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I’ll be honest—I didn’t love the first chapter of It, even though I read the book and the movie made a gazillion dollars. It just WAS NOT SCARY, it was CGI sanitized horror with its balls cut off. It was the type of horror movie I’d recommend for people who don’t like horror and it felt like the Cliff Notes  version of the book (particularly in how the involvement of the only character of color was really cut down from the original story). I didn’t hate it but couldn’t get behind its popularity. My lasting impression was a resounding C-C+.

Now the conclusion has arrived and I actually thought it was better in some ways and more of the same in others. I enjoyed the nightmarish scenarios It came up with more the second time around. I don’t know if I found them scarier, but they definitely were more creatively bonkers. Also, Bill Hader and James Ransone were great (the rest of the cast is fine but kinda stranded). The movie itself is hit and miss, but I enjoyed it more than I was expecting to until the climax. It just goes on for too long (170 minutes) and the film peters out with a whimper. If you enjoyed the first half I’d still recommend it and the two films combined I’d give a C+. I just wonder if these films would have been better if Cary Juji Fukunaga had gotten his way.

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Apologies: I’ve been remiss for not mentioning Bill Skarsgård’s performance. His performance as It/Pennywise is one of the best things about this film. The reason  I didn’t mention it before is that he disappears into the role, which is pretty much the highest complement I can give.

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I’m repeating myself but I’ll post this again because it’s relevant: It: Chapter 2 has a Hottie and the Nottie-type dynamic to it (this is not a spoiler, so don’t worry). One of the characters has been carrying a memento of Jessica Chastain’s character around in his wallet for 30+ YEARS. I think we’re supposed to find this sweet—I found it fairly creepy (it doesn’t help that this character is the King of Bland).

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I thought this was a big comedown from the first film. Never read the book, so I don't know what was different, but the first one felt like it had a real sense of story momentum to me, and also a sense of restraint. This one is just throwing big fakey CGI monsters at the characters and is way more disjointed as a narrative.

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I thought the kids were good in the first one and made a strong, cohesive unit, better than the adults did as a team... but I would not call the first film restrained.

as for the CGI....pick your poison. It didn’t work for me in the first film at all, sounds like it didn’t work for you in the second. It’s possible it doesn’t work altogether and the movies should have done without it.

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10 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

but I would not call the first film restrained.

Compared to this one, I definitely would. I only saw the first movie once, but I don't remember any big CGI spectacle stuff until the very end (which I think is fine as it represents a raising of the stakes). In this movie the early tone is set with the Chinese restaurant scene and not for the better.

And yeah, much more chemistry with the kids in the first movie that is not replicated with the adults. The plot structure doesn't help.

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On 9/6/2019 at 11:43 PM, GrahamS. said:

I’m repeating myself but I’ll post this again because it’s relevant: It: Chapter 2 has a Hottie and the Nottie-type dynamic to it (this is not a spoiler, so don’t worry). One of the characters has been carrying a memento of Jessica Chastain’s character around in his wallet for 30+ YEARS. I think we’re supposed to find this sweet—I found it fairly creepy (it doesn’t help that this character is the King of Bland).

On this: I guess it is slightly different because it's a middle/high school crush rather than a first-grade crush. It's plausible someone might hold onto the former into adulthood, not so much the latter.

Carrying it around in your wallet is still kinda weird though.

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18 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I thought this was a big comedown from the first film. Never read the book, so I don't know what was different, but the first one felt like it had a real sense of story momentum to me, and also a sense of restraint. This one is just throwing big fakey CGI monsters at the characters and is way more disjointed as a narrative.

I've read the book and seen the original miniseries a couple times. The adult story is just not as strong and I don't think I've ever heard anyone say different. I think it's a bit more complex emotionally and more meandering but I think that's kind of by design (in part because the book is almost as much about Derry as it is about either the group or kids). I'll say most of the stuff the changed and omitted is for the better.

