"Nightmare Alley" (new 2021 Guillermo del Toro film)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by agentalbert, Dec 14, 2021.

  1. It’s too bad if this does poorly. The timing isn’t great for sure for this release. With big budget popcorn movies like a spider-man and the latest Matrix variation, it’s going to be tough to sell it.
     
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  2. It’s a terrific noir.
     
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  3. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I saw the film this afternoon and thought it was excellent. No issues of any kind (for me) with the running time.

    I came in with the knowledge of Bob Dylan explaining what a geek is, in his inimitable manner, in concert, in 1978.

     
  4. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Thanks for this. I sent it to my brother who saw the film last night, and is a huge Dylan fan.

    He said: "Well that film is one incredible piece of work. Pretty darned upsetting too. But I'll never forget it."
     
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  5. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Vickie and I just saw the film again, as one of AMC's open caption screenings. There were three other people in the theater. I was watching for more details in the carnival sequence, and reading the dialogue that I'd missed the first time around. As well as appreciating some nuances of various performances.

    I'm terrible at recognizing people, but I was shocked when Vickie pointed out that the industrialist was being played by Richard Jenkins, one of the greatest actors of our time. I just post not used to seeing him with a beard, or indeed a full head of hair.
     
  6. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I did not recognize him by sight, but the voice was instantly familiar (via years of "Six Feet Under" primarily). I watched the 1947 film last night, and have to say I preferred the remake (excuse the sacrilege). The characters were given greater depth, particularly Peter, which easily justified the running time, IMO, and the remake ended at the ideal place, while the original's ending seemed unnecessarily tacked on beyond that point.

    Bob Dylan was known for telling "tall tales" when he first became well known, including stories about running away to join a circus/carnival when he was a young teenager. I suspect his knowledge of carnivals, and geeks, may have derived from seeing the 1947 film, which, perhaps coincidentally, ends with a bit of his future song lyric ("He reached too high", which appeared in "Foot of Pride"). In his book "Chronicles", Dylan refers to a singer from his coffeehouse days in this manner: "He looked like he came out of nightmare alley". I doubt we'll get his opinion on the remake. :)
     
  7. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Like RayS above, I didn't recognize Jenkins when he first appeared, but as soon as he spoke I put it together, and he's been in the last del Toro picture "The Shape Of Water".

    Other repeats:
    Ron Perlman (Bruno the stong man) - Cronos, Hellboy, Helboy II, Pacific Rim
    Jim Beaver (Sherriff Jeddediah) - Crimson Peak

    I don't think any of the other main actors in this had worked with del Toro before. Did I miss any?
     
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  8. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Deep Texas
    Bradley Cooper is no Tyrone Power...that's fer sure.
     
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  9. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Deep Texas
    He 'likes' lots of lame neo-noir stuff. It's his gig.
     
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  10. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Jenkins is a favorite actor of mine as well. I immediately recognized him mostly from his voice but also those sad eyes he can generate and turn psychotic on a dime which I thought would've been better amplified if they lit his face in the more disturbing scenes he's in. He can be scary and sad with the same intensity.

    I really liked the supporting cast of character actors in this movie.
     
  11. Daedalus

    Daedalus I haven't heard it all.....

    By the way-slight detour-Hulu has a selection of Del Toro’s favorite noir movies highlighted. I am going to watch a few of them over the holidays.
     
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  12. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Last night I saw the Guillermo interview discussing "Nightmare Alley" on Jimmy Kimmel. The clip they showed was of the psychologist's office with Cooper and Blanchett that was much brighter than what I saw in the theater with the wood paneling having an overly yellowish hue losing all of the gorgeous Halsey style noir lighting on the actor's faces. Some technician must've thought the picture was too dark for prime time TV. Hope the BD doesn't follow suit.

    Guillermo did mention quite a few lines of slang language spoken back in the '30's to stump Kimmel in what they mean I think he sourced from the book because I don't remember hearing them spoken in the movie. Interesting bit of history I wasn't aware, but "geek" was never mentioned.
     
