MORIARTY Reviews HELL HOUSE, BIGGIE & TUPAC And INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN! Plus Two Script Reviews!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I’m gonna have to start doing this old-school if I want to get all of this material up and on the site.
By the way, I appreciate all the e-mail from you guys asking me to talk about the process on POST-HUMAN. Right now, there’s not much to talk about. Research and meetings aren’t nearly as interesting from the outside, and I don’t want to burn you guys out early. As we move further along in the process, I’m very interested in sharing my perspective with you, but for now, I’m declaring a cone of radio silence. Like I said... I appreciate the interest, and I promise that when the time’s right, and when there are beans to spill, this’ll be the place they get spilled.
In the meantime, I’m still fitting in screenings and reading scripts, and I’m even planning a few set visits in the next couple of weeks. I wouldn’t be able to stop doing all that, even if I wanted to, because it’s the way I’m hardwired. I was like that before there was even an AICN, so why would I suddenly put the brakes on now, just because I got a new job?
Let’s cut all the precursor and get right to it, okay? There’s a lot of ground to cover today, and I’d like to get the DVD column up at the start of the week as well...
As odd as it sounds, this is one of the biggest crowd-pleasers I’ve seen this year based on the audience reaction at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood recently. Long, sustained laughter wracked the audience at several points in the film, but the film also managed to play beautifully through some very tricky tone changes. The audience hung on every bit of it, rapt. This is one of those documentaries that works entirely as entertainment, where you end up drawn in by the characters you’re watching and it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or fact.
All that matters is that you’re involved. And watching HELL HOUSE, you certainly will be.
Director George Ratliff plays his cards close on this one, and it’s hard to tell exactly where he stands on things. He’s certainly amused by the fervor of the convictions of some of the key people in the film, but he also has visible, evident empathy for some of his subjects. There’s an astonishing sequence early on that follows one particular guy, a single father, through an “average” morning as he works to wake all of his kids up for school, feed them, rotate baths, and get everyone out the door. For the first part of the scene, it’s all sort of funny as he talks about Hell House and what he wants from it this year, and as all of his kids sort of grumpily struggle to stay awake, and then right in the middle of the sequence, one of the younger children begins to have a seizure, and all of a sudden, it’s not funny. Not at all. When the seizure ends, the guy starts crediting prayer and God, and as the EMS team arrives to check the kid out, he continues to extoll the intervention of God and how it saved his child, and then, just like that, he gets back into his morning, and by the time he drops his oldest daughter off at high school, the scene is genuinely funny again. How else can you react as a father and daughter discuss what roles they want at Hell House with a near-giddy, “Boy, I hope I get Domestic Violence this year”?
Ratliff is also very wise not to mock the faith that obviously makes this event so important for some of these people. Instead, he lets them talk, and in certain cases, they reveal themselves as having mixed motives. There’s one guy who sets up the rave sequence in Hell House each year who seems more than a little eager to taste the forbidden fruits of the actual rave scene, and the single father’s attitudes about adultery seem to reveal quite a bit about what sort of incident left him with that houseful of kids all by himself. HELL HOUSE is, in the end, a movie about masks that slip, and what’s underneath, and why we wear those masks.
Actually, I just realized... I haven’t even mentioned what the annual Hell House event is. It’s funny... it’s the high concept of the film that got me to go see it, but it’s the character and the texture of the film that have remained with me since seeing it.
Basically, Hell House is an annual haunted house style event. Instead of portraying chainsaw killers and masked psychos and alien monsters, though, Hell House stages a series of miniature plays, scenes that portray (in graphic detail) the wages of sin. Abortion accidents, high school shootings, drug overdoses, drunk driving deaths... in each case, one of the sinners repents and asks for Jesus to forgive them, and one doesn’t. One goes to Heaven, one goes to Hell. The endings are the same, so the real energy goes into the set-up, the “horror” part. Actors overemote on an epic level, and the auditions we see are funnier than anything in WAITING FOR GUFFMAN.
I lived in the buckle of the Bible Belt for a long time, but I have little first-hand experience with the intensity of faith shown here. Speaking in tongues is something I don’t get. I don’t look down on it, and I don’t think Ratliff includes it here to make fun of it. It’s a very real part of the worship service these people share, and to them, it means something. Ratliff was lucky enough to be there when it happened, and there’s an abandon to the way the entire congregation ends up barking in nonexistant languages. It’s a communal thing you see happening, and there’s no doubt... these people are committed to what they believe.
You’d have to be to have balls big enough to preach in someone’s face like this. Anyone worried about Ratliff’s intentions has to also acknowledge that this is ultimately about recruitment. At the end of Hell House, you’re told that unless you’re right with Jesus, you’re going to Hell. And you’re told that you can go into the next room, and you can get right with Jesus, or you can stay here and gamble that you might just be going to Hell. It’s a strong arm that has to be seen to be believed. What’s amazing is how many people actually go into that next room for the prayer session that’s offered. Hell House works. They post some numbers at the end of the film that will make you gasp. That church is growing, and there’s no denying that this theater piece/haunted house/Reifenstahl-subtle propaganda statement is a big part of that. Here’s hoping the spirit moves you to check the film out in limited release this fall.
BIGGIE & TUPAC
Nick Broomfield is what I would call an expert provocateur. When everything works out, his films take on this sort of larger than life ability to piss a viewer off. His films are expertly edited for maximum impact. I think his Aileen Wuronov film is pretty intense, and I was fascinated by the naked ambition on display on all fronts in HEIDI FLEISS: HOLLYWOOD MADAM. Until now, though, I wouldn’t say he’s made a great movie. He makes movies that have great moments in them.
I know just the other day, I got a letter that accused Broomfield in the strongest possible language of being a filmmaker who stages those moments and, if need be, invents them outright. I think KURT & COURTENEY was hurt by how visibly Broomfield was pushing in that film to find drama wherever possible, and the film ended up being about the power of baseless accusation as much as anything else. I don’t think Broomfield is a particularly great journalist, but that’s not really how I judge his films. When a documentarian inserts themselves so vigorously into the story, I always find it suspect. To me, Broomfield’s new film is about how this sort of bulldog of a guy stumbled into a story that he ended up telling better than anyone else has so far.
Because it’s important to note... what Broomfield has done here is lay out a credible, well-researched and verifiably sourced version of the events that took the lives of both Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace. It’s not a version that makes me feel very good to watch, and it would be nice and neat if life were like the recent LA TIMES story about the events, which broke suspiciously close to the American debut of Broomfield’s movie. I don’t know Chuck Philips or his previous work, so I can’t comment on his accumen as a producer. The nice thing about having such contrasting opinions about the case out there is that it allows you, the audience, to make your own mind up, and based on what I read and saw, Broomfield is the one who makes his case. I don’t seem to be alone in thinking so, either.
My main impression watching this is that Broomfield may be controversial, but you have to credit him with a certain fearlessness. I sat amazed by the whole scene where he tries to interview Suge Knight, who is in prison at the time. He calls Death Row Records to try and set up the interview, and when he refuses to make a certain deal with them, they refuse him the interview. He decides to go to the prison anyway, and he just asks to speak with Knight when he gets there, and the body language of the warden who takes him to see Knight is just hysterical. He’s more nervous than Broomfield is, more genuinely deferential to Suge. Broomfield just charges right in and gets Knight to finally agree to speak on camera, as long as it’s “about the children.” How his long, ego-ridden, rambling near-confession has anything to do with “the children” is a mystery, but it’s also an absolutely unforgettable interview. If you watch this and you can say that you honestly don’t believe Knight had anything to do with either murder, then you and I filter our impressions of the world differently. It’s that basic.
