Welcome to Marwen - upcoming Robert Zemeckis film with Steve Carrell

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Chris DeVoe, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I saw the trailer for this in the theater last night, and it utterly devastated me. If the film lives up to a tenth of the promise of the trailer, it's going to be one of my all-time favorite films.

    Steve Carrell keeps finding film roles that are anything but the same old thing. In this, he plays the victim of a hate crime, beaten so badly that he has lost most of his memories. To help himself try to recover, he builds a 1/6th scale model town out of action figures known as Marwencol. It is based on the 2010 documentary of the same name.
  2. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    well, yeah. Nice adult movie.
    He really was the other half of the emotional core of the Big Short. It would have been easier for him to take Bale's role, but he took the hard route, playing the outraged conscience of the piece
    Solaris and Chris DeVoe like this.
  3. hybrid_77

    hybrid_77 Forum Resident

    Yeast Coast
    I bought the DVD Marwencol when it came out in 2011. The director kept a blog of his experience with Mark and the doc that was being made.

    Welcome 2

    I have no desire to see Steve Carrell playing Mark. I hope Mark makes some money out of this because he deserves it. He was broke and living in a trailer. Hopefully that's changed.

    babyblue, melstapler and IronWaffle like this.
  4. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Really? I respect him as an actor, and he could have a very successful career making dopey comedies, but he is constantly looking for stuff off the beaten path - Seeking a Friend For The End of The World, Foxcatcher and The Big Short. As I said in the OP, the trailer moved me to tears.

    It's impossible to make a fiction version of his story without him making enough money to be set for life, where he could be the subject of a documentary and not make a penny.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  5. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New trailer:

    melstapler likes this.
  6. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    steve has gone the way of jim carrey, get enough f-you money and only do projects you really want to do. good for him
    George P, kevywevy and Chris DeVoe like this.
  7. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Toy Story - Team America
    Hell yeah !!!!! :D
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    This is by Robert Zemeckis who has done so many amazing films that even his failures are interesting.
    Vidiot and alexpop like this.
  9. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    On to a winner with this one methinks !!!
    melstapler and Chris DeVoe like this.
  10. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I believe so.
    melstapler and alexpop like this.
  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I saw the trailer with a full crowd audience, and there was a lot of "WTF" reactions. I dunno.

    But I totally agree with you: even Bob Zemeckis' failures are very interesting films.
  12. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Really? Vickie and I sit down near the front, so we really don't tend to notice other people's reactions very much. All I know is we both loved it.

    This summer, a Chicago film critic has been showing a Robert Zemeckis film every month, so we've been able to get caught up (they couldn't get Who Framed Roger Rabbit - the critic has nothing nice to say about trying to deal with Disney). But we did get to see I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Used Cars.
    unclefred and JackBnimble like this.
  13. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Those are very, very good films.
  14. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    I love his early stuff, the aforementioned used cars, I wanna hold your hand + romancing the stone, BTTF.... im more hit or miss after castaway....he lost me a bit with Beowulf, but im up for this one. should be interesting how it tows the line with feel good/inspirational - live action, etc...zemeckis is a master at that (I suspect few dry eyes in the theater)
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  15. How soon til there’s a Marwen themed chain of restaurants? Like Bubba Gumps Shrimp House :tiphat:
    trumpet sounds likes this.
  16. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    He's pushed the envelope with computer graphics with The Polar Express and Beowulf, but through a combination of CG finally reaching the level that he needed and finding a story that fit, I believe this is going to work perfectly.
  17. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Probably not, but the action figures are going to be awesome.
    melstapler and Mazzy like this.
  18. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    I remember the DOC very well. This looks to be a good film.
    melstapler likes this.
  19. modrevolve

    modrevolve Forum Resident

    Saw a screener last night and was ready to leave ten minutes in. I guess I was expecting the movie to be less Toy Story and more Awakenings or something. Guess I should see the documentary to fully appreciate it.
    altaeria and trumpet sounds like this.
  20. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    I'm glad there are people out there who are looking fwd. to this film, if only for the reason that so many people keep saying "All Hollywood gives us are the same things over and over..." People say they want "new/different", then they can go see this film, because it definitely looks "different"...

    That said, I've seen commercials for it on TV, and I can tell this film would *not* be for me... It looks too weird...
    Lownotes likes this.
  21. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    The trailer didn’t make me want to see the movie. And the reviews are reinforcing that... :sigh:
    Scott222C and GodShifter like this.
  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Oof - you ain't kidding! I glanced at RT and the overall consensus so far is pretty bad! :sigh:

    I still will probably see it - time off for winter break + AMC A-List = ease of movie access -but I don't have high hopes for it...
    GodShifter likes this.
  23. hybrid_77

    hybrid_77 Forum Resident

    Yeast Coast
    "I regret to report that virtually nothing about “Welcome to Marwen” works. A strange and true tale of a lonely man creating art out of damage has been coated with a thick shell of digital effects and Hollywood treacle by people who should know better. The tone is almost willfully off-putting. The parts that are supposed to be cute could give you the creeps. The film is almost a Platonic ideal of how to take an emotionally transfixing real-life story and get it wrong.