  13. lbangs

    lbangs Senior Member

    I am a notorious lover of long movies, so when I say Nightmare Alley is too long, I'm not talking about raw length.

    I mean the lazy pace gives the audience ample time to figure the obvious plot out, to consider which performances are off during parts of the film (and which actors are wonderful and which are miscast), and to recall how many other far better del Toro films everybody could be watching instead of this boring misfire.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs
     
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  14. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Thanks for reminding me I didn't realize the movie was that long and I checked it to see it has a run time of 2 hours and 20 minutes but it felt like 3 hours as it spent too much time with Cooper's face mostly in shadow as shown on the movie poster. They could've shortened that and spent more time in his training of the "Gift" with Strathairn which would've been more interesting. I made it through the whole movie without having to go pee and that's a feet of strength at my age and bladder control.
     
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  15. lbangs

    lbangs Senior Member

    My girlfriend made the apt observation she'd prefer the film either stay in the carnival or shorten that section to develop the second part better.

    It isn't just there is a lot of time, it is that time is not apportioned well. She's right - A lot of what happened after the dividing point seemed undercooked and, as a result, unconvincing.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs
     
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  16. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    I'm a longtime fan of the original and absolutely enjoyed this remake.
    It followed the original surprisingly closely with a surprising shock thrown in.
    The original did have the "there might hope ending". This one had it's own ending which I understand is closer to the book.
    My wife also enjoyed it but prefers the original.
    I think we both cared for Joan Blondell's Zeena more than we did for Toni Collete's (as great as she always is).

    Zero problem with the length or pacing.

    Nice to see a grownup movie made for grownups.
     
  17. JohnG

    JohnG PROG Nation!

    This one is on tap for tomorrow night.
     
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  18. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Did Stanton give the bad (poison) booze to Pete on purpose? I imagine he probably did as he wanted the book, but can't remember if it was really made clear at the time or not.
     
  19. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    I think it was an accident, that he was distracted when he picked it up.
     
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  20. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    That's what I recalled, but a friend of mine who just saw it said she thought it was on purpose. The way he was looking at the item with the eye that Willem Dafoe had remarked seems to follow you was what she clued in on, as if he was acting guilty. Maybe he considered it for a second, but then didn't. I'll look for that when I see it again, but that won't be til it hits Redbox.
     
  21. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Good to hear someone who watched both enjoyed the remake. The trailer on the remake really got me interested while the original -trailer- doesn't do the same for me possibly because of Tyrone power but I don't think I have ever seen the original.
     
  22. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Just saw it for the third time tonight because very little has opened recently, and I didn't want an AMC A*List ticket to go to waste.

    There's a lot of very subtle things going on with Cate Blanchett's performance that you notice the second and third time - she totally had him on the hook right from the very beginning.

    One other thing I noticed, as he's on the run and hiding in a train car full of cages of chickens? He falls to the floor in exactly the same position as the tarot card for The Hanged Man.
     
  23. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The original film is now streaming on Criterion Channel as part of a "Fox Noir" collection.
     
  24. BradF

    BradF Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Ontario
    I can tell you that in the book Stan spikes the whisky bottle with the wood alcohol used in Zeena's act and offers it to Pete. No accident. Stan is making time with Zeena on the side and wants Pete out of the way.
     
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  25. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    I didn't see it that way but that's no surprise considering there's not a lot of "Tell" or emotional motivation in Cooper's performance of Stan. I saw the wood alcohol given to Pete as an accident because Stan was now more focused on Molly. I remember Zeena just sitting on the porch by herself after Pete's death and Stan wasn't consoling her. Again this movie seems to shroud the motivations of a lot of its character in this type of misdirection or editing of scene flow.

    I'm still not sure what that was all about with Pete, Stan, Molly and Zeena. Now after several weeks have passed I can hardly remember anything on what happened next in that movie.
     
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