Movie News

The Kidd Vs. LIFE OF PI

Published at: Nov. 21, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST

 

There is no question that director Ang Lee has once again turned out a visual stunner of a film in his adaptation of Yann Martel’s 2001 novel LIFE OF PI. Whether it’s the gorgeous seascapes Lee creates to tell this shipwrecked survival story or the incredibly seamless use of animals – real, animatronic and CGI, never giving you the slightest hint which is in use at any given moment – that embody the increasingly dangerous hardships faced by a single teenager out on the ocean hoping, waiting and praying for salvation of some sort, it’s impossible to walk away from LIFE OF PI without thinking you’ve just witnessed an artist using his full palette (3-D and all) to deliver a true visual masterpiece. However, for “a story that would have you believe in God,” LIFE OF PI’s approach to storytelling is one I can’t quite get behind, as it becomes one of deceit and pointlessness, moving towards an end that attempts to deal with faith and spirituality in such a failed allegorical manner that it neuters the entire harrowing experience we have just gone through with the boy we come to know as Pi and essentially cheapens the emotions we’ve voluntarily chosen to invest in this character’s journey.

LIFE OF PI gives us the story of Piscine Molitor Patel (Suraj Sharma), better known to us as Pi, a living religious smorgasbord who throughout his adolescence came to be a practicing Christian Muslim Hindu. There are different aspects of each belief system that he identifies with and decides to follow, but it really defeats the purpose of faith if you’re taking everything as truth without making much of a decision for yourself. Pi would also have you believe that animals have souls themselves, something greater than their primitive nature that reaches beyond the simple idea that what you see in their eyes are just projections of yourself – your feelings, your emotions, your thoughts – as if a giraffe or a grizzly bear have the capacity to operate as humans do with our minds and our hearts and not just out of instinct. By his own admission, Pi views the world as some special place full of enchantment, as his naivety prevents him from seeing the harshness held outside his immediate surroundings… he’ll get a serious lesson soon enough in how rough and tough that world can get when he’s involved in the sinking of a freighter that is bringing his family and the animals from their zoo from Pondicherry to North America, leaving him questioning his own faith while also battling the elements and those animals that he doesn’t think are so wild in an incredible ordeal of life and death.

All that’s left of the ship is Pi and a few animals that managed to come aboard his lifeboat – a wounded zebra, an aggressive hyena, a protective orangutan and the tiger named Richard Parker who doesn’t need much description, as he’s a tiger… and having one of them in an isolated location like a lifeboat with a human being can’t possibly be a good thing. Some of the high points of Lee’s work come from the sinking of the ship and the introduction of Richard Parker in this new and free situation. Much like THE GREY and FLIGHT earlier this year, Lee is able to capture the intensity of such a perilous disaster, barely gifting you a moment to breathe as you stare wide-eyed at the screen, in awe of the TITANIC-like scope of the shipwreck visually and stunned by the emotional toll of seeing so few survive.

However, Lee’s build to even the shipwreck is so deliberately paced that, in retrospect, I began to question why such a thick layer of foundation needed to be laid in the first place on the way to Pi’s isolation. Nearly 20 minutes of the film is given to Pi’s life story up to that very point, from his relationship with his father, to how he even got the name Pi, to a love story that’s barely given any more time than you needed to finish this sentence. It doesn’t really add any texture to the character at all and really feels like filler around some of the spiritual themes that the film will soon aim to explore more in-depth on the high seas, all of which are laid out with the littlest of subtlety, dumbing down the material to a lecture form in some scenes, as if the audience wouldn’t be engrossed by the conversation when the promise of a tiger attack may be lurking around the corner.

As the strongest of the survivors continue to make it, the relationship between Richard Parker and Pi continues to grow, and we see the resourcefulness of this character trying desperately against all odds to stay alive while also filling a purpose that keeps him going on a daily basis, which is to care for these animals that depend upon him for their lives going forward. It’s fascinating to watch Pi contend with not only the elements of the sea but also this large carnivorous animal that could end him in the event it started to get hungry, as he still holds onto the belief that God is somehow watching… as for whether of not He’ll intervene in any way, well that remains to be seen.