Maybe it's because I was young when I first saw the miniseries and younger when I read the book (late teens, early twenties?) and now I'm nearly 40. Some of the themes of growing up resonated with me in a way they didn't before. I still think the adult side is weaker by a wide margin but it worked more than I thought it would. 

7 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Compared to this one, I definitely would. I only saw the first movie once, but I don't remember any big CGI spectacle stuff until the very end (which I think is fine as it represents a raising of the stakes). In this movie the early tone is set with the Chinese restaurant scene and not for the better.

And yeah, much more chemistry with the kids in the first movie that is not replicated with the adults. The plot structure doesn't help.

I want to say the fortune cookie scene is straight from the book including the specifics of what comes out of the cookies. I wouldn't have minded seeing that toned down. It was the first scene where I thought "this is enough"

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24 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I've read the book and seen the original miniseries a couple times. The adult story is just not as strong and I don't think I've ever heard anyone say different. I think it's a bit more complex emotionally and more meandering but I think that's kind of by design (in part because the book is almost as much about Derry as it is about either the group or kids). I'll say most of the stuff the changed and omitted is for the better.

Maybe it's because I was young when I first saw the miniseries and younger when I read the book (late teens, early twenties?) and now I'm nearly 40. Some of the themes of growing up resonated with me in a way they didn't before. I still think the adult side is weaker by a wide margin but it worked more than I thought it would. 

I want to say the fortune cookie scene is straight from the book including the specifics of what comes out of the cookies. I wouldn't have minded seeing that toned down. It was the first scene where I thought "this is enough"

I read It when I was 12 going on 13(!), which is almost 32 years ago. From what I remember, the book, miniseries and film all have the same basic horror set pieces (including the fortune cookies). Both the film and the miniseries are equally over-the-top with it.

I agree that the adult half has more flaws, but as someone who has dealt with traumatic shit (both as a kid and as an adult), I found it WAY more interesting than the kids stuff, perhaps because the kids section also had Stephen King’s upteenth representation of a bully along with the monster, etc. The reason I don’t think it was restrained was that it was overpacked with stuff.

This may be a controversial opinion, but I actually like the first half of the TV miniseries better than the first film. The second (adult) half of the TV miniseries sucks—and the second film, no matter what you think of it, is a VAST improvement over the TV counterpart. But the TV version of The first half (although far from flawless) manages to compress the kids’ story in a way that I found much more satisfying.

Also—and this might be REALLY unpopular—I found some of the kids in It Chapter One ...annoying. I won’t identify them, i liked some of the performances in the first film. I was just happier to watch Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård and James Ransone rip it up rather than watch those particular (again, unidentified) kids. That's why I liked the second movie better.

Feel free to tell me to go fuck myself now 😁!

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1 hour ago, GrahamS. said:

I read It when I was 12 going on 13(!), which is almost 32 years ago. From what I remember, the book, miniseries and film all have the same basic horror set pieces (including the fortune cookies). Both This may be a controversial opinion, but I actually like the first half of the TV miniseries better than the first film. The second (adult) half of the TV miniseries sucks—and the second film, no matter what you think of it, is a VAST improvement over the TV counterpart. But the TV version of The first half (although far from flawless) manages to compress the kids’ story in a way that I found much more satisfying.

Also—and this might be REALLY unpopular—I found some of the kids in It Chapter One ...annoying. I won’t identify them, i liked some of the performances in the first film. I was just happier to watch Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård and James Ransone rip it up rather than watch those particular (again, unidentified) kids. That's why I liked the second movie better.

Feel free to tell me to go fuck myself now 😁!

It's been too long since I last saw the miniseries, but I might agree with you on most of this. At the very least, I don't think the first movie is way better than the kids part of the miniseries. Certain things are better but it's certainly not light years ahead of it like some people have said. I also didn't find the first one to be scary whereas I found the kids part of the miniseries very scary (probably from seeing it as a child).

The adult version here is way better without question. For all its flaws, it doesn't look cheap like the miniseries did (which is weird since the kids part of the miniseries doesn't look cheap). It also cut out Bill's wife's story which is completely unnecessary.

