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MORIARTY Reviews Roger Avary's RULES OF ATTRACTION

Published at: Sept. 13, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST by Moriarty

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

It’s taken me a little while to wrap my head fully around this particular piece of lunacy from Roger Avary. I saw the film a little over two weeks ago, and I’ve been stewing on my review ever since. With something like SPIDER-MAN or ATTACK OF THE CLONES, those films are fairly easy to digest, and I’ve had enough foreknowledge of them to at least have some idea how to frame a review by the time I go to see the film. With RULES OF ATTRACTION, I walked in blind by design. I didn’t want to know anything. I knew that we sent Quint and Massawyrm to the set, where they both evidently caused deep and lasting disgrace to the name AICN, much like Harry does on a daily basis. I tried to distance myself from said embarrassment, and I didn’t want to read the script by the time a copy of it finally floated across my desk. Hell, even when I introduced JedTheHutt’s early review of the film, I didn’t read it closely for fear of prematurely coloring my perception of it. I decided to just wait and see the movie.

One of the reasons I was interested was because, for many years, I was Roger Avary. At least, that was the rumor. Joe Hallenbeck was Quentin Tarantino, and I was Roger Avary, so the story went. The giveaway was when I actually gave KILLING ZOE a higher spot than PULP FICTION on my ‘90s list entry for 1994. I used to get hysterical e-mails that told me the jig was up. People had “figured me out.” I thought it was just plain funny, and of all the people I was “revealed” as, this was always my favorite. The misperception cursed me to never actually be in the same place that Roger was, though. Time after time, Harry would come to town and set up some sort of get-together with Roger, and it never happened. Something came up for me, or something came up for him, or something came up for Harry, and it just never happened.

I was beginning to resign myself to the idea that I would never actually meet him when I got a call one morning asking if I wanted to come over to Sony that afternoon for a screening at the Thalberg building. I was there, waiting and ready, when Roger showed up. We were there before anyone else, and had a chance to chat for a few minutes. He’s one of those guys that relaxes you immediately as you start talking, personable and low-key and obviously proud of what he had to show. A few other long-lead press types were there to see what was still a fairly rough cut, with some temp music cut in, and after everyone showed up, Roger made a brief introduction, then rolled the movie.

The film starts with a bang, and I mean that in the sleazy double entendre sort of a way. Lauren Hynde, played by the excellent and surprising Shannyn Sossamon (A KNIGHT’S TALE, 40 DAYS & 40 NIGHTS), is losing her virginity. She’s face down in a mattress, half-conscious, having wandered upstairs from the End Of The World Party. She recalls talking to some guy about movies (he prattles on quite comically about Quentin Tarantino, a wry little moment where Avary can’t resist jabbing your expectations), him filming her the whole time. She’s broken-hearted about something, and she decides to go ahead and make this the night. Upstairs, there’s a blackout, and when she comes to, she’s already being slamfucked, but she can see the guy with the camera. He’s filming her. It’s someone else that’s behind her, inside her. She cranes her head for a better look and groans, more disappointed than outraged as she thinks, “It’s a townie. Just a drunk fucking townie.” Before the sheer disillusionment can sink in, the townie stops, suddenly sick, and proceeds to vomit all over Lauren’s head and back. We freeze frame to see her in all her misery, and then time seems to just... run backwards...

We’re downstairs again, back at the party, and Lauren’s still talking to the film major, and we meet Paul Denton, played with a sly, smart presence by Ian Somerhalder (LIFE AS A HOUSE), and we follow him through his own humiliation that night. He’s Lauren’s ex-boyfriend, and it’s obvious right away that he’s gay. He makes a pass at another guy that goes terribly wrong, and there’s something desperate, even self-destructive in the way Paul puts himself out there. Sitting bloody on the floor of a dorm hall, he can’t help but laugh at himself...

... and then time runs backwards again...