    

It’s the third act that really has major problems though, which begin as a mystical island is introduced into the fray, an entity that really doesn’t seem to have any business in this tale after Lee has worked so hard to establish the reality of this entire struggle, even with his periodic detours into the cosmic. But that out of the ordinary could have easily been forgiven had LIFE OF PI not then taken an ambiguous route to the end in Pi’s recollection of what happened in the freighter’s sinking to some investigators that it essentially renders the previous two hours meaningless, as if everything you had just spent time watching, investing in and believing was all for naught. That’s a huge problem to leave the theatre feeling as if the movie you just saw spent nearly all of its time lying to you. I’m all for films forcing the audience to think a little bit, but not when it comes in the form of a tacked-on contrivance to the message the story is trying to deliver but also detrimental in our understanding of Pi’s journey, diminishing what he may or may not have gone through by adding in unnecessary confusion, putting the onus to figure out not exactly how the film ended but really how the film unfolded. LIFE OF PI essentially comes down to the choice of who are you going to believe – your own lying eyes or a revelation in the film’s final moments that changes everything you’ve seen to that moment – and the film becomes infuriating as it enters into this unwelcome territory.

The conversation between older Pi (Irrfan Khan) and Rafe Spall who represents the film’s version of Yann Martel, who is receiving this story to write a book about, adds nothing to the overall film, feeling like device to push the story ahead when it needs it, as it’s forgotten about all too often that when the film does return to their interaction, you have nearly forgotten about them being a part of the process, too. But it’s LIFE OF PI’s failure to land its ending that ultimately ruins an absolutely gorgeous film and leaves you disappointed and irked that something that relies so much on its ability to convey a worthy story to you could fizzle so badly in one of its key components: the closing.  

 

-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

BillyTheKidd@aintitcool.com

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Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST

    3.14159th

    by thelordofhell

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:39 a.m. CST

    I get that

    by John Brown

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Hey! I agree with the kid!

    by Jay

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Yeah, seems like Life of Boring to me...

    by Fa Fa Fooey

    I see all the hype, and automatically I know something is up. The media loves to hype films starring Indian actors. Same with Slumdog Millionaire. I liked that film by the way, but didn't get the immense hype of it. I'll wait for this one on DVD to watch on my big screen.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    so, it does keep the book's ending

    by drave117

    I'll definitely be seeing it, then. Sounds like the Kidd completely missed the story's main thesis, unless it is presented wildly different in the movie.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Haven't seen the movie, but the book's ending pissed me off

    by NoQuarter

    Basically, the message was, "if one's understanding of reality is reframed as a choice between competing narratives, choose to believe the most pleasant story, regardless of how plausible it is (or isn't). At least, that's what I took from it when I read it 5 or 6 years ago.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Guess The Kidd hated "The Usual Suspects" too

    by pollaxt

    Apply the metaphor

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Ebert loved it.

    by Ironhelix

    Ebert also loved Prometheus. The guy has lost his fucking mind.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:17 a.m. CST

    *land its ending*, rather.

    by justmyluck

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST

    in other words, don't go if challenges to sterile atheism offend you

    by asummerstorm

    This movie challenges us to see a bigger picture, a higher intelligence at work in the universe than our own. A great tonic to the usual offensive hollywood shit that tells us we are just walking meat. Our destiny, and our purpose, is to awaken from our alienation and tear down the apparent separation in our psyches. From this, a physical transformation of our world will commence and our purpose in the larger universe will become clearer. Wake up people, and go see this film with an open mind. Let the images sink in and form their own impressions on you. This is not a typical film and it is just idiotic to judge it on whether it fulfills what some hack blogger learned in honors composition.

  • Hopefully that won't be for awhile, however.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:52 a.m. CST

    I'll take my "sterile atheism" over your fairy tales

    by Admiral Nelson

    ...believed hook, line and sinker by millions (if not billions) of people, simply because they WANT to believe in things without the slightest shred of empirical evidence. And frankly, yes, I'm fucking tired of having to "respect" peoples' beliefs in 2,000-year-old stories made up by superstitious desert dwellers: stories that wouldn't pass the credibility test of a reasonably smart 8-year-old kid.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 2:13 a.m. CST

    @admiral nelson...do you feel better now?

    by tritium

    You are a shining example of how some avowed atheists can be just as sanctimonious and disrespectful as some people of Faith.