This is the film where I think Broomfield has made his best bid so far at being a real investigative documentarian, where he’s actually uncovered something important, something worth being documented. As long as there are articles being written like the one in the LA TIMES, and as long as people believe the gangsta myth that’s been packaged and sold by genuine gangsters like Knight, this story remains sadly relevant.
INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN
So... maybe you read the article, maybe you didn’t. Either way, I just announced that AICN is coming to NYC on the 27th of this month. We’re visiting as part of the New York International Independent Film And Video Festival, and we’re showing three films over the course of an evening. Ray Manzarek is going to be there for a Q&A after the screening of his film LOVE HER MADLY, and right after that, we’re going to be screening a groovy little film I had the good fortune to get a peek at a couple of weeks ago. It was perfect timing, too. I needed something for that last spot in the night, and it was almost like I stumbled over this film at just the right moment.
Neil Burger has been working in commercials for a while now, and INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN marks his debut as a feature filmmaker. Like Mark Romanek, he’s written his own film, something that always impresses me. A lot of music video guys or commercial guys simply don’t have a feature script in them. Burger hasn’t hit the kind of confident home run that Romanek has, but there’s a lot to like about INTERVIEW. Primarily, there’s the starring performance by Raymond J. Barry, a character actor who is long overdue a moment in the spotlight. You’ve seen him as Ron Kovic’s dad in BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and in DEAD MAN WALKING and in TRAINING DAY and THE DEEP END. He’s been working in films since 1977, when he was in THE GOODBYE GIRL, and he’s also done a fair amount of stage work. Right now, he seems to be embracing more experimental filmmakers. It gave him a lead role here and should prove interesting when his next film with Peter Greenaway comes out.
The setup for the film is simple. Walter Ohlinger (Barry) lives across the street from Ron (Dylan Haggerty), a cameraman who is interested in making a name for himself. Walter offers to tell him a story about something from forty years ago, something huge, and once the tape is rolling, Walter claims that he was the one who fired the head shot that killed John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Moreover, he claims he can prove it, and he offers up a shell from a rifle that he says was THE shell.
What unfolds after that is a downward spiral of paranoia and mistrust. Is Walter crazy? Does his story check out? Why is he telling all of this now? Should he be talking, or has he put himself and Ron in jeopardy? Even if he is the guy who did it, what does it ultimately matter? Isn’t it more important to know who he was working for? Is that even possible to figure out at this point? For most of its running time, the film manages to build up a growing sense of dread, and Burger gets enormous mileage out of suggesting a threat rather than showing it. A bit of shadow on a surveillance tape become terrifying the way Burger plays with them. If I have a major complaint, it’s that the film finds its hands tied during the climax thanks to the fact that Burger has shot the film entirely in a documentary style. Because it has to be something that Ron could have shot, there’s only so much Burger can do in terms of visual language, and it feels like the ending should have been more visceral... more involving.
Still, the film is a strong showcase for this great performance, and it’s fun to talk about afterwards. It is more dramatically sound than THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, and I don’t think they’re trying to fool anyone into thinking this is a real videotape of the real assassin. Instead, the fake documentary format itself is part of what Burger is trying to say about our obssession with certain events and with celebrity in general and the drive to be famous leading us to make certain deals with the devil. Ron allows himself to be wooed by this man, this professed killer, because he knows what a good story can do for him professionally. The further he gets into it, the more likely it is that Walter’s a crazy person who had nothing to do with Kennedy, and that Ron is starting to be a crazy person himself. That sense of real narrative structure and genuine dramatic tension is what elevates Burger’s film above most of the gimmick-based films that have followed BLAIR WITCH, and what makes it worth noting in its own right.
Can’t wait to see you guys in NYC at the screening on the 27th. Remember... Manzarek’s going to be there for a Q&A after the 8:00 show, so there’s a chance we may start INTERVIEW a little late. Hopefully, you’ll be there for all three, though, so it won’t matter, and we can just enjoy the entire evening together. I know the conversations after this film are going to be a blast, and I look forward to having them with you.
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH WILL FERRELL?!
God bless whatever particular accident of genetics that resulted in the sick, sick brain of Will Ferrell.
ROD BURGUNDY, ACTION NEWS MAN! is a screenplay by Will Ferrell and former SNL head writer Adam McKay. It is also, very likely, a cry for help on the part of two very disturbed people. There’s almost no other way to view the thing. Don’t get me wrong; it’s funny. It’s damn funny. In fact, John Robie and I have have been quoting the script to each other for weeks now in casual conversation, due in large part to the fact that neither of us can believe that anyone ever sat down to write this thing in the first place. It’s that deranged. One thing I know for sure: I’d pay to see this in the theater, and I’d take friends. Lots of them. Just for the spectacle of it all.
The thing is, I don’t know if this is something you’re ever going to see. As I understand it, it’s not set up anywhere right now, and there’s no immediate push to make it happen. That’s a damn shame, because the thing that I think 99% of all the SNL-inspired or style films are missing is a willingness to be insane. They all end up falling into standard formula traps. One of the reasons I think Mike Myers has been so successful with AUSTIN POWERS is that, like it or not, he pushes those films as far as he can. He’s made that into one severely stylized, specific universe, and either you tune in to what he’s doing, or you don’t. There’s no denying that they’ve created something specific, though. This script is the same type of thing. I can imagine that some people would hate ROD BURGUNDY, and I’m equally sure that there are people who don’t see the appeal in a Will Ferrell starring vehicle. Maybe after OLD SCHOOL (which I hear he’s the best part of), he’s going to finally have a little buzz behind him, and maybe he can talk someone into coughing up the coin to make this freak show. I hereby actively dare some studio to grow the stones to make it.
What I love is that this isn’t a parody of some specific movie, and it’s not some pre-existing character that Will is trying to squeeze a little more mileage out of. Instead, ROD BURGUNDY is a surreal little slice of madness set against the backdrop of the local news scene in Portland, Oregon, sometime between 1968 and 1976. The script starts with Ted Koppel, Dan Rather, Sam Donaldson, Brian Williams, Connie Chung, and Tom Brokaw all getting hammered in a bar in Manhattan, present day. They’re sharing stories about newsmen from the old days, legendary guys from various local markets. When the name of Rod Burgundy comes up, Brian Williams doesn’t know who they’re talking about, and everyone launches into stories about this guy. As Koppel puts it, “This was a simpler and less cynical time. A time when people believed everything they heard on TV. A time before cable. This was back when men were men and real men were anchormen. And in Portland, one anchorman was the balls: Rod Burgundy. And brother let me tell you: he knew how to wear a friggin’ suit.”
And to the sounds of “Cherry, Cherry” by Neil Diamond, we are introduced to Rod Burgundy as he makes his way through Portland... his city.
There’s a particular kind of lunkhead that Ferrell plays to wicked perfection, the guy who’s not just dangerously stupid but also incredibly pleased with himself. Rod is described as “a cross between Chuck Woolery and Chuck’s brother Sean Woolery.” The local news crew is depicted as a bunch of degenerates and half-wits, and there’s no attempt to make you “care” in some bullshit, manufactured way. These are just comedy characters, outrageous and insane. Champ Kind, Brick Tamland, and Brian Fantana are the Action News Team, and they’re three different brands of stupid. They’re all heavy drinkers who treat women like toilet paper and who are obssessed with their cheap suits and their ratings. And, damn it... they’re funny.