The final run through the party switches the focus from Paul and Lauren (both glimpsed in passing) to the film’s ostensible lead, Sean Bateman, played with a sense of seething self-hatred by James Van Der Beek (DAWSON’S CREEK, VARSITY BLUES) in a performance that should effectively destroy any goodwill he’s built up with a fragile teen audience. He’s a monster, a shark with black doll’s eyes, an emotional vampire with a bruised face. And it’s on this image of menace, simmering violence, that we roll time back again, this time far further, moving from winter to fall. The OPENING TITLES play out as snow recedes, leaves fall up, ice gives way to a campus at the end of summer. A few temp songs were used when I saw it, but there was also a lot of final score in place by tomandandy, and it’s effective, smart stuff. The director of photography, Robert Brinkmann, does the best work of his career here. His previous work includes THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, ENCINO MAN, THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS & DOGS, and the undeniably moody THE CABLE GUY. Here, he’s managed to create a visual landscape where outrageous comedy plays as naturally as raw emotional exposure.

Sean is getting letters from a secret admirer as the semester gets underway. They pump up his already inflated ego. He embraces his troubled outsider persona, practically daring fate to do something to him as he drifts through his life. He deals drugs for Rupert (played with a delirious coked out mania by TRAFFIC’s Clifton Collins, Jr.) and is in debt to him. We see how a chain of frustration unfolds as Sean goes to the people who owe him money, taking out the abuse he had to sustain on each of them in turn.

The semester starts with an Edge Of The World Party, a miniature Burning Man, and what we see are all sorts of chains of behavior, and we meet another couple of puzzle pieces, including Lauren’s roommate Lara (Jessica Biehl) and AMERICAN PIE’S Thomas Ian Nicholas. This is a film that, more than anything, is about the way individuals impact a community. Everything each of these characters do causes ripples that affect everyone else. So much energy is spent by these people thinking about who to fuck, how to fuck them, and what the fuck finally means. It’s amazing they have time for class amidst all of this.

Avary isn’t interested in the story so much. It’s sort of a lazy, aimless narrative, a series of loosely interconnected scenes and moments. One of the things that really took time to settle in for me is the almost casual nature of the thing. It’s deceptive. My advice is to simply give in and enjoy each of the moments as they come. Worry about the overall impact afterwards. It’ll sneak up on you. Avary manages to do some lovely, intuitive work, including a great split-screen between Lauren and Sean as they each suspect that the other might be the one for them. When two people are flirting, the typical way of shooting is to cut back and forth for specific beats. But the truth is... they’re both playing it for all they’re worth, their smiles turned all the way up. They’re working overtime, sending out powerful hormonal waves, and the way Avary finally resolves the encounter is a moment of particular clarity.

There are a few sequences that misfire. Although Fred Savage’s appearance is enough to make you gasp out loud, shocked when it hits you who you’re looking at, an extended gag sequence involving Jay Baruchel from UNDECLARED and a cameo by Paul Williams (SMOKEY & THE BANDIT, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE) falls surprisingly flat. Still, it’s one of the few dry spots. Another wonderful split screen illustrates the bitter distance between reality and a masturbatory fantasy, the best scene of its kind since FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. When another anonymous letter promises Sean that “this is the night,” he is convinced that he’s going to hook up with Lauren. He seems to believe that being with her is going to deliver him from the world of shit he’s built for himself. He’s looking for someone who can save him from what he believes he may have become, and Van Der Beek does a better, more subtle job of coming apart at the seams than Christian Bale did in AMERICAN PSYCHO, playing Sean’s older brother Patrick. That film is a cartoon of violence and sexual fantasy. RULES manages to walk a fine line, somehow coming across as very real despite the heightened, stylized world in which much of it is set. There’s a great digression when Paul goes home to the city, where he has dinner with his mother (Faye Dunaway), her friend Mrs. Jared (Swoozie Kurtz), and Dick Jared (Russell Sams), a casual acquaintance his own age. There’s a scene between the two of them that uses the George Michael song “Faith” that will change your perception of the song forever.

While Paul is gone, the Dress To Get Screwed Party becomes a turning point for Sean and Lauren. He’s on mushrooms, and he somehow ends up in bed with Lara. Jessica Biehl tried to burn down her family image a few years back in a photo layout, but that was nothing compared to the character she plays here. SEVENTH HEAVEN’s producers have got to be actively dreading the arrival of this one in theaters. The scene between them is awful and ugly, and Lauren walks in on them. She’s sickened by what she sees, and all those connections jangle, unsettled, sending bad vibes ricocheting through everyone.

