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Charlie St. Cloud - Printable Version

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RE: Charlie St. Cloud - d. b. wilyumz - 01-14-2012 10:18 AM

(01-13-2012 06:50 PM)Fruitfly Wrote:  My favorite scene is when he punched the dude in the bar. It was such an alpha male moment for him, and that punch was so fast! It made me all soft and gushy on the inside, alot more than the icky, icky graveyard scene.

That's the scene I hate. First, it's totally gratuitous violence. But more importantly, it was a sucker punch without challenge or warning, and he left the scene immediately. Cowardly. What the movie doesn't show, if this were real life, is his arrest for assault and the subsequent civil suite; the black guy's dental insurance wouldn't have paid for the damage, Charlie would have.
(01-13-2012 06:50 PM)Fruitfly Wrote:  But the appearance of his bro begs the question as to what extent all of this is produced by and in his imagination, as part of post-traumatic stress disorder. Did some research on PTSD to write the Jake / Mikey chapter, and discovered "seeing" the dead person is not out of the question. What brings into question whether Jake's Mikey dream is just a dream or actual contact with the dead is Jake's visionary status, while in the movie the ambiguity is achieved by the appearance of the brother - leaving the audience to wonder whether they are seeing the ghost through Charlie's eyes, or whether it is objectively there (since no one else sees it, you really begin to wonder.)

There's no evidence to suggest Charlie is a visionary - until Tess, and that's when the plot starts to lose cohesion.

I know the director wanted to keep it a mystery (is Charlie nuts, or not?) but it's a failed concept. It all has to be real, otherwise he couldn't have rescued Tess as the result of her apparition (and the clue provided by little bother as to her whereabouts).


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - mirandagirl - 01-14-2012 01:31 PM

(01-14-2012 10:18 AM)d. b. wilyumz Wrote:  
(01-13-2012 06:50 PM)Fruitfly Wrote:  My favorite scene is when he punched the dude in the bar. It was such an alpha male moment for him, and that punch was so fast! It made me all soft and gushy on the inside, alot more than the icky, icky graveyard scene.

That's the scene I hate. First, it's totally gratuitous violence. But more importantly, it was a sucker punch without challenge or warning, and he left the scene immediately. Cowardly. What the movie doesn't show, if this were real life, is his arrest for assault and the subsequent civil suite; the black guy's dental insurance wouldn't have paid for the damage, Charlie would have.
(01-13-2012 06:50 PM)Fruitfly Wrote:  But the appearance of his bro begs the question as to what extent all of this is produced by and in his imagination, as part of post-traumatic stress disorder. Did some research on PTSD to write the Jake / Mikey chapter, and discovered "seeing" the dead person is not out of the question. What brings into question whether Jake's Mikey dream is just a dream or actual contact with the dead is Jake's visionary status, while in the movie the ambiguity is achieved by the appearance of the brother - leaving the audience to wonder whether they are seeing the ghost through Charlie's eyes, or whether it is objectively there (since no one else sees it, you really begin to wonder.)

There's no evidence to suggest Charlie is a visionary - until Tess, and that's when the plot starts to lose cohesion.

I know the director wanted to keep it a mystery (is Charlie nuts, or not?) but it's a failed concept. It all has to be real, otherwise he couldn't have rescued Tess as the result of her apparition (and the clue provided by little bother as to her whereabouts).

Did you have a favorite scene in the movie?


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - Zacefronitis - 01-15-2012 03:56 AM

(01-13-2012 06:50 PM)Fruitfly Wrote:  My favorite scene is when he punched the dude in the bar. It was such an alpha male moment for him, and that punch was so fast! It made me all soft and gushy on the inside, alot more than the icky, icky graveyard scene.

