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MORIARTY On Scott Frank's MINORITY REPORT Script

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

”Spielberg's sharpest, brawniest, most bustling entertainment since Raiders of the Lost Ark and the finest of the season's action epics” – Richard Corliss, TIME

There’s a quote that’ll get your attention, eh?

Or try this one:

”Steven Spielberg's latest foray into sci-fi territory is also his darkest and most socially relevant, as it outfits a straight-ahead man-on-the-run film noir yarn with extraordinary technological postulations as well as a genuinely thoughtful investigation of the suddenly pertinent subject of thwarting anticipated crime before it happens.” – Todd McCarthy, VARIETY

Strong words. Even stronger was Roger Ebert’s nearly-unhinged declarations of love on this weekend’s syndicated episode of EBERT & ROEPER, where he called the film “a masterpiece.”

I’ve professed my open admiration for this script many times over the past year, but I never reviewed it on the site. Part of the reason was fear of spoilers, something I'll be very careful about in my comments today. This is one of those films that will be very difficult to discuss with someone who hasn’t seen it yet without ruining something. Densely plotted, it is as smart and canny a spin on the tradition detective picture as BLADE RUNNER was. It’s no coincidence that both of these films were based on source material by Philip K. Dick. He was a master at spinning mindbending concepts in story after story, questioning the fabric of reality and the nature of consciousness in smart, wickedly-built stories that would leave the reader reeling.

Steven Spielberg is one of those filmmakers who I will never count out, no matter what happens. He could make a decade of nothing but disasters, and I’d still bet on his next film every time out. A.I. left me cold last summer, and I still get hate mail about my review, which seems odd since it was a mixed reaction. I admire the ambition of the piece, if not the execution. When I first read MINORITY REPORT, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the final film. On the page, it didn’t read like a typical Spielberg movie. It was dark, with a pessimistic view of the world in many ways, with a deeply flawed central character and a series of twists along the way that leads to a sad, haunting conclusion that is not at all what I expected.

Talking to people close to the film, it sounded like Spielberg came back from A.I. with a different approach to screenplays. He’s a notorious tinkerer. He tweaks sequences as he shoots, and he’s an inventive, even intuitive filmmaker. He has a great sense for how things will eventually cut together, and it allows him to improvise while he shoots, like a musician. In this case, coming off of a film that he wrote the script for, Spielberg reportedly worked to bring the script to the screen intact. At one point, he described his aesthetic vision for the film as “THE FRENCH CONNECTION directed by Fellini.” It definitely sounds like he’s made something distinctive and even visionary, and it thrills me to no end.

I’ve heard many complaints about the trailers for the film, saying they were uninteresting, saying they looked like a SF FUGITIVE ripoff. And I agree. I’m not a big fan of the trailers so far. I think the one truly effective piece of film I’ve seen is the Internet Exclusive trailer that Steven Spielberg cut and released last week. This finally does it, sells the film the right way, and I think it's a great piece of promo cutting.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRAILER!!

There are very few shots in any of the trailers that come from anything other than the first third of the film. That’s by design. You see, Robert Zemeckis may have given up on ever surprising an audience again (his trailers have become the absolute worst about giving away the whole film), but Spielberg hasn’t.

And it’s a good thing. MINORITY REPORT is a clasically structured mystery, which is good practice for Scott Frank, whose next script A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES is an adaptation of one of Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder mysteries. Forget all the high-tech predictions of futuristic technology in the film. This is a script about what happens to people when they hand over blind faith to technology and stop relying on their own understanding of human nature. There’s a great moment where someone asks a Precrime cop when the last time they had to Mirandize someone was, when you realize just how removed from responsibility and rational deductive work these “detectives” have become. To introduce a system where the very need to investigate has vanished, and then set a mystery into motion, is a clever concept that provides far more substantial pleasure in the script than just mere action set pieces piled one on top of another.

The other thing that made the script stand out for me was its sadness. For a summer movie, it has a surprisingly broken heart. I couldn’t help but flash on the remarkable last line of A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT (“I am... haunted by water”) as I read this script. Tom Cruise’s character Anderton made one mistake in his life, and he’s paid for it for years. He tortures himself every night, rubbing his own nose in images and memories that remind him of what he’s lost. He is a drug addict as the film begins, unrepentent about his usage, working every night to kill himself, or at least to kill the pain. One would expect this journey to heal all of Anderton’s wounds, but that’s not the case. Instead, this is a journey about sacrifice and loss, and dealing with that loss. It’s about being so afraid of hurting that you close yourself off from feeling. And it’s about wishing you could change the past so much that you’ll do anything to change the future. There are layers of subtext to this script that reward repeat readings. A big part of that is because of the wealth of supporting characters, all etched memorably. I can’t wait to see how Peter Stormare and Lois Smith and Steve Harris and Tim Blake Nelson and Jessica Harper and Mike Binder and Max Von Sydow all bring life to these roles they’ve been given.

One of our readers wrote in with this review. Thanks, "Mediababe":

Hey Harry!

Long time reader, but I just HAD to write in with my MINORITY REPORT...um, report!

