MORIARTY Reviews MAY! BUBBA! K-19! BOURNE! REIGN OF FIRE!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
Call me Billy Pilgrim, because I have come seriously unstuck in time.
I’ve seen a ton of films over the last two weeks, and I haven’t had a chance to review any of them. Some of them are films that have been out for a while that I just missed for one reason or another, and that I’ve finally had a chance to catch up with. Some are big studio releases that aren’t out yet, but in some cases, I’m still under embargo. Several of them have been art house releases that are either rolling out now or about to. One doesn’t even have a distributor yet. Another was shown as part of a local festival.
That’s how it is for me in any given week, though, and it’s one of the things that I enjoy most. Hype doesn’t really mean anything to me. I have managed to tune it out. Because I see films on such strange timetables, I really don’t pay attention to the “all-important” opening weekend anymore. Removing that conversation from the equation has done something to films for me: it’s made them fun again.
Now when I see a film, I’m not trying to compare it to the other releases that same weekend. I’m not trying to guess how much it will make. I’m not turning it into a widget in some equation. I just take each film for what it is... that two hours in the dark.
If I had to pick one word to describe my reaction to this summer’s films so far, it would be “pleasantly surprised.” Overall, I’m having a very good time at the theater lately. A few true stinkers have snuck in (every one of you who has written me to defend HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION is completely insane), and there are a lot of mixed bags, but if you want to have a good time, there have been any number of strong options.
Lucky McKee’s directorial debut is a strong American horror film, smart and character driven, and it features one of the year’s best lead female performances so far. If Lions Gate sells this as what it is... a serious minded film for adults that should appeal to fans of Argento or classic Cronenberg... then they might be able to turn this into a strong cult hit, especially once it finally hits home video.
There’s an unofficial site for the film that has some great photos and information, and it should also give you an idea of whether or not this is a film for you. I know that as I left the screening, my girlfriend asked me, “Who made that film?” I told her it was Lucky McKee, the guy we met briefly in the lobby before the film. She shook her head and asked, “Why?”
So, obviously, the film doesn’t speak to everyone. I love films like this, though. It’s somewhere between a dark comedy and a sad little character piece and a full-blown gore fest. By carefully straddling several genres, MAY actually manages to be something unique, a fairy tale for the pathologically lonely. Angela Bettis gives a tremendous performance in the lead as a girl who was born with a lazy eye that has led to her being a social misfit from childhood on. Now, finally, as an adult, she has had the eye corrected through the use of special contacts, and she is determined that she isn’t going to be alone anymore. MAY is a film about reaching out... and being terribly, horribly rebuffed.
She works at an animal hospital with a receptionist named Polly (SCARY MOVIE’s Anna Faris) who may or may not be hitting on May. May’s got her mind on someone else, though... the “perfect” Adam (Jeremy Sisto). So aware of how her own single flaw impacted her, May is obsessed with parts of people. She falls in love with someone’s ears, or their lips, or in the case of Adam, his hands. She can’t help but follow him, even going so far as to touch his hands as he sleeps in a restaurant one afternoon. He wakes up and catches her at it, though, and they end up actually going out together as he tries to figure out this odd little bird of a girl.
Adam’s the kind of guy who likes to play at being “dark.” We see a student film of his that is hilariously gory. We see his apartment, decorated with images of death and decay. And then, as he and May actually get close, he learns what real darkness is, and he flinches. He’s not serious about it when it comes to real blood spilled, and that leads to him rejecting May completely as a “freak.” It’s both ironic and deeply sad, since May doesn’t know that she’s extreme. To her, it’s not a convenient pose to strike. She is damaged on some deep level, and all she does is try to share what she sees as intimacy. She simply gives herself over to instinct and acts, and it drives Adam away.
She retreats into a night with Polly that seems to offer her real connection, the sort of intimacy that she so desperately wants, but Polly’s not to be trusted. She chases anything she wants to fuck, and once she’s had May, she moves on to the preposterously cartoony Ambrosia (Nichole Hiltz). May finds herself stymied, unable to make sense of the way other people do things. She’s spent her whole life alone, and in the end, it is her own private compass that she has to follow to its horrible, tragic, inevitable end. The last ten minutes of this film are about as dark as modern horror gets, and McKee is to be applauded for having the courage to see the thing through.
That’s not to say it’s a perfect film. There are sequences that pad the film out but say nothing, some awkward dark humor that’s not funny, subplots that distract from what does work. Still, McKee and his cast and crew were obviously inspired while they put this together, and big things should be expected from cinematographer Steve Yedlin, composer Jaye-Barnes Luckett, Mariano Diaz (the costume designer here, but the production designer on RULES OF ATTRACTION, and definitely a talent to pay attention to), and, obviously, writer/director McKee himself. It’s not often that horror films today have a serious agenda or actually have something to say, and MAY packs a punch in its best moments because it speaks to something basic and human in each of us. Like Cronenberg’s early work, there’s an almost political agenda here about perfectionism and the way we fetishize our romantic partners. It’s a damn good film, and I hope you get a chance to see it in theaters later this year.
Don Coscarelli is one of those guys who has been making films since I was a kid, and whose movies I’ve always been aware of without ever thinking one of them was really complete. There’s stuff to like about the PHANTASM films, and BEASTMASTER was a fun CONAN riff when I was young, especially considering the Tonya Roberts nudity. But I wouldn’t say I was a “fan” of Coscarelli’s work especially. He’s more like one of those guys you recognize, and who’s always reliable for a few kicks in otherwise standard genre films.
That’s no slam, by the way. It’s damn hard just being able to deliver those few kicks, as evidenced by the sheer volume of unwatchable dreck that gets pumped out by other guys with familiar names each year. Many of them get so used to churning out garbage that they don’t really pay attention anymore. They provide product, and they’re damn happy to be doing it.
So god bless Coscarelli for actually working to find something new and better, something that finally gives him a strong vehicle for his blend of the silly and the supernatural. Ambition finally equals success with this adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s deliciously demented original story, a film that gives Bruce Campbell his best-written lead role to date, something that should drive his fans wild when they finally get a look at it.
It’s no secret that Bruce Campbell is frequently better than the material he does. He works a lot, and that’s great, but it means that a lot of the films he has appeared in are rough going for fans determined to see all of his work. In my opinion, no one has ever made good on the promise of EVIL DEAD 2, the mix of charm and goofball humor and serious action hero chops that made him such a revelation in the movie. No one has ever given Bruce a lead role in a film that’s really worthy of his talents. I’m not being a TalkBacker here, either, suggesting him for every role in every film announced. I’m just saying... he’s been underutilized, and it’s a shame. Now, finally, he’s got something to do, something to dig into, and the results really surprised me. I never expected that more than anything else, his portrayal of an aging Elvis Presley would be moving.
