Return Of Moriarty's RUMBLINGS!! Tom Green SE DVD!! WHY NOVEMBER 2ND RULES!! PATTON OSWALT and PUBERTY!! BOOK REVIEWS!!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with a multi-topic column like today’s. They drive Knowles crazy. Right now, though, Harry Lime and I are locked away in the Moriarty Labs working on a secret project that takes pretty much every waking hour. As a result, I’m not going to be as present on the page as I have been in recent months. I am going to have to try and cram in reviews whenever I can, and so I’m bringing back the old-school RUMBLINGS FROM THE LABS for a few months. Just makes things easier.
And I’m all over the place today. DVD reviews. Book reviews. Some quick impressions of three of the best films you’ll see this year. Hope you find something to interest you here. Let’s get started and see, shall we?
MORIARTY GETS FINGERED!! TOM GREEN ON DVD!!
I am a man who has never been afraid to voice an unpopular opinion, as proven here on the pages of AICN time and time again. I’m the man who called FORREST GUMP a “mean-spirited cinematic hate crime.” I’m the one who thinks Jack Nicholson ruined the first BATMAN movie. And now, yes, I’m the one who laughed when watching FREDDIE GOT FINGERED.
When Tom Green’s feature film debut as a writer/director/star was released earlier this year, the reviews were beyond scathing. Critics unloaded on this with a venom rarely seen. If you take a look at the FREDDY GOT FINGERED page over at Rotten Tomatoes, you see an embarrassing amount of hyperbolic ranting that would make you think Tom Green had broken into the private homes of these critics and molested their children in front of them. There is hatred in these reviews. Once again, it feels like a monkey pile, like the critics decided to have a contest to see who could take the biggest shit on the movie. When the momentum builds against a film, you end up with patently absurd reviews like the following:
"A film that you don't want to inflict on yourself, no matter how adventuresome a moviegoer you think you are."
-- Steve Rhodes, STEVE RHODES' INTERNET REVIEWS
Never mind that this same reviewer was a champion of such fare as AIR BUD, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY & BULLWINKLE, Disney’s abysmal DINOSAUR (“the kind of picture that has you sitting there going ‘wow’”), and the BEDAZZLED remake (“it’s a hoot!”). As far as this one’s concerned, you can trust him.
"Was this the first movie in motion picture history to bypass the ‘executive screenings’?"
-- Scott Weinberg, APOLLO GUIDE
Every review this guy writes is built around a “clever” quote like this. And he’s right... we all know that executives only make films better. Too bad they weren’t more involved here.
"We can surely attest to when the comedic film genre reached an all-time low: the day Freddy Got Fingered was unleashed."
-- E! ONLINE
The “all-time low,” eh? I can tell you that FREDDY GOT FINGERED isn’t even the worst comedy I’ve seen this year, much less of all time. This sort of review immediately cries out “Ignore me! Everything I say is exaggerated for effect!”
"A pathetic, unparalleled abomination. Ishtar, come back. All is forgiven."
-- Michael Rechtshaffen, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Oh, good. Get in a shot on ISHTAR, another movie that was a punching bag even before anyone saw a frame of it because of how much it cost. Anyone who cites ISHTAR as an example of the worst of films has (A) not seen many films or (B) not seen ISHTAR, a relatively benign comedy with a few funny moments. But make the comparison anyway! It’s only 14 years old. Don’t mind that expiration date! Make a Macarena joke next, or say, “where’s the beef?” for us. That’ll be funny, too.
"A vomitorium consisting of 93 minutes of Tom Green doing things that a geek in a carnival sideshow would turn down."
-- Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Didn’t Roger have to sit through TOMCATS this year? Shouldn’t there be a sliding scale? Considering that 99% of what Tom does in the movie is fake, what’s the big deal? It’s not like he licks an actual leg break or really flings a fetus around by its umbilical. That there’s pretend. In a world where PINK FLAMINGOS exists, how is this movie still considered shocking?
"I have gotten better entertainment value from a colonoscopy."
-- James Berardinelli, JAMES BERARDINELLI'S REELVIEWS
And what does that say about you, Mr. Beradinelli? You and I are obviously entertained by different things. I’ll take a movie over an invasive medical procedure anyday. Hell, I’ll sit through COCKTAIL twice if it’ll keep someone’s fingers or some sort of clinical device out of my ass.
"If you go to see this movie, Green will earn the money to make another one. That's between you and your conscience."
-- Liz Braun, JAM! MOVIES
And if you let someone from JAM! MOVIES browbeat you out of seeing something, that’s between you and your conscience, too.
I could do this all day, write smart-assed responses to the smarmy sort of quotes this film inspired, but in the end, it’s a circle jerk. These people weren’t reviewing a movie. They were molesting it. They were unloading on it because they could, because everyone else was. Reading these reviews, half of them talk about tuning out, ignoring what they were watching, giving up and checking their watches. How am I supposed to give your opinion credence when you admit that you weren’t even paying attention to the film?
There were a few guys out there who stood up for the movie, who recognized what I believe the joke is. A.O. Scott of the NEW YORK TIMES and Jay Carr of THE BOSTON GLOBE, as well as Jeffrey Wells, one of my favorite sparring partners online, all found themselves fascinated by the film, and I concur. I have seen pretty much all of Tom Green’s American television work, and a sampling of the Canadian stuff, and anyone who’s watched that material had to have a pretty good idea what to expect from the film. I have heard complaints that the sense of humor is mean spirited or even disturbing. My response to that is, of course it’s disturbing. There’s something very, very wrong with Tom Green. It’s not an act, folks; it’s a cry for help.
There was a moment early on during the run of the MTV show that blew my mind. It was so naked, so uncomfortable, so angry, and it wasn’t like any comedy I’ve seen anyone do before or since. It was one of Tom’s infamous visits to his parents, frequently the center of his cruellest pranks. On this particular occasion, he had offended his parents, and they had forbidden him to come to the house anymore. He showed up looking to reconcile, and he brought with him a statue that he claimed would show them how much he loved them. When unveiled, it was a crude paper-mache sculpture of Tom’s father strangling Tom’s mother, one fist raised to punch her. Tom called it the “Where’s My Dinner, Bitch?” statue. He said it was in honor of those nights when Tom’s father would come home and freak out because dinner wasn’t ready. Tom’s parents lost their minds at the sight of the statue, and his father literally attacked it, destroying it on the lawn. He also called MTV and threatened to sue them if they aired the segment. They played that tape as part of the segment, of course. And Tom made it worse by going back with another statue, this one of the two of them having doggie-style sex. During the entire episode, the rage between Tom and his father wasn’t imaginary or pretend. Neither of them is a good enough actor to pull off what we were seeing. It was genuine fury, an eruption of old family resentments. This fury seems to lie at the heart of what it is that Tom Green does, and all of his silly noises and juvenile antics are little more than an acting out by this 30 year old bundle of raw, infantile rage.