Brian Fantana, for example, is well known or his recent series of consumer reports like “Lead based paints last longer, so do yourself the favor and make the switch!” or “In case of a fire, remember Brian’s safety tip: stand up tall, breathe in deep, and open any hot doors to let that fire out!” Champ Kind is the sports guy with the annoying catch phrase: “Whammy!” And then there’s Brick Tamland. He sums it up well himself: “People seem to like me because I’m polite and rarely late. Years later a doctor will find out that I’m ‘learning disabled,’ or, as some people say, ‘retarded.’” He sure is fond of slacks.
Rod’s whole world seems oriented on someday getting the call to step up to network until he meets the woman of his dreams. Alicia Corningstone is beautiful, smart, and she also just happens to be a new reporter for the Action News Team. She is also focused on becoming an anchor, something that Rod openly mocks when he first hears about it. The other reporters all protest for various reasons, including Brick who says “I read somewhere that their periods attract bears,” about as good an argument as the others advanced. Despite these powerfully convincing protests, Alicia is given a chance to cover fashion and cooking and cat shows and the like. She loathes Rod Burgundy at first glance and rejects his advances outright, and some of the other guys try hitting on her, as well. Brian Fantana breaks out a special cologne called Sex Panther, which she notes “smells like old ham and bongwater.” Finally, Rod convinces her to enjoy a night out with him, telling her that it’s just a professional courtesy and not a date, and despite his almost transparent desire for her, she goes.
Everyone in this film is touched with a bit of the madness that makes Ferrell so funny. When Alicia opens up to Rod and explains why she’s always wanted to be the first female anchor, McKay and Ferrell aren’t aiming at genuine emotion. They don’t opt for real schmaltz, and they don’t saddle their lead actress with the boring straight role. Instead, she’s given just as strange a voice as Burgundy. In tears, she tells him, “I had a very tumultuous family life. My mother was a really bad animal trainer and my father was a demolitions expert, so my house was filled with poorly trained monkeys and dynamite. The only source of peace I had in my life came from the assuring voices of the anchormen I watched on television. Brinkley, Cronkite, Murrow... they were my family, not the hand-grenade wielding baboons that greeted me every morning.”
So, yeah. They fall in love (watch out for the Love Panda), and then they both chase the anchor job, and then there are various complications. It’s pretty simple stuff. But it’s all the texture and the over the top silliness that makes it all so memorable. It’s Champ Kind explaining that a woman’s time of the month is “when... the bones... in a lady’s boobs... get sore... cause of their vaginalistic... cells.” It’s Rod Burgundy trying to get serious as a journalist with his hard-hitting investigative series “Rip The Lid Off! With Rod Burgundy.” It’s Alicia’s teleprompter-assisted revenge on Rod.
ROD BURGUNDY would not be an important film. Most likely, ROD BURGUNDY would not be a great film. But I’m willing to be ROD BURGUNDY would be a hilarious film, and I hope we get a chance to see an unbridled, balls-to-the-wall version of it sometime soon.
More Importantly, What The Hell Is Wrong With CLEAN FLICKS?!
I know I’m a little late on this one, but I still want to take a moment to discuss what I consider a fairly important copyright case currently pending. The outcome of this particular lawsuit should be of enormous interest to any content provider or any artist working in film and TV and music right now, because I believe there are ramifications that will be felt for many years to come.
And I hope Clean Flicks loses completely and utterly.
Let me explain, for those of you who didn’t read about the recently filed lawsuit. Clean Flicks Llc. is a company that makes its money by renting and selling copies of films that have been edited for content... cleaned up, as it were. Films like TITANIC, with all that pesky nudity excised. Customers sign up and pay monthly or annual membership fees, something which Clean Flicks claims allows them to work around what should be fairly clear-cut copyright laws.
What really makes this story bizarre is that it’s Clean Flicks who is suing the DGA and not the other way around, which would make perfect sense. After all, the DGA has every right to pursue the rights of its signatory members, and their rights are being trampled. There is no way, no how, that Clean Flicks can support their argument. They can talk about how they’re just providing a service and how they’re just trying to give people access to films, but the fact remains... they are altering copywritten material and then providing it to the public on a commercial basis.
My first instinct is to take every penny from my recent good fortune and channel it into buying copies of Pasolini’s stunningly filthy SALO on DVD so that we can just bombard them with orders to please make the film “safe for my grandmother.” Maybe we should all pledge to send them at least one 8-hour amateur cumshot compliation tape. I mean, forget about taking idiots like this on in court. They’ve got the deep pockets of the religiously intolerant, and they’re going to try to turn themselves into martyrs for a cleaner society or some such nonsense. The idea that they filed suit against the DGA to head off a lawsuit that they heard was pending against them makes them look, to be blunt, insane. Why not really bother them by subverting the service that they claim to provide?
Of course, that’s not an economically viable option, and in the end, it’s just a knee-jerk reaction. But this sort of thing is why I never embraced the whole PHANTOM EDIT thing last year when everyone else in the STAR WARS fandom community was falling over themselves to kiss the Phantom Editor’s ass.
I don’t care what your complaints are as an audience member. I’ve seen lots of films that I have had a lot of problems with in my life, and I’ve spent years now writing about both the good and the bad in the films I’ve seen. I’ve tried to find a constructive way to have a dialogue about this stuff, and I offer my opinion, something that every audience member for every film ever has the right to do. What you do not have the right to do is re-edit the film because of your dissatisfaction. Simply put, it’s not yours. Keep your goddamn hands off it. I may loathe THE CELL, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go in and make a new cut and put it back out just to prove a point. And I may be offended by some image in some film, but that doesn’t give me the right to cut that image out and then circulate a copy of that film that’s missing the image.
If Clean Flicks wants to really provide a certain type of material to its audience, then there’s a solution: Clean Flicks should make its own movies. They should make pro-Mormon films that promote Mormon ideas and Mormon values. And I’m not being fascetious in suggesting it, either. I’m dead serious. I’m sure there’s a market if the films are made for the right amount of money. There’s a healthy market for all sorts of specific religious movies being made for the direct-to-video market. Clean Flicks should make the films their consumers want to see, and they should keep their fucking hands off other people’s films in the meantime.
Pete Webb... Ron Huntsman... Clean Flicks... you guys picked a fight with the DGA. And the WGA. And you specifically named Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese and Steven Soderbergh, among others. Yet you continue to use their names to market the product that you’ve personally altered and violated. What you don’t understand is that someone’s name is on that film. They signed something, a particular piece of artwork, and when you alter it, you may well be changing the very reason they chose to make that film. At the most basic level, that’s what is wrong with what you are doing. You claim your company is about choice, but you’ve paid the ultimate disrespect to the artists who made the original choices about that content. You make money off their efforts, but you shit on them in the process. Shame on you.
So you filed your lawsuit first. Great. You picked this fight. Remember that... because you are about to be demolished. You are going to lose your case, and you are going to be an example to other people who would blatantly infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others in this increasingly slippery digital age. And when your company is destroyed and you all find yourselves looking for other work and you find yourselves having to find some other high profile publicity-motivated case to hustle, I will personally be back here to laugh in your tiny-eyed, narrow-minded little faces. I’ll say it again... shame on you, shame on you, shame on you, and here’s hoping justice is served piping hot, enema-style, in the very near future.
BROKEN LIZARD, SOUTH OF THE BORDER
I finally caught up with SUPER TROOPERS on DVD. I first saw the film last year at Sundance, and I was a great fan of it at that time. Turns out, what I spent the next several months endorsing wasn’t quite the film that was released to theaters. The ending, in particular, was reworked. Doesn’t matter. I really enjoyed the final cut of the film that’s on the DVD, and I recently bumped into the film’s director, Jay Chandresekhar, online. He’s in Mexico right now working with Broken Lizard, his partners in crime, on their new film, CLUB DREAD, which Fox Searchlight is producing.
