just one of the finest animated films of all time. It's cool though, take your time.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 6:47 p.m. CST

    How2Fish...try reading some history.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    It'll tell you there's plenty of times throughout recorded history where innocent people have waited to be slaughtered. Happens a lot. Whole families will sit there and accept their 'fate'. More than families even. Don't just spew something to sound cool and knowledgeable, you just showed your own ignorance. Look at the Balkans. Look at World War 2. Yeah plenty of people run. Plenty fight, too. But there's plenty who sit there waiting for the axe to fall too.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Great film

    by Lovecraftfan

    Its a bit rushed towards the end and the book is better but tis still great.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 7:28 p.m. CST

    The problem isn't that the characters are too passive...

    by CarsonDyle62

    The problem is that, although generally wee-cast, the characters never come to life onscreen. In the book you can't help but care about them; in the film they're just going through the motions of being the walking dead, and the net effect is pretty dull (the sole exception is Keira Knightly, who plays a beautiful bitch beautifully). That said, the book is superb. Pity the film is such a stiff, but I still think Mark Romanek shows promise. Dude just needs to lighten up. Hell, even his obvious idol Kubrick had a sense of humor.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 8:23 p.m. CST

    The characters came to life for me

    by Lovecraftfan

    to each his own i thought the characters were handled beautifully for the most part. I'm surprised you site Kiera Knightely since her character is the most underwritten and while shes good the character doesn't work nearly as well as the two leads.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Should have starred cows and chickens

    by TheJudger

    Cause they serve man and they are fucked from day one and they dont fight back, and no one ever questions that. we eat em, we eat em all! Clones fo rparts wont happen. We have machines that can use our own cells to make parts, and soon like ECM we will also be able to make parts that dont have a genetic footprint and the body will just accept it and infuse it with out own DNA. this bus has passed. The future is ceetinand no clones will not be needed. Be smarter than our limits. thats how science fiction should be.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:16 p.m. CST


    by Canuck815

    The book had that one clearly defined moment of happiness for Kathy and Tommy, and they cut it out of the movie. I really do hate to be one of the types to complain about something left out of an adaptation, but I feel like even just having that one scene where (*****spoilers) they go to look for a tape in Norfolk (end spoilers****), would have made the ending more powerful. Still enjoyed the movie, though.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST


    by Star Hump

    Very impressive.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "The comparisons to Blade Runner and The Island are remote. Don't go in expecting a 'clone' of those movies. This is something completely different. It's also far better."<p> If its fans are saying shit this stupid, I'm glad it bombed. THE ISLAND, whatever...BLADE RUNNER? Try not to embarrass yourself in public, if you can help it...<p> These clones sure sound like some serious pussies...if I were one of them, I'd be breaking thermometers and gulping down mercury when my time came near. Fight the power, bitch.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 7:08 a.m. CST


    by Virginia_Woolf

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 7:20 a.m. CST

    A good review by Harry's standards but

    by The McPoyle Clan

    it provides absolutely no context for the opening paragraph, nor is that conclusion supported in the review.<p><p>Did it bomb at the box office? I had to verify that on my own.<p><p>And while the audience may have been small, how does Harry come to the conclusion that the audiences that did watch the movie not come to comprehend or empathize with the characters? <p><p>The American audience at large may not have been attracted to the characters and thematic elements of the film, but considering the veil of secrecy obscuring the subject for those who weren't already familiar with the book, how could they know what they were ignoring, intentionally or unintentionally?

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Look, I don't wanna talk up this movie too much. I think I already did that. But if you saw it, and then disagreed with me about it being better than Blade Runner, then I'd accept that. But really, this is not a film you can make assumptions about without experiencing it. In any case I think you've already sabotaged yourself from truly appreciating it. I went in with no knowledge of the story, no expectations. I think that's the best way. <P> I don't know, maybe you'll catch it in a few months on DVD with less skepticism. I hope you do. I don't care if this tanked at the B.O. or not, it is still one of the best films I'd ever seen.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    "Brilliant Novel", Like Harry Actually Reads Books

    by derek_vinyard

    come on, dude. you're stretching a little bit here, aren't you? i believe the last "book" you read was the penthouse forum you jerked off to.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 10:02 a.m. CST


    by derek_vinyard

    more like fuckwad. fuck you. okay, according to your logic, ishijapso's novel is a rip-off of your "clonus" horseshit. either way, it's a rip-off. go fuck yourself.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST


    by derek_vinyard

    totally agree with you, dude. both the novel and the film are complete rip-offs of "the island". besides, scarlett is way hotter (and can act rings around) both those boy-girls assley and assigan put together.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    by Hipshot

