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Two More PANIC ROOM Reviews!!

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

A friend of mine who I trust wrote me yesterday to strongly encourage me to go to see PANIC ROOM before writing it off, no matter what I thought about the script. He swears to me that the film is a visual masterpiece, and that the sheer craftsmanship of the thing more than makes up for Koepp's pedestrian screenplay. The reviews coming in seem strong, too, a marked change from the early screening reaction. I love Fincher, and would love to see this turn out as another worthy addition to his filmography. Based on everything I've heard, I plan to see the movie on opening weekend with my mind open, ready to be entertained. Right now, here's a couple of quick glimpses at the film.

This first one is from the FilmHobbit:

Hey Moriarty,

Dropped this to Harry, figured I ought to drop it to you as well. Caught as screening of The Panic Room here in Dallas last night, here's the skinny:

A lot of people don't like Home Alone. They dismiss it as mindless prattle catering only to the unwashed masses. Personally, I'm a fan, and would be even more so if not for that damned annoying kid. But at last, David Fincher has a solution to the Macaulay Culkin factor and her name is Jodie Foster.

Foster stars in the latest Fincher directed thriller, The Panic Room as Meg Altman. Recently divorced, Meg and her daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart), have taken her ex's fortune and bought a lavish old brownstone near Manhattan. Built by an eccentric millionaire, the home comes complete with hard wood floors, vaulted ceilings, state of the art security systems, and a panic room. An eccentric bit of protection, a panic room is a security room, designed as a last ditch-hiding place in case of home invasion. On their first night in the house, Meg and Sarah put it to the test, when thieves break in to steal a fortune hidden in the house by the previous owner.

Noticing any Home Alone similarities? If only Kevin had had a panic room. All he had was a bag of tricks… though Meg has plenty of her own. In true Home Alone fashion, robbers are bonked, burned, shot, and crushed in Meg's desperate defense of her house. True, this is by no means cartoon violence, but the similarities are unavoidable. There are even one or two Joe Pesci references.

Perhaps Fincher is just a Culkin fan. Don't let his obsession with Michael Jackson's boy-toy distract you from the fine work he's done here. Despite being oddly reminiscent of an adult, R rated version of Home Alone, The Panic Room is actually a gripping and skillfully constructed thriller. Here is a man not afraid to put his camera to use, dipping and diving and fading through walls to sharply careen us between villain and heroine in a breathtaking display of editing, angle, and effects.

Jodie Foster too, is quite admirable in her portrayal of a mother backed quite literally against a wall. The rapport between she in her daughter is believably low key and develops them strongly. Her reaction to danger is quick and intense, making it easy to buy into her peril. However, somewhere along the way someone decided it might be a good idea to make her claustrophobic. Exploring how a claustrophobic deals with being confined in a small space like that by choice and necessity might have added another level of tension to the film. Yet somewhere along the way, after bothering to tell us about Meg's mental handicap, Fincher forgets to explore it. Maybe he decided the film didn't need it. I actually might agree. But then why bother pointing it out to begin with? Despite breaking into hysterics after ten seconds of confinement earlier in the film, when danger rears its ugly head, her fear is only given a passing fancy.

Inconsistent character flaws aside, The Panic Room is a successfully intense and engaging thriller. Though I still maintain that Fincher or writer David Koepp must have in SOME way been inspired by Home Alone, don't let that fool you into judging this some silly Acme anvil-fest. The panic and terror of the characters is palatable. The suspense unbearable. Beautifully scored by Howard Shore's haunting melodies, and admirably filmed and acted on all counts, Panic Room is at least more than worthy of the name THRILLER.

Find this and more over with us at http://www.filmhobbit.com

I am... The Film Hobbit

And now here's the SuperFett with his view:

Every film has a gimmick. It's almost a necessity in today's Hollywood marketplace that any new film have something that gives it that "edge" that justifies the millions of dollars that went into its production. Usually, that gimmick appeals to the more prurient side of moviegoing audiences, whether by showcasing the beautiful people of Hollywood ("America's Sweethearts", "Black Hawk Down") or by pushing the boundaries of what is considered decent and acceptable in modern cinema ("Hannibal", "American Pie"). More often than not, the chosen gimmick steals the thunder of whatever substance would have otherwise driven the film, but "Panic Room" rises above that tendency and becomes a thrilling, compelling film in spite of a deceptively shallow premise.

The main plot of the film was laid bare in its first trailer: a woman and her daughter purchase a lavish home in which a panic room was created by its previous owner. In a rare sequence of valuable exposition, the concept of the panic room is explained by the realtor. "It's called a panic room....it is designed for one purpose: to keep people out."

By revealing this pivotal plot point at the outset, director David Fincher ("Fight Club", "Seven") issues a challenge to the viewer, as if to say, "here's the big peculiarity of this film...if that's all you were interested in, don't bother staying." And by doing so, he frees the audience to enjoy how this interesting rarity is used as both a defensive and offensive weapon against three errant intruders.

This is first and foremost a plot-driven movie, but that is by no means a weakness. The main premise is established in the first ten minutes of the film, and we are knee-deep in action within the first twenty. Character development is present throughout, but the cues are so subtle that they almost feel like an afterthought--a refreshing change from the "this is why I'm doing the things I do" exposition that plagues most big-budget productions. The character's relationships are firmly established by the film's conclusion without hitting the viewer over the head, and they supplement the film rather than serving as a crucial part.

It was my suspicion as this film began to take shape that the events which unfold could just as easily be told onstage. For the most part, that's true, but there is enough movie magic in this film to make it a singular cinematic experience. For one thing, just as he did in "Fight Club", Fincher uses CG camerawork in many instances to show us the insides of keyholes and the passage of gas through ductwork in ways that traditional camera equipment simply cannot. These moments are stylistically engaging without jarring the viewer, which is a difficult balance to strike when combining CGI with processed film.

Fincher also makes use of the entire house during the mini-siege, and he incorporates the panic room instead of focusing on it. This allows for the actors to use a full range of motion and the audience is given additional perspective through the eyes of securicams that are monitored from within the panic room. With all this space to work with (4200 sq. ft.), Fincher is able to orchestrate a wide series of events that twist and turn, gripping the viewer and creating suspense without winding to an overly-contrived finish.

In the end, "Panic Room" succeeds at what it aims to do; it keeps the viewer engaged with a lean, carefully-constructed teeth-grinder, free of excess. Its gimmickry is only superficial, and beneath the surface lies a gripping, minimalist action-drama that will hopefully set a new standard for action films to come.

Thanks, guys. I know there's a lot of readers who are looking forward to this one, and I'm sure you just made it that much more difficult for them to wait.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • March 15, 2002, 12:49 p.m. CST

    First rule of Panic Room is: You do not talk about Panic Room

    by durhay

    sorry.

  • March 15, 2002, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Sounds Great

    by Silacious CEE

    David Fincher is a Freakin Master. Does anyone know what he is working on next?

  • March 15, 2002, 1 p.m. CST

    Bravo SuperFett

    by thebluerose

    I have been desperately looking forward to this film, and these are the first reviews I've read. I found SuperFett's review very helpful--I got a real sense of the movie and its obvious you really used your head when evaluating this movie. I just like to congratulate good writing when I see it.

  • March 15, 2002, 1:04 p.m. CST

    MORE COW BELL!!!

    by The Feral Kid

    Hey, what about Dwight Yokam as Raoul. MORE DWIGHT YOKAM! "Who are you?" "I'm Raoul." Only a few actors could pull that off - and Yokam is one of 'em, even if he's a country music singer. The whole cast looks very strong, even though the clips I've seen with Jared Leto don't seem very promising. He's still got Whittaker, Foster and Yokam to pull his ass through the plot. Boy, this sure was a pointless post...dammit...

  • March 15, 2002, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Fincher can do no wrong.

    by tonyblac

    Here's a guy whose worst work (The Game, Alien 3) is still really better than everything else. For how many projects is he our dream director? How many times have you heard someone say "just imagine if they got Fincher to direct"? In years to come, "very Fincher," or "Fincherian" will be part of the film-lovers lexicon. thevision.fm

  • March 15, 2002, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Alien 3 was good!

    by SeanMiller

    It seems everybody hates Alien 3 and uses it as an example of Fincher at his worst. They can't be more wrong. Take a real look at Alien 3. Nobody likes it because Hicks and Newt are dead before the film gets going. I hate to say it (because I wanted them to live the most) but their death was a tragic necessity. As much as I wanted to see Aliens all over again, number three would've sucked if kept with the same format. Fincher took the happy ending of Aliens, crapped all over it and created a new environment for Ripley and the Aliens to explore and continue their struggle for dominance. Fincher did an amazing job with having to compete against Scott and Cameron. He created his own world.

  • March 15, 2002, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I'm in a Panic Room because UNC-Wilmington won...

    by BigJackieV

    ...and my national championship hopes have been dashed by a team that is bound to be raped by Duke. Anyway... read the script... it's half-decent. I agree with the reviewer(s) above. Well crafted thriller stuff. Choices with character are... odd. It could work. Well, hell, take their word over mine, they saw the finished work. I just wanted to bitch about USC losing. (And Gonzaga, too? My bracket is fucked!.)