All of this sounds vaguely soapy, but that’s not how it’s played. It’s the exact opposite of soap opera. It’s stark and tentative and everyone seems to get it all wrong. They’re all fucked up about who wants who and how they handle it. Sean can’t deal with being attracted to anyone. The idea that there’s something he wants from someone makes him tremble. It’s too much for him to take. He has to ruin his chances with Laura because there’s a chance, no matter how small, that she might make him happy. He responds to his own desire by lashing out, through random violence that’s directed both outward and inward. Suicide is a constant cloud hanging over the film (one musical choice in particular, played over images of a girl in a bathtub, is ironic and heartbreaking), and Sean does something terrifically pathetic, something that sums him up for Lauren more than his sex with her friend does.

Part of what drives Lauren crazy all semester is the idea that her one true love Victor (Kip Pardue of DRIVEN infamy) is away in Europe, enjoying some time off from school, due to return at the end of the semester. She starts off with the purest of intentions, determined to wait for him, determined that he’s going to be the one who is going to be given the gift of her virginity. We don’t see him for the first two-thirds of the film, but when we finally do, it’s a stand-up-and-applaud sequence, one of those things you just plain have to see. If there’s any one reason for you to buy a ticket, it’s the European tour, two weeks of digital video boiled down to five minutes of intense high-speed imagery, all underscored with a hysterically apt musical quoting of Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road.” It’s such an assault that you’re not quite sure what you’ve seen when it’s done; you’re just sure you need to see it again.

The rest of the film is the spinning out into inevitability that takes us all the way back to the End Of The World Party. One hurt leads to another, and one rejection leads to another. No one gets what they want, but they just might all get what they deserve. If anyone is a victim in this film, it’s Lauren. There’s something pure, almost untouchable about Sossamon. I didn’t think she was any good in her first two films. She seemed awkward, uncomfortable, still figuring out how to simply claim space in a scene as her own. This time out, she connects, and as a result, she’s the one we end up attached to, desperate for someone to have something good happen to them. The film doesn’t build to some artificial, melodramatic apocalypse. Instead, there are quiet, devastating decisions made, and lives are changed in an almost clinical manner.

I still want to see a final print of the film before I weigh in on it once and for all, but I think RULES OF ATTRACTION is a hell of a good film, and it may well prove to be an important one. Lions Gate Films has a unique marketing challenge ahead of them. This is a magent for controversy. Harry called it a “culture bomb,” and if Lions Gate pulls a William Castle, they could well turn this into something that you have to see for yourself. Open-minded viewers are going to find themselves pleasantly challenged, and we could be seeing several careers turning major corners, becoming something of substance. Avary has managed to make this film feel as rich and as textured as a novel, the ultimate compliment under these circumstances. It’s a strong return to form after a dormant period for a filmmaker with a clear and worthwhile voice.

I’ve gotta get a few hours sleep now, and then I’ll be back with an article about one of those great moments of geek synchronicity. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • May 30, 2002, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Victor - Glamorama

    by The Colonel

    Vicotr is the main character in that waced-out Glamorama, right? So are they gonna make a movie of that? So many things can go wrong, starting with casting Kip Pardue.

  • May 30, 2002, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Now I have something to look forward to this fall.

    by Hobbitastic

    That is, if it ever gets released. I feel a Requiem For a Dream style unrated limited release coming on, what with the doggy-style vomit scene and all (a variation on the Cold Lunch). And not one but TWO WB stars gettin raw-dog in it!

  • May 30, 2002, 9:10 a.m. CST

    could be this year's 'fight club'...

    by tommy5tone

    ...or it could suck like jenna jameson. who knows? i'm going for the former, myself - avary's not without talent, van der beek's WAY underrated, ellis does this kind of material better than any other writer. dunno about the fred savage cameo (and paul williams? what the fuck?) but otherwise i'm pretty happy with the way this sounds - thanks for getting your thoughts up on this one, old man. hope it makes some decent bank, then avary will get to make 'glamorama' (with the not-that-bad-an-actor kip pardue in the lead) - now THERE'S some fucked shit for ya.

