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Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Movies are our shared dreams. And movie theaters are the collective churches of those dreams. Anyone who has ever fallen head over heels in love with a film knows what I mean. They know that creeping feeling you get when you’re watching a movie and it starts to sink in that it’s not just good, but possibly great, and you start rooting for the filmmaker to pull it off. You suddenly find yourself filled with hope, and as Frank Darabont once wrote in another great film, “hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Particular theaters feed those dreams in particular ways. We develop an emotional relationship with these hallowed halls over time, and I know that seeing a great movie in a particular theater can impact the experience profoundly for me, just as seeing it in the wrong theater can. When I arrived on The Lot in Hollywood on Wednesday morning, I was directed around a corner to a small parking lot, and then I strolled over to the Studio Theater. I’ve gotten to know this room pretty well over the last year or so, since this is where Frank shows films for his friends on the occasional Friday night. We’ve seen some great stuff here. THE GREAT ESCAPE. THEM! Fleischer SUPERMAN cartoons, big and beautiful, the way they’re supposed to be seen. Spielberg’s personal show print of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The screening room isn’t the plushest in town, and the seats aren’t the greatest seats ever, but none of that matters. Because of the group of people I see at each of these screenings, and because of the films themselves, this has become a special place to me. This has become one of my favorite places to see a film. That emotional connection we have to our movie palaces is just one of the things that Frank’s new film THE MAJESTIC is all about, and the odd coincidence of seeing the film in that particular room definitely brought a smile to my face as I settled in for the show.

My one regret about the screening is that it wasn’t a packed theater. There were maybe five other people in the room, all told, and I was tucked away in the back corner, on the right side of the screening room, alone in the corner. On the one hand, I’m glad because I found the movie to be extremely emotional in places, and I didn’t really want the lady from the Humane Society to see me cry, ya dig? On the other hand, this is the kind of movie that has to be seen with a packed room. That’s another of the things the movie is about, that sense of community that arises from that shared experience in the dark, the way movies bring us together when they work. We lose ourselves in them, and sometimes we find ourselves in them, as well. We have our occasional quiet epiphanies, sitting there, staring up at that screen, those lightning bolt to the forehead moments that leave you seated even after the credits have rolled. I think it’s a reaction to seeing something true. We tell ourselves that movies aren’t real, but when you recognize real truth in a piece of art, it can be piercing. I live for those moments. I hope I get a chance to create moments like that for audiences.

That’s all Pete Appleton wants, too. He’s a writer. His first film, SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA, is in theaters, and he’s just days away from the start of production on ASHES TO ASHES, his second movie. At the start of THE MAJESTIC, we see a few logos go by – Warner Bros, Castle Rock, Village Roadshow – and we hear a group of executives speaking, discussing a script. I wasn’t sure who was doing the voices of the execs until the end credits, but I had my suspicions, and it’s a real treat to hear these men together. We never see them. Instead, the film’s first shot is a seemingly endless stationary close-up of Jim Carrey as Pete Appleton, listening to these lame-brained suits discuss how to ruin his script. He’s a worm on a hook, twisting and trying to keep that open-minded smile on his face. It’s a great, great first shot, and right away, I found myself feeling for Pete. This is a lead character I like a lot. The film’s second real shot is another long, continuous take, but it’s the exact opposite. We start across the street from the Grauman’s Chinese in all it’s mid-‘50’s glory, starting outside and swooping in, past the ushers and the candy girls and the crowded main lobby. I live just up the street from the Chinese. It was the first theater I visited in LA when I moved here, suffering through DAYS OF THUNDER just to see the inside of the theater and say I’d finally seen something there. When I squint and look at the theater through the corners of my eyes, it looks like this... perfect and preserved and beautiful again. Seeing it like this, even in a movie, is amazing. The movie is set two years past the infamous “Hollywood 10” hearings, but Pete isn’t touched by any of what’s happening in town. He’s not political. He’s just enjoying a night in one of the most famous and plush movie palaces in the world with his girl, the two of them celebrating and in love. Pete’s movie is playing, the movie she’s in, and Darabont’s loving homage to the adventure films of the day will make any film fan smile, not least because of Bruce Campbell’s appearance in it. Life seems charmed, and you can’t help but feel for Pete as circumstance suddenly turns and tears into his perfect life. Something terrible happens to him; he’s accused of being a Communist, seemingly at random, and he finds himself suddenly blacklisted, facing hearings and the possibility of naming names, and suddenly no one knows him, and, yes, he reacts badly, getting drunk and heading off for a night drive up the California coast. There’s an accident, painted with chilling precision by Darabont, and on the other side of it, he’s left with no ID, no memory, and a nasty head injury.

