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Old October 5 2009, 08:51 PM   #1
QuasarVM
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Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

I think so. Absolutely. I love his films.

The Crow
Dark City
I, Robot
Knowing

...all good films IMHO.
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Old October 5 2009, 09:02 PM   #2
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Haven't seen Knowing, but in general I'd say yes, he is underrated. All very interesting stylish films.
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Old October 5 2009, 09:15 PM   #3
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Maybe, but personally my problem with Proyas is he sort of stopped being good when the 1990s ended (though I'll confess to not having seen Knowing, but I had my trepidations given the largely negative reviews).

That said, both The Crow and Dark City have found rather appreciate cult audiences, so I'd say Proyas has mostly got his due. Dark City in particular though really deserves a wider audience - it's one of the most fun and also most involving sci-fi flicks from the 1990s. It may just be my favourite sci-fi noir, but I'd have to sleep on that (and no, a certain Ridley Scott picture would not even be in the running... the blade running, my god I have a gift for awful humour.)
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Old October 5 2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Kegg wrote: View Post
Maybe, but personally my problem with Proyas is he sort of stopped being good when the 1990s ended (though I'll confess to not having seen Knowing, but I had my trepidations given the largely negative reviews).

That said, both The Crow and Dark City have found rather appreciate cult audiences, so I'd say Proyas has mostly got his due. Dark City in particular though really deserves a wider audience - it's one of the most fun and also most involving sci-fi flicks from the 1990s. It may just be my favourite sci-fi noir, but I'd have to sleep on that (and no, a certain Ridley Scott picture would not even be in the running... the blade running, my god I have a gift for awful humour.)

Proyas' films definitely took a more commercial tone after the 90's...no doubt about it. But, I find him to be a better and more stylish director than, say a McG or Bay for example...

Dark City and Blade Runner are very close in quality in my opinion...love em both!
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Old October 5 2009, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

I'm a fan of Dark City, even though I think the execution of the final battle at the end comes off as a bit silly. It's a great film.

I, Robot was dumb. Fun to a degree, but the subtle-as-a-brick product placement was hard to ignore. It was about one ad away from being Michael Bay-esque, and that's never good.

Knowing was just painful to sit through, and surprisingly, only part of that was actually Nicholas Cage's fault. The scene at the end with the kids and the rabbits on some pristine other planet seconds after the horrifying depiction of the Earth's total immolation made me want to punch someone. The two most irritating non-Nicholas Cage characters survive and get adorable new pets and that's supposed to make me happy? Screw you, movie.
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Old October 5 2009, 10:03 PM   #6
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Goji wrote: View Post
I'm a fan of Dark City, even though I think the execution of the final battle at the end comes off as a bit silly. It's a great film.
Oh, that part is exceptionally cheesy. But besides that? Swell movie. It's definitely a movie I've enjoyed seeing again and again - it's just very well edited, shot and put together.
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Old October 5 2009, 11:59 PM   #7
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

eh, I didn't really like I, Robot or Knowing
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Old October 6 2009, 12:59 AM   #8
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Dark City is amazing. I, Robot is enjoyable but nothing special. Knowing is pure garbage.
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Old October 6 2009, 01:24 AM   #9
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

I don't understand why Knowing is so hated. Sure, it was no Dark City...and sure, I could see the ending coming from 12 parsecs away...but it was an enjoyable flick.
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Old October 6 2009, 02:12 AM   #10
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

QuasarVM wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
Maybe, but personally my problem with Proyas is he sort of stopped being good when the 1990s ended (though I'll confess to not having seen Knowing, but I had my trepidations given the largely negative reviews).

That said, both The Crow and Dark City have found rather appreciate cult audiences, so I'd say Proyas has mostly got his due. Dark City in particular though really deserves a wider audience - it's one of the most fun and also most involving sci-fi flicks from the 1990s. It may just be my favourite sci-fi noir, but I'd have to sleep on that (and no, a certain Ridley Scott picture would not even be in the running... the blade running, my god I have a gift for awful humour.)

Proyas' films definitely took a more commercial tone after the 90's...no doubt about it. But, I find him to be a better and more stylish director than, say a McG or Bay for example...

Dark City and Blade Runner are very close in quality in my opinion...love em both!
I don't know. I'll agree that I, Robot was pretty commercial. But Knowing, whether you like it or not, I don't think could be considered a commercial film at all. I think Proyas took a risk with that film and while many feel that he failed, he at least tried and I can think of few, if any, films like it.

Personally, I agree with Ebert's review of the film. Can its plot be taken seriously? No. But its still fun.
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Old October 6 2009, 03:26 PM   #11
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Knowing was a big disappointment give his earlier movies. I think the guy has a problem with believable whole characters.

His previous films have been slick fantasies with interesting stories and so much excellent eye candy and atmosphere that the paper thin characters aren't so noticeable. But Knowing tried to present Cage as a caring, deep, emotional character and I think partly the script, partly Cage's awful performance and partly Proyas' inexperience with characters you could give a shit about are all to blame for it's abject failure in that respect.

I actually groaned and laughed during the final emotional farewell scene, never a good sign.

Proyas did an amazing job with the action scenes though, as usual.
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Old October 6 2009, 05:55 PM   #12
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

I would assume he is underrated since I have never heard of him, yet I liked the movies you listed.
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Old October 6 2009, 07:50 PM   #13
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

I liked The Crow because I liked the comic. The rest of his films are forgettable.
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Old October 6 2009, 08:05 PM   #14
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Knowing was muddled, poorly acted, and pooling with religious themes that felt forced and uninspired. Easily one of the worst movies I've seen in the past year. I bought into Roger Ebert's four-star review, but he is just dead wrong on this particular film. Parts of it were downright insulting. The only time it produces anything of worth is the scene in which the airplane crashes, which works as pure spectacle.

Dark City is very, very good. Rufus Sewell is an unlikely, but perfectly chosen lead. Jennifer Connelly is beautiful, and conveys all the right notes (literally, in the Director's Cut). Kiefer Sutherland delivers a quirky, amibtious performance that might also be a clever homage to one of Humphrey Bogart's least remembered roles. And The Director's Cut makes a good film great.

I, Robot is at most times brainless summer action fare. James Cromwell is mostly wasted. I don't rate it very highly.

I haven't seen The Crow, though it has been oft-reccomended.

I also haven't seen Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds (1989) which is not yet available on DVD, or Garage Days (2002), which (so far) is his only feature that is not science fiction.

So, of six movies I've seen only three. Of those, one is great, one is below average, and one is just poor. And, the important thing to keep in mind is that Proyas is on record as proud of his work on all three of those films. So Studio meddling can't be blamed.

Is Proyas underrated, then? I would say no. Dark City on the other hand? Absolutely. Overshadowed by the shallower and more action filled The Matrix.
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Old October 6 2009, 09:26 PM   #15
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Re: Is Alex Proyas an Underrated Director?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Kiefer Sutherland delivers a quirky, amibtious performance that might also be a clever homage to one of Humphrey Bogart's least remembered roles.
According to the commentary, it was inspired by Peter Lorre's performance from M. But hey, same difference, and maybe Bogart played his bit too.

I haven't seen The Crow, though it has been oft-reccomended.
Do. Really. Admittedly, The Crow is very thin on anything approaching substance - it pretty much seethes and then bleeds a little gothic, gritty urban style, and it's done. However that's more than enough to carry the film, and I thought Brandon Lee was pretty good as the lead. It's pretty much on the basis of this film in addition to Dark City that Proyas has his fans.

I'd heard of his other films, but I haven't seen them either.
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