Don’t get me wrong. BUBBA HO-TEP is an abundantly silly film. Elvis Presley, at the height of his popularity, tracked down the top Elvis impersonator and switched lives with him so that he could experience real life again, away from the built-in bullshit of fame. Now, as an old man, he’s living under an assumed name at a Texas nursing home. He’s got a bum hip, a boil on his penis (which hasn’t worked in years), and no one believes him when he says who he really is. After all, another old guy (Larry Pannell) in the home believes he’s the Lone Ranger. And there’s a black guy (Ossie Davis) who claims to be JFK, who believes that the CIA replaced his damanged brain after the failed Dallas assassination attempt. His nurse (Ella Joyce) thinks he’s a hopelessly daffy old man. When his roommate dies, a visit from the man’s estranged daughter (Heidi Marnhout) both arouses his libido and reminds him of just how far he is from where he was.
Elvis and “JFK” bond over a mystery that begins to unfold as residents of the home die particularly sad and horrible deaths at the hands of a mysterious spectral figure. Eventually, the two of them figure out that it is a lost Egyptian mummy (Bob Ivy) that is stalking them, and they decide to fight back.
It’s about at this point when I’m describing the film to someone that they shake their head and say, “Bullshit. You’re making that up.”
It is indeed as bizarre as it sounds. It’s also very, very funny and well-acted on every count. The only times Coscarelli tips his hand too much with the silly is with the recurring gag about the hearse drivers (Daniel Roebuck and Daniel Schweiger), but the two guys are such geek culture stalwarts that it’d be a shame to lose it.
Right now, I don’t think the film has a distributor. I saw it at a screening for one of the distributors in town, and I caught it with a good group of people. They got it. They got Bruce’s performance, which is actually quite detailed. He’s sad, he’s bitterly funny, and the flashbacks to Bruce meeting Bruce, the real Elvis and his imposter, is one of a kind. Ossie Davis does nice supporting work, and he’s got one of the funniest lines in the movie, much too dirty to repeat here. It’s the duet between these two performers that makes it worth picking up for someone with the brains to sell it properly.
This is the first of two films in this column where, before I even discuss the film, I want to discuss the marketing of that film.
Paramount, you guys are insane. Whose idea was that 20 year old picture of Harrison Ford on the poster? And your tagline: “Fate Has A Hero.” What? What are you talking about? Did you watch the movie? More importantly, did ANYONE associated with cutting the trailer or the TV spots actually see the film? Because it doesn’t show. You couldn’t tell just from looking at the campaign which tries to sell an action movie about a sub that heads for the coast of America and has an exciting showdown with the Americans. It’s a souped up summer movie trailer, complete with the line “Sir, their torpedo is heading right for us!” and a shot of a torpedo, something that never happens at any point in the film.
And shame on you for selling it that way, because people are going to walk out disappointed. Instead, you should have sold it as what it really is... a story about a doomed ship. Your title is terrible, anyway. It doesn’t convey anything about the story unless you already know the story. Yes... once you’ve seen the film, the term “The Widowmaker” has a certain resonance. But no one has seen the film yet, so to them, it doesn’t make any sense. It evokes nothing.
I know that I hated your campaign on the movie. One of our chief spies here at AICN told me months ago that he liked K-19 a lot. Watching how you sold the film, I thought for sure he was just demented and not to be trusted. Turns out, he’s right. K-19 is a solid, respectable drama about what happens when national pride gets in the way of safety, and what happens when personal pride gets in the way of performance. From the very beginning of the film, there’s a sense of almost palpable dread that Kathryn Bigelow brings to the piece.
Look... no one is more shocked than I am that I like this film. I’m startled. It’s Kathryn Bigelow. I like NEAR DARK. That’s it. The rest of her output just leaves me cold. I actively dislike a few films, like POINT BREAK and STRANGE DAYS.
And I get regular hate mail because I’ve expressed the opinion on this site before that Harrison Ford is a very good actor who does not always make good choices. In fact, I think he’s made a series of rotten choices that have resulted in films like RANDOM HEARTS and SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS and WHAT LIES BENEATH and THE DEVIL’S OWN. I have dared to opine that it was unfortunate he left TRAFFIC, especially after the rewrites he suggested actually helped improve the script. I’ve never disputed that Ford is a smart man or a strong collaborator. I find myself constantly having to defend my right to expect more from someone. I like Ford. I grew up at just the right time. I watched him develop from a flash in the pan sensation the summer of STAR WARS to a real movie star with the back-to-back punch of EMPIRE and RAIDERS, and then I saw him stretch and grow in films like BLADE RUNNER and WITNESS and THE MOSQUITO COAST. I thought he got robbed that year. He should have been Oscar nominated for the role of Allie Fox. It’s remarkable work.
It was also, short of PRESUMED INNOCENT, the last really good work he ever did.
Part of the reason for the particular venom in the mail I get about Ford is that I’ve pointed out certain habits... certain tricks he falls back on as a performer when he sleepwalks through some of these movies. I’m pleased to report that the Finger Of Doom makes not one single appearance in the film. At one point, he almost starts to do it, and someone interrupts him. He never goes back to it.
What Harrison Ford does in this film, more than anything else, is he gives me hope. There is a pulse. There is still an aware, capable actor there. He is wonderful as Captain Alexi Vostrikov. It’s a performance where he embraces his age and plays a man of experience and rigid opinion, a man who is not willing to have his ideas challenged. He has personal baggage, a father in a Gulag, disgrace serving as a potent fuel for him in his desire to make this maiden voyage of the K-19 a successful one. Vostrikov is a good leader, smart and fair, and he doesn’t tolerate failure or weakness. He’s aware enough to listen closely to the counsel of Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson), the former captain of the K-19, demoted after failing in the preparation phase.
The boat’s loyalties lie with Polenin, and even though Vostrikov is fair, the crew doesn’t see that. All they see are the ways in which he pushes them harder than Polenin ever did. Polenin knows that, in his way, Vostrikov is a better captain for the men. Harry complained in his review about the number of drills in the film, saying he felt like they were supposed to substitute for action. Not at all. The repetition here drives these men mad, and we have to understand that when real disaster strikes, they were worn out, past the point of caring. Half of them believed it was just another drill. Ford pushes them to make them ready, and it fails because they never believe in him as their captain. They remain fiercely loyal to Polenin.
The film has its share of clichÃ© moments, seemingly unavoidable in this genre, but there’s a lot to like about it, too. As good as Ford is, he is well-served by each moment he shares with either Neeson or Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Vadim Radtchenko, the boat’s nuclear engineer. Sarsgaard has been doing very strong work over the last few years in films like THE CENTER OF THE WORLD and THE SALTON SEA and, most notably, BOYS DON’T CRY. Yes, you could compare his arc in this film to that of Jeremy Davies as Henry Thomas as The Scared Guy in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. I think it’s done better here, though, and I just plain like Sarsgaard. He makes me root for this character. He makes me feel it when he finally acts. Again, Harry made a comparison in his review to a moment in STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN that I felt was totally unfair. That was the culmination of a multi-decade friendship, a sacrifice between family. In this film, when people act selflessly, it’s because they’re part of something larger, part of a crew. They do it because they have to, because no one else can. They don’t know everyone onboard. In some cases, they barely know anyone. But that doesn’t matter. They do it for Russia. They do it for their families. They find the courage however they have to, and they do it.
