Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Defending Deja Vu

Naturally, I'm biased toward Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio. They are brilliant writers and the screenplay for Deja Vu is genius.


I've read the negative reviews that contradict the good ones and while Tony Scott's cameras make me motion sick, I can say this -- my daddy commits the most gosh-awful crimes against choice cuts of beef. He uses barbecue sauce, steak sauce, and even ketchup and I'm not entirely sure he doesn't use them all at once. But the fact of the matter is that while he finds it delicious and I find it nauseating, a sirloin is still a sirloin regardless of what he does to it.

The amazing screenplay for Deja Vu never lags yet the film often trudges through molasses. But even covered in molasses Deja Vu is still a sirloin.


Anonymous said...

So are you saying you don't have a beef with this sirloin? You are no coward.

Brett said...

At the risk of being tarred and feathered, I'll go ahead and put myself on record as one of those sorts who was not totally blown away by the script.

Yeah, it had a cool opening, and a cool final twist, and there were some cool ideas in between, but overall it never really clicked for me. Adding Tony Scott to the mix did a great deal to make me even less interested, and then the previews... ugh.

I'm glad you liked it, and I wish all the continud success in the world to TR and Bill, but I'm not sure I'll be seeing this one for a long while (likely not til a late night showing on TNT).

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I thought the screenplay rocked, Brett, and I know that makes me biased, but my problems with the film are still many. Just a few off the of my head --

-dizzying camera crap - I hate it.It's like being perpetually stuck on the chocolate river with Willy Wonka and his psychodelic rambling.

There's no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There's no knowing where we're rowing
Or which way the river's flowing
Is it raining?
Is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of hell a-glowing?
Is the grisly reaper mowing?
Yes, the danger must be growing
'Cause the rowers keep on rowing
And they're certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing.

A little bit adds interest but too much makes me car sick. It was overkill and annoying and I wanted off that crazy ride more than once. When did Tony Scott start that meth trip photography anyway? Top Gun didn't make me motion sick and we were in the cockpit with Maverick chasing MiGs!

-the beginning dragged - even the credits lasted an eternity. By the time I saw Terry and Bill's names on the credits, I was looking at my watch to see how many minutes into the film it took. I think the credits started sooner and ended later than in the Fugitive.

-elements were missing from the screenplay that I thought were poignant and important - some were minor but invested me in the characters. They missed stuff with the dolls, the tomato shaped egg timer, the cat and my favorite description in the whole screenplay, "the kind of beauty that grows on you". Why do I love that description? Because that describes most of the people I know and even my hideous chihuahua. When you get to know us, we're beautiful.

-They didn't do enough with the protag falling in love with the dead woman. We didn't even really know he was in love with her. Well, I did because I read the screenplay but the boys sitting with me didn't!

-the time travel, which is fascinating in the screenplay, comes off as downright silly in the film - no reality is established where it works and Denzel in his boxers didn't do a thing for me.

-Val Kilmer has gotten fat and some of the camera angles make his mole look like a giant 3D wart. I kept waiting for the wart to pull a gun on Denzel. Val, you can't get fat! Everyone else can get fat. I can get fat. My dogs can get fat. But Batman does not get fat! Ice Man does not get fat!

BUT, overall, yeah, it's still a sirloin smothered in Tony Scott. A lot of things work and work well -- primarily, the ferry explosion. It's gut wrenching and heart wrenching, especially when you recognize the area still recovering from Katrina.

And, Paula Patton is perfect for her role -- the kind of beauty that grows on you.

How's that OSM, enough beef for you?

Talked to Bill Marsilii last night. He's discouraged by the negative reviews and yet he's thrilled to be where the rest of us would love to be -- his first produced film sold for $5 million. Does it suck? No. Is is flawless? Show me a film that is.

Chris Soth said...

Looking forward to it. Hearing raves. ORDERED to go see it by production company with whom I have similar project, it turns out.

We'll see.

Brett said...

I'm not saying I'd not be tickled to sell a screenplay for 5 million (hell, one one-HUNDREDTH of that would be fun...), but i think it's fair to say that selling price is often a poor indicator of a script's "actual" value (whatever that is).

I'm not busting on the DV script -- it didn't blow me away, but I can absolutely see where it was a well crafted professional piece of work -- but so much attention is given to the script's sale price that I wonder if the poor project isn't to some degree hobbled by the burdens of its own notoriety.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I think it's hobbled by Tony Scott. But yeah, it's hobbled.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, would love to read the screenplay to compare and see how it reads, anywhere I could download it? Or is it only available to connected peeps?

Anonymous said...

awesome... brilliant... nail-biting, page turning... what can I say, I loved it