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The Film "Us" Was Horrible


Troy

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Us Movie Poster@Cynique  after reading about your experience missing the movie Us. You don't know how lucky you were.  I saw that movie this afternoon and is was the sorriest film I can recall seeing on the little or big screen. 

 

We went to see it last night, and the 9 p.m. show was sold out -- in suburban Tampa no less!  We went this afternoon instead.  It was simply boring.  I almost walked out.  The only thing that stopped me was the belief that the film could not possibly be so bad to the end. surely  something was going to happen.  The reveal was obvious, totally underwhelming, and poorly executed.

 

Lupito's fine acting could not make up for an ridiculously implausible story.  The movie was so bad it is not even worth describing other than to say it wouldn't even be worth watching for free. 

 

I did not read a review before seeing this film.  I'd only seen the trailer once. I went solely on the strength of Jordan Peel's last film, Get Out, which I enjoyed.

 

I just read RT's reviews 97% of the reviewers liked it while 69% of public give it 3.5 stars or better.  I gave it one star mainly because it was a professionally made film.

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@richardmurray sorry I missed your question.  I would not change a thing in the film.  I would not have made it.

 

The same goes for the new film Nope.  I paid 5 bucks to stream it from home and it too was a disappointing film.  It was marginally better than Us, in my opinion, largely because of the skilled actors.   

 

I really liked Get Out, so I'm not hating on Jordan -- he is very talented and I enjoy his comedy.  The last two films though were pretty disappointing to me.  Am i the only one who feels this way?

 

 

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@Troy hmmm as a writer I am pondering. By what you said, you dislike US to the point where its story can not be changed to improve it. You would not had made it. So if you are a producer and the film is pitched to you, you say no. May I know why, you in a producer role say no to the film's pitch or premise? As a writer I think it matters to hear this.

 

Hmmmm, you offer a huge question. Is ease of comprehension the biggest factor in ranking an artwork, with the higher ease equaling a more positive rank ?

Hmmm, I think an answer exist , but it is slightly complex. Every artist in fiscal capitalism has a creative side plus a commercial side. Each artwork from an artist thus can be ranked as a creative or commercial work. 

The creative side of an artwork's rank should not move positively or negatively based on ease of comprehension? why? A reader/listener/viewer comprehending a work has nothing to do with its creativity. The artist saw it. The artist is human. But as each human is individual, no individual must comprehend what another comprehends. Creativity rank should move based on techniques used to create,elements displayed,quantity of thoughts generated by viewers/readers/listeners. Sequentially, US making people think more is a more positive rank for the creative rank.

The commercial side of an artwork's rank should move negatively based on growing ease of comprehension? why? the idea of selling an artwork is for the viewer/reader/listener to comprehend it in whole or part and thus be willing to buy it. If it is harder to comprehend, it is less potent to buy. Thus why, special effects laden superhero films or the musicals of the film industry gone by or the martial arts craze films in and after BRuce Lee or the slasher film craze all have very comprehensible storytellings and in parallel, alot more sales. 

Look at the innocents of 1961, a financial failure. At the end of the movie, you don't know if the teacher is a murderess, if a soul has haunted and killed, you don't even know the outcome of the story. It uses shadow/light/contrast lovely. Creatively it uses many techniques, makes you think a lot, but is also hard to comprehend. But what you may comprehend can be devastating, far more horrible. It is a little like the strangers, which was successful financially but, is similarly hard to comprehend. The genius is, you don't know why the people came in. The assumption is , they are merely crazy slashers. But that is an assumption. The end of film shows a group of people who are "civilized". Thus why the couple went through this, a couple who are lower rich, is a puzzle, that the movie doesn't reveal. it makes you think. 

In parallel psycho made in 1960 reveals all at the end. We know norman is a murderer, we know his mind is deranged. we know he has killed. The horror isn't in the unknown, it is in the idea. It is like silence of the lambs. Lector is frightening not because of anything unknown to the audience, but because he is presented to be known. 