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ahhhh - hah hah. Heh. *sniff AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hah hahhhhh. Ahhhhhh. Heh heh. Good night.

  • Imagine living in a world where you recognize that BILLIONS of people are IDIOTS. Do you know what it's like to live in that kind of world? It's - well it can be HELLISH sometimes. The perks of recognizing you have total free will are good, though. You don't have to get up early on Sunday, you can eat all the pork you want and you don't sound like a mental defect. But consider the Admiral and I recognize that BILLIONS of people are idiots. And the thing is, I'm hopeful that it won't be too long before it starts to shift significantly enough that religious people are regarded the same way people in the Nevada desert going on about goverment cover-ups and spaceships are garded now. Ahhh, it's those carpenter-on-the-cross nuts; those idiots.

  • Movies like CLOUD ATLAS and PROMETHEUS would -not get made-. So - that's something right there. I mean - think about it. Really. Never - get - made. Not so bad, huh? I thought so.

  • Stupid. Really stupid. monstrously stupid.

  • so very tasteful and mature.

  • This movie is not unlike a beloved oven mitt. Sure, it's stained, but it also keeps you from getting your hand burned. With the bouncing and the smirking and the village and the condoms. How about Andy Murray, yeah? No tigers. Just Gold.

  • But that out of the ordinary could have easily been forgiven had LIFE OF PI not then taken an ambiguous route to the end in Pi’s recollection of what happened in the freighter’s sinking to some investigators that it essentially renders the previous two hours meaningless, as if everything you had just spent time watching, investing in and believing was all for naught. That’s a huge problem to leave the theatre feeling as if the movie you just saw spent nearly all of its time lying to you.

  • When you say: "But that out of the ordinary could have easily been forgiven had LIFE OF PI not then taken an ambiguous route to the end in Pi’s recollection of what happened in the freighter’s sinking to some investigators that it essentially renders the previous two hours meaningless, as if everything you had just spent time watching, investing in and believing was all for naught. That’s a huge problem to leave the theatre feeling as if the movie you just saw spent nearly all of its time lying to you." ...you're missing the while point of the film, and the book Yann Martel wrote. It is all about faith and belief, no matter what God, gods or cosmic force you believe in. Or rather it asks you to think about why you choose to believe one thing over another. Think to the line where Pi, after revealing what some people will take to be the truth of his survival, says, "Which story do you choose to believe in?" Now, Pi chooses one story because it is easier for him to cope with life, while the investigators, in their empirical way, choose to believe the other story he tells because it fits in with the framework of their lives. So to say the film - and book - lied to everyone who watched/read it is simply not the case; what both mediums are asking is for you to take from the film/book the story that you want to, much as Pi did.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:26 a.m. CST

    @mwanderson It's why I hated Atonement

    by tangcameo

    Atonement's final twist worked in the book, but the way they put it on film in the movie just killed the whole movie for me.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Never liked the book

    by oonagimaki

    ...and not excited to see the movie---The Kidd is spot on...the story is offensive. This isn't like 'Contact' where you actually consider your stance and what the main character is going through and how your idea of your fellow earthlings shifts toward respect rather than a cold snubbing of their beliefs--no. This one tells you straight up to make up a good story otherwise your life is boring and meaningless. I wish I could but it takes a LOT of faith to believe in nonsense. A LOT! Ground the story in just an inkling of fact and you have my faith; otherwise--ehh..It's fun to pray and believe that something is out there listening--it's even fun to believe in the power of positivity..but flat out belief in a STORY--that's no fun at all.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Are the teethfruit in the movie?

    by tangcameo

    That was the part that stuck with me reading the book.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:30 a.m. CST

    WARNING: LIFEBOATS MAY CONTAIN TIGERS

    by Star Hump

    During the days of the tall ships, this message was commonly found stenciled (usually in orange paint) on all seagoing vessels with lifeboats. However, by 1911 there was a worldwide safety movement, spearheaded by Hamas (Arabic for enthusiasm), to remove all tigers from lifeboats. The first liner to make a trans-Atlantic crossing without tigers in her lifeboats was the RMS Titanic.