And then the film takes its big left turn, and this is the place where viewers are asked to accept something that at first seems impossible. See, the small town Pete’s wandered into, accompanied by James Whitmore, the old man who finds him on the beach, was hit particularly hard by WWII. They lost more of their young men than they could spare. It crippled the town, broke its heart. The young men who did come back were changed, as if something essential in them had been snuffed out. One young man in particular, Luke Trimble, left behind a hole in the lives of his father Harry (Martin Landau), his fiancee Adele (Laurie Holden) and her father, the local physician everyone calls Doc (David Ogden Stiers). When Harry sees Pete, he is shocked, immediately convinced that this is his son, finally returned, somehow alive despite vanishing on the battlefields of Europe. We see photos of Luke Trimble from nine years before, and he certainly looks like a younger version of Pete. It seems possible. And with Pete not knowing who he is or how he got where he is, he’s in no condition to deny being Luke.

His return does something to the town. The mayor (Jeffrey De Munn), all of the neighbors, the local businesses... everyone is electrified by what’s happened. Harry decides to reopen the family business which has been closed since Luke’s disappearance, the town’s movie theater, The Majestic. It’s a symbol, a crucial part of the town’s social life that has been silent, muted by sorrow for all those years. Refurbishing it, polishing it back to its former gleaming glory, it’s also a form of healing for the people in the town. Pete embraces this life he’s found, embraces his role as Luke. Carrey does something remarkable here, and it’s the part of the film that I feel is trickiest for a performer. Pete’s living a lie. He’s not Luke. He’s dodged this huge crisis in his life, left it behind, and vanished into this perfect life where he’s a big hero and he’s loved and he’s got a place in a community and he’s important. He’s hiding out, but he doesn’t realize it. If played wrong, Pete could seem like a real jackass, but Carrey nails it here. He manages to play on our sympathies without relying on easy manipulation. We invest in Pete Appleton because even if he doesn’t know who he is, he knows how to be decent. His basic personality goes unchanged, and what he responds to in this community is real. He falls in love with these people because they are worth it, and he never seems to take advantage of the situation. When he regains his memory... and don’t freak out about spoilers, because you know in a movie like this he HAS to regain his memory... he does the right thing. He confesses as soon as he can. He hesitates before telling one person, but it’s because he’s trying to spare that person pain in a moment where it’s vital.

In his time in town, Pete finds himself increasingly drawn to Adele, and it’s no wonder. Laurie Holden is enormously appealing here in what is essentially her starring debut. Fans of THE X-FILES will recognize her as Mulder’s icy blonde contact-turned-adversary, but this role is the sort of thing that turns an working actress into a star. She’s allowed to be smart and adult and strong in the film, but there’s no denying her basic sweater girl appeal. That particular mix of charms brings to mind someone like Carol Lombard or Veronica Lake for me, and it’s the kind of role that Preston Sturges always used to write so well for women. There’s a great sequence in the film where Pete settles into his role as the keeper of the re-opened Majestic, and he starts showing this string of great films, all of which really opened in 1951. It’s an embarrassment of riches. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. THE AFRICAN QUEEN. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. The sequence ends with Adele finding Pete behind the screen and sharing some good news with him. As the two embrace, we cut to the theater, to what the audience is seeing, and there they are in silhouette, kissing, while THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STLL plays, their shared moment framed in the white glow of a special effect. It’s a lovely moment, just one in a film filled with them.