 

 

@Delano ahh I see. I comprehended it. It reminded me of two things in the past. One Peele mentioned. He said he was influenced by twilight zone. and I caught instantly the similarity in the Twilight zone episode, Mirror Image. With the peele twist that in the film we are witnessing the two switched between worlds interact to each other in a complex plot. To the larger plot it made me think of the man who fell from earth. In the man who fell from earth, the "alien" was held up in a government installation but eventually walks out as the installation is forgotten or gets lost in bureaucracy and secrets. 

 

The story is simple: an unknown entity of power, maybe the usa government, maybe a financially wealthy organization, figured out how to make copies of people, and were breeding them in a complex underground network. By the look of the monitors, the project was setup in the 1950s 1960s . But by the 1980s, it is running on autopilot. No one is there at the monitoring rooms or installations except these copies. In the 1980s, a copy gets an inspiration or ability to act different, as a simple anomaly, maybe it was the storm, who knows. Her original meets her and the copy switches with the original, tying the original to a bed and taking the place in the world above. Now the original is trapped in the subterranean system to feel the life of the copy who is free in the world above. Time passes and the original has figured out how to manipulate the copies and free herself. But she has the education of the child she was when entered. While the copy living above, is a lower rich housewife with children who attended school and ballet and lived a life free with opportunity. The copies go on a killing spree and make the hands across america successfully, but their leader, the original,  and her copy husband and kids are killed by her copy and her original husband and kids. I love the story from a horror perspective in my view cause all to often, people seem to fear little things. For example, a creature exists. But that to me isn't as dreadful as horrifying as a country of over 300 million original people killed by their copies, completing a fanciful notion <itself a copy of the usa reality>, made by their government, save for the original husband and original children of a copy that alone escaped years ago by an act of self empowerment. In the jason films, the answer is simple, don't go to that camp. In the freddy films, don't live in that town. In the halloween films, don't get in a relationship with jamie lee curtis :) .  But in US, most folk are dead. Its a murder spree. That is more horrible to me as a writing concept. 

 

 

 

@Delano yes, exactly, judge its merits to buy. Commercially I concur to your point. 

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I liked "Get Out".  Still haven't watched "Us" or "Nope" yet. 

 

I've heard that Jordan Peele has been influenced by Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling.   

 

From that perspective, his films will be an acquired taste for most casual viewers.😎

 

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@Delano yes, In my view peele was making a statement about labor. The black DOS community in the usa as a group tends to be ashamed it was enslaved, that it isn't like all others except the native american in coming to the usa on its own. And cotton is a symbol of that. 

Your memory was correct. Peele is making another allusion to slave times and historical fact. A black woman , name I forget , wrote a book, book title I forget, about passing and talked about a black couple who earned freedom and had a child that they could pass. And so with their land, they found whites and set it up so that they are the house help, even though the truth is, they were the original landowners and they are blood related to one of the owner of the land, their son, whom everyone thinks is white. 

 

@ProfD yes:) he is by both. And your correct, casual viewers are raised on less thoughtful work. 

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@Delanowell, financially it isn't. Peele himself said as long as the films cover their expense he will keep doing it. so, financially he has made three great films. Now, artistically, I place Get Out over US or Nope but I think all three are successful artistically speaking, they each present a message and have a peele style. 

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When I said am albatross. I mean it so good that everything afterwards pales in comparison. Prince had that with Purple Rain and Michael Jackson had that with Thriller. Although I feel 1999 was a better album as was Off the Wall.

If he just covers expenses he will have a harder time making films. Unless he has a commercial success.

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LOL....

I wouldn't say the film Us was "horrible"......I've seen worse films.
However I've certainly seen better.

It was weird and more nightmarish....which actually makes for a pretty good horror film.

Unlike "Get Out".......the actual plot of "Us" wasn't fully explained so it didn't make a lot of sense to the viewers.
Richardmurray did a better job of explaining the plot and the possible motives behind it that even the film maker, which left too much guessing up to the viewer to figure out why people have doubles living underground in undisclosed locations.

He's no Spike Lee, but Jordan Peele is still a great film maker in my opinion.
He just needs to slow down and take more time to "perfect" his work instead of feeling the need to push out a new movie every year.

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of the movies The Woman King and the latest Black Panther film which one did you prefer and how would to rate the artistic merit of either film relative to the last two Peele films?

 

ok @Troy

Well, 

US is a Noir science fiction film.