Now I know you don't know me from Adam (who is that guy?), but I just got back from seeing Spielberg's latest at the Odeon Leicester Square in London and the media/press screening. I'm a media researcher for a daytime TV show here in the UK, and right now I can't describe the state I'm in - excited, rushed...

All I can say is see this movie. You don't need me to tell you that, but get out there, first night, and take it in and lap it up.

This is the best thing Spielberg has done in YEARS, definitely since Jurassic Park. Mix the best of A.I.'s futuristic scope, the Saturday matinee of Indiana Jones and a little of star Tom Cruise's Vanilla Sky, and you're in Minority Report land. The cinematography, from regular collaborator Janusz Kiminski, sparkles, even though most of it is bathed in the deep metallic blue hues as seen in the trailer. Blacks are deep black, skin tones blue bleached, possibly the natural progression from A.I. The "shutter-speed" effect, used by SS since Schindler's List and by Ridley Scott in Gladiator, comes into play again here, adding some strobe to the action that just boosts the atmosphere of a scene and brings it to life as only a movie can. Speilberg's direction is faultless. The timing, framing, performances and pacing of the film are just so spot on, but never lagging behind. You'll always find Spileberg is one step ahead of you.

Now some people might guess what's going on early in the film, but I was taken in and by the time I'd got it, it's revealed that you can't trust anyone - not least yourself! Plot twists, double-crosses, set-ups and shocking payoffs - this film keeps you guessing right up until the end. At the end of the day, it's a who-dunnit, albeit a very well made and scripted whodunnit! The central premise of the three beings who can see the future, and therefore the crimes that will take place, is well executed, even though a couple of questions may come into your mind, such as "what happens when these people die? Who takes over?" - although it doesn't really matter in the end. Likewise, when Cruise is accused of murder and on the run, how come his eye scan is still authorized in the main police building? These things, while they may bug you at first, are not crucial plot points, and nothing ranks up there with the T-Rex who escaped the cargo hold, ate the entire ship's passengers and locked itself back in the hold, from Lost World.

There are scenes of tension. The little spider-machine probes searching out Cruise while he hides out is not only edge-of-your-seat stuff in the best Spielberg tradition, it's also very well done. The visual effects, split between ILM and DreamWorks' own PDI are the best since LOTR. Although AOTC was very photorealistic, it is a fantasy film. LOTR was too, of course, but had moments where the fantasy was supposed to be reality. Minority Report shares this sense of the fantastic being totally believable, the fx intergrating perfectly into the style and look of the film. So, too, do the moments of (for want of a better word) comedy. But here it's clever and woven in subtly, coming at moments when a smile lifts you out of the depths and dark tunnels the movie travels.

Audio wise, John Williams shows why again he's the voice of Spielberg's movies, gelling better here than in the last couple of films he's scored (AOTC being an exception, of course)! It's a dark and suspicious score, full of mystery. No major themes spring forward and lodge in the mind, but this is a very plot heavy and dialog driven movie, so that's just the way it should be. Williams' music accentuates each scene, buidling the suspense as much as anything Cruise and company do on screen.

And what about Tom Cruise? With SS coming off A.I. and his star coming off Vanilla Sky, Minority Report really does feel like a meeting of these two colaborators and their previous projects. Cruise pretty much delivers his usual easy going, confident persona, until he's on the run, and he becomes the hunted. There's a spark of terror in his eyes (both sets!), but you kind of know that he's gonna pull through this...isn't he?

That's what I liked best about this film. Yes, it's hard, edgy and sharp as a knife, but that's just the tip of the Spielberg. Simultaneously his most mainstream blockbuster and risky project in ages, Spielberg's clearly having fun with everything at his disposal, from the actors (Max Von Sydow is the "Company Man" you can trust to keep things on track) to the audio and (the sometimes quite gory s/fx. It's all here, in crisp, top fashion, in bucket-loads, almost like a souped-up, compressed version of 24 where anything - and anyone - goes!

Sure, it's not a perfect movie (it's coming out July 4th - it's a summer blockbuster!), but despite it's very Spielbergian ending, and those couple of usual kind of "WTF!?" moments, this is a rough-and-ready rumble into hard-edged action movie fare usually reserved for Verhoeven and the like, but the bearded one shows why he's top of the pack once more.

I hope I have a glimpse of the future this week and make it into one of the all-media screenings, but barring that, I’ll see the film opening night. I’m as excited about this movie now as I have been for anything that’s opened yet this year. I look forward to being back here in the next few days to discuss this with you guys, as I’m sure it’s going to be the kind of movie to spur intense and heated debate. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • June 17, 2002, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Back in form, after AI, finally

    by directorscut

    I

  • June 17, 2002, 9:25 a.m. CST

    This movie looks great!

    by dogfish112

    I'm getting married this saturday and honeymooning in europe for 2 weeks so it'll be a while before I can check this movie out. To bad it wasn't released on a Wednesday or a Thursday.

