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Argus Skyhawk March 6 2011 08:24 AM

The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Hollywood has adapted another Phillip K. Dick story, making one wonder whether he is the only science fiction writer they have ever heard of. Nevertheless, I liked this movie a lot. It was clever and lots of fun.

Locutus of Bored March 6 2011 05:27 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
I gave it a "B," and that was being generous. It was enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable. I doubt I'll have any desire to pick it up on DVD.

The "love conquers all" and "free will vs determinism" (or destiny) themes are as old as fiction itself, and the film didn't really bring anything new or thought-provoking to the table, which is what I had hoped for when I saw the trailers (I had never read the Dick story, but I'm a huge fan of his otherwise).

Much of it is essentially a standard chase movie if the chases had taken place in the hallway full of doors in The Matrix and the Agents were more polite and all dressed like Philip Marlowe, except for the ones that were needlessly dressed up like Gestapo motorcycle gang-inspired random movie henchmen even though they were meant to go sight unseen, not to intimidate people.

Matt Damon really seems to take the world shattering revelation told to him early in the film in stride. You'd think it would destroy your entire worldview and seriously mess you up psychologically, but apparently it's just another speedbump on the road to love for Matt.

The performances were good all around, and there were a lot of recognizable character actors and real life political commentators playing themselves (Jon Stewart appears twice). Terrance Stamp was doing his best stoic but menacing routine. Emily Blunt was charming and quirky.

If you have a girlfriend who's not into scifi/fantasy (this could go either way) but always likes a good love story, this would be the film to try and get her to see. The instant attraction between Damon and Blunt - given in brief doses over years though it may be - is believable, and they make a compelling and likable couple who you want to win the day in the end.

Overall, despite the good love story and performances, the film itself is basically a middling quality Twilight Zone episode given a big budget and feature length. If you don't expect too much, you can enjoy it in that sense. But don't expect it to be profound or mind-blowing, because it's not, and doesn't even really attempt to explore the implications of its own premise.

Bishop76 March 6 2011 05:34 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
It was okay. Gave it a C. Locutus pretty much sums up my opinion on it - it's the free will/determinism debate that's been done to death with nothing new added to the debate. The only thing I would add to his review is that the ending of this movie is pretty offensive. Very Hollywood, very deus ex machina. I'd be interested to read the story and see how that actually went.

Though, as Locutus also mentioned, my girlfriend seemed to like it much more than I did. She really liked the love conquers all bit of it and, being an occasional sap, I don't mind that too much either, I just don't think it makes for an objectively good movie.

Fun enough, but forgettable with a horrible ending.

Trekker4747 March 6 2011 09:36 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
This was just a short story? Drat, I was hoping for a novel on it.

I'll check the movie out probably later this week, on Wednesday or something.

Daneel March 7 2011 01:00 AM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Locutus summed it up fairly well: watchable, enjoyable, but not especially memorable, and it really didn't explore the interesting premise to its full potential, IMO. Also, some of the "rules" of the Bureau just felt too ridiculous given the overall tone of the film (
). And yes, the ending was way too sudden and anti-climactic.

Ultimately, though, the movie rises or falls on the performances of and chemistry between Damon and Blunt, and fortunately, it succeeds nicely in that regard. I found their relationship to be charming and believable, and largely because of that, I'll give the film a B.

Trekker4747 March 17 2011 07:18 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Just got back, graded it a B on the poll, would give it a Straight-B on my own scale.

Fun, entertaining movie that spun out a lot of ideas that, honestly, would probably make for a more entertaining TV series than a two-minute movie.

I'm not huge on reading short-stories but I may give the one this was based off of a read though a novel would make for entertaining reading.

Matt Damon did a good job, the various AB guys were good and Emily Blunt was lovely.

jefferiestubes8 March 22 2011 01:32 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Quote:

Daneel wrote: (Post 4790944)
Locutus summed it up fairly well: watchable, enjoyable, but not especially memorable, and it really didn't explore the interesting premise to its full potential,

I agree. I did like the love story and the on-screen chemistry between Blunt and Damon was very nice.