Nope is a science fiction mystery.

Black Panther is a blaxploitation modern superhero film.

The Woman King is one historical fiction. 

 

So, which do I prefer. Like with athletes that play different positions < Shaq was a center. Jordan was a shooting guard. Karl Malone was a power forward > I don't like to make preference on films in different genres. For example Che or The Dark Knight came out in 2008, I like both but they are different films.  I would prefer Che over JFK or Nixon. I prefer Dark Knight over Batman and Robin or one of the post Lou Gossett Punisher. 

As for artistic merit... The Woman King made many Black people reassess their comprehension or knowledge or relationship to our enslavement to Whites , across the world. Many men, including Black men, were challenged in their views of Black women in the past and Black women today. Black Panther challenged many Black men in their ideas of ownership. As many Black men felt insult that the Black Panther role didn't get recast. In terms of a historical fiction, the woman king is the prime example of women in stunt work. The training, the fight scenes, was unlike any movie before, in the art world. The plot dealt with the complexity of west african communities during the cusp of the european imperial ownership over the continent. It is historical fiction, but it made thoughtful plot choices. Black Panther Wakanda Forever, like the original presented places that are not mostly white european in look or culture, in the superhero world. Like the outlaw josey whales or thunderheart or skinwalkers or apocalypto, Wakanda Forever addresses the ugly elephant in the room of the american continent. That all of these countries are in spite of the indigenous people who used to live on them. So... artistically both offer various thoughtful or craftful advances. I will say The Woman King is more artful.  

In comparison, US or Nope are of a smaller scale. Now in  immediate defense, US or Nope are smaller budget films. And some things require money. Presentations of Black culture or Indigenous culture , like any culture, ala Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for white asians, or Gladiator for White European culture, require money. 

But, US or Nope offer audiences something Black Panther or The Woman King don't. Critique to intimate modernity. I love Black History and the worlds Black people can find in Fantasy. But, I do think the modern audience needs its self to see itself, and US or Nope do that. Throughout modern humanity, governments do many things, whose problems are rarely made public until the damage is unrecoverable. Eugenics programs, Syphilis experiments or  the like are rampant in history. Who knows the true damage? We all know Hollywood has many thespians who died of cancer doing movies out west. If the FBI/CiA or three letter people are known to have infiltrated every organization in humanity then what does that mean concerning the production choices of hollywood? US is about that. It is more vague than The Woman King or Black PAnther Wakanda Forever, because what common person knows the truth of such actions. But it is generates thought if individuals, especially in the USA are willing to see what they may be afraid to see.  As for Nope, I recall weeks ago this year, two thousand and twenty two by the christian calendar, people in media talking about UFO's. Nope is about media, that which is truly unique- the cloud, those who want to be famous- keke palmer, those who are trying to be successful with their character-kaluuya, the raised and lost in media - steven yeun's character <who reflects so many child stars in sports/movies/music>,the true artists whose stubbornness leads to their doom - wincott <hopefully not me one day:) > . In the USA today media is arguably out of control and Nope is a lens to all the players in it. Peele's three works: Get Out/US/Nope are in the spirit of fellow film makers in the past like Ousmane Sembene or Ingmar Bergmane or Hitchcock who used small cast, small sets, less special effects. And had stories with sharp themes. Peele is not necessarily new in said way but he is refreshing. As he isn't doing the black situational comedy/romantic comedy stuff like a tyler perry or similar. 

So I can argue Get Out/US/Nope are artistically more specific than Wakanda Forever or The Woman King and utilize a filmmaking style that tends to yield films that stand the test of time. Wakanda Forever or The Woman King make grand statements, and in media generated alot of questions within the black community or in the indigenous american community <like the role of indigenous people in latin american media, which to be blunt is atrocious> .  The difference between Get Out as compared to US or Nope is the criminal. In US the criminal is the government that at the end is untouched. In Nope the criminal is the media culture. In Get Out, the criminal is the truth of White Europeans who deem themselves allies of Black people or all humanity who in truth have nefarious purpose.  That artistic message is so sharp it is easier for all audiences to dissect than US or Nope. 

 

Did I answer Troy? 