  • June 17, 2002, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Looks like good stuff

    by burningbabyfish

    I had to quit reading the article partway because it started giving me more than I want to know. This just looks like an awesome movie - and I'm hoping my faith in Spielburg is restored. I've loved most of his visions - and this is one of the movies (besides Signs and LoTR:TTT) that I'm most looking forward to seeing this year. Love the concept, love the look so far - and I'm about ready to go hunting for Philip K. Dick books on Amazon.com :)

  • June 17, 2002, 9:29 a.m. CST

    COOL! and about time!

    by mansep

  • June 17, 2002, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Watching Spielberg on Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio

    by Philippines

    Spielberg truly holds all the aces. I am not sure how he does, time and time again, giving outstading entertainment and never dumbing it down. Too senitmental? Yeah, and.... Human is more like it. The scene with David at the bottom of the ocean in A.I. for 2,000 years--brilliant, flat out brilliant.

  • June 17, 2002, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Great script review

    by mykll42

    I have been getting increasingly jazzed about this movie for a while. Any one have any links to less stellar reviews so I can get a more balanced outlook?

  • June 17, 2002, 9:46 a.m. CST

    'French Connection as directed by Fellini'

    by DannyOcean01

    So Spielberg isn't directing this? Oh so it might actually have a chance of being good....waitaminute Fellini's dead.... Pretentious wanker that Spielberg-hasn't made a film that wasn't just a popcorn movie- and before you say Schindler's List, I still think that was nothing more than manipulative crap a la the girl in the red dress amongst a sea of black and white.

  • June 17, 2002, 9:46 a.m. CST

    This is going to be an awesome film!

    by screenplaywriter

    But I wouldn't compare it to "Raiders" that was a stand-out film showing the old matinee, or the old cliffhangers of yesteryear that should be brought back to screen, but anywho I'm looking forward to this movie. His last one was a dud and I knew it was going to be a dud, because no offense Steve, but Stanley Kubrick was the one who could've pulled it off, but since his death it had to go to him. Judging by the trailers it looks good and intense although I still don't get the electronic, robotic CGI spiders coming up the stairs after him. Oh well...all will be revealed soon on Friday.

  • June 17, 2002, 9:46 a.m. CST

    The dimwit from TIME spoiled the climax of the film.

    by virkku

    Why the fuck do some critics want to do that?

  • June 17, 2002, 10:02 a.m. CST

    holy shit, i want to see this now!

    by a goonie

    no really... i can't wait to see this. i adored A.I. and i can't wait to see how Steven follows it up.

  • June 17, 2002, 10:10 a.m. CST

    I agree, the Script is Bonus...

    by Fearsme

    Great script, great creative team, it would be hard to screw this movie up. An interesting point though. It seems that all reviews, no matter how brief, tend to give away a lot of plot points about the films and are filled with spoilers. I give Mori kudos for avoiding any sort of massive spoilers away. On the other end of the spectrum, i read Ebert's review for Insomnia. He practically detailed the entire film in his review, giving away major plot points and twists. I realize a review is an analysis of the movie, but isnt there a way to comment without talking about specifics?

  • June 17, 2002, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Congratulations on your wedding, dogfish112!

    by Bad Guy

    Definitely looking forward to seeing "Minority Report". I've never read any Philip K. Dick, but I'm definitely a fan of "Blade Runner" and "Total Recall". The trailers look sweet. And what's with the Spielberg bashing? So ya didn't like "A.I.", get over it already. How many filmmakers hit a homerun everytime? I won't go as far as to say that the man is a "genius". I think that word is way overused. But I will say that he is a very talented artist. I too watched Inside the Actor's Studio with Spielberg as the guest last night. Wow, what a filmography. I would definitely say that Spielberg films have been more hit than miss. Didn't like "A.I"? Go watch "Close Encounters". Hated "1941"? Pop in a copy of "Raiders...". Can't Stomach "Hook"? Try "Jaws" or "E.T." Definitely something for everyone. Sure, some of his movies can get a bit maudlin, (See the end of "Schindler's List") but we, as film fans should be grateful that there is someone out there who can make commercial films with some heart and vision and who obviously, truly loves and enjoys the art of filmmaking. I'll take 5 "A.I."s over one "Scorpion King" or "Battlefield Earth" any day. Just my 2 cents.

  • June 17, 2002, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I'm prepared for a huge letdown

    by Darth Sticky

    As I walked out of the theater, having just seen A.I., I said to myself, "I don't think I'll ever want to see another Spielberg movie again." I truly hated A.I. with a passion. I have gotten over my anger, realizing that A.I. WAS an aesthetically beautiful piece of art, but that's all it turned out to be (I understand many would disagree with me, and that's fine with me...I don't wish to ruffle any feathers here...or maybe I do because...) I proceded to view "Vanilla Sky" which, in my opinion is the WORST FUCKING MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN!! I hate Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise for doing it and I wish I could rinse my soul of its haunting crapulence. So, seeing that Spielberg and Cruise are doing a sci-fi thingy in "Minority Report" really makes me cringe. Cruise will always make me cringe no matter what I see him in because he's just a pretty face, no talent. But...what I'm happy seeing is Philip K. Dick's name behind it all. Yay for Blade Runner, boo for Verhoven's adaptation of "Total Recall"...Dick's stories are, in my eyes, 1 and 1. I'm hoping that MR will tip the scales in the favorable direction, but I'm still scared about it all. So, in conclusion: Spielberg has a chance to redeem himself, hopefully he will; Tom Cruise has always sucked and will always suck; Dick is good, but don't let Verhoven anywhere near him; and corned beef sandwiches smothered in horseradish sauce, with potato chips on the side is a VERY satisfying lunch. That's my two cents, don't go spend it all on crap.

