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Musical Mondays Week 38 The Singing Detective


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#1 Cameron H.

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 04:46 AM

It’s the kind of movie that makes you ask yourself, “Should I rewind that?” but you never actually do.

We watched:

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Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#2 Cinco DeNio

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 04:54 AM

This was the definition of insanity. I had to pause it at 83 minutes in thinking "This must be near the end. It's been four hours already!" Nope! Still had 20+ minutes to go. I admit I liked the rest more. It picked up once I'd paused it. Guess I should have paused it sooner. :-)
Mary Lane: (singing)"We are just like Romeo and Juliet. We're happy, young and <hacking cough> hemorrhaging blood."
-- Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005)

Offscreen critic: "What was that s**t with the window?"
-- La La Land (2016)

#3 Cameron H.

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 05:09 AM

Yeah, there was definitely something there in that Third Act that helped the movie coalesce for me. I think, up to that point, I was resistant to everything that was going on. I hated Dan Dark and I really couldn't be bothered with him. However, kind of like Hustle & Flow, despite how much I didn't care for him, all of the I sudden started rooting for him. Ultimately, I'd say I admired the movie more than I enjoyed it.
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#4 taylor anne photo

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 05:54 AM

I also hated Dan Dark at the beginning, but I wonder if that's the movie expecting us to just jump into this story head first and just understand everything that's going on immediately. But it was reeeeaaaallllyyyy hard to watch any of the scenes in the hospital because they just insisted on having such an extreme closeup on that disgusting makeup. Very upsetting. Do not recommend.
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#5 SaraK

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 06:00 AM

I had a hard time following what was going on in this movie, mostly because I was exhausted and kept zoning out at points, forcing me to rewind. But RDJ was super charismatic and I was curious as to where this fell in his life timeline. Wikipedia actually credits this movie for getting him back into the movie game.

Quote

Downey was able to return to the big screen after Mel Gibson, who had been a close friend to Downey since both had co-starred in Air America, paid Downey's insurance bond for the 2003 film The Singing Detective.[58] Gibson's gamble paved the way for Downey's comeback and Downey returned to mainstream films in the mid-2000s with Gothika, for which producer Joel Silver withheld 40% of his salary until after production wrapped as insurance against his addictive behavior. Similar clauses have become standard in his contracts since.[59] Silver, who was getting closer to Downey as he dated his assistant Susan Levin, also got the actor the leading role in the comedy thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the directorial debut of screenwriter Shane Black.[60]


So thanks to this movie we got Iron Man?

#6 taylor anne photo

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 06:02 AM

View PostSaraK, on 07 May 2018 - 06:00 AM, said:

So thanks to this movie we got Iron Man?

Speaking of, for the first half hour I just kept thinking to myself, "This is just Tony Stark 15 years younger..."
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#7 SaraK

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 07 May 2018 - 06:02 AM, said:

Speaking of, for the first half hour I just kept thinking to myself, "This is just Tony Stark 15 years younger..."


The scene where he and Robin Wright are eating yogurt and chatting, I thought 'this could be a scene from Iron Man with Pepper Potts'

#8 Cinco DeNio

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 07:02 AM

View PostSaraK, on 07 May 2018 - 06:00 AM, said:

So thanks to this movie we got Iron Man?

I really liked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. As soon as he said it in the movie I had to look up which movie came first. This one won.
Mary Lane: (singing)"We are just like Romeo and Juliet. We're happy, young and <hacking cough> hemorrhaging blood."
-- Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005)

Offscreen critic: "What was that s**t with the window?"
-- La La Land (2016)

#9 Cinco DeNio

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 07:03 AM

Since this was an Icon production Mel Gibson must have used the profits to make his passion project the next year. Oh, wait...


Budget:
$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:
$28,324, 26 October 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:
$336,456, 1 February 2004
Mary Lane: (singing)"We are just like Romeo and Juliet. We're happy, young and <hacking cough> hemorrhaging blood."
-- Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005)

Offscreen critic: "What was that s**t with the window?"
-- La La Land (2016)

#10 tomspanks

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 07:52 AM

I can't say I enjoyed watching this, but I was fascinated by how fucking weird it is, from the half-assed musical numbers with lip syncing to Mel Gibson to the surreal flashbacks/hallucinations.

I watched the last third of the movie twice, but I'm still not sure if I understand it? Are we to believe that the sessions with Dr Gibbons was the cure to Dan Dark's psoriatic arthritis? As if his condition was psychogenic?

#11 taylor anne photo

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 08:02 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 07 May 2018 - 07:52 AM, said:

I watched the last third of the movie twice, but I'm still not sure if I understand it? Are we to believe that the sessions with Dr Gibbons was the cure to Dan Dark's psoriatic arthritis? As if his condition was psychogenic?

I assumed it was him finally accepting medical help as well. Alfre Woodard mentions something about "take the pills" but I thought at first it was just for the pain but now I'm wondering if he refused all medications until he actually started talking to Mel Gibson. Like maybe Katie Holmes jerking him off was the cure this whole time. (Gross.)
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#12 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:09 AM

Jesus, this movie ...

I had REEEALLY vivid dreams last night for the first time that I can remember in a while and I think it's because I watched this movie right before I went to bed. They involved lots of long hallways and close-up faces.

[shudder]

#13 tomspanks

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 10:31 AM

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 07 May 2018 - 09:09 AM, said:

Jesus, this movie ...

I had REEEALLY vivid dreams last night for the first time that I can remember in a while and I think it's because I watched this movie right before I went to bed. They involved lots of long hallways and close-up faces.