(01-14-2012 10:18 AM)d. b. wilyumz Wrote:  That's the scene I hate. First, it's totally gratuitous violence. But more importantly, it was a sucker punch without challenge or warning, and he left the scene immediately. Cowardly. What the movie doesn't show, if this were real life, is his arrest for assault and the subsequent civil suite; the black guy's dental insurance wouldn't have paid for the damage, Charlie would have.

I think that goes for almost every movie out there- gratuitous violence with no consequences lol, especially action movies.

At least this scene came from the book; which makes it more relevent to this movie.

Re: Charlie's 'madness', everyone I spoke to found the boat in the shed confusing. Because the movie didn't show Charlie talking to himself to any great extent or people's negative responses to that; I never got a real sense that people thought he was crazy. The audience- and his friend- accepted he talked to his brother/dead people.

It was only when the boat was back in the shed that it made you think WTH because his friend had seen him speaking to a spirit thereby making his affliction real.

If you went on the basis everything he did with a dead person was imagined then he wouldn't need to leave the house! Well that's how I saw it anyway Smile

P.S Fruitfly, I agree, that scene showed that Charlie has anger/manliness and is not just the soft, gentle weirdo.


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - Fruitfly - 01-15-2012 11:02 AM

(01-14-2012 10:18 AM)d. b. wilyumz Wrote:  That's the scene I hate. First, it's totally gratuitous violence. But more importantly, it was a sucker punch without challenge or warning, and he left the scene immediately. Cowardly. What the movie doesn't show, if this were real life, is his arrest for assault and the subsequent civil suite; the black guy's dental insurance wouldn't have paid for the damage, Charlie would have.

"It was agreed, that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith." - Samuel Coleridge.

Charlie is a romantic character - I would go so far as to call him Byronic except for a spiritual and compassionate proclivity that precludes him from the title. The semblance of truth is the fact that he is passionate and, brought to the extremes of his mental fortitude, subject to losing control of himself. This doesn't make him bad or cowardly (you wouldn't like Jake because he is subject to the same loss of control). It makes him sympathetic, which allows the audience to empathize with him.

>If you went on the basis everything he did with a dead person was imagined then he wouldn't need to leave the house! Well that's how I saw it anyway Smile

That's true.


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - d. b. wilyumz - 01-15-2012 11:07 AM

(01-14-2012 01:31 PM)mirandagirl Wrote:  Did you have a favorite scene in the movie?

I'm so annoyed by the general mish-mash they made of this movie that I can't call any particular scene my "favorite." Or, to put it another way, my favorite scene wasn't in the movie. They needed to add 90 seconds establishing the split between Charlie and his mom, showing how Charlie was trapped and couldn't move on. The Ray Liotta character died; why didn't he come back and set Charlie straight about what was going on? Wasted opportunities, wasted actors.
(01-15-2012 03:56 AM)Zacefronitis Wrote:  Re: Charlie's 'madness', everyone I spoke to found the boat in the shed confusing. Because the movie didn't show Charlie talking to himself to any great extent or people's negative responses to that; I never got a real sense that people thought he was crazy.

Yes, another feeble element. Making a movie, like writing a novel or any other form of art, is about making choices. I don't think the producer or director ever made up their minds about what was important and what wasn't. What was all that about Charlie being from the wrong side of the tracks? Didn't add anything to the story. Why even raise the question of whether seeing dead people was imaginary? Seeing dead people was what drove Charlie's story forward; questioning the reality of his experience was just a distraction and wasn't well executed anyway.


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - mirandagirl - 01-15-2012 01:39 PM

Well I'm in the demographic that is more inclined to like dramas/romantic dramas, so that's probably why it's easier for me to have a favorite scene in the movie and look past the faults in it.


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - Fruitfly - 01-15-2012 03:34 PM

(01-15-2012 11:07 AM)d. b. wilyumz Wrote:  
(01-14-2012 01:31 PM)mirandagirl Wrote:  Did you have a favorite scene in the movie?