  • June 17, 2002, 10:36 a.m. CST

    WOW, THIS SUMMER IS AWESOME

    by EIFF

    STAR WARS, SPIDER-MAN and now it looks as if MINORITY REPORT is going to be great. I wonder what other surprises are in store for us.

  • June 17, 2002, 10:42 a.m. CST

    DevilCat

    by Rain_Dog

    I thought Time Out of Mind was outstanding. Definitely his best album since the early seventies. Sure, it may not be Blonde on Bonde or Highway 61 Revisited, but there's some damn fine stuff on there. Haven't really listened to Love and Theft yet though.

  • June 17, 2002, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and I'm eagerly anticipating Minority Report.

    by Rain_Dog

    God knows it's been a while since I've enjoyed a Spielberg movie.

  • June 17, 2002, 11:02 a.m. CST

    AI: one awful movie

    by Mr. Impossible

    Interesting that TPM and AI represent two films where the filmmakers did the script themselves--and they turned out to be just awful awful movies. In Ai, some characters were way too talky(the alien mechas), others werent wordy enough(Teddy). I guess it was an experimental film---but if it was meant as a fairy tale it failed miserably. If it was meant as a social commentary("we should love machines even if they can turn into jukeboxes or speaker phones") it was a failure. "Even organic life can be a machine from a different perspective." That message isnt particularly profound either. As for the Lost World--it was never established that it was the T-rex who killed the crew. It could have been raptors or Pteradons--Spielberg was just shamefully cheap(but story wise, I'll take it over the sappy mess of JP 1 anyday---the T-rex at the end of it literally materialized out of thin air). I agree with the comments about Schindler's List. It was uncomfortably manipulative. Overrated beyond belief. Raiders used to be my favourite film, but when one watches it now, it is painfully clear how bad an actor Harrison Ford was, and how shallow the film is. The only ambition was in the fx and action sequences, but the story and characters were strictly serial-class.

  • June 17, 2002, 11:46 a.m. CST

    A bomb in his RIBCAGE! (i meant theather)

    by compn

    this movie is way over hyped, how come no one says plant??? this movie is going to be pure shit. hopefully the whole movie wont have that annoying ass blue tint that the trailers have. tom cruise has always sucked. i agree with that other guy. i didnt see A.I. because i'm not stupid and it looked like crap. jurrasic park 2 was a horrible book movie, the book was great. screw spielburg, bringing out ET just for more money milking.

  • June 17, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Hope its better than that p.o.s. AOTC

    by Forest the Gimp

    I was so pissed off after AOTC but at last there looks like a summer movie which will be entertaining for adults. Looks uncomfortably close to AI in visual style though....(only thing I liked in AI - the teddy bear)

  • I hate AOTC with a passion. In fact, bad as it was, I preferred TPM. So I don't care about the Star Wars movies any more and I need something good to wash the bad taste out of my mouth - with any luck it could be Minority Report. I think Spielberg's probably in a much better position to give us a kick-ass action moive than Lucas. I'm not getting my hopes up too high though - TPM and AOTC have taught me that.

  • June 17, 2002, 12:07 p.m. CST

    and ya know when we`ll get the chance of seeing it here in germa

    by drjones

    i just can say that i`m very worried AND very axcited about that movie! and as harry said in his comments on moris ai review we just hope the best of him again and again (well the most of us i guess:)!

  • June 17, 2002, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Somebody actually liked The Lost World Novel?

    by Toshlines

    Crikey. I'm genuinely surprised. Its an awful book. The film is pretty vacant but its a masterpiece compared to the book. Oh to the guy who hates Raiders - I'm fairly sure you can't have a brain. It is very nearly a perfect popcorn moive.

