The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

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Big Ben
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#2 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:09 pm

Of all the Dahl adaptations this one always bothered me the most as a boy. Roeg's version is messed up as is but I cannot fathom how they're going to market this film in this day and age to children. The book itself as I recall is rather ghastly.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#3 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:11 pm

I find most of Dahl's work rather ghastly. Never really understood its appeal.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#4 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:17 pm

As someone who taught his short parody of Candide, "Pig", every year in my high school English class, I had a lot of good reasons but I mainly just always enjoyed my students' reactions to the ending. Dahl's cruelty isn't unique, but his works wear it well

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zedz
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#5 Post by zedz » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:58 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:17 pm
As someone who taught his short parody of Candide, "Pig", every year in my high school English class, I had a lot of good reasons but I mainly just always enjoyed my students' reactions to the ending. Dahl's cruelty isn't unique, but his works wear it well
That's such a wonderfully twisted story. I never knew you were an evangelical vegetarian.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#6 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:08 am

I wonder if this puts Zemeckis' project with Dwayne Johnson on the backburner, or he's going to do two films in a year (again)

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#7 Post by Never Cursed » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:11 am

SpoilerShow
If I recall correctly, the ending to this book is by far the most existentially disturbing of any of Dahl's novels. Can't wait to see how Zemeckis adapts those final moments (particularly the last things that the grandma tells the boy).

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Aunt Peg
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#8 Post by Aunt Peg » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:35 am

I really don't think Zemeckis has the filmmaking chops to better the Roeg version.

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Big Ben
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#9 Post by Big Ben » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:07 am

Never Cursed wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:11 am
SpoilerShow
If I recall correctly, the ending to this book is by far the most existentially disturbing of any of Dahl's novels. Can't wait to see how Zemeckis adapts those final moments (particularly the last things that the grandma tells the boy).
You're correct. Rereading the synopsis I'm impressed at the gall Dahl had to do something that in children's book. He of course, hated Roeg's film version which he called "..utterly appalling".

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#10 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:59 am

Never Cursed wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:11 am
SpoilerShow
If I recall correctly, the ending to this book is by far the most existentially disturbing of any of Dahl's novels. Can't wait to see how Zemeckis adapts those final moments (particularly the last things that the grandma tells the boy).
SpoilerShow
"Never fear my boy - with the magic of CG, we can synthesize you into something better than flesh and blood, and you will live forever as a motion capture fabrication!"

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domino harvey
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#11 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:22 am

This will likely not be a faithful adaptation, since early word is the boy and his grandmother will be black and the setting Alabama. Zemeckis had the foresight to co-write this with Kenya Barris, creator of black-ish, but I'm sure the outraged thinkpieces are already half written

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domino harvey
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#12 Post by domino harvey » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:19 pm

Image

Coming direct to HBOMax this month

EDIT Trailer

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Roscoe
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#13 Post by Roscoe » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:36 pm

Nah. Zemeckis and Del Toro make this one to avoid.

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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#14 Post by cdnchris » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:54 pm

I actually don't hate Zemeckis' stuff (I mean, I like a lot of it) so I'll give it a go. I like the idea of Hathaway in the Huston role at least.

Of course, I have yet to sit and watch the trailer, so that could change...

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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#15 Post by beamish14 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:09 pm

The only thing about this film's existen that excited me was the prospect of WB releasing Nic Roeg's brilliant adaptation with its
original ending, and that doesn't seem to be happening

To hell with his (and pretty much everything Zemeckis has made post-Death Becomes Her).

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Swift
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#16 Post by Swift » Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:50 pm

I was going to complain that the trailer gives away one of the scariest moments of the original film (the witches revealing their true look) but it turns out the 1990 trailer gave away much more!

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Brian C
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The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#17 Post by Brian C » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:10 pm

Zemeckis loves giving away spoilers in trailers. IIRC, I think he’s actually on record as saying that he thinks it’s good marketing. The trailer for CAST AWAY actually showed Hanks reuniting with Helen Hunt!

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Persona
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#18 Post by Persona » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:24 pm

Trailer for this is truly awful.

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Ribs
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#19 Post by Ribs » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:08 pm

Sad to say I agree - I’ve liked Zemeckis a lot since his return to live action and was looking forward to this but this definitely looks like a case where the movie just hasn’t ended up the way they wanted it and that’s why it got this deal instead of sitting on the shelf any longer.

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Big Ben
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#20 Post by Big Ben » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:22 am

Who thought the shot of the boy transforming looked good? Jesus Christ.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#21 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:52 am

Brian C wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:10 pm
Zemeckis loves giving away spoilers in trailers. IIRC, I think he’s actually on record as saying that he thinks it’s good marketing. The trailer for CAST AWAY actually showed Hanks reuniting with Helen Hunt!
When Nick Searcy's character tells Hanks that they had a funeral to be asked "what did you put in the coffin?" was a moment that stuck out in tv spots, so Zemeckis might have had the right idea for that movie at least.

Nasir007
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#22 Post by Nasir007 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:07 pm

I haven't read the novel or seen the Roeg film. So I was going into this fresh.

This was too long at 1 hr 45 mins. I was kinda surprised at the story being so thin. I mean I know it is a children's book but it has essentially 2 major incidents. It should have been 80 mins or so. Were it an animated movie, it would have been 80 mins tops.

And for such a ridiculously thin story, with caricatures, they spend so much time setting stuff up and setting up the back story and do an entire frame story and so much exposition. I was like damn, this is like a kids film with good and bad carboard cutouts, just get on with the story. Or maybe they should have added more angles to the story to merit the length.

Among the positives Hathaway is quite good. I don't always like her but she gives an appropriately unhinged performance. Her mouth is clearly CGI but effective.

It's a bit boring overall but is better once the kids turn into mouses. (Not a spoiler shown in the trailer and this is a slim children's book.)

A strength is the score by Silvestri, still one of the reliable composers in Hollywood to do a good job.

Overall, strictly okay. Can't imagine ever watching this again - save for memes and clips of Hathaway which are sure to be plentiful and live on beyond the life of this film.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#23 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:43 am

I'm opposite of you, I was fully with this until the kids get turned into mice, at which point it mostly becomes a very broad, goofy kids movie, which Zemeckis is never particularly good at (Polar Express is his worst outright). Otherwise, I agree that it's perfectly okay on the whole, maybe Zemeckis's most inconsequential movie to date (say what you will about Marwen, nobody's brushing it off with "that was fine").

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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#24 Post by davoarid » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:51 pm

I guess this was Zemeckis proving he can make a late-period Tim Burton movie? Oh blech was this not for me. Somehow even more plastic than the movies that were literally all CGI.

Orlac
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Re: The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, 2020)

#25 Post by Orlac » Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:28 am

The original film is a fond favourite of mine, but dear God, that ending is ghastly! Ironically, the film has additional scenes of child endangerment and gore not in the book, so why they added those but completely messed the ending is beyond me.

The new Grand High Witch in the remake reminds me of Baraka in Mortal Kombat!

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