And if the script I read for the film is any indication, this is going to be funnier than SUPER TROOPERS, and it’s going to confirm these guys as the anarchic lunatics that TROOPERS promised them to be. The shorthand description of CLUB DREAD would be “a smarter, funnier SCARY MOVIE,” but that’s selling it short.
Yes, it’s a riff on slasher movies.
But, no, it’s not the same kind of specific satire that SCARY MOVIE was. It’s not doing any one particular film, and it doesn’t do scenes from other movies. That’s not the kind of comedy that Broken Lizard writes, and that is a big part of why I like Chandrasekhar, Steve Leme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, and Kevin Heffernan. They believe in character comedy first. It may be lowbrow at times, but they earn their laughs honestly, and I respect that.
I also am impressed that they don’t feel the need to write the same characters for themselves each time out. Thorny, Rabbit, Farva, Mac, and Foster were very specific characters, and they’re nothing like the group of characters they’re playing this time out. For example, Chandrasekhar played Thorny in TROOPERS, who was incredibly cool and poised, the old pro of the group. There was a sort of Zen bliss to the way he dealt with his hippie girlfriend and his son and whatever came up in the film. This time out, he’s playing Putman Livingston, who’s described like this in the script:
PUTMAN is the resort’s very own Raga-British Indian Tennis Pro. He is one cool-looking cat. Dark skin. Well-groomed dreadlocks. Unfortunately, he’s a right twit.
He’s not leading anyone this time out. I think it’s a testament to the range that each of these comic performers that when I read the script, I didn’t know who was supposed to be playing what. They’re all good enough to play each of these roles. I am pleased that Bill Paxton is joining them in the film as (I presume) Coconut Pete:
He’s the resort’s tannde, ponytailed, middle aged owner. You may remember Pete as a poor man’s Jimmy Buffett, with his Island Rock hit of the ‘70s, “Pleasure Island” and his less popular follow-up, “Pleasure Pirate (Yo Ho Ho).”
The island resort where the whole film takes place is themed around the various craptastic songs that Pete has padded out his albums with, and it’s basically an excuse for unbridled hedonism. It seems to be a real paradise, a great place to work and a great place to vacation, until people mysteriously start to die at the hands of some crazed killer.
The sad truth is that Broken Lizard has written a better slasher film than any of the crap that was released in the wake of SCREAM’s success. There are genuine slasher scares built into the script, and they don’t play down the body count or the mystery side of things. They give their entire cast convincing motives for being the killer, and they actually wrote in a surprising amount of gore and nudity, something that seems to have made CABIN FEVER one of Toronto’s surprise buzz hits last week.
After finishing the script, I’m seriously considering buying a ticket to Mexico in the next couple of weeks and going to find this beach resort where they’re shooting this film. I want to see how this group of guys works together on a set, and how you put together this level of anarchy. I know this much... Broken Lizard has become one of the names that I watch for in comedy, a trustworthy brand that seems poised to expand on their cult following when this exercise in dementia finally hits sometime next year.
And on that note, I’m outta here. I’ll be back this week with a review of FOUR FEATHERS, a sneak peek at an indie feature called SHADE featuring a really nice supporting turn by none other than Sylvester Stallone, my series of Miyazaki reviews leading up to SPIRITED AWAY, and the second edition of my DVD column, with a literal metric shitload of reviews of DVDs that are coming soon and on shelves now.
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Sept. 16, 2002, 8:27 a.m. CST
According to Yahoo Movies, it's been picked up by 20th Century Fox and is scheduled to start filming in September for a release sometime in 2003. There's a preview page for it here: http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hp&cf=prev&id=1808430098&intl=us The script sounds hilarious. I am always cautious whenever I get too excited about the prospects of a comedy movie, because a lot of times they come out and they've been watered down a lot from their original vision (like Louis CK's "Pootie Tang") But with Ferrell and Adam McKay working together it could really be something great. The short films that McKay directed for SNL starring Ferrell were incredibly bizarre and funny ("The H is O", "The Doberman", and "The German Baby and the Intellectual") With McKay directing, hopefully they will make the transition from a funny script to a funny movie. I'm looking forward to "Club Dread" too. Thanks for all the new information, Mori.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:34 a.m. CST
So not all families don't want to see Titanic with profanity, sex, and nudity. Is that the only way they should see it? They could have expected this, I'm not saying Clean Flicks is right, but Cameron's dumb writing alienates a few people. I'd love a film without JarJar. Clean Flicks are doing something illegal and cruel to the filmmaker, but filmmakers make retarded decisions, Lucas says the original cut of STAR WARS will never be released again. And Mori, if you are against the original cut of STAR WARS being released (against the director's wishes, just like Clean Flicks) then you aren't thinking clearly, because not having the original SW trilogy on DVD is wrong and should be fought, with wars, if necessary.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:47 a.m. CST
I disagree with what they are doing to keep your hands off those films you damned dirty religious right fundamentalist, and stop pushing your ideas on me! Here's hoping the DGA and the WGA kick some ass and take some names for the sake of everything that is free.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:49 a.m. CST
Supporting roles is a good plan for Sly. Taking the spotlight off himself, and realising that he will never again be a massive box office draw as sole leading man. He's had that, and exploited it too much, (from 1986 onwards). Apart from 1993 and 1997 he hasn't had a good year both financially and critically. Although I though Get Carter is underrated, and even have a soft spot for Lock up and Over the Top. Stop laughing. I said stop laughing. The guy CAN act, so he should do that rather than try to reclaim his unsuited role as a movie-star.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:55 a.m. CST
Nice work M. I admit it. I love this shit. I bought Super Troopers and Wet Hot American Summer recently on dvd. And they're mad little films, because to most people they're not terribly funny, but I loved them. They're kind of like throwbacks to Savage Steve Holland movies. Any film taking the piss out of HedoPorn is a good thing too.
Sept. 16, 2002, 9:06 a.m. CST
But is it good enough to join Mike Myers' "Dieter" as one of the funniest movies never made? Also, thanks for the info of CLUB DREAD. There's been precious little out there, so every morsel is appreciated! I want to see this movie Meow!
Sept. 16, 2002, 10:08 a.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
Hahahahaha. You're right, this does sound pretty fucking hilarious.
Sept. 16, 2002, 10:16 a.m. CST
I feel there's a fine line difference between what the Phantom Editor did with Episode I and what Clean Flicks does with all movies. The Phantom Edit was like painting a mostache on the Mona Lisa -- it was done out of creativity and love for the source material, but also to thumb his nose at the mainstream that worships the material as sacred. Clean Flicks is like putting a pair of swim trunks on Michelangelo's David. It's totally disrespectful to the source material. Also, the Phantom Editor didn't sell his cut of Episode I. Clean Flicks is a company purely about making profit from ruining these films. And while I'm on this note, the DGA should sue Blockbuster as well as Clean Flicks. Both of them censor films to make them more "Family friendly". At least Clean Flicks has the balls to do it openly. Rent Last Tango in Paris at your local Blockbuster and look for the poorly-superimposed lamp. Also, make sure to see where it says ANYWHERE that the film was modified from its original cut. Frankly, if you don't like the sex, violence, language, or any other content of a film, THEN DON'T FUCKING WATCH IT!!!! Don't go around chopping up movies and making money off of it. If you don't want to see a half-vampire killing other vampires in very graphic ways, then don't rent Blade 2. It's a pretty simple concept. George Carlin put it best when refering to a similar situation with radio. "Your radio has TWO KNOBS on it. One of them will turn it off, and the other one CHANGES THE FUCKING STATION!" The Abstruse One Darryl Mott Jr.
Sept. 16, 2002, 10:20 a.m. CST
by Rayanne Graff
Thank you. I haven't laughed that hard since 1997.