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Accepting their fate

    by Hipshot

    100% is a fantasy. It has no relationship to the way human beings actually are. 99.9%? Sure. But SOMEONE will buck, and you can't point to a single social tissue in all of human history where this hasn't been true. To not touch on this is either blindness to human nature, or narrative laziness. I am also worried that it is a point of view held primarily by the privileged class: "why, they like the way things are!" I've heard this from every ruling class, whether financial, racial, class-based, or whatever. It is always an illusion they promote to feel comfortable with their privilege. Just show me what happens to one single rebel, and I'll believe you haven't taken the blue pill. Otherwise, it's like a Brahman talking about how the Untouchables are happy with their lot, and that is simply bullshit. One...single...rebel.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 1:22 p.m. CST

    If they can make perfect human clones...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...they would have also soon found a way to either keep said clones alive and unconscious in vats or even to just grow the body parts themselves in vats and use those. It's too much upfront money to make multiple clones of people, feed, clothe and shelter them for 20 years, only to chop 'em up for spare parts.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Write the fecking Norman Wisdom obituary Harry...

    by workshed

    The man is a legend of cinema. And if you've never seen his films then you should because he's right up there. C'mon Harry. Pull your finger out. A lot of AICN readers deserve to have their pleas heard.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST


    by noswad

    Thanks for your intelligent comment. Your insightful discussion really added to the talkbalk. Sorry if you don't understand this comment, since I did not use any curse words.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST


    by CarsonDyle62

    Your posts tell us more about your own political agenda/ social biases than they do about either the novel or film being discussed. You've admitted human beings are capable of either accepting their fate of defying it. Ishiguro decided to tell a story about the former, and I for one welcome the approach. God knows Hollywood loves to make films about those who escape from whatever prison they find themselves in. For obvious reasons it's a popular theme. It's also been done to death. You seem to think Never Let Me Go would have a better narrative had the writer raised the issue of "running." I disagree. By focusing exclusively on three characters who confront their fate head-on the author forces each of us to ponder the question of how we want to spend our pathetically short lives. It's not about escaping the fate of our death, for that isn't an option (so far as I know). It's about making the most of life before we die. That's what both the film and the book are concerned with. If you want a story in which characters escape or "defy their fate," God knows you can take your pick. Just don't accuse Ishiguro (one of the world's best novelists) of "narrative laziness" simply for having the sense to know what his story is (and is not) about.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 6:18 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Actually, the makers of THE ISLAND were forced to settle out of court to the creators of a 70s low-budget movie, PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR for what was pretty much an identical plot to NEVER LET ME GO (although the clones in PARTS attempt to escape, as in THE ISLAND).<p> PARTS was a pretty shoddy movie (the best way to see it is with the MST3K sendup), but all the same, original. Finding out that this is in fact a third generation rehash not crediting the original creators doesn't exactly make me want to rush out and see it...

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Please see my preceding post...plagiarism is the ultimate form of "narrative laziness".<p> And I just know someone's going to try and employ the old, "But in that case, STAR WARS is just a rip-off of STAR TREK, FLASH GORDON, BUCK ROGERS, etc" sleazeball lawyer defense...

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    by CarsonDyle62

    FWIW, Never Let Me Go was published in 2004.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST


    by CarsonDyle62

    I'm a little unclear re: who you're accusing of plagiarism. Are you suggesting that Ishiguro stole the plot to his novel from PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR? Because if so you may be onto the greatest literary scandal since Clifford Irving tried to cash in on Howard Hughes.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    This is based on too dated a fear

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    When cloning was first raised as a possible thing around the late 90s there were some who viewed it as "do they have their own souls"? Which is the foundation this movie and book are based on. But really I can't imagine anyone thinking like that these days anymore than they'd think an identical twin has no soul. The whole premise of this movie, of society treating them that way, is laughably impossible.