  • June 17, 2002, 12:26 p.m. CST

    AI--absolutely insufferable

    by Someguywithaname

    Just saw AI the other day. This film irritated me so much for its narrative incompetence that if I had an opportunity to meet Spielberg I would refuse. I guess the themes of the movies were: "You should love machines who love you even if they can turn into jukeboxes or speaker phones." and "Organics are machines too--just from a different perspective." We are talking PROFOUND social commentary here. Yup. Most irritating of all was the fact that the robots were ridiculous. There was no way they could be convincing and sympathetic(although that Sixth Sense kid is a very good actor). If the humans were meant to be bad--they didnt come across that way to me. The mother was very sympathetic to David, and the Flesh fair was embarassing for its phoney representation of human nature. In that sort of environment, the audience would have been fighting each other to spill acid on David. Chris Rock's cameo--lets not go there. I blame this on the same problem that Lucas had with TPM. Both Spielberg and Lucas wrote their own scripts, and they are surrounded by worshipping college kids who wouldnt have the guts to tell them the story was a mess. I watched Blacula the day after--now THERE is one BAAAD movie(which means it was a good movie :). Its budget wouldnt pay the catering for AI, but you could tell they gave it their 100 percent effort. So many big Hollywood flicks today dont even exhibit a 50 percent effort. Most of it goes into the fx and hype. As for the Lost World--T-rex boat scene, I dont think it was suggected that the T-rex killed the crew. It could have been Pteradons or Raptors. Spielberg was just too damn cheap to show us. At least the ending worked better than in the first JP, where the T-rex literally materialized out of thin air. As for the novel--reading JP 1 was painful enough. i wouldnt suffer through another Crichton book if my life depended on it.

  • June 17, 2002, 12:32 p.m. CST

    "Never count Spielberg out"

    by EliCash

    I don't either Moriarty.

  • June 17, 2002, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Spielberg's BACK!!!! And I'm SO happy!

    by Smugbug

    I watched Ebert last night, and yes, he just couldn't say enough good things about Minority Report. It got me all excited about seeing this. Hot damn. Could this be the "masterpiece" Spielberg has been just itchin' to make? Time will tell: nevertheless I will be seeing this one in the theater rather than wait for the DVD - like I am doing for AoTC. While so many have chimed in on the merits of "Schindler's List" and yes, it's a great film. But I've always believed Spielberg's brilliance to be in sci fi/fantasy. Have loved since the first day I saw it in a theater, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." That since of wonderment is Spielberg's forte and it's so evident in that movie. But I do believe his masterpiece is his (and Lucas') adventure par excellence, "Raiders of the Lost Ark". I cannot get enough of that movie. The most amazing thing is that it has withstood the test of time and technology - it still looks good. With what I'm hearing about Minority Report, it looks as if he has found his "inner child" once again - this time he has added his 50+ years of expertise for a well rounded film. Wow. Really can't wait to see this one.

  • June 17, 2002, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Forest the Gimp and Porgy: the same shit-spewing, wanker troll?

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    I think so. Go take your flame bait elsewhere.

  • June 17, 2002, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Spielberg's "Best Since RAIDERS." Great, maybe next we'

    by FatPaul

    Raider's of the Lost Ark is one of the worst examples of "blockbuster" filmmaking that this country has ever seen. Why am I supposed to be excited to see another Spielberg movie? Spielberg has never made a good movie in his entire career. Am I supposed to be eager to see Minority Report because it's almost as good as one of the worst movies I ever sat through? I'm glad that Spielberg is finally using flawed characters and darker themes, but most directors have been using them for years. Why should we congratulate him for making a half-assed attempt at something we've all seen before? After A.I., I thought that people might start to see through Spielberg's crap, but I guess I was wrong. Even if people can reject something like Hook or Empire of the Sun, they'll still beg for his next project like it's the cure for cancer of the penis.

  • June 17, 2002, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Man, I want to see this movie so bad!

    by CoolDan989

    Don't let me down, Spielberg!

  • June 17, 2002, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Why Can't I Get Excited About This Movie?

    by Anton_Sirius

    I've got a few theories... 1) I've read the original short stoty so I have a good idea what the 'twist' is, and I don't believe Speilberg has the balls to go through with it as is; 2) I HATE the look of the film as the trailers show it. I hate the blue, I definitely hate that crap shutter speed shite, and I hate the look of the sciffy effects; 3) Back to the Dick original- I can't say I'm thrilled with the fact that one of the pre-cogs is an actual character, and please tell me that ridiculous 'Mur-der' line isn't actually in the film. Somebody? Anybody? 4) From everything I've seen so far,and that includes the internet trailer, I just don't have the sense that Spielberg 'gets' the story of Minority Report, the same way Scott 'got' Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Will I still see it? Yeah, probably, but not before seeing Dogtown and Z-Boys again.

  • June 17, 2002, 2:15 p.m. CST

    I really liked this movie

    by Swifty Slowpoker

    I really liked "Minority Report" the first time I saw it, when it was called "Logan's Run."

  • June 17, 2002, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Some dime store psychology here...

    by ThePoleOfJustice

    Well lemmie say first off that I'm really looking forward to MR, and I haven't given a shit about Spielberg since "Raiders." Yes, that long. I do find it intriguing, however, that no one has yelled "plant!" over that review the woman from the UK sent in. I mean, the cinematography "sparkles?!?!" Who the Hell talks like that? Oh yeah, I almost forgot: people that write press releases! Now, I'm not trying to get a gang up to yell "plant!' or anything, and I DO think MR will kick ass, but I just find it odd that people only yell "plant!' when the review goes against their "THIS WILL SUCK AND ANYONE THAT DOESN'T THINK SO IS A MORON!" pre-conceptions. BTW, I DO think that all the recent Bob Dylan albums are a "return to form:" he was prtentious crap in the 60s, and he's pretentious crap in the 90s and beyond. ;)

  • June 17, 2002, 2:45 p.m. CST

    "just the tip of the Spielberg"

    by LeeScoresby

    That was quite clever.