  • March 15, 2002, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Re: passing judgement on a film before viewing...

    by JoeLove

    I'll tell you what, there's too many people around here that suggest it's wrong to do so. Frankly, that's f-in bullshit. If you can't be discriminating beforehand you'll be wasting a lot of money on bad celluloid, which only helps to further the greenlight for more and more bad productions! So to all of you who suggest that one shouldn't pre-judge a film: you're a big part of why crap like Josie & the Pussycats, Wing Commander, and Time Machine get made. They know there are people out there that say: "Well gooooolleeey! Thar's hot chicks, big explosions, and space-fighters! I'll go see that one!" Nay, nay, nay! If you're truly a connoiseur of good cinema, you MUST be discriminating, read reviews, and go with your gut. If you didn't know Scooby was going to suck, you're deluded. NOW, Panic Room. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Jodie Foster, but I totally dig Fincher (xcept for the end of Fight Club, sort of baffling), so I'm definitely going to catch this one. I didn't think you could make a decent film about a tiny room in a house, but it sure looks as if you can.

  • March 15, 2002, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Fincher and Alien^3

    by BigJackieV

    ...Just wanted to say I've read about the horrendous creative process that was Alien 3. As far as I remember, that script was written and re-written and re-written and trashed and written from scratch and re-written and half-trashed again BEFORE David Fincher came aboard. It's hard to say it's his film and he was consciously trying to be different from Scott and Cameron. In the fact, it was the studio that started off with thoughts of being fresh and original (whodathunk?) but their brilliant idea of throwing 1000 writers at the project ruined it. I'll give Fincher credit, though... he took a messy situation and did wonders. And he took his credibility from Alien 3 and went to make better movies.

  • March 15, 2002, 1:57 p.m. CST

    "I nod off, I wake up in strange places. I have no idea how I go

    by gloriousbastard

    Fincher's films are perpetually good. FIGHT CLUB, SEVEN, THE GAME are all masterpieces. I love his dark, underlit, high concept style which always facilitates the story and is never there for anything else other than to support the narrative. The trailers for PANIC ROOM look like s*** and the general public who don't know who David Fincher is will think the movie looks dumb and again another of Fincher's films will get f***ed over but at least a few wisened will be able to enjoy the movie.

  • March 15, 2002, 2:06 p.m. CST

    SuperFett how come.......

    by Zara

    "With all this space to work with (4200 sq. ft.), Fincher is able to orchestrate a wide series of events that twist and turn.." How come you know that it's 4200 sq. ft.? That's a really well written review. That's the best review I've ever read I think for almost any movie. Are you a professional? For the other reviewer, I always thought Macauley Culkin reminded me of somebody and now I know it's Jodie Foster! Thanks! That's been nagging at me for years!

  • March 15, 2002, 2:08 p.m. CST

    "I am jack's raging bile duct."

    by gloriousbastard

    Even though he's gay, Fincher still rocks my world. (Jokes, I got jokes, I kid, I kid.) I just noticed that the master of the intracate plot, David Koepp, wrote the screenplay. Koepp wrote one of my all time favorite films, BOW DOWN FOOLS to RASING CAIN!!!

  • March 15, 2002, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Fight Club CGI: Breathtaking?

    by JoeLove

    Jeez, you sound like the baby doctor on Seinfeld. "Ah, the buildings tumbling down, simply breathtaking..." Fincher would rip a nasty fart in your face if he thought anyone believed CGI was important in his movies. CGI is totally last on the list as far as creative exploits for him. Story, story, story. That's what makes Fincher's movies tick. Well, that and some pretty fucking tight acting. Norton, Spacey, Pitt, Bonham-Carter, Mike Douglas, shit, even Meatloaf, all of which demonstrate his skill as an actor's director. CGI! Come on, who sounds like they're 12?

  • March 15, 2002, 2:11 p.m. CST

    "THE CAT'S IN THE BAG, THE BAG'S IN THE RIVER."

    by gloriousbastard

    Sorry, I mispelled RAISING CAIN.

  • March 15, 2002, 2:16 p.m. CST

    "I got a fever, and the only cure is more Fincher."

    by gloriousbastard

    Okay, I'm done.

  • March 15, 2002, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Ashok, calm down son...

    by JoeLove

    Your posts do not lend your positions any credibility, and they serve only to depict you as exactly whom you describe. First off, everyone has the right to be critical of any movie. Films aren't made for other filmmakers. Why should Kubrick101 have to go to film school in order to speak to his distaste for Fincher? Why does anyone who expresses this distaste be labeled in the manner you've laid out? That's simply ludicrous. I agree with you, Fincher is an extremely talented director. But there have been and are currently several directors with the skill to weave said intricate plot twists and thinking-man's storylines into thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking films. Here's an example of a movie Fincher would like to make, but hasn't come up with the goods yet: Mulholland Drive. Or The Crying Game. Or The Manchurian Candidate. Look, I'm not seeking to shoot down your opinion, I just think you need to step back and relax, because you don't sound very intelligent when you rant in such a sophomoric fashion.

  • March 15, 2002, 2:36 p.m. CST

    ENOUGH!!!!

    by ARZAK

    I just hadda say something here. 1. People keep reffering to that zooming camera shot in Fight Club like it was the golden centerpiece of Fincher's directing style. That was THE FIRST TIME he had ever used it. And now he's taken the idea further in Panic Room. Big deal. If anything up until Fight CLub his visuals where spartan if somewhat stylised. Look at the first twenty minutes of Alien3 or 99% of Seven. It's fuckin' beautiful with severe and graceful compositions that set up the atmosphere and characters like nobody's business. 2. Kubrick 101... you have repeatedy stated what you don't like.... spread some love and tell us what you DO like (other than Kubrick that is) anybody with an intact taste gland admires the hell out of Kubrick. By your standards you would have dismissed him early in his career because Killer's Kiss and The Killing were too generic. Saying THE GRINCH is a bad movie is not a fucking revelation by the way. Ever seen Argento's work or Early DePalma. Fincher is on par with those great colorful director's. It kinda seems like your approach to viewing films is half assed at best, so tell us what's sitting on your video shelf. Cheers.

  • March 15, 2002, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Okay Kubrick, we get it, you don't like Fincher.

    by Vegas

    Might I ask then, Kubrick, WHAT THE FUCK YOU'RE DOING HERE? I mean, they make a lot of movies, I'm sure you'll enjoy some of them, so why not concentrate on THEM? You're just being a negative little whiner, and suffice it to say it is unbecoming on you. Most of the posters here like Fincher, THAT'S WHY WE ARE READING REVIEWS OF HIS FILMS, and the last thing that's going to endear you to us is to hear you carp in a juvenile fashion about what a "hack" he is. You cite an impressive list of "better" directors, and I love most if not all of their work, but what can you tell me about their work that backs up your including them on your list? You're just a namedropper. You speak according to a pre-established talkback pattern that you think will make you look "cool," when in fact it makes you look like an ass to the dozen of us talkbackers who DON'T write like embittered twelve year olds who were suckled far too long by their mothers. Either develop an intelligent negative criticism, or go post somewhere else, but your fanboy bitching is not wanted. On behalf of all the true film fans here, I'm sick of you and your ilk and you give ALL of us a bad name.

  • March 15, 2002, 3 p.m. CST

    What a day a Fincher movie makes

    by UK Hal

    Very true tonyblac! If Fincher continues in the vain of his previous master pieces with the Panic Room (for who can deny the shear force of Se7en or the emotional turmoil of The Game!) then he could be responsible for a whole new genre of movie in years to come

  • March 15, 2002, 3:08 p.m. CST

    kubrick101...

    by CoolDan989

    First off, I don't agree with you. However, I don't agree with Ashok, either. I think this is nothing more but a war of opinions, one that shouldn't have to occur. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and everyone has a right for their opinion to be respected, something you do obviously don't know. No opinion is wrong. Let me repeat that: NO OPINION IS WRONG. But, kubrick, I have a hunch why to you every David Fincher movie sucks. It's because you WANT every David Fincher movie to suck. You're against him for some reason; you simply cannot stand the fact that Fincher is capable of making good movies, in which a huge chunk of the moviegoing public will agree. I know many people who hate at least ONE of David's movies, but only you hate all three (coming on four), and, kubrick, that says a lot. When you see Panic Room, chances are you'll be impressed to a degree, how Fincher can make a concept so bland as being locked in a room into something that can keep you glued to the edge of your seat, but when the credits roll, you'll say to yourself "Wait a minute...that was from David Fincher! That no-talent bastard!", and you'll tell everyone that you hated the movie. You'll deny to yourself that you liked it in any way. I suggest you dump this unnecessary hatred towards David Fincher and watch movies like the rest of us, and see what you've been missing.

  • March 15, 2002, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Better directors than David Fincher (All living)

    by Billy Talent

    Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Eric Rohmer, Clint Eastwood, Sam Mendes, The Coen Brothers, Milos Forman, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Jean-Luc Godard, Pedro Almodovar, Cameron Crowe, Spike Jonze, Curtis Hanson, Tom Green, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Mann, Woody Allen, Phillip Kaufman, Werner Herzog, David Mamet, Wong Kar-wai, Ang Lee, Wes Anderson, Andrew Fleming, Robert Altman, Manoel de Oliveira, Tommy Chong, Sidney Lumet, Lasse Halstrom, George Miller, Barbet Schroeder, P.T. Anderson, Todd Field, Terence Mallick, Alain Resnais - way too many more to list here.