    Probably the only right way would be to make a documentary, but someone already did: Jeff Malmberg’s “Marwencol” (2010) remains the clear-eyed tribute to Mark Hogancamp that he and we deserve. You can rent it on iTunes or stream it if you subscribe to Kanopy, Fandor, or Mubi, and you are hereby urged to. “Marwencol” is a wonderful movie. “Welcome to Marwen” is not.

    The new film drops us into Hogancamp’s life in media weird, backfilling the details slowly. Mark (Carell) is an upstate New Yorker and artist recovering from a brutal barroom assault in which a group of men beat and kicked him into a coma, from which he emerged with the loss of his memory and his ability to draw. As a form of self-medicated therapy, he has created a miniature World War II village in his backyard, peopled it with modified Barbies and G.I. Joes, and photographed epic sagas of longing and revenge, starring “Captain Hogie” and a cadre of kick-ass women soldiers.

    Hogancamp’s photographs — which are stunning — eventually caught the attention of the Manhattan gallery crowd, and Malmberg’s documentary sensibly explores the issue of whether and how Mark is being exploited by his new hipoisie friends. “Welcome to Marwen” just exploits him for feel-good messages of healing that can’t help but feel offensively trite next to the real thing.

    Mostly, the new movie realizes Hogancamp’s fantasy life as a lavishly appointed digital other-world in which Mark and his real-life acquaintances come to tough-talking, plastic-jointed, psycho-action life. The director is Robert Zemeckis, who long ago gave us “Back to the Future” (1985) and “Used Cars” (1980) — Jesus, remember “Used Cars”? — and who more recently has been seduced by the promise of motion-capture animation in “The Polar Express” (2004) and “A Christmas Carol” (2009). His approach to Hogancamp’s story reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. Mark’s photographs already are his fantasy’s visualization, and the only visualization that’s needed. Anything else cheapens it.

    And renders it disturbing in more than just the uncanny-valley doll simulations. In Mark’s inner narrative, Captain Hogie is protected from the Nazis (i.e., his assailants) by the women of Marwen, all of whom are based on women who care for him in life: his physical therapist (singer Janelle Monae), a waitress friend (Eiza González), the clerk at the local hobby shop (Merritt Wever), a Russian medical technician (Gwendoline Christie of “Game of Thrones”). When a kindhearted divorcee named Nicol (Leslie Mann) moves in across the street, Mark has a new living doll on which to fixate.

    Malmberg’s documentary handles these occasional crushes and his friends’ gentle defusing of them with delicacy and tact. (Actually, the documentary handles a lot delicately, including Mark’s fetish for women’s footwear, while never losing sympathy for the touched, touching, and enduring individual at its center.) “Welcome to Marwen” gives us Hogancamp warts and all — the crushes, the impressive shoe collection, the fixation on a 1980s porn star — but the warts are presented as adorable quirks, a la Zemeckis’s biggest hit, “Forrest Gump” (1994) or co-writer Caroline Thompson’s “Edward Scissorhands” (1990).

    Those were fictional characters. Mark Hogancamp and his demons are real. “Welcome to Marwen” is made by people who seem to have lost sight of the difference.

    So the “romance” between Mark and Nicol is played out at excruciating length, and Nicol’s friendship with her eccentric-to-unnerving new neighbor itself seems far-fetched. (Of course it happened in real life; that “Welcome to Marwen” can’t convince us it could is its failure.) The warrior-babe fantasy that seems so fresh and even empowering in Hogancamp’s photographs curdles into surrealist Mattel hubba-hubba because the script simultaneously sexualizes Mark and neuters him. The Ick Factor laps at this movie’s feet until it floods the room, and no one here seems able to do anything about it.

    Least of all Carell. You admire the guy, I admire the guy, but there’s almost no way he can make sense of this movie’s contradictions (or that haircut). The actor has long since successfully branched out of comedy to showcase his full range, yet “Welcome to Marwen” is the first time one of his depressive, soulful sad sacks has felt like schtick.

    If you recall the “Tropic Thunder” debate about actors playing mentally impaired characters — sorry, I can’t quote it here — you’ll be relieved to know that Carell doesn’t go the full . . . distance. He still goes further than feels necessary or right, and that itself stands as a well-intentioned insult to a man who’s seen more than enough injury. Avert your eyes. We will not speak of this again."

    From the Boston Globe. Check out the doc from Jeff Malmberg.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  24. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    The reviews of this are really bad. I have no desire to see this whatsoever.
    spanky1, Scott222C, Jack and 2 others like this.
  25. I saw the trailer as well. The audience including myself had the same reaction...not good.

    This movie has bomb written all over it

Share This Page