  • but then again i can tell reality from fantasy. I can suspend belief to listen to a story. Kidd dislikes this movie, i reckon i'm probably going to like it, never read the book ( only the symposis) hate ang less hulk, like most of his other work.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST

    A lot of people completely missing the point

    by PaulSC

    Haven't seen the movie yet, but assuming it translates the book more or less accurately, it's *about* stories and allegory, why we have those things and what their power is.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST

    @oonagimaki

    by Mark Anderson

    I didn't take from the boo that it "...tells you straight up to make up a good story otherwise your life is boring and meaningless" but rather than stories mold who were are in life because we choose to believe them, even the ones we make up to get us through life. I don't find the book offensive in the least since it puts up an interesting argument at the beginning concerning the need to belong to only one religion - or story, if you like. Pi saw merits in all faiths, respecting them all; surely that's a sentiment that's worth adopting in the world today with so much religious intolerance. But I'm sure we'll disagree on this, oonagimaki

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Does Tom Hanks pass by on a raft?

    by tangcameo

    Wilson! Wilson! Wilson! Spalding! er I mean Wilson!

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Hated the first 30 mins, pretty much loved the rest of it

    by applescruff

    Regarding the ending (SPOILERS): The story he tells the investigators is totally what happened, amiright? You don't just pull a story that detailed out of your ass after 227 days at sea alone. He was very, very specific about what went down. And it makes sense that he would make all this shit up about a tiger and a zebra or whatever because the shit he went through (chopping off some dude's leg, using part of his body as bait, watching the cook eat the rest of the guy, watching the cook kill his mother, killing the cook in retaliation) was so traumatic that of course he has to tell himself it was all some magical fairy tale otherwise how could he live with himself? I thought the first 30 mins were absolutely unbearable, as if Kirk Cameron's preachy ass was doing some kind of DTV knockoff of Slumdog Millionaire. But from the shipwreck on I was swept up in the whole story, and the end didn't really bother me because like I said it makes sense that all that stuff we saw was a made up story to shield the kid from intense trauma. To me it made the movie way more sad and emotionally powerful.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind~

    by T

    I think it horrifies people to acknowledge that animals might have some sort of soul; not that it really matters when they treat fellow humans as if they don't possess one anyway. To be truthful, I have a feeling that this will be like Cloud Atlas for me, a visual treat with some interesting points- but nothing as hugely impactful as hyped, positive or negative.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 6:20 a.m. CST

    um Kidd, the point of faith is NOT thinking for yourself

    by Spandau Belly

    faith is all about believing, thinking is all about skepticism. Glad I could clear that up for you.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Oh, I get it.....the Kidd aspires to be Armond White

    by mongo126

    Just read both of Kidd's reviews of the day and I wonder....seriously, do you even like movies? Every review is like a submission for the "Douchebag review of the week". You seem to be on a personal quest to point out every single thing wrong with a movie. It's old. Get a new schtick.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    kidds reviews are readable, no problem at all but ...

    by oborostyle

    he only has some basic filmknowledge and at times it baffles me how he watches a movies. to not get the role of amy adams in the master (its not his daughter !!!) is a strange thing. To not think about the purpose or even trying to get some facts (book) about the ending in life of pi (even if it hurts the movie experience) another.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    faith is NOT believing in the impossible

    by percane

    faith is believing in something without having PROOF of it. columbus had faith that the world was round. he didn't have proof or knowledge of it, he just believed. scientists had faith the speed of sound could be broken even though the commonly held belief was that it could not. faith should be separated from religion.

  • If anything, it's a cynical critique of faith, saying "look how stupid faith it, these people believe in magic tigers even when they know better" But I'm guessing the author was going for the exact opposite of that. Sort of like how Cloud Atlas's "Things connect to other things and that's important somehow" nonsense actually feels like an insult to religion and not a celebration, but that's just my opinion.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Can't wait till the porno comes out....Life of (Poontang) Pie

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Richard Parker?

    by jwardlow

    What -- no middle name? Could be cool, if we can get past the fact that Pi, in reality, would quickly become Richard Parker's lunch.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah...

    by jwardlow

    Here's the perfect middle name: Woodrow

  • Yup. Welcome to reading the book. Replaces two hours with four hundred pages.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Richard Parker invented Spider Man in a test tube.

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    He basically put radioactive jizz on a spider and watched what happened.