  • May 30, 2002, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Breat Easton Ellis

    by rev_skarekroe

    Did I spell that name correctly? I've only read one book of his (American Psycho), but it was incredibly vapid. His work was nicely skewered a few years ago in a book called Generation Echh. So I don't have much faith in the source material for this film. On the other hand, I thought the novel of Fight Club was pointless, but I loved the flick, so maybe I'll be surprised. sk

  • May 30, 2002, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Sounds like my cup of tea...

    by Pepper Sinclaire

    ...now Avary needs to pull his finger out with that Phantasm flick... P$

  • May 30, 2002, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Glamorama

    by fieldingmellish

    Roger Avary is currently writing a screenplay of Glamorama, but he's doing it independently without studio backing. A 70million movie about terrorists won't exactly get a studio excited, so if they do make it then they'll probably cut the budget and tone it down. Not to mention Roger Avary's friend (the guy from Driven) is going to be Victor. I don't think the film industry will rest till they adapt everyone of Ellis' books and screw them up for the screen.

  • May 30, 2002, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Jay Baruchel

    by BillBrasky2620

    I'm curious to see what exactly happens to him in this film. From his brief appearance in the trailer, it looks like it's something fairly horrible.

  • May 30, 2002, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Ellis

    by censor23

    I thought this was a wonderful book, and the movie appears to be fairly faithful to it. I am curious to see how/if glamorama could be adapted. that is one of the weirdest books i've ever read and don't know how one would portray that on screen without completly confusing the auidience. But if that gets made I guess that just leaves the informers left, and since that book was pretty pointless (except for the fact that it every chapter was in first person by a different character) i don't think that one will ever get made.

  • May 30, 2002, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Mori, when did you quit review movies and start summarizing them

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    I miss you inciteful reviews... enough with these SPOILER-FESTS. You should be ashamed of this and your X-Men 2 script review. Fortunately I have the sense to walk away before I KNOW TOO MUCH, but when I read a review, I want it to be a review, not a re-cap! Too bad I didn't get to the end of this article, because what you had to say seemed interesting, but I don't want to ruin the movie for myself. Ironic, considering you saved yourself so the movie was fresh for you. Now you feel the need to post a review that spoilers it all.

  • May 30, 2002, 11:11 a.m. CST

    I'M JASON SINGER

    by Glynyfaron

    HELLO, I'M JASON SINGER AND I'M A STUDENT. I'M THE ANNOYING GIMP WHO KEEPS POPPING UP ON YOUR SCREEN. ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, I CAN FUCK OFF RIGHT OFF

  • May 30, 2002, 11:14 a.m. CST

    this sounds just like my college days

    by durhay

    except for the sex, drugs, and violence. The music was great though.

  • May 30, 2002, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Where are those 90's lists?

    by LoneChicken

    So I do a search (man the programming underneath this site needs a major overhaul. Slow as hell cgi with a horrible search engine!), and Moriarty's Lists for the '90s only go up to 1995. Was that it? I guess I wasn't halucinating when I thought he never ended up finishing the lists.

  • May 30, 2002, 12:45 p.m. CST

    NO, I'M JASON SINGER!

    by Hostile_17

  • May 30, 2002, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Less than zero.....

    by Gueudesbois

    would be an other book to addapt and would be easier than the informers

  • May 30, 2002, 1:47 p.m. CST

    RE: Moriarty's 90s lists

    by Charles Grady

    Actually, yes, he only did up through '95, BUT he wrote for this site and contributed his Best of the Year lists in 1997, 1998, and 1999, I believe, so I don't know why everyone complains about the guy never finishing them - unless you really need to know what Mori thought the best films of 1997 were AGAIN two years later. And why did Moriarty AND Harry ignore/not review INSOMNIA and UNFAITHFUL, two of the best (and best-reviewed) films of the year? I guess films about adults no longer appeal to their once-eclectic tastes.

  • May 30, 2002, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Actually

    by citydoglax

    Less Than Zero was already done. However, it wasn't very strict to the book. Glamorama is in fact being written by Avary with Pardue playing Victor - and after seeing ROA you'll realize he is perfect for the role. Same with Vanderbeek. This movie is NOT another Body Shots. Lynch doing Glamorama? He should go back to television...

  • May 30, 2002, 2:13 p.m. CST

    The Trailer.

    by Graham_Minnesota

    Would any one happen to know where to obtain a Quicktime version of the trailer? The official site does not have one. Any links would be appreciated. Cheers.