Bigelow’s work is professional, workmanlike. She is not a particularly vivid stylist, something that surprises me. NEAR DARK and THE LOVELESS were both striking, painterly films, as consumed with image as idea. Somewhere along the way, though, she became a testosterone junkie and started actively trying to make movies with balls. It led her down a dead-end road that ended for me with the impossibly ugly and misogynistic STRANGE DAYS.
As you hear people complain about K-19, keep this in mind: if this were in Russian, with a Russian cast, and were playing arthouses in the U.S. instead of mainstream screens this weekend, critics would be bending over backwards to sing its praises. Same film, same exact script, but with Russians instead of these actors. They’d be talking about how effectively it etches the relationship between captain and fallen captain, and how beautifully that relationship resolves. The work by both Ford and Neeson is powerful, and worth seeing. Just remember what type of film you’re really going to see, and you may find yourself as pleasantly surprised as I was. I hope so.
THE BOURNE IDENTITY
Matt Damon’s a freakin’ action star! Who knew?!
This guy keeps surprising me. I first really noticed him in COURAGE UNDER FIRE. He does great work in a small role in that film, and I remember actively figuring out who he was in the credits and making note of his name. Obviously, GOOD WILL HUNTING took him to a different level of awareness, and one of the very first articles of mine still archived on this site is a review of that movie.
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is a film that I think grows with repeat viewings, and one of the things that seems more impressive each time I see it is Damon’s dedication to the role. He’s a twisted little man in that film. He’s tied in knots, and there’s no confidence, no sense of charisma like in HUNTING. I thought it was brave that he didn’t shy away from any of the subtext of the piece, that if anything, he played it more as text. Since then, he’s made a lot of films that didn’t work for one reason or another, like ALL THE PRETTY HORSES and THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE, and it was getting easy to dismiss Damon.
I’m glad, then, that he and director Doug Liman worked so hard with Tony Gilroy to make THE BOURNE IDENTITY something more than your average spy thriller. It’s a sleek piece of business, cold around the edges, with a hard heart. It’s also better than 99% of the crap that clutters the genre these days, and one of the best pieces of pure entertainment I saw in a theater all year.
The film paints in broad strokes, but it isn’t lowest common denominator. The opening is simple, spare, striking. There’s something almost elegant about the way Liman’s put together this essentially pulpy story. He’s got taste as a filmmaker, and he made some excellent choices here with casting. Franka Potente grounds the film with a winning performance as Marie. She takes a role that could easily just be window dressing and turns it into something better, something more memorable. She makes the most of every line, and she’s magnetic. It’s easy to see why she becomes more important to him than just a mere ride to Paris. Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, and Brian Cox all do strong work with standout scenes. Julia Stiles seems almost wasted in her nothing role, but Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (infamous as Adebisi on HBO’s OZ) stands out in a very brief appearance.
There are two moments where I fell in love with this film, and neither one is the slightly overrated car chase. Instead, the moment where I decided I liked the film was when the two cops roust Damon in the park. I have always mourned TOTAL RECALL and what could have been if only they’d cast someone besides Arnold Schwarzeneggar. When he snaps and kills five men barehanded, it’s to be expected. There’s nothing surprising about the moment. Quaid should be freaked out by his ability to kill. In this film, Liman and Damon get that moment right. Damon reacts without thinking, and he hurts those two cops. It scares him, and it also exhilarates him. At least it’s a clue to who he is. Same thing as the moment where he climbs down the wall. It’s not a giant improbable DIE HARD style beat. It’s quiet. It’s very realistic. And it ends with him simply walking away.
The car chase is good, not great, but that’s okay. There’s an exceptional scene with Clive Owen that is as memorable a suspense set piece as any studio release has boasted all year. And the knowledge that they’re really going to try and make a franchise out of this is actually exciting. Jason Bourne, like Tom Ripley, is as unconventional a lead as one could ask for. Damon’s staking a real claim for himself as a movie star worth paying attention to, and I hope he continues to make strong, difficult choices in the years ahead.
REIGN OF FIRE
A few promising pieces hung on a creaky framework almost look like a real movie under the guidance of X-FILES veteran Rob Bowman, but REIGN OF FIRE is not a cohesive whole, and it’s ultimately frustrating.
It’s also the only film I’ve ever seen where the poster is the fucking backstory.
I hate Disney marketing like poison for what they did in advertising this film. When they began their campaign and they put the dragons front and center, I figured they must really have dragons in the movie. Lots of them. The image of dragons and helicopters clashing in the skies over London was striking and memorable. It promised big things, and the way the trailers were cut, it looked like the film just might deliver some B-movie glory.
But this isn’t a film about dragons versus mankind at the end of the world.
Instead, it’s a story of one dragon (basically) versus a very small group of people. It’s self-contained, small-scale. Yes, there are some effective scenes, including that Archangel scene that kicks about nine kinds of ass, but the film’s front-loaded. The ending is way to abrupt, and leaves so many questions unanswered that it fails to satisfy on any level. It’s a disappointing conclusion all the way around. If it was so easy for a person to kill a dragon (an explosive arrow in the mouth does the trick), then why did nuclear weapons fail? Did the dragons eat ash or meat? If this happened around the whole world, there must be more than one male, right? It’s a cool world, and it would be nice to know more about it. It’s like these writers came up with the right mythology, but the wrong story to tell about it.
I’ll say this about the performances: Matthew McConaughey is out there in early Nicolas Cage land with this performance. It’s extreme and dangerously campy and skirts the fringe of being terrible. In the end, I like his work because it’s so extreme. And Christian Bale continues in his quest to find the right vehicle to prove that he’s a goddamn movie star. Rob Bowman also needs to find something really solid on the page that he can bring to life. He’s a good director, and the high points here suggest real greatness from him on the right project.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a column where I’ll review the Inuit epic THE FAST RUNNER, Spain’s provocative SEX & LUCIA, Imamura’s wacked-out WARM WATER UNDER A RED BRIDGE, and the much-discussed Israeli film LATE WEDDING. I’ll also be publishing a separate review of AUSTIN POWERS: GOLDMEMBER, as well as a ridealong on my drive-in theater trip to see EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS. See you then.
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July 19, 2002, 7:35 a.m. CST
by Trevor Goodchild
Terminator 3. Terminated. Budget miscalculations. Apparently
July 19, 2002, 7:47 a.m. CST
GREAT REVIEWS MORI! although i hate those huge BIG articles where you get a shock when you see the scroll bar. i share your opinion about the past choices of harrisons films. let`s hope that he`ll make a great appearance in a thrilling indy4!!!
