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Review

SECONDHAND LIONS review

HUB
Damn it! If you want to believe
in something, then believe in
it! Just because something isn’t
true, that’s no reason you can’t
believe in it!

What a great bit of dialogue that is… what a saying to carry around. At some point or another in SECONDHAND LIONS it is spoken with absolute conviction by Robert Duvall. It is the sort of dialogue that you can take outside a movie, apply to so many things. In it’s simplest form it is about faith.

When you’re a kid growing up in this world you realize there’s all sorts of things that grown-ups tell kids that are lies. Usually it starts with something like Santa Claus… moves on to cover phrases like, “Everything is going to be all right,” and well… you know what I’m talking about. Those moments in life where you just stop believing in things, be they your parents, God, public officials and ultimately in yourself. It is all a part of growing up, becoming a man, a woman… an adult some say, but the thing that happens along the way is if you’re lucky you find things to believe in. Things you know not to be true, but it’s those bits of fantasy in a life that make it magical. That give it a sparkle, a comfort and a reason to go through that next day, to achieve that goal you have in mind. You learn the proper use of tall tales and mythological creations… Along with the need to pass them on. SECONDHAND LIONS is about that. It’s about ceasing to be that boy that’s scared of that crazy world out there and instead embraces it and dares to dream and believe in things he can’t see, know or touch as being certainties. Personally, that’s beautiful to me.

SECONDHAND LIONS is the best film that a friend of mine has made. I’ve known director/writer Tim McCanlies for a good while now. He’s attended 3 out of 4 Butt-Numb-A-Thons, never with a film, always as a fan of it. He wrote perhaps the best film this site has ever championed… THE IRON GIANT. He’s just directed one of the best films I’ve had a privilege to write about.

In a media sense, this film is where Haley Joel Osment makes the transition from being a great child-actor, to being a great teenage-actor. This is the film that Shirley Temple never found. The one that took her from being just the cutest little girl in the world to being a young woman. Because she never found her SECONDHAND LIONS, she wound up becoming a politician.

The story can be told very glibly by a reviewer:

SECONDHAND LIONS is the heart-warming tale of discovery. When young Walter is left with a pair of cantankerous old coots for the summer, he learns more than he bargained for.

YUCK, right?

Right.

In many ways, that’s how SECONDHAND LIONS is being sold in trailers. “I SEE GRUMPY OLD MEN!”

Instead, in many ways… the film is far closer to being about the childhood of Bill Watterson as one would imagine. What’s the story behind Calvin & Hobbes? What were his parents really like? Who bought him the rayguns? Where’d he get Hobbes and who named him? This film in many ways is the story behind that all. You see, we begin with a cartoonist drawing a strip with a young boy and a lion… Art by Berkeley Breathed, btw… Actually… that’s not true, we start in a plane, a bi-plane… an old World War 1 plane doing aerial ballet moves… the sequence seems to celebrate life, then we cut to an adult Walter amongst his art, when the phone rings… It’s the sheriff, he’s got some bad news… Walter… Walter…

BAM – we’re on Haley Joel Osment (Walter as an old boy/young man age… the cusp of being a teenager.) It was like watching a live-action Pixar movie, except better than that. You see, I know that’s hard to believe, but this is the writer of THE IRON GIANT, which is, for me at least, even better than the Pixar films. Here, you have the same basic perspective. A young kid being placed in an unlikely tale. One filled with whimsy and characters and things that are all sorts of improbable… but they happen to be true, well… as true as a fictional film goes, but for this boy… this fictional film is his reality, and he has a lot to learn about life here… and he does.

I wish the film had been being sold to audiences as a mystery. Shots of a room filled with money, a shot of a room filled with gold. That old lady saying, “I know, for a fact, that they’re really ex-Mafia hit-men, on the run with millions they stole from Al Capone…” While Showing Hub and Garth alternately firing shotguns at salesmen and hoe-ing the garden. Then Haley saying, “So that’s how you got all your money? The gold from the sheik?” As we see hub sword fighting with the plunger in his sleep. Next: “…your uncles match the description of two big-time bank robbers from the 20’s and 30’s.” as he uncovers a picture of a beautiful Arabic lady covered in sand. Sell the mystery of a boy in the care of insane men that may be heroes or villains… Treasure that may be gold or stolen loot. A farm with Lions, Giraffes, Dogs and a Pig. Sell it as a summer of mystery that changed his life forever. That’s what this film is. Not some goofy wink and nod Disney knock-off.