FREDDY GOT FINGERED has several things going for it that seem to have been overlooked in the rush to kill Tom’s film career. First, there’s Rip Torn. This man is a national treasure. His work on THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW should be shown to acting students around the world as mandatory material for study. His work in DEFENDING YOUR LIFE is a lesson in comic timing. And here, he is the ultimate version of Tom Green’s father for Tom to bounce off of. FREDDY GOT FINGERED is an exaggerated version of all the biographical detail we’ve already picked up from Tom’s television shows, and as such, it’s a fairly revealing film. The generation that Tom is from is noted in large part for the staggering number of them that moved back in with their parents after college instead of moving on to an adult life on their own. Tom Green is one of those people, a face put to that statistic, and the animosity between him and his parents is like some operatic manifestation of the friction inevitably caused by that situation. Kevin Smith wrote about this character in MALLRATS with Brodie, the Jason Lee character. Speaking of Kevin Smith, I’d say Green has a more confident visual style in his first time at bat than Kevin has developed even after JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. Even in that film, there are moments where it feels like Kevin has no sense of how to convey geography or motion or energy with a scene. Watch the opening title sequence of FREDDY GOT FINGERED, cut to the Sex Pistols’ “Problems”. It’s Tom Green skateboarding through a mall, being chased by security guards, and it’s got energy to spare.
The second thing the film has going for it is Marisa Coughlin, who also starred in SUPERTROOPERS, a comedy I saw and fell in love with at Sundance this year. Mark my words... Coughlin is the real deal. She’s deadly cute, absolutely fearless in a comedy scene, and she’s got timing to spare. Her character in this film is patently offensive in concept, but not in execution. Originally, though, Betty was conceived by Tom Green and co-writer Derek Harvie as a double amputee. The whole plan was to cast a real amputee so they could stage various gags like Tom licking stumps. Seriously. They eventually decided to just find an actress to put in a wheelchair. What resulted is a fairly outrageous and silly performance that manages to be deepy appealing because of the energy Coughlin brings to the film. The first scene between her and Tom at her apartment will pretty much determine if you should be watching the film or not. If that scene offends you, then turn the movie off. Just stop watching. If, on the other hand, you find yourself laughing in astonishment at Marisa, then maybe you’re game for what lies ahead.
I’m not making the case for this being a great movie. It’s far too uneven for that. There are highs and lows here, and the good stuff is so good that it make the bad stuff more frustrating. In some ways, Green’s anger is more potent than that of critics’ darling Todd Solondz. Not everyone, after all, was an outcast freak or a social deviant, so not everyone can relate to Solondz’s leads. We’ve all got parents, though, and we’ve all got our sore spots in our relationships with them, and that’s the heart of what Green does here. The horrifying game that develops between Tom and his father, the war of wills, yields some promising moments, building to the absolute darkest riff on the old THREE’S COMPANY “someone misunderstanding something they overheard” scenario that I’ve ever seen. If Green had worked with a producer who had really pushed him to take the good stuff here and refine it, FREDDY GOT FINGERED could have been great. When Tom talks about the theme of the film on the commentary, right around the one-hour mark, I dare any critic to listen to his explanation and tell him that he’s wrong. He may have made a film that is all over the place, but it’s not pointless, and it’s certainly not shock for the sheer sake of it. In many ways, this film is the intentional death of the gross-out comedy, a total violation of the form, right down to the obligatory romantic reconciliation moment to the tune of some classic love tune, Otis Redding in this case. There is a point, and there is wit. As it is, I think it’s a bold debut, and certainly worth an open minded look by adventurous viewers.
And if you happen to pick it up on DVD, you’ll be startled by how nice a job they did with it. This is a very nicely-done special edition with a commentary by Tom Green that is an adventure unto itself. You have no idea what surreal is until you watch this film with Tom Green himself chattering away the whole time. It’s stream of consciousness, to say the least, and he comes across as more intelligent than he ever has in previous work. He’s keenly aware of how the film was received, and he doesn’t care, it seems. He talks about all the various ideas that he and Harvie discussed while writing and abandoned, and how various ideas relate to his life, and he singles out some critics who took particularly mean shots at him for some ridicule, and details some pranks he played on his parents as a child. He also manages to be flat out silly at times, and even exhibits a dry wit. It’s a peek behind the curtain that a prankster like Andy Kaufman never offered his audience, and it makes Tom seem much more appealing as a result. There’s also a commentary featuring the actors Harland Williams, Rip Torn, and Marisa Coughlin that I haven’t even had a chance to wade into yet. There’s a family-friendly PG cut of the film that’s three minutes long, deleted scenes (including an entire storyline with Stephen Tobolowsky), the MTV “Making of” special that aired when the film was released, and something that really does have to be heard to be believed, the ambient sound recorded during the film’s premiere. Listening to the crowd as they watch the film is a special kind of torture, and it speaks well of Green that he had the balls to put this on the disc.
THE BEST DAMN DAY OF THE YEAR?!
November 2nd. This is one of those days that any good film geek should circle on the calendar. Doesn’t matter what it is you want in your film diet; you’ll find it that day if you look for it. Even though I’ve seen at least three of the movies that open that day already, I still plan to spend the whole weekend in the theater. Three of the year’s very best films are opening that day... maybe more.
If you’re into big commercial releases, chances are at least one of the following titles appeals to you: THE ONE, DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE, or MONSTERS INC. I’ve heard from people who have seen THE ONE who thought it was lame, but I like the TV spots. I think there’s some great cartoon imagery in there, like that shot of Jet Li swatting the cops with the motorcycle like it weighs a pound. Cool stuff. I’ll give the film a try. I’m seeing MONSTERS INC. this coming weekend and can’t wait. I love Pixar dearly, and am anticipating the film eagerly. DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE... ain’t my speed. I can tell just looking at the TV spots. I’m not sure who John Travolta’s fooling these days, but don’t count me among their ranks.
It’s the art house titles that have me really excited, though, and that should have you singing and dancing, too. There’s Richard Linklater’s other movie this year, TAPE, the one that’s not the mind-expanding animated meditation on dreams and reality, but is instead a three-character dialogue driven drama shot on video and set almost entirely in a hotel room. Haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard some nice things. I have seen the other three releases, though, and would like to rank them in order of uber-fucking-coolness.
In the number three spot, just because there has to be a number three spot, there is the new film by Joel and Ethan Coen, THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE. I saw this a few weeks back, and I’ve been chewing on it ever since, trying to decide exactly where I stood on it overall. It’s magnificent to look at thanks to the stunning black and white compositions of Roger Deakins, and it’s filled with the same sort of magnificent, full-bodied dialogue that marks every Coen script. It’s not as immediately approachable as recent Coen films like FARGO and THE BIG LEBOWSKI, though. This is a tough nut to crack, a strange movie. Joel and Ethan are obviously fans of the various hard-boiled writers who have defined the noir fiction genre over the years, and they’ve managed to turn out note perect tributes to various artists over the years. BLOOD SIMPLE is their James M. Cain film. MILLER’S CROSSING is obviously Dashiell Hammett. THE BIG LEBOWSKI is a very sly homage to the work of Raymond Chandler. And now, with THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE, they seem to have made the perfect Jim Thompson film. In particular, they seem to have caught the vibe of THE KILLER INSIDE ME, a book that various people like Stanley Kubrick and Val Kilmer have sought to bring to the screen over the years. Thompson’s main characters were often times disconnected from the world around them, from people in general, and they aren’t evil so much as alien. They simply don’t feel anything. They drift through life and commit terrible acts simply because the moments present themselves. Ed Crane, the character played to such perfection by Billy Bob Thorton here, is one such character. His entire life is defined by the path of least resistance. His career, his relationship with his wife, his reaction when he learns she’s having an affair... it’s like none of it really touches him. Then something breaks through. Something stirs some sign of life in Ed. A business opportunity. And for the first time, he defines a want. Something he wants. And what he does to get it sets in motion a horrible circus of tragic circumstance.
