April 27, 2017

Movie review that I literally almost blogged.

"The Circle literally plays as if it has been written by a bunch of elites that have spent a little bit too much time on their phones, decided that the world has become too dependent on technology, and now they're going to make a film that saves people from themselves. It's smug, condescending, and completely without incident. In fact, The Circle is the reason why people hate Hollywood. It feels like a decree laid down to 'the people' from those up in their ivory towers, a call to arms for everyone to put down their keyboards and just come together in peace, love, and heart-emojis, but which unfolds in an overly heightened and sensationalized world with barely a semblance of reality. There's literally no complexity to the characters...."

That's where I stopped reading this movie review by Gregory Wakeman at Cinema Blend, which I'd arrived at via Rotten Tomatoes, where I looked to see what critics were saying about the movie made from a novel I read a few years ago.

23 comments:

rhhardin said...

Carnage (2011) was good. Four people, just talking; shifting alliances, strained politeness, security in belief in reason.

Ends abruptly, as if the budget ran out.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks to the internet, there is a clash of realties in a place where no one listens to anyone else, because all are speaking from a different downloaded data set as a context.

And the winner is then the one that talks the loudest over the other voices all talking at the same time.

That highlights the need for a common culture of tolerance and good will. Without that we are in Tower of Babel territory again.

Paddy O said...

I was watching the newest Harry Potter meets the Avengers movie last night (Fantastic Beasts and How to Exploit Them), which is basically following the now stock trend of "ways to destroy New York," and that likely put me in a bad frame of mind to see the preview for The Circle that was on TV later.

I said to my wife after it was over, "I have no idea at all what that movie is about." Cameras are watching us, and computer data banks store information! Emma Watson is apparently very concerned about this turn of events!

Which makes it seem like a movie-length version of a Reason op-ed article. I suspect at some point a government employee will be sternly talked to about this distressing situation! And a picture will be taken of someone eating at a fancy restaurant.

PDM said...

I read The Circle a couple of years ago and found its lead character insufferable, and its various plot threads irritating and not very believable. Apart from that, though, I remember being struck by the author's insight, if you can call it that, about how easily people now give up their own information and urge others to do the same, because knowledge of all things about everyone else apparently trumps any personal privacy concerns.

And I guess that's right, though not even startling these days. My children cannot fathom the world in which my father lived, when you didn't even mention to your co-employees that you'd gone to the doctor the day before, because, well, that was private. Now, everything is to be shared, and resistance to sharing makes you a Luddite. Best I remember, that's what the book was about.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Uh, I think you mean you "almost literally" blogged it.

EDH said...

The Circle literally plays as if it has been written by a bunch of elites that have spent a little bit too much time on their phones, decided that the world has become too dependent on technology, and now they're going to make a film that saves people from themselves.
_________________

Aldous Snow: Awful bloody film. I say, it's just a ridiculous premise. What would happen if your mobile phone killed you? Why would a mobile phone kill anyone? Doesn't make sense. How can a mobile phone have an agenda and kill people...

Sarah Marshall: It's a metaphor for addiction to technology.

Rachel Jansen: For society, how we're reliant on technology. I get it. I'm with you.

Aldous Snow: It's a metaphor for a crap movie.

Ann Althouse said...

"Uh, I think you mean you "almost literally" blogged it."

What's your point? I know what mine is.

Static Ping said...

I find it amusing that a movie named after a simple shape has no complex characters.

Scott X said...

Completely unnecessary use of the word literally twice in the span of just a couple of sentences, I would have stopped reading the review after the first use of literally.

I've mentioned this before, but I have no understanding why people feel the need to constantly use the word literally these days. I'll often hear the word literally being used 10-20 a day by people I work with, it just drives me up the wall.

#firstworldproblems

Pete said...

Not sure if Althouse liked the book but I've found her to be tone deaf when it comes to novels and movies. Still, her apparent distaste of this movie review is no reason for me to see this movie. Although I do like Tom Hanks.

William said...

I read the review. It doesn't make the movie sound very appealing. Interesting to note that Tom Hanks is now a supporting player to the star, Emma Watson. I remember when Emma Watson didn't exist. Tom Hanks was a big star back then.......Emma Watson still has time to become a has been, but she'll never achieve the status of Lindsay Lohan who very early became one of the great has been of all time. Tom Hanks has reached the age where you become an emeritus and not a has been.

tim in vermont said...

I tried to read the book, but boring predictability isn't my thing.

tim in vermont said...

At least some flair for the language would have been nice.

readering said...

Rotten tomatoes not foolproof but when a movie gets 25% I don't stop to find out what it's about.

fizzymagic said...

Ann, I am surprised that you didn't catch this in that review:

"...the movie's grand philosophical debate is so simplistic and comes from two opposing and extreme sides of the spectrum that it's basically rendered mute."

One would expect a law professor to be sensitive to the spelling of "moot!"

Darrell said...

It's no "My Dinner With Andre."

holdfast said...

I think they need to combine "The Circle" with the Steve Martin classic "The Jerk".

Also, Emma Watson is not really a very good adult actress.

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought you were talking about Circle, a different movie, at first.

Freeman Hunt said...

"My children cannot fathom the world in which my father lived, when you didn't even mention to your co-employees that you'd gone to the doctor the day before, because, well, that was private. Now, everything is to be shared, and resistance to sharing makes you a Luddite."

Heh. We watched the documentary on Netflix about Vivian Maier a couple nights ago, and we kept laughing whenever the Millenial guy would express his total dumbfoundedness about her not sharing and promoting her work.

Good for him for taking such good care of her work though. His dedication is impressive.

Known Unknown said...

Listened to The Circle. Normally, I like Dave Eggers but I too, hated the protagonist, which made it hard to enjoy the book on any level. However, the total envelopment of technology around life in the film is certainly in our future — well, frankly, it's already here.

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

Living & working in Santa Clara valley since 1978, I found much in The Circle (book) that's creepily true; like Mike Judge's Silicon Valley, so much so I stopped watching it early 2nd season. As others have stated, it's also incredibly mundane & boring. The fun went out of high tech with the Y2K internet bubble IMO.

Open seating, "collaborative" culture has invaded even old-school fortune 100 companies (work at one), and the end result the opposite the marketed outcome. Everyone is miserable & productivty is shrinking (fact: open seating is about cutting real e$tate co$ts pure & simple). I'm starting to accept as fact that the end-point of high tech is end-of-humanity - robots & AI uber alles, & former employer Marc Andreessen's "software is eating the world", except for a few thousand super humans who will probably slowly kill it other off out of boredom. Progressivism, social justice wars and liberal fascism are the throes of the weakest dying out first.

Your cynical Silicon Valley report for the evening. Cheers :)

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