July 19, 2002, 7:50 a.m. CST
well...i didn`t love the frst one but i`d like it to read a aicn review for the 2nd one...
July 19, 2002, 8:16 a.m. CST
by Lance Rock
July 19, 2002, 9:09 a.m. CST
by Johnny Ahab
That's right, folks -- I read this over at the Bubba Hotep website (which is SORELY in need of a trailer and more pix!) You know what this means?? Toronto is the #2 Big Kahuna film fest on the North American continent after Sundance, and one of the top 5 in the world! And ALL the distributors go to this, scouring for product. I'm distressed to hear that no one picked up the film after CineVegas and all of the good notices it got, but hey, not a major festival that the all the acquisitions execs flock to. And the distributor screening Mori's talking about -- well, those are usually subdued affairs, not filled with hootin' hollerin' fanboys. Please, Bubba producers, don't close on a shitty straight-to-video/cable premiere deal before Toronto! What every fanboy needs to do is HEAD NORTH IN SEPTEMBER, pack the Bubba screenings with lines around the block, and let the acquisitions types see the true power of Bruce's fanbase! And you can bet Boss Campbell will probably be there too -- and if you haven't seen the man in person, you're in for a treat. Master of the hilarious, self-deprecating Q&A. (Also, if you've never been to the Toronto Film fest, it's a GAS. Better than claustrophic, cold Sundance as the weather in Toronto is stunning in September, and its a world-class city to hold a festival in.) You're on notice, folks! Check the Toronto site in a few weeks for screening dates, but start makin' plans! BUBBA DESERVES A THEATRICAL RELEASE! Help make it so!
July 19, 2002, 9:10 a.m. CST
best scene of the FOD: In Empire when he's trying to get the Falcon off of Hoth, if I remembered correctly.
July 19, 2002, 9:20 a.m. CST
by Bad Guy
I liked "Presumed Innocent", but I don't think it was Harrison's last good work. His performance in "The Fugitve" is so understated AND underrated. Ford was totally overshadowed by Tommy Lee Jones' showier character. Watch the scene where Dr. Kimble is being interrogated by the cops at the police station. The look on his face when he starts to realize that they're looking at him as a suspect is fantastic. I will concede that his choices of late have left something to be desired. He does gets points though, for at least trying something different with "What Lies Beneath". And he really shouldn't have dropped out of "Traffic".
July 19, 2002, 9:39 a.m. CST
by Trevor Goodchild
I find Ford's more frequently used tool is his ungainly "I am in great peril" off balance running style. See chase on roof at the end of the fugitive and all the Indiana films.
July 19, 2002, 9:49 a.m. CST
Harrison Ford, you can't really hate him because a few years ago we all wanted to be Han Solo or Indiana Jones. Why did he really turn down Traffic? He was also first choice for both Proof of Life and The Patriot (I'm glad he turned them down). What Lies Beneath was shit but I thought that Ford really did what he could with a shitty part. Perhaps Ford will never again make those great movies he used to. There are a number of reasons for this: The industry has changed, many talented filmakers are disillusioned with the Hollywood system and you can see why (Paul Anderson directing Aliens vs. Predator!?!)The quality of filmaking has dropped, I'm talking about scripts and directors, there isn't much choice. Ford is old, so his range is more limited. I would like to have seen him in Signs or Road to Perdition, what happened to 'Gemini'? What a great role for Ford that would have been. I will see K-19 because I like Submarine movies, but I doubt it will be anything original.
July 19, 2002, 9:52 a.m. CST
I have to say I love Harrison's run. It is unique that is for sure and that is just one more thing to look forward to in Indy IV. That and getting beat up. No one gets beat up better than Ford.
July 19, 2002, 10:11 a.m. CST
Saw it again last night on USA's showing of "Clear and Present Danger". Man did that movie suck!I gotta get out more. And a question, why not make Clive Owen the new Bond? Would work for me.
July 19, 2002, 10:22 a.m. CST
i definitely agree with you that christian bale is a bonafied movie star and i am curious as to why he has never really exploded in any serious way. i might catch some shit for this, but "empire of the sun" is one of my all time favorite movies and it is primarily due to a young bale's portrayal of a young upper-class english boy dealing with war and growing up and losing everything all at the same time (the last scene in which he mutters "i forgot what my parents look like" crystallizes the pain and loss of innocence that occurrs in hard times better than any movie i can remember.) american psycho was an out there choice, but again, bale showed that he has the strength to carry a film in more ways than one. i don't think he should go hollywood or anything, but i would love it if he started making more daring but good choices (a la jared leto) and is able to get on the screen mor often and garner the attention he deserves.
July 19, 2002, 10:38 a.m. CST
..Agreed - Reign of Fire - Reign of boredom. Not a B pic, not an epic just middle of the road entertaining. And its takes a lot of good entertainment to overcome the inaccuracies of that plot line. I'm all for suspension of belief, but you should make sense in your own story parameters. I feel it would have been a good movie were it about just one Dragon, not millions, the ending was so limp (apparently the secret to killing them is shooting them) - saved only by the bongo playing stoner's wickedly stupefying death. Oh, SPOILER (who cares).
July 19, 2002, 11:35 a.m. CST
by Brother Putney
The little animation is a reference to "Un Chien Andalou," a very old short film by Luis Bunuel & the painter Salvador Dali. Basically, the whole movie is a series of surreal black and white images designed to blow your mind. Some of them work and some of them are just wacky, but one of them is a shot of a man bringing a straight razor up to a woman's eye and slicing it open. The animation could'a been a lot more disturbing -- in the film, apparently they used a cow's eye for the close shot as yolk-like optic fluid spills out of the cut. Y'know, for kids.
July 19, 2002, 11:41 a.m. CST
Mori, thanks for the view from the other side of the theater on K-19. Maybe it's not as bad as Harry and Capone say. And now that you've pointed it out, there really were some flaws glossed over in the script for Reign of Fire. Now it sounds like Chris Carter had a hand in writing it. In spite of those screw-ups: eating ash--where the HELL did they come up with THAT?--and nukes not killing them off, whereas an explosive arrowhead will; I still liked the movie. It could have been much better, just as Conan the Barbarian could have been much better. Sort of diamons in the rough, with gorgeous shiny facets and stupid dull ones both on the same gemstone. ****** Geez, is there any hope for a really good movie with hardly any flaws this summer? Maybe.....Signs?
July 19, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST
With regards to RoF, I wish they would have put more time and effort into making it a true dragon movie, but it was just a simple action flick with a few dragons sporadically placed about. Now that doesn't make it a bad movie, it just makes it a summer Hollywood movie. At least Moriarty understands this and can partly accept it for what it is. One little side note, I just saw American Psycho last night and Christain Bale deserves more starring roles, period.