At one point during this film, I was practically giggling as I turned to Harry Lime and said, “I have no idea where this is going.” That’s a delicious feeling these days, and leave it to the Coens to confound with such elegance. Their cast here is incredible. James Gandolfini proves again that he is not just Tony Soprano, something I’ve been saying for years. Tony Shaloub proves again that there are few actors more in command of a scene, something I’ve believed for ages now. Frances McDormand plays yet another completely different character, once again losing herself convincingly. Jon Polito does knockout work in a brief role, and Richard Jenkins and Scarlett Johansson are both very effectively used. Michael Badalucco is surprisingly touching in his role, and he’s a welcome returning addition to the Coens’ stable of recurring actors.
Unfortunately, I predict that the film will leave some people cold. As I said, this isn’t easily digested. In some ways, it’s a shaggy dog story, a narrative joke. There are dead-ends followed, storylines that seemingly go nowhere, and the resolution is dark and surreal. I was quite moved by the film, even as I found myself laughing out loud, and that combination never seems to sit well with the masses. Screw the masses, though, and sprint to see the film if you can, especially if you’ve been impressed by the Coens in the past. They’ve proven once again that there is no one working in film today with as consistent a track record for creating iconic, intelligent cinema.
Number two on the kick ass scale is Christophe Gans’ wild and wooly BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. You’ve heard an assload about this film on this site by now, and that’s no accident. Harry and I are both nutty about this movie and its improbable blend of martial arts action, period drama detail, court intrigue, CG monster movies, and supernaturally tinged mystery. I can’t think of another film as ambitious or as deliriously loopy that’s come out this year. Samuel Le Bihan is good in the lead, but it’s the twin madness of Mark Dacascos and Vincent Cassel that makes the movie so great. The photography is staggeringly pretty, the score is great, the FX are top-notch (featuring one of the most original creature designs since Stan Winston’s Predator made its debut), and Monica Bellucci gets naked. What more could you possibly want? If I get a chance to see the American release print of this, I’ll write a full review. For now, I’ve seen it on tape about a dozen times, and all I can say is any self-respecting film geek owes it to themselves to get out to a theater and support this movie as soon as it opens. It is a joy, and we would be lucky to get more like it.
Finally, there’s the movie that may very well end up as many people’s film of the year, Jean Pierre Jeunet’s enchanting AMELIE. There is no more pure expression of cinematic ecstasy that I’ve seen so far this year, and I can’t imagine what could top it. This is a film that simply feels good to watch. It is like a drug, a guaranteed shot of happiness. The story of a girl named Amelie, played to radiant perfection by Audrey Tautou, this is a fairy tale in the best sense of the words. This is a story about fate and love and the way we affect those around us as we move through this life. Amelie’s childhood is painted in magical broadstrokes that are both endearing and entrancing. As an adult, she’s a shy girl, quiet, simply passing through life without making a ripple. She discovers the childhood possessions of a former tenant of her apartment and orchestrates a way of getting them back to him, seemingly by chance. The effect it has on him, and his specific reaction upon realizing what he’s holding in his hands, is one of those moments you remember forever, a perfect movie memory. It impacts Amelie, and she begins to poke into the lives of everyone around her, even as her own life refuses to come into focus. I was impressed by the performance of Matthew Kossovitz, whose work as a director I’ve had mixed reactions to over the years. He’s an actor here, and he’s very good. This film made me feel drunk after the first time I saw it, and when I watched it again earlier tonight, it worked all over again. I can’t wait to be able to take people to the theater to experience it, and I can’t urge you strongly enough to see it for yourself. The reason I go to movies is to find something like this. You always hope, but only once in a while does something truly special come along. This is one of those rare moments. Seize it. Treasure it. I sure have.
PATTON OSWALT HITS (WITH) PUBERTY!!
I want to take a moment to congratulate a friend of mine for making a kick-ass screenplay sale that's just been announced. Patton Oswalt is, simply put, the funniest person I know. And I know some severely funny people. He's a stand-up comic whose half-hour HBO special still remains one of the most achingly brutal half-hour sets I've ever seen, blisteringly funny and breathlessly dirty. I've seen him perform live probably 20 times now, and he's never been less than great. At his infamous secret Grammy night show, I laughed so hard I got a two-day headache. I've seen him destroy rooms before, just ruin audiences for anyone else. He somehow manages to be scathing and cynical without being even slightly off-putting. He appears on the CBS sitcom KING OF QUEENS in a supporting role (he plays "Spence" on the show), but that's really no barometer of what he's capable of when he's turned loose. Listening to him riff on his relationship with his TiVO, you realize that this is a comic mind capable of wicked, unexpected invention.
He also happens to be a massive film fan, and he's worked on scripts like RUN RONNIE RUN and SHALLOW HAL before. Now he's sold a script of his own to Ben Stiller and New Line, and PUBERTY is on its way to the bigscreen. It's the story of a guy who, for various medical reasons, never entered puberty. In his mid-30s, he's poised on the edge of the biggest business deal of his life, and he is suddenly hit with the delayed effects, all at once. It's one of those simple and pure comic premises, and I am dying to read the script to see what he's done with it.
One thing's for sure... Patton's got a great comic voice, and if New Line finds a way to preserve that voice from script to screen, there's a chance PUBERTY could be something really special. Congratulations, buddy. If anyone deserves it, you do.
ON THE BOOKSHELF: THE PLUTONIUM BLONDE, CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL, and THE GREATEST SCI-FI MOVIES NEVER MADE!!
All sorts of books and manuscripts come rolling in here at the Labs, and three have been of particular note recently. One’s a paperback, one’s an English import, and one’s a blisteringly great debut that deserves to find the same sort of audience that last year’s THE ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY did.
First, there’s the paperback, a novel called THE PLUTONIUM BLONDE. It’s by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem, and it’s a light, witty SF detective novel. It never really hits the galloping insane highs that something like THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY does, but that’s okay. It’s not aiming to hit the ball out of the park. This is just an amiable, entertaining ride, and the relationship between Zachary Nixon Johnson, the detective, and HARV, his holographic linkup to the world’s smartest computer, is consistently funny throughout. The case itself isn’t all that labrynthine. A woman hires Johnson to track down a deadly robot that looks exactly like her but which is actually a weapon with a plutionium core. The real pleasures in the book aren’t necessarily plot-related, but are derived more from the details of the world. This book actually started life online as a series of installments on the SciFi Channel’s official website before being sold as an e-book by peanutpress.com. I never read any of those earlier incarnations, so I can’t really compare it, but I would say this is a fun weekend read for fans of the genre, obviously written by fans, and worth finding.
