The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Deuce66, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. konut

    konut Prodigious Member. Thank you.

    Whatcom County, WA

    I hope to read it in your upcoming book. "Damn Right I've Got the Blues, and the Reds, and the Greens: Tales of a Film Colorist in Hollywood"
  2. I loved it even though it’s sort of a remake of Splash :tiphat:
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  3. I saw it in Seattle.
  4. I loved it but agree about the ad agency sections ....
  5. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    You argue with Babs and you'll never work in this town again.
  6. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Baltimore, MD
    Not my kinda thing. My movie-addict buddy called it "The Creature From The Converged Lagoon".
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  7. Aggie87

    Aggie87 Gig 'Em!

    Odd - it's still not playing here locally at any of the theaters for some reason. The closest place I can see it is 2.5 hours away in San Antonio.
  8. conjotter

    conjotter Forum Resident

    Excellent flick.

    A little over the top, but way more interesting than most of the seemingly endless flow of superhero junk flowing out of Hollywood.
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  9. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    I finally saw it today. For the last few weeks it has been playing at a theater here, but in their "VIP Lounge" (some new thing) where you can't just buy a ticket, you have to buy a pair. I think the whole room is loveseats and so if you are only one person and want to see it, tough $hit, $26 for a loveseat. I refused to do that, so just this week they added some showings in a regular theater where I could just buy a ticket for myself.

    Really like it, though I echo someone's earlier comments that the side-plots with Richard Jenkins character trying to get work again and his attempted fling with the pie-guy were superfluous and made the movie overly long. I don't really see why those were needed for him to have motivation to help Elisa.

    I really like Del Toro and enjoyed this, but I don't think I'd say its worth a 2.5 hour drive for you.
    Aggie87 likes this.
  10. Malina

    Malina Forum Resident

    A screener hit the web yesterday. Very well done, but I was hoping for an action movie. The movie did look great, but being a Luddite Pacific Rim was more my speed.
    DHamilton likes this.
  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I was basically wincing and saying, "duly noted," and we moved on. :rolleyes:

    I would say the point of the side-plots was to point out that the creature, the mute woman, the gay artist, the commie spy, and even to some degree the FBI agent all were very lonely people who didn't have enough love in their lives, which drove them to do questionable things. But I do agree that the gay artist's side-plot dragged on a little too long.

    I had the reds -- now they won't let me take any more! :laugh:
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  12. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    I thought they did enough to establish Giles relationship with the pie place in the first visit, and the scene of him talking about pie with Elisa. The shot of the refrigerator full of barely touched pie slices made it abundantly clear that he wasn't going there for the pie. And similarly with the visits to the add agency. It wasn't explicitly clear, but I thought it was pretty likely the guy was blowing him off at the first visit where he said the gelatin needed to go from red to green (or the other way around). Did we really need the follow up scenes at the pie-diner and with the boss to see him get rejected and crushed? And right after the rejection of Giles, we get the black couple in the diner for pie-guy to be a jerk to, just to further disappoint Giles. Maybe del Toro just wanted to skewer 50's America a bit, but I think both scenes would have been better left to the special features section of the eventual home release. The scenes certainly don't wreck the movie. They just seem to pad the length a bit and not really needed to explain Giles feelings or reason for helping Elisa.

    I thought all the main actors (Jenkins, Hawkins, Spencer, Stuhlberg, Shannon) were excellent in this.
    Vidiot likes this.
  13. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

  14. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    Score of the year (bravo Alexandre Desplat), some jaw dropping cinematography, and a touching performance by Sally Hawkins make this a fun watch. Some of the sequences between Elisa and Amphibian Man had me cringing, and I though Michael Shannon was a little over the top, but overall this is hands down the most unique story of the year, and I'll never look at hard boiled eggs the same again.
  15. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Best del Toro since Pan.
    Preview made for an expected slow, moody grimness.
    Happy for the contrary.
  16. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    D/FW Metroplex
    My wife and I endured this film about a week ago. I usually like Guillermo del Toro's films, but after a week submerged nothing positive has risen to the surface. In spite of profound soapiness, we waited for the rinse cycle through the final act, never arrived. The drip, drip, drip of predictable characters, cliche' performances and plot holes suggests that even a judicious rewrite with industrial strength Draino wouldn't have unclogged this busted pipe dream.

    To say The Shape of Water disappointed would be an understatement in need of a life preservor. The plot flows aimlessly like a tanker on an inevitable collision coarse in the South China seas. Is it melodrama, ...parody, ...fantasy, ...some bizarre concoction of all three? The film's compass spins in all directions. Likewise, the actors performances vary from praiseworthy to camp.

