SBL First Reviews and Reactions

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  Shinra17 on 4/23/2012, 11:09 pm

Another spoiler-free review from tumblr

‘Struck By Lightning’ manages to be exactly what it is qualified to be while exceeding all my expectations. Sure the crowd was biased, sure we wanted, needed, to love it, sure it’s a small-budget, greenly written, coming-of-age fringe film. But it is a good one. A brilliant one, even. And I don’t think I am biased on that assessment.

It is not a blockbuster and it’s never going to be. It’s not one of those movies that is pitched as small but ends up playing all the main cinemas and making a bucket of money like ‘Juno’. Although I suspect it will end up playing everywhere with the hype it has and make more money than anyone dares to imagine.

Because it was shot on a small budget and a three-week schedule and that shows in the production quality. Not in a bad way, just in a very raw, honest way. There’s no special affects, the camera tilts, the lighting and sound is as much an effect of the environment as technology and the acting, makeup and wardrobe speaks of fast, quick filming.

It’s not particularly polished in that Hollywood style so that every line is delivered with practiced breathing, practiced tone, practiced body language. But the actors seem to have inhabited their characters so well that it doesn’t matter.

All of this in a good way.

The story is what we know it to be. There are no real surprises though on two occasions ‘twists’ made the audience gasp. The movie was predictable. Which is brilliant because, as has been said, that makes it very difficult to spoil.

So where did it exceed expectations (And remember mine were high: I flew into NYC from Frankfurt for a weekend basically for this)? For me there were three clears areas of brilliance: Chris Colfer’s acting and the script were even better than expected. And the depth of the narrative.

Beginning with the last point: the narrative itself. It was adult. Chris is 21 and this has played around in his head for years and so I expected a very straight-forward coming-of-age story. I expected ‘Mean Girls’ but with more snark and direction and less girl-troubles. Which is what the movie was. But then you had the peripheral story arcs of Carson’s grandmother and his parents and these characters feel like they’ve been written by someone who has been through it all, who understands long term, grown up relationships and life and death and heartbreak and, as much as I think Chris is wonderful and intelligent, I didn’t realize he’d be able to make me relate and empathize and ache over characters beyond both him and myself in their years and their hardships. But he did. God knows how. Perhaps someone should ask him how he does that.

His script. Oh his script. I wondered, going in, if all the best lines were in the trailers. I suspected they would be because that happens and that’s fine because the trailers are funny. But dozens of one-liners have been saved for the movie itself. Line after line after line of sass and word-play: Chris has infused this story with his own witty personality and it shines through so brilliantly in Carson’s hundred shades of snark.

And lastly Chris Colfer’s acting. I realized on the bus ride home from dinner some four hours after the end of the movie itself that no one had brought up the inevitable comparison between Kurt and Chris. Because there is just no comparison to be made. It would be like comparing Shrek with Hamlet. They are just worlds apart and need no comparison, really, beyond the extraordinary fact that one single actor has inhabited them both and kept them completely separate. Completely. There was no grey area, no obvious mannerism, where you could look at Carson and see a bit of Kurt and when I next see Kurt on the screen there will be no trace of Carson. There is Chris in both of them, most certainly, but his acting has just blown this out of the park and critics will struggle from here on in to accuse him of just playing himself when he acts.

I could go on and on. But I want to keep this short and get it posted. This way, one day, I can look back and read my very first impression of the very first public screening of Chris Colfer’s very first movie. When he’s being presented with a ‘Hall of Fame’ award in fifty years and whoever is presenting (and after tonight I can’t help but imagine it being Emma Watson) talks about his scripts, his acting and his stories I want to be able to read this and know damn well I was there at the very beginning.