  • May 30, 2002, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I agree, where is the Insomnia Coverage?

    by Fearsme

    Quite possibly the best film all year, and not a yelp from this site about it. I mean shit, i hear Harry getting weepy of SPIRIT, the girlie horse movie, and he calls Undercover Brother a classic. Is there any room for an intellegent film that isn't proficient in CGI or general nerdery? I think not. Then again, Coming Attractions has become little more than a link posting to stories that come from Variety. At least Dark Horizons is still quality.

  • May 30, 2002, 5:19 p.m. CST

    White dopes on punk...

    by Billy Talent

    In a moment of haste and thoughtlessness, I once declared Harry Knowles the world's worst famous writer. What was I thinking? Brett Easton Ellis is the biggest tool in all of literati. He makes Harry look like Moriarity, and he makes Moriarity look like me. I'll admit, I have a hard time relating to Ellis simply because I don't hate my friends or my lovers or people with less money than me or people with more money than me. I don't really even think that much about sex as a means of hurting people. I don't really have any particular interest in hurting people. All the same, sometimes the worst books do make the best movies. 'American Psycho' turned out surprisingly well, 'Less than Zero' was watchable, so 'Rules of Attraction' could be okay, even though it sounds preposterous ('The School of Hard Knockers' is probably a saner, more sober and realistic depiction of modern campus life)and any reviews on this site need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Just a little word of advice for you kiddies; instead of reading books about rich assholes taking drugs, you may find it much more enriching, educational, and just plain good old fashioned fun to take drugs yourselves. And then, with all the time you save, you can try reading real books.

  • May 30, 2002, 6:28 p.m. CST

    This site is becoming too"fanboyish"...

    by BigTuna

    Review some damn movies for a change. Changing Lanes was barely mentioned, same for Insomnia. This site is ignoring some great films.

  • May 30, 2002, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Ellis

    by DuckStar

    Today on the Patty Winters Show: is Kurt Russell becoming too cocky? I would respond to people claiming Bret Easton Ellis can't write, but I have to go return some Video Tapes.

  • May 30, 2002, 8:55 p.m. CST

    This year's Fight Club? God I hope not

    by allnightlong

    It's impossible to tell anything about a movie from what the people at AICN say. This movie could be brilliant or it could be pretentious drivel, like "Fight Club". Just have to wait and see.

  • May 30, 2002, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Shannyn Sossamon getting slamfucked?!! Mmmmm....

    by CranialLeak

    Here's hoping that she bears all for me to splooge all over the poor soul sitting in front of me.

  • May 30, 2002, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Another useful hint...

    by Billy Talent

    If you should ever find yourself short of cash, just sell Brett Easton Ellis some basil leaves or sweet and low. He falls for that everytime.

  • May 30, 2002, 11:31 p.m. CST

    by wasp

    If it's half as good as Fight Club, it will be great.

  • May 30, 2002, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Trailer

    by Mr Snrub

    The Trailer for this movie is damn near exact to the trailer for "A Clockwork Orange" (quick cuts of scenes cutting to descriptive words). Not very original and kind of boring. But recycling old ideas and marketing them to the masses is what makes Hollywood great, isn't it?

  • May 30, 2002, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Jerking off...

    by Dru

    That part in the book (Bateman's narrative) where he talks about spitting on his hand but then just not being able to go through with it. Man, I hope they keep that part in. It would be so violently pathetic... This movie is gonna rock. I hope it helps van der Beek crawl out of teen soap hell... Out.

  • May 31, 2002, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Fluffygreycat, that's hilarious!

    by AlexanderDeLarge

    You trying to pass A CLOCKWORK ORANGE off as some obscure film that 10 people saw! I mean, things don't get funnier than this.......it WAS a joke, right? RIGHT?

  • May 31, 2002, 2 a.m. CST

    I hate Fight Club

    by tav

    damn, that movie was lame. I'd rather watch Pacino in "panic in needle park". oh, I also hate the Matrix... that other supposed touchstone of recent coolness. But ROA might be good.

  • May 31, 2002, 3:40 a.m. CST

    Deal with it. Rock'n'Roll.

    by VirgilHilts

  • May 31, 2002, 4:17 a.m. CST

    Give Glamorama a Pearl Harbour sized budget.

    by VirgilHilts

    God when I read Glamorama I thought it would be the most difficult book to adapt to film ever but if anyone can do it, it's gotta be Avary. It's scary cause it would be so easy to fuck it up. and does anyone know if Bret Easton Ellis has seen ROA and if so, what did he think of it?