July 19, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST
July 19, 2002, 1:11 p.m. CST
ATTENTION MORIARITY: I love your reviews, I really do. Honestly. However, I will point out something that I have been trying to get across for a while now, and yes, my "handle" betrays my fan-worship of Mr. Ford. While I have not thoroughly enjoyed Harrison's last couple of films, you can EASILY see why he chose to do them! Everybody, ask yourselves: How does a NYC cop taking in an IRA terrorist in a movie by Alan J. Pakula sound? How about an action-romantic comedy on a tropical island by the director of Ghostbusters grab ya? What about a serious, mature drama about grieving spouses helmed by Oscar-winner Sydney Pollack? If on paper, these sounded good to you, then you just agreed to do Devil's Own, 6 Days 7 Nights and Random Hearts. Good movies? Maybe not, but the DECISION to do them is sound. Harrison is more concerned with stories that appeal to him, not with breaking box office records. Anyway, deep breath, sorry for the rant. It's just that a lot of movies suck, but on paper, they look better. You can say that about just about anyone, save Cruise or Hanks. I'll stop now. Go to the movies or sumthin' . . . keep up the good work Moriarity.
July 19, 2002, 1:22 p.m. CST
I got a lot of shit for bashing Han Solo..er uh Harrison Ford. I never ragged on Han or Indy(well a 60 year old Indy,yes I did) or Deckard but the cataloge of mediocredy that has been his career the last 12 years. But I can't knock him for bailing on "Traffic"; That movie was so weak and overrated. That got an oscar nod over "Unbreakable"??? WTF?! ***I like the way you challenged Harry! Keep it up!
July 19, 2002, 2 p.m. CST
did he just suggest that unbreakable deserved an oscar nomination? no way in hell. if you are going to call a quality film like traffic out, that's fine, but at least do it in order to refer to a better movie that didn't get any acclaim. unbreakable was a slow-paced, no ending, nap of a movie that i think should threaten m.knight's cred as anything but a masterful creator of mood (especially if signs sucks). i'll never understand why this guy gets praise for mediocre product when there are directors like darren aronofsky out there really breaking ground. oscar nod? see requiem for a dream and then tell me about oscar nods.
July 19, 2002, 2:08 p.m. CST
Excellent well thought out reviews with clearly defined logic for that line of thinking. Good Work
July 19, 2002, 2:34 p.m. CST
i think that bot pi and requiem are very unconventional looks at very unconventional stories. maybe he isn't pushing the limits on a technolongical or even conceptual basis, but the pure visceral impact of both films is something that i don't get from a lot of films and that i especially haven't gotten from anything by james cameron.
July 19, 2002, 2:38 p.m. CST
sorry, i didn't mean james cameron (although he is a good example of what i was talking about), i am mixing up my conversations. i just feel like shyamalan did the mind-fuck ending thing in sixth sense and had everyone hooked so he tried to rush another one out in order to keep up with the hype. his films have just started to get too formulaic for me, and i can't feel the same tension i did while watching sixth sense. whether or not you like aronofsky you have to agree that shyamalan needs to try something new because, like i said, he is a master at creating the mood he wants, i just want him to do something with it.
July 19, 2002, 2:41 p.m. CST
by otis von zipper
First of all, I am now very interested in seeing K-19. I had been on a Harrison Ford avoidance trip lately (since Fugitive, an above average flick with an awful last act), but despite bad Russian accents, I am into the idea of this movie. Also, Bourne Identity, about time it got some recognition here. Enjoyed it much more than Minority Report. But May, that movie is just as wonderful as Mori paints it to be. I'd agree, belongs to the school of Cronenberg, but the movie I would liken it to the most is George Romero's Martin. Wouldn't that be the ultimate double feature? Someday that movie will come out, and then everyone will know. May !!
July 19, 2002, 2:42 p.m. CST
by Lenny Nero
They were showing this at the Oaks in Berkeley, and the silly premise stays with me, haunting my dreams. Mori, I hope you can review this better than I can, cuz all I can say is...damn, I don't even know. What a peculiar piece.
July 19, 2002, 2:46 p.m. CST
by Lenny Nero
Where are you guys? I'll put my vote in. That's a damn good movie, misogynist or not. Remember, Mori isn't big into EYE CANDY, which is admittedly a lot of what STRANGE DAYS is, a mystery with a visual twist.
July 19, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST
Totally agreed with your take on Reign of Fire. Didn't hate it...was just really dissapointed. And K-19 sounds like an interesting DRAMA....not an action picture. Will check it out this week. As always you provide good reading.
July 19, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST
I'm not gonna say this is a fuckin masterpiece but I thought it WAS a good b-movie and for all the reasons I keep hearing people complain about it. Yeah, it would be nice to see a really good movie about the dragons taking over, but it is more original and interesting to see one about the aftermath. The "CGI monster attacks famous landmarks only to be stopped by a small group of wisecracking b-list movie stars" thing is getting boring. The whole gimmick of this movie is that it's about the part you don't usually see, like Pulp Fiction is about waiting around before kicking in the hotel room door. To answer some of Moriarty's questions: nuclear weapons didn't work on the dragons for the same reason they wouldn't work on bees. They killed alot of them, but also a lot of people, and then the dragons kept coming. Do they eat ash or meat? It seemed like they ate both, although I agree that was not explained very well. Isn't there another male? They didn't seem to think so (since the one they tracked down was the same one Christian Bale discovered as a child) but I think that's exactly why this is a GOOD ending. They didn't seem to have definitely wiped the dragons from the face of the earth. At best, they stopped the reproduction and still have many years killing off the female dragons. To me, the ambiguity and the implication that there's more hardship where that came from are what makes it a good ending. I mean can you imagine how retarded it would be if they killed off all the zombies in the end of Day of the Dead?
July 19, 2002, 3:48 p.m. CST
by The Talking Pie
did anyone else notice that one of the associate producers listed at the end of regin of fire was bruce moriarty? what the fuck is up with that. maybe im just an idiot but that seems weird. also; the new animation is disturbing what the fuck is it s'posed to mean anyways?
July 19, 2002, 3:55 p.m. CST
by Smart Mark
I'm packing up my boomstick and heading north!
July 19, 2002, 3:56 p.m. CST
I don't know if Halloween Resurrection is bad or not - but i'll give you the definition of an insane person - someone who actually liked MAY. Bad all the way around - i agree with the girl - why was it made?
July 19, 2002, 4:16 p.m. CST
I missed "Unbreakable" in the theater because I listened to people who said it was "slow" and decided to pass. When I finally went to rent it I saw it in the bargain bin for $5 and snatched it up-best damn $5 I ever spent! Was it slow? Sure,there was not a lot of car chases or Kung Fu fighting or shootouts but it was not slow for me at all. I like the way M.Night respects the audience and demands of them to pay attention and be patient. He does not force feed a story onto you the way so many films do;he is not a cookie cutter film maker like Micheal Bay or Joel Shitmaker. I was enthralled from the opening scene on the train until the end, wich was a huge surprise. Again. SLJ deserves an oscar for that role. If he hadn't done that shitty Shaft movie it might have happended (who knows how these people vote?). Traffic was a dud. Gladiator was OK but Unbreakable and Crouching Tiger were the best of 2000. I have not seen "Requiem" yet so I can't compare...