To me, the most appealing thing about the film is the mystery of who Hub and Garth are? What is the truth? Is there a truth? It is about believing in what you need to believe in. That’s the key. Ultimately, you must choose something to believe in, otherwise you have nothing to think about in those quiet moments in life. I mean… after the final revelations of the film, I can still argue a couple of different ways that perhaps it was all true. You see… For me, I didn’t want them to just be Heroes or just be Villains. I believe these old men did everything that life could ever throw at them. I believe there are mysteries about Michael Caine’s Garth that run even deeper than Duvall’s. I believe Duvall is more enigmatic in the film… But there’s a sly knowing glimmer behind everything that Caine says that tells of his story.

It might just be that cinematically – I know both Duvall and Caine. I know they’ve been both Heroes and Villains. I know that when I look at them, they carry so much history with every look and glance – that even though the story that is spoken is great – these two great actors are telling two or three other stories without saying em. But then, that’s why these two guys are Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. They’ve been lawyers, cross-dressing psychopaths, spies, hit men, pirates, lovers, sportsmen and more. The characters in SECONDHAND LIONS have been all that and more perhaps. One could scarcely imagine the adventures they’ve led.

In the throes of one action scene, Duvall clutches a character by the throat and over the gurgling of his victim he lets out:

HUB
I’m Hub McCann. I’ve fought in
two World Wars and countless
smaller ones on three continents.
I’ve led thousands of men into
battle with horses and swords,
artillery and tanks. I’ve seen
the headwaters of the Nile and
tribes of natives no white men
had ever seen before. I’ve won
and lost a dozen fortunes, killed
many men, and loved only one
woman with a passion a flea like
you could never begin to
Understand. That’s who I am.

You get the sense that Haley is in the care of the sort of adventurers that perhaps filled pages at a penny a word in the days of such pulp heroes. Here they are, after the villains all cowered and bruises ceased healing. Here they are with spirit and fire and character that you could only hope to come across meeting in your life… if you were so lucky. Hub and Garth are the type of men that don’t brag to riff raff, they set the record straight… put things in perspective, and wish to make men out of worms and punks… and they ain’t afraid of anything.

When I was a boy, there was a fella that was one of my father’s best friends, his son is one of my best friends now. Unfortunately, this man passed on way too early in life. Way too early. But these characters reminded me of him. He believed in this phrase he passed on to me. “LIVE GOOD” It was a mighty phrase. I climbed pyramids in far off jungles with this man, went to the race track with him, went to a clothing optional apartment complex with him and learned that life was something you got one shot at. He lived big, but though he is gone now, I will never forget him. He fought for justice as a lawyer, served sandwiches to the homeless, befriended bandits in Mexico and loved many beautiful women. And his son is one helluva good man. SECONDHAND LIONS is a film dedicated to folks that pass on eccentricities and a passion for life.

The film is going to open against UNDERWORLD, which is supposed to be a good film as well… DON’T OVERLOOK THIS MOVIE! Robert Duvall’s HUB is a character fully on par with Spencer Tracy’s MANNY from CAPTAIN’S COURAGEOUS. If you’ve never seen that film, then by God, get you away from this computer and seek it out immediately. Like SECONDHAND LIONS… it is a film that it is not worth living without!

Now... If Warner Brothers had sense one... if they really are getting rid of Jon Peters & McG as I've heard - they'll hand SUPERMAN to Tim McCanlies and we'll get a film that is more than empty popcorn tubs, we'd get a film that captures the soul of last son of Krypton and a film that really gets what it is to be a hero. Tim's done it with IRON GIANT and SECONDHAND LIONS. But hell, Warners doesn't deserve him, even if the characters do.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 29, 2003, 6:44 a.m. CST

    no thank you

    by ChickenGeorgeVII

    Blah (not the african leader)....I think I would rather watch the new From Justin to Kelly DVD than this Robert Duvall hugfest.....A ROBERT CUVALL HUGFEST?????? god damn.....i need a drink!....And thus, first? - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 6:58 a.m. CST

    In these cynical times?

    by thisworldalive

    What the fuck does that mean?