    Some of the acting literally drowns in cliche', specifically Michael Shannon's over-the-top portrayal of agent Richard Strickland. Whether this reading was at the Director's insistence or the actor's peculiar take on the role is open to debate, but I found the stereotypically sadistic government agent character groan-worthy for the most part. Scenery chewing is best employed in broad satire or action films, not a melodrama with a romantic undertone (...undertow?).

    The best way to reel-in an audience's reservations about fantasy is to make the world around the characters as believable as possible. The Shape of Water fails to achieve a clear distinction between the fantasy elements and the cold-war scenarios. Suspension of disbelief is the soggy baby thrown out with the bath water. The audience is constantly being "Maytagged" from one implausible scenario to another, then anchored with an even less plausible melodrama centered around a romanticized fantasy character. As entertainment, it's neither fish nor fowl.

    In this world, ...(spoiler alert!)... we're supposed to accept that an uncleared cleaning woman working at a top secret government facility can repeatedly circumvent security spite of cameras. We're supposed to accept that filling a bathroom with six to eight feet of water ...with only minor leaking... is possible for the sake of a melodramatic pay-off. We're supposed to accept the gangrenous finger reattachments to Agent Strickland. And so on. Symbolism-wise, I get it. The Shape of Water probably has deeper meaning for those who can fathom it, but no crystal ball is needed to understand where this film is going the surface. In fact, everyone in the audience should've predicted what was coming in the final scene after the Amphibian Man's (Doug Jones) secret healing power was revealed, even Elisa's gills. (End of spoilers.)

    Reality check,'s time to bag some popcorn and watch Jack Arnold's Creature From the Black Lagoon.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  17. How about a remake of the Creature From The Black Lagoon only with humanity. Splash....I really don’t see.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  18. It worked perfectly for me. This was a modern day fairytale and Shannon’s character was a typical fairytale villain in some respects except that he was given a bit more depth in that he had a loving family that thought the world of him.

    It’s a fantasy film set in the film world of the 60’s I don’t really see it as being set in the “real”60’ and, given that it is a fantasy one could argue that it is a fantasy version of the early 60’s. Imagine if the creature had been captured...this might be the fantasy film world where this occurred. It also “fits”the stretch of believability that you typically would see in the late 50’s/early 60’s where th8ngs happened not because they were plausible but because it dictated the mood and feel 9f the story. As an example look at Hitchcock’s Vertigo or North By. Northwest.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  19. I Don’t recall the Creature from the Black Lagoon falling in love with Julie Adams but Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah certainly did. :tiphat:
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  20. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    D/FW Metroplex
    I won't criticize anyone's personal taste, ...if you like it, you like it for whatever reasons. That's great, and I respect your opinion even though I don't concur with it.

    Sadly, the last time I heard the phrase "modern day..." used as a prefix, I didn't care for it. Some traditional entertainment works best when not dumbed down or "adulterized" for modern consumption. While The Shape of Water is arguably an adult fairytale of sorts, it was very sloppily done, that's my two cents, others mileage may vary.

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  21. Sure he did. He kept trying to get her. That’s why he kept coming back to the boat and why he was attracted to show up in the first place! He’s a sucker for a beautiful woman!
    The Revealer likes this.
  22. SurrealCereal

    SurrealCereal Forum Resident

    I finally got around to seeing The Shape of Water today. I didn't like it as much as Pan's Labyrinth, which was the reason I went and saw this in the first place, but I still liked it a lot. I was surprised by the Old Hollywood feel that this movie had, since that was not something the trailers emphasized. It really felt to me like a modernized mashup of different genres prevalent during the 40's-60's era of Hollywood. It was like an Old Hollywood love story, mixed with a cold war era spy thriller, mixed with an old monster movie (the kind where it makes you feel sort of bad for the monster), all held together by a subtle 60's aesthetic and a jazzy soundtrack. I was concerned that a love story between a human woman and a fish-man would feel weird or uncomfortable, but Del Toro somehow managed to make even something that strange work.
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  23. Yeah but the Love was one way unlike the other two films. The creature certainly looked like Lagoon though.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  24. Yes indeed two way love. When Del Toro saw Creature From The Black
    Lagoon he was disappointed. This is the story he wanted to see.
    Mazzy likes this.
  25. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Del Toro has said that he had some talks with Universal about doing some of their "Dark Universe" reboot movies, and pitched them a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon, only at the end, the creature gets the girl. They were (ahem) horrified and passed on the idea. I think the idea of the creature is generic enough that there was nothing they could do to legally stop him from making The Shape of Water, since there have been "gill man" creatures going back even before the 1950s.

    I think the movie is very original and striking, and I loved it from start to finish. It's also very beautiful to look at, and I hope it does well with the various film awards for art direction and cinematography.

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