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    As director I would have changed the ending.

    by knowthyself

    Left it as a fantasy story. Remove the stupid "real world" twist.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Most cringe inducing scene in Prometheus (And there's plenty)

    by knowthyself

    How do you know all this Shaw? "Believe I have faith." OMG i wanted to smack her in the face.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Most cringe inducing scene that should have been in Prometheus:

    by UltraTron

    Massive primordial orgy pit showing why penises are shaped like plungers as they plunge out other sperm in the ultimate fuck pit we all spawn from.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Percane you are totally wrong

    by vetepalapinga

    Columbus didn't have faith the world was round. He knew it. Many people knew it- for many years. What he had was balls to do the trip knowing how dangerous it was. Columbus coming up with the theory the earth was round is 100% bullshit. Scientists do not rely on faith to get through the day- they experiment. They get shit done until they get it right.

  • I can have faith in my friend, or that I can do something, without really knowing for sure if it will happen. Faith is something that can keep a human being going, and even in religion, it can be a beautiful thing to see art made out of. It's just how far one takes it, but a film or a story dealing with faith is something that should be made. I don't wanna live in a world without stories like this.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Jesus loves you.

    by Deceased Fan

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    The thing about atheists...

    by Darth Macchio

    A kind and decent atheist is on average, to me, somewhat more 'moral' relative to someone who claims religion as their moral guide. Primarily because the atheist has no 'punishment' or 'reward' for anything they do in their lives. A decent and kind atheist's motivations are less cloudy than someone who believes in a traditional divinity narrative. Sure, the believer could absolutely be good for goodness sake, and I suspect many are, but they also just might be thinking of themselves and their eternal lives after death. Their motivation to be a decent person might be purely selfish in nature. On the other hand, believers who cannot see the spellbinding beauty in the natural universe all around us, who cannot find the almost painful magnificence in how insignificant we are relative to the universe and yet how utterly unique and integrated each and every living and non-living thing is, how there is nothing empty about existence or the universe without a human created god simply because one chooses to look internally instead of externally and see nothing without said 'god'. im not an atheist and don't believe in anything a human says is real simply because they spoke words aloud....but yet I'm saddened by some of my religious friends who, without their divinity, would apparently see the world as an empty, hollow and bleak place. the greatest thing about the beauty of the natural universe is that it transcends us - and we don't like that..we don't like anything that precludes us...likely the common attitude of a young species in this universe so nothing permanent nor unchanging (not being anti-human here) but still....universal beauty is at your fingertips whether you choose to see it or not...

  • If you take elements of each faith, then you ARE making a decision for yourself rather than letting other dogmas make your decisions for you. Good lord, what an incredibly ignorant statement that was for you to make.

  • Any other millennia-spanning, unknowable questions you can answer for us, Guru Kidd?? Please, oh please, enlighten us!

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Aaaaaand thanks for the SPOILERS on the ending

    by D.Vader

    You're a real pro, Kidd.

  • South Park nailed it. The Catholic minister is in hell and is all confused asking the tour guide why he's here... "The correct answer was Mormon... Mormon".

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Star Hump, that was hilarious

    by D.Vader

  • Call me racist, but this movie has got an uphill battle for it even if it's the greatest movie of all time.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    star hump, were you trying to reach the shelter?

    by STLost

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    @Tritium - Truth hurts, doesn't it?

    by Admiral Nelson

    For well over 2000 years, people have invoked the name (or names) of what are effectively imaginary playmates to justify their behavior towards others, and it's just as ignorant and retrograde as trying to insist the world is flat. There's exactly zero empirical evidence -- none, zero, zip, nada, nothing -- indicating that a mythical supernatural deity some call "God" exists, or as ever existed. And, an increasing number of people are getting fed up with being judged, excluded, deprived of their rights, threatened, imprisoned or even killed because they dare suggest that God, AKA an imaginary boogeyman, is a bunch of made-up bullshit. There is exactly as much evidence for "God" as there is for Santa Claus, but children eventually wise up and stop believing in St. Nick. When are allegedly rational adult human beings going to stop believing in the adult version of Santa Claus?

  • Then you're doing it wrong to begin with.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Star hump?

    by Robert Evans

    I haven't seen you round these parts in quite some time buddy.. Welcome home

  • No. I'd say he's doing it right, because it's all bullshit. People who spout bullshit should be insulted, and often.