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7 a.m. CST

    I appreciate the sentiments

    by Heleno

    but that was one confusing-ass review. And you realise it is not acceptable to compare Pixar unfavourably to ANYTHING. The Iron Giant was, after all, adapted from the Iron Man by Ted Hughes and not entirely written by your mate, let us not forget. And while it was good, it was only good.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Augustus Mcrae

    by mugsgame

    Robert Duvall is a great actor and he could kick Sean Connery's ass.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7:30 a.m. CST

    truth

    by stvnhthr

    This movie sounds interesting. The Iron Giant was an optimistic masterpiece. I do find your review confusing though, Harry. There is nothing uglier than a lie, deception is the root of so much turmoil in our lives, why try to inoculate ourselves to it? Why try to tell ourselves it is okay and that is just the way things are? I guess that is what you meant by cynical times; when people are more willing to believe an attractive lie rather than search for the harsh truths. I truly hope that was just your interpretation of the film and not the film

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7:33 a.m. CST

    I love how Harry has to make sure to let us know he is friends w

    by Atticus Finch

    Imagine if every reviewer felt the need to name drop like that. <shudders>

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7:36 a.m. CST

    jizz

    by chief.wiggam

    i know for a fact that an all singing, all dancing trailer for Return of the King will be premiered on this film... the queue starts here.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7:38 a.m. CST

    WHAT?!?!?! There is NO SANTA????

    by barely pink

    I've seen the trailer in the theater three times. It looks like the kinda film that my whole family is gonna love. We'll be there opening day.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Ja Johnka!

    by antmanx68

    This movie should be fun.... good cast, and i hear this is where we'll see the ROTK trailer so im there....... oh, and Robert Duvall and Sean Connery in a fight might just rip apart the fabric of space and time (think DBZ).

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 8:26 a.m. CST

    But Stvnhthr...

    by Lobanhaki

    ... you miss one important truth: That there are many things, hopes, dreams, that are true in their own sense. When we pledge faith in our marriage to the other person, we don't merely put forward a legalistic "if you cheat it's over" attitude, but also the notion that when push comes to shove, that impulse, that spirit that lead to the marriage will win over all, even if real-life infidelity occurs. It's part of being alive. If our species only paid attention to the experiences and senses of the world around them that were based on hard reality, we'd never have survived, because the typical verdict there is that everybody dies, and everything presents a threat. Instead, we have the ability to see better worlds than the one we have evidence for right at our feet. And that's good, because there is more to the world than meets the eye, and because of that, those who take the leap of faith often find that reality unexpectedly complements mentality: that things were better than you thought they were. Ultimately, that's our biggest problem right now. We look at the difficulties around us, and we tell ourselves that they are inevitable. And because human judgment is flawed, taking that attitude often means missing the good things, the good opportunities in life. Faith and optimism aren't merely the gentle facade of a vicious world- they are survival mechanisms for a world that might otherwise might grind all the will to live on out of us.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Yeah, that trailer stinks of sentiment

    by Drath

    The cast has me wanting to see this, knowing its from the writer of Iron Giant has me wanting to see it even more, but then that trailer made me cringe. The bit where Caine asks "what you want us to die of? Old age?" and then he and Haley share these drippy sentimental, canned looking smiles so terrible I just prayed it was one particularly awful trailer edit. Sounds like maybe it was, and thank god for that. ************** Maybe I'm alone on this, but I hope Haley Joel Osment can grow into the next Jimmy Stewart. Big shoes to fill, but it might happen. He's starting to remind me of him, like the way I always pictured a young Stewart might have been. There's a class to Stewart that I don't know if any modern actor could ever acheive, or if any audience today would LET him. I doubt an actor can be that innocent and still real and so forgivable even when he goes into the dark side. Even as a voyeur, Stewart earned our love, and we rooted for him. I'd like to see Osment achieve that. Unfortunately, these are indeed cynical times, and innocence is just not something people can believe in anymore. **************** As expected, that "I'm friends with the director" bit has people screaming that Harry's been bought. Well naturally, if Harry is friends with the director that colors his opinion just a tad, but it's not like he's hiding his frienship. By now he KNOWS Talkback will make DAMN SURE everyone who missed it the first time becomes aware of it. I do think, Harry, that your assertation that Iron Giant is better than the Pixar movies feels maybe a little political right now given the 2d vs 3d thing, but I do share your love of that movie and would REALLY like to see Pixar attempt something like it. Their movies have all been of the buddy comedy variety, and with movies starring mostly non human characters, they seem to be in that "if it can be done live action, it has no business being animated," kind of groove which I detest. That whole "why animate it" angle is such shit to me that I want to see someone with oddles of money just produce hundreds of Citizen Kanes in 2d animation and stuff them down the armpit media's throats for decades regardless of the losses. But, well, that's what dreaming is for. And I like your dream about where to go with Superman, Harry. But now that you've suggested it, Warner Bros. will never do it. Anywya, I Hope I like Secondhand Lions as much as you did.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:25 a.m. CST

