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#1 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

It made 19.4 million yesterday which puts it on pace for at least 50 for the weekend. This is completely and utterly unprecedented for a 1920s book adaptation, it is ludicrously insane. I went to a screening at the smallest theater in town and it was packed with teenagers; there's still some chance it could do better than Iron Man 3 this weekend even.

The movie is okay, for the record I think the plot of the book is mediocre to weak at best so I might not be the best person to judge it; the overarching themes of the book that make it interesting aren't conveyed well in the film but the two lead male actors are both excellent (not meaning Tobey Maguire, what a useless piece of shit he is, granted this is the best useless piece of shit role ever considering the Carraway's role in the novel), and it is visually stunning. The Jay Z rap soundtrack actually works for the most part and is intentionally humorous. It's 30 minutes too long; this is a mediocre film but I could see most teenagers liking it a lot since it is essentially about vapid people, so there's no reason it couldn't hold up well over the next few weeks and make something like 175 million during its domestic run.

Short of Gone with the Wind potentially the most successful "classic" American novel adaptation, the move from late December to May appears to have been nothing short of brilliant; don't know how the fuck they advertised this so well but good on them; while the film could be better this is very encouraging for future film releases of the same ilk. The Catcher in the Rye is a fucking awesome book that could be made into a good, financially successful film; so here's to hoping.

#2 Edited by cmblasko (1108 posts) -

People sure do love to watch Leonardo DiCaprio play Leonardo DiCaprio.

#3 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@cmblasko: Dicaprio is not nearly as much of a draw as he was in the past; though he is a good actor. Yes he does play another rendition of Dicaprio in this but he does have a Southern accent! Dicaprio covers the original 30 million anticipated (which is still quite successful for something like this); where the hell is the other 20-30 million coming from?

The film is extremely homo-erotic as well, if people find that to be humorous; this guy did.

#4 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

People sure do love to watch Leonardo DiCaprio play Leonardo DiCaprio.

He's from the past?

#5 Posted by cmblasko (1108 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: Not sure if I buy him not being a draw anymore. He was just in Django (also playing himself with a southern accent) and that performed very well.

But yeah, I agree that there was some excitement for it that wasn't quite understandable. People I know who I would have never guessed would be into a Great Gatsby adaptation were hyped for this movie.

#6 Edited by D0tti (786 posts) -

@cmblasko: Dicaprio is not nearly as much of a draw as he was in the past; though he is a good actor. Yes he does play another rendition of Dicaprio in this but he does have a Southern accent! Dicaprio covers the original 30 million anticipated (which is still quite successful for something like this); where the hell is the other 20-30 million coming from?

The film is extremely homo-erotic as well, if people find that to be humorous; this guy did.

Fuck me that guy on the right reminds me of Alex Navarro... Maybe not how he looks, but how he behaves and talks and such.

#7 Edited by cmblasko (1108 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

People sure do love to watch Leonardo DiCaprio play Leonardo DiCaprio.

He's from the past?

Aren't we all from the past?

#8 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@cmblasko: Django is a Tarantino movie (1), Jamie Foxx (2), Christoph Waltz (3), and R rated Sam Jackson (4), that is a rather large number of conflating factors in your analysis. You can see here how well Dicaprio draws in general, good but not consistently amazing or anything; he sure as hell isn't Will Smith or even The Rock (keeping in mind The Rock consistently brings in money for terrible to mediocre movies and Dicaprio is in a lot of good movies that have their own intrinsic appeal)

#9 Posted by Turambar (6641 posts) -

The combined powers of Dicaprio, and AP English classes going on field trips to see it now that the AP exam is over leads to such numbers.

#10 Edited by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

@mideonnviscera said:

@cmblasko said:

People sure do love to watch Leonardo DiCaprio play Leonardo DiCaprio.

He's from the past?

Aren't we all from the past?

I'm saying I don't see him as always playing himself. I see him as always playing historical figures, or guys from 100 years ago, or whatever. So he'd need a Captain America origin to actually play himself.

#11 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@turambar: I read Gatsby a lot earlier than AP, Heart of Darkness was AP which is miles and miles and legions and fathoms better written than Gatsby.

#12 Edited by Hailinel (23694 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

@mideonnviscera said:

@cmblasko said:

People sure do love to watch Leonardo DiCaprio play Leonardo DiCaprio.

He's from the past?

Aren't we all from the past?