  • March 15, 2002, 3:31 p.m. CST

    oh.god.can't.wait.2.weeks.

    by deftone

    seriously, having problems waiting now. i'm so glad the reviews are good!

  • March 15, 2002, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I hate to say this, but Fincher could have made a FAR better AI

    by minderbinder

  • March 15, 2002, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Tommy Chong?

    by ArchDiver

    Over Fincher? What a crappy TB this is. AD out

  • March 15, 2002, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Walrus:

    by thebluerose

    Walrus: It is silly to suggest that Fincher's films merely "hang on a gimmick" in the manner that you did here. Anyone with even marginal creativity can summarize the "gimmick" of nearly every film ever made. Clockwork Orange-- triiped-out, violence-loving misfit is jailed, brainwashed; you determine if he is cured. Full Metal Jacket--anti-war piece depicting the dehumanizing of soldiers. See? Easy enough.

  • March 15, 2002, 4:42 p.m. CST

    kubrick101, congrats on being one of the twelve people in americ

    by minderbinder

  • March 15, 2002, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Kubrick, I was trying to defend your p.o.v...

    by JoeLove

    but A.I.? Uff da, what a STINKER. Fincher wouldn't have wimped out like Spielberg. The end of that movie was like a punch in the gut. Everyone knew it was coming, too. Your perspective makes me think your moniker is misplaced. As a fan of Kubrick, you should see that Spielberg severely tarnished what from Stanley's lens might've been a dark, painful, and marvelous masterpiece. Furthermore, as you might've read in one of my earlier posts, it is folly to reserve judgement until you see a film. Doing so can be a large waste of money, and helps to perpetuate the cycle of poor filmmaking. You and Ashok are both waaaaay too sensitive, too stubborn, and you both sound like the 3 fanboy-villains on Buffy, trying to yell over each other. Remember, he who knows the least, knows the loudest.

  • March 15, 2002, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Regarding A.I.

    by Vegas

    Everyone assumes Spielberg "ruined" A.I. because of the ending. I don't know much about A.I.'s origins, but from all informed accounts that I have read, the ending was Kubrick's from the very beginning, and very little of that was changed. Rouge City, Gigolo Joe, the Flesh Fair, even the appearance by the band MINISTRY, that was all Kubrick's intention. Most of Spielberg's invention ironically appears in the first hour of the film, the part that most people praise as the "Kubrick half" of the film. I love A.I., even though the first time I saw it I was largely disappointed by it. The more time I have to think about it, however, the better a film it becomes. My main problems are still with the ending, which I think Kubrick would have abandoned or at least radically altered had he lived to complete the project on his own. If you want to fault Spielberg for being too faithful to Kubrick's ideas and keeping the ending that needed changing, then fine, but at least know who is responsible for that ending's origins to begin with. Finally, in no way is this post to be interpreted as a defense of the talkback poster who goes by the alias Kubrick101 (as if he could competently teach any 101 course on the man). I still hate that sad little bastard.

  • March 15, 2002, 5:04 p.m. CST

    kubrick101, if you want to do the whole "I love movies everyone

    by minderbinder

  • March 15, 2002, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Kubrick101...

    by JoeLove

    You're hardly worth the effort, but you take Stanley's name in vain, so allow me to retort: regardless of whose idea the ending of AI was, it was conceited and reeked of well-rounded endings tailored for short-sighted filmgoers. There was nothing to take away from the ending. The lesson there? Whine, cry, and survive long enough and you'll get what you want, even though you don't understand why or what you're doing. How can one suggest that artificiality can readily understand love, that love would even matter to the robot of the future? Wanna talk about a good movie about robots and love? Short-Circuit. A movie that doesn't take itself so seriously, which is why it works.

  • March 15, 2002, 5:26 p.m. CST

    post-script

    by JoeLove

    We digress away from the argument at hand: David Fincher. Regardless of what anyone thinks, he at least has an impact on the film community. Look at the people who've signed his guestbook. I'd venture to say that he'd even appreciate the whipping he's taking from Kubrick101 because at least he's affected him in one way. However, Kubrick101's skills as a debator are lacking, and he cannot quietly discuss his opinions without saying: "I guess some people aren't so bright". Were he able to politely argue his points, he might be able to persuade others to understand why he feels so strongly. But for Kubrick101, Fincher plainly sucks. Period. And anyone who thinks otherwise isn't "so bright".

  • March 15, 2002, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Re: Kubrick 101 ...btw this is my first talk back...

    by Matttheperson

    But i had to after reading all this! Oh my goodness! I've read many many talk backs for a long time, all the SW vs. LOTR nonesense, but gish this has taken it to the limit and now i must respond. First off, I am not a fincher fan. I've seen all his movies, and didn't like any of them. I even own the fight club dvd. I've watched it a few times in fact. Out of his movies I've liked 'the game' the best, but still didn't like it much. However; i would never call Fincher's movies average, average is Tomb Raider. A movie that takes no risks, we've seen it all before and is lame ass. Fight Club, although i find it silly and somewhat boring, takes many risks and tries to be SOMETHING other then popcorn entertainment. That's why i've watched it a few times, it's compelling - it's interesting to watch the director work, because truly he has a vision. One day Fincher might become a great director. But right now he's at his starting phase. Give the man a break! Look at Kubrick's early movies, particularly "killer's kiss" which is bad, REAL BAD, you can see ideas trying to be implemented and it's interesting in that way. But it is a piss poor movie. Yet he made many of the greatest movies ever, undisputedly. None of Fincher's movies have reached the low of Killer's kiss, so who knows where he'll go? And as far as A.I. goes, gish stop comparing it to 2001, calling it misunderstood and calling a masterpiece! "Eyes Wide Shut" is a misunderstood masterpiece, and to a much lesser extent so is "Lost Highway." A.I. is no where CLOSE to a misunderstood masterpiece. And i would argue, after having seen Fincher's work, Fincher would've made a FAR better A.I. then SS did. SS has a great visionary imagination, there's so much in A.I. in terms of a new unique world it's unbelieveable, but SS completely blew it when it came to handled Kubrick's cold clinical story. For a while it remains very good, it's cold unpleasant. But in the end SS pulls out the old sentimental card and it pretty much ruins the entire movie. That ending, concievably, COULD HAVE worked, had it been seen in a different light. But the way it was portrayed is exactly how the emotional side of the audience wanted it to be. There was so much emotional attachment built up in the robot boy, that we want to see him happy. We want to see him re-united with his mother and ah gosh darn, there he is climbing on the bed, oh and look old teddy is in hot pursuit. And guess what the gal i went to see the movie with did at this point? Well she cried, she was so happy that robot boy was reunited with his mother. The ending could've been beautifully ironic, with the robot boy stranded at the bottom of the sea for eternity, his quest a failure. Unconditional undending love doesn't exist in humans, and the robot doesn't 'LOVE' his mother he just wants to be with her because he's programmed too. It would be a nice touch to have stranded forever. The way the ending is, it doesn't fit in the with the context of the story, clearly two visions are going on. There's the fact taht we sympathize with robot boy, such as the time he is made fun of at the pool. And times where we see he's a cold machine, ready to kill at anytime. Such as when he kills he's alternate version. I can't remember the movie well enough to remember how the ending could concievably worked, but i'm sure y'all can come up with your own creative ways, because the fact remains that the ending does not work. And comparably to fight club, it's dumb to dismiss A.I. as a bad lame movie, because it takes risks, is different and provokes thought and discussion. The same cannot be said about most movies. A curse on everyone who boycotts such movies! No matter who makes them. As collective film lovers we gotta support film by seeing risky movies, so that they keep getting made. Sometimes they work sometimes not. People complain so much that movies aren't interesting any more, and when a director drops in an orginal, yet flawed movie, people just point out it's flaws. So i guess we all deserve what we get in that sense. Somewhat off topic... LOOK AT ALL THE SHITTY WAR MOVIES! NEVER ENDING STEAM OF THEM!!! ^Just a scary observation of mine... Oh ya and since i'm talking back and probably won't again... "the man who wasn't there" best movie of the year. LOTR, good, but not great. ATOC, bad acting, bad dialogue, ewww high def digital video, weird alternate universe, NATALIE PORTMAN, STAR WARS, i'm fucking there! (that wasn't sarcastic, my point is people are missing the boat on what makes star wars good in a lot of respects, or blindly missing the inconsequential faults, AND THEN ARGUING ABOUT IT FOR ETERNITY!!!) well that was long... oh ya and Fincher would make a better A.I. because he still has balls, whatever happened to SS... A Fincher A.I. would be cold, darkly funny and visually wonderful (althought it all ready was {Janus forever!})...suspiciously like if Kubrick had made it... HMM ha Just kidding Kubrick101, i wouldn't compare Fincher to Kubrick, remember i dont' even like Fincher, but he has promise.. Oh ya, holy shit!! What's wrong with people! Jackie Brown is one of the best movies of the 90's!!! Best working American directors: Coens, Scorcese, Tarantino, Malick and of course LUCAS hahahahahahahaha geez i'm funny! peace~

  • March 15, 2002, 5:29 p.m. CST

    What did you do to me, Kubrick101?

    by Vegas

    Easy. You came onto a David Fincher talkback to troll, saying how much he sucks, without offering any intelligent critical analysis to back it up. You dropped a bunch of names to show off how smart you were, but did not offer any reasons for the dropping of those names, no critical analysis to back up their inclusion. In short, you bitched, you moaned, you played "I'm so much smarter than you," and for what? To piss off those who are FANS of a director that, for whatever reason, you don't like? That's petty, sad, and a waste of everyone's time, including yours. You obviously wanted nothing more than to hijack the talkback, and in all fairness, you've succeeded in doing just that. Congratulations, you're an ass. You are emblematic of the talkbackers that are a disgrace to this site, and THAT is what you did to me. Too bad you agree with me on A.I., it only serves to hurt my own argument.