And what of the ending? We know because this is a Hollywood movie that Pete will have to go back to face those who have accused him of being a Communist. We know that the town will turn its back on him when the truth is revealed, that he is not Luke Trimble. We know that Pete is going to have to appear in front of Congress, and that there’s a good chance he’s going to make some sort of speech. Knowing all of this, how can the film surprise? How can this sort of oh-so-perfect Hollywood setup yield anything like spontaneity or edge or honesty? Well, leave it to Darabont and Carrey and supporting performers like Hal Holbrook and Bob Balaban and Allen Garfield to figure it out. What turns to shmaltz in films like Martin Brest’s SCENT OF A WOMAN (“I should take a FLAMETHROWER to this place!!”) or unintentional comedy in films like Rob Reiner’s A FEW GOOD MEN (“You can’t handle the truth!”) comes across here as completely right. The timing of this film’s release is startling. Post-September 11th, there is something very potent in the discussion of what it means to be truly American, and what responsibility there is with the exercise of free speech. At a time when only patriotism is allowed in the national dialogue, are we being true to the spirit of America? Michael Sloane’s script doesn’t have a cynical bone in its body, and to some people, that may be a detriment. To me, it was a tonic to see a film with a heart like this, open and unafraid of sentiment and direct emotion. It’s a brave film because it is unwilling to wrap itself in the sort of safe emotional distance that so much of pop culture wraps itself in these days. It makes it easier to process things when we’re given a sort of hipster’s remove, a sardonic arm’s length from which to experience these things. THE MAJESTIC is unabashed about how direct it is. And it worked on me more than I thought it would. After all, I read the script and I visited the set, and I’d even seen sections of the movie on a prior visit to The Lot. When the film began, I was fairly sure I knew what to expect, and as such, I expected to have a muted emotional reaction. Instead, the film worked on me in a very Pavlovian way, causing me to tear up in several places. What caught me off-guard, what kept tearing down my defenses, was the level of craft the entire cast brings to things. We’ve seen a lot of eccentric small towns over the years, and in everything from NBC’s show ED to MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, there’s things they have in common. Darabont cast every role in this film just right, though. De Munn, Whitmore, Landau, and Stiers play a sort of moral chorus in the film, the representatives of the town’s enormous heart. The guy with the hook who came back from the war with a walled-off heart. The girl at the diner who loves him anyway. The kid who idolized Luke who’s learned to play the clarinet he left behind. All of these characters are brought to life with a few brushstrokes, and in each case, there’s something memorable, something special in their moments that pays off. They avoid the obvious choices and keep making you believe in the relationships of this town. There’s one guy in particular who I was just mesmerized by, an actor named Gerry Black. He plays Emmett, who lives in the basement of The Majestic and who serves as the theater’s usher and fix-it man when the theater reopens. He’s marvelous, and something about his charisma made me think of the late, great Scatman Crothers. I hope Mick Garris considers this guy before he casts his TALISMAN mini-series next year. Black would make an amazing Speedy in that project. And of course, none of this would matter if Jim Carrey hadn’t stepped up and given the most consistently moving performance of his career. He does it all here, and he never once looks like he’s acting, or like he’s playing some “big moment.” He manages to play Pete Appleton and Luke Trimble and show us differences between them and also clearly define what defines each them. His moment of self-realization, his remembered life flooding back in all at once, is note perfect.