    There's nothing "cynical" about these times

    by vikingkitty

    In fact, we're in the greatest times since Reagan was in office.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:33 a.m. CST

    people like these...

    by Y282

    ...do exist but never for long enough. my friend was one of them. http://spectrumzx.bravepages.com/bigpaul/index.html please treat this with respect.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Atticus!!! Missed you man

    by Lost Skeleton

    ...especially in the Matrix talkback. Harry, I was a little confused about your "review" but you did make this sound interesting. I might check it out if its that good. The Iron Giant was good but I thought it was based on a children's book. Oh well, I just hope and pray that you are right Harry and that Hack G is off the SUPERMAN project.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Superman.

    by Lujho

    Yeah I second Harry's comment about Superman. Either McCanlies or perhaps the guy who's directing World of Tomorrow. But It'll never happen. Those WB characters will never achieve the magic they should be outside of the animation of the Fleischer Brothers, Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett and Paul Dini. WB, you fuckers. At best we'll get something on the level of Spider-Man and X-Men (both of which I love)... very entertaining and cool to look at, even with great characters and performances, but without a certain timeless magic.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Looks like crap to me.

    by Osmosis Jones

    One of those "nice" movies that practically dares the audience to hate it. I accept that dare...

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Sounds great

    by 007-11

    I hope the rumors of McG getting canned are true.

  • You know, the one where Lisa Simspon discovers the real guy was an ass, but chooses not to reveal it because the myth about him being a total boyscout did more good than the truth would. It's like that kind of thing. Like the "I am George Washington and I cannot tell a lie," myth about cutting down the tree and fessing up right away. It sounds like pure shit, but it doesn't mean you can't aspire to be honest like that. Don't ask me about the Emancipation not freeing the slaves...I got nothing on that one. Still not convinced? Yeah well, who needs yah! See, I can play a grandpappy now!

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Just when I start to root for Harry...

    by HonkyKong

    He throws in a crazy comment that makes the whole train come off the tracks. "Clothing-optional apartment complex"? Goddamn, man. I almost heard an audible record scratch when I read that shit.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 12:32 p.m. CST

    "Just because something isn't true..."

    by godric

    Yes, it is stupid, but unfortunately it's the thing most people live by in this day without realizing it. "If it's right to you, then it must be true." (insert puking noises here) I agree with Harry though--this film is being marketed all wrong. The trailer stunk. But question: Harry went to climb pyramids in far off jungles?

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Y282

    by metsrulein2k

    sounds like a great guy, just hearing what people say about him makes me sad that he's gone and I dont even know the man, good post.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Iron Giant was GREAT

    by PumpyMcAss

    -LY Over-rated. Poor man's ET at most. I will avoid this film and go to American Splendor or Lost in Translation instead that weekend. I guess I am just a product of these "cynical times." Not all of us are as willing to subject ourselves to Hollywood shmaltz as readily as yourself, Harry.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry

    by Ribbons

    The trailer didn't sell me on this movie at all, and frankly I've been wondering what all the buzz was about. This review sold me on checking it out in theaters.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Drath

    by Ribbons

    That George Washington story wasn't a legend, it was a lie made up by teachers and parents to, ironically, keep their kids from lying, one which eventually became legend as the children of the 19th century grew up to become leaders of the nation. Fat lot of good that story did, huh?

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 2:50 p.m. CST

    shameless

    by moomina

    I started reading your review, then came the line '...the best film my friend has wrote...' and thats where I stopped. Stop frickin name droppin, it does NOT increase the credibility of the review!!!