 

@Delano 

we will see. Many people think enter the dragon is the best Bruce Lee film but I argue, Way of the Dragon or The big Boss is greater. I argue that the influence of an artwork to an individual transcends the quantity who like one particular work. 

 

@Pioneer1 

hmmm  She's Gotta have it/school daze/do the right thing are spike lee's first three directed films

Get Out/US/Nope are peele's first three directed films. 

I argue I enjoyed Peele's first three over spike lee's  first three. 

what say you? 

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You did ask me but here is my assessment of Peele’s first three versus Lee’s first three Get Out was the the best of all 6 films. Nope and Us were the worst.
 

But the comparison between Spike’s first film and Peele’s is unfair. Lee’s budget  was a small fraction of Peele’s and Peele had the  benefit of decades more of filmmaking to learn from than Lee. Given their respective environment I’d say Lee is (was) a better filmmaker.

 

@richardmurray I appreciate the very detailed and thoughtful response, but i was looking for something a bit different. I probably posed the question wrong. 
 

I’m my opinion The Woman King was superior to the the latest installment of Black Panther. Both were superior to Nope and Us.  This considers all factors genre, artistic value, story, acting, etc for my movie dollar.

 

How would you rank the films for your entertainment experience?
 

 

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@Troy

Fair enough, You asked about entertainment.  I will define entertainment as enjoyment in watching alone. Not artistic merit or thoughtfulness.  

 

From the three peele's to three lee's I have in terms of enjoyed watching

Get Out

School Daze

Nope 

US

She's gotta have it

do the right thing

 

In terms of woman king+black panther with the three peele films.

Get Out

Black Panther

Nope

US

The Woman King

 

I admit, I love historical films when done well, but I don't find depictions of black people enslaved entertaining. So the woman king has lovely storytelling- a rape survivor who refinds her daughter and becomes a leader/art craft- set/action sequences- kick ass. But I will always choose something of a different tone than the woman king, if the question is pure entertainment. Do the right thing is similar. I am not entertained by urban black dramas , especially about NYC, usually. 

 

I have one point of contention or miscomprehension. You say, Peele had decades of filmmaking to learn from and Lee didn't. What do you mean? Black directors have been making films since oscar micheaux and lee went to film school so...  I concur that the financial scale of Peele's first three are greater by a wide margin. But, in terms of directing experience,.. I see them as equal in their first three. They have different desires. And yes,  Peele is fortunate he had the money to make the movies he wanted. Peele at the moment clearly isn't interested in directing a drama absent fantasy/science fiction/horror elements. He helped produce blackklansman and monkeyspaw produced honk for jesus. so that proves he is aware of such films but isn't interested in directing them. 

 

One point, PEele's child is named Beaumont and I wonder if that is not from CHarles Beaumont , a white writer, part of the tiwlight zone crew, he died early. but his stories were some of the best.

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Ernest Dickerson's camera work for Spike Lee was amazing. The scene in Mo Better Blues had the camera rotating around the bed, was an innovation.

 

 

For me the biggest difference is that Jordan Peele's films are more nuanced. Whereas with Spike Lee it's more in your face. Plus the settings for Peele tend to be more suburban even rural.

 

I think the best Lee movie was Inside Man. My favourite was She's Gotta Have it. 

 

I went to the premiere of Summer of Sam. 

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richardmurray

 


hmmm  She's Gotta have it/school daze/do the right thing are spike lee's first three directed films

Get Out/US/Nope are peele's first three directed films. 

I argue I enjoyed Peele's first three over spike lee's  first three. 

what say you?

 

 

No way.
Do The Right Thing ALONE blows away anything Jordan has done thus far, if we're talking purely entertainment purposes.
Public Enemy blasting with Rosie Perez pumping it up at the beginning of the film set a new era in cinema production.

 

School Daze was a little more calm....tame...but still with a very powerful message.

Because of the Black Power Conspiratorial side of me....I'll go ahead and give "Get Out" a #2 spot right behind Do The Right Thing.  But School Daze was the first film to give us a peak into  HBCU life and address the dark/light skin issues which was so needed in our community.

 

Didn't care much for She's Gotta Have It.
Mars Blackmon was the only character in the film I dug...lol.

The only thing that kept me halfway interested in that movie was the nudity.
 