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  arina on 4/24/2012, 1:53 am

saw sbl again tonight
It was in the same theater as Chris’ New Yorker Festival Q&A. It was just as good the second time around. Still processing and absorbing it, though. I might have some more thoughts on the movie later.
Tonight was a much more mixed audience. There were definitely Chris fans there but there were also a lot of what I assume were just general festival goers. Also, a LOT of men. Chris should have been there tonight. LOL Anyway, the audience wasn’t as enthusiastically responsive as they were during the premiere (I wasn’t expecting them to be) but there were still a lot of laughs and reactions to certain things in the movie. There was a nice round of applause at the end.
Chris was not there tonight but Glenn Rigberg was there (I saw him but he didn’t come up to speak or anything), as were Roberto Aguire and Carter Jenkins (there might have been others but I don’t know who specifically). Roberto and Carter introduced the film and then did the Q&A afterwards and they were great! My friend took video of the Q&A so I’m assuming she’ll post it at some point. After they were done with the Q&A they hung out to speak with people. My friend and I met Carter Jenkins and spoke with him for a bit. He was really sweet and gracious. We basically just chatted so I don’t have any particular stories or anything. I still had my ticket stub from the premiere screening in my bag so he signed that for me. Mostly I just told him how much I enjoyed the film and we gushed about Allison Janney for a bit. LOL
Sourcehttp://staceysthings.tumblr.com/
I did not expect the same respondes as they were on premiere either, but it is really great to hear that they still got positive reactions...


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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/24/2012, 3:02 am

the responses at hte premiere were not to be repeated. I was there and I knew. fanny2
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  tanita_mors on 4/24/2012, 9:24 am

I’m at the 9:30 screening and there are almost no teenage girls (says the teenage girl)… No but seriously the average age is much higher than the premiere heh
-- Fanecdote via carsonmalerie

Hi! So I just came back from the 9:30 SBL screening welp

Um ok first of all if this post seems devoid of emotion, that’s because I’m trying really really hard to make it that way.

For those of you who want to get rush tickets, I got in line for rush about three hours before the screening. I went to the location before that to ask about rush tickets, but they told me to come back an hour before the screening to line up (of course I didn’t listen because I wasn’t going to risk it heh), and since there was another movie playing there that ended literally minutes before SBL, they didn’t form the rush line until 45 minutes before the screening. I was first in line (dedication pays off kids), but I think they let at least 30 people in.

Before we started going in though, this guy came out and he started handing out Struck By Lightning sunglasses, which looked exactly like the ones that the cast and crew had, and he was just giving them out for free, I have no idea what that was about, but um

that’s what they look like.

So anyways we went in, they dimmed the lights and Carter Jenkins and Rob Aguire were there. They introduced the movie, said that Chris couldn’t be there because he was filming “this show” (and someone yelled out “Glee,” and they were like “You got it, wow, that’s the one!) but that he sent all of us his love, and then they said they were going to stick around for a Q&A session later.

The movie started and it was already obvious that the audience was really different from the one on Saturday. I might be wrong but I don’t think that there were many fandom people there. Like when Lauren Lopez was on screen on Saturday a lot of people recognized her and there was a lot of noise (like cheering, clapping, etc) but this time the theater was really silent.

I was really happy because the reactions were still very strong. I think Malerie probably got the most laughs, but I felt that the audience loved the movie, even though they weren’t like the crowd at the Saturday screening.

So yeah the movie was as perfect as ever, and seeing it in a smaller venue, I was able to hear some quiet lines that I couldn’t hear the last time, so being in a smaller (and quieter) showing definitely had its benefits.

Anyways for the Q&A, I’d say about half or two fifths of the audience stayed. I don’t know if anyone recorded it but it was a really good Q&A session, they told us a lot of bts stuff.

There are just off memory, I really hope someone recorded them, but just in case they didn’t here’s what I remember.

Someone asked what their favorite scene to film was. Rob said it was the scene with pencil!carson (of course he didn’t put it like that but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything), because all of the fans came out, and he said that the “students” screaming were actually screaming for Chris, so it was really exciting for them. Also, he said how Chris made his own costume, and they were just all on set and Chris came out in his pencil costume asking the cast what they thought of it (he quoted Chris and I don’t want to misquote him but it was adorable I just really hope someone recorded the whole thing).

Someone asked what kept them motivated as actors, and Carter said that if you want to act, acting has to be your passion. It can’t be something you do on the side for fun, he said that acting itself should be your reward (Then he said “I’d do it for free, but don’t tell any producers that”).