I'm saying I don't see him as always playing himself. I see him as always playing historical figures, or guys from 100 years ago, or whatever. So he'd need a Captain America origin to actually play himself.

Yeah, I'm really not sure what DiCaprio playing himself even means at this point.

#13 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@hailinel: Read the last paragraph of this, he's very similar though equally good in every film just with mild variations on the same character.

#14 Edited by Andorski (5179 posts) -

People want to watch the movie because they only looked at the Sparknotes for the book when it was assigned to be read back in high school. Now they can actually enjoy the story without actually having to read it.

#15 Posted by Humanity (8729 posts) -

It is receiving lukewarm to poor reviews though.

#16 Posted by ajamafalous (11823 posts) -

High school English classes bro.

@turambar: I read Gatsby a lot earlier than AP, Heart of Darkness was AP which is miles and miles and legions and fathoms better written than Gatsby.

I disagree entirely, but hey, that's what opinions are for.

#17 Posted by Wampa1 (626 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: Gatsby is a much easier adaptation than Catcher though. They are both classic pieces of classroom reading so have a similar level of exposure The difference would be that Gatsby is the kind of book that can be made into a sexy, loud musical extravaganza whilst still keeping it's main plot intact. Catcher is a pretty bleak book about a pretty unlikable lead. I love the book but I just can't see it ever being this level of successful. Always thought it would be a 5 million dollar indie film or mini series.

Also fuck Tobey Maguire, He's never terrible just really boring.

#18 Edited by cmblasko (1108 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@cmblasko: Django is a Tarantino movie (1), Jamie Foxx (2), Christoph Waltz (3), and R rated Sam Jackson (4), that is a rather large number of conflating factors in your analysis. You can see here how well Dicaprio draws in general, good but not consistently amazing or anything; he sure as hell isn't Will Smith or even The Rock (keeping in mind The Rock consistently brings in money for terrible to mediocre movies and Dicaprio is in a lot of good movies that have their own intrinsic appeal)

Still doesn't seem like it is strange to say that he draws given the right circumstances. 4 $100 million+ movies over 5 years seems really strong to me.

And yeah, The Rock has been a cash-generating machine lately, which seems kind of crazy since just a few years ago it didn't seem like his acting career was really going anywhere.

@hailinel: What @fredchuckdave said. He plays all of his roles with the same attitude and expressions, same tone of voice and inflection.The only differences between his characters are their goals and motivations.

#19 Edited by PenguinDust (12443 posts) -

It will be interesting to see how it does. American classics adaptions of The Last of the Mohicans (1992) and Sleepy Hollow (1999) made 75 million and 102 million domestically. Adjusted for inflation, that's 120 to 135 million, so if it can top those numbers it will be a noteworthy feat. Still, I'd rather watch To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) again.

#20 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@ajamafalous: No this isn't even close, there's opinions and falsehoods. There is some degree of objectivity here, Heart of Darkness is on par with Shakespeare and Luo Guanzhong; Gatsby is middling and eh not really even "Classic" material. Salinger, Kipling, Cormac McCarthy, Faulkner, and Arthur Miller are all better authors than Fitzgerald and Conrad is better than all of them. Quality of writing on a baseline level is something that can be perceived, analyzed, and critiqued; if you're comparing two similar works you can say one is better than the other subjectively but Heart of Darkness isn't even in the same ballpark as Gatsby. Also Apocalypse Now and Spec Ops: The Line are ludicrously superior to every Gatsby film adaptation.

#21 Posted by D0tti (786 posts) -

Weird how this movie is doing so good, considering the cast, i've seen most off the actors in other movies and IMO none off them are any good(besides Di Caprio that is).

#22 Posted by InternetCrab (1504 posts) -

I saw the movie on premiere and I have to say it was great. DiCaprio did do a great job, however not better than his work in Django. He sure still has his talent from the past, and he did show it in this movie.

#23 Edited by Turambar (6641 posts) -

@turambar: I read Gatsby a lot earlier than AP, Heart of Darkness was AP which is miles and miles and legions and fathoms better written than Gatsby.

You seemed to have missed the point. The field trips aren't meant as a companion study guide to the book, its meant as a "woohoo your AP exams are over, so lets take a day to celebrate".

