Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2017

#1 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:27 pm

Dan Gilroy's upcoming film with Denzel Washington has inexplicably been renamed, from Inner City to Roman Israel, Esq.

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Re: The Films of 2017

#2 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:36 pm

Probably due in no small part to the viral pics that went around of Washington on the set.

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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:11 pm

Dan Gilroy's new legal thriller, starring Denzel Washington, will premiere at TIFF and release this year. Sony is positioning it as a major Oscar contender, and it seems to have been completed at an almost Eastwood speed.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#4 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:42 pm

Same can be said for Ridley Scott's next, which Sony is putting out as well.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#5 Post by The Narrator Returns » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:17 am

This appears to be the first big festival flameout so far, with it getting surprisingly bad reactions out of Toronto. There's not even much praise going around for Washington's performance (I've seen the phrase "the rare bad Denzel performance" thrown around already).

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#6 Post by Cremildo » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:02 am

I think it's the second big flameout, after The Current War.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#7 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:52 am

I don't know that anyone but the Weinsteins thought that was going anywhere

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#8 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:22 am

Seeing some other impressions comparing its tone to something like Inherent Vice, and stating that particularly after Nightcrawler, this film is unsettlingly conflict-free but loaded up with plot in its second half. Considering how difficult it's been for many to come around to Inherent Vice's thorny pleasures, I could certainly see how Gilroy won't get nearly as much benefit of the doubt as Anderson (by way of Pynchon, no less) did.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#9 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:29 am

Based on all available evidence, I think you may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you're expecting Inherent Vice and not, say, any generic 90s movie that could have garnered these identical criticisms

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#10 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:32 am

Considering that I'm not particularly interested in Dan Gilroy's Inherent Vice, I think I'm setting myself up for disappointment either way

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#11 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:34 am

Maybe it's Gilroy's WarGames and the only way to win is to not (push) play

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#12 Post by Ribs » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:34 am

There's not been a totally universal antipathy- some people think Denzel is great, just weird! More of a Black Mass reaction.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#13 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:37 am

Ribs wrote:More of a Black Mass reaction.
Not helping, Ribs.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#14 Post by knives » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:45 am

Honestly I'm in the mood for Dan Gilroy's cheap '90s Cinemax thriller so I guess this is for me.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#15 Post by PfR73 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:00 pm

I saw this last night at Austin Film Festival, and while not amazing, I found it better than the reviews had made it out to be. Turns out, per Dan Gilroy in the post-screening Q&A, he heavily re-edited the film after TIFF. Thirteen minutes have been cut, the film has been restructured (he specifically mentioned that a scene at the Staples Center in the middle of the film originally took place near the very end), and source music cues have been changed.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#16 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:30 pm

It was a late addition to the Philadelphia Film Festival - I'm guessing that the reception from TIFF that resulted in the retooling was coupled with the need to get the new cut out in front of audiences and get some feedback on whether the changes were worthwhile or not - if it was widely acclaimed the studio would've probably just sat on it until its release date (not sure that Columbia is necessarily a huge late-year film festival presence the way the upstarts like A24 and Neon are). Glad to hear it was an improvement, but I'd be lying if I didn't say the critical reception kept me away from picking up tickets for it.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#17 Post by Daneurism » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:27 pm

The plot gets in the way of a really good character study. Been seeing some comparisons to movies like Rainman, but I think that's selling the writing here short. This has a lot more in common with 70s stuff like Five Easy Pieces and Straight Time.

Ignore the trailers that try to paint the character as goofy and quirky.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#18 Post by HitchcockLang » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:50 am

I saw this a couple nights ago thanks to MoviePass and while I was more or less entertained the whole time, I found it to be a wildly inconsistent mess. I went in knowing nothing about it, and it took me quite a while to discover what the movie was even trying to accomplish. The tone seemed to change drastically for each act, from a preachy melodrama to a romcom wish-fulfillment fantasy to a suspense thriller and back to preachy melodrama. Similarly, the characters seemed wildly inconsistent, not changing organically with their experiences but swinging wildly from one pole to another and seemingly at random to suit whatever tangent the plot was on at that time. None of the characters' actions or motivations ever felt believable or earned.

I did, however, enjoy Washington's performance, but it felt more like watching a character-acting exercise in a vacuum than a great character interacting with the story around him.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#19 Post by Ribs » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:45 pm

SpoilerShow
I... was not expecting wacky walking idiosyncracy character Roman J. Israel to be murdered violently while in the middle of a catchphrase at the end of this movie. Like, in the context of the movie it makes sense, but I can’t think of a film other than Irrational Man that ended particularly this way despite being billed as a kind of fun if weird prestige piece. It’s just... a very strong tonal whiplash.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#20 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:46 pm

I clicked that spoiler box since I’ll probably never see this film based upon its critical reception and despite it being “spoiled” for me I absolutely am going to see it now

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#21 Post by Big Ben » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:47 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I clicked that spoiler box since I’ll probably never see this film based upon its critical reception and despite it being “spoiled” for me I absolutely am going to see it now
Same. I saw it and went "Sign me right the fuck up."

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#22 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:59 pm

Really? My reaction was "Glad I didn't bother in the first place"

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#23 Post by Ribs » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:00 pm

It also has the most hilarious understanding of the passage of time, because like 4000 things happen in this movie but it only takes place over three weeks. It’s hard to describe but it’s totally impossible the events of this movie could happen in, like, a year, with how many moving pieces involving trials and new policies and moving jobs and constructing buildings, so that they made it three weeks is like a weird joke.

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#24 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:00 pm

domino harvey wrote:Really? My reaction was "Glad I didn't bother in the first place"
MoviePass, baby!

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Re: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Dan Gilroy, 2017)

#25 Post by Black Hat » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:20 am

Ribs wrote:
SpoilerShow
I... was not expecting wacky walking idiosyncracy character Roman J. Israel to be murdered violently while in the middle of a catchphrase at the end of this movie. Like, in the context of the movie it makes sense, but I can’t think of a film other than Irrational Man that ended particularly this way despite being billed as a kind of fun if weird prestige piece. It’s just... a very strong tonal whiplash.
Ha, I'm surprised you feel this way as I saw no other way for this ludicrousness to end. I totally don't remember what the catchphrase was tho, what was it? I thought the funniest about this was a tie between Carmen Ejogo being attracted to this man, whatever Colin Farrell was doing and the vegans raging.

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