Changing Lanes - Horiffic trailer, Excellent film

I saw two of the best films of the year last night, Changing Lanes and Frailty. Unless this year turns out to be a '99 (which it well could), both these films will probably be in my top 10.

FORGET **Changing Lane’s ** horribleAWFULnasty trailer! This is the worst bit of mismarketing since Angel Eyes. The first time I saw the trailer, the film was downgraded from “never heard of it” to “cable. maybe.” and my opinion kept going lower and lower each time I saw it. So, I get up this morning and go look at Ebert’s site, gleefully looking forward to one of Ebert’s funny bad movie reviews. Imagine my complete and utter shock when I see that he’s given it FOUR STARS!!! I nearly passed out! I don’t always agree with Ebert, but when he gives a movie 4 stars, I listen. I don’t even read the review before seeing the film, unless it’s a shocker, which Changing Lanes was. I already knew the basic plot, so I skim enough of the review to see that it was written by the guy who wrote The Player. That’s it, I’m so there, no matter what the trailer is like.

The trailer DOES NOT do this film justice. I’d go so far as to say that the trailer murders the movie, since it will drive away the kind of intelligent, thoughtful people who would like this film. Those just looking for an action/adventure in the city/revenge-is-sweet flick will probably hate it.

Read Ebert’s review, he really gets to the root of it.

One other thing about the trailer. You think you’ve seen the whole film after watching it. I certainly did. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bulk of what’s important in this film isn’t even HINTED at in the trailer.

FORGET that you hate Ben Affleck! Please do this. Please. He is very, very good in this very, very good film. He’s believable as a man who is by turns decent, evil (he’s a corporate lawyer, 'nuff said), polite, rude, soul- searching, shallow, self-righteous and cocky, full of guilt and self-doubt. In other words, he actually comes off as a
complex human being, something that is very rare in Hollywood films, because one-dimensional characters are much easier to write. Samual Jackson…well, ditto, but I expected him to be good. I was pleasantly surprised by Affleck. All the acting is good in this film.

This is a smart movie that makes you think and makes you feel for the characters. If Hollywood did this kind of thing more often, life would be grand.

Horrific…blah, my brain needs a spell-checker!

Thanks Equipoise, I was thinking exactly this same thing today. I’ve seen the trailer a couple of times and thought, great, this is Falling Down but done in duet fashion. Then I thought I heard, while flipping channels on the telly, someone say what a great movie this is. So of course I assumed it was some shill on VH-1 or something, and pushed it out of my mind.

Now I’ll have to go see it.

Shibb, it’s less Falling Down than you might expect, for what that’s worth.

CL is a tad less adult angst-ridden than FD, though it’s still similar in that it is the story of people pushed to their respective breaking points.

Personally, there was something about the way Affleck’s character was written that didn’t quite do it for me.


Personally, I thought his character was a bit too prone to giving in to peer pressure. Yes, that’s largely what his arc is about, but for the bulk of the film he’s pretty damn go-with-the-flow style wishy-washy.

Take, for example, the scene with the “fixer.” He obviously doesn’t want to turn off SLJ’s credit, but chooses to do so since it’s easier than calling him and being nice, one more time? WTF?

I dunno, if Affleck’s character was a little less of a martyr to his circumstances, I probably would have enjoyed the movie more.

Yes, but that’s what makes his character so much more human than the usual cookie-cutter good/evil, black/white Hollywood movie. He’s conflicted, and not in a flat, just-to-serve-the-plot sort of way, in a real, live human sort of way. He’s at heart a decent person but nothing he’s done so far in his life has caused him a moral dilemma, except for getting the old man to sign, and it’s the events of this day that causes him to think about what he did there.

And in the end, he doesn’t do what you’d expect a character in a lesser movie to do. He does what’s right for his character at that point in his life. I didn’t leave the movie thinking that, ok, everything’s solved, happy ending, everything will be alright with these characters. I thought about what the next day (week, month, year(s)) would bring. The thoughts and actions of these guys on that day would have an impact on them and affect the rest of their lives.

This movie was also about how revenge can cause revenge. Several times in the film, just when one or the other (both basically good guys with flaws) is ready to give in and do the decent thing, the actions of the other causes the desire for even more revenge. Because of that, as Ebert said, they end up being more scared of themselves than of the other.

This movie is really something.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but thanks for the heads up!! It really is infuriating how movie trailers are shown ad nauseum on TV. Usually when I see a trailer 5000 times a night I think the movie must not be any good or they wouldn’t be over promoting it. (The recent Time Machine movie comes to mind) With actors like Jackson and Affleck, why wouldn’t the studio promote their acting abilities in the trailers?? Seems like a great disservice to these performers.

OK, stupid question, we all know the studios think that only 18-25 yr old males attend movies and like to see only cars crash and things blow up to enjoy a movie.:rolleyes:

Would like to add my .02$ (we need an acronym for that).
Saw the movie, loved it, agreed with the basic philosophy presented (that most of mankind is just generally evil, but crusaders are possible). Did anyone notice the use of weather? Raining when Ben gets to court, sprinklers going off in the office? Good stuff!

Great movie, definitely, except for the last 2 scenes. Seems like someone just couldn’t resist tacking some sappy moral ending onto an otherwise amoral tale. Damned shame.


I didn’t care for the introduced ethical dilemmas-- whether Affleck’s character’s client knew what he was signing, the ethics of forging the file, the ‘doing more good than bad at the end of the day’ bit. I didn’t like them because they potentially gave Affleck’s character an out for not recovering the file. And that potential lets a lot of air out of the movie’s proverbial tires.

If morality and “doing the right thing” had to be involved, why couldn’t it have remained in the context of their little pissing war? Why couldn’t that have been a plain ol’ vanilla Important File that Affleck’s character needed to get back? Why did the file have to have its own little subplot? (For that matter, why did Affleck’s character have to have a history of infidelity?) Those elements were not necessary, and IMO they messed up a really good two-guys-screwing-with-each-other movie.

Changing Lanes was a horrendously bad film. I mean, godawful. The entire premise of the film made no sense (1. if a lawyer loses the original of a form, he does not go to jail. 2. If a party arrives 20 minutes late to a hearing (particularly if he arrives while the hearing is still going on, the case is not decided against him).

The acting was bad. This is the first time I’ve seen Samuel Jackson on the screen and thought “oh, come ON!” Mr. Jackson has, in the past, had the sheer ability to make incongruous behavior by his character seem believeable, but this time, he just phones it in (did any of you really believe the scene in the school?).
Amanda Peet’s little scene was simply ludicrous.

Oh, and FTR, we Wall Street lawyer types rarely are even presented with the opportunity to screw our clients and do evil, much less take those opportunities.

I was moaning and cursing from 15 minutes into the film. As was my mother, who isn’t a Wall Street lawyer type.



In SLJ’s defense, that school scene was just horribly written. I mean how is an actor, even of his caliber, supposed to make the 180[sup]o[/sup] turn from “Oh, my son’s okay,” to “I’ll go screaming down the halls now”? It’s just impossible (unless, say, the character is schizophrenic), I tell ya.