I've seen Us and Nope.
Us was much better than Nope...which I'm glad I saw online and didn't waste $20 going to see it in the theater....lol.

 

 

If I were to compare Lee's with Peele's first three....my list would go something like:
 

Do The Right Thing

Get Out (distant second)
School Daze
Us
Nope
She's Gotta Have It

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On 11/25/2022 at 12:49 PM, richardmurray said:

You say, Peele had decades of filmmaking to learn from and Lee didn't. What do you mean?

 

Peele had four more decades (1980s to 2020s) of filmmaking from which to draw inspiration and be influenced by; a body of work that Lee did not have.  Peele may have been influenced by Lee and certainly stands on Lee's shoulders. 

 

I have no problem ranking Get Out #1 or #2.

 

I still think Woman King will get nominated and even win an Oscar.  I do not see an academy award win in the future for Nope 

 

Us and Nope would be dead last on the list of all the new movies I've seen this year.

 

@Delano Lee definitely surrounded himself with talent both in front of and behind the Camera.

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@Troy didn't lee have the work of Sydney Poitier/melvin van peebles/gordon parks/ousmane sembene/william greaves/med hondo not to mention oscar micheaux/the race films? Black filmmaking has been around since the late 1800s. If you say Lee didn't have the same body of work of black filmmaking before him, I disagree. Now if you are saying Lee's first films were when he was younger than Peele, I don't know either's age, then ok. 

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@Richardmurray

I haven't seen Nope.

 

I can't compare She's Gotta have it to Get Out. Peele's films don't break the fourth wall. Even though his films are somewhat SciFi/Horror, they still feel like you are watching the character's experience. I could be mistaken but there is no first person voice Spike's first three. Or it feels more like an ensemble than a lead actor 

You could argue that Lee had Blaxpoitation films as a genre.  And Peele had Lee Snipes and Denzel.

 

There is a little known film called Chameleon Street by Wendell Harris.

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3 hours ago, richardmurray said:

If you say Lee didn't have the same body of work of black filmmaking before him, I disagree.


Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. It is simply a fact. Peele had 40 more years of content to inspire him, not to mention many of the road blocks Lee faced were absent for Peele.

 

Now you can disagree that the 40 year of filmmaking does not make a difference, but that would be hard to justify in my opinion. 


Is chameleon street any good would you recommend it. @Delano

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@Delano ah ok when ever you do, definitely provide us with your opinion of peele's first three vs lee's first three. 

 

@Troy Fair enough, I don't comprehend why not regarding those 40 years is hard to justify. Maybe you will display your opinion. But, it is fact that more black films, as I define them, were made before peele's first three than lee's first three. Though my position , as I comprehended it, had nothing to do with quantity of films. 

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1 hour ago, richardmurray said:

But, it is fact that more black films, as I define them, were made before peele's first three than lee's first three.


yes, that is exactly my point. I believe those additional films gave Peele a benefit lee did not have.

 

Over time movies should be getting better because each generation learns from the previous one.

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20 minutes ago, Troy said:

Over time movies should be getting better because each generation learns from the previous one.

I think that may be true for special effects and film technology but this is less relevant for scriptwriting.

 

West Side Story = Romeo and Juliet = Pyramus and Thisbe. So you have a few centuries in between stories. But it still works.

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16 hours ago, Delano said:

I think that may be true for special effects and film technology but this is less relevant for scriptwriting.

 

It is absolutely true for these things.

 

But as you seem to indicate it is that story that matters. The stories you mentioned are a variation of the tried and true boy meets girl...

 

What makes Peele and Lee trailblazer is that they are telling stories that are rarely told on the big screen. Peele is doing this in a unique (as far as I can tell) way -- one that does not work for me (save Get Out), but I'm glad he has the opportunity and I support his films.

 

But the operative word in my statement was "should."  I don't think films, collectively, are getting any better over the decades.

 

I mean how many times can we watch a Marvel Movie -- they are getting boring now, as it is the same old story over and over again; an ominous seemingly invincible threat emerges, the superheroes are rallied, despite some setbacks, infighting -- whatever -- they eventually get themselves together and save the day ...roll credits and wait for the bonus clip ... yawn! 

 

Look it is really hard to make a good film  -- let alone a great one. 