  • June 17, 2002, 2:52 p.m. CST

    "Raiders" was abad popcorn film? Yeah, & the Beatles were just a

    by Aquafresh

    Sir, you are most certainly entitled to your opinion, no matter how mind boggilingly whack it is. I shudder to think what you find "entertaining". Anyway, Minority Report looks fun, but then I had a good time at Spidey & AOTC, so I guess I'm easy to please. Its just been such an exceptional summer, especially after that shitfest last year. and yes, I do include A.I. in said shitfest. Now before all you A.I. fans jump down my throat, I have discussed the film ad nauseum and seen it from every angle. I repect your opinion if you like it & agree that it merits discussion. It just falls into the 'failed experiment' category with me, rather than 'flawed masterpiece'. Peace out, humans.

  • June 17, 2002, 3 p.m. CST

    Couple O Comments here

    by Rafiennes

    First off - AI was completely mediocre (like AOTC). The biggest problem with AI was that it revolved around the WRONG character. It was supposed to be a movie all about Gigilo Jane...or at least it should have. To the person who said Vanilla Sky was the worst movie they'd ever seen - Ever see Hook? At least Vanilla Sky took you someplace in a different fashion than the conventional. Bob Dylan...still makes great albums, can't understand a damn word he sings.

  • June 17, 2002, 3:03 p.m. CST

    I am confronted with a serious moral dilemma

    by TimBenzedrine

    As much as I would love to see a first rate science fiction film from Mr. Speilberg, and although I 've seen a lot of good things in the press regarding this one, I am afraid that I will have to ultimately pass on the experience due to Mr.Speilberg's choice to cast Tom Cruise in the lead. My conscience will not allow myself to knowingly contribute to the Church of Scientology and its attempt to seize control of the entertainment industry.

  • June 17, 2002, 3:47 p.m. CST

    For all of you...

    by CITIZENKANE

    who hates every Spielberg movie ever made, and who hates Raiders...then you have absolutely no movie sense...or brains, for that matter.

  • June 17, 2002, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Bladerunner and Total recall (that's right Darth Sticky)are

    by Tarl_Cabot

    The vapid Tom Cruise just doesn't belong in the company of Harrison ford ('80s model) and Arnold Swarzenegger(ditto). He's just inferior in the talent, charisma,masculinity (ha!),machismo, menace,humor, charm, and overall ability to make us forget we're watching a movie star perform for his $20M instead of suspend our disbelief department. I just don't like the guy.I Hate him. His trademark smile and mannerisms annoy me to no end. Spielberg and Cruise were on Oprah the other day. If I didn't know any better I'd think they were dating. Spielberg:" working with Tom was like finding my long lost brother". ahhhhhhhh Aint that sweet!

  • June 17, 2002, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Spielberg is brilliant, period.

    by runfoodrun

    It's amazing that people can bash Speilberg for not using dark themes and characters in the past. Movies can be fun, a joyride, something that takes you somewhere that you've never been. Something that puts something on screen that you could never see in real life. Something that changes you. THIS DOES NOT MEAN IT HAS TO BE DARK AND BROADING. Let Spielberg keep doing movies that "aren't" dark. Name films that have had more power than Schindlers List or Private Ryan. The breath of this man's career is amazing. Spielberg uses cinema the way cinema was meant to be used. To let us escape, to let us imagine, to let us smile. Enough with this AOTC ban. If you don't want to see it, don't. But shut the hell up about it. Some people will love that movie, and that's their right. And for all of you to pretentious to see Spidey, or AOTC, take in some Peter Greenaway, or anything by the Coens, and stop dropping buzz word director names who you likely know little about, and yet worship the ground they walk on. Go see "Once were warriors" or The Cruise, or the pillow book or run of the country. See something that hasn;t been mentioned on this site. See something new. AI was fanstastic, so was Spidey, Sam Raimi is the man. Here hoping To the White Sea, sees some funding. Out.

  • June 17, 2002, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Ebert Schmebert

    by :-o

    He's lost it. How can anyone believe this man after he punted ATOC like he did--while actually 'liking' Episode One. Minority Report looks too Matrixy. Too monotone an steely. I miss the Saturday Afternoon Spielberg of years past. I would have expected better from him but yet again he's gotta go be mister Me Too and pander to hard core Sci Fi fans and one-up all the Fincher's and the Wackowskis out there. Why bother. He made Raiders of the Lost Ark for chrissakes. I guess fashion is fashion.

  • June 17, 2002, 4:37 p.m. CST

    We've been. . .watching you for. . .. . .quite some time no

    by andrecrabtree111

    If Spielberg were going to make something which, at least from the trailers, looks so much like The Matrix, you would think he would at least have Cruise named something other than "Anderton." Hey, don't get me wrong, I can't wait for this one. I'm a big Spielberg fan, it's just that the name is a little funny, in context.