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    All I'm saying is, get a copy of PARTS and tell me if the story doesn't seem startlingly...familiar:<p>

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    The similarities between NLMG and Clonus are superficial

    by CarsonDyle62

    Having seen Parts: The Clonus Horror I very much doubt that anyone who's bothered to read Ishiguro''s book would accuse him of cribbing. Just as it's okay for post-H.G. Wellsian authors to pen stories involving time machines, invisible characters, and invading aliens, so too is it okay for contemporary writers to pen stories about farming parts from clones (a sci-fi concept that made the literary scene years before Clonus, btw). And besides, NLMG isn't really "about" parts farming. The backdrop of Ishiguro's novel has been dominating the discussion, but it's really just backdrop.... a devise the author uses as a means to explore themes of friendship, betrayal, sacrifice and loss. The whole clone farming thing is barely touched upon, and from a dramatic standpoint it remains the least interesting thing about the book. Ishiguro isn't interested in affairs of the state... he's interested in affairs of the heart. I agree with those who feel Romanek's movie falls short of being an artistic success, but Ishiguro's book is both haunting and moving. For those who like that sort of thing I can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST

    the only way AICN has declined

    by oisin5199

    is that most of the posters are now complete and utter douchebags. I remember when these people (we called them 'trolls') were the minority and talkbacks often had reasonable, interesting discussions and sharing of experiences, despite the fact that a small handful would degenerate the conversation to insults and cock measuring. Nowadays it seems that these assholes are the majority. Look at this talkback. Harry offers an interesting, thoughtful review of a challenging film. And with a few exceptions, he gets insults, challenges, complaints. If you hate Harry so much and this site, then please go away and leave it to people who actually like being here. I wish Harry was as fascist as some of you paint him as being, so he would ban everyone who makes a stupid fat joke, insults his reviews, accuses him of payola, bitch, bitch, bitch. If you want to talk about films and media, then this should be welcome territory. Just like the voices of extremism are taking over this country's discourse, this site is being overrun by assholes who probably scare off intelligent folk who actually want to have discussions, instead of yell at each other.

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 3:43 p.m. CST


    by CarsonDyle62

    This is the first time I've posted on AICN since, lemme see... I think" A.I." had just been released. Sad to say, based on this thread, it appears things have only gotten worse.

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Harry says Mark Romanek's NEVER LET ME GO is truly Fantastic!

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    Harry says Mark Romanek's NEVER LET ME GO is truly Fantastic!<P> yes but is it outrageous? Truly...truly...truly...truly outrageous?

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 9:23 p.m. CST

    oisin5199: "Look at this talkback."

    by BurnHollywood

    Yeah, well, I've looked over this Talkback, and I have no idea what you're talking about. There have been a few acidic comments, but by and large, I just see a number of skeptics (like myself) who aren't sold on the premise of this movie or its originality. That's not to say there aren't TBs that have degenerated in to petty, vicious squabbles, but this isn't one of them.<p> Maybe you just can't handle debate and free expression. Apparently, Harry can, or these TBs wouldn't exist at all...

  • Oct. 7, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "The whole clone farming thing is barely touched upon, and from a dramatic standpoint it remains the least interesting thing about the book."<p> If that's the case (and to be fair, I'll make the effort to read the novel), then the author has seriously blundered. Here's why:<p> A Harvard biologist named Marc Hauser* devised a number of moral dilemmas he put to a group of survey respondents. Long story short, in general, people can abide with collateral damage in a tragic situation, but not the unconsenting exploitation of another. Re-routing a runaway train onto a track where it will kill one instead of five is permissible, but pushing an innocent bystander in front to stop it isn't, even if it spares the five. Dropping a bomb on a terrorist that inadvertently kills five innocent family members is tolerated by most, but abducting one of the same innocent family members and turning them into a suicide bomb would be considered monstrous. And while five people dying from the lack of a vital organ is considered tragic, snatching a healthy donor from the street and chopping him up to provide those organs would be murder in the first degree.<p> This is one of the basics of human morality, and to sidestep it to get to the emotional "goods" is a mistake. If Ishiguro had instead made his novel about a set of terminal disease-stricken patients, he could have achieved the same dramatic tension. Bringing in the vicious exploitation of the same set of individuals for their body parts heavily complicates the emotional situation...this is more than just an unfortunate dilemma, this is an actual crime against humanity.<p> In summation, it CAN'T equate with your typical person's uncertainties about mortality and the future. To pretend it does is to contradict current moral standards.<p> * I borrowed this from Richard Dawkins THE GOD DELUSION, but I don't want to get into a boring "atheism vs religion"'s just the source.