You’ll have to special order David Hughes’ new book THE GREATEST SCI-FI MOVIES NEVER MADE from the UK, where Titan Books has just published it, but it’s worth it if you’re interested in the way the development process can crush a great idea. It’s strange to read this book, since many of the stories detailed played out while I was a contributor to AICN. I saw these events play out, watched these films fall apart, and seeing Hughes reconstruct the events brings back some genuine frustration and sorrow on my part. Ridley Scott’s I AM LEGEND or Richard Stanley’s DR. MOREAU. Gilliam’s WATCHMEN or Lynch’s RONNIE ROCKET. These are films I wish I could have seen, and Hughes makes a case for why these near-misses should be mourned. His research is solid, and I would say anyone who wants to work in the modern studio system should read this book and decide if they could put up with the indignities heaped on the filmmakers here. If you think you could survive these kinds of brutal creative beatings, then maybe you’re cut out for this business. It’s sobering stuff, to be sure.
The book that really blew me away recently, though, was Glen David Gold’s debut novel, CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL. It’s a book about magic. Specifically, it’s about American stage magic in the early ‘20s. It’s meticulously researched, drenched in rich, convincing detail, and it’s absorbing from the first page to the last. There’s something I’ve always loved about handing myself over to a writer who really knows his subject. In this particular case, Gold has managed to paint a completely immersive portrait of what it was like for a performer in this particular field, working in the shadow of Harry Houdini. Charles Carter, also known as Carter the Great, was a real person, and he is brought to splendid life here as the protagonist of this ususual tale. In one way, this is the story of magic’s shining moment, the one time when it was at its biggest in America, and what happened when that moment started to pass. In another way, it’s a tale of revenge and mystery. In another way, it’s a story about losing love and finding the courage to love again. The fact that Gold balances all of these elements so well is what makes CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL irresistable. I knew next to nothing about this story going in, and I’d hate to ruin it for anyone else. The revelations here are so wonderful, so unexpected at each turn, that it feels like a moral imperative for me to protect them so that you can enjoy the experience as pure as I did. It’s rare that I get this effusive about a debut work of fiction by someone, but this is a find, and in a season filled with giant releases by big names like Stephen King, a book like this can get lost, marginalized. That would be a damn shame.
And on that note, I must be going. I’ve got a screening later this morning that I might be writing about tonight, and I’ll definitely report in on MONSTERS INC. after this weekend. Until then...
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Oct. 24, 2001, 9:03 a.m. CST
by The Gline
So why film it and charge admission?
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:12 a.m. CST
"Daddy would you like some sausage?" was and is genuinely funny. So Freddy Got Fingered has at least half of this year's comedies beat right there.
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:21 a.m. CST
by No. 41
because nothing he does makes me laugh (except, maybe, for "Daddy would you like some sausage"). Hell, Andy Dick's parody of Tom Green is *WAY* funnier the man himself, if you ask me. That said, it is kind of nice to see someone breaking with the critical rank and file and willing to make a more objective assessment of a movie. I mean, Cameron Diaz with load in her hair and Matt Dillon picking on the mentally handicapped is funny...whereas Green swinging an obviously fake baby around is not?
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:23 a.m. CST
by Purple Toupee
...and I think Tom Green can really be funny. And this may also be an unpopular opinion, but I think his hosting of SNL was one of the best episodes--his Canadian nice-boy rapper was HYSTERICAL--"I'm a good boy!! I'm a real nice boy!!" By the way, anyone who says that they never found an episode of the Tom Green Show to be funny is lying.
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:24 a.m. CST
by Purple Toupee
I'll have to take a look. I still haven't read Fury by Salman Rushdie, but it's on my list (I'm too cheap to buy hardcover). Keep those book reviews up, Moriarty!
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:35 a.m. CST
Let me just say thank you. Having worked with Tom Green in the past, I have perhaps a bit of a different view on his work. But I appriciate you taking the time to defend what you like. Your right, on a film like this, its so easy to trash it.. But frankly, its damn funny. In a very morbit way, in a bad way, in a stupid way, its funny... Thanks again Mr. Moriarity. -dash101
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:39 a.m. CST
I love to read Moriarty's stuff, but how can someone who lives for cinema hate Forrest Gump? Unless he read that shitty novel first. I loved the movie then I read the book and hated it. I didn't mind the sappy emotional manipulation at all; I love the weepy feeling I get when I watch the loaded special edition dvd of FGump. What a lot of people hated about Gump was his unlikely involvement in all these national affairs, which is a valid criticism, except that it was ten times worse in the stupid book. GUmp rules dudes! ** P.S. now I'm really excited to see the Tom Green movie. Thanks, Mo!
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:50 a.m. CST
but he is quite the funny man. Grand Theft Auto 3 rocks my face off...
Oct. 24, 2001, 10:04 a.m. CST
The problem I have with these sort of reviews is that the person writing them gets so worked up and hyperbolic about certain films, that you can't help but think they must be fantastic. But I'm sorry, BOTW and Amelie are just not that brilliant. I really wish people wouldn't pump these up so much - I went to see both expecting total masterpieces, but one is not much more than a horribly flawed plot covered by a thin veil of exquisite photography; while the other is certainly a visual success, but rests on the whole conceit that the most awe-inspiring women in the world are childish, weak, pathetic, cute, trite little girls. For me, this is a typically French idea (yes, I have lived there for many years so speak from experience) in that we are asked to believe the best women are the most man-needy saps that have ever walked the face of the earth. YES, these films are better than a lot of the crap we get, YES they look wonderful, but NO, they are not the best films in the world and, frankly, are an insult to films like The Man Who Wasn't There which contain REAL characters and REAL people and which show how a screenwriter can really be utter genius. Frankly, the person who wrote the plot of BOTW must have got bored with all the ridiculous fighting and decided to forget how people of that time might have acted, spoken, dressed etc etc etc. They BOTW is little more than Armageddon-style shite with French accents, some Kung-Fu thrown in and ropey CGI monsters. Thing is, I don't mind the fact that they weren't that good - it's just when people tell me they are fucking brilliant. Go on, have a go at me, but at least I'm saying what I feel, rather than jumping on a bandwagon about how great these films are - and isn't that the point of Moriarty's central message anyway???
Oct. 24, 2001, 10:43 a.m. CST
I have been a loyal reader of AICN and all of the contributing writers for quite some time and I have never been so shocked or offended by anything on this page until I heard Moriarty rip on Kevin Smith and his films in favor of Tom Green. That brutally unfunny show is thankfully off of MTV and thankfully we only have to hear about him now when Drew is doing something. I saw Road Trip and thought it was a decent movie but could have been better without Green's ridiculous antics. I had no intention of seeing Freddy but was dragged to it by friends and let me tell you those were the most brutally boring 93 minutes of my life. So what if Kevin's visuals aren't up to Moriarty's standards his films in general are funnier than anything Green has done and Kevin has also shown he can write about a topic with substance which I can assure you Tom Green will never do. Being a person who has never taken part in a circle jerk I actually would have liked to be a participant in the critics shitting on this waste of film. I am not sure if I will ever be able to take Moriarty seriously again after this article.