  • That's crazy talk! We all know that it's a fact that humans are the only living things that have SPECIAL MAGIC SHIT inside them that will allow them to exist after they die! At least 'Life of Pi' has the good grace to market itself as fiction for the fucking idiots who would otherwise regard it as a chronicle of real events as written down by a guy hallucinating his tits off in the desert long, long ago.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    No, DarthJedi

    by D.Vader

    Wrong there too.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Pi is irrational, transcendental and real...

    by Bibliographer

    Fact. And the film seems true to the book. Critics who review the film negatively because of discomfort with the message or the ways the ambiguities make demands on the consumer are only expressing taste (or prejudice) rather than a valid critique... ...opinion.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    darth macchio

    by WeylandYutani

    A well written post that is insightful and thought provoking. I am an atheist and I had never quite reasoned my skeptism of religion in quite that way. While I do not necessarily take religion to be the root of all evil and I assume that many religious people are moral and good, you do raise some interesting questions and flaws in the structure of religious docterines. Anyway, you mention that you are religious, so thank you for taking the time to think and question your world view... People with the ability of self reflection and even self critisism are always far more interesting than those who choose sides and accuse the other of being immoral or somehow less human.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    This review is written very badly

    by Citizen Sane

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST

    weylandyutani - im not religious...

    by Darth Macchio

    Nor do I believe in what I describe as a 'participatory god'. I don't believe in fate or luck or anything that would involve remotely approaching omniscience as a 3rd party 'observer' or manager of our species much less any others. But I'm not an atheist nor an agnostic either... It gets a little weird from there so I'll spare ya further details...but safe to say that I'm a "man of science" (true science, not ego-based self congratulatory and self-deferential humanistic biased nonsense masquerading as 'science') and only use observable details and inference and then base my conjecture and personal theories/mythology on that... Those theories and conjecture have only led me further and further from the traditional human-held view of 'god' and also to inevitably shun most all religions as we know them.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Darth

    by WeylandYutani

    Apologies. I reread your original post and I misinterpreted what you wrote. Still, an excellent post though.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Tis all good Weylandyutani...

    by Darth Macchio

    No need for any apologies...and thanks for the kind words re, my comments. It's actually difficult to discuss religious views as they are so close to people's hearts. It's all but a single negative sentence and you've offended them. Which ends the conversation and any potential for finding anything approaching common ground. It's important, I think, to not only recognize the goodness of both sides of this non-binary debate but to engage each side in a manner befitting both contexts (religions sense of inherent decency and science's sense of open mindedness). To the movie, I'm a big Ang Lee fan and am looking forward to seeing this movie. And seeing as how I still like only women after seeing Brokeback Mountain, I'm thinking my views on religion and spirituality will not change. I do not need a book or some other human's words to know we are all connected. I only need thermodynamics. I don't need split seas and water to wine miracles - the human hand alone, with all it's biological facility and capacity for beauty and horror speaks more to me of genuine 'magic' than any centuries old manuscript. And I don't need 'god' to accept or not accept my fellow humans - I just utilize my place in the cosmos to recognize, quite clearly and without hesitation, that it is the height of intellectual arrogance to consider for even a moment that "acceptance" is something that is even up to me at all.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Horrible Review. Reason:

    by DeadStar

    Things like this line: "as a mystical island is introduced into the fray, an entity that really doesn’t seem to have any business in this tale after Lee has worked so hard to establish the reality of this entire struggle". This reviewer needs to read the NOVEL first before he blames the director for introducing the island in the 3rd act. This is stupid.

  • She has an excuse, she's very religious and doesn't get out much. Kid, you suck. What's your excuse?

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 4:59 p.m. CST

    How could anyone take offense to an attack on a straw man?

    by tomandshell

    If someone's summary of your beliefs is inaccurate, then it shouldn't bother you too much if they reject them. They are just denouncing a position they invented that doesn't correspond to reality. No hard feelings.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Not surprising - The Kidd shits on every movie.

    by Joey Stars

  • YOU WRITE MOVIE REVIEWS KIDD! LEARN TO LIKE SOME FUCKING MOVIES! i thought that was the whole point of writing reviews is you have an interest and love for film. If you hate everything you watch why not try something different...