I'll say straight up that I thought Finn as young Richie was annoying. That's partly the character as written but god I wanted him to shut up in so many scenes. 

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2 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

I agree that the adult half has more flaws, but as someone who has dealt with traumatic shit (both as a kid and as an adult), I found it WAY more interesting than the kids stuff, perhaps because the kids section also had Stephen King’s upteenth representation of a bully along with the monster, etc. The reason I don’t think it was restrained was that it was overpacked with stuff.

I think that's not the kind of restraint I'm talking about.

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22 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

Also—and this might be REALLY unpopular—I found some of the kids in It Chapter One ...annoying. I won’t identify them, i liked some of the performances in the first film.

See, I thought this was doing a great job of capturing how boys at that age really interact with each other. Yes, they can be pretty annoying. I thought that was the point.

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Ok. We clearly have different opinions. Fair enough if it works for you.

I will say that the first Movie—to me— has just as much distracting CGI as the second, because EVERY appearance of Pennywise (except for maybe the opening) is super CGI and that’s why I don’t find it scary at all. I thought individual moments were cool—the slide show, for example—but I think big-budget horror is unsuccessful because it has a shit-ton of money to make stuff literal that would be more effective if it were left to the imagination. And that’s true of both chapters. I like the second one more because they went more wild with it, and I would agree that the first film had less BIG moments than there are in the second one (and thusly is more restrained). 

But at least the second one had the balls to go absolutely nuts with its creations, and personally, I would rather have CGI that goes cuckoo fo Cocoa Puffs rather than be bland, which (unfortunately) I felt that Chapter one was in the FX department.

As for the kids in Chapter One, I made perhaps the ill-advised decision to watch the first half of the miniseries before the movie dropped. As a result, I couldn’t help but compare the acting (and everything else). I liked the kids in the miniseries more, but it’s personal opinion.

I don’t want to ramble any more than I already have. For whoever likes these movies, great! I just don’t think one is better than the other and they both slightly miss the mark for me  in different ways. 

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Hopefully I’m not coming off as too combative. Reading the book made me a life-long Stephen King fan and a horror fan. Movies based on his books—and there are a LOT of them—often fuck it up on their way to the screen. I thought the director did a decent job and deserves kudos for that. 

But part of me just wishes he’d either been more adventurous or he’d made shittier movies. For a decent amount of reviewers, the second chapter seems to be aiming for option b, so perhaps that’s why i like it more and that’s just my taste.

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1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

I'll say straight up that I thought Finn as young Richie was annoying. That's partly the character as written but god I wanted him to shut up in so many scenes

Fucking agreed! Thank you!

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Having never read or viewed any previous version if It, I can't speak to what is a more faithful adaptation and what is not. I can only say that to me the first of these movies was clearly a better story, better executed, with moments of horror much scarier than those in the sequel (the opening scene alone outstrips anything in Two for existential dread IMO).

I also find that sometimes if I have read the source material before seeing a movie I find it hard to let go of my original vision of how something "should" look, which often is not entirely fair to the movie. I don't know if that's going on here, but it's something to consider. Or maybe it's just different taste.

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Those are definitely fair points—I was a writing major in college and am very aware of the issues of expecting a movie to be exactly like the book. It’s simply not possible and shouldn’t be expected because they’re completely different animals. And I did used to have those expectations but have learned how to set them aside. The best book adaptations—I think—stay true to the themes of the book while altering the story to make it more cinematic. L.A. Confidential, Fight Club, The Social Network are examples of books that have successfully adapted (whether you like the films or not, they give you a good idea of what the feel of the books are like, or they take the core ideas of the books and take them Into unique places).

For It, since I haven’t read the book in 3 decades, the book didn’t really affect my view of the movie. If anything, the miniseries did. I respect that you really liked the first part and I know plenty of people who did. I’ll stop there because I’ll probably keep repeating my observations over and over. I think it’s simply a matter of different tastes for these films, which I think is great. Perhaps there will be other films we can agree on.

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