Oct. 24, 2001, 10:48 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
What else should I expect from a TalkBacker with "SilentBob" as part of his nickname, eh? Go back and reread what I said. I am talking about one aspect of Kevin Smith as a filmmaker: his visual style. I have defended him as a writer on these pages before, and I enjoy his work. But I'm not blindly rabid about it. I can acknowledge what Smith does well while also pointing out that he is, at best, a mediocre visual stylist. It's his weakest skill, and it continues to be a problem even with the replacement of Dave "Which End Of The Camera Does The Film Go In?" Klein. Now take a chill pill, a few deep breaths, and relax.
Oct. 24, 2001, 11:17 a.m. CST
Bravo to Moriarty for noticing a film at its most unflinching best for those with stomachs of iron who want to see it. Of the two people that 20th Century Fox gave money to this year for movies, that money was best spent on Tom Green and definitely not Mariah Carey (even though I did enjoy Freddy Got Fingered and will probably never give the obviously formulaic Glitter a chance, I would have definitely seen the money spent on both of those films be used for an X-Men sequel that is better than the original.....NOW THAT'S WHAT I WOULD CALL MONEY VERY WELL SPENT. I'll see the other courageous people who want to buy this bizarre relic of film when it hits DVD when I am in line....well before it reaches the 6 dollar rack at Wal-Mart.
Oct. 24, 2001, 11:18 a.m. CST
I think I've seen every episode of the Tom Green show, and I don't ever remember him being a racist. Maybe I missed something. And another thing, is Brother of the Wolves going to be dubbed or subtitled? I imagine it will be subtitled, but I am just curious. I personally have a problem with foreign films in general, dubbed or subtitled. You either get subpar voice actors to dub over the original actor's voices, or you have to spend the whole movie reading along (and thus distract you from everything that's happening on the screen). I don't know which is the lesser evil, but I generally avoid foreign films because of it. I'm not saying that there aren't incredible films being made by foreign filmmakers out there, but I feel that I would basically need to learn the language to really enjoy them.
Oct. 24, 2001, 11:24 a.m. CST
My problem is that I don't find Tom Green remotely funny. Somebody tying sausages to their fingers, jacking off mammals, etc. I don't find particularly amusing. Sorta weird considering I find "Pink Flamingoes" a stone riot (and it's definitely grosser), but there you go. Maybe it was because you can tell Green's doing it for the money and Waters is doing it because it splits his sides.
Oct. 24, 2001, 11:29 a.m. CST
I have to hand it to Mori here- he's actually gotten me interested in Tom Green. I've only seen commercials for his stuff, and it generally turns me off. Practically every TV or movie critic I've read hates him with a passion, so I've never given him a chance. So, if I hate Freddy Got Fingered when I finally do see it...well, then at least I'll know for myself. Even b bad cinema needs its moment for you attention....what's really bad is that the author to Carter Beats the Devil came to my school for a book signing and I couldn't come. Oh the shame....
Oct. 24, 2001, 11:29 a.m. CST
Such as "Tony Shaloub proves again that there are few actors more in command of a scene". I've been a fan of both of your works for a while but neither of you is more than a gifted character player.
Oct. 24, 2001, 12:21 p.m. CST
I think Tom Green's fully capable of being funny, but his humor is rooted in uncomfortable, semi-hostile confrontations with everyday people. I've very little desire to see him 'act' or attempt to play a character, even if it's just a thinly-disguised version of himself. What's amazing about the guy is that no one can beat him at whatever game it is he's playing. When critics trash him, he wins. When Dennis Miller or the cast of SNL try to meet him at his level, they come off desperate and pathetic. He's in a league all his own. Anyone know if there's truth to the rumor that his show got canned because he went to a Bar Mitzvah dressed as Hitler? Or how about whether Moriarty's "Secret Project" is the script for Mortal Kombat 3?
Oct. 24, 2001, 12:24 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... is that Tom's show left the air because after the cancer scare, he didn't want to face the grind of producing on a weekly basis. The alleged Hitler/bar mitzvah thing was a mean spirited lie about him. When the earlier TalkBacker called his work "racist," I was puzzled. I can't think of anything he's ever said or done that could REMOTELY be called racist, which is why that Hitler gag was so obviously not something he really did.
Oct. 24, 2001, 12:54 p.m. CST
'Oh yes! I made people to LIKE Tom Green! I'm the greatest!' !$!$ $@@% Mori, you !#!$. Tom Green is as funny as your president(aka Mr Autocue). And don't start talking about 'hatred', because if it's hatred you seek, I suggest you start reading some of Harry's articles about Freddie Prinze/Paul Anderson. I'm YOUR man.
Oct. 24, 2001, 12:59 p.m. CST
Thank you. Finally someone else gets Freddy Got Fingered, still my favorite film this year even after I've seen the brilliant Mulholland Drive. What happened to Freddy is a crime. It represents punk rock filmmaking at its best and should be an inspiration to real filmmakers and aspiring directors everywhere. I thought I was going to be the only one buying this DVD the first day it was out. Kudos to Fox for releasing a fine disc. Watch this movie. It is hilarious. I hope we see another Tom Green film as opposed to wastes of time like his cameo in Charlie's Angels.
Oct. 24, 2001, 1:06 p.m. CST
Oct. 24, 2001, 1:19 p.m. CST
I'm not a huge fan of Tom Green to be honest, but I applaud your choice to follow the herd and badmouth the guy just because it's the cool thing to do. Also, Monsters, Inc. should be hilarious, and did anybody catch the Faculty on USA last night? Harry, I wanna see you in some more cameos!!!! Hollywood beckons!
Oct. 24, 2001, 1:22 p.m. CST
I meant..."not follow the herd". Sorry, Mori.
Oct. 24, 2001, 1:33 p.m. CST
Labelling "Freddy" as the worst movie of the year was ridiculous. It wasn't even the worst movie of the month it opened, which saw Tomcats, Joe Dirt, Driven and Josie and the Pussycats all unleashed on unsuspecting moviegoers. Of course mainstream critics like the fiftysomething Ebert were never going to like a Tom Green movie. I'm glad Moriarty identified the idea of a generational gap in this movie. It's a movie for Green's generation and younger, I'd imagine anyone older than that who watches it is going to be just as frustrated as Rip Torn is in this movie! And its also interesting to note that Tom's next movie is with Jason Lee...that should be fun.
Oct. 24, 2001, 2:44 p.m. CST
...and I'm certain you all care. I liked some Moriarty's suggestions. I just might go see "The Man Who Wasn't There" that weekend. Indeed, there's quite a bit in which to look forward. ___This aside, whereas I can forgive Mori's defense of "Freddy Got Fingered" (I have some compassion left.), I can't believe he would so fundamentally misunderstand "Forrest Gump". Now before I get flambed here, please understand I'm not a rabid defender of the film, I just rather think the characterization of a "hate crime" is a bit much. I live it to the court of public opinion to decide if I'm alone here.
Oct. 24, 2001, 3:30 p.m. CST
It would be better if I could get everything that comes out Nov.2 for free, but of course that's just being retarded. Damn I love November 2nd a lot.