Frank really seems to have relaxed as a filmmaker this time out. I love SHAWSHANK, and I think THE GREEN MILE is a case of too much of a good thing, making it hard to rewatch as a whole. The work in the film is all damn good, even if there’s just... so very, very much of it. THE GREEN MILE felt like Frank was very aware of the expectations on him after SHAWSHANK, which is one of those debuts that sets the bar almost impossibly high, and he worked so hard to make all of GREEN MILE great that he didn’t really want to lose any of it. The one common thing I hear from people who weren’t nuts about GREEN MILE is the complaint about the length. Hell, Billy Wilder said it after a screening of the film I was lucky enough to attend. Frank set it up for Wilder, who didn’t get to see the film during its theatrical run, but who wanted to see it in a theater. Frank was away, scouting locations on THE MAJESTIC already, so he wasn't able to enjoy it with us. As it ended, Wilder (who is about the size of Yoda at this point) was being helped into a wheelchair by his escort, and someone asked him what he thought. He was obviously visibly moved by the movie, and it took him a moment to find his voice. When he did, though, it was like thunder rolling in. That enormous German boom of his filled the screening room. “I THOUGHT IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL MOVIE!! I THOUGHT THE PERFORMANCES WERE BEAUTIFUL!! THE SCREENPLAY IS WONDERFUL!! I FIND MYSELF VERY MOVED BY IT!! BUT IT WAS SO LONG!! I CANNOT EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!!” He kept booming all the way down the hall to the restroom about the film’s virtues, but there was no doubt that peeing was the priority. I say this to preface my praise of the way THE MAJESTIC moves. Maybe it was shooting something like SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA, the movie within the movie that is so deliciously silly, so specifically satirical, that freed Frank up. Maybe it was just the experiences of the first two, the comparison of one production to the other, that gave Frank the control to pull this one off. Whatever the case, I’d say his craft has become almost invisible. You don’t feel the mechanics of the plot as they slide into place here. He does all the hard work of a film like this, plot-heavy and full of tricky tonal shifts, and never once lets you see him doing it. Instead, he makes the whole thing feel graceful, natural, and the pace of the movie strikes just the right balance between leisurely and abrupt. It’s got energy, but it’s not afraid to take a moment and digress if it’s worthwhile. The first screening of THE MAJESTIC, in Arizona, was longer than the version I saw, and there have been trims beyond what I saw as well. The movie’s over 2 hours at this point, but it’s brisk. And like with GREEN MILE, there’s an embarrassment of detail. This time, though, I don’t think people are going to feel bogged down by that detail. There’s a real sharp focus to this story. It’s also a real leap forward for Frank on a technical level. The film’s filled with beautiful imagery, classic movie trickery, inside jokes (look for the tribute to Chuck Russell, a friend of Frank’s who not only loaned him some set dressing from THE SCORPION KING to use on the SAND PIRATES set, but who also directed Jim Carrey in THE MASK), and Frank’s voice somehow rings through clearly even though he didn’t write the film. He’s developed a real signature as a filmmaker, something that a lot of very good directors never quite do.

Sunday morning, my girlfriend and I woke up early and went to the Todd AO scoring stage over at CBS Radford. There’s something amazing about sitting there with a 94 piece orchestra as they lay down the score to a film. It was fascinating to watch Mark Isham, who wrote the film’s score, and to see Frank work with him to shape this one particular cue that runs about eight minutes. It starts with the moment Adele first lays eyes on this man who is supposed to be Luke Trimble, and ends with the two of them on top of a lighthouse at sunset. It’s a crucial stretch of footage for the film, and seeing Frank as he enters the home stretch, he’s still giddy in love with the movie, as is Michael Sloane, his longtime friend who is finally seeing this vision of his brought to lush and lovely life. I can’t wait to see how this last round of tweaks turns this great film up a notch. Charlie Gibson is finishing his digital work on the film now, and his stuff should be invisible by the time the film comes out, that visual finish that ties things together without calling attention to itself. As it stands, THE MAJESTIC is already one of my favorite films of the year, and the kind of movie that does it all: entertains, provokes, and emotionally affects. When those final credits roll, expect America to erupt, and expect word of mouth to be strong. This is the right film for the right time, and I have faith that people are going to hold it close to their hearts. I already do.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 31, 2001, 9:09 a.m. CST


    by MonkeyDonut

    Fucking A. Great review Mori.

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Ah, It'll Probably Still Suck

    by Smilin'Jack Ruby

    TRICK!!!!! Hahaha. Sorry, Moriarty, it's Halloween and with an empty Talkback, I couldn't resist after such a heartfelt review. Great piece of writing and I'm looking very much forward to seeing the flick. Happy Halloween, everybody!

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Obligatory "First" thingy, I guess

    by g-dude

    Good review. I can't express enough on how good these last two months will be. Monsters Inc, Harry Potter, Majestic, Ocean's 11, Ali, and LotR...this fall will rock!