[shudder]


Go on...

#14 tomspanks

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 10:37 AM

So his mother. I get that she had an affair with one of her husband's coworkers. Dan Dark witnessed this and told his father about it, his father beat both, and Dan and his mother left. What I'm not sure about is the repeated scene where his father hits a car with a dented wrench. Is this supposed to mean he beat them with the wrench? and then when Dan Dark's mother couldn't find a job, she turned to prostitution, right? Was it stated that she was killed by one of the Johns? And why was she one of the dames in the noir fantasy?

#15 taylor anne photo

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 12:09 PM

So why the lip-syncing? RDJ can actually sing and apparently so can Katie Holmes (I say apparently because she was on Broadway but honestly I'm not sure that is an actual piece of evidence that this woman can sing). I understand that the hospital hallucinations were not them really singing, but every time RDJ performs he should be actually singing because it makes no sense that he wouldn't be able to. Also the lips were never actually matching up with the pronunciation of the words so it was really really distracting.
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#16 Quasar Sniffer

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 01:14 PM

Since I think I'm one of the only people here who has seen the BBC miniseries, I do have to say it goes into far greater detail and depth into the characters, especially Dan Dark. The hospital narrative and the Singing Detective noir narrative coalesce much better and reflect back on Dark's psychological and psychosomatic problems. So having seen that as a base, I'm able to fill in the gaps that the movie really has a hard time getting across. Granted, this doesn't excuse this movie as a piece in and of itself, since all movies should stand on their own, but it helps me enjoy this movie and not be revolted by it. And make no mistake, Dan Dark is hella unlikable in the miniseries, but he still very engaging like so many of the later American middle-aged male anti-heroes that would come to populate US television a decade later.
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#17 grudlian.

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 01:57 PM

View PostQuasar Sniffer, on 07 May 2018 - 01:14 PM, said:

Since I think I'm one of the only people here who has seen the BBC miniseries, I do have to say it goes into far greater detail and depth into the characters, especially Dan Dark. The hospital narrative and the Singing Detective noir narrative coalesce much better and reflect back on Dark's psychological and psychosomatic problems. So having seen that as a base, I'm able to fill in the gaps that the movie really has a hard time getting across. Granted, this doesn't excuse this movie as a piece in and of itself, since all movies should stand on their own, but it helps me enjoy this movie and not be revolted by it. And make no mistake, Dan Dark is hella unlikable in the miniseries, but he still very engaging like so many of the later American middle-aged male anti-heroes that would come to populate US television a decade later.

I've seen the miniseries but it's been years and only remember it in very broad strokes. Everything Quasar says is correct as I recall but I still had trouble figuring it all out. I'll blame that on myself and lack of interest by episode three.

A couple things I found notably different:

I think Dark comes across as an even bigger asshole in the miniseries. Partly, it's three times longer and you really get to sit with Dark being a piece of shit longer. Gambon is just a better actor in the role.

The makeup in the miniseries looked truly painful. I don't know what this kind of psoriasis looks like but, man, I could feel my body itching watching the miniseries. The movie just looked Freddy Kruger-ish.

#18 PollyDarton

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 03:06 PM

So... I watched it....
Posted Image

My favorite part was the sex scenes. They were disturbing, sad, unsexy and - best of all - way too long.

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 07 May 2018 - 12:09 PM, said:

So why the lip-syncing? RDJ can actually sing and apparently so can Katie Holmes (I say apparently because she was on Broadway but honestly I'm not sure that is an actual piece of evidence that this woman can sing). I understand that the hospital hallucinations were not them really singing, but every time RDJ performs he should be actually singing because it makes no sense that he wouldn't be able to. Also the lips were never actually matching up with the pronunciation of the words so it was really really distracting.


Yeah... I wondered about this too. If this were made now it seems like they would actually be singing, right? I guess it stylistically is more of a break from reality. It was odd though... like an episode of Saved by the bell.
I guess it was probably cheaper to do it that way? RDJ et al could have just rehearsed that lipsync for a few hours before they shot the scene, whereas if they actually sang there would have been rehearsal, recording, mixing, editing etc...

#19 Cam Bert

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 03:41 PM

I agree with Cameron and Cinco that the last third is a great improvement and I can't tell if that is because of being use to Dan Dark, hearing his tragic story, or just the elements and themes finally coming together. There were moments in which he was fantasizing about people in his life (his agent and wife trying to dupe him out of the screenplay) and then moments when his characters came into the real world. They mention at the start hallucinations but it wasn't until the third act that this really started to happen.

Also, the two feds/hoods were they guys he saw on the bus for real or is that him putting his characters from his mind into the memory?
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#20 tomspanks

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 03:46 PM

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 07 May 2018 - 12:09 PM, said:

So why the lip-syncing? RDJ can actually sing and apparently so can Katie Holmes (I say apparently because she was on Broadway but honestly I'm not sure that is an actual piece of evidence that this woman can sing). I understand that the hospital hallucinations were not them really singing, but every time RDJ performs he should be actually singing because it makes no sense that he wouldn't be able to. Also the lips were never actually matching up with the pronunciation of the words so it was really really distracting.


So get this, according to imdb, RDJ sings In My Dreams, the end credits song!

Quote

In My Dreams
Written by Bernice Bedwell
Used by Permission of Song Productions (BMI)
Performed by Robert Downey Jr.
Produced and Arranged by Ryan Rehm & Jonathan Elias


And here's some kind of music video?