This response made me grin!
Dude, I want to go to the movies with you now.
I was impressed with one of the fight scenes because it appeared to be a continuous, ten minute shot. The amount of choreography and rehearsal to pull that off must have been quite intense. Then I read this over at IMDB:
The key fight sequence that unfolds in a real Berlin building lasts for almost 10 minutes in what appears to be an unbroken take when, in fact, the sequence comprises almost 40 separate shots seamlessly stitched together. Though filmed chronologically from start to finish, nearly half the splices needed some degree of CGI assistance. Swish-pans provided the simplest solutions for smooth cuts and door frames provided vertical seams for smoothly bridging some segments.
I’m a bit disappointed it wasn’t one take, though it’s still an impressive technical feat.
There’s almost never an extended take like that anymore, because there doesn’t need to be. There are some remarkable exceptions, such as this and this, but most of the time there’s a cheat. It used to involve the camera passing behind the foreground or going through a dark area (as I’m pretty sure is the case in Atomic Blonde), but that’s not even necessary anymore. For instance, the key moment in the short film Bear is two separate shots with no discernible cut.
WTF did I just watch. Holy shit.
Just saw it. Thought it was fun and stylish even if the main plot was incoherent. Had no real understanding of just how brawny Charlize Theron was before this movie. I mean I could see she had broad shoulders before, but wow…
Tell me about it. (You can say that again.)
The neon drenched cities and bars, cold war spy shenanigans, the soundtrack, the action choreography, Charlize Theron being a badass - Atomic Blonde is basically a 100 mph fastball pitched straight at me, and then it whiffs by doing that to its structure and characters. It’s been close to a week and I’m kind of still angry bout it.
I’m not angry about it because I came in with such low expectations with respect to the plot. I can’t remember the last spy movie I saw that made any sense at all. Maybe a Le Carre miniseries a long time ago…
So it would have made more sense for Lorraine to turn around at the airport and go back home when her expected contact was replaced by KGB agents, and it would have made more sense for her to shoot the supposed bureau chief (really? no British mission or consulate in West Berlin?) when he turned out to be such an obvious weasel and rogue agent at their first meeting. But this movie at least had relatively few oil refineries exploding because James Bond ignited a valve. And when you consider that the best James Bond movie of the last 20 years featured a villain said to be the best poker player in the world whose subtle tell was crying tears of blood whenever he got a good hand…
Speaking of LeCarre, I’ll point you to the recent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy movie if you haven’t seen it. It’s more or less a masterpiece.
Anyway, it’s not so much about the specifics of the plot (oh hey, another NOC list? Why do they keep making these things?) As it’s the utterly useless flashback structure - what the fuck do we gain from cutting back to the interrogation room to all these utterly wasted character actors, except deflate everything that’s happening in Berlin? All it does is set up the expectation of a payoff and a cat and mouse game being played, but when the end comes it’s ridiculous, and it turns McAvoy’s character and his motivations nonsensical. As pantomime and silly Bond gets, at least you understand what people want.
Well, at least in the good ones you do.
And you could fix most of it in editing. Just tell it chronologically, end with McAvoy being killed as Satchel. Boom. 100% better movie.
I liked the hose fight scene, it was reminiscent of the rolled magazine fight in the first Bourne movie.
I fell asleep briefly during the fight where Lorraine got all the bruises. This movie is THAT sluggish to me. All the spy stuff is kind of boring. At mid point it is quite obvious Lorraine is the double agent, not Percival. There really is no whodunnit mystery. After I woke I rewinded and got back to that fight. That one take fight looks impressive, but then I made the mistake of googling it and it turned out there were actually about 40 takes, stitched together with CGI. What a gip.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy this isn’t (I only saw the 2011 movie version). Neither is this John Wick. It is like they tried to marry the two but the marriage simply isn’t working out as expected.
I just wanted to say that every time this thread is bumped, I can’t help but rewatch that trailer.
Please don’t let @marquac see this. Oh please don’t let him see this.
Cool, a Louisa Krause gif. With a fortuitous Charlize Theron appearnace!
It was the beginning when Lorraine and Percival were hashing out the details of the escort. I was quite bored at that point already. That fight IMO wasn’t that impressive other than “one take”, and got less impressive when I know CGI was involved.
Trailer is good. The whole thing, not so much. YMMV etc. etc.
I enjoyed it well enough. Well enough to keep me awake while I was struggling to stay up to reset my body time as I shifted 12 time zones.
Stylish as all get out.
That’s crazy talk, Soma! Compare Charlize Theron’s physicality with, say, Gal Godot’s or any other former model. And I defy you to find a fight scene with a woman who’s willing to vocalize that physicality like Theron does.
As for whether it’s actually one take, it doesn’t matter one whit. And, really, nothing* is one take anymore. What matters is that our brains are conditioned to realize that anything can happen during an edit. By removing edits, your brains slips into a “you are there” mode of tension, like watching a play.
Yeah it was a very physical performance, which I liked. Given my other movies during the trip we’re The Raid, Ip Man 3, Birth of the Dragon, Logan, and Logan Lucky it’s safe to say physicality was very central to most. Logan Lucky being the exception.
I did appreciate how satisfying the cinematography was. From a purely visual perspective (and at my level of sleep deprivation this is the only thing I can properly evaluate on) it feels tightly colhorepgrapged, filmed, and physically intense in the angles and lighting chosen. Like the director has learned much from Asian action cinema of the last decade. On a pure technical level this feels to draw from a much closer heritage to The Raid than anything Michael Bay or JJ Abrams has ever made.
I’m sure it also helps that David Leitch has been a stuntman for 20 years. :)