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    nintendarth

    by TheHumanBeingAndFish

    What do movies like Cloud Atlas and Prometheus have to do with theism? There's nothing in those films that is dependent on the existence of deities. Not that I could tell, anyway. Anyway, won't be seeing this one.

  • thehumanbeingandfish- it's mysticism of any kind - that any action has any significance or meaning, that anything is connected; that's belief in 'the universe' as some kind of cosmic force. Nope. Sorry. There is no force. There is no Force. There is no god. There is no God. Eff all'y'all dumb enough to believe in magical crap keeping you alive inside and the space flying cloud man. Eff all y'all. And very soon we will outnumber the religious, and them hopefully religion will be remembered like all the other fake crap we've dispensed with.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Coming 2014 - The NINTENDARTH ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

    by Nintendarth

    NOW YOU'RE PLAYING WITH THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE!

  • His Power Gloves are just basically his gloves. There's a lightsaber wiimote.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Darth

    by WeylandYutani

    Agreed – with every point... I think we all need thermodynamics most of the time. Your quote: And seeing as how I still like only women after seeing Brokeback Mountain, I'm thinking my views on religion and spirituality will not change. Hilarious!

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST

    The Life Of Dogmatic Atheists

    by shane peterson

    Yes, you. You do exist and you are just as fucking zealous.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    nintendarth

    by TheHumanBeingAndFish

    That's nice and all, but atheism doesn't deny "mysticism of any kind," it just denies the existence of deities. I think the term you're looking for is either materialism or naturalism, the latter being my preference. I personally don't mind mysticism—if it's that—in a movie like Cloud Atlas; it just serves as a storytelling device (or metaphor, if you will).

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 6:55 p.m. CST

    admiral nelson, people will wake up

    by shane peterson

    when jerks like you quit telling them how they believe and what they should or shouldnt believe in you authoritarian dope

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    No, Massawyrm was funny and witty and insightful

    by D.Vader

    Kidd is none of those things so far.

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    So it's the same shitty ending as the book?

    by Son of Superfuzz

    Too bad, I briefly considered seeing this for the visuals, but was hoping they'd skip the bizarre, tacked on "God is SOOO Rad, Guys" ending of the book.

  • ...we can all tell the difference. And crediting Lee with creating the beautiful images is a cop-out. Other artists are responsible for creating the beauty and the concepts. Ang Lee just tells them what he likes. He doesn't create shit. We need to give credit where it is due. The artists. Lee's job is to tell the story. Did he succeed or fail?

  • Nov. 21, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    all you whiney atheists

    by cgih8r

    need to get laid. Out of all the ignorance and violence in the world you pick on the people who are willing to hear you out and have a discussion with you. It's good to believe in stuff, it's good to find a purpose. That's why natural selection keeps atheists in the minority because belief in that "fairy tale shit" strengthens someone's conviction for better or worse it makes them more evolutionarily fit. Pick your battles carefully and don't be so quick to anger if someone doesn't see something that seems crystal clear to you. You can be better than that. You can be content with the fact that you know something that someone doesn't and still learn something from them. Humble yourself a little and realize that we are all ignorant of something and we all play some form of make believe. Money, Morals, even the Law don't exist until you say that they do. If you were fully aware of all truths of this universe at all times you would cease to function and nature would be quick to select you OUT. So shut up, put a smile on your face and go get laid.

  • Nov. 22, 2012, 1:53 a.m. CST

    @Admiral Nelson

    by tritium

    The more you post, the more you undermine your so-called "principles". It has nothing to do with the fact that your chosen belief system disavows any Creator / God (and make no mistake, you still have a belief system). Even if I disagree with your particular conviction, I would still be respective of your world-view. It has everything to do with the sanctimonious vitriol you have spewed in every single post in this thread. And for the record (not that it matters) I am a both a person of Faith (Catholic, in my case), as well as physicist, who currently teaches GR and Cosmology, with absolutely no appeal to non-scientific explanations. You see, unlike you, many of us "believers" understand that the purview of Science is to describe the fundamental principles that operate and govern our physical Universe, whereas the purview of Faith/Religion transcends our physical Universe, and seeks answers to such questions as "Who is God", "What is our relationship to God", "What is the meaning of it all", etc.