  • June 17, 2002, 4:53 p.m. CST

    jedi loomas: hypocrasy killed your case

    by yankeessuck

    dumbass.

  • June 17, 2002, 4:57 p.m. CST

    IronCityRouge....

    by grammarcop

    You'd think someone so concerned with sentence structure would be a bit more careful with spelling.

  • June 17, 2002, 5:23 p.m. CST

    What the hell are you clowns talking about?

    by Halloween68

    Most of you wouldn't know good music if it came up and bit you in the ass. Case and point, turn on a radio. All that shite that's playin' today, what's popular today, half of you idiots put there. You think you'll hear any of it 2 yrs from now? If you do, you're morons... The whole lot of you. Bob Dylan's been playing music for 50 odd years. Every album he puts out is musically brilliant. He's put out over 30 albums. And that's not including all the collaborations he's done. 'There's a reason he's still putting albums out, good albums out. It's because some people "can" appreciate good music when they hear it. Say what you will but the man has talent. Name one band from todays music scene you think will cover half the territory Bob Dylan has covered. You won't be able to find one. You can try to fool yourself, but in the end, you'll just be that... Fooled. And what's particularly funny. Half of you probably don't even know it, but all of your favorite bands have at one time or another either covered a Bob Dylan song or tried and ripped one off. Okay, end rant. Don't know where the Bob Dylan bashing started, but it's gotta stop. This is an Aint It Cool News talkback. No one here's worthy to talk crap about Dylan. Our average conversation here guys, 'less you forget, is Star Wars and Comic Book films. From the get-go, I'd say none of is cool enough to even be thinking about the poet-songwriter, Bob Dylan.

  • June 17, 2002, 5:53 p.m. CST

    A.I. is an authentic masterpiece, one of the finest films of the

    by togmeister

    Trust me on this, in twenty years time you will look back on 2001/2 and remember with horror that you spent most of your time overpraising 'Pixies In Tights : The Feeble Schtick of Ker-Ching', fighting over Star Wars, and blathering on about how 'hard' that piece of shit Spiderman pantomime 'rocked', to notice that a genuine, 24-carat, multi-layered, endlessly rewarding MASTERWORK was RIGHT UNDER YOUR FRIGGIN' NOSES!!!!! Trust me on this - and remember that back in 1982/3, Blade Runner was no-one's idea of a classic either. Come back in 2022, then we'll talk.

  • June 17, 2002, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I'm guilty too sometimes, but...

    by MCVamp

    At what point did moviegoers (and that's all any of us are unless we get paid for it. Period.) all become snobbish, insufferable critics? Was it the internet? When did we stop caring about just watching something for two hours and start whining about who ripped off who, and who's lost it, and blah blah blah. I've really lost a lot of interest in this site, not because of the level of content that Harry and Co put out, but simply because... the boards on this place are more bitter than a sack of rotten pistachios. I don't blame Harry for not posting as much, it's tiresome.

  • June 17, 2002, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Anton Sirius: Actually, I don't think Ridley Scott DID "get"

    by St.Buggering

    "Blade Runner", brilliant a film as it is, bore little relation to "Electric Sheep" beyond the most basic concepts. In the end, the book and the film are both great in their own separate ways. "Blade Runner", in my mind, can't be considered a great adaptation, because the writer and director pretty much went their own ways with it. I expect that "Minority Report" will do the same. And that's as it should be; if you want the story, read the story.

  • June 17, 2002, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Minority Report would have been 1,000 times better..

    by JAGUART

    with Ben Affleck as the leading man. I mean he's much taller than Cruise.

  • June 17, 2002, 6:17 p.m. CST

    swkokd

    by Athidus

    ATTACK OF THE CLONES RULED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • June 17, 2002, 7:33 p.m. CST

    'A.I.'

    by Billy Talent

    What I've always wanted to know is where exactly does the 'Spielbergian Mush' start in that movie? The ending of the film is way beyond happy or sad. David's last day with Monica is one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in a movie, and it certainly resonates with Kubrick's work - the film echoes 'Barry Lyndon' and 'Eyes Wide Shut' as much as it does '2001'. Woody Allen said that '2001' was more advanced than he was. 'A.I.' is more advanced than you are.

  • June 17, 2002, 8:30 p.m. CST

    A.I. one of the best science fiction films ever

    by 81666

    i had stayed far away from A.I. i had no reason to, it just looked so strangely boring to me. then, months after, way after release i see it on pay per view and it by far one of the most important sci-fi films out there ever made. holy lord did i punish myself for not have seeing this film earlier. smart, engaging, human... simply gorgeous. as many as you guys like to nerd out and salivate over the let down AOTC. AOTC had **nothing** on A.I. as far as acting, how to use cg in a way to make the story move along not become it. sure aotc had lightsabers, who deosn't love that, but it simply didn't and never will have the heart (nor the acting talent) of A.I. and i will be right there to watch minority report. -81666