I felt a bit of Inception at times as well as Johnny Mnemonic (1995) with the chase scenes.

The idea of the doors in The Adjustment Bureau though reminds me of the thread about teleportation in SciFi . It uses the old SciFi/Fantasy plot device the portal.

Quote:

Trekker4747 wrote: (Post 4817260)
honestly, would probably make for a more entertaining TV series

Not sure I agree with this. It would only not have the two lead actors from the film but I think it would be similar to the route of the possibility of Inception turning into a TV series that this thread discussed:
Could "Inception" work as a TV series? (hypothetical)

marillion March 22 2011 03:15 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
A-/B+... Really enjoyed it.. I find myself becoming more of a Matt Damon fan as time goes on. Emily Blunt was a adorable and I thought the story was good..

A couple of plot holes that I can't remember at the moment, and it went just a tad too long, but all in all, I'd like to see it again.

Trekker4747 March 22 2011 03:23 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Quote:

jefferiestubes8 wrote: (Post 4828429)
Quote:

Daneel wrote: (Post 4790944)
Locutus summed it up fairly well: watchable, enjoyable, but not especially memorable, and it really didn't explore the interesting premise to its full potential,

I agree. I did like the love story and the on-screen chemistry between Blunt and Damon was very nice.

I felt a bit of Inception at times as well as Johnny Mnemonic (1995) with the chase scenes.

The idea of the doors in The Adjustment Bureau though reminds me of the thread about teleportation in SciFi . It uses the old SciFi/Fantasy plot device the portal.

Quote:

Trekker4747 wrote: (Post 4817260)
honestly, would probably make for a more entertaining TV series

Not sure I agree with this. It would only not have the two lead actors from the film but I think it would be similar to the route of the possibility of Inception turning into a TV series that this thread discussed:
Could "Inception" work as a TV series? (hypothetical)

Well, not a TV series with the original actors or characters but the whole concept of this idea of a group of MIB-ian men going around doing things to make "adjustments" to events. I found that vastly more entertaining and interesting than other aspects of the movie and there's a lot there that could be explored and, really, a TV series would be the best place to explore all of the aspects of it fully.

JacksonArcher March 22 2011 05:19 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Quote:

Locutus of Bored wrote: (Post 4789955)
I gave it a "B," and that was being generous. It was enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable. I doubt I'll have any desire to pick it up on DVD.

The "love conquers all" and "free will vs determinism" (or destiny) themes are as old as fiction itself, and the film didn't really bring anything new or thought-provoking to the table, which is what I had hoped for when I saw the trailers (I had never read the Dick story, but I'm a huge fan of his otherwise).

Much of it is essentially a standard chase movie if the chases had taken place in the hallway full of doors in The Matrix and the Agents were more polite and all dressed like Philip Marlowe, except for the ones that were needlessly dressed up like Gestapo motorcycle gang-inspired random movie henchmen even though they were meant to go sight unseen, not to intimidate people.

Matt Damon really seems to take the world shattering revelation told to him early in the film in stride. You'd think it would destroy your entire worldview and seriously mess you up psychologically, but apparently it's just another speedbump on the road to love for Matt.

The performances were good all around, and there were a lot of recognizable character actors and real life political commentators playing themselves (Jon Stewart appears twice). Terrance Stamp was doing his best stoic but menacing routine. Emily Blunt was charming and quirky.

If you have a girlfriend who's not into scifi/fantasy (this could go either way) but always likes a good love story, this would be the film to try and get her to see. The instant attraction between Damon and Blunt - given in brief doses over years though it may be - is believable, and they make a compelling and likable couple who you want to win the day in the end.

Overall, despite the good love story and performances, the film itself is basically a middling quality Twilight Zone episode given a big budget and feature length. If you don't expect too much, you can enjoy it in that sense. But don't expect it to be profound or mind-blowing, because it's not, and doesn't even really attempt to explore the implications of its own premise.