Sept. 16, 2002, 11:07 a.m. CST
I agree. That is the funniest quote I've read in some time. Mori, you got any more funny quotes from the script? Put them up!!! In fact, you should make photocopies of the script and send it to all of us. I want to read it!
Sept. 16, 2002, 12:28 p.m. CST
He's not funny! Just wanted to be the first to use that quip. sk
Sept. 16, 2002, 12:37 p.m. CST
Some folks just can't get enough of talking about Hell. It's been that way for two-thousand years or more, from scary Inquisitors to Jack Chick comics, to the last Alice Cooper album, to these Hell House people. I wonder what psychological undercurrent lies beneath this morbid fascination? sk
Sept. 16, 2002, 12:49 p.m. CST
I say if u've got the means to do it then fucking do it man, the Phantom Edit needed to be done because Lucas was so far up his own ass to realise that he fucked up. I'd also like to pick up on a point made by another poster, every god damn movie is cut and edited dude so go vent your feeble fury at people like the censor board and TV bosses like when Axel Foley says 'Forget you' instead of fuck you, but dont you go on about Phantom Menace, Moriarty because that piece of shit needed to be edited.
Sept. 16, 2002, 12:51 p.m. CST
Of all the people to be opposed to clean flicks, it surprises me to see Moriarty among them. Surely you must realize what Clean flicks really means for the industry, and that's what matters most these days, right? You see, for those unaware, when ever someone buys a movie from Clean flicks they pay first for the copy of the dvd or movie from some retail outlet and then pay extra for the editing. So, the industry loses no money from these transactions, in fact they gain. Mainly because of the fact that you suddenly have a large portion of the market that doesn't watch rated R movies, suddenly buying/renting them. Hmm, this really hurts, eh? And get off the artsy high horse. You don't care what our complaints our as audience members? Well, then maybe you should get out of mainstream art and stick to making films for festivals or whatnot. If you want to be in the public eye, then you're going to have to deal with the publics opinions. G & PG rated films out-profit rated r movies by more than 1000%. And honestly, you can't tell me that Hollywood just wants to make art and not money, very few of the films that are released these days are considered anywhere near to being art. In the end it comes down to a case of intolerance, why are the general public forced to take filmmakers belief systems down their throat without the ability to spit out what they want. This can be a win-win situation if the intolerance can be overcome. pf
Sept. 16, 2002, 1:17 p.m. CST
Clearplay and Moviemask are two other services to keep an eye on in the future. Instead of actually editing the movie, they just do a little digital filtering. Currently it only works when you watch on your computer's dvd player, but in the near future some dvd players will have them built. ultimately, all these do is tell the disc when to skip certain parts. Another alternative though and it never actually alters the actual disc. pf
Sept. 16, 2002, 1:20 p.m. CST
and still nada on Superman. This site really jealous of CA or what?
Sept. 16, 2002, 1:25 p.m. CST
nice one junior mcbride, i laughed out loud at that posting. seriously though, what a bunch of assholes... censorship rules! i'm afraid of real life, of something that doesn't fit exactly with my system of beliefs! aside from legal issues, can't people take it upon themselves to utilize some of their "morality" and not edit other peoples work?! THOU SHALL NOT STEAL. actually the idea of some idiot watching an edited version of "E.T." their whole life and then catching the real version in a hotel room someday, hearing the words "penis breath," and having it destroy all their warmfuzzymemories might almost be worth letting this "service" continue. go watch fucking american gladiators and enjoy your hair.
Sept. 16, 2002, 1:37 p.m. CST
they want to make M-O-N-E-Y. If you were in charge of Blockbuster what would you decide? "Well, I feel within my heart of hearts that the double-headed dildo fuck-fuck scene is neccessary to the story, Tom. I'll lose my own money on that...to preserve the art for all the people who won't see it." And like the other guy said, Clean Flicks is extra $ for the industry.
Sept. 16, 2002, 2:01 p.m. CST
1. Moriarty, thanks for the great information on Action Newsman! I cracked up when I read it, then found myself cracking up all over again half an hour later while remembering the "monkeys with dynamite" line. Great job! 2. On a serious note, regarding Clean Flicks: it seems their mistake is in not consulting with the studios from the get-go to release TV-Friendly -type versions of the movies. I know the studios would have no problem with that, as long as they're getting paid. 3. And finally, on a somber note: ladies and gentlemen, I give you intolerance. It has many names, but two of them seem to be Castaway & Junior McBride.
Sept. 16, 2002, 2:01 p.m. CST
Don't trust whitey!
Sept. 16, 2002, 2:07 p.m. CST
(and Blockbuster edits), the fact is that those edits are done with the owners' consent. They might not like doing them (and maybe they shouldn't), but they made the choice to take the money and make the edits. "Clean Flicks" is stealing the work and releasing their edits without the permission of the owners.
Sept. 16, 2002, 2:22 p.m. CST
just a reminder to castaway and junior mcbride: the true test of tolerance is still to tolerate the intolerant...or at least those you feel are intolerant. Castaway, let me ask you this: if you are able to view a film in its original form, as the director intended it, and halfway across the world in backwards ass utah, some mormon gets to show the film to his kids without hearing "fuck" 90-times per minute, how is this "the religious right forcing their views down your throat?" I agree that cleanflicks needs to get the permission from the individual studios and filmmakers before they proceed on an edit, but if that permission is obtained, wherein lies the problem? Are twisted fucks like Junior mcbride so insecure and threatened by the idea that someone, somewhere out there beliefs in god and has a view morals and values that they will lash out with blind abrasiveness at anyone that doesn't want to show a requiem, caligula, 8mm triple feature to a kindergarden class. and not all christians are the same junior. No doubt you condemn the christian right's "closed mindedness" and then proceed to make statements insinuating that anyone on earth who believes in jesus has the exact same views on everything. some people may find sex and swearing offensive and then still not find the violence in "patriotic" movies such as black hawh down appealing either. yeah, heaven forbid someone should actually believe in god or be patriotic and still profess to know anything about film.
Sept. 16, 2002, 3:26 p.m. CST
by Nathan Huffheinz
I don't understand why Clean Flicks and those who support their tactics on this board can't tell the difference between approved editing and copyright infringement. You can alter a person's copyrighted work to your heart's content, as long as you get their APPROVAL. That is, if you intend to RESELL such works. If a consumer wants to buy an approved version of a film and edit it into an acceptable version for their whole family, there's nothing wrong with that. However, if they sell that edit to other consumers, they are dead in the water. That's the difference between Clean Flicks and the creators of the Phantom Edit; one tries to sell their creation, the other was for private use (or should have been). I would argue just as strongly against the resale of the Phantom Edit, so don't even try to compare the two. Perhaps you can understand the problem with Clean Flicks with this hypothetical situation: I decide to start a new company called Smudged Flicks, which is intended to sell filthy versions of family films. I hire lookalike actors and film sex scenes with them, and I then insert said scenes into the family versions. For example, I use Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths lookalikes for a sex scene and then add it to the end of The Rookie (and then title it The Rookie Gets Nookie). If I sell that on my Smudged Flicks website, do you think Touchstone would be cool with that? How about a version of Air Bud where the Mom gets it on with the dog? The same people who argue for Clean Flicks right to alter their films would denounce me as a sick bastard and would cite the same copyright laws they are violating in order to shut me down. If Clean Flicks gets an OK from the studios (like Blockbuster does), then I don't give a damn if they cut out every H-E-double hockeysticks from The Godfather or every Phuc from Scarface (it'd be a silent movie, but oh well). If they choose to ignore the law, then their sorry Mormon asses should be shut down. And for those who say it's the studios' fault for not making nice movies, tough shite! If the studios decide to alienate the prudish segment of our society by showing tits in Titanic, it's their right. Make your own damned movies if you want G-rated fare.