July 19, 2002, 4:33 p.m. CST
I know two women who hated it and said it was boring and that they hate comic book movies..blah blah.I saw a movie about a man who's potential was being unfullfilled because he didn't know what he should be doing with his life and was in a malaise. His marriage was in the tank. He had a lousy job and he was not the father he should be. When Mr Glass leads David Dunn to the truth and he descovers his gift and purpose his life improves exponetially. His marriage recovers and he becomes closer to his son. I thought that's what made "Unbreakable" a wonderful film. So many romantic films deal with young relationships. This movie was Romantic and delt with two people who had been together for many years and were struggling-that's unusual for Hollywood. If you missed that than I feel sorry for you...:)
July 19, 2002, 4:35 p.m. CST
Moriarty is a talented reviewer, but I think we've crossed the threshold where the abject rear-kissing of Moriarity coupled with the mindless bashing of Harry is just annoying. Yes, indeed "he's done it again!" as about 50 people say after every review he posts, but stop and think. Some of you guys rush to heap praise (or rain stones ) on the reviewers before you've even seen the opening credits. They've made your mind up for you! If only I'd cashed in on the whole Web thing sooner, I'd have my own army of mindless minions... Such is life...
July 19, 2002, 4:38 p.m. CST
by Charles Grady
PLEASE, PLEASE, everyone read the Talking Pie's post. You will find it a few posts above this one. It is pure genius. Never have wiser words been posted on a message board. I am in AWE. One, because he asks "What is up with that eyeball cartoon?" when the answer has been given repeatedly in THIS VERY TALKBACK (nice reading skills), and Two, that he finds it stunning that an associate producer on this film could be named "Bruce Moriarty." Wow, quel coincidence. Except we've all known that AICN's "Moriarty" is really named Drew McWeeny for years, that his use of the name Moriarty is a Holmes reference, and that, uh, dude, Moriarty isn't THAT uncommon a last name, anyway! You'll notice he also sings the praises of COURAGE UNDER FIRE in this article. Yeah, must be because Michael Moriarty was in it!
July 19, 2002, 4:45 p.m. CST
she is sooo dreamy...mmmmmm....
July 19, 2002, 5:11 p.m. CST
Ford should greet Mr. George Lucas by providing him with oral treats every time he sees him. A lot of talkbackers love to hate Lucas, but without Han and Indy, two Lucas-created characters (yes, the Indy movies are George's more than Speilberg's), Ford has a career that Christian Slater wouldn't envy.
July 19, 2002, 5:17 p.m. CST
I saw UNBREAKABLE (for the first time) mostly due to Harry's review back in December '00. I had not even seen THE SIXTH SENSE yet, I just thought that it sounded like something I would like. That film is perfect! A classic! Now when someone asks me what my favorite movie is amd I don't want to go into my personal rant about choosing a favorite piece of art from such a variety of genres and yadda yadda yadda, I just say UNBREAKABLE. REQUIEM just made me want to do another J.
July 19, 2002, 5:21 p.m. CST
visual gimmicks aside, those two films had entirely different effects on me. i definitely agree that quick cuts and gimmicky imagery can get to be, well, gimmicky, but i thought that aronofsky confronted both addiction and pseudo-psychotic genius in really interesting ways. i liked trainspotting too, but it didn't have the layers that requiem had. it had drugs and all the shit that happens in pursuit of a high (if you like the author, glue is also an interesting read). requiem had three or four stories running simultaneously that all said different things about addiction. most of all, requiem took me to places i never really wanted to go, the same place that american beauty took me when i was hoping kevin spacey would get his shot with mena suvari...stuff that's scary and frightening and stylish that originated on the screen, but stayed with me after i left the theater. m.night just hasn't hit me in the same way yet, and i wasn't really shocked by the last act of unbreakable, i felt more disappointed than anything else...or maybe i just felt set up for a sequel that i am not sure i even want to see. i'll give signs a shot though. thanks for being able to have a discussion without getting condescending or anything. i just like movies, whether i actually like a specific one or not, i love hearing what other people think so...just a thank you.
July 19, 2002, 5:57 p.m. CST
The moment that made me realize that this was, for once, a semi-realistic spy movie was when, right before the car chase, Damon asks about the condition of the car - is it maintained well, does it have enough gas, tires properly inflated, that sort of thing. I'd never seen that in a movie before, but it's exactly the sort of stuff that you SHOULD know if you're about to take off on a high-speed chase.
July 19, 2002, 6:07 p.m. CST
I hope It's as good as "Trainspotting". If it's better than that then holy shit I missed another great one in the theater! Shame on me! Trainspotting and Boogie Nights are other flicks that the Academy fucked over. Either one is so much better than "As good as it gets". I liked AGAIG but it doesn't hold well on repeat viewings. I think Boogie Nights is one of the 5 best movies of the '90s...
July 19, 2002, 6:23 p.m. CST
How can you mourn Total Recall? Pah. And to the dude that mentioned T3. Try keeping up with the fucking news, that T3 story was bull. Like that was a suprise!
July 19, 2002, 6:26 p.m. CST
There was no Carlos "the Jackal" in The Bourne Identity (2002). That was a let down. He was by far the most interesting aspect of the book. Bendicio Del Toro would have been phenominal in that role! I went in expecting Clive Owen to play Carlos and they bailed out on that all together. Also, Marie was originally kidknapped by Bourne. He was using her to escape Carlos' assassins. He saves her life and from being raped and they eventually bond. In this version he just offers her $10k to drive him to Paris? That's it? Anyway, I read the book and saw the TV movie so I had some baggage but I liked it anyway. I'll look forward to the Bourne Supremacy.**** Bmoney: yes I'm tired of condescending and biligerent talkbackers too. I especially hate when people trash me for a spelling error. This is not a spelling B GDI. WTF?? :)
July 19, 2002, 7:56 p.m. CST
Sum of All Fears was watchable, pretty pleasant big-budget moviemaking, about what you'd expect. I went because, once in a while, you just need to see a movie where they have titles like 4:58 p.m. Zurich, Switzerland -- coming onscreen one letter at a time, preferably with a little beep. A little disappointing in this regard.*****Agreed, Bourne Identity was a real pleasant surprise ... one of the most purely entertaining movies of the year.*****Better letter-by-letter titles too, if I recall correctly.*****Faint memory of familiar-sounding title was confirmed by reading some reviews: Bourne Identity was filmed before, TV version, Richard Chamberlain. New version has much more zap.
