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Annihilation - Alex Garland directs Natalie Portman in Sci-fi Picture


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20 minutes ago, JPickford said:

 

The film seems to combine the lighthouse and the tower/tunnel into one location.

 

And unfortunately loses the captain of the lighthouse who's such a key figure in the books

:( 

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I'm not familiar with the source material, but woof, this was a bit of a dog.  It was portentous, deliberately vague, didn't go anywhere.  Just some stuff happened.  It totally lacked the focus of Ex Machina which I did like.  It's obviously not a straight comparison, but where as Arrival didn't seem to struggle with an open ending and none-linear structure, this just couldn't drag much meaning from it, just a series of mostly unconnected strands.

 

Good on Netflix giving it a go mind you.

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I haven't read the book (I might now, unless a trilogy of movies is announced sharpish) and I absolutely loved it. It does start quite conventional and I might have been a little disappointed if it only continued along the path of genetic weirdness, but by the time the last act was rolling I was delightfully gripped by it. Strong Tarkovsky vibe from the visuals, and I dug the dreamy atmosphere. I think it tells enough of a story to stand on its own, so as an adaptation it's pretty snug.

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I didn't care for the book that much, although I enjoyed aspects of it. I really disliked this film, couldn't buy into the world, the characters, the events. Little or no tension throughout, and the mystery didn't pull me in. I see Under The Skin as one of the best films of the past ten years and I can't see any similarity amongst the two.

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4 hours ago, JPickford said:

 

The film seems to combine the lighthouse and the tower/tunnel into one location.

 

I’d forgotten that they were even separate locations in the book. The tower was what I was thinking about above, not the lighthouse. 

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I've not read the book or know anything about it really, but I've just come away from watching this a bit open mouthed. I was utterly immersed. It's perhaps one of the best science fiction films I've ever seen. It reminded me lot of Solaris too, and I found the ending sequence utterly compelling. I feel in many ways with all the elements and themes in it it's a lot like the film Prometheus should have been.

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Enjoyed this a lot! Compared to the book, the film feels more linear what with putting the lighthouse at the end. But it works. I also saw themes in the film which I don't think I did in the first book. Tempted to read it again, and see if I gain a better appreciation of it.

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10 minutes ago, Chadruharazzeb said:

Wtf Netflix, this wasn't even on my front page, I had to search for it! 

 

Yup - bizarre isn't it?

 

It's like everyone's decided to sweep the thing under the doormat.

 

It deserves a whole lot more than that - it's one of the better films I've seen so far this year.

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Thought this was alright but a bit disappointing. Think I'd probably have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read the novels. It was significantly more straightforward than I expected and I feel they jettisoned a lot of the weirdness and unsettling atmosphere for more standard jump scares and scary monsters. There was a particular shot at the start that I feel must have been added at the prodding of some studio exec. Particularly disappointed in the ending as it seemed that it was really going to head towards the trippiness I was expecting and maybe bring in some elements from the final book, but then it kind of pulled back just to result in the most rote ending stinger for this type of film instead.  Suspect I might enjoy it more on a rewatch where I’d probably be able to divorce it from the source material more successfully.

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As someone who has never read the books, I liked it. I didn't think it was great, but it was good. More straightforward than I anticipated in all honesty, but still probably slightly too slow, vague and esoteric for many, particularly the last 15 minutes or so. Also, the use of HDR near the end was so good I almost don't mind I didn't get to see it on the big screen now.

 

It was just missing something for me that would make it great and I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps, as a group, I didn't really feel that much of an interesting dynamic between the individuals. They were mostly all so low key that I didn't feel all that much for any of them, and the interpersonal relationships were not particularly compelling either. I didn't feel that much of a sense of journey overall, either physically or metaphorically. And was the flashback structure really necessary? I'm not so sure it added anything that wasn't already obvious.

 

But it was good. The visuals and score were mostly spot on, the atmosphere was frequently unnerving, there was at least one corker of a tense scene, and the pull of getting to the lighthouse was strong. There are some individual shots and sequences which I suspect will definitely stick with me for a bit.

 

I think Ex Machina was probably a better, more complete movie, but this was a worthy directorial follow up for Garland.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Chadruharazzeb said:

Wtf Netflix, this wasn't even on my front page, I had to search for it! 

 

43 minutes ago, JoeK said:

 

Yup - bizarre isn't it?

 

It's like everyone's decided to sweep the thing under the doormat.

 

It deserves a whole lot more than that - it's one of the better films I've seen so far this year.

 

It was front and centre for me as soon as I booted up Netflix.

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I think maybe Netflix apps have some sort of cache and sometimes new stuff that should be on the front isn’t until it’s updated. I have come across it and out of curiosity tried manually shutting the app (on android) and relaunching and stuff appeared as you would expect. 

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I thought this wasn't out for another few days! I actually bought the first book on Kindle and have only just started reading it. I was planning to read it before the film.

I know its a bit of a stupid question but I know a few people have read it_ is it worth reading the book first? I kinda just wanna watch the movie! Lol

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Just now, Sartre84 said:

I thought this wasn't out for another few days! I actually bought the first book on Kindle and have only just started reading it. I was planning to read it before the film.

I know its a bit of a stupid question but I know a few people have read it_ is it worth reading the book first? I kinda just wanna watch the movie! Lol

 

If I was coming in cold, I'd watch the movie first, enjoy it for what it is and then prepare yourself for the incoming mind-fuck that are the books.

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Really enjoyed that. Almost more of a companion to the books rather than an adaptation, in that it shares characters, setting and some of the atmosphere, but very little of the actual plot. Was thrown in a good way by how creepy the climax was. 

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The film doesn't spoil the books at all, they're radically different. 

I felt reading the books gave the same feelings as watching the early series' of lost, except it has a proper ending and all the surreal goings on in book one all come together and make sense by book three.

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just watched this, didn't know much about it, but...i liked it , alot! enough that im now intrigued by the books!

 

tbh, if this is the kinda thing netflix is gonna look for for a "straight to stream" release, thats pretty good! i also liked Bright! (as did most audiences who gave it a mark on RT!) which got a bit "criticly" panned.

 

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Wow. Really good! Blown away by the last part of the film, amazing, terrifying, beautiful.

 

Yes the mid part feels rushed and not fleshed out enough, despite the slow pace of the film overall. But the atmosphere was brilliant, backed up by excellent visuals and sound design. Some unexpected seriously creepy/scary scenes too, adapted from bits in the book but given horrifying life on-screen.

 

I feel like they made good choices in how they condensed the story, and chopped out a lot without really losing the overall essence of the book. Even with the different final section being a bit different I really like the way they took it. Pity though that if it saw a sequel it couldnt follow the exact path of the books now.

 

Yes its slow, yes it doesn't have the depth of the book and the time to build up creep factor over hundreds of pages, but I think they did a damned fine job and this is now up there as one of the best weird/horror sci fi films out there. Won't be for everyone but I'm fine with that. I bet Vandermeer (the author) is pretty pleased with it too.

 

I would say I was intrigued and quietly enjoying it, rather than completely gripped for the first half, knowing the story already doesn't help either. Without the knowledge of the book I don't know how well most of it will go down with viewers as a lot of stuff is whisked through or even less explained.

 

Some scenes were really superb and genuinely distressing. And of course its got Natalie Portman, amazing actress and gorgeous to boot.

 

But the last half an hour or so, man, that really gave me goosebumps! Props to the Alex Garland and the writers for that final experience!

 

More thoughts tomorrow esp. about the book. If you liked the film, please read the book, its got so much more to it!

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