  • May 31, 2002, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Hey, Van Der Beek already played bad

    by Chilli Kramer

    in 'Angus', where he was the school bully. Not very convincing, but it was a long time ago now.

  • May 31, 2002, 10:20 a.m. CST

    90's List

    by LoneChicken

    Actually, Moriarty's list on 1999 would be good enough. That was a hell of a year for movies. Harry's list was like 37 movies long because he couldn't narrow it down to 10 or something like that. I get tired of reading Harry's reviews, because every movie is either: mediocre, which he considers the worst type of movie (does that even make sense to anyone???), shit (or insert synonym for human waste), or "perfect".

  • May 31, 2002, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Yet another buddy review

    by Ixian

    Look, let's be perfectly honest here: Avery helped write a good script with QT and won an Oscar for it. Good for him. Killing Zoe was mediocre at best - one of those movies that tries to liven things up by throwing in some "shocking" scenes but fails. And he's done what, exactly, since then? What has he done to deserve special attention while a real visionary filmmaker like Chris Nolan (Insomnia, Memento, neither of which AICN have bothered to say much about) gets ignored? We all know Avery and QT are great buddies of AICN. This is no secret. Jesus, QT did the intro to Harry's book. So why bother writing "reviews" on their movies and scripts? I remember a few months back when Moriarity was promising a review of QT's Kill Bill as a "Birthday Present" for him. That's what he actually said. How is anyone supposed to read that and think it's an objective review? Same thing goes here. This movie could be great. It could be total shit. I'd never know it from this fan-boy "review", which in the end is my whole point. Stick to movies where you and/or Harry aren't buddies with the writer/director/producer and we'll all take you seriously. Assuming there ARE any movies that fit that criteria anymore.

  • May 31, 2002, 1:15 p.m. CST

    hope

    by luness

    OK, so I am actually incredibly excited for this film. Everything I've read and heard from people (and not just here) has been nothing less than enticing. The problem with adapting Ellis is that part of what makes people love it or hate it is the starkness of the narrative, how unemotional that is. American Psycho, while a MUCH better adaptation than Less Than Zero (where the only similarities were the characters' names and that it was in LA) it was TOO wry, too tongue-in-cheek, commentary on society. Understandably the horror that takes place in the book couldn't have been shown (hello- prostitute hooked up to the car battery, not to mention the whole rat -ugh, shudder), so I think that the direction they went was the only way it could have gone. (By the way, does anyone remember hearing about Ellis's adaptation of American Psycho? It involved all the businessmen skipping and singing Barry Manilow at the end...more than enough reason to be glad Avary is holding the pen.) But, of all of them, Rules is his blandest book and somehow, that makes it the easiest to visualize as being adapted well and potentially better than the book. By the way, Doug Coupland wrote Generation X- totally different styles and about ten years apart in their respective hey-days.

  • May 31, 2002, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Trying To Figure Out...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... how I'm buddies with someone I've never met until the day I saw his film. We spent a total of about ten minutes talking. If that somehow skews my ability to discuss a movie objectively, then pretty much anyone working in film coverage right now would have to disqualify themselves from covering... well... everything. I admire Roger's first film, and I like this one. As far as not covering INSOMNIA, you can thank Warner Bros. and their rabid fear of the site for that. I wrote quite passionately about the film's script when I read it, and would have loved to have reviewed it. But I'm not allowed anywhere near Warner Bros. press screenings, and I didn't make it to the film over the weekend because I was celebrating my birthday. Pardon fucking me. That's pretty much it, conspiracy theorists. I wish I could tell you that Roger and I were long-time bestest of friends so you could get your panties in a vicious twist, but it's simply not true. So relax with the finger pointing. If it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, fine. But it's a film that will stand on its own merits upon release. And "angel660," stop stalking me from Talk Back to Talk Back to declare the end of civilization just because my tastes happen to be broad enough to enjoy JACKASS and RULES as well as what you might deem culturally worthy.