July 19, 2002, 10:14 p.m. CST
by Critical Bill
July 19, 2002, 10:28 p.m. CST
I completely agree about the marketing for K19- folks don't let the previews fool you this movie is not a super-action Ford beats bad guys flick.
July 19, 2002, 11:16 p.m. CST
Deep, wet and filled with lots of seamen - no, this is not your mother's Das Boot - this is a slickly produced Hollywood blockbuster made for the 21st Century. While based on a true story, you can feel yourself slide in and out of the plot contrivances, and while the movie does have it's accelerated moments, it mostly maintains a steady pace until it's almost exploding with tension. You'll sit in your seat flushed with excitement as the movie reaches its climax and explodes all over the screen in the final act. The only problem is after viewing the film, the audience may be overcome with a sense of guilt in being entertained by such a film and never calling.. err.. I mean seeing it again.
July 19, 2002, 11:32 p.m. CST
by Osgood Sigerson
Thank you for that explanation of Harry's disturbing cartoon. Now I finally get the lyrics to the Pixies song 'Debaser'. It all makes sense to me now. I am now a bit less of an idiot than I was mere moments ago. Thanks! And for the love of crap, would somebody please pick up Bubba Ho-Tep?! Jeez, I want to se this freaking movie and I can't make it to Toronto. Come on, distributors, pick it up, put it in the art houses in time for Christmas, then a bells-and-whistles DVD [with Bruce, Ossie and the director doing commentary] in April. It's that simple. Do it now, I command it! Now, damn you!
July 20, 2002, 6:46 a.m. CST
Does pointing out a talkbacker, who posts something you don't find intelligent, and making fun of him make you feel better about yourself? Is this to say you've never written anything stupid in your life (not saying your's is, Talking_Pie)? It's a talkback, so talkback about the ARTICLE, not what you thought of the talkbackers. Ass.
July 20, 2002, 6:48 a.m. CST
I enjoyed The Bourne Identity, and the chick from Run Lola Run was really good in it (she says "shit" in German a lot, which makes me like her). I'm looking forward to seeing RoF. Does anybody know if Bubba Ho-Tep will be coming to Ohio?
July 20, 2002, 6:53 a.m. CST
Restrained, intelligent, out-on-a-limb. His performance/characterisation in The Fugitive is almost a carbon-copy.
July 20, 2002, 10:53 a.m. CST
I think that "Strange Days" was interesting and unique to the typical futuristic thrillers. I don't know what happened to Ralph Fiennes...The Avengers'failure really took him away from studio films.I think he's one of the elite actors still but I guess he wants to stay away from high profile material. I thought he would have been a great Obi Wan after seeing "The English Patient", a great film.
July 20, 2002, 11:24 a.m. CST
by Brother Putney
... but any movie that contains a scene in which a bank robber disguised as Ronald Reagan throws a DOG at Keanu Reeves is okay in my book. And I personally think Ford's best performance is in "The Conversation," in which he plays Robert Duvall's vaguely gay secretary, and convincingly asks Gene Hackman, "Would you like some nice Christmas cookies? I made them myself!"
July 20, 2002, 11:08 p.m. CST
Can BOURNE IDENTITY opossibly measure up to OSTERMAN WEEKEND, featuring the one and only Rutger "Soldier of Orange" Hauer and a mustachioed Craig T. "Coach" Nelson? OSTERMAN was on AMC last night, no doubt because BOURNE is currently in theaters. It was bad when it was new and it still looked bad as of last night. (For those who are too young or stupid to make the connection, both were written by Robert "Bore Me Until I Pass Out" Ludlum. As for UNBREAKABLE, it is indefensible. One of the shittiest movies ever made. Imagine having seen this piece of shit in a theater, knowing you cannot get back your money.
July 21, 2002, 7:59 p.m. CST
first NEAR DARK is cult classic, BLADE RUNNER IS FORD'S BEST,and finally discovery channel did a very good job in docuementing K-19, so i'll pass on the movie
July 21, 2002, 9:15 p.m. CST
What an overrated piece of shit that film was. It wasn't even good. Long, boring, pointless. It's not even in the same league as the BBC mini-series "Traffik". Good for him for turning it down. I enjoyed What Lies Beneath" so much more.
July 22, 2002, 12:20 a.m. CST
Nuff said on the disappointment there. Where was Carlos and the possible trilogy? If Robert Ludlum is sooooo boring, then being a millionare because of writing boring stuff, sounds like a good job to me. And, oh yeah, Bruce is God!!
July 22, 2002, 6:34 a.m. CST
I agree with an earlier posted (Sorry dude, forgot your name) about Strange Days... That was a damn interesting movie... The concept and underlying technology was facinating... Just a bit of a shame they couldn't wrap it around a equally interesting story instead of the assisnation thing. But either way it's well worth a look... And Misogynistic??? Just because a woman was raped and murdered??? Fuck how many other films have rape and murder in them, Jesus, stop being a whinning bitch... It was a film about a dark future, what did you expect, roses and candy. The film had an edge to it, if you don't like it I'm sure Disney has some upcoming releases you may be interested in.
July 22, 2002, 11:17 a.m. CST
by Law Dawg
That Dali flick is warped, but how many movies have Pixies songs written about them? If you don't believe me, check out the lyrics to "Debaser", track #1 from "Doolittle."
July 22, 2002, 12:20 p.m. CST
fucking bruce campbell! that man is sooooooooo cool. if you don't agree, read his book. i cannot wait to see bubba ho-tep! the real question is, in spider-man, when bruce (the wrestling announcer) is introducing spider-man and is walking backwards and coming up with adjectives and runs into the wall before he finishes talking, why was i the only person in the packed theatres (both times) that laughed? i guess some people just can't appreciate subtle physical comedy anymore. or maybe dick and fart jokes really are where the money is.
July 22, 2002, 1:12 p.m. CST
WHERE DID THEY GET THEIR FUCKING GAS?!?!?! shouldn't that have gone up first with the trees? did they drill for oil and refine it in a bathtub? my other major problem, the three leads were pretty much unintelligible with their mish-mash of accents (both real and fake) not that the script was that great anyway. glad i saw this as a matinee but at least it was better than MIIB
July 22, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST
REIGN OF FIRE is a good little time at the movies and one that I think it will pick up a cult audience on video. I was glad of Harry's review because it prepared me for a pared-down survival story instead of INDEPENDENCE DAY w/Dragons, as the trailers would have you believe.