My sentiments exactly.

jefferiestubes8 March 22 2011 07:33 PM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Quote:

Trekker4747 wrote: (Post 4828588)
the whole concept of this idea of a group of MIB-ian men going around doing things to make "adjustments" to events. I found that vastly more entertaining and interesting than other aspects of the movie and there's a lot there that could be explored and, really, a TV series would be the best place to explore all of the aspects of it fully.

I agree Trekker4747.
There was a show development like this in 2010 pilot season:
“Murmurs” Sci-Fi time-travel drama by CBS in development

also
Unfinished Business starring Will Smith for SyFy for 2010.
Nothing became of either yet.

Yes a Adjustment Bureau style TV series with standalone episodes would be good along with character development backstory arcs over multiple episodes and the entire season.

Harvey March 23 2011 03:29 AM

Re: The Adjustment Bureau: Discussion and Grading
 
Quote:

jefferiestubes8 wrote: (Post 4829193)
Unfinished Business starring Will Smith for SyFy for 2010.
Nothing became of either yet.

Smith is behind that project as an executive producer. There's no way that he would appear on a television series on the SyFy network at this point in his career--he's the most bankable movie star on the planet.

jefferiestubes8 October 12 2011 05:19 PM

adaptation to series in development for SyFy
 
Quote:

jefferiestubes8 wrote: (Post 4828429)
Quote:

Trekker4747 wrote: (Post 4817260)
honestly, would probably make for a more entertaining TV series

Not sure I agree with this. It would only not have the two lead actors from the film but I think it would be similar to the route of the possibility of Inception turning into a TV series that this thread discussed:
Could "Inception" work as a TV series? (hypothetical)

Well now it is in development for....SyFy!
Quote:

Former Smallville executive producers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin are writing the TV adaptation, which is being produced by MRC. Nolfi is executive producing with Swimmer and Slavkin, with Michael Hackett, a producer on the feature, serving as co-executive producer.
Syfy Developing TV Series Version Of Movie ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

I'm glad SyFy is at least dong this. It could go a number of ways.

Agent Richard07 March 14 2012 03:22 PM

Re: adaptation to series in development for SyFy
 
Finally saw this last night. Typical Hollywood love story/thriller, but I quite enjoyed everything with the bureau, which I thought was well fleshed out without giving too much away.

A lot of people are calling this a movie about free will vs determinism, but in the end, it was simply about an organization that tries to interfere with people's choices in order to bring about a particular outcome. Not much of a debate there. The real thinking for me came in trying to put together a picture of what this Adjustment Bureau actually is and who's behind it. The implication is that the Chairman is God or Fate. Personally, I figure that the Chairman is an alien or being that has taken humanity, a primitive and developing intelligence, under its care and has set up an organization of other humans in order to keep this fledgling race from destroying itself before it reaches maturity. This Chairman is too personal, fallible and limited to be a natural force at work. Apparently Shohreh Aghdashloo filmed some scenes for the movie but had her part cut. With that and hearing that the ending was rewritten, I get the impression that she was supposed to be the Chairman.

And having seen the extras on the DVD, here are a few other bits and bites...

- Daniel Dae Kim had scenes as a member of the bureau's SWAT team, but they were cut.

- There's an extended scene where Thompson says that without their intervention, the Wright brothers would have opened a bicycle shop, Thomas Edison might have become a sculptor and Steve Jobs would probably have gone into selling insurance.

- Emily Blunt went through a lot of dance training for the role, but the IMDb says that they digitally added her face to a dancer in some of her scenes.

Quote:

jefferiestubes8 wrote: (Post 4828429)
The idea of the doors in The Adjustment Bureau though reminds me of the thread about teleportation in SciFi . It uses the old SciFi/Fantasy plot device the portal.

Having an actual door as a portal in scifi has always been a bit distracting for me. How do you reconcile both sides of the door not matching or being different sizes? Can you see the portal in the space under the door? I always find myself thinking a little too much and asking questions like that.

Quote:

Trekker4747 wrote: (Post 4817260)
Fun, entertaining movie that spun out a lot of ideas that, honestly, would probably make for a more entertaining TV series than a two-minute movie.

We've got Being Erica. The bureau reminded me of the time-travelling doctors. It's a stretch, I know. Maybe it's the doors. ;)


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