Someone else asked if they had thought of any backstory for their characters, and Rob said yes, then talked about Brian Dannelly. He said that Brian is a very actor-focused director, apparently Brian came up to him and told him to always have something in his pockets, and I don’t mean that metaphorically, he literally had something in his pockets during the entire film. He said that he takes it out and you can see it for like just a second, and then he puts it back. Carter asked what it was and he said that he wouldn’t tell.

Um I have horrible memory, so I have no idea what this was in response to, but Rob talked about filming and how they did a few serious takes (sticking to the script and stuff like that), and then they did one or two takes that were just mostly improv. He said that a lot of Rebel Wilson’s funniest lines were from those takes.

After the Q&A session ended they said they’d stick around if anyone wanted to ask them questions. They were there for about 10-15 minutes because they had to clear out the theater, but they were both so nice. They kept thanking everybody, and they signed stuff and took pictures, and even as they were clearing the theater and telling the audience to leave, Carter walked with us and he kept walking and signing stuff and they were both just so amazing.

Um ok I think that’s all, I’m going to try to think of more Q&A stuff but yeah! Ugh it’s just a perfect movie and a perfect cast…



Super cute fanecdote via bespectacledcolfer



This is the only photo I’ve been “authorized” to post by Taylor. (My amazing niece, and photographer for “Struck By Lightning Fest Oh My God 2012”.)

(She’s going to come over tomorrow and post more after school. Creative authority over her work and all…)

This was right before I said my first words to Chris. You guys will probably pee yourselves when I tell you the part I remember. So, I was with my lovely friends from Hugs 4 Chris, and he was SO PSYCHED to see them. (Won’t spoil their story). There was enthusiastic hugging and *squeeing* on Chris’s part. No, really. His voice did that crazily high-pitched “Oooooooooh!” thing.

There was chit-chat about Twitter Hugging. My contribution. SWEAR TO GOD:

Chris smiles at me and says hi. I *point to myself* and say: “Boy hugger.”

I.

Said.

Boy.

Hugger.

To his credit, he smiled and said something like, “Oh, that’s great” or “awesome” or something. (I don’t remember exactly due to, a.) I was talking to CHRIS COLFER AND, b. I fucking said “boy hugger.”.

(I know what I meant, I think he know what I meant. But…smooth. Accidental creeper thing to say. Female huggers outnumber male ones…yadayada…I was trying to distinguish….)

Boy hugger.

(If it helps, the story improves when we spoke again a few moments later…)

Short-short version: MIND BLOWING AND LIFE CHANGING

Short Version: Not only met but talked to and hugged

Countless #Hugs4Chris Twitter followers/Chris Colfer fans
Many Tumblr friends who are now real life best-best awesome friends
Brian Dannelly
Ashley Fink (actually 2 hugs)
Chris Colfer

SAW STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.


Met, talked to and hugged Chris when he arrived and walked along the barricade meeting with fans. He said he’d seen our Hugs4Chris banner from the car. He knew my first name. He initiated the hug, reached out for Ara and I and pulled us towards him as he hugged us together. He held on and kind of leaned into me for a moment while he continued to talk to Ara. He thanked us for the balloon basket again, I told him how much we all love him and he said “that’s soooo sweet.”


On the way inside the theater, we met Brian Dannelly. Ara got his attention and introduced us. He grabbed her in this HUGE bear hug and gave her a big kiss on the cheek. Then I got a bear hug too and I told him thank you for all the support for Chris, the Twitter interaction and the little thank you video he and Chris made together. He was so gracious and said how fun it had all been and how much they appreciated us and what we do. WOW.