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 3:26 p.m. CST

    "faith"?

    by Palhaco

    "'Just because something isn

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Of course he's name dropping!

    by River Dean

    Dear MooMina, Ofcourse Harry's name dropping. If he wasn't, you'd be at him because of that. If he didn't tell you that he knew Tim McCanlies, you'd bring him down when you found out he did, and accuse him of praising the film simply because he knows the director! Get it? Stop being an asshole, and that goes for all of you who are always complaining! People are quick to talk back when they dissagree but not so quick when they do agree.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 4:23 p.m. CST

    I always though Brad Bird would make a great Supes director

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    Just based on Iron Man, not sure how that transition from animation to live action works for a director, but I always thought Iron Man LOOKED like how I'd want a Superman movie to look.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Optimism is the new cynicism.

    by God Of Forkery

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 7:11 p.m. CST

    I saw the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra trailer, man thats hilariousl

    by SexyBeast

    this movie actually intrigues me because its shot just like those awful Ed Wood movies, it just looks different.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 8:52 p.m. CST

    BERKE BREATHED

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    MAN, do I miss Bloom County. I would definitely have voted for Bill the Cat over "New-kew-lur" Bush. Also, is it too much to ask for a review that's not a life story? Just wondering.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 8:57 p.m. CST

    DANCER, TX POP. 81 was...

    by Dolemite_fan

    released into theatres jackass. I saw the trailer for SECONDHAND LIONS last week and I liked what I saw; Duvall has had a great year (ASSASSINATION TANGO was strangely involving) and SHLIONS could be his troika for 2003.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Wait a second -- "if they really are getting rid of Jon Peters &

    by Village Idiot

    They're taking Superman away from Jon Peters and McG?? Huzzah! What's the story there? Sheesh, that should get a talkback of it's own!

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:18 p.m. CST

    truth part 2

    by stvnhthr

    Faith is believing in something based on what you think you know to be true. Hope is wanting to believe something is true. Already knowing something is false and believing in it is foolishness. Fantasy is believing for a time in something you know is make believe but would be fun if it were true. Confusing these in your world view will lead to a mixed up frustrating life or a pointless movie.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 9:46 p.m. CST

    what?

    by readyoufool

    what the hell is this movie about? Something about lost al capone gold with actions scenes and haley and bill waterson? For the love of crap, man, at least stick a review somewhere in there among your pederastic childhood memories! If the movie is this good then it deserves a hell of a lot better review than this. This doesn't make me want to see it. It just makes me aware that it exists. I'm not usually critical of Harry's writing, but this is just a horrible review

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 2:01 a.m. CST

    thanks for the insipiring words, harry,

    by imageburn13

    i know your talking about a movie, but your ideas ring true and you've made my day just a little brighter. thanks.

  • This site has turned to a full fleged bullshit site full of no news that is even remotely cool. I mean you guys actually ran a review of My Bosses Daugheter, and it was like 6 days after it actually came out. Who gives a shit. Just make this place KillBill.com and get it over with, and as far as saying Tim Mc should direct Superman is as stupid as McG directing it. You almost never have scoops anymore. Oh, and this site also had a big ass review on Timecop 2. What a joke. Get back to getting scoops, or let someone else take over the site for you and have them update it if you don't have the time anymore because you must be doing other things. Every week you have a sob story about your health and at least one name drop filled bullshit article. This place sucks. I mean, just look at the headlines on the front page, it tells it all. Any cool news on the front page was reported days, if not weeks ago by someone else. P.S. Do you honestly think Warners would take you serious about Tim Mccanlies directing Superman. They know you are a fucking phony schill used car salesman.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Iron Giant writers

    by tbrosz

    Sorry, folks. I read Hughes' "Iron Giant," and the movie story was completely different and, I have to say, a lot better in my opinion. Although the book was no piece of dreck, it was written in a very simple style and the plot was odd, to say the least, and had nothing to do with most of the plot of the movie.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Glad I'm not alone

    by Psychonaut

    Just read some of the above posts and am slightly relieved to find I am not the only person who could not understand what Harry's review was all about.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Better than Pixar?

    by King Spoda

    I thought this was a SERIOUS movie site. Iron Giant better than anything by Pixar? You must be out of your frickin' mind. By the way, Iron Giant's director is directing Pixar's next feature, The Incredibles. Jesus. Better than Pixar. No one is better than Pixar.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Whose at fault for these cynical times?

    by the G-man

    Could it be people, like Harry, and his hero Michael Moore, who constantly claim everything is a conspiracy and attack the motives of any one who he disagrees with?