  • May 31, 2002, 2:41 p.m. CST

    I saw this three months ago in Orange, CA

    by showalum

    I was unfortunate enough to see a test screening of this film at the Block back in February. It was god-awful. My buddy and I (and about 30 other people) walked out 40 minutes into it. The damn credits didn't even begin until 20 minutes in. This film is simply a case of an idiot who got lucky once trying to be taken more seriously as an "artistic" director by trying some ridiculous technique of going backward and restarting a scene from a different point of view. Someone needs to teach this director how to edit and refine his craft.

  • May 31, 2002, 2:54 p.m. CST

    The moment you've all been waiting for!

    by Billy Talent

    Well I was just perusing Moriarity's best of the 90's lists, and I figured it was about time I put my hat in the ring. So, in no particular order, here is an incomplete list of the best movies that I saw in the ten years that preceded the last two and a half years. For brevity's sake, I've stuck with English language titles. So without further ado: GOODFELLAS - EYES WIDE SHUT - UNFORGIVEN - MILLER'S CROSSING - RICHARD III - HOOP DREAMS - RESERVOIR DOGS - DEAD MAN - DEAD MAN WALKING - THE SWEET HEREAFTER (Widely acknowledged as the greatest Canadian movie, though it's hard to argue with 'Meatballs'.) - SECRETS & LIES - BREAKING THE WAVES (I have a lot of problems with this one. Like 'Forrest Gump', 'The Green Mile' and 'Dancer in the Dark', it revolves around one of my least favorite fictional archetypes - the idiot saint. Between 'Waves' and 'Dancer', I really have to question Von Trier's attitudes towards women. However 'Breaking the Waves' is simply a better film than the others mentioned.) - L.A. CONFIDENTIAL - AMERICAN BEAUTY - THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT - Honorable Mention - KUNDUN - THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (If only for that last scene) - STARSHIP TROOPERS - TERMINATOR 2 - BARTON FINK - THE INSIDER - HAMLET (Kenneth Branagh) - DICK - HOFFA - ED WOOD - THE COMMITMENTS - MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - MAGNOLIA - CRUMB - GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS - HARDCORE LOGO - FACE/OFF - A CIVIL ACTION - A PERFECT WORLD - THELMA & LOUISE - CRIMSON TIDE - PULP FICTION - SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE - NAKED - SILENCE OF THE LAMBS - HOWARD'S END - GROUNDHOG DAY - CABIN BOY - THE RUSSIA HOUSE - QUIZ SHOW - HURLYBURLY - SOUTH PARK - DIE HARD WITH A VEANGENCE - BLACK ROBE - BLUE IN THE FACE - Many more I can't think of right now. Thanks for bearing with me.

  • May 31, 2002, 3:17 p.m. CST

    'A Clockwork Orange' trailer

    by Billy Talent

    All of the films in 'The Stanley Kubrick Collection' feature theatrical trailers. 'Clockwork' likely being Kubrick's most popular title, it's safe to say that a good number of us geek types have seen its very distinctive and extremely cool trailer. If Avary has imitated it, we will recognize the imitation.

  • May 31, 2002, 3:49 p.m. CST

    trailers

    by kittycat

    Forget about spoilers, the real spoilers are the fucking trailers. If I have to sit through another new trailer for Minority Report I'll scream. Every time they get a little more footage in the can, here comes another trailer. A lot of times there's so much information in the trailer I don't even need to go see the movie. When are these movie dolts going to learn that trailers are supposed to be teasers, to entice people to pay money to see their films? I call it the "Hoffa Syndrome." Strain 1 of the Hoffa Syndrome is showing a trailer too often. Strain 2 is showing a trailer too often and with frequent updates, such as in the case of Minority Report. To the people making Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, I'll put a hit out on you if you do anything resembling the Hoffa Syndrome!

  • Well, that settles it. Must be a piece of shit. Man, no wonder I gave up reading talk backs.

  • May 31, 2002, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Shit, I forgot a bunch.

    by Billy Talent

    TRUST, HUSBANDS & WIVES, HAPPINESS, TWIN PEAKS (First episode). Damn, I know there's a ton of good ones I'm missing.

  • June 1, 2002, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Worked on this film

    by DJanomaly

    during the End of The World party scene... ....happened to be on 9/11....was one of the worst working days of my life..... hope it looks good on film