From the Apple panel: I slipped into the row of partially empty seats behind her and gently tapped hher shoulder. I said “Hi Ashley, I hate to bother you but can I please ask a huge favor?” She turned around, said “Oh sure!” and I asked, “would you give this to Chris for us?” an handed her the things we had for him. (A Hugs4Chris t-shirt, tote and button.) She took them from me, said, “for Chris? Of course!” I was thanking her profusely as she looked down at what I had placed in her hands and she saw the unicorn button on the top of the package and exclaimed, “OH! Hugs4Chris, I know this. On Twitter - wait, is this you?” And at this point she’d swiveled around in her seat to get a better look at me. She asked my name, I told her and she stuck out her hand and said, “Hi Barb, nice to meet you. I’m Ashley!”

http://sweet-llama-cheeks.tumblr.com/post/21699617715/a-synopsis-of-my-tribeca-weekend


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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  ColferGirl on 4/24/2012, 10:04 am

Awwww, that entire post from the Hugs4Chris lady - Barbara? - is soooo cute!!! wub wub Her entire experience sounds so amazing and sweet, I'm happy for her. Chris and Ashley are wonderful people. wub
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/26/2012, 2:49 am

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  tanita_mors on 4/26/2012, 5:09 am

Another negative review - Holywood Reporter

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/26/2012, 5:12 am

^ posted already in the other thread.
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  tanita_mors on 4/26/2012, 5:32 am

fantastica wrote:^ posted already in the other thread.
Saw it after I already posted it. Just ignore it, I know I am.

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  Delight on 4/26/2012, 6:19 am

tanita_mors wrote:Another negative review - Holywood Reporter

This review was quite spoiler-y. Thank goodness I decided to fleetingly skim it after detecting the overall negative tone of the review.

Yes, I pretend that negative reviews of SBL don't exist. Don't anyone dare to shatter this illusion of mine vexe
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/27/2012, 2:17 am

Ology Interview: The Transcendent Polly Bergen talks SBL

Polly Bergen is one of those sassy entertainment vets that has seen it all but still has a great sense of humor. She started her career as a singer in 1949 and went on to do television, film and even penning a book in the process. In Struck By Lightning, (written by Glee's Chris Colfer) Bergen plays Grandma, who suffers from Alzheimer's. Of course, when Bergen entered the room, all eyes were on her and she was full of fun stories. I could just imagine sitting on a porch listening to her for hours. She was self taught in many ways, watching her own performances to learn how to act on film.

Since Struck By Lightning follows the trials of a group of high schoolers, Bergen jokes of the change in high schoolers, "They definitely get laid a lot more." But she sees the change as a positive and looks to keep young people around. That is partially why she chose to do the film, due to Colfer's knowledge of his generation while seeming mature. "Chris is that rare person who is an old man in a young mans body. I don’t know how else to say it. I mean, how does he write this material? This screenplay should have been written by someone in their forties or fifties. His knowledge of life and what life can do to you and what it’s all about, is the understanding of a middle-aged man, not a twenty-year-old kid."

On the film, Bergen claims that Chris was the ultimate inspiration and motivation, "Chris wrote this part for me. I don’t know if he told you earlier...He asked if he could meet with me... I had no idea about the part and what the part was about, I just knew that I loved him and I loved his talent and I thought his talent was extraordinary. He gave me the script and I’ve always said I would do it and I never read the script. I just wanted to work with him because I felt he was such a talent." When it came down to her character's motivation, Bergen smiles "Everything is really Chris. His character is her connection to reality."

When I asked Bergen about the future of film and the changes from celluloid to digital she laughs, "I have no idea what you’re even talking about. I have no idea about digital or celluloid or any of that. All I know is that movie is a movie. Whatever happens, I don’t think the public cares. All the public wants is they want that product that means something to them and that they can connect to. I think that content is what matters and that you care about to content and it affects your life or it doesn’t. Whether it’s celluloid or digital or telephone or whatever it is, if it doesn’t touch you, it doesn’t matter what the media is."