  • June 17, 2002, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Spielberg's better movies

    by FD Resurrected

    While you and I may disagree, I believe A.I. is Spielberg's best film since Close Encounter of the Third Kind. A.I. is the most emotionally, intellectually and visually absorbing film I ever seen. The three words - emotion, intellectual and visual - combined in a movie is a rarity in cinema. I imagine Stanley Kubrick is proud of Spielberg's work on A.I. as he visualized before his untimely death. A.I. is as intellectually mystifying as 2001: A Space Odyssey - both of which filmic merits are still debated to this day. I now have respect for Mr. SPielberg because he not only restored my faith in his talent as a brilliant filmmaker (after disappointments from The Lost World to Saving Private Ryan) but in Hollywood movies where making no-bullshit intelligent art films is possible even at financial risk. You can bet my ass I'm going to see Minority Report and see whether he's up on par with CEOT3K and A.I. in enthralling us with mind-bending vision while making us intellectually active in THINKING.

  • June 17, 2002, 8:34 p.m. CST

    A.I. one of the best science fiction films ever

    by 81666

    i had stayed far away from A.I. i had no reason to, it just looked so strangely boring to me. then, months after, way after release i see it on pay per view and it by far one of the most important sci-fi films out there ever made. holy lord did i punish myself for not have seeing this film earlier. smart, engaging, human... simply gorgeous. as many as you guys like to nerd out and salivate over the let down AOTC. AOTC had **nothing** on A.I. as far as acting, how to use cg in a way to make the story move along not become it. sure aotc had lightsabers, who deosn't love that, but it simply didn't and never will have the heart (nor the acting talent) of A.I. and i will be right there to watch minority report. -81666

  • Pure sentimental schlock the likes of which belonged in a Hallmark movie starring Barbara Streisand. Kubrick could have made that ending work by cutting out all the eye-rolling exposition and reducing it to minimal, resonant images.

  • June 18, 2002, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Can't wait.

    by EliCash

    Such a huge fan! Seriously...I don't get how so many people can write Spielberg off. This is the guy who did RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS....He can't be ignored. I have been going around for years telling people that Spielberg's best films are ahead of him. Here is a man who has had enough success for several lifetimes, a man who loves making movies. With the need to please audiences behind him, he is starting to experiment. I have always felt that if Spielberg were to put audience expectation behind him, with his talent and eye for the camera, fantastic art would be created. Art that promotes discussion. What Hollywood film in recent memory can you think of that provoked more serious discussion than A.I? Moriarity said he admired the ambition of the film and Spielberg has always been one of our most ambitious filmmakers. His early career challenged the heart, now he seems to be challenging the mind. I guess the result of this is pissing off all the 15 year olds who line up for Fast and the Furious. Good riddance I say.

  • June 18, 2002, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Tom Cruise looks a lot like Harrison Ford in Blade Runner.

    by SamWave

    Coincidence?

  • June 18, 2002, 6:15 a.m. CST

    There's a kick ass internet "exclusive" trailer over at quic

    by Naughty_Sauce

    Just in case you guys didn't know. http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/minority_report/exclusive/

  • June 18, 2002, 8:27 a.m. CST

    who is this Ebert

    by VincentSpain

    i

  • June 18, 2002, 12:07 p.m. CST

    thanks!

    by EliCash

    What a nice thing to say needscissors!

  • June 18, 2002, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Grow up.

    by Lobanhaki

    I can't really say what possesses people to write stuff on this site that comes off like teenagers trying to imitate reviewers trying to imitate film theorists. I am constantly assaulted by talkbackers making statements as if their perspective on film is mother's milk, taking their own sentiments to be exclusive of the legitimacy of all others. Anybody who wishes to can say they hate AI, or that they dislike some other film But once you say I didn't like that film, what else do people really need to know, and what else are you really going to be able to argue successfully? How about going to more interesting subjects, such as what particular things struck you wrong, and why? How about taking a critical eye to the reliability of your own perspective on things, and making sure that you understood things right, and seeing if there is some message hiding behind the flaws of the movie? Do that, explore yourself, and you will not be another tired old instance of the same stereotype, the Obnoxious Talkbacker. Do it not, and you join the ranks of the walking oblivious.

  • June 20, 2002, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Mixed? That's not how it read to me, Mori

    by Drath

    Your AI review seemed pretty negative to me. Not "The Cell" negative, you didn't feel that Spielberg had become a morally bankrupt monster of a crap director who should be beaten and thrown out of Hollywood, but that's an extreme example. You clearly love Spielberg, but you said the filmmakers(SS and Kubrick both) shouldn't have bothered making the film, that it was intellectually shallow and a poorly told story. No offense, but when you say that, putting in some nice things about the camera angle in this or that scene doesn't carry much weight. On reflection, I guess you can say that strictly speaking you didn't say all bad things so that instantly makes it a mixed review, but take some responsibility. You wrote a negative review, and it upset a lot of people who enjoyed the movie and had to face months and months of AICN highschool bitches brainlessly slamming a movie we liked because it seemed like the cool thing to do with Moriarty as their mascott. Of course, that's no excuse for hate mail.