Oct. 24, 2001, 3:50 p.m. CST
Mori, you more than anyone should know that critics these days do little more than come up with a one or two line phrase, then add a couple of paragraphs. Either its a good one liner, or a bad one. "This film in FAN-TAS-GREAT" or "This film is an abomination." SNL did a sketch with Ben Affleck about a bunch of movie critics blasting the academy for not nominating such films as Lake Placid, and Mysery, Alaska. And sadly, they were dead on. Critics don't judge movies, they judge the stars. There are so few crtics that even warrant attention anymore. For the most part they all use the same tired cliches and everything is positioned to be on a "best of" or "worst of" list. Blame Fat Man and Little Boy (Ebert and Siskel) who turned the film review into little more than a rude gesture. Face it, critics are worthless. Does anyone really base their film choices on what these fat, pasty ass ranchers say? I plan on seeing THE ONE on Nov 2nd. I can tell you now, critics won't like it, and who really gives a shit? We need these critics to die off, and thin the herd a little. Ebert, Schwartzbaum (the EW reviewer with a colostomy bag for a brain), Maltin, Reed, and anyone who has ever used the phrase "abominaton" in a review. Let us rise up and kill our critics.
Oct. 24, 2001, 4:46 p.m. CST
Hey Moriarty, I liked your thoughts on The Man Who Wasn't There. I got a chance to see the trailer last weekend and really dug the web site (http://www.themanwhowasntthere.com). I agree with you that the Coens are brilliant and will definitely see this film. I am especially curious to see the manner in which Billy Bob Thornton plays Ed Crane, as the Coens have worked wonders with leading men in the past (i.e. Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski and George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The rest of the cast also looks stellar, and I can't wait to see what the Coens have in store for them.
Oct. 24, 2001, 5:02 p.m. CST
Good lord, Patton Oswalt is a funny man. I really recommend anybody that has never heard him to download his HBO comedy special. The actual show is funnier but since it's not on alot, give the old mp3 a try. You'll be sure to get a laugh.
Oct. 24, 2001, 5:25 p.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
...are you writing MORTAL KOMBAT 3 or not?
Oct. 24, 2001, 6:19 p.m. CST
by Darth Ian Toto
It got scathing reviews before any formal screening because Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman demanded huge undisclosed upfront sums - hence the $40M pricetag. Nowadays, that's an actor's sign of power and pride (and they reveal the sums)but back then there was a huge Hollywood industrial backlash. The movie is average but the more you can appreciate dry humor the funnier it actually seems. Remember dry humor? That sense of humor that refuses to spoon feed its audience and demands they work for their laughs? The kind of humor that disappeared from Hollywood oh, say 14 years ago? If you do, you do good! Now go run in a crooked line!
Oct. 24, 2001, 7:19 p.m. CST
by Judge Mental
Patton Oswalt wrote and sold a screenplay about Puberty. To quote him: "Which god did I please??" ...... Oh, that's good news. Patton Oswalt is by far one of America's greatest working comedians. You Hicks & Pryor fans out there need to check him out. Can't wait for his "Supergeeks" show on Comedy Central. .... Patton, should you ever read this: Congrats, my good man. And thank you for that HBO special. It has been a memorable and reliable source of genuine laughter for me and by buddies on several 420 sessions. LMAO!
Oct. 24, 2001, 7:25 p.m. CST
Are you f'ing kidding me? You're seriously going to sit here and try to suggest that a film that clearly tried to offend and shock was only poorly received by film critics because they thought it was fashionable? Here's a newsflash, Moriarty, Tom Green EXPECTED a backlash against this flick and thought it might work in his favor. Here's another newsflash for you, the movie was substandard. As a feature film, it was lacking. It was awful. As awful as Glitter? Close call, but certainly an objectionable piece of celluloid use in the eyes of most. The big tip? I don't see a sequel on the way. But to seriously suggest that all the film critics out there, except YOU, are all influenced by jealousy and hate, and that you've got it right, is the biggest piece of backslapping self promotion I've heard since.. oh.. the last AICN review I read. Tell us the real story, Moriarty. What'd they do? Fly you to Burbank to snort coke off Drew's breast with Tom in the trailer, and no suddenly you see the genius of Tom Green? Moriarty: "You know, I think he's the most misunderstood actor in film, guys. You should all go buy his DVD, because, trust me, I get it. Ignore the 98% of folks who hated the film, they're all on the take." AICN Readers: "Must.. follow.. Moriarty... Green.. genius... buy.. DVD.." Studio: "Thanks Moz. Wanna come out and hang out with Lance Bass for a weekend? He's got a 'really good' movie coming out soon and it's completely misunderstood.. if you know what I mean... Limo will be by at 4." And for the record, I find Scott Weinberg's reviews to not only be consistantly correct, but damn funy to read even when I disagree with them. You could learn something.
Oct. 24, 2001, 8:52 p.m. CST
by And Thyme
No! Not here, thank you kindly!! In no shape or manner should anything remotely resembling praise or respect be brought to Jay Carr. The man has only one good eye, really! And has been reported in Improper Bostonian to repeatedly fall asleep in the theatre and yet write up a review the next day anyhow. Look at his track record Moriarty! Never mind the guy who said wow to Dinosaurs. This guy gets published in the Boston Globe and allegedly writes reviews from press kits. It wouldn't be so bad if he would leave some reviews alone but even on the busiest Fridays he only leaves one or two movies for the seldom seen other critics on the paper. Damn his old fogey bones! And I'm sure when he's surrounded by the smell of sulfur and got a pitchfork up his ass, Tom Green will be will be right there trying way too hard to cheer him up.
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:27 p.m. CST
BoomerBoy, chill out there. Hating Forrest Gump isn't that unusual, a lot of film reviewers such as Owen Gleiberman and Pauline Kael disliked it...saying you don't like Gump is like saying Kubrick is over-rated or ESB is the best of the Star Wars films or Lucas & Spielbegr were better when they were younger. It may be a true fact but it's something we've heard before. Anyway BoomerBoy, Moriarty I admit was a bit over-the-top with his dislike of the reviewers of the movie who panned FREDDY GOT FINGERED (by the way, Tom Carson in Esquire Magazine also praised this film, along with Joe Dirt and Josie & The Pussycats). I mean they're entitled to not like the film, it's their opinion. People's tastes in movies are a lot different from somebody else's opinion on movies...it all has to do I think with how they grew up, how they take on life. Movies are a gateway into what people are like I think, their dreams and thoughts on life. I didn't mean to get all philosophical there. As for Tom Green, I think he knew this film was not gonna be for all tastes so that there was a backlash didn't surprise me. Comedies have never had it easy with critics since the days of Dr. Strangelove up to South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. I'm not a fan nor detractor of Tom Green, I enjoyed his cameo in Charlie's Angels and he was amusing as the narrator of Road Trip but I don't hate him as I did Andrew Dice Clay nor do I like him as I do Bill Murray and Jim Carrey. I'll check out FREDDY GOT FINGERED because of all the cult following it's been getting and who knows ? I may think it's a great film or hate it. Anyway, Moriarty great article here and I hope to see your 1997, 1998 and 1999 lists. 1997 dealing with all the same types of films which came out that year (Deep Impact vs. Armageddon, Bug's Life vs Antz) and lets us not forget Cameron's TITANIC and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (lots of bitching that L.A. won over TITANIC plus the whole talk with TITANIC). 1998 with the whole AFI best Americans films ever list and Peter Biskind's EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS (truth or lies) plus the SPR vs TRL battle and SIL winning over SPR. And then there is 1999, the whole Episode 1 thing which forever changed AICN and is still discussed to this very day. Star Wars was one of the things AICN built itself upon, lots of us wnated to be George Lucas when we grew up and held up the first 3 Star Wars films as the greatest movies of all-time, movies that had been apart of our life. Now with LOTR on the horizon as well as Episode 2, how does Episode 1 hold up ? And do Blair Witch Project, American Beauty and Fight Club still hold up after all the praise and hate they've gotten and is there anything left relevant to say about them ? EWS = a great film or a piece of crap considering all the nasty things said about it (to list them all would require me to make a 100 reasons list). And finally, will there be some discussion of THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, one of favorite films from 1999 and made my 10 best list ? AICN didn't much talk about it not even on TALKBACK and I was disappointed since it really is a terrific film which I really liked a lot. I don't think it's a great film but it's powerful in it's message of getting your life together. How both people and the way the world works isn't always in shades of black and white but gray and how you have to go against the grain sometimes to discover who you are and what is your destiny. These are just some of the topics I think should be discussed when the 1997, 1998, 1999 lists come around and even some I haven't discussed should be mentioned. I wouldn't miss your upcoming rumblings from the lab them for the world Moriarty. Keep up the great work for you have accomplished what the best writers about film have done by turning me on to a piece of cinema I may have overlooked or not been fully aware of. I thank you for this.
