Saturday, June 29, 2013

Accuracy and Inaccuracy of Hollywood Movies

There is always discussions in the media about the accuracy of the movies that Hollywood makes. At times the critics claim that the filmmaker altered that part from the book or exaggerated this part from what had happened just to have better impression on the audience.
I share my experience in that regard:

1- Papillon - 1973.
Papillon has been always one of my top favorites. I watched a censored version years ago in the old country and then bought the book. Here I rented the DVD in 2006 when Blockbuster still existed and eventually bought it a few months ago. What attracted me the most was not only the great performance of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman but also the efforts that the real character of movie Henri Charriere made to free himself. After all these year, the news is very disappointing: The story is completely fabricated and Henri Charriere might have even been somebody else! There are big questions in the movie as how he survived all of the miseries in all those years. He survived two long-term solitary confinements,  a two-year and a five-year(!) while his much younger buddy almost died after the second one. He survived after visiting a leprous colony, being shot at by guards several times, being shot by native Central Americans using a Blow Gun and many more incidents. The funny thing is even the author of the book, whose his identity is not confirmed, claims that 75% of the story is true. So you can easily conclude that most of the stories in the book and movie as well is nothing but what a prisoner who had nothing to do, has made up! You know how boring could get in the prison, have nothing to do but talking about nonsense! What if I make up stories and publish them after I got out of here, he must have said to himself. I can make lots of money. Many books actually are written in jail time. Hitler wrote his My Struggle when he was doing time. The book is kind of forbidden in North America and may be Europe and other countries as well and I can't tell what he has written because I have not read it but it's a book. Anyway I'm going far away. Hitler is the subject of the next movie! Nevertheless it's very strong and touching movie.

2- Valkyrie - 2008.
Valkyrie is based on a failed attempt to kill Hitler just less than a year before he commits suicide when Berlin was surrounded. It's probably one of a few movies that there are as little exaggeration as possible in their story. However in my opinion the movie could be much longer than 01:50 hours. If it was Oliver Stone who had made the movie, he would have made it longer for sure! Valkyrie is a good movie overall and I enjoyed watching it. I guess Tom Cruise is the only one whose act is a bit shaky! All the other actors which are mostly British veteran ones, deliver excellent performances even the one who briefly appears as Hitler. But the story, editing, music and direction takes over the acts. I mean what makes the movie attractive is not only because Tom Cruise is in it. It's everything else and most importantly it is true. Another thing which could add to the value of the movie was having the actors and actresses speaking German. As I said most of the main characters are portrayed by British and Americans actors and actresses and there are a few Germans and other Europeans as well. If the movie had been dubbed in German and had English captions, it would have been much stronger in my opinion. The same I had with Das Boot. This movie is available both in English and German and when I put it in German, it just sound more natural, I would say.

3- The Shining - 1980.
This movie is probably one of the most controversial ones, at least to my knowledge. It is based on one of the most famous writers/novelists Stephen King's story of the same name  but has been changed so much that it's almost unrecognizable! King showed his dissatisfaction about the movie. Although it is not based on a true story and doesn't require accuracy or inaccuracy but there are parts in the movies which you practically don't understand what's going on! Are does people ghosts or the main actor, Jack Nicholson, recalls memories? Nicholson, by the way, delivers an awesome act. I almost didn't understand what Kubrick wanted to say in this movie. Is that the same message that King wants to convey or he is trying something different? I need to read a few reviews on that but the movie is great, the direction, sound and music, acting and story except for the scenes that ghosts-like creatures are seen. We know that Danny has this power of seeing things in advance or seeing things which has happened before and that's what the Black fella, the chef, who actually was a great actor himself, calls Shining but even that explanation does not help to understand what Jack sees because we know Jack does not have the Shining power. One of the weirdest reviews I once saw (not read) about the movie was a clip in Youtube which claims that The Shining is about the fake moon man landing by the US! The narrator points at several signs which if put together, in his opinion, show that Kubrick wanted to say the Apollo 11 Mission was a hoax! So I don't know! 
(Photo, top: The main characters of the failed attempt to kill Hitler in the summer before he commits suicide beside his wife, in Berlin. Von Stauffenbug, the Colonel who loses his right hand, left eye and two finders on the left hand is portrayed by Cruise) 
(Photo, middle: One of the several strange scenes in The Shinning: Shelley Duvall, as Jack's wife, desperately looking for help, opens the door of one of the rooms and encounters this: a creature  in a sort of bear suit and with an animal-like face is having oral sex with a man in a suit, looks like a hotel staff(!) What the hell does this mean?!)

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