#24 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@wampa1: Yeah it's definitely a harder sell, but if this movie makes 200 million who wouldn't want to adapt a whole bunch of ubiquitous high school novels? You'd have to find a 20-25ish good young actor to play Holden though which is a toughie. @d0tti Tobey Maguire is shit (but this is the ideal role for someone useless to play), the others are fine actors and Joel Edgerton (also known as young Owen Lars) as Tom Buchanan is great in this, Carey Mulligan is really normal looking which doesn't really jive with the character here though it worked great in Drive. The chick who plays Jordan is a total unknown and performs reasonably well/is attractive.

#25 Edited by Animasta (14643 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: I like gatsby better because King Leopold's Ghost is basically Heart of Darkness but real (and even worse).

Gatsby is the only "classic" book I like to reread, honestly.

#26 Posted by D0tti (786 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: I feel like they are all pretty "meh" actors, even Joel Edgerton who despite being good in Warrior(Tom Hardy was better IMO) is not a very memorable actor.

#27 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7039 posts) -

@ajamafalous: No this isn't even close, there's opinions and falsehoods. There is some degree of objectivity here, Heart of Darkness is on par with Shakespeare and Luo Guanzhong; Gatsby is middling and eh not really even "Classic" material. Salinger, Kipling, Cormac McCarthy, Faulkner, and Arthur Miller are all better authors than Fitzgerald and Conrad is better than all of them. Quality of writing on a baseline level is something that can be perceived, analyzed, and critiqued; if you're comparing two similar works you can say one is better than the other subjectively but Heart of Darkness isn't even in the same ballpark as Gatsby. Also Apocalypse Now and Spec Ops: The Line are ludicrously superior to every Gatsby film adaptation.

And yours is the definition of an opinion. Don't pretend it's fact. I personally don't enjoy Dickens but I can recognize the quality of his writing. Your opinion is not law.

Online
#28 Edited by Turtlebird95 (2285 posts) -

Honestly I was never a fan of Gatsby. I was really excited to read it for American Lit but it didn't live up to my expectations at all.

#29 Edited by XChairmanDrekX (279 posts) -

Considering everyone is made to read that book in high-school, it's unsurprising to see it be so successful.

#30 Posted by EpicSteve (6470 posts) -

I never read the book or know what it's about but it looks cool.

#31 Posted by Baillie (4025 posts) -

I got made to read it too, wasn't that great. Leonardo DiCaprio being the best actor of this generation makes me want to go see it though. Oh and that absolutely amazing trailer.

#32 Posted by Hailinel (23694 posts) -

I never read the book or know what it's about but it looks cool.

It's about this guy named Gatsby. He's pretty great.

#33 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7039 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@epicsteve said:

I never read the book or know what it's about but it looks cool.

It's about this guy named Gatsby. He's pretty great.

Dude know how to throw a mean party, brahs.

Online
#34 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@d0tti: Fine was probably excessive praise; above average maybe? Not terrible. Not Tobey Maguire.

@baillie: Sort of depends what you mean by generation. Josh Brolin for instance came to fame at roughly the same time and is a comparable actor with more range, Christian Bale has more range albeit he also has more underwhelming performances. Dicaprio is definitely solid though.

@hailinel: I'm Gatsby *fireworks* smile.

@turambar: Oh I see, Field trips/extra credit are probably a 5 million draw or so; still have 20 million-ish rolling around for no apparent reason!

#35 Posted by j0lter (225 posts) -

DiCaprio was very far from whom i would want to play Gatsby... I always imagined Gatsby being this very casual, simple man and DiCaprio has never given me that vibe. Hope to see the movie this week some time though, loved the book.

#36 Edited by Baillie (4025 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: Never been impressed with Josh Brolin, but Bale is 2nd on my list.

#37 Edited by planetary (341 posts) -

God damn, I don't even remember what I read in AP English. 23 years ago!

#38 Posted by D0tti (786 posts) -

@d0tti: Fine was probably excessive praise; above average maybe? Not terrible. Not Tobey Maguire.

Exactly my point, besides Tobey who I really don't like and think is a shite actor, the rest is pretty meh/average/just there.

#39 Posted by Wraith1 (555 posts) -

Is it wrong I read this book almost a decade ago back in high school and don't remember much about it?

#40 Posted by Animasta (14643 posts) -

@wraith1 said:

Is it wrong I read this book almost a decade ago back in high school and don't remember much about it?

to be fair not much happens in it (MC goes to a party meets gatsby gatsby does shit)

#41 Edited by Video_Game_King (35849 posts) -

This is completely and utterly unprecedented for a 1920s book adaptation, it is ludicrously insane. I went to a screening at the smallest theater in town and it was packed with teenagers

Have you seen the ads for this thing? They don't focus on the 1920s part.