  • March 15, 2002, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Kubrick, a moment of your time....

    by Keyser195

    Kubrick - A lot has been written now in this war between Fincher fans and non-Fincher fans, but I just have one question: What don't you like about "Fight Club" and "Seven"? I only ask because you haven't told us yet. You've told us that Todd Field is better (which he isn't - "In the Bedroom" is just the same recycled Hollywood nonsense about loss, grief and revenge, but it's independent, and has no marquee stars, and it is really boring, so people mistake it for art). You've told us that "AI" is great (it's more like a great film with a bad final half-hour). You've told us that Fincher only uses CG (which is also untrue - "Fight Club" is the only film of his with heavy CGI). But, you haven't said what it is about his movies that rubs you the wrong way? Do you dislike his intentions or themes? Do you feel his films have problems with pace? Do you think he works with inferior screenwriters? Is it the acting in his films? Give us something to go with here. Only then can anyone intelligently respond to your comments (which I have a feeling isn't what you really want, anyway). And, like that, I'm gone...

  • March 15, 2002, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Kubrick and AI

    by FargoUT

    While I admit subsequent viewings of "A.I." are better (I hated the film initially, but like it now), I know for a fact the ending we see is Spielberg's. Kubrick wanted Spielberg to direct it from the start, since he felt Spielberg could have handled the material better. Strangely, Spielberg then tried to copy Kubrick's style, which isn't what Kubrick wanted. However, it was Kubrick's idea, and we seem to also forget the movie is based on a short story. It isn't either of their ideas, except for the ending. Kubrick told Spielberg to end it the way he wanted to. So the ending we get is Spielberg's, not Kubrick's. I find the ending to be merely adequate, though it doesn't do justice to the preceding two hours. In fact, the proper ending was the moment as he was trapped under the ferris wheel. That is how it should have ended. It might have been a little more sad, but it was the best ending for it. The ending we did get is just a tad bit sappy (to the reviewer who said it is a downer--the robot finally heard "I love you" which is what he wanted, and he drifted into REM sleep for the first time--that's a happy ending, not a sad one). It also adds a bunch of xenophobic speeches from the highly advanced mechas, claiming humans are geniuses (which, in the universe, we are probably mere idiots). I think A.I. is a decent film, but it's not the great film some people tout it to be.

  • March 15, 2002, 5:48 p.m. CST

    I know you'll read this, Kubrick101

    by JoeLove

    Because you need attention. There's no way in hell I could ever criticize your skill as a debator than you, yourself. And to inject a political idea into this argument? That has no place here. Insults are understandable reactions to criticism... Understandable from children. I won't suggest that you're a child, and I won't suggest that you're not educated, but you have not in this forum offered one single shred of reason on why you believe David Fincher is a poor director or why his last three movies (all critical successes, I might add) are not films to be enjoyed (I IMPLORE ALL WHO DISAGREE TO RE-READ ALL KUBRICK101'S POSTS).

  • March 15, 2002, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Correction

    by JoeLove

    "There's no way in hell I could ever criticize your skill as a debator BETTER than you, yourself."

  • March 15, 2002, 5:53 p.m. CST

    minderbinder...

    by CoolDan989

    Make that 13. I liked A.I. Sue me. If you're going to state your opinion, which is that you don't like A.I., don't say it like it's a fact, because that's sheer arrogance for you.

  • March 15, 2002, 5:58 p.m. CST

    so now kubrick101 is throwing out political cheap shots?

    by minderbinder

    "But as for the NOT SO BRIGHT thing, there is a very simple test: ask yourself "Do I consider myself a liberal?" If the answer is yes, then the chances that you are a total moron increase dramatically." Well, from those of us wondering if you're a complete idiot, thanks for removing any doubt.

  • March 15, 2002, 6:20 p.m. CST

    libreal=stupid? Reasons, please.

    by Aquafresh

    I love the way conservatives argue against libreals. Why not use some clever Limbaugh lingo like "dumb o crats"? Then you'll really sound smart. If you are going to make such a retarded blanket statement Kubrick 101, please back it up with SOMETHING. The same goes for your Fincher remarks, a point that has already been made by several posters who are clearly SMARTER THAN YOU. Criticize all you like, but for christs sake, back it up with logic or SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • March 15, 2002, 6:22 p.m. CST

    This movie would be better if Jodie played "Nell"

    by BigTuna

    BTW, does she get naked?

  • March 15, 2002, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Fincher+Foster+Yoakam = must see for me!

    by Ivan_Mtl

    I am very much looking forward to seeing PANIC ROOM - regardless of any negative reviews by people who haven't even seen the film yet! I am an unabashed fan of David Fincher's films - including the much maligned Alien 3, which, in it's own way, is every bit as good as the first two in the series. Also, there is the Jodie Foster factor, which guarantees a tremendous performance. She combines intelligence and strength with her beauty which sets her FAR above the 'cookie-cutter' barbie dolls populating many of today's Hollywood films. Then there is Dwight Yoakam! If you've seen SlingBlade, then you know what he is capable of as an actor. He is also another actor (like Ms. Foster) that chooses interesting, cerebral films. Needless to say, I am a HUGE fan of his work (both music and film). Whether successful or not, I know this movie will not pander to its audience.

  • March 15, 2002, 6:26 p.m. CST

    CoolDan989...I already counted you.

    by minderbinder

  • March 15, 2002, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Panic Room - 2 Hours

    by FargoUT

    Panic Room marks Fincher's second under-two hour movie to date. Barely... by two minutes (which, when preceded by previews, will make it longer). This man doesn't know how to make a short film--good for him. His movies are so good, I'd hate to be short-changed by a 90-minute movie. I just can't wait until he makes Rendezvous with Rama!

  • March 15, 2002, 6:46 p.m. CST

    it's not THE panic room, it's just panic room, dammit!

    by darthchase

    ugh, i hate it when people do that! putting articles like The, A and An in front of titles that do not have them. like when Ah-nuld announced Titanic as being the winner of the best picture Oscar he says "and the oscar goes to...The Titanic"...it's just "Titanic"!! argh! minor griping aside, i'm a big Fincher fan and am quite anxiously awaiting PANIC ROOM. what i'm curious about is whether or not it'll have the classic depressing Fincher ending. Let's look at Fincher's repetoire so far: ALIEN3= ripley falls into fiery furnace thingy. SEVEN= brad pitt's pregnant wife's head mailed to him in a box. THE GAME= as a birthday present, michael douglas' brother orchestrates a series of gags that make him jump off a skyscraper. FIGHT CLUB= Ed Norton puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. Fincher's not a happy-ending kinda guy, it seems, which is fine by me. just curious to see what he's got up his sleeve this time. i can't wait for opening day.

  • March 15, 2002, 7:11 p.m. CST

    wow.

    by Darth Pixel

    there is a virus in my machine. and, the pills have taken over myt body, my mind and my actions. help.

  • March 15, 2002, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Fight Club

    by PurityOfEssence

    I havent seen fight club, but I have read the book. And I must say that if the film is anything like the book, then the use of CG and and sylistic camera movement, would definetly fit with the books insomnia induced surealistic feel. As well as Palahniuk's stylistic use of prose. Oh well. I rarely post here, becuase everything someone says is mocked and the poster is verbaly assualted. Thats just my oppinion, and its not much, seeing that I havent seen the film. I think the book is well writen.

  • March 15, 2002, 7:54 p.m. CST

    kubrick101 and the flame war...

    by FD Resurrected

    Jesus, this is like SW vs LOTR deja vu. For the record, I like David Fincher's films STRICTLY FOR HIS VISUAL TALENT. He could tell a good story from a mediocre script, but there's something wrong with the films that I could barely bear watching his films: smug air of self-satisfaction. Especially Fight Club. Sorry to break it to you, but he's consistent at being good in the beginning, mediocre in the middle and shit at the end. Where do I start? Alien 3, Seven, The Game and Fight Club endings are weak as shit. I already discussed this at length in a previous Panic Room talkback months ago. Therefore he's only a marginally good visual director, along with Tony "American History X" Kaye that put to shame hack MTV directors like Michael Bay, Joseph "McG" Nichol and Tarsem Singh. I'll be sure to watch Panic Room - I couldn't resist David Fincher's visual tricks and dark atmosphere and style, but he should better keep his self-conscious ego in check...