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 10:20 a.m. CST

    who is moriarty?!!!!

    by ryan mecum

    ive read this guys post for two years now, and i have no idea who he is. hey, how do you get all this inside stuff? you make movies too? do we know you? you aint james cameron are you? who is darkman? who is corky romano? who is kieser sose? who is moriarty? howd they get a puppet frog to ride a bike?

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by DarthSatyr

    Moriarty, thanks for the great write up! No offense Harry, but Mori is the best reviewer and writer that works this site. I am so pulling for this movie. Darabont is one of my favorite directors currently. I enjoyed every second of the Green Mile, but I also agree it is a tough movie to watch multiple times. I hope this gives Jim Carrey the "street cred" he needs to move beyond the rubber faced idiot many people see him as. He's done some pretty good work. And Bruce Campbell in a 50's adventure movie homage? Excellent! It is about darn time that the good movies start showing up in the theaters. The Majestic, Monsters Inc, Harry Potter, LOTR...woo-hoo!

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Warning from Jeffery Wells

    by sefsterJ

    For whatever it is worth, seems that Wells has heard unpromising things about the film ( it may be the jump in logic Moriarty is talking about, though ): "Due respect to Warner Bros. and director-writer Frank Darabont, but I'd like to formally withdraw any wildly optimistic predictions I may have made about The Majestic punching through in December as a formidable Oscar contender. I'll let it go at that. Let's just say I've been influenced. On the other hand, I'm told by friends at Castle Rock that Majestic is testing "in the 80s," which is nothing to fret about. They also say Jim Carrey's non-comedic performance is being well received. And readers will recall I ran some favorable remarks about the scipt a few weeks back. I'm just saying I heard something that made an impression, is all. "

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Quick Answer

    by drew mcweeny

    I've known Frank for a lot longer than there's been an AICN, and I've always been honest with him about my reaction to his work, both on the page and on the screen. However, I always make sure to preface remarks about his work and set them in context so that you can decide for yourself if you feel that our friendship biases me. I'm not telling you to take my opinion on this film as sacrosanct. I'm just saying that this is how the film affected me, and I think I've always been very honest about context.

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 12:28 p.m. CST

    I realize this shouldn't be a soapbox for THE GREEN MILE but

    by lostoptimist

    While I'm a fan of Moriarty's and agree with him most of the time, I have huge reservations with even recommending THE GREEN MILE to the average viewer. It's not the detail and it's not the length (not really at least). It's the story structure. It didn't work with the three separate executions, the acting wasn't anything to write home about (Mr. Jeter and Mr. Duncan excepted), and I felt more pain for Mr. Jingles getting stomped on than when Duncan got the chair. I'm still up for this film though and I'm still a huge supporter of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION....just not the Green Mile.

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 12:37 p.m. CST


    by Sgt. Black

    hey... no one else was saying it...

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Wonderful review...

    by Huneybee

    I honestly had no interest in this movie until reading your review, Mori. Great writing and I look forward to seeing The Majestic.____Bee

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 2:21 p.m. CST

    That's Some Real Fancy Writin'!

    by mrbeaks

    So tough to pull off anything approaching "Capra-esque" these days, but Frank seems especially attuned to the Zeitgeist of the 1930's and 40's. I was already sold on the concept of the film, as well as the casting of The Bruce, so Mori's review simply confirms my suspicions that this is a must-see.

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Billy Wilder

    by Gilda Mundson

    Billy Wilder is, in my view, the best writer/director in the history of world cinema. If that genius likes it, then I'm all for it. Goal #380 Before I turn 21 (in exactly 6 mos tomorrow wheeee!!!) or before Billy Wilder dies, I need to meet Billy Wilder and just hang with him for an afternoon. Then my life would be totally complete. I'm so fuckin jazzed about this movie.

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Billy Wilder misquoted

    by maplebum

    I'm sure the Majestic is gonna be great, BUT don't put words in Billy Wilder's mouth! He still has that wicked wit that he does not need to be misquoted. I was there that day (a cherished memory). He did NOT say anything about having to pee. He did say The Green Mile was "Too long". Misquoting Wilder makes me so suspicious of what other BS may be shrewn about on AICN. Keep it real boys.