Sept. 16, 2002, 3:38 p.m. CST
Close, but no cigar. The people who own CleanFlicks and their ilk certainly have a right to buy copies of a movie and edit them in the comfort of their own home FOR THEIR USE. However, they are turning around and selling or renting these altered versions for money without the consent of the original "authors" of the work (i.e., the filmmakers and the studios) and that is what makes it copyright infringement. Fair use doesn't even come into play here. Like Mori, I found it odd that they filed a law suit against the DGA first. To me that's like calling and asking for a polic escort for when you plan on robbing a gun owner's home...
Sept. 16, 2002, 3:44 p.m. CST
by Three Quarks
"Tis better to keep one's mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." This was Abe Lincoln's advice to dipshits such as yourself.
Sept. 16, 2002, 3:49 p.m. CST
Unfortunately, our good editorialist isn't very well informed. Clean Flicks is NOT suing anyone. There are a few rogue video stores which rent out Clean Flicks product, that have banded together to sue the DGA. Clean Flicks does not support this faction, but is rather in discussions with the DGA right now.
Sept. 16, 2002, 3:50 p.m. CST
1. CleanFlicks makes more money for the industry. If I buy a DVD, I have every right to mess with it, edit it however I want. It's the same thing as buying a program and adding modifications. 2. It's hypocritical for the "artistes" of Hollywood to protest this practice. TV and airlines have been doing it for decades. Blockbuster is sneaky about its edits. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in the US and abroad that love this service. 3. Back off the religious hatred. Mormon filmmakers are making their own movies (God's Army, The Other Side of Heaven), as are Christians (Left behind, The Omega Code), as are Greek Orthodoxes (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). No one is forcing anything down anyone's throat with a clean edit. it's another option out there. 5. You can't compare this to a Picasso or a Michelangelo or anything like that. There are millions oc opies of movies. If someone takes one copy in a million and cuts out some dirty words and nudie shots and gore shots, that's their right as a consumer. Bottom line: You are completely wrong about this, Moriarty. it is censorship to demand that any viewer can only see any copy of a movie with all the vulgar stuff left in. If that's the stance the DGA is going to take, they'd better remove all moves from TV, airlines and they should revoke some of the tapes from blockbuzter. They won't because the movie business is supposed to make money. it is a suppression of freedom to ban consumers from removing what they don't want. Consider it a custom install of software. i see to my right that hate speech is banned from this board. Does that apply to Christians too?
Sept. 16, 2002, 3:53 p.m. CST
Jesus was MARRIED to Mary of Magdalena, she was not a prostitute, she was his INITIATOR, the one who first introduced him to his mentor, John the Baptist. They had several sons and daughters, he was a vegetarian, and he believed in REINCARNATION. He was not of Nazareth (a small town established only in the THIRD century), he was a Nazarene, a brother of a jewish mystical sect. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Sept. 16, 2002, 4:30 p.m. CST
you're missing the point... these films ARE NOT being re-edited by private consumers for their own use, but someone who IS making money off of someone else's product. (please tell me to open my ears if these organizations are all non-profit) i'm surprised all the folks who post on this site that are so rabid about the "injustices of filesharing" aren't all over this topic! regardless of this issue, can't people just accept that certain art might just not be for them? go back to creating more lame b-movies about the end of the world and how jesuschristourlordandsavior will save those that believe in him. (all the rest of us will be in hell no doubt - that's where all the good bands will be anyway, right? according to bill hicks...) by the way, modern achilles, got any links to information relating to your last post? curious.
Sept. 16, 2002, 4:32 p.m. CST
Now don't go and confuse anybody with facts...
Sept. 16, 2002, 4:47 p.m. CST
Great that it's not (as all remakes must die). Besides, nobody can play a character in over-the-top fashion the way that Roddy McDowell can.
Sept. 16, 2002, 5:43 p.m. CST
by The Garbage Man
"Helloeverybodyniceseeingyouagain," indeed. If you've never seen Portland news, thank your favorite deity.
Sept. 16, 2002, 6:06 p.m. CST
Sept. 16, 2002, 6:07 p.m. CST
If you want to talk about funny un-produced scripts then what about Tony Clifton? If only Jim Carrey and Milos Forman were smart enough to make it instead of Man On The Moon. There are rumbles that a certain imitator with some higer-ups are interested. Read it here: http://www.subcin.com/tony.html
Sept. 16, 2002, 7:03 p.m. CST
Portland, OR news teams are infamous. Do a Google search for the exploding whale live news coverage in Oregon. Cleanflicks. As much as I hate censorship/edited movies, blah blah... I feel Cleanflicks has the right to sell edited flicks. They don't have the right to edit these flicks for resell. Hollywood regularly edits films airlines, broadcast, markets like Malayasia, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arbia, etc... Cleanflicks should request those edited versions, if they wish to carry such product. As for Lucas, I have no sympathy over The Phantom Edit. He showed complete contempt for his work when he made Greedo fire first, destroying most of the character development of Han Solo. He proved he has no respect for his films, so why should we respect his movies? He treats them as adverts to market toys. He should be happy, The Phantom Edit helps sell more toys.
Sept. 16, 2002, 7:23 p.m. CST
"1)Usually,the T.V. and Blockbuster edits are done with the STUDIO'S consent, not the director or producer." True, but the studio has purchased those rights from the director or producer - they're theirs. "2) CleanFlicks is stealing nothing. If I buy a video, it's mine. I own it." Uh, no. You've purchased the right to view "the software", not to alter it. You can alter it for your own use and no one will catch you at it, but that's not the same thing as having the right to. "Does Armani bitch and moan when I have one of his suits altered to fit me the way I'm most comfortable with? No." Ridiculous "example" - the suit is sold to you with the expectation you will alter it. Also, it's not intellectual property. "The artist has presented their vision to the public in the form of a product. The public is free to do whatever they like with it." Uh, no - that's what copyright protection is all about. The artist retains his rights to his material; he releases it to the public to be viewed in the form he set it into.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:21 p.m. CST
I'd love to see their fking mormon heads explode. Damn mormons can suck my hairy ass.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:24 p.m. CST
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:32 p.m. CST
Yur opinons of brumfeield are funy. I wish you hade a spelchekker tho. And please, let the guy make more than a couple of movies before declaring him the greatest anything of all time.
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:35 p.m. CST
by Three Quarks
If Lucas doesn't care about his films, why did he bother to make Greedo fire first? He did it because he saw something he wanted to change and changed it though he knew it would piss us off. He did it anyway, which shows he has some integrity. Which doesn't change the fact that he's gone insane, of course. As for the Phantom Edit... Moriarty, the guy who made it made it because he wanted to see it edited that way, so why should he restrain himself? It's clearly labeled as a re-edit done by someone other than the creator, and if we want to see how someone else fucked around with the film, why not? Lucas fucked with films he did when he was a different man. Just look at the subject of this comment!
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:39 p.m. CST
by Three Quarks
...speaking of fucking with movies, I'm also a big Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan. Ever try to watch "Alien from LA" without them goofing on it? *shudder* Fuck the director's vision, especially if he sucks!