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Nice review

    by DannyOcean01

    Every now and again, when you manage to reel in your extravagance Harry, you can write an interesting piece. Look forward to this film.

  • Yeah right, I believe that SW EP3 is going to be Rated-R, but we all know that isn`t true. That is one of the stupidest shit I've ever heard.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Harry I like you but I wish you'd make up your fucking mind

    by Joey Stylez

    I've read your reviews for TOY STOTY and TOY STORY 2. You've said that those are you favorite films, that

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 5:06 p.m. CST

    **continued***

    by Joey Stylez

    ...you said that TOY STORY 2 was the best film of 1999 (same year IRON GIANT came out). You gushed about how you loved TS2 and that it was the perfect film. Now you're saying that IRON GIANT is better than the Pixar films. Jesus man, make up your mind, will ya? It's hard to stand behind anything you say when you continuously change your mind (this ain't the first time you've done this). I understand that sometimes our perspective on things may change over time but if that's the case at least SAY SO. That way you don't contridict yourself. Capise?

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST

    ARGH....Don't say your friends with him!!!!

    by HavokJD

    Think how much better received his review might have been if he hadn't said that. Christ...just say you never met the guy before even if it's not true. JUST BELIEVE IN IT EVEN IF IT'S NOT TRUE! Now I don't feel like reading the review because it feels tainted by bias. If you had only reviewed it without saying that! Sometimes I don't know what you are thinking about Harry. And don't say "journalistic integrity."

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 7:39 p.m. CST

    bladerunnerunit

    by blue7

    You may be a ramblin' man like usual, but I agree with you this time. Enough already with the overly facile "Michael Moore is the death of American Values" bullshit. I disagree heartily with the fat load on the subject of OJ's innocence (that's right, Moore thinks he didn't do it), among other things, but only someone who hasn't watched any of his movies or his TV show or read anything he's written would really think he's a come-hell-or-high-water liberal who only supports the Democrats/lefties. I'm not saying you should pay him any mind if you find him annoying. By all means, don't. Just realize that reading "truthaboutbowling"-type smear pieces isn't a passable substitute for actually hearing what the man has to say. BRU, thanks for the Portagee Perspective. Catch ya later.

  • ...that it probably isn't worth arguing with him or her. However, I would note an interview Moore gave in which he attacks the Democratic party for moving towards the center and complains that "our ['progressive'] wing" needs to be better organized. http://www.texasobserver.org/showArticle.asp?ArticleID=620 It would appear, therefore, that Moore himself admits to being a liberal.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Ain't that the motto used for invading Iraq?

    by Son Of Batboy

    Oh that's right, we're there to liberate the people. Silly me.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 11:58 p.m. CST

    I see your point

    by blue7

    Hey, G-Man (and I'll refrain from guessing as to what the G in your name stands for, as in a synonym for really happy), you sure are right. Michael Moore is indeed a liberal, and by his own definition no less. Perhaps I should have said that he is not always a knee-jerk liberal and that he doesn't always support the Democrats. Myriad apologies from me to you, and thanks again for reintroducing me to the "reality" of pigeonholing all those who you disagree with.

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Each to their own

    by Lucas_Pallesano

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Each to their own

    by Lucas_Pallesano

    You guys stop giving Harry shit he was just stating his opinion that he though his friend was a good writer. You guys are all aloud to say "oh but I think it's shite" but it's not fair to critisice his opinions, I mean they're his opinions. JAYSUS!

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Iron Man Script Was an Abomination

    by Johnny Storm

    This may very well be a good film, Harry. But that horrible Iron Man script will keep McCanlies from ever getting near a superhero movie again.

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 6:31 a.m. CST

    I hope I'm not contributing to these cynical times Harry is talk

    by Psychonaut

    ...but does anyone else suspect that Agent Smith Back is playing a practical joke here?

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Thanks for clarification BRU

    by the G-man

    If you are from Europe and had only seen "BfC" I can understand why you didn't know Moore is a liberal--at least by American standards.

