Tyler

Captain Fantastic

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These Marvel movies are getting really obscure. 

 

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First film about the Benedict Option?

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It looks like an intriguing film.  I'm just worried that it will celebrate the free spirit's right to raise his kids how he will and paint the concerned grandparents as ultimately being the villains hampering that freedom, although I'd also think we could  probably trust Viggo Mortensen to pick a film that has a more thoughtful and less predictable outcome than this.

Edited by Attica

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Not quite Best Picture material for me, but this was still very good. There's a moment late in the film where Viggo Mortenson is shaving in a restroom and he wipes the sink after he's done. It's a quick moment, but it was the moment the movie sold me on the writing. The movie really knew this character and let the conflicts develop rather than (as so many movies do) introducing the premise and then gonig right to the obvious conflict. Also, from a writing standpoint, I thought the film very smart about the editing, both when scenes ended and which scenes were elided/abbreviated/omitted. 

If anyone knows more about tech than I do -- how do they get some of the pictures so crisp? (I'm thinking particularly of some of the exterior shots in Pacitici Northwest but also some interiors like the supermarket. Is this a funciton of using different film stock? Different lenses? Or is it just lighting? 

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On 11/12/2016 at 7:36 PM, kenmorefield said:

If anyone knows more about tech than I do -- how do they get some of the pictures so crisp? (I'm thinking particularly of some of the exterior shots in Pacitici Northwest but also some interiors like the supermarket. Is this a funciton of using different film stock? Different lenses? Or is it just lighting? 

I wondered the same thing about lenses and filters, as this film has such a vibrant palette. It made me think of some of the more extreme artsy Instagram filters. The scene in the grocery store especially stood out to me as Mortensen walks by the fruit aisle--the apples in the background look almost neon or glowing, they're so colorful and crisp.

This is one of those films that I feel like I should have liked more due to its content and themes, as well as its location (I live in the Pacific Northwest, so locations were very familiar to me, and it's always a treat to see Portland or Seattle properly done). It's a good film, maybe even very good, and it has some interesting ideas about the nature of community and the function of religious and ideological beliefs, how tightly or loosely we should hold onto those. Still, there was something a bit too familiar and indie/twee about this, in the vein of Little Miss Sunshine (quirky family experiences tragedy, goes on road trip, learns lessons about life, etc.)

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FWIW, a couple of filmmakers I am linked to on Facebook said it was primary lenses and lighting though perhaps some of the color saturation could have been achieved through post-production (altering image digitally after shot).

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Jessica, my 17 year old daughter Liz, and I watched this over the weekend, and we all enjoyed it considerably.  It may not make my Best of 2016 list, but it'll be close.  I appreciated the flawed idealism of Viggo's character and the good development of the progeny characters.  It also had a nice mix of tragic and comic that felt true to life.  And the musical score was excellent; the song near the end was surprisingly affecting, considering its source.  The main bit of inauthenticity was the manner in which it dropped the grandparent narrative thread and patched things a bit too tidily together towards the end.

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Now streaming on Amazon Prime in the U.S.

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This is one of those very well made films that I absolutely hate, and not just because of its open contempt for Christianity. Seeing the film a few days before my dad died did not help. (The cremation song is one of three tunes that have been running through my head non-stop over the past week, though.)

J.A.A. Purves wrote:
: First film about the Benedict Option?

Um, no. There is an exchange of dialogue in which the characters explicitly say that they don't make fun of anyone *except* Christians. If this is a Benedict Option film, it is a Benedict Option film in which the Church is what people have to get away from, not what they have to defend.

Attica wrote:
: I'm just worried that it will celebrate the free spirit's right to raise his kids how he will and paint the concerned grandparents as ultimately being the villains hampering that freedom, although I'd also think we could  probably trust Viggo Mortensen to pick a film that has a more thoughtful and less predictable outcome than this.

We trusted wrong.

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Posted (edited)

I may spend too much time looking for dates in movies (thanks to Ron Reed), and occasionally a date will appear that seems to nullify the need for an earlier scene.  Case in point is a date that appears towards the last third of Captain Fantastic. The headstone for Viggo's wife reads July 15th, 2015, which questions the need for the earlier sequence where Viggo and family get pulled over by the state trooper on their way to her funeral, other than to get the filmmakers jab at Christians into the story.  The only reason the state trooper boards the bus seems to be because of the presence of all the kids, which the trooper finds strange and questions why they aren't all in school.  This leads to the pretty contemptible "whacko Christian" performance they put on to get the trooper off the bus, without answering his question directly.  Of course, being the middle of summer, these kids wouldn't be in school.

Edited by John Drew

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Excellent point, John.

Incidentally, I finally began catching up on The Hollywood Reporter's 'Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot' articles yesterday, and the first two articles I read featured Academy members who loved Captain Fantastic but were very dismissive of Silence because of its Christian themes. Let the reader understand.

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