July 22, 2002, 2:39 p.m. CST
WoodyStiffer, Did you actually see the film MAY, or is this one of those things where it's 'cool' to be able to pan a film that every other review seems to have had good things to say about? In Moriarty's girl's case it's understandable that she probably gets to see a lot of free shit with him and he's probably got her spoiled and disappointed, used to having seen more Meg Ryan movies than anybody ought to, for free or otherwise. I'm not going trust the opinion of a chick who got to see a movie for free just because she's humping a critic. And Moriarty doesn't really go into detail about what his old lady didn't like about it, so I'll it's not really fair to squeeze her balls or his about it. BUT, WoodyStiffer, we can only assume that you saw the film willingly because it sounded like something you wanted to see. And I would think it would in some way make you qualified enough to know what it is that didn't measure up to your expectations. With a screen name like that, it would be nice if you didn't puss out in your review, despite the convenience of your anonymity. I have NOT seen the movie yet, but everything I've seen so far claims that it's one of the best of the year. So it's a curious thing that a film can be best of the year by 98% and worst by 2%, who didn't find any middle ground. It's fine if you don't like a movie (no movie can please everyone). I wouldn't have bothered to post if you had said, "I didn't really care for this movie. It wasn't my thing". But to say something is the worst of the year and no reasons given, seem awfully weak dude. Enlighten us, please or I'll be forced to have the BS police take your license away. Is this a private matter you're airing on the board or, an "I'm cool because I disagree" pose or... what did you hate so much about the movie? Joe Braxton email@example.com
July 22, 2002, 3:06 p.m. CST
Hope my previous post wasn't seen as a personal attack. I just hate when people get all snooty and tell us that something or someone is completely dispicable, but never let on why. Anyway, I DID see Halloween Resurrection and it sucked. First, the beginning scenes just re-tread bonehead things we've seen before in the Halloween series and then begins to think it's "Scream" for a second (You'll see). Then it becomes another sequel to "Blair Witch" and "The Real World" or "The 5th Wheel" or something when Busta Rhymes (obviously here only as a favor to someone on the production team) and crew set up cameras in the Myers house for a live Internet broadcast to cover six people. That was just a silly idea to begin with. The over-the-top presentation would be cool if it was meant to be satire, but in this case, it's just bad acting. All the unknown actors in it will remain unknown, more than likely. Sean Patrick Thomas, whose actually not a terrible actor and has been in a couple of things I liked, probably did this one as a favor to his agent or something. A least in "Jason X" (which I found fun), the killings were more and more elaborate and occassionally imaginative as the film went on... this one... it's the same ol' same ol': stabbings. We get one decapitation, but that's it. Oooh. Scary... He has a knife. Yet, the speechless Myers is the most developed character in the whole show. You end up feeling like you want to root for him to kill everyone. I was hoping he would leap out of the screen to kill me - and end my viewing early. To its credit, I guess it was like Halloween afterall - torture disguised as a movie. BAD.
July 22, 2002, 4:33 p.m. CST
I liked Reign of Fire. It came out of nowhere and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't see it coming at all. And this in a season ripe with overhyped juggernauts. Come on. Think about, even as bad as it is, think about how badly movies such as Halloween; Resurrection or Battlefield Earth would've performed without any hype. Well, maybe those were bad examples. But think about stumbling into those... And then compare that to not hearing a thing about RoF and taking it in out of curiosity. I gotta say I was thoroughly entertained. Sure, it left questions, but hey, what movie doesn't really. It's just that some are more obvious than others. And it's probably a matter of opinion more than anything, but when does unanswered questions become a criticism and not a artful tease? I mean, you come out of a David Lynch movie and nothing's left to the imagination? Why can't Reign of Fire leave some things open ended? Anyways, I enjoyed it... I know many others who did as well. *** The Bourne Identity rocks. I hope a series is going to be made of it. And I hope Damon reprises his role. Although, I hope he doesn't get sucked into a franchise that will pigeon hole him. I like Matt D the actor. I look forward to more interesting roles by him. *** And, 'od Damn. Why won't somebody please pick up Bubba Hotep? I've got to see it now. Bruce IS(!!!) the man. That Q&A you guys posted a couple of weeks ago was hilarious. Can't wait to see the flick and then hear the commentary (with Bruce cracking wise in the wings).
July 22, 2002, 6 p.m. CST
Here's a female adult who liked Unbreakable. Not all women are Julia Roberts luvvin, Meg Ryan emulating, Ya Ya sisterhood idjuts.
July 22, 2002, 8:48 p.m. CST
Y'know, I can't help but think that if the script of ROF had leaked, we'd be seeing a much different take on it from the TBers (BTW, this isn't a swipe at Moriarty...I know he does script reviews, but I trust his judgement/lack of bias well enough that I think he would have disliked the final product regardless.) What I mean is, if someone had read the script and said "Finally! A movie about the characters in a fantasy setting!" There would be assorted bitching about how Hollywood would louse the whole thing up with pointless special effects, ignore the human element, and make it a big, dumb action movie. There would be righteous indignation concerning the percieved threat of "dumbing down" the script to include more CGI. Then, when ROF came out with its humanity intact, the TBs would be flooded with praise for Bowman for somehow preserving a REAL story about PEOPLE in the face of Hollywoodism. That's the fantasy. Instead, we didn't get to defend the script against imaginary hacks, and didn't spend sleepless nights (har) worrying about how the suits would take the soul out to show us more fire and stuff. No, we never got our chance to get all self righteous about it, so when we were presented with an ACTUAL FILM that was structured the way most intelligent people I know seem to think this kind of thing should be structured, what do we hear? "More dragons!" As much as we like to bitch about how the dumb Hollywood execs like to pander to the dumb moviegoing public, well, the geeks are worse. At least the guy/gal/whatever who wanders mindlessly into the latest Bay crapfest doesn't get all uppity about how "dumb" everything is, only to support it and bitch whenever anything tries for the head instead of the gut. I said it before and I'll say it again: this is the kind of movie we keep saying we wish would get made. It got made, and everybody bitched about not having enough special effects. We DESERVED Scooby Doo, I'm tellin' ya!
July 23, 2002, 7:28 a.m. CST
dragons are cool
July 23, 2002, 12:02 p.m. CST
What's wrong with Point Break? It's only the greatest Z-movie ever made!
July 23, 2002, 1:10 p.m. CST
I wanna know who the hell has been defending Halloween Ressurection! I saw that film last Friday (I snuck in) and it was the WORST of ALL the Halloweens! I enjoyed part 3 more than this one! I also have to agree with Moriarty on Reign of Fire. That could have been a really kick ass movie. The end was too fuckin' weak. I did enjoy Matthew Mc-what's-his-nuts getting eaten, I must say.
July 23, 2002, 2:45 p.m. CST
by Lt. Torello
...Julia Stiles as the entire CIA presence in France?! Moriarty's right, it's a nothing part, but it didn't have to be. She should've been the one who kills Chris Cooper at the end, not some nameless assassin. Easy fix. And the car chase is pretty decent, but "Ronin's" are FAR superior. The two scenes that showed Damon has the action chops were the fight in his apartment and the confrontation with Clive Owen (who drives a 5-series Beemer just like he does in the BMW on-line films!)
July 23, 2002, 9:41 p.m. CST
The real question is why Moriarty is 69ing with Harry on the homepage!
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