Oct. 24, 2001, 9:36 p.m. CST
I just wanted to apologize for any spelling errors in my previous post on Talkback. I haven't posted in a while and it'll be interesting to see what kind of reaction I get. The last thing I wanna do is get into some knee-jerk fight-that's just a pathetic waste of time.
Oct. 24, 2001, 10:32 p.m. CST
by Herman Blume
Let me guess... you are a struggling writer in Hollywood, waiting for this town to sit up and notice what has obviously been clear to you all along: Surely, you can do it better than everyone else! Anyone else! You just need the chance... the break... someone, anyone to recognize the talent that beats inside of you! Give me a break, buddy. I have a fundamental problem with critics in the first place. Back when I was in college, there was a saying: those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach. This is obviously true in Hollywood as well, if slightly altered. Those who can, do. Those who can't, critique. And here we have Moriarty, struggling artist (I'm assuming), having the balls not only to critique the work of people far more successful than he, but also critizing the work of his contemporaries: other critics. If they disagree with you, Professor Moriarty, then by default, they must be wrong. By daring to dislike a movie that you liked, they stooped to "hyperbolic ranting", "patent absurdity" and "exaggeration-- just for effect!) My lord. Congratulations. You have redefined the art of hypocrisy. Surely, your criticism of Forrest Gump, so cleverly worded as 'a mean spirited cinematic hate crime', could not ever be accused of being hyperbolic, absurd, or an exaggeration, could it? And these...reviews of yours... I suppose we'll call them that for arguments sake... there are just so many words! And so little said!Since you have so sagely decided to turn the tables on these offending 'critics' (used loosely, right?) and actually-- get ready for cleverness!-- review their reviews!, I'll do the same. Here are some words that popped to mind reading your review: ridiculously verbose. brainless pedantry. But above all: unbelievable hyperbole. "...Only once in a while does something truly special come along. This is one of those rare moments. Seize it. Treasure it. I sure have." Now those words that form your sentences there, taken alone, are very nice words. I like them all. However, strung together in the order you have arranged them, well, it causes a strange nauseous feeling to well up inside of me. I'm not exaggerating. Those words, so sugary, so melodramatic, so overstated-- we're talking about a movie here, aren't we-- they make me a little quesy. Not a lot. It doesn't give me a headache for two days, like Patton Oswald-- the one with the 'blisteringly funny comic mind capable of wicked, unexpected invention"- gave you. It just pains me to see the English language abused like that. Let's be honest, pal. Instead of wasting your time, and all these nice words, on reviewing the work of others, and giving us your highfalutin opinion on How Things Should Be... shouldn't you be working? Shouldn't you be writing?
Oct. 24, 2001, 10:38 p.m. CST
His crap was really never funny and it annoyed the living shit out of me!! I ,for one, never found any of the stuff he did to be hilarious on his show and avoided this movie like the plague when it came out. You would need an I.Q. of 0 or a lobotomy to think anything he did was funny on this or the show. Poor, poor Drew and the horror she must face everyday in that marriage. At least Jackass and Andy Dick were actually funny compared to that steamy turd that just won't go away. You just can't polish a turd, Noriarty.
Oct. 24, 2001, 10:51 p.m. CST
Must be the butterfingers or the beer. Hey, maybe if I kill enough braincells, I might rent it and might find it funny. God, I'd love to kick (Tom Green's) ass.
Oct. 25, 2001, 12:12 a.m. CST
Tom Green acts like or actually is a retarded,crazy asshole and Patton Oswalt is the funniest guy on earth!!
Oct. 25, 2001, 3:19 a.m. CST
by Louis P.
I'm a big fan of fucked up comedy but you can't sit here and defend "Freddy Got Fingered". There were a few laughs, the funniest being the baby gag, but all of it was out-of-place. Not a bit of it was motivated but just sick humor thrown at the screen. Worse of all it was cringingly unfunny. I just sat there flat-faced. This is not a good thing. I'm a guy that swears up and down that "Very Bad Things" is great comedy and "Happiness" I can watch more than once because it's just so fucking wrong. The difference is that these two films both give you a set-up and pay-off. "Freddy Got Fingered" just does seeming "shock" material for its duration. The critics have merit for there attacks, most of the fim is an attack.
Oct. 25, 2001, 3:25 a.m. CST
I actually like Tom Green (SLUT MOBILE!!!) and seen most of his Canadian stuff, even the old school stuff he used to do in Ottawa. I actually like most of Moriarty's reviews, but, dude, chill a bit on the smug 'tude once in awhile. It kinda puts off the audience. Anyway, peace...
Oct. 25, 2001, 5:17 a.m. CST
by Mr Neth
I'm sorry, Angel66, I don't quite see how getting your ass-cheeks pierced together, being kicked in the balls by 8-year olds or skating in a hot-dog outfit constitutes as bullying. But then maybe I'm just an idiot, yeah?
Oct. 25, 2001, 8:22 a.m. CST
by Wild At Heart
Yes it's official folks, Tom Green, Canada's greatest export since snow geese and curling, is due to begin filming on a Farrelly Brothers directed musical comedy reworking of "Apocalypse Now" tentatively titled "Freddy: Fingers of Darkness". Yes that's right, Tom plays Freddy Kurtz the wayward and annoying scion of the American military establishment ( played by his own parents ) who has disappeared into the wilds of Cambodia to turn it into a skate park or something. To prevent Freddy/Tom from ever again invading their house at three a.m. to dump roadkill on their bed, his parents assign Col. Willard, played by Ben Stiller, to seek him out and "terminate him with extreme prejudice". They're not kidding. Cult comedian Harland Wilson has a minor role as Col. Killgore in which he acts the same way as in all his other roles except he says "gook"a lot and substitutes "pot pourri" for "napalm" in that speech we all know and love so well. In the final compelling endgame between Kurtz and Willard, when Freddy asks Willard of his opinions of Freddy's methods, Willard says, tellingly, "I don't see any method at all". He's not kidding either. The film ends with Ben Stiller completely questioning whether to continue his comedy career after a bizarre and savage journey upriver that is largely metaphorical but contains references to "cow brain boats", peeing into plastic bags, talking very loudly in pharmacy stores whilst purchasing prophylactics and chainsawing rotting raccoon carcasses in half in the name of "magic". Will Willard after staring into the belly of the beast ever escape from his "Fingers of Darkness". The film ends with Tom doing a robotic hiphop remix of "the horror,the horror" whilst crawling facedown on the ground wearing a crash helmet. Tom Green is the singular testicled prophet of nothing who walks among us in our darkest hours to save us with an oddball mix of humour that is partly hysterically funny, partly maddeningly annoying, partly acutely embarrassing and partly downright perplexing. He is light years beyond being either funny or unfunny. He is an entity that conforms to no laws that exist in this or any other reality. Tom Green is Tom Green's audience. The rest of us are bystanders.