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  red texta on 4/27/2012, 1:43 pm

After Elton has a nice positive review up, but it is full of spoilers:

"Struck By Lightning" Lets Chris Colfer Shine in Stormy Weather
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/27/2012, 2:07 pm

Thanx for the link. Its a great review but VERY spolery!
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/27/2012, 6:21 pm

I am not bothered by negative reviews. this is his first feature film, a script he wrote in his teens. He's never been to film school and is learning on his own and on the job. it's a tremendous achievement consider he can just get it made and made it to the Tribecca film festival at all. Remember not even very accomplished masters create blockbusters everytime. If his first work is praised through the roof I would actually be worried that he would have no place to go but down in the future. this is much more realistic - he's so young and there's so much opportunity for him to improve. he will definitely learn more and get better.
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  sahhar on 4/27/2012, 6:28 pm

and sometimes critics just don't know what they're talking about. At the end of the day it's the audience reaction and word of mouth that matters.

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  red texta on 4/30/2012, 12:43 am

Variety doesn't like it very much and picks out the screenplay as its weakness: Struck by Lightning

It's a real shame that, while most reviews are very positive, the two most negative come from two big industry publications.
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  sahhar on 4/30/2012, 12:47 am

red texta wrote:Variety doesn't like it very much and picks out the screenplay as its weakness: Struck by Lightning

It's a real shame that, while most reviews are very positive, the two most negative come from two big industry publications.

That really is sad. I think that Variety review was way too harsh. It seems like the critics don't seem to be getting the point of the film. Their reviews almost seem biased, like they have something against Chris. I hope they don't all turn out this way :( . This film needs support. It's so weird that the audience response from the film is the complete opposite from the reviewers blinkk .

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  red texta on 4/30/2012, 12:55 am

There's plenty of reviewers who do like the movie. I'd love it if some bigger name/publication came down in favour of it. The Variety and HR guys do sound a bit jaded and snobby (esp the HR guy who seemed offended that some Glee kid was anywhere near the goddess Janney) but then they do see a lot of films for a living and it's a bit hard to sound friendly and openminded when you're dissing something.
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  sahhar on 4/30/2012, 12:59 am

red texta wrote:There's plenty of reviewers who do like the movie. I'd love it if some bigger name/publication came down in favour of it. The Variety and HR guys do sound a bit jaded and snobby (esp the HR guy who seemed offended that some Glee kid was anywhere near the goddess Janney) but then they do see a lot of films for a living and it's a bit hard to sound friendly and openminded when you're dissing something.

They just seem ultra bitter and negative though. Then I go and read an audience review and it's the complete opposite. I really hope these reviewers don't stop the film from going to wide release :( .

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/30/2012, 1:10 am

this movie is very different from the usual stuff, espeically the usual big hollywood stuff. the first minute of hte movie throw you off - w/ carson's death, and the it moves very fast afterwards. most old fashioned movies has a slow build up, then climax. structurally this movie is so different if people are so used to the old ways, they would have something against it right from the beginning - psychologically.

another thing w/ the biggies not liking it much is because they do not get the message of hte movie. the message of hte movie is very different. it's almost somewhat politically incorrect in some aspects. the main character is kind of rude and not like a typical lead character who is always the good guy. if you are someone used to watch the big movies you will find this movie a bit too quirky and niche. when the director said if he didn't make this movie, it probably will not get made (by someone else) and I think he had a point. This movie does have its appeal to a segment of hte population, especially someone who has been in chris/carson's shoes. If you can't relate to his character, you may not find it appealing.
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  sahhar on 4/30/2012, 1:57 am

fantastica wrote:this movie is very different from the usual stuff, espeically the usual big hollywood stuff. the first minute of hte movie throw you off - w/ carson's death, and the it moves very fast afterwards. most old fashioned movies has a slow build up, then climax. structurally this movie is so different if people are so used to the old ways, they would have something against it right from the beginning - psychologically.

another thing w/ the biggies not liking it much is because they do not get the message of hte movie. the message of hte movie is very different. it's almost somewhat politically incorrect in some aspects. the main character is kind of rude and not like a typical lead character who is always the good guy. if you are someone used to watch the big movies you will find this movie a bit too quirky and niche. when the director said if he didn't make this movie, it probably will not get made (by someone else) and I think he had a point. This movie does have its appeal to a segment of hte population, especially someone who has been in chris/carson's shoes. If you can't relate to his character, you may not find it appealing.