Sept. 16, 2002, 8:45 p.m. CST
There is a Clean Flicks knockoff called Clean Hits in the Seattle area, I guess, and I heard the two owners on the radio. One of them defended what they do with the analogy "If I bought a Monet painting and I painted a mustache on it, that would be my right, because I own it." I think that pretty much sums it all up. What they're doing may or may not be legal, but it definitely is stupid. Why would you paint a mustache on a painting of flowers, anyway? p.s. I agree with all the talkbackers who have said that the studios should pull the clean versions from airplanes and tv. what in fuck is wrong with our culture, we can't even watch a fuckin movie correctly
Sept. 16, 2002, 9:18 p.m. CST
I'd never heard of that Salo mentioned in the article and I found that it was on Amazon, theres a criterion dvd, used it appears, and it goes for over $100!! what kind of bullshit is that? -------------------- Someone know where theres a friggin copy of this movie that isnt so ridiculously expensive? Obviously it isnt rentable anywhere, or is it?? Most disgusting and disturbing movie ever made? I demand to see it! Also, there should always be a cheap alternative to the 'spiffy' collectors edition for those of us who want to see a movie but of course dont want to spend that much and would never be able to see it locally or rent it locally. -------------Also, editing things out is bullshit. Plain and simple. If a scene is a problem, every player has fast forward and every parent has a hand to put over their kid's eyes. The poorly trained monkeys with dynamite need to show up at that place and teach'em a lesson aggressive pyro chimp style!
Sept. 16, 2002, 9:27 p.m. CST
What these people are doing is profiteering by doing someone else's parenting for them. There are no short cuts to raising children, unless what you want is a zombie who is unprepared to live in the real world. I'm not talking about sitting a six-year-old down to watch Hellraiser, but there is plenty of entertainment out there with legitimate, cross-generational themes. Seek it out -- don't whitewash something until it fits your moral worldview.
Sept. 16, 2002, 9:27 p.m. CST
Clean flicks is a buisness, and like all American buisnesses they ARE IN THIS FOR MONEY!! You can tell me all you want that they are trying to make more films available to the people who are interested in plot lines and not in sex, violence, and language, but I do not buy it. If they only had films like TITANIC, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLERS LIST, etc. that are historical, somewhat educational movies I MIGHT think differently. BUT they also have films like STARSHIP TROOPERS, BLOW, TOTAL RECALL etc. I like these movie but there is only like a half hour left if you remove all the violence, nudity, and language. THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE MONEY. I hope after all is said and done concerning the lawsuits they have to clean shit off of toilets to make thier money. As far as having them make "Mormon films" There are Mormon films, They just don't make it out of UTAH or if they do it is on video playing in the local Ward house! I do not know how good they are because I CHOOSE not to see them becuase of thier content but you know what, even if all mormon propaganda was edited from these films I would still have no desire to see them.
Sept. 17, 2002, 12:19 a.m. CST
...is that they represent the put your head in the sand culture. Legally, what they did is wrong. Period, end of story. Morally...well, I guess I don't have a problem with people editing for their own amusement, but it annoys the living shit out of me that we as a culture are so furiously anal and didactic about content...it's fiction, you morons. One of the definitions of insanity is an inability to distinguish between fact and fiction, and I truly believe a form of that is at play here. Editing TITANIC? Good God, it's not like they were whipping out a can of Crisco and a Great Dane! Do these same people not allow their kids to go to art museums? 'Cause the scene was laid out like an awful lot of classic paintings. Legally: they blew it. As Americans, they have the right to "cleaned" entertainment. But Karmically? They desperately need a gigantic kick in the ass. This is beyond pathetic. One thing I firmly assert is that if you genuinely think the world's gone to Hell, you have a responsibility to take yourself out of the situation. If it's that bad, join the damned Amish. At least they have the integrity to put their money where their mouth is, and not bastardize a finished product to tailor to their whiny half-assed, narrow-as-Elvis-Costello's-tie-in-1982 world view. This is the ultimate wimp out: soiling your diapers about how bad the game is, but still demanding to play. Legally, they have the right to exist, but these are weak, pig-ignorant, pathetic people. Yeah, they have the right to exist, but it's like listening to the whiny kid on the playground bitch about how he wants to play football, but he's too much of a pussy to play it the way every other kid has decided to play. Eventually, in one form or another, that kid gets his way, to the detriment of every other kid on the ground. Bitch all you want about Freddie Prinze Jr, but Clean Flicks are the real lowest common denominator.
Sept. 17, 2002, 2:04 a.m. CST
It appears that message boards are the last bastion for haters to spew their venom. People, can't we debate something without calling for the rape of thousands of people, demanding the death of millions? Enbd the hate. Stop the road rage ont he information superhighway. Grow up. Breathe. Reading some of the stuff still up here, I'd love to know what AICN's definition of hate speech is.
Sept. 17, 2002, 2:53 a.m. CST
by Wild At Heart
In CASINO when the Irish hoodlum gets his head crushed in the vice, the scene can be transformed by a little clever digital editing. Now, the offending torture implement can be replaced by a bunch of wriggly, fuzzywuzzy baby kittens. The kids will think that when the guy's eye gets popped across the room it was because of lotsa happy snuggles. Works for me.
Sept. 17, 2002, 11:13 a.m. CST
A while ago there used to be a place that would take movies people had already bought and edit them. The networks and cable tv chop things up to bits, both to excise sex and violence and to fit within running time. And to fit in commercials. It's all about money folks. Ever seen a great old popcorn flick on USA/WGN where they insert a commercial right the guy is jumping across the buildings? Do directors do these tv edits themselves? I don't know. I sort of doubt it. If you've bought a copy of the movie my opinion is it's just like a book. You can highlight books, you can skip chapters or pages. You can blackout curse words. If you want. As long as you are not keeper of the original master. Yes you are changing the experience of the work, maybe to it's core. That's your decision. And maybe there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie: "Edited for content by Cleanflicks". As for Phantom Menace- I'd be wary of buying a copy. That would seem like buying a bootleg and allow others to profit off a work they were not authorized to. But once all the Star Wars are out on DVD and I've bought them, I can't wait to cut together my own personal saga. p.s. For the IMAX of episode two, I hope that the pastoral cow riding scene is gone and the video game plug factory conveyor belt sequence is edited down. It'd be nice to see him get his hand cut for symbolism's sake.
Sept. 17, 2002, 12:02 p.m. CST
Just thought you should know; while I agree it's no good thing fer the kids to see Goodfellas, if all that hypothetical Hoo-Haa really HAPPENED? Maybe ya should finally Il-egalize guns, y'know, finally obey the 'No Guns' signs in alla yore cowboy movies? John Wayne said to me "If'n ya don't want anither Columbine, get ridda all them dang guns!" (assholes) sorry, that last part was to any gun owners out there. Yeah, don't want columbine? Fine, blame guns then (and the availability of) not movies.
Sept. 17, 2002, 1:27 p.m. CST
Will Ferrell as a christmas elf? Could be funny...
Sept. 17, 2002, 1:45 p.m. CST
by the jaseman
It seems to me that the #1 problem with CleanFlicks is that the filmmakers/studios don't feel like they are getting their cut. Sure, they can filibuster about "viewing an artistic vision in its entirety," but that only lasts until an airline or a broadcast channel wants to air the movie. Then the movies get edited like crazy. Have you heard some of the TV edits lately? "Suck my dick" becomes "suck my toe"!? Hell, even the majority of trailers are edited for general audiences and the dialogue is toned down sometimes. I agree with Krillian that the industry still makes plenty of money on CleanFlicks sales, because someone has to buy a copy of the movie and then edit it. It's the rentals part where the studios lose money, and therefore care. But the studios always have the option of making those "sanctioned" edited movies available to the public and removing the middleman altogether. This just might happen once they start losing enough money. And to all the dicks getting pissy about Mormons (this includes you, MORIARTY), they need to realize that there is a family market out there (and not just in Utah) demanding edited, or at least family-friendly product. I didn't grow up in Utah, but I live there now and I've seen CleanFlicks-type stores in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and California. The fact is that of the highest grossing movies of all time, the majority of them are not R-rated. I, personally, don't rent at CleanFlicks, but I'm not opposed to people going there. Especially if it means they get exposed to movies and directors they otherwise wouldn't see. I don't care if someone sees a largely bloodless "Panic Room" if it means they get exposed to Fincher. I don't see you jerkwads complain when they release a DVD with the theatrical version and the uncut version. Oh, so it's somehow okay if we get MORE of the lewdness, but if they cut some out, that's not being true to the original version. Which original version? The uncut one that the director edited down to get the rating they wanted? Or the theatrical version? There will always be plenty of uncut violent, offensive, distasteful films to satisfy the filmgeeks on this message board. But don't complain because others don't have the same tastes as you, which is good. It allows you to continue that (ironically so) higher-than-thou attitude about movies. If anything, you might think that a web-based message board about movies might be more positive about getting more people to watch more movies.