  • March 15, 2002, 8:12 p.m. CST

    about the review.....and the kubrick child

    by STRIDER355

    Did that Fett guy really just list two superb RIDLEY SCOTT films with AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS and AMERICAN PIE 2??? An excellent review, but because of that, I think I'm going to have to pretend I didn't read it. And, MR. KUBRICK, you are the first person I know to exclude DAVID FINCHER from that list of directors you gave. You are even one of the blessed few who will say that RON HOWARD has lost his knack. So how can you not like FINCHER? You seem to have such good taste.

  • March 15, 2002, 9:46 p.m. CST

    A SUMMARY OF THE TALK BACK

    by empyreal0

    Kubie-101 is a far-right argumentative angry little teenage boy and is being slaughtered by every talkbacker in the room. (BTW Kubrick, I am a moderate, even mildly conservative, and *I* think it is juvenile and extremely simpleminded to make blanket statements about intelligence based so heavily on a person's political inclinations.) Frankly, the fact that he places Tim Burton's name over Fincher's disturbs me. I like Burton, I really do, but the guy's screwed up too much lately. POTA, anyone? Fincher quite simply has a better (albeit shorter) track record. And he says that Unbreakable was a disappointment compared to Sixth Sense? I'd say they were pretty comparable, actually. Maybe Kubrick101's a little too young to understand that the characters in that world are searching for meaning and purpose in life, that there is a world presented in Unbreakable which is utterly real, and yet contains a hidden element of something greater, that there are huge and numerous parallels to religious and existential longing.... Now that I think about it, Sixth Sense was the less inspiring of the two. Either way, Night's been a great director and I look forward to Signs. On the other hand here, we have Ashok kissing a little bit TOO much Fincher ass, although he is right in saying that Fincher is a superbly talented man. I currently have an independent movie in the Phoenix Film Festival, and I can tell you from experience that creating a movie is a hell of a lot more difficult than you think it is. Kubrick101 doesn't seem to have any kind of respect for that. In the middle we have JoeLove who seems like a reasonably intelligent person, and Vegas who absolutely NAILED it in his post "What did you do to me, Kubrick101?". In another corner we have people knocking A.I. Personally, I think it was a let-down: neither spielberg, nor kubrick, but a bastard child somewhere in the middle. The ending WAS too sappy, and the ambiguity was drowned in it. Yeah, yeah, "was it a robot dream?" I get it. But that's not how SS played it. Too much saccrine sweetness. And to sum it up, yes: Fincher would have made a better A.I. That movie NEEDED a darker tone than it ended up with.

  • March 15, 2002, 9:51 p.m. CST

    RE: jedi ranger

    by empyreal0

    Fight Club (the movie)'s look is PERFECT for Palahniuk's writing, the latter being one of my favorites authors. Indeed, I think it was the perfect way to depict the semi-lucid state through which the narrator experiences the world. The camera moves slick like Chuck writes. By the way, "Choke" happens to be my favorite book by the ol' Chuck-ster, although I secretly think he needs to take his writing in a new direction quickly before he writes himself into a corner stylistically.

  • March 15, 2002, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Why I dislike David Fincher

    by Theta

    There are several reasons (including very badly thought out philosophy and what would be an extremely long post about what he got wrong with "Fight Club"), but this is the strongest and the one I've noticed most recently; his style is STRONGLY reminiscent of Dario Argento's, as in it's practically the same except for some cosmetic differences. That's too close for my comfort. It might be concidence, but considering his career includes no less than three movies that can fall in the gialli genre ("Seven", "The Game", and if you want to stretch it, "Panic Room"), it's something I would address if I were him, ASAP.

  • March 15, 2002, 10:35 p.m. CST

    'A.I.' Fans

    by Billy Talent

    We are (maybe) millions strong. We cook your food. We dig your ditches. We teach your children. We fly your aeroplanes. We run your cities. We carry guns. Do not fuck with us.

  • March 15, 2002, 11 p.m. CST

    What was CGI in fight club?

    by Lobanhaki

    The mid air collision is an obvious candidate, but how about the shot coming out of the wastebasket during the "Planet Starbucks" line. The apartment explosion and catalog sequence. The Kama Sutra dream. Anything that involves something dropping through the floor or going up some wall. Serious alterations to the "destruction of corporate art/Starbucks cafe sequence. THE FUCKING PENGUIN. And of course the detonation of the buildings All of which is done with a great deal of photo- realism, which I assure you is NOT EASY. half the time, you don't know you're looking at an effect. Damn it. So many talkbackers just shoot their mouths off expecting CGI to be as easy as HTML. Then they complain about digital effects. Hello? Are their many people here who actually have a good memory for what optical effects really look like? trust me, digital is best, and it's only going to get better. And if you don't like things in your movies that aren't real... grow up. Nothing in a movie really reflects reality, except the story.

  • March 16, 2002, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Fincher, Woo, and Bay are The Best

    by Miami'sCanadian

    Ya that's right, I love Micheal Bay, Bruckheimer, and John Woo films. And before I get called a 12 year old fanboy with no experience I have gone to film school which really means nothing once you actually finish. To this Kubrick guy who cant like Fincher flicks, well he obviously has a right to not like him but Fight Club is one of those rare films that you when you see it for the tenth time you see something new. John Woo is my fav director but Fincher would be the best choice for M:I-3 and bring it back to more of the DePalma style which is hard to define, but shows how the dark and complex world of spying should be done. To those who hate Bay for making action movies, well thats what he does and is best at it. He make suck at drama like Pearl Harbor but when he just focuses on pure thrills like The Rock, no one does it better. As for trying to be a indie type director, its like Jim Carrey leaving comedy for serious drama, no reason for it. Some people look at movies to change the world, some for pure entertainment. I fall in the latter. BTW, my fav all time movie is ID4.

  • March 16, 2002, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Alien 3 and Fight Club: crap, Se7en and The Game: decent - stil

    by Lord_Soth

    Oh, and A.I. was a masterpiece.

  • March 16, 2002, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Out of interest

    by DannyOcean01

    Why should Kubrick*** have his account erased simply for voicing his opinion. Suppose Freedom of Speech went out the window when that facist Bush entered The White House.

  • March 16, 2002, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Give me Fincher or give me death

    by arkansas

    I'm looking forward to seeing "The Panic Room" but from the looks of the trailer, I won't be expecting the usual genius storytelling that was so apparent in "Fight Club" and "Seven." I had obssessed over those two movies, and to this day, occassionally find it creeping into my thoughts. "Panic Room" looks like an intense experience but not likely to inhabit brain space long after its over. Also, that first review was a waste of time---what in the hell does Home Alone have to do with Panic Room? The second review was better, though. More thought-out. Does Fincher still plan on doing "Kitchen Confidential"? I think that would be a perfectly hilarious project for him.

  • March 16, 2002, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Good lord...

    by Zarles

    I'm gonna type this in the voice of the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons... "Worst. Talkback. Ever." Lighten up, kids! I think Harry and AICN should sponsor a "Movie Geek Talkbacker Boxing Match" where all of you militant weirdos who can't admit that someone besides yourself has a legitimate opinion get into a boxing match and kick the shit outta one another. I'm sure the Fox Network would pick it up... Of course, I doubt a good percentage of you would even show up. You wouldn't have a computer to hide behind, and you'd have to squeeze your ass out of Mommy's basement. Again, lighten the hell up...

  • March 16, 2002, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Kubrick101

    by Silver_Joo

    Fight Club is an awesome movie, and unlike Shyamalan's efforts it does not just use the twist to try and place itself a notch or two above ordinary. It is easy to reel off a list of 'better' directors, but ultimately, every dog will have its day. Fincher has made consistently good movies since he survived the directing of Alien 3. I would certainly agree with other talkbackers that his films are driven by great performances, and story, nad Fincher manages to keep on top of all of these potentially awkward elements. It would be good if you could grow up Kubrick, you are like that lil talkbacker that gets a pasting at the end of Jay and Silent Bob...