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Jesus H. Spock

    by Roboteer

    As if Harry's quote wasn't enough to gag on, somebody has to post a puff piece on Moore that actually uses the word truth, not once but twice! And that he isn't rabidly partisan??? So he didn't lose any credibility shilling for Al Gore and bashing Bush at every opportunity? The problem with Moore isn't that he questions the staus quo, it's that he doesn't do so honestly. Which makes his award for Best Documentary the biggest sham in Academy history (and that's saying a lot)......On the Osment movie of believing on faith alone, whatever gets you through the night is alright. A personal spiritual belief that sometimes defies reason can give a person purpose, strength, and solace they otherwise might not have. From that standpoint, faith can be extremely logical. In moderation. The problem is when, to reinforce those beliefs, folks feel the need to make others believe too. To dream the impossible dream is one thing, to act it out is another. The daft Don Quixote is a bit sympathetic on his own. A nation of Don Quixotes is scary. On the other hand, terminal cynicism can be equally as destructive to the fabric of society. (BBC News and the evil they do, for example.) There's probably a little too much of both that has pervaded the national consciousness. In the end, Spock (the Vulcan, not the idiot doctor) had it right... if one has to believe in something, believe in relentless logic. But I would temper it with a reason based compassion for one's fellow man (that believes in loaning him a fishing pole, not giving him a fish) and the understanding that there is something beyond our own petty self-interest worth caring about. Whatever that might be. That seems to make more sense than Harry's tilting at windmills when you know they aren't dragons.......WINGED MIGRATION forever. COLUMBINE NEVER!!!

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Agent_Back_Smith

    by Psychonaut

    I think that means I guessed right? You definitely get marks for effort though.

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Why blame Harry for beng honest?

    by Dewi

    Harry wasn't name-dropping by letting us know that he knows the filmmaker. He was just giving us the chance to make allowance for his natural bias in favour of his friend. We all guess that lots of books get enthusiastic reviews by friends of the author or friends of his parents. (Or in the case of a young, bonkable author by his/her actual or hopeful lovers). We deserve to know these things. Well done, Harry!

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Son of batboy hit the nail

    by Seiruu

    'What a great bit of dialogue that is

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 8:59 p.m. CST

    I'm confused...

    by KryptonsLastSon

    So is this your favorite movie of all time now? Or just your favorite movie of the year? Or your favorite movie of the month? Or your favorite movie of the week? Or your favorite movie of the day? Or your favorite movie of the hour? Or your fqavorite movie by someone other than QT, RR, or any of your other Hollywood friends? I've lost track, you have so many favorite movies... But this one doesn't look anything special, though I suppose the trailers can be deceiving....

  • Aug. 31, 2003, 11:57 p.m. CST

    charles bronson is dead

    by readyoufool

    just thought i'd let you know since the aicn staff is so on the ball with things of this nature recently...

  • Sept. 1, 2003, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Amazing....

    by genro

    Just when I think this place can't become anymore biased.... I like how this thread has been censored too. I wish AICN had the nuts to finally accept they are a PR/Marketing outfit and get on with life already. The agendas are becoming just too, too obvious, and beyond insulting. McCanlis would be about as mediocre on Supes as JJ Abrams was, yet because he's part of the Austin cabal, he must be talent...McWeeney's legacy lives on...

  • Sept. 1, 2003, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Looks good to me

    by UberSpectre

    The trailer sux but it has good actors in it so I will see it... I just want to know why everyone like loves Pixar so much? They make kids movies!!! Toy Story 2 was very funny but everything else is so tame and boring like Finding Nemo was cute, but that is it nothing else... Also Iron Giant was kool and better than most of Pixar's regular kids movies

  • Sept. 1, 2003, 5:43 p.m. CST

    wow how'd y'all turn this political?

    by mwhelan67

  • Sept. 1, 2003, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Talkback to Bushers: Go fuck yourselves.

    by Jeff Fries III

    "Just because it isn't a political forum, that

  • Sept. 3, 2003, 12:35 p.m. CST

    more annoying shit from harry

    by sanjuro

    enough

  • Sept. 5, 2003, 6:11 a.m. CST

    TED HUGHES

    by Sid James

    TED HUGHES WROTE THE IRON MAN -YOUR BUDDY HAD THE SIMPLE TASK OFF MAKING A BRILLIANT BOOK INTO AN OK MOVIE. HOW ABOUT GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE AND NOT JUST SUCKING YOUR DIRECTOR FRIENDS' ASS.