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Let's hope it wins Best Picture!

    by jalora

    As a resident of the small town in Northern California where this movie was filmed, I can't wait to see how our Victorian-era village looks on the big screen. Let's hope it wins an Oscar or two, so more people will decide to film here! Beautiful Ferndale has played host to a number of films, including "Salem's Lot", "Return of the Jedi" (Endor), "Jurassic Park", and now "The Majestic". Sorry, I'm gushing. I sound like I work for the Chamber of Commerce or something! :-)

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Ferndale, eh?

    by Mr Neth

    C'mon, everyone! Over to Ferndale! I gotta bag me an Ewok for the kid's Christmas!

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Mori's review was a fuckin' great read but what I really

    by Edward Rooney

    The rest of the 90's List DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oct. 31, 2001, 10:36 p.m. CST

    What Darabount should do next...

    by AuntieMeat

    I can't wait for this movie, it looks fantastic, and I'm sure it'll be up there in my tops of the year (though I'm not sure anything can top the love I'm in with Amelie right now). But, lets get down to brass tacks. Darabount knows King. He does it superbly. I have been waiting since the age of 10 for someone to take on my favorites short story from Skeleton Crew. Yes... Darabount needs to hurry up and get going on THE MIST. Gaddamn... the coolest fucking story I ever got sucked into as a child. MAKE IT!!! I WANT IT!!!

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Hasn't this been done?

    by Boxcutter

    Sounds like "The Return of Martin Guerre" (Depardieu mistaken by villagers for local nice guy who's been away to war for years etc) rewritten with the amnesia twist and the Blacklist context and marketed like mad for poor under-appreciated Jimmy's Oscar.

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 2:03 a.m. CST

    what wells may have heard

    by salopasolini

    the rumor: A much-admired major director saw Majestic and hated it. I'll still see it though. After Ali. And Ocean's 11. And possibly Black Hawk Down, depending on when I get to the theater.

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Does Billy Wilder scream that much?

    by hktelemacher

    Good review and all, but I'm off on a Wilder tangent. He's my filmmaking hero and - same as fellow TBer Gilda Mundson - I just want to shake the man's hand and try not to come off like an idiot when I find a way to express my gratitude to him for making a handful of the all-time greatest movies that will provide tremendous entertainment for me until the day I die. I don't think I would fall apart like that, but I discovered Wilder a few years ago when I was about sixteen and relentlessly tracked down all of his stuff, having thoroughly enjoyed it and relished in it for the past four years. I don't normally get as schmaltzy as Moriarty has been lately, but Wilder is the man and I'm glad to see that other TBers on this site dig his stuff as much as I do. I'm not sure how big his fan base is, but I'm often dismayed at how many people just gush over Kubrick or Spielberg and Wilder's name is rarely brought up - though I see more of him in contemporary movies than almost any other director. He seems to really influence the right people and like the best of Orson Welles work, most of Wilder's movies don't really age - for the most part they feel extremely fresh today and seem light years ahead of other films from the same years. As far as The Majestic stuff goes, I would really like to see a movie that went deeper into the Hollywood blacklisting period - especially the self-inflicted McCarthyism that directors like DeMille tried to institute in the Hollywood ranks and failed due to the oppposition of younger directors like Huston and Wilder. I usually don't let myself slide into that territory, but when it comes to Wilder I'm an uber-fanboy - but I can't think of another director who deserves it more.

