The Great Gatsby — 3D

May 13, 2013

The Short Review:  It’s like the hood ornament on the Duesenberg is coming RIGHT AT YOU!

Longer Review:  Confession:  I haven’t read the book.  Mostly because it’s one of those books that everybody already knows what it’s about — the green light, Jazz Age excess, yadda yadda.  But I want to read it and I’ll do it soon, if nothing else than to see how much text the movie lifted for that incessant, droning, never-ending voiceover in the third act.

Another confession:  I mostly went for the clothes and music, because I am the person who wore a beaded flapper dress to the Hugo Awards at Worldcon in Reno.  These were great.  I got some Charleston.  That’s all I really wanted out of the movie.

Really, I enjoyed the movie immensely through the first two acts.  It was manic, energetic, full of beautiful scenery and beautiful people, with a driving pace that cohered well.  It even felt relevant, in these days of 1% v. 99% and discussions of superficiality and nihilism.  Now, if the move had actually had something to say about superficiality and nihilism, it would have been golden.  But then we got to the third act.

Holy cow did this movie fall apart in the third act.  Third acts are supposed to be culminations.  They’re supposed to be frenetic.  They’re supposed to be when all the pieces that have been put into play come together and the inevitable happens.  Movies, even quiet and thoughtful ones, even ones about people destroying themselves through bad decisions, are supposed to get more interesting in the third act.  This one, for all its manic energy and artfulness up to that point, screeched to a dead stop.  I swear to God, the argument in the Plaza went on for twenty minutes, and all any of us really wanted at that point was for someone to use that damned ice pick on somebody else.   It just went on, and on, and on, and on…we get Gatbsy’s back story like three different times, and every argument gets rehashed like five times, and we get to see the [spoiler] from like three different camera angles, at three different times.

Holy crap somebody take an ax to this thing!

We also decided that The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick, two Great American Novels, are actually the same story — the passionate, all-consuming search for an elusive, destructive creature.  So I drew a picture of a sperm whale wearing a flapper dress.


12 Responses to “The Great Gatsby — 3D”

  1. ykmw Says:

    Haha, love the whale! Gatsby isn’t out here yet but I wasn’t sure if I’d bother with it. Think I might just for the style, it looks pretty if nothing else.

    Can we expect a Star Trek: Into Darkness review from you? 🙂 I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on films, and that one is a new favourite of mine.

  2. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Did they happen to preview this….

  3. Carrie V. Says:

    Yes! That trailer is the scariest thing I’ve seen in a long time, I’m so there.

    And yes, planning on catching Star Trek this weekend.

  4. ykmw Says:

    Yay! Looking forward to that one ^_^

  5. LupLun Says:

    Well, the thing about Gatsby’s backstory is that it’s shrouded in mystery; a web of lies and deceptions that fools everyone, including himself, in to believing he’s something that he’s not. Ironically, a self-made man.

    But yeah, I’m really surprised you’ve never read the book. I thought it was required reading in most high school curricula?

  6. Carrie V. Says:

    Somehow, I managed to avoid it. I’m not sure how. Probably something to do with moving around so much as a kid — I just kept missing it.

    I *loved* the mystery in the first act. They did such a great job establishing the “mysterious” Gatsby. It was pretty clear that nothing was as it seemed, but in the end, to lay it all out so clearly and repeatedly as they did kind of ruined the tension they’d set up. I’m looking forward to seeing how the book handled it.

  7. Linda T Says:

    See, that’s why I didn’t like the book (at least to my recollection – it’s been a loooong time since i read it). You have all this build up and then in the end I was left going, “really? *That’s* how it ends?”. Sounds like they stayed pretty true to the book.

  8. Tim Schmidt Says:

    Thanks for your review. I always enjoy them.
    The trailers had me seriously considering seeing it because of its portrayal of the roaring 20s. Now, I think I can safely miss it. I haven’t read the book either. I don’t think they offer such things at Catholic schools.
    I’m also looking forward to your review of the new Star Trek. I didn’t much care for the 1st one and am on the fence as to whether to see the 2nd.


  9. I honestly have no intention to see this movie, but I do hope it marks a major step up in Carey Mulligan’s career.

  10. smsand Says:

    Meh. I still consider The Great Gatsby to be the second-worst book I ever read in my life. I put it down by chapter 3. The book report I wrote for class was…unpleasant.

  11. Rebecca T. Says:

    A few months ago I tried to read the book. I had to put it down within 15 pages. I had a very hard time with the language and figuring out what was going on in a scene. I’m not sure if I want to see the movie. It is a book I wish I had read since so many people call it a masterpiece, but I couldn’t get through it.

  12. carriev Says:

    I actually loved Moby Dick, and I have a pretty high tolerance for “classics” (English major, yo…). We’ll see how I do with it.

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