  • Sept. 5, 2003, 8:08 p.m. CST

    "Secondhand Lions" is actually fucking great

    by Smilin'Jack Ruby

    I love the movie, so I'm with Knowles on this one, though I just might be a sentimental Texan living in the diaspora who misses Don Walser live shows. I put a still of Michael Caine in his costume next to a photo of my own grandfather taken during the same era and they look identical starting with the style of eyeglasses. And I am of the camp that believes "Iron Giant" is damn incredible and is on par with the best Pixar has to offer (admittedly, I pop in "Iron Giant" a lot more to the DVD player than "Toy Story," but whatev). "Secondhand Lions" is undeniably sentimental, but it worked on me certainly.

  • Sept. 11, 2003, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Shirley Temple Never Found???

    by Hawley Martins

    What do you mean Shirley Temple never had a good film as a teen? What about The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer or Since You Went Away? Are those just drivel?

  • Sept. 12, 2003, 1:26 a.m. CST

    saw this two nights ago...

    by Phat_Cheops

    Indeed it is a great film. Harry hit on pretty much anything, so I won't add much... other than to say it's good to see a family-oriented movie with real violence in it. Nothing grotesque or over-the-top, of course, just enough to add the threat of danger, which modern family movies really lack. "Defend yourself."

  • Sept. 18, 2003, 6:14 p.m. CST

    incredible

    by astroesque

    i saw my second screening for this film last night, and every moment still holds fast with sincerity and depth.. it's just so warm.. adventurous..sentimental and funny..everything that makes a wonderful film. in my top 5 for the year! i'd be happy to pay to see it over and over and over.. do yourself a favour and see it!

  • Sept. 18, 2003, 9:54 p.m. CST

    HARRY,S REVIEW

    by F.N.G.

    Isn't there a limit on how long a review should be. I don't need a thesis statement for a movie review. I need to know if the movie sucks or not. That is all.---->The movie "Iron Giant" is an underrated classic. Later.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Captain's Courageous, Herbie and the Fall of Civilization

    by Jack Olcott

    I have a relative who does publicity for a major, major northeastern film library. This place has a summer classic series for young people which she has to push. Recently she came home upset with the fellow in charge of programing the series. I asked her what's the matter? Well, apparently the idiot programmer had put together a bunch of movies that no one had ever heard of and she couldn't sell if it were water in the Sahara. I mean, really, who's ever heard of Captain's Courageous or A Tree Grows In Brooklyn? Why the heck didn't he schedual movies like, say, Love Bug? I was good, didn't laugh, but I did suggest that the series was suppose to feature classics, that I could personally attest to Captain's Courageous overall quality and that I heard tell A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was pretty good too. Now my relative is smart, talented and a better publicist that I could ever be and I think she will love Second Hand Lions, but I am willing to bet that foisting the likes of Herbie on an impressionable youngster leads directly to things like President Clinton, body piercing, "reality" TV, Fox News and the career of Keanu Reeves.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Mr. Moore's Politics.

    by Jack Olcott

    A comment on a topic from way back in the thread. Michael Moore is a tad more than liberal, he's literally a card carrying socialist. Or was a few years back. Perhaps success has gone to his wallet and he went a bit rightward and now claims to be a liberal. No value judgement here, just a statement of facts gleaned from the back of his book jackets.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Good movie

    by Moviegeek78

    I went tonight and it ended up bein a damn good movie, so get off of your lazy ass and go see it.

  • Sept. 21, 2003, 4:53 p.m. CST

    such a wonderful movie

    by allykatD

    A day later I'm still smiling when I think of it. The flashbacks were wonderful and gave it more than just the usual "two grumpy old guys" angle. Perfect movie experience overall.

  • Sept. 30, 2003, 10:29 a.m. CST

    This movie was a pilot for a TV series

    by Pardon_My_Zinger

    If I had the money that the two old guys had stashed away in the film, I'd bet it all on that.

  • Oct. 7, 2003, 5:32 p.m. CST

    "BAM

    by empyreal0

    I dunno about you, Harry, but I only like the kid for his acting. You gotta stop slipping these Freudians into your reviews, man! I'm getting worried. *** Oh, and great family flick, btw. Excellent story. Writing had a few great lines, but your friend the director left his poor cast looking confused (with the exception of the older gentlemen who had everything well in hand), and he could have done without the sheik ending, too. Otherwise, cute and classic.