 

What was the last great (or really good film) any of you watched?

 

 

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I don't think it is possible to compare films across time or cultures. So stories can't get better since they are a function of the time, place and power dynamics.

 

Here are a few films that I think are really good films 

 

Star Wars 

The Matrix

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 

Sweet back badass song 

Superfly (The soundtrack is a perfect album)

Hero 

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Too Tired to Die (Jeffrey Wright is one of my favourite actors)

2046 (Almost any Wong Kar Wai film)

Diva

Any Luck Beeson film.

Infernal Affairs ( Any film with Tony Leung)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is the best actor you've seen in a Spike Lee film.

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The first Star Wars

 

 the first matrix — great film

 

 Superfly’s sound track was great. Up there with Shaft. They don’t make original sound tracks any more do they?

 

 Yeah Jeff Wright is a great actor. 
 

4 hours ago, Delano said:

Sweet back badass song 


i purchased the DVD for the film since it was a classic and did not like or at all 😞 it simply didn’t get it. I have the DVD away.

 

I liked Pulp  Fiction, A Soldiers Story, the first predator, that i-see-dead-people-film,  and so many others 🙂

 

my favorite spike Lee film… i dunno maybe the one with Robin Harris was that do the right thing?

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@Troy well your point requires three things

1) what determines if one film is better than another

2) can said qualities be learned

3) will more instances of quality in past films provide more examples to said learning

 

3 is based on 2, 2 is based on 1. 

And in my view, what determines if one film is better than another is atemporal because artist/directors+scriptriters have the right to create based on ideas that a viewer may simply not like. But it doesn't mean other viewers do not

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The quality of art is always subjective regardless of whether one's opinion of it is good or bad or better or worse. 

 

As @Delano alluded above, comparisons are often an exercise in futility because they do not account for several factors to include time, talent, technology, experience and resources to name a few. 

 

Creative people make art. Consumers enjoy that art for what it is each according to their entertainment needs. 😎

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Run-away slave…. interesting. He did a lot of running in that movie 🙂 What was the sex scene about? The boy was young enough for it to have been considered child porn.

 

i thought blade runner was a good film when i first saw it. 
 

@richardmurray Prof D response was basically what i would have written.  I would also throw in the idea that commerce impacts the art —usually in a bad way.
 

 A filmmaker creates an excellent first film. They are given even more resources to make more films but are rarely able to improve on the initial effort. M Night Shamaylan will probably never do another move as good as the Sixth Sense. I doubt Peele will do anything as good as Get Out. 
 

this is why we see so many sequels, most of which pale in comparison to the original. 

 

 

 

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yeah @Delano and some films fall away, let's call it like it is, people still call birth of a nation from griffith a great film in technical ways, and yet, its financial history is far less consistent, so how a film is determined to be better is not consistent. 

 

@Troy fair enough, the subject wasn't the consistency of quality in films from peele or lee, it was assessing the quality of films in the past to either film makers. You suggested the longer time for peele is a factor that can not be dismayed, when I suggested that both filmmakers have equal quality in films to inspire. 

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4 hours ago, Troy said:

He did a lot of running in that movie 🙂 What was the sex scene about? The boy was young enough for it to have been considered child porn

From the cops. It's how he got his name sweet back. Like in the scene with the biker crew. Where their leader is a woman. And he is challenged to fight her. That was his son Mario.

 

He may have been the inspiration for NWA's Hundred Miles and runnin 

 

Found this 

, Melvin Van Peebles ...: having turned his back on a

profitable three-picture deal with Columbia Pictures in response to studio resistance to his ideas,[41]

he raised funds entirely in the independent sector, worked with non-union racially-mixed crews, and

 

Having produced a film for $150,000 that grossed more

than 15 million,[42] Van Peebles became an industry phenomenon. He is regarded as an innovator

 

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4 hours ago, Troy said:

doubt Peele will do anything as good as Get Out. 

I think he will. He had a vision and he is creating his own lane.

They are very different filmmakers. Spike is genius at marketing and his films are very watchable.

 

Peele is very subtle. Picking cotton saved the character in Get Out. He also gave us Daniel Kaluyaa and Lakeith Stanfield 

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