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 1:56 a.m. CST

    No, I love intelligent debate, Burn Hollywood

    by oisin5199

    Unfortunately, it didn't start until half way down the page after all the hate-spewing idiots calling Harry a sellout and a fat cunt. That's about the 30th post, when BSB finally says something intelligent, as he often does. But the bullshit didn't end there. There was still more bitching about the site and insulting Harry after that. That's way more than a 'few acidic comments.' It's getting this way on almost every talkback and I'm getting sick of it. Maybe you haven't been on the site long and you don't remember when every other post wasn't an insult or a complaint, or maybe you only started reading after your own posts. But dude, open your eyes. Did you even read what I wrote? Why would I not 'be able to handle' debate when that's the thing I said was missing. Kudos to you for being one of the few to actually engage with the site intelligently, but you're in the minority. Get used to it. I know Harry can handle it, otherwise he would have banned most of these fuckers aeons ago.

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    I thought this was a review for Never Let me HO

    by Choohoo

    Heeeyyy Hooooo

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Lost me there, BurnHollywood

    by CarsonDyle62

    You seem determined to fault the author for not having written the story you wanted him to write. With all due respect, that's not his job. It would be like me criticizing Peter Benchley for failing to examine the moral & ethical considerations of killing sharks in Jaws. Killing a member of an endangered species may be immoral, but under the circumstances I'm willing to give the author a pass for not dwelling on the philosophical implications. At any rate, it seems silly to debate the finer points of Ishiguro's novel with someone who hasn't read it.

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    wash you’re clothes????

    by AsimovLives

    "wash you’re clothes" = "wash you are clothes".<br><br>What the bloody hell? It makes no sense at all! And i'm berated for my poor english language skills? At least i'm portuguese, what's the americans' excuse?

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Wanna see it

    by Giant Ape Balls

    Why is it taking so long to come out in the UK?

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "Lost me there, BurnHollywood"<p> Yeah, I guess I did, but I tried to explain in a systematic and scientific fashion why this story makes my stomach unsteady. These aren't (to borrow Harry's phrasing) "servants" who need to "embrace" a dire future (any more than Holocaust victims were guests" of the Nazi government)...they're murder victims.<p> Then again, I suspect it was Ishiguro's intent to convey the banality of evil. In that case, you're very wrong to say it was "only" the background, any more than the dystopia of Oceania in "1984" is "merely" the backdrop to the love story between Winston Smith and Julia. This novel/movie may in fact be flying over more than a few reviewers heads...

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Gotcha, but your first post was a bit open-ended in its targets...yeah, I'm also a little sick of immature posters who think this is a free-fire zone because the banhammer doesn't come down that often...

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Sorry your stomach is uneasy, BurnHollywood…

    by CarsonDyle62

    I might be more sympathetic had you actually read the book you find so unpalatable. Certainly your “systematic and scientific” analysis would carry more intellectual weight. Forgive me for saying so, but given your lack of familiarity with the material, a statement like “This novel/movie may in fact be flying over more than a few reviewers heads.” manages to be simultaneously ill-informed and condescending. I generally have no objection to a contrary opinion, but if you're going to trash one of the decade's best novels at least have the common courtesy to first give it a read.

  • Oct. 9, 2010, 3:50 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    And I'd have more respect for YOU if, instead of trying to pull the "you have to read the book" trump card, you'd actually quantify where I'm in error, because if all your arguments hinge on the "you hadda be there" line of defense, I'm seriously in doubt of whether it's worth the time or effort. After all, I've seen a lot of schlock hailed as the "decade's best" fall by the wayside over the years...<p> And it still reeks of CLONUS.