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 9:05 a.m. CST

    i'm there

    by MonkeyKungFu

    I cannot wait to see this Moriarty's review was one of the best reviews right up there with his great review for Girl on the Bridge... for a second forget this is even a review... this is one of the best written pieces I've read about a movie in sometime... reading this was like getting that feeling of movie magic I felt during the part in Shawshank Redemption where Andy locks himself in the office and plays that opera song throughout the prison. Reading this review was kinda like a song experience... During the first part of the review you could have just cued the score of Tsui Hark's movie Blade where On learns how his father gets killed and they do they cool split screen thing... cut to the middle where Thomas Newmans score for Shawshank blares... and then the end was like I could just hear the climax to Raymond Wong's score for Shaolin Soccer.... With that being said this review brought out the movie geek/lover/jedi/whathaveyou in me. It seems to me that all of Frank's movies with their movie magic have moved people, inspired them, the kind of movies that makes you run out and tell some girl you love her... and just do all sorts of things in life you'd have never done had you not seen the movie... like you somehow live each day of your life like it is your last day on Earth... Franks movie brings that spirit out in people. I hope someday Frank will still want to do his Omega Man remake...

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I agree with Huneybee...

    by Mr. Nice Guy

    I'm now seriously considering seeing this movie. Moriarty your reviews are awesome and keep up the good work.

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 9:58 a.m. CST

    What about Doc Savage?

    by Mister Mysterio

    Didn't I hear something about Darabont, Arnie and Chuck Russell working on a film of "Doc Savage"? Whatever happened to that? Is it still gonna happen eventually? What's the deal?

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 6:23 p.m. CST

    You folks are being set up to be disappointed

    by Tres Skeek

    I saw this movie at a test screening out in Northridge a couple weeks back and I'm sorry to say that the film just plain doesn't work. I am a HUGE Darabont fan and really, really wanted to like this movie. Seriously. I mean it. And seeing this with a packed house only hindered the experience further, as the audience barely reacted to anything in the movie. There were even some walkouts (even though every seat was filled and they had to turn away scores of people at the start). Anyway, I don't really have the energy to discuss this movie, but be forewarned. THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO DISAPPOINT A LOT OF YOU!!!!

  • Nov. 1, 2001, 7:32 p.m. CST

    This looks wonderful

    by theMasterBlaster

    A Jim Carrey movie about the triumph of the human spirit AND "movie magic." Just what we need.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:50 a.m. CST

    The Majestic

    by longship

    Although the main setting of this movie may be Ferndale, when Jim gets off the train he does so in Fort Bragg. The station yard was full of 1940/50s autos -- but some extras looked like they were wearing 1880s costumes. Regardless of whether this movie is any good, I have a weird compulsion to see every flick shot in Northern California. I may have to see a shrink to get cured after sitting thru Bandits!!!

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 5:49 a.m. CST


    by Thorn Davis

    A friend of mine had a very succinct review of The Shawshank Redmption: "If you don't like it, you're a cunt." I just wish they would put it on the poster.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Shade...Has the sun...

    by Huneybee

    obliterated your point? Did you even have one? Thanks for posting the interview link, but was this, as your comment implied to me, supposed to be derogatory? Personally, I did not find anything in that interview to lead me to believe that Mori is an egotistical bastard, which you implied with your comments. If you feel otherwise, please feel free to elaborate.____A Perplexed Bee

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 5:42 a.m. CST


    by Huneybee

    I can respect your point of view, but, in all honesty, I cannot comment on John Landis and what he has done, as I am not aware of any crime of his. While I was, and always will be, a vehement detractor of Salva, I respect the rights of Moriarty and anyone else to see his movies. I do not allow anyone to lead me blindly into anything and I have never owned rose, not red, tinted glasses. There are times when a person&#39;s beliefs intrude(?) into aspects of their lives where they never thought it would be possible for morality to be a major issue. That is the case for me with "supporting" films made by certain people.____I don&#39;t think your tb&#39;s will be deleted because you are being pertinent and not using vulgar language to make your point. I do like (for the most part) what I have seen of Mori and Harry, but, guess what? I am capable, as are others, of liking what I see of someone and, yet, still formulating my own opinion. For every person actually taking the time to type an opinion, there are many, many others simply reading and noddding or shaking their heads silently. This is neither a crime nor an inability to think for themselves.____I agree with you that a good many of the articles posted lately have not been of the same quality that I experienced when I first started reading AICN. With some exceptions, they seem to be slightly to markedly behind many of the other sites these days. I can only hope this changes in the future. As for advertising? If you can&#39;t figure out that the numbers in black must exceed the ones in be it. <Note: Never enter into Shady business deals> Honestly? I read the review and cannot understand what you found so offensive about it. I rather enjoyed it.____Bee