  • March 16, 2002, 11:50 a.m. CST

    JESUS H CHRIST!

    by ArchDiver

    I threw my hands up in disgust at this TB yesterday, but lacking anything new to peruse, I've fallen back into it. Empyreal summarized this crapfest rather well, but missed the point. Kubrick101 completely hijacked this TB for his own amusement. At first he was rather deft at his manipulations, actually putting some thought into what he was doing, but his later posts got consecutively lazier and lamer. The amazing thing is that you fools continued to take the bait. I respect this as a forum to debate views, but how do you discuss anything with someone who states that if you do not have the same opinion as him you are metally deficient. It'd be easier to describe the colors of the rainbow to a blind man with a hearing problem! Vegas was absolutely right in his analysis of what was taken from him. The problem is that you all allowed him to take it. I suspect that Kubrick101 is not as anti-Fincher as he professed, and just wanted to see how twisted out joint your collective noses would get. The whole thing is just sad. AD out

  • March 16, 2002, 11:59 a.m. CST

    by Renata

    I posted a detailed summation of my feelings about Fincher on an earlier Panic Room review post and I won't go into it again. Suffice it to say, I think Fincher focuses more on style than he does substance. His movies exist for the visual kitsch value. In of itself, that's not a bad thing; unfortunately, he does tend to pick projects that have deeper things going for them. The Game had a great, Kafka-esque plot that was ripe for dealing with issues of existentialism and chaos. Fight Club brought up issues of male emasculation and identity crisis. However, both movies failed, Fight Club especially, because the director showed almost zero interest in having his actors or his script delve deeply into those issues. Both movies, as completed, dealt with these themes in only the most superficial manner. And that most people keep bringing up the CGI shots in Fight Club is evidence of that. Not trying to be insulting about this, but I don't believe Fincher is either interested or intellectual enough to have explored the themes in those movies. Which is why Panic Room might be a refreshing change of pace. Much like Se7en, there doesn't appear to be much going on in this plot other than the surface details. That plays to Fincher's strength. Fincher is not a great director as some of the other one mentioned on this TB. He is not a complete auteur in that he has successfully exhibited a world view, as directors like Scorsese, Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Jane Campion, Wong Kar Wai, Liv Ullman, etc. have. I'd place him above such directors as McG, Bay, Brett Ratner, and Tim Burton (who's just bastardized his talents the past few films). Fincher is a terrific entertainment director, and he must be doing something right: You always know when a "Fincher movie" is being released. But you always know when a "Bay movie" is being released, also. If Fincher can transcend the brand name hype attached to any director who achieves an early commercial success, than he might be seen as a consistently good entertainment director along the lines of James Cameron. But if he returns to movies that shoot higher, then his undernourished, MTV trained, tech obsessed intellect will always fail him.

  • March 16, 2002, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Fincher has yet to make a masterpiece...

    by Silver_Joo

    ...unless he can equal A.I and Apocalypse Now Redux, possibly my two favourite movies of all-time. Yes, they are flawed, but truly astounding at the same time.

  • March 16, 2002, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Fight Club driving sequence?

    by SeanMiller

    Could somebody please explain the driving scene in Fight Club. You know, the one where Pitt is driving and he lets go of the wheel. My question is, who is actually driving? who's really in the car? which ego is actually there?

  • March 16, 2002, 12:35 p.m. CST

    to toronto viper

    by STRIDER355

    I've said it before on TBs. Anyone who watches movies purely for entertainment needs to re-adjust their view on the world. I'm not trying to be confrontal, but think about it. Don't you feel that when millions of dollars are spent on these projects, while entire countries are starving to death, the final film better damn well be art? Movies can be entertaining, sure, but that is not their purpose. They are an artform. And that is their redeeming value; movies made purely for entertainment (like those by B & B) are a disgrace.

  • March 16, 2002, 12:47 p.m. CST

    What???!!!

    by SeanMiller

    I am sorry, but the last comment is just crazy. Moives have to be art, because there are millions of people starving in the world?! Come on, that is just idiotic. I think everybody in this TB is forgeting that movies are meant to be fun, first and foremost. I have never seen so many negative attitudes towards people or movies than in this TB. I go to see movies because they make me happy, plain and simple. Even when I see a horrible movie I never regret going, because at least for one point in any film I caught something that made me smile.

  • March 16, 2002, 12:55 p.m. CST

    movies as entertainment or art?

    by STRIDER355

    Did I say movies can't be entertaining? No. They'd better damn well be! And I'm not trying to be "holier-than-thou." I just believe that when a few people make millions of dollars because of mindless crap, its a travesty to people all over the world who could use just a little bit of that money. So instead of spending $8 on crap like, say, SCOOBY DOO, donate it to a local charity. I don't pretend that killing Michael Bay will make the world a better place. All I'm saying is that I always feel somewhat remorse when I see how much money was spent on, and made by, any given movie. So all I ask is that there be some substance to the film.

  • March 16, 2002, 1:38 p.m. CST

    sucked in

    by SallyHousecoat

    ArchDiver by responding to the TB about "he who must be renamed" you are officially a hijackee. Welcome to the fun. The reason they are in the panic room is because three men have broken into their house. The house is three stories. The mom is sleeping on the 2nd floor and the daughter is on the 3rd. By the time they get together its to late to escape the house. It would be a short movie if they were able to escape. "The Never Used Panic Room", coming to theater near you! Here are a few more great directors: Robert Mulligan(if only for To Kill A Mockingbird), David Lean, Howard Hawkes, Ingmar Bergman, Louis Bunuel. Lastly to Warrenbuffet, childmolester and homosexual do not go hand in hand.

  • March 16, 2002, 1:45 p.m. CST

    eggshell

    by SallyHousecoat

    The phone line to the panic room is buried and seperate from the other phone lines in the house. You have to call to activate it. Being that it is their first night in the house, mom hasn't called yet. Honk if you think that's contrived.

  • March 16, 2002, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Kubrick101, I've been reading your posts and I've gotta

    by tgilders

    You're the reason Kevin Smith made Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and for that, I salute you! Now if only the tubby bitch and the stoner would pay your "MagnoliaFan"-esqe bitch-ass a visit and beat the shit out of it....

  • March 16, 2002, 4:44 p.m. CST

    I Remember When A Real Estate Agent Showed Us A House With A Pan

    by Buzz Maverik

    "And if you have intruders, you just lock yourself in here--" "Why would we do that?" "To be safe from the intruders, of course." "Heh, heh,"I said, "that's cute." "My husband welcomes intruders," my wife said. "What'd you say they called this room again?" "The Panic Room." "See, that's where I have some problems right away. I'm not a panic kind of guy. I'm more of a shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of guy." "Uh, could you tell your little boy not to spray paint the walls." We looked into the Panic Room again. "It might make a good nursery," my wife said. "Yeah," I said, "or a walk-in humidor."

  • March 16, 2002, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Re: Sean Miller

    by Vegas

    Note that when Ed Norton is pulled from the car, it is from the driver's side. I assume he's talking to himself, like he always does, and that the two spacemonkeys in the backseat are kinda used to this, if still a little weirded out.

  • March 16, 2002, 7:15 p.m. CST

    OH, KUBRICK101!

    by TomVee

    If A.I. was the best film of 2001, what a sorry lot of films there must have been last year. A.I. was not worth sitting through except for the FLESH FAIR sequence. THE OTHERS was a much better film, for one.

  • March 16, 2002, 7:32 p.m. CST

    HEY, COOLDAN989!

    by TomVee

    A.I. is an interesting but ultimately unwatchable film that was done in by its second half, which seemed to go interminably. A.I. in fact appears to be two different films glued together. It could have ended reasonably well, perhaps with the robot boy dieing at the Flesh Fair or sinking into the Manhattan waters for good. Or even at the point when the companion robot is carried off into the sky, proclaiming his individuality. We didn't need the prolonged search that took us to a watery Manhattan. We didn't need the silly-looking aliens. We didn't need the blue fairy statue. These were clearly infantile Spielbergian contrivances that can be embarassing for a grown person to watch. A.I. simply did not know when to call it quits, when to pack it in. CONTACT suffered from similar second-half problems.

  • March 16, 2002, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Bay Is Making Kids Starve?!

    by Miami'sCanadian

    I hope Mr. Bay is reading this in his nice Malibu home and decides since he has so much money he should donate all the money he makes from now on to kids in Africa cause his movies suck. Ya right! I don't see why you can say he's not a good director. His visuals tyle is amazing. There are sequences in Armageddon that are well imagined and shot ie.Harry and Grace hugging as jets fly over. I would give my left arm to work on a Bruckheimer film.

  • March 16, 2002, 9:15 p.m. CST

    About the "aliens" at the end of A.I...

    by opus20745

    Just wanted to say that I find it amazing that there are people who still don't get that those weren't aliens, but rather the evolved androids. That's all.

  • March 16, 2002, 9:26 p.m. CST

    A.I. Sucks

    by sinistro79

    ...and so do you.

  • March 16, 2002, 9:37 p.m. CST

    TomVee...

    by CoolDan989

    Wow, I thought there was only one person arrogant enough to make their opinions sound like they're proven facts, but it turns out I didn't count you. I think the ending works perfectly, because I think the movie sets out to become a modern-day fairy tale, and the ending drastically helps it succeed. You, however, say, in short "The ending sucks. That's right because I said it. Everything I say is right. So shut up."