Interesting, and I'm sure you're right, but my main concern is critics like these affecting the prospects of the film in a negative way because a film like this needs all the support and acclaim it can get to appeal to distributors and audience members who might never have heard of it and people who may actually like such films. If Chris was starring in some safe, big budget production I wouldn't have been half as worried as I am right now. I just want the best for him.

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  Heyerchick on 4/30/2012, 2:16 am

Much bigger films have had much worse reviews from these publications and still made it into cinemas, some even doing really well with audiences and box office. There have been several critics who either don't get, or don't like the film. Which is fine; that's their perogative. It's a niche story, and Chris breaks the rules of 'something must happen' and 'something must change' as well as having easy, adult-relatable tropes like a likeable lead character or a romance to root for. Brian Dannelly said in one of his Tribeca interviews that if he hadn't taken on the making of the film, then the film wouldn't have been made. He understood what Chris was trying to say with it, that it's the journey that's important, not the destination. But when you write a challenging film like SbL I think you go in knowing that it could be polarising to audiences. And critics.

In the case of this Variety review, the last sentence should make you laugh out loud. The Tribeca festival 'gatekeepers' voted SbL #7 in the Heineken Audience Award. I'd judge the rest of the review accordingly.

Smile


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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  fantastica on 4/30/2012, 2:18 am

sahhar wrote:Interesting, and I'm sure you're right, but my main concern is critics like these affecting the prospects of the film in a negative way because a film like this needs all the support and acclaim it can get to appeal to distributors and audience members who might never have heard of it and people who may actually like such films. If Chris was starring in some safe, big budget production I wouldn't have been half as worried as I am right now. I just want the best for him.
Yes I understand, but ultimately it's not up to us. we can't tell people how to write reviews. also I have seen some very well reviewed movies that I find veyr meh. it all comes down to how it affects you personally.

there's certain facts that are against him - his age - when he writes a very atypical story people can use it against him - that he is very young and probably doesn't know what he's doing. so they tend to see every thing out of textbook as a failure on his part to do it correctly. with that kind of mind set, it's hard to appreciate the film for what it is.


Last edited by fantastica on 4/30/2012, 2:32 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  sahhar on 4/30/2012, 2:28 am

fantastica wrote:
sahhar wrote:Interesting, and I'm sure you're right, but my main concern is critics like these affecting the prospects of the film in a negative way because a film like this needs all the support and acclaim it can get to appeal to distributors and audience members who might never have heard of it and people who may actually like such films. If Chris was starring in some safe, big budget production I wouldn't have been half as worried as I am right now. I just want the best for him.
Yes I understand, but ultimately it's not up to us. we can't tell people how to write reviews. also I have seen some very well reviewed movies that I find veyr meh. it all comes down to how it affects you personally.

there's certain facts that are against him - his age - when he writes a very atypical story people can use it against him - that he is very young and probably doesn't know what he's doing. so they tend to see every thing out of textbook as a failure on his part to do it correctly. with that kind of mind set, it's hard to appreciate the film for what it is.

I'm hoping that the audience who would like niche films like this and can relate to them don't get deterred by these reviews and just watch the film going by their own instinct.

Ooh, we're getting the distributors announced soon?, can't wait!.

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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

Post  Delight on 4/30/2012, 5:37 am

red texta wrote:Variety doesn't like it very much and picks out the screenplay as its weakness: Struck by Lightning

It's a real shame that, while most reviews are very positive, the two most negative come from two big industry publications.

Thanks for warning me about the review being negative. I'll avoid it like the plague then tonguue

I think those who are fans of Chris/Kurt would want to watch the movie, regardless of what the reviews are like (similar to Twihards, I suppose). I haven't watched the movie yet, and I'm pretty confident already that I'm going to like it. I trust the words of my peers (i.e. fellow Chris fans) more than that of some snobbish movie reviewer.

I just hope that there won't be too many negative reviews of SBL, as I really want to see this group of Chris fans who only got to know and admire Chris through SBL.
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Re: SBL First Reviews and Reactions

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