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Who gets David Mamet?

 
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What do you think of David Mamet?
He's one of the greatest writers ever.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Wow! Does that guy know how to pull the wool over people's eyes!
20%
 20%  [ 1 ]
If the actors in his works know how to improvise, he's aok.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Never heard of him. Who is he? Is he related to David Lynch?
80%
 80%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 5

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llizard (aka ejm)
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Come to Life. Come to Laziness.

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 7:43 am    Post subject: Who gets David Mamet? Reply with quote

We just tried watching another David Mamet movie "LakeBoat". We thought it would be good. We thought maybe this time we would see why so many people rave about what a great screen writer he is.

But but... the dialogue is terrible. It's terrible. It's really terrible. Everyone talks in choppy sentences. And repeat words. Choppy. Repeat choppy words.

I hated it. Granted, I didn't see much more than 15 minutes. A long 15 minutes. Very long. I had to abort
Spoiler (highlight to read):
after enduring an insanely long story told by Peter Falk to a new guy (played by Mamet's brother, I think). The new guy's replies were even more stilted than the usual Mamet replies: "Yes" "No, I don't know him. I'm new here" "Tell me more" (This guy works on a ship???) Finally the story ends and the new guy and another sailor who had been on shore leave returned to the ship. The other sailor had a conversation about drinking with the ship's mate. It went something vaguely like this, at least this is what I remember: "You were drinking" "I'm still drunk" "Booze will do that" "Yes" "That's bad" "It's bad" "Bad" "I know" "You're still drunk"


But I see that my views are in the minority. Rottentomatoes gives "Lakeboat" 82% fresh....
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/lakeboat/

What is wrong with me? Why can't I get David Mamet?


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Mats
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Joined: 14 Oct 2004
Posts: 503
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Hmmm......just 15 minutes?? Reply with quote

What - you didn't like "Wag the Dog"?? When I look at the 37 writing credits on IMDB, I realize that I've not seen many of Mamet's film screenplays so I cannot share your strong opinion. Still, I thought "Lakeboat" was OK. It's a play about the 'summer job experience'. You know, where you get temporarily plunked into a world of workers who are in this line for life and you are in it for a summer. At first you think "what a bunch of losers" then you get to know them as interesting people.


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David
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr, 2005 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The name meant nothing to me so I asked my friend Mr Google. Mr Google knows everything. He told me all the things Mr Mamet has written and produced. I've heard of about 25% of his movies, watched about 10% and enjoyed only one, Ronin.
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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr, 2005 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After looking at the 37 writing credits for David Mamet on IMDB, I confess that I haven't seen all the movies that he has written either. I have seen Wag the Dog, The Edge, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Untouchables, The Verdict, About Last Night... and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Okay, you've got me MEF. I did like more than 50% of those particular movies. I'm amazed to hear that The Verdict screenplay was written by Mamet. I thought it was a brilliant movie. I did know that Mamet had written The Edge. And whenever Anthony Hopkins was onscreen, the writing was brilliant, which I guess means that Hopkins gets Mamet. None of Hopkin's dialogue appeared stilted and repetitive. Perhaps he simply refused to speak all of his lines. Yes, that's it. I bet Hopkins hates Mamet dialogue too.... stomp

I don't remember Wag the Dog clearly; it has been years since I saw it. But I don't remember hating it. However, Mamet was not the only screenwriter for that. The other writers were Hilary Henkin (screenplay) and Larry Beinhart, who wrote American Hero on which the screenplay was based.

He wrote the play About Last Night..., but Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue wrote the screenplay. (probably fixing all of his rotten dialogue.) Of course, James M. Cain wrote the brilliant novel The Postman Always Rings Twice but I have to say that I thought the 1946 movie version of that book was far superior to the Mamet version. But having said that, I didn't hate that movie either.

As for the two movies boo! Glengarry Glen Ross boo! and boo! Lakeboat boo! (his screenplays that were based on his own plays), I'm afraid he lost me. I squirmed all the way through Glengarry Glen Ross, shuddering at each repetitive phrase. Have you noticed? Noticed that he likes to repeat? Yes, repeat. He repeats snippets. Snippets of sentences. With little variations. Variations Over and Over. And over again. Again.

So as Lakeboat began to unfold, I'm afraid I was unable to hear anything beyond the stilted dialogue to move in further to even find out that it was a
MEF wrote:
play about the 'summer job experience'. You know, where you get temporarily plunked into a world of workers who are in this line for life and you are in it for a summer. At first you think "what a bunch of losers" then you get to know them as interesting people.
All I thought about the few characters that I saw was that NOBODY talks like that. Nobody. They don't. They really don't talk like that. Not at all.

la la la




Last edited by llizard (aka ejm) on Tue 26 Apr, 2005 8:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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llizard (aka ejm)
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Come to Life. Come to Laziness.

PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr, 2005 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
I've heard of about 25% of his movies, watched about 10% and enjoyed only one, Ronin.


And Mamet didn't even use his name on Ronin. As you pointed out, David, Mr. Google DOES know everything. Mr. Google says that J.D. Zeik wrote the Ronin story and shared screenplay writing with David Mamet, who used the name 'Richard Weisz' instead of his own.


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