  • Nov. 22, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST

    THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM by Edgar Allen Poe

    by MARCEL_THE_NEGRO_PROJECTIONIST

    Check it out. In the story, after a shipwreck, four men make it to a lifeboat. Starving, they draw straws, and the shortest straw is killed and eaten. He's a young cabin boy named Richard Parker. The odd thing is, about 50 years after Poe published this, a real shipwreck took place, and three men and a young cabin boy made it to the lifeboat. The three men, starving, killed and ate the cabin boy. His name? Richard Parker. All true and it's been documented in a murder trial. None of the surviving cannibals were aware of the Poe story. We're in the Matrix.

  • Not just because it used the Pace/Cameron system. The ocean is displayed very much like a Pandora-like ecosystem, and may have beaten Cameron to the punch for his AVATAR sequels. The storm, ship sinking and all following ocean sequences are superb. The teen playing Pi was a real find, and he physically and emotionally gives it all. Shortcomings are the framing sequences and modern-day recollections which treat various religions like a catalog of ideas for intellectual pondering - too much forced exposition which fell flat. Also, many shots do look like HD video. The CG animals and environments are outstanding. A constant flow of montage (reminded me of Ang Lee's transitions in HULK) keeps past/present integrated. Absolutely worth seeing in 3D. What a year for movies, and THE HOBBIT and DJANGO UNCHAINED haven't even arrived.

  • Nov. 22, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    cgih8r,

    by TheManWhoCan

    you should have added ....exept in the back of a taxi in Dubai, because you will go to jail.http://www .independent.ie/national-news/courts/couple-charged-with-having-sex-in-a-dubai-taxi-claim-they-were-falsely-accused-3280412.html. <p> religion!!! respect it or else!!!!

  • Nov. 22, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Such a terrible reviewer of films.

    by whatyoufear

    I mean, am I right? Seriously. Fuck this guy.

  • Nov. 22, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    @Tritium - You should teach tautology

    by Admiral Nelson

    "Vitriol?" Dude, I'm simply pointing out an undeniable fact -- that billions of people "believe," with all their heart and all their might, in an entity for which there is exactly ZERO empirical evidence, in all of recorded human history. If you find that hard to deal with, well, tough shit -- I'm going to laugh in your face (correctly) when you point to your imaginary playmate and insist that he's real. Here's a newsflash: you, sir, like many other devoutly religious people, confuse "belief" with "fact." Um, no. They are not interchangeable. I can believe, with all my heart, that unicorns exist. That doesn't make them exist, and there's just as much evidence for unicorns as there is for God. It's simply magical thinking, and there is literally no difference between children confidently talking about Santa Claus, and adults talking about God... except for the fact that sooner or later, children grow up and realize that Santa Claus is a childish fantasy. So is God, whether it's the spiteful, psychotic deity in the Old Testament, or the sociopath who impregnated an earthly woman (much like Zeus did.) But hey -- enjoy your "beliefs," dude -- I'd rather enjoy my thoughts, which are based on empirical evidence that can be tested and demonstrated. All you have are dozens of contradictory (and flatly unbelievable) stories written thousands of years ago by people both known and unknown, and simple logic indicates that many of them are flat-out fiction.

  • Nov. 23, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    life of pie is just a recycled reboot of

    by Discordio

    3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751 05820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067 98214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812 84811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819 64428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909 14564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127 37245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643 67892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609 43305727036575959195309218611738193261179310511854 80744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491 cmon hollywood. let's get original.

  • Nov. 23, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shyamalan wanted to make this

    by Jared Bond

    Looks like it would have been right up his alley. (Probably would have played the older Pi himself, hahaha.)

  • I actually found that story harder to buy than the one with the tiger. For one it was too convenient for him to make the rude cook out to be this viscious villain. As farvas the magical island, dude was seriously hallucinating at that point so who knows what actually happened. I loved the movie. It was truly a wondrous experience.

  • Certainly, you can interpret it that way. I don't. So, you should be safe going to see it. It is a visual masterpiece that should not be missed in the theater.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:36 a.m. CST

    I agree with the ass-pull of an ending, upon further thought.

    by TheMachinist

    It gives you an option: Either believe that the story with the tiger is true, or the one with the cook. I thought that was rather clever, but it seems like it's needlessly ambiguous in retrospect.