  • March 16, 2002, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Debating the artistic and intellectual merit of A.I., plus Fight

    by FD Resurrected

    Spoilers on A.I. crucials ahead. Okay, this goes for you haters of A.I. on the basis of Spielberg's ability to fall victim to CEOT3K sentimentality: these slim beings are NOT ALIENS. THEY ARE SUPERMECHAS. The first shot of David should give away this "fact" fiy uo paid attention. And the ending? I thought, looking underneath the deceptively happy warm-fuzzy ending: cruel and macabre. Why, that's Stanley Kubrick's SOLE FUCKING CONCEPT as originally written in the treatment. Had Kubrick been still alive and managed to finish making A.I. from the script co-written by Kubrick and Ian Watson instead of giving Steven Spielberg an obligatory directorial duty, A.I. would have been one of the best films EVER MADE, with the multilayered metaphors and meanings juxtaposed with Kubrick's icy-cold film technique trademarks, Nietszchean philosophy and cynical outlook on the existence of humankind in the future, however it's strictly a work of SCIENCE FANTASY AND FICTION inspired by the story of Pinocchio. I suspect all of those who hate or dislike A.I. loved Saving Private Ryan which IMO is a propagandist, poor character- motivated, plot and logic hole riddled, manipulative death-fetishizing PIECE OF SHIT, as two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman will tell you (he STILL DOES write good; it's just that lazy directors produce shit from his scripts). Want to know what my favorite war movies are? The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick's flawed masterpiece; shoddy editing in the third hour just plain suck thanks to tremendous studio pressure) and, of course, Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, with its brilliantly realized and brutal dissection of sending recruits to military training and turn them into remorseless killing machines. CaptainVW has a reasonably constructive argument about why A.I. is important and what it tries to convey its purpose to the audience, albeit FAILED because the majority of the audience is stupid and ignorant - read it here at: http://www.aintitcool.com/tb_display.cgi?id=9475#314240 ****************** You can argue the artistic and sociological merits of Fight Club, but the trio of ludicrous twists in the last 20 minutes of the movie rendered the movie IRRELEVANT. I know of a theatre owner who is a very intelligent film lover, and he didn't like Fight Club because the film basically self-destructed in the last half-hour, as David Fincher would do to jerk us around and jolt us our of our sense and consciousness. Maybe I'm being delusional, because the entirety of the movie is still SUBJECT TO INTERPRETATION, much like 2001: A Space Odyssey. But all I can say is that David Fincher ain't Kubrick exactly, not at least until HE GETS OVER his obsession with gimmicks in terms of style over substance (read: he doesn't dig deep far enough; off Fincher's quote: "I like to make movies that scar"), cinematography and directorial style in conveying narrative and atmosphere. He has a strange penchant for fetishizing gory violence, not to mention the self-conscious, albeit oppressive air of coolness. Stanley Kubrick doesn't do that, and thinks it's a complete horseshit to let your ego run over the film - as Paul Thomas Anderson did with Hard 8, Boogie Nights and Magnolia - thereby ruining the chance of clean and sober objectivity of the film with the voluntary intervention of the director, constantly sardonic and condescending to the audience with "I'm smarter than you" attitude. Michael Mann do not do that in The Last of the Mohicans and The Insider (although he did in Heat, watch the smugly conscious cafe sequence of Al Pacino/Robert De Niro). Quentin Tarantino do not do that in Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, although the amateurish look and feel somehow affect the rivetingly good quality of Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino can NOT act, with the exception of PF maybe). I have not read the novel that inspired Fight Club, but I'd go so far as to say that Fight Club is Fincher's WORST MOVIE, worse than mediocre The Game and piece of shit travesty Alien 3. This is to counter those who love Fight Club, some calling it the best movie ever made (read hundreds of exuberantly positive user comments at IMDb.com), and the same Fincher fans call A.I. the worst Spielberg movie, nay, the WORST FILM they ever saw. Provide the reasonable interpretation of Fight Club, especially the last schizophrenic half hour and its whole purpose not in context but also the POINT (is it about fascism? Is it about frustration in the empty world of materialism? Is it about commiting violence against human beings as a form of expression venting frustration and anger in the name of masculinity? Is it about anarchism against corporate capitalism and globalization, even though Fight Club was given the budget of $80 million plus marketing cost by the executives at Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox?). Even if it's a lengthy essay why the film is important and essential to counter the hypocrisy of societal mores (which I would've agreed with, but Fincher sledgehammers the subtlety, beating me over the head again and again with its railing fingerpointing of hypocrisy, materialism, etc). This should be a shocking revelation to you amadant fans of Fincher and FC: I'm a radical independent libertarian who protested capitalism at 2002 Winter Olympics with two satirical political (one on Olympic greed and another on Nazi Bush administration) posters last month. That being said, the film doesn't serve its purpose well, only making it even more confounding with Tyler Durden's aggravated verbal abuse of an Asian convenience clerk with a gun held to his head as Asian man weeps and pleads for his life (is this meant to be taken as funny in a sly wink of black humor subtlety?), endless stream-of-consciousness, ridiculous telegraphed twists and self-imploding ending. Isn't it healthy to discuss films in a civil manner, rather than flaming each other to defend one's one-sided view? I'm sorry, but anybody (that includes YOU) flaming someone who expressed a dislike of Fight Club have been taken in by Kubrick101's bait.

  • March 17, 2002, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Tom Cruise vs. Russel Crowe

    by bilabooteen

    it's funny I just read this somewhere and your post reminded me of it! Here's how it go: TCruise - nationality: US......RCrowe - nationality: AU...... RCrowe - gender: Male..... TCruise - gender: Homo/Bi ..... TCruise - status: Nicole's Husband 1992-2001 ..... RCrowe - status: Nicole's Boyfriend 1989-Present..... RCrowe - height: 6'2"..... TCruise - height: 4'2" ..... RCrowe - oscar win: 2 (as of March 25, 2002)...... TCruise - oscar win: 0

  • March 17, 2002, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Kubrick = Hack??? Plus Best War Film Is...

    by Miami'sCanadian

    Sure his early films like Dr. Strangelove and Clockwork may have been execellent but Eyes Wide Shut just had no great meaning. You can look at it on different levels but the truth still remains it's BORING!! To those who say AI would have been better if he directed, consider that Spielberg fucked it up by forgetting the old rule enter the scene late, leave early. There were so many scenes that ran on and on like David entering the robot factory at end to see William Hurt and it must have taken a agonizing five minutes. If Kubrick would have done it he'd probably still be filming it. He fucked up Tom Cruise's schedule with M:I-2 and Minority Report. The last scene of Bicentennial Man had more emotion than the film combined. Now for war films, I will just sit back and say Black Hawk Down, John Woo's Bullet In The Head and his upcoming Windtalkers. What does everyone think now?

  • March 17, 2002, 4:43 a.m. CST

    fight club... building crush fantasy

    by shnogul

    Fincher is indeed a pretty good film maker. but that's all. is he subversive? in an hollywoodian way, yeah! Tyler Durden never meant to kill anyone, and the script makes us believe it is possible to destroy huge economical centerplace without killing anyone. we know it's false! lies, fantasy! another lie (and all Fincher fans should like that): no airplane crashed on the pentagon! it's a plain lie. look at the photos, read the comments... the explosion has nothing to do with an airplane crash. no tracks on the ground, only a break in the first floors of the outer range building... not any trace of a 747 crash! Dammit! we know what it's like! they're lying to us... they said they found one of the terrorists passport in the WTC ruins... how can we believe that? terrorists crashed and burned with the plane! there can be no remains! temperature melting steel not burning paper... fuck me! they're lying to us, really. but why did they say a terrorist plane crashed on the pentagone, though it was not?

  • March 17, 2002, 1:01 p.m. CST

    FIGHT CLUB is easily one of the best films of the 90s

    by NoCureForFools

    anyone who doesn't agree didn't understand the film. not surprising.

  • March 17, 2002, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Similarly, A.I. was the Best Film of 2001, Warts and All

    by NoCureForFools

    of course it would have been better if Kubrick directed it. it was really his film to begin with. and again, those who didn't like it, didn't understand it. it wasn't about robots who love, it was about how people are incapalable of true love... it was also about dysfuntional familes and negelctful, selfish parents... it was also about the drive for conenction in a cold unfeeling world which would rather buy the appearence of connection than to actually form one... it was also about how fucking awful upper middle class people are, how fake and how empty and selfish... geez, i could go on for days... regardless, the material was much more suited for Kubrick than Spielberg, but i thought Spielberg did his best and he did it for his friend, which is pretty cool. he must have known that it wouldn't be a hit. and on that note: why the hell did they release it in the summer? A.I. was built for deep winter release... i miss Uncle Stan... the greatest director of all times...

  • March 17, 2002, 1:15 p.m. CST

    The last 30 of Fight Cub

    by Explody

    Fincher and Palahniuk suck in the lost twenty-somethings with their fight the system, anarchist ideas. They romanticize chaos and destruction. Then, in the final act tell these riled up punks to grow the fuck up and quit their whining. I think everyone forgets that Fight Club was more a parody of men's groups than an advocacy film for the immasculated masses. Why else would there be such a high degree of homo-erotic subtext?