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 6:09 a.m. CST

    My, how slowly I type...

    by Huneybee

    Of course, part of that time was spent attempting to find out what John Landis did that was so awful. If you do tell me, please feel free to supply the supporting links so that I may verify your information.____It seems to me, from your comments on this subject, that you feel we are all sheep in a herd. Guess what? I have family, friends, and aquaintances I like and family and friends I love. I allow none of them to make my decisions for me.____All I&#39;m saying is presented this interview like it made Moriarty/Drew into an arrogant person whom rules over AICN with an iron deletion key. That is not the case. I remember your tb&#39;s so I know that you have been here for a while. There have been many personal assaults on ANYONE bothering to take the time and make the effort to submit a review here. It doesn&#39;t matter if it is Harry, Mori, Quint, or someone unknown; everytime a review is posted, unflattering comments WILL be made. Reviews can help those of us not battering down the theater doors every weekend, no matter the expected quality of the new releases, and they can assist some of us to pick and chose the movies we would like to see. Mori&#39;s The Majestic review has brought to my attention a movie I would have otherwise placed into the rental category. Is that so bad?____Oh, and yeah, yeah, yeah...I know about the MK3 script. What of it? ____Bee

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 6:13 a.m. CST

    A vicious cycle...

    by Huneybee

    ok, your turn... ;)

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by Huneybee

    I did misunderstand whom you were initially speaking to when you began the rose colored glasses conversation. I didn&#39;t pay enough attention to the name of the other person and took your use of the word possibly as an adverb and not a noun. My aplogies as that was my confusion and mistake.____I&#39;m not taking this personally at all. We simply wound up in the tb at the same time and had a brief "chat" with one heckuva lag time, which is one reason I "winked" at you and said "your turn". I realized that we were running about a tb behind in our replies, and, rather than continue to muddle the issue, I went to sleep and left you to post the next comment so that things might be more clear today. Personal is paint in my hair and living out of a suitcase for two months until my furniture is shipped, not a vague on-line discussion about a third person. ;)____To be honest, I have not noticed the majority of tber&#39;s worshipping (your word) or following like sheep (my word) Mori or anyone else. Conversely, the majority seem to purposefully strive for outrageousness and deliberate antagonism to the point that I would suggest, in their struggle to be seen as unique individuals, they are the opposite. An angry, hostile herd of sheep comes to mind as a description of most talkbacks.____I&#39;m beginning to wonder if we read the same interview. <lol> You say you are really reacting to the plugging of AICN by Mori in the interview? Did I read that correctly? If so, I do not see what is so bad of taking advantage of free publicity and using the opportunity to promote your company. I agree with you, to a point, on the issue of movies being advertised on a movie website, but I am not sure if the other sites do this since I rarely pay attention to the advertising, with the exception of that impossible to ignore Iron Monkey advert.____I previously had a similar discussion with someone about the possible influence of the internet movie sites on filmmakers and studios. Neither being employed by a studio nor having ever made a film, I cannot state with any surety that the sites (AICN and others) DO influence the movie industry, but I think I can safely say that they don&#39;t have that much impact on box office results. While many people may visit AICN, the average movie goer merely watches for entertainment and could care less about the lighting or the score. Indeed, most would probably think you were referring to sports if you mentioned the latter. I would honestly love to hear the opinions of other tb&#39;ers on whether they think the studios are influenced by the site. I don&#39;t doubt the veracity of Mori&#39;s comments when he says that he knows people in the industry who avoid the tb&#39;s. It cannot be pleasant for one to read some of the disparaging comments tb&#39;ers have made.____I think we are just two different people with two different points of view and I think this tb of mine is way too long! Plus, I gotta go get the paint out of my hair! Peace.____Bee

  • Dec. 7, 2001, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by notoriousboz

    The trailer looks really cool. Definitely seems like a Capra-esque film. I&#39;ll see it for sure. Perhaps this will get Carrey an Oscar?