Oct. 25, 2001, 1:38 p.m. CST
Jesus, the guy writes an honest, intelligent piece on the most underrated comedy in years and you people jump on him like the fucking idiodic sheep that you are. Defend Forrest Gump? Come on. That film is mindless baloney. This is a place where we can champion the little guy, and in this case, yes, Tom Green is the little guy. He is a smart, interesting filmmaker. More so than Kevin Smith ever was. Moriarity has a point there. And we all should know that Hollywood is a place where what you can do is not the issue; it's who you can blow.
Oct. 25, 2001, 1:48 p.m. CST
As a fan of good films(Star Wars, Kevin Smith's movies, and Apocalypse Now) among others and a strong opponent of movies which merely waste film stock and money(Fast and the Furious, Freddy Got Fingered) I am abolsutely appalled by the post written about what is supposedly Tom Greens next (disaster) movie, a rip on Apocalypse Now. He has never been funny and trying to rip on a classic movie with actual meaning will hopefully make more people despise him and sense of humor or lack there of. I am a fan of Ben Stiller but if his participitation in this film is true then I will lose a great deal of respect for him as well. Tom Green should stick to being on Drew's side and never do anything again. I'm sure I speak for most people who were happy when his show stopped being aired as well as being totally against him shredding apart one of the great war movies of all time. I'm sure someone will respond to me and tell me that this is going to be a great parody(for the sake of your reputation Moriarty I hope its not you) but I hope he stays out of the limelight for the rest of existence. P.S. Good Luck with Mortal Combat 3. It should be one well filmed spectacular.
Oct. 25, 2001, 5:44 p.m. CST
... that's can potentially be a great comedy if not for the fact that Rob Shnieder is the lead. I didn't see Duece Bigelow or The Animal and I most likey won't see puberty.
Oct. 25, 2001, 6:42 p.m. CST
What in the world are you thinking Fuldamobil? Have you ever seen a movie besides Freddy Got Fingered cause if you have then how could you consider it a good movie. I won't even get into how much better every Kevin Smith movie is than that piece of trash but pretty much every movie ever made, even Forrest Gump, is better than Freddy Got Fingered.
Oct. 25, 2001, 7:17 p.m. CST
It's kind of funny how you are the person Kevin Smith was making fun of in his last movie. Was that a good movie to you? Do you watch anything besides Mallrats over and over again? Yes, I see a lot of movies and that is why I appreciate Freddy Got Fingered so much. There is more energy, excitement and comedy in five minutes of that film than Kevin Smith can muster up in 90. It is far from perfect for me, but it is at the very least new and different. In my opinion it brings Tom Green in the likes of other interesting, new (North) American directors like Harmony Korine (I doubt you could handle his films), Todd Solondz, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell. I liked Kevin Smith, but I feel that by now, his fifth film, he should be much more accomplished. Dogma was pretty weak and Jay And Silent Bob more so. The guy hasn't grown as a filmmaker. Compare Three Kings to Spanking the Monkey; or Requiem for a Dream to Pi. These are good directors, honing their craft, showing confidence and skill. I'm interested to see what Tom Green does next. Watch Freddy again. Tom Green could be a new Woody Allen for the 21st century. Think back to how Woody started with the insane What's Up Tiger Lilly?. Open your mind, Silent Bob.
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:35 p.m. CST
I've found Green's show to be funny in a sort of morally disturbing way, but it's nothing to get up in arms about. And Mortal Kombat 3 - dude, goodluck!
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:44 p.m. CST
Tom Green`s next movie should be him doing his slack-jawed yokel character from his show (you know, the one who likes to go to town to get caramels), and he invades the town Xenia, Ohio, as it`s portrayed in "Gummo"! Now THAT would be a movie!
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:46 p.m. CST
I am an extremely open minded person and enjoy the movies of all the directors you listed there. Yes they have all grown as directors and there serious non comedic films require a higher standard of cinematography than that of a comedy. If you watch Kevin's movies you will see he has grown and made Jay and Silent Bob as a way to retire the characters so he could move on to more serious material without the "crutch" of that dynamic duo. I definitely do watch Mallrats over and over but that is mixed in with other films from a wide variety of genres and directors. I saw Freddy Got Fingered as someone who had enjoyed very little to none of Tom Green's "comedy" on MTV and felt that there was very little to nothing funny about Freddy Got Fingered. There is some slapsticky comedy in Kevin's movies but overall they are better written than anything Tom Green will ever do. I also have never been a big fan of Woody Allen but I have seen most of his movies and never in my wildest dreams could I imagine Tom Green maturing past where he is now. I am by no stretch of the imagination saying Kevin is a mature filmmaker but he proved with Amy and Dogma that he can do more than just comedy and I expect the same from if not more maturity with his next film Jersey Girl and I among with many other people expect a return to prominance from some of my favorite book to screen adaptations with the Flect series that will be written and directed by Kevin. So in closing I would like to once again tell you that I am extremely open minded and a fan of all styles of film excpet that of the tired gross out comedy of Tom Green.
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:41 a.m. CST
Well, I disagree and say that there is very little that is tired in Freddy Got Fingered as opposed to Jay and Silent Bob, which did nothing but make me groan at its over-trite "jokes". For another inspired, albeit low-budget, comedy see Wet Hot American Summer. Again, there's more energy in its opening credits than in all of Jay & Silent Bob...
Oct. 26, 2001, 1:53 a.m. CST
Moriary, I've appreciated you writings in the past, but I have to warn you, as you get increasingly smug and arrogant you are setting yourself up for a big fall, especially since you and Scott are writing MK3. You know we're all going to get a hold of it and laugh our asses off. I am an aspiring screenwriter, and I would not write that piece of shit, even if they paid me a million bucks. If they thought I was a good writer, then let me write something good, something preferably original. How are you going to make the jump to good films after writing a script for a project that will either die or go direct to video? I mean, when anyone in the world saw Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, did they say as the credits rolled, dammit, I need more of that! I doubt it. It's also kind of silly how you won't even comment or confirm on writing it. Invaribly, every posted you make, ten talkbackers bring it up, and are ignored. Just break the silence, talk about it, tell all your peers about your struggles to make a studio picture, yada, yada, if you're so intellectually honest and altruistic when it comes to "your readers."
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