Sept. 17, 2002, 3:20 p.m. CST
...don`t get me wrong. i`m a discussion geek...but what these dudes want is just insane. and btw: violence (i`m not a war-supporter) just belongs to us humans. so because art is a mirror of the society it has the duty to show also violence!!! ###################do you wanna see some KILLBILL stills?? http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501020916-349193,00.html#
Sept. 17, 2002, 4:19 p.m. CST
I just wanted to clear up a few things. First, everyone who has compared Cleanflix to cable and netweork televsion is simply wrong. Cleanflix has not paid for a license to edit the films. I'm certain there is no agreement between the studios (or the respective copyright owner) and Cleanflix regarding their edits. Second, Cleanflix is infringing on more than just the filmmakers copyright interests. If they edit a portion out of a scene with a music bed, they have infringed the rights of the musician. If they edit a portion out of a scene depicting someone's artwork, they infringe that artists work. And of course, all of this done without any agreement. Without any discussion of rights. Without any exchange of money. As far as I'm concerned Cleanflix should be one of the rooms in Hell House. Didn't anyone ever remind these nuts that "though shalt not steel." I guess not. Mori. . . Promise me that the DGA has filed a cross-complaint, and tell me where to send my money to support it.
Sept. 17, 2002, 5:19 p.m. CST
Whoa, I can't help but feel that some of you guys are kinda missing the point - this isn't necessarily about taste - its not a matter of some people liking more violence and sex and some not - I think its about people trying to alter those things in life that bother them so that they no longer do. It's the idea of it. People not consuming products they find offensive is a great thing, its called choice, but changing film and media so that what is actually explicit or uncompromising is rendered palateable is changing the message - no learning is accomplished and the intention of the "art" is lost. How can we expect to have anyone come to any new conclusions if they have means of insuring that they are never challenged? It seems to me that we are approaching a state of self-sponsored propoganda if we agree that the only things wrong with this are copyright infringement and money. The idea to me is completely abhorent. While you can say that a movie edited for TV does this anyway, I would put to you that there isn't the same level of intent - most people aren't fooled by the "suck my toe", and are aware of the editing - But also, I have to admit that by coddling and avoiding challenging your own repressions or values, or that of your children, you aren't doing yourself any favors, and you're sure not growing as an intelligent person. BTW, if the movie is too graphic for kids - then get another one, or read to them. Just one man's opinion.
Sept. 17, 2002, 8:49 p.m. CST
Every story I've seen say they have purchased no rights to edit these movies in any way at all. Like someone else said, have them just make an agreement with the studio to resell the TV version, which the studio, with perhaps some input from the director recut. Personally I think this whole idea of recutting for the family market seems like censorship. Honestly, these parents or mormons or what not should just not watch these movies. They don't go to art museums and put post it notes over the junk on nudes do they? If you want to maintain a clean life, you shouldn't be watching the cut ones anyway. This whole moral majority bullshit is fking up america, i wonder when were are gonna reach the Escape from LA point. Just remember, its all "FOR THE CHILDREN"
Sept. 17, 2002, 10:12 p.m. CST
"2) I still say if I buy a product, I'm free to do whatever I want with it short of making a profit". Technically, the "product" you have purchased is not the contents of the copy of the movie/song/book/whatever, but a "license" to view/listen/read those contents. You may think the concept of "intellectual property" is peculiar, but without these protections there is no incentive for anyone to create anything truly new because it'll immediately be stolen and/or altered and distributed by others. Copyright and patent law provide a climate that fosters innovation - and the US in particular has done very well over the past couple of centuries due to that policy.
Sept. 18, 2002, 8:18 a.m. CST
Sept. 18, 2002, 12:24 p.m. CST
I gather i actually have the right to 'buy' or 'license' a recording. I'm also gathering i have the right to edit such a recording, should i have the materials to do so. But what i'm hearing here is i don't have the right to pay someone else to edit said recording. Now, i hate the edited for tv version of well, anything, just as much as most of the people here, but i'm not sure i see the problem with this. I've lived with a mormon, i know how picky the devout ones can be about film/tv/music. If there is something they don't want to/can't see, they won't. What's that mean for the industry? Just another lost sale. in a simple form, yes, this is censorship, but its a requested censorship. You don't walk into cleanflicks looking for sex and violence, it'd be like looking for playboy in a christian book store. These people know what they are buying, and as long as i still can buy the real or, as was posted earlier, extended cut versions, why should i care what other people do?
Sept. 18, 2002, 10:16 p.m. CST
by Bababooey Fett
Most biblical scholars & historians date the 54 or so 'secret' gospels found at Nag Hammadi in 1945 at the third or fourth century AD. This is about 100 years AFTER the NT gospels. Most of the texts are translations & excerpts from earlier works that have been edited to fit the Gnostic form of Christianity that was competing with the form that became the core of the 'catholic' church. Gnostic christianity is a more spiritial, almost Zen Buddhist, style, that de-emphesizes the crucified & resurrected Christ & substitutes him with a new-age guru.
Sept. 19, 2002, 6:30 a.m. CST
by Bababooey Fett
The Dead Sea Scrolls are known as the Qumran. They are different from the Nag Hammadi or Apocrypha. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a more ancient text than many gospels, since they predate the existence of christ. The book of Enoch is NOT identical to the gospel of St. Thomas. Enoch is a Qumran text,dating 200 years Before Christ. Thomas is a gospel (teachings of JC) with a date of 200-400 AD. An aside: Far eastern philosophy does not justify the teachings of Jesus, it somewhat undermines the meaning of it.
Sept. 19, 2002, 11:44 a.m. CST
by Bababooey Fett
New-age garbage was fueled by Gnostic teachings as evident in the Nag Hammadi. Those texts (including Thomas) focused on christ as spiritial mentor - salvation through the individual achievement of existential knowledge. This is quite similiar to the teachings of the Zen Buddhists. Whether or not Gnostism was influenced by Buddhism or other eastern religious traditions, I cannot say. My best recollection about Thomas (not being a religious scholar, myself) is that it was a collection of Jesus sayings, out of context, that drew heavily on the gospel of Mark. What distinguishes it, besides its contraversial notions of JC's heterosexual relations with Mary Magdelene) is that it is almost certainly editorialized to emphesize the spiritual (like new-ageism).
Sept. 19, 2002, 7:34 p.m. CST
Moriarty, you of all people should realize the door this opens to the kiddies out there. They are greatly deprived of great films because of 'uncuitable images'. I remember how Harry was saying in his Your Mother review how kids should steer away from the movie blockbuster of the week and into Y Tu Mama Tambien. Now they can watch it any ol time. Granted a LOT of stuff won't be there that there was originally, but that's better than nothing.
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