  • Oct. 9, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by CarsonDyle62

    Given that you haven’t bothered to read the book you so confidently and assuredly find fault with, you lack the frame of reference required to understand why your criticisms lack merit. I’ve tried to explain why your logic in this case is faulty, but given your ignorance of the subject matter it’s like trying to explain the power of the 9th Symphony to someone who’s decided it sucks without the benefit of having given it a cursory listen. Yours is the most childish kind of fanboy arrogance; you expect your opinion to be taken seriously, but you’re too stubborn or lazy to do the critical homework required to inform that opinion. Instead you accuse others of pulling “trump cards” for having the nerve to call you on your mindless bullshit. Guys like you demand “respect,” but how much respect can one have for those who trash books without having read them? I suppose we should be grateful you were able to muster the "time and effort" required to watch The Clonus Horror.

  • Oct. 9, 2010, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Nice review Harry.

    by Fist Dirtbox

    Seems like a good choice of subject -and it is a GREAT story- for Romanek, I remember his first feature Static having similar mortal concerns.

  • Oct. 10, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    just got back from seeing this

    by drave117

    It's freaking fantastic. Tore me apart in a way no movie has since Dancer in the Dark, and maybe Grave of the Fireflies before that. The book store was closed when I got out of the theater, or I'd be reading the book right now.

  • Oct. 10, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    "saving the lives of their ‘originals’"

    by Stormshadow4life

    Not sure where you got that from. The movie made it pretty clear that these people were clones of scum bag-types. Their organs went to anyone, not to their originals

  • Oct. 10, 2010, 4:37 p.m. CST

    aside from that, really good movie

    by Stormshadow4life

    the ending kind of creeped on me....pretty emotional stuff

  • Oct. 10, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Again, instead of saying what my supposed arrogance is "like" and giving your thesaurus a workout, why don't you give the rhetoric a break and explain how SPECIFICALLY I'm wrong?<p> See, I'm trying to figure out if this is worth reading/watching, but if the only sort of people who enjoyed it are of the type who can only say what's "great" without explaining why (it's just great, that's all), it seems well worth passing up.<p> And if you'd bothered to actually read my posts instead of making a quick glance and then giving your keyboard a workout, you'd have heard me mention that I caught CLONUS on MST3K. If you're such a pretentious git that you don't think MST3K is worth the investment in time, than I definitely have no interest in your opinion...<p> Finally, the term "fanboy" has a very specific definition (i.e. the overly finicky fan of a given title that insists that any adaptation be 100% true to the source), so simply tossing it into the middle of a rambling attack makes you look desperate and a bit of an ass...

  • Oct. 11, 2010, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Slow, Sappy and Utterly Crappy

    by KentButabi

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Wasn't the term "Fanboy" first coined by

    by Fist Dirtbox

    Robert Crumb way back in the 70's. Its certainly what how he used to refer to his over zealous followers back then.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Just finished the book today

    by Detective_Fingerling

    and it sucked and sucked hard. There was a premise here and a setting that could have been mind blowing. It fell short in every way imaginable. I feel like everyone who calls it brilliant are basing it off of what it COULD have been and not what it actually was. I really wanted to see the movie once I heard about who starred and directed it but no more. It might be a late night watch for me but not gonna go out and see it in a theatre.

  • Oct. 24, 2010, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Blade runner?

    by lukestarkiller

    ...I was actually thinking "The Island" (and "the Clonus Horror" it stole from) without the running, explosions, "Chase mentality", blatant product placement and general Bayhem it got buried under. The Island is basically a very high tech version of the school in "Never Let me Go"...completely diff tone that concentrated on CHARACTER but the basic premise is FAR closer than Blade Runner (much as I LOVE Blade Runner...). But agree, a very strong, sad but life affirming movie.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST

    No, it is good.

    by Specktron

    Film is great. Survives a second viewing too. All three main actors should have award noms. Especially Mulligan. Deal with it. Yo.