I'm so annoyed by the general mish-mash they made of this movie that I can't call any particular scene my "favorite." Or, to put it another way, my favorite scene wasn't in the movie. They needed to add 90 seconds establishing the split between Charlie and his mom, showing how Charlie was trapped and couldn't move on. The Ray Liotta character died; why didn't he come back and set Charlie straight about what was going on? Wasted opportunities, wasted actors.
(01-15-2012 03:56 AM)Zacefronitis Wrote:  Re: Charlie's 'madness', everyone I spoke to found the boat in the shed confusing. Because the movie didn't show Charlie talking to himself to any great extent or people's negative responses to that; I never got a real sense that people thought he was crazy.

Yes, another feeble element. Making a movie, like writing a novel or any other form of art, is about making choices. I don't think the producer or director ever made up their minds about what was important and what wasn't. What was all that about Charlie being from the wrong side of the tracks? Didn't add anything to the story. Why even raise the question of whether seeing dead people was imaginary? Seeing dead people was what drove Charlie's story forward; questioning the reality of his experience was just a distraction and wasn't well executed anyway.

A very good analysis. In a book you can play with notions of ambiguity because internal dialogue or introspective reflection is made explicit to the reader, and he or she can make up their minds as to what they want to believe about a character. In a film, the audience isn't privy to the character's interiority, only their behavior and their words, so what they say and do has to be consistent with a single interpretation OR with two possibilities in order to maintain plausibility.

CSC's plot was not consistent with both possibilities at all times, and the critics noticed it.

A similar problem occurred in Fight Club, which was made evident when the security guards are watching the narrator being beaten up by an invisible Tyler. We are made to believe that Tyler is an alter-ego of the narrator, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so for the narrator to be beaten up requires him to be outside of himself (and invisible.) That didn't work for me.

And Fight Club (a modern day Hegelian Master-Slave Dialectic) is one of my favorite movies.

I love the character of Charlie, however, because he is a Romantic Hero in the 18th century sense of the word. That's why to date I think Zac's best personal work was in a director's most flawed piece.


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - Firefly - 01-15-2012 05:07 PM

lol my favorite scene was the awkward supper conversation lol


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - d. b. wilyumz - 01-16-2012 10:33 AM

(01-15-2012 03:34 PM)Fruitfly Wrote:  A very good analysis. In a book you can play with notions of ambiguity because internal dialogue or introspective reflection is made explicit to the reader, and he or she can make up their minds as to what they want to believe about a character. In a film, the audience isn't privy to the character's interiority, only their behavior and their words, so what they say and do has to be consistent with a single interpretation OR with two possibilities in order to maintain plausibility.

CSC's plot was not consistent with both possibilities at all times, and the critics noticed it.

A similar problem occurred in Fight Club, which was made evident when the security guards are watching the narrator being beaten up by an invisible Tyler. We are made to believe that Tyler is an alter-ego of the narrator, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so for the narrator to be beaten up requires him to be outside of himself (and invisible.) That didn't work for me.

And Fight Club (a modern day Hegelian Master-Slave Dialectic) is one of my favorite movies.

I love the character of Charlie, however, because he is a Romantic Hero in the 18th century sense of the word. That's why to date I think Zac's best personal work was in a director's most flawed piece.

And the same to you.

I think the greatest weakness in the design of CStC is that Charlie has no one to talk to, or talk to him, about his experience. That's why a lot of people didn't understand how Tess could be an apparition while she was still alive. There was no one to explain that there are two kinds of apparitions, apparitions of the dead and "crisis" apparitions projected by the living under great stress.

As for "a modern day Hegelian Master-Slave Dialectic," I'll go see one of those any day.


RE: Charlie St. Cloud - mirandagirl - 01-16-2012 05:41 PM

As faulty as the story was, it still showed people Zac can act. That's pretty much all I want (box office success is nice, but you win some, you lose some). I think the main thing is showing that Zac can act outside of HSM which he has with this and M&OW in order for him to be able to get to do bigger and better projects and roles.