#42 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@animasta: That's perfectly fine, liking something better is not what I take issue with; I'm just discussing the quality of the work and how effectively the written language conveys its message, attaches you to the characters, and immerses you in the world. For example: I like the film Cowboys and Aliens as much or better than 3:10 to Yuma; objectively 3:10 to Yuma is a vastly superior picture but I really like Westerns, like almost every actor in Cowboys, and love the sparing usage of CG in that picture. A lot of people don't like Shakespeare but it is ludicrous to suggest he isn't the best western author/playwright period short of the guy(s) who wrote the Bible or something; Shakespeare is Babe Ruth, Conrad is Ted Williams/Barry Bonds/Rogers Hornsby, Fitzgerald is Jim Rice; all Hall of Famers but with clear distinctions of quality.

@baillie:

Not necessarily the same generation but Russell Crowe, Daniel Day Lewis and Christoph Waltz are all much better and working in the same time period; Waltz is on pace for 15 oscars!

@planetary:

Old bastard!

#44 Posted by zoozilla (977 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: You are aware that your opinion is in the extreme minority, right?

This is the book that is widely considered the greatest American novel ever written. It's simple and short and perhaps not self-indulgently literary, but its terse prose provides a nice American counterpoint to the often wordy British and French novels of the time, I think. When was the last time you read Gatsby? I mean, you're free to dislike it, of course, but if you only read it in high school you may have had a bad teacher. They often don't touch on topics like Nick Carroway's sexuality, which I guess would be too offensive?

Many of the artists you listed as "great" contain fairly challenging prose: maybe you just like that style of writing. But I would say that it's not fair to consider one work greater than another just because the sentence structure is more complex or the vocabulary more obscure. I appreciate the textual tricks of a writer like Faulkner, but I wouldn't count Gatsby out just because it didn't provide the same experience.

#45 Posted by Commisar123 (1790 posts) -

@cmblasko: Django was a draw because of all sorts of things including Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz, not to mention it being the new Terentino film.

#46 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5185 posts) -

@zoozilla: For someone like me the teacher is largely irrelevant (actually the fact that you even mention a teacher is terrible; there is no right or wrong way to perceive a written work and no effective way to teach or not teach it, you can distinguish quality but you can not convey the message), but I do recall simply finding the material to be moderately immersive yet extremely dry, the plot to be weak, and the compulsion of "liking Gatsby" to be very loose; it is actually quite comparable to Heart of Darkness in that regard, similar narrator structure, similar obsession with an individual; but both Marlowe and Kurtz are fascinating, Carraway is exceptionally dull and Gatsby is charming but not especially interesting. Tom Buchanan is a good character, but you can't have Buchanan carry the plot and he doesn't.

Considering how atrocious modern literature is I don't give a shit what the consensus is; Cormac McCarthy is the only living author I even consider worth reading; there's of course many others out there who are excellent authors; only they aren't published or disseminated effectively so the chance of finding one is ridiculously small. Predominantly the best authors are "discovered" post mortem/post writing career and this is an extremely severe critique of how ineffectual writing critics and editors truly are in their ability to spot "greatness."

#47 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

Considering this is one of the few big releases for a drama, for this summer, I imagine they're getting a big audience who doesn't want to Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness or any other big action blockbuster.

Also, it's Mother's Day weekend.

#48 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

I didn't see anything in the trailers or commercials that indicated the director had any idea what the book was actually about. Ah well.

#49 Posted by zoozilla (977 posts) -

Well, I'm glad you have reasons for your dislike of Gatsby (unlike people who "just don't like it"), and they are enough to convince me that your opinion is valid - I just don't share it. I thought this part was interesting, though:

@zoozilla: For someone like me the teacher is largely irrelevant (actually the fact that you even mention a teacher is terrible; there is no right or wrong way to perceive a written work and no effective way to teach or not teach it, you can distinguish quality but you can not convey the message)

Wouldn't you agree that there are ways to present a text to an audience of (presumably) high-schoolers in a way that piques their interest and encourages them to uncover the work based on their own interest in it? I would say that this makes a teacher successful, not someone shoving their ideas down the throats of their audience. Sorry if I'm "terrible" for continuing this line of thought.

#50 Posted by TheHT (10812 posts) -

Well it does look really really good.