  • March 17, 2002, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Kubrick - Hack?

    by Billy Talent

    You don't have to like all or any of the man's films, but Kubrick was not a hack. Aside from 'Spartacus' (over which he fought tooth and nail with the studio, subsequently leaving Hollywood forever), he was never a director for hire. He initiated all of his own projects; he produced all of his films, wrote or co-wrote the screenplay adaptations, and made his films exactly the way he wanted, free of studio interference. You're free to be bored by 'Eyes Wide Shut', but I don't think you could possibly confuse it with a film by Joel Schumacher or Brett Ratner. If I had known nothing of the film in advance of seeing it, and I'd walked in after the opening credits, I would have instantly recognized it as a Kubrick. And at the same time it's completely different from any of his other movies. 'A.I' is to me a fascinating film, a tremendously elaborate homage that somehow resonates beyond the simplistic '2001' and 'Close Encounters' comparisons with the entire varied canons of Kubrick and Spielberg. It's also quite unlike anything either filmmaker has done before. Compare with 'The Cell', a film in which almost every shot is lifted slavishly from one Kubrick film or another (principally and predictably 'The Shining', 'Clockwork' and '2001'). The result is a tremendously elaborate homage to director Tarzan's lack of imagination, a silly and instantly forgettable mess that no one will be arguing about ten or twenty years from now. Films like 'Eyes Wide Shut' and 'A.I.' will never be everyone's bag. But it could be a little while before we see another big budget studio picture of such complexity, originality and daring, which I think we can all agree is a little sad.

  • March 17, 2002, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Going into 'Andy Rooney' mode...

    by Silent_Boba

    didja ever notice how some people move through life always against the grain... see black as white, good as bad, shit as caviar... and are just totally convinced that the other 99.999999% of people are the morons, those with no taste, lacking in intelligence... just fucking wrong! Well, that explains why we have someone like Kubrick 101 pop up every now and then. Let's just be glad that this phenomenon doesn't happen too often.

  • March 17, 2002, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Ashok Re: Fight Club

    by FD Resurrected

    Okay, I'm calm. I don't mean to go around bashing David Fincher - don't get me wrong, I think he has a great visual flair, but there's nothing he can do to rise above the level of a good, intelligent and non-egotistical director - he's only a SUBPAR director with a visual talent that's a notch better than bad Hollywood movie directors migrating from MTV and VH1 and TV ad agencies (that goes for Michael Bay, the contender for the WORST Hollywood directors of the recent times - evil producer Jerry Bruickheimer's bitch and money cow - I loathe him with every fibre of my being). He was let loose in the making of Fight Club. I don't know who to blame - the screenwriter Jim Uhls or Fincher for one of the best fuck-ups in movie history. Stop praising Fight Club with fanboy quote-whore nonsense - you need to take time and write an intellectually argumentative post on why Fight Club is astonishing, relevant and important equal to that of A.I. (as CaptainVW explained in his lengthy, brilliantly constructed post, without getting heavy on emphasis) Remember, we're talking the work of fiction in films. I like to watch films that are intellectually simulating and don't go out of the way to make sure *I* understand once the film ends. I like doses of philosophy and good subtlety, but Tyler Durden's rants is either a hogwash in the hypocrisy of self or merely mocking of the hypocrisy of the real-world politics and economics in American society that shuts itself in the plastic bubble world. May I ask, why does Tyler argue against materialism even though he wore cool designer suit and acts self-consciously - blame Brad Pitt for acting "too cool" - or was it trying to make us *think* regardless of the negative and illogicial factors, even as a subliminal parody indicating the stupidity of the fans devoted to Fight Club like it's a true Hollywood cult film with a large cult following rivalling that of Heathers, Reefer Madness, A Clockwork Orange, Cool As Ice, Natural Born Killers, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai and Repo Man censored-for-TV version? I'm not a dumbass for not comprehending Fight Club and not appreciate for what it's trying to say; rather it's just that I find the film condescending in sardonic tone and stream-of-consciousness with an invisible smirk as if it's on the verge of parody which at least some of young male and female viewers in 14-34 demography seem to take seriously as if Fight Club's meandering philosophy is fucking relevant to our time of corporate greed, Bush II's evil reign as an American Nazi dictator and the need for social reform and anarchism. Sorry, but Fight Club is nothing more than just a FILM with an interesting point of view, however IMO shoddily made - Fincher tries too hard to convey the ideas and ends up failing with not only an inane finale but the film's purpose, rendering a movie pointless not worthy of intellectual dissection. In essence, Spielberg *almost* failed with A.I. (riddled with flaws, of course) but emerged unscathed with the conveyance of Kubrick's ideology. Which is why in my opinion A.I. is a good film that successfully conveyed the ideals amid walking the thin line of pitfalls while Fight Club have numerous logical and matter of sense problems - A.I. would easily have FAILED had Spielberg erred a bit too much by pushing emotional red alert buttons and stretch reality a bit further. Which is why I HATED Chris Columbus' atrocious Bicentennial Man, one of the worst human intelligence-insulting movies I've seen besides Michael Bay's flung-the-shitfest Armageddon. So, please, take your time and summarize Fight Club's purpose, whether it be anarchist philosophy, ideals, the need to vent masculine frustration, conspiracy theory, mental disorder (schizophrenia, multiple personality, manic depression, etc.) And explain how the finale (the last 20 minutes) have a sensible connection with the first two-third of the movie (surprise twists DO ruin the movies' credibility sometimes). Don't come up with weak defense mechanisms like "Great casting! Good CGI! Brilliant scene-this, scene-that!" Make a good argument why Fight Club is a great, socially important (even though it's morally offensive/repugnant for some sensitive viewers, which might not help further the agenda) movie that might require repeat viewing. I've seen it twice and still am not impressed. I haven't seen Fight Club in two years, but still remember how bad the film was because Fincher let his vision veer loose (either that or screenwriter Jim Uhls) and blew up any sense and logistic left in the movie.

  • March 17, 2002, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Fincher is an OK director...nothing more

    by Professor Borg

    I don't understand all this hooplah for David Fincher. He's an OK director and nothing more. He is the "it" director for the MTV generation, he aims to titlate, shock, and fill your mind with banal CGI camera work. Fight Club, sorry to say, is not a masterpiece...and neither is Se7en...and so on. The man hasn't done a masterpiece yet...but does that mean he's a BAD director? No. I think that in today's internet/film critic/18-24 year old community he is thought to be on level with a God. And why? Because he's the closest thing that mainstream (and yes he is mainstream) Hollywood has to an edgy filmmaker. He's the MTV guy, his films play like/look like music videos. To me he has a long way to go before he is a great director. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Fincher is bad...just nothing to write home about.

  • March 17, 2002, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Fincher being a mediocre director...

    by FD Resurrected

    ...amen to your speech, Professor Borg! Anybody who still rag with me and others on the merits of Fight Club without the backing of a well-constructed reason/opinion is mocked and ignored, like a feeble-minded leech following Tyler Durden's neo-fascist agenda. That's it for now, end of discussion.

  • March 18, 2002, 12:40 a.m. CST

    arkansas - Home Alone

    by FilmHobbit

    Actually arkansas, Home Alone has EVERYTHING to do with Panic Room because Panic Room basically IS Home Alone, just on a much more adult, intense level. Look, I said in my review Panic Room is good, and it is. But there is NOTHING new in this movie. The parts of it that aren't adulted up Home Alone ripoffs are pulled piecemeal from every other movie of this genre ever made. I tried to avoid spoilers in my review, so perhaps it will make more sense once you see it, but maybe you'll understand then. When the film actually goes so far as to jokingly call one of the burglars "Joe Pesci" in jest, I think that it's pretty hard NOT to catch onto the strong Home Alone vibe emanating from this film. - http://www.filmhobbit.com

  • March 18, 2002, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Walrus version 2.0

    by thebluerose

    <blushing>Oops. My bad. </blushing>

  • March 19, 2002, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Does anyone remember when this forum was about PANIC ROOM?

    by Corrigann

  • March 19, 2002, 12:52 p.m. CST

    A.I

    by MAGGA

    There may be only twelve3 people in America who loved A.I, but Fight Club was not a commercial and critical success in the U.S either. I happen to love both movies, and in most discussions on A.I several people call it a masterpiece. That doesn&#39;t make them smarter, but talkbackers should show the visionary movie more respect. It took chances, rubbed some people the wrong way, like... Well, like Fight Club and Seven.

  • March 19, 2002, 4:08 p.m. CST

    "...or when a volcanic blast of debris that used to be personal

    by gloriousbastard

    just checking to see if my password is still effective.

  • March 19, 2002, 9:58 p.m. CST

    kubrick101!!!!!!!!!!

    by Jedi#16

    Since you know soooo much about movies......what is your favorite (besides A.I) and please explain.

  • March 20, 2002, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the kudos...

    by superfett

    Just wanted to say thanks to the TalkBackers who said kind things about my review. I&#39;m no pro, but I shotgunned it out to a few folks and I may have landed a job out of it, so maybe I will be a pro after all... Anyhoo, thanks. Heop you all enjoy the film as much as I did (and watch Terence Young&#39;s "Wait Until Dark" to warm up for it).

  • March 20, 2002, 7:40 p.m. CST

    ...Fight Club

    by JMartin

    Fight club is the most overrated movie I&#39;ve ever seen. I don&#39;t understand what makes this movie so clever that people need to gush about it. I like The Game alot and I thought Se7en was ok, but Fight Club...Overrated.

  • March 20, 2002, 8:35 p.m. CST

    No

    by JMartin

    The plot wasn&#39;t that great, similiar plot twists had been done before in other movies. The story is absurd and not even close to realistic.Fight Club is somewhat of a fad, I don&#39;t know anyone that doesn&#39;t like it.