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Review

GOOD WILL HUNTING - Review

Saw GOOD WILL HUNTING this evening...

It's a bit hard to talk about. You see... Well... It's like this... This is the other side of the "great movie coin". In my review about Titanic, I talk about what it is to be a great film. What it takes, what a film should be. One of the keys was to make the 'Exit' signs disappear. One of them was to smell the air that the characters breathe, to feel the tenderness of their embraces, to live in their lives a little. For them to give me a part of their lives. Why? Because, well... that two hours... three hours... four hours is more significant than what those four hours would be for me. (In otherwords in the 4 hours it would take me to stand in the line, find my seat, get my snacks and watch the film... I would be better for spending)

Well, GOOD WILL HUNTING was that coin, but also it had a bit of the hand that was reaching for the coin. Meaning, I saw some of me there. It wasn't living vicariously through a fictional character, but looking in the reflection of the left over rain drops surrounding the coin. I saw me.

Now, I know what you are thinking, "My god how pompous can you get?" No, no, I'm not a math genius, I don't have a photographic memory like Will. No, I have a love and understanding of films that others, thousands seem to think is unique and special. Like Will, I didn't study for this, I didn't work hard for this. It just... happened. I simply did. Like Will I was discovered, not by some great Math Magician, but rather... All of you saw my scribblings on this cyber chalkboard. I typed here for years before someone saw me, before someone noticed. And now... Now there are millions of people that are aware.

Like Will, I'm afraid. Why? I mean, sheesh, I'm getting famous.. It's what I wanted, but deep down I'm not yet complete. I know it, I strive to fill in the jigsaw puzzle pieces of my life. To establish 'What I want to be.'

"What do you want to be?"

Robin Williams' character asks Will that same question. Will answered back with a jokey response, "I want to be a shepard". That's when I cried. I realized he was incapable of answering that simple question. Is it so simple?

I mean when we were all kids it was easy.

I remember being in Second Grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Mosley was her name, asked of the giddy room of students, "What do you want to be?"

My best friend at the time, Rylan Bosher was his name, said, "I want to be an astronaut" A girl be the name of Keilah, I remember her because she was my first 'crush', said she wanted to be a teacher. Mrs Mosley smiled big. This warmed her soul. Another kid by the name of Josh Burnham said, "I want to be Darth Vader so I could have a big light saber to cut off your big tits!" He then through his books at her and ran out the door.

Later, He was beaten by the Principal, Ms Sandoval, and he never repented. Because at that time, he was afraid of who he wanted to be, because he knew he could never be that.

What was my answer? I wanted to be my father. I wanted a kid, like me but thinner, that looked up to me. Someone to teach things to. I wanted a group of 'life-long friends that were always there, and I wanted someone to love me the way I saw my mother love him. We were the coolest. We had the big house, with all the cool stuff, all the parties were at his house, friends would come to stay, film students from the local university would come to study and do research there.

Only I wanted a bit more too. I wanted to be famous. Not in the Ted Bundy, Charles Whitman way, but in the Forrest Ackerman, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Lon Chaney, Errol Flynn, Bruce Lee, Spider-man sorta way.

I've always had big plans for myself. So... How am I doing?

Well at 26, looks like I'm getting the fame thing going, many of you have been seeing that happen. As a testament to that today I did an interview with the BBC Radio Network, talked with Vanity Fair, talked to a magazine from Belgium, a television program from Hong Kong, my business managers, the people I'm going to be on a panel with at Sundance, and finally I modeled with my father for a print ad for I-OMEGA ZIP DRIVES.

Really, that's quite a typical day these days. I also saw the site improve with the final installment of the long overdue AICN SEARCH ENGINE. So it was that at the end of a long day doing the fame bit I told Dad, "Hey, I need to see a movie so I can write this day up."

He thought it was a good idea, afterall just the experience of posing with Zip Disks was funny enough to write a short story of. So I scanned the local paper to see what was showing...

It was GOOD WILL HUNTING. That was the 'primary' film that I hadn't seen yet. Ben Affleck professed to me on the set of ARMAGEDDON that he loves the site and reads it. Well I certainly hope he reads this. Why? Am I kissing up? No.

I want him to know that he and his best friend made a movie that shook me. That reached out and touched me right down to the fibre of my being. I was blown away. This film represents a very real place for where I am at in life. I'm there on the edge. Walking a line between the life I had before all of this, and the life I will have afterwards. A crossroads.

And once again it pointed out in great big NEON letters the gap in my 'accomplishments' I'm not in love. How important is love to the grand scheme of things? Well watch Robin Williams when he was good Will Hunting sitting there watching the swans swim by, and you hear him explain to Will why he is just a punk kid. When he tells him about how much he doesn't know, about all the experiences he hasn't had, about all the life he has yet to live.

I was shaken. Probably because deep down I have some inadequacies. Probably because I know I have so much more to live and strive for. Probably because I don't know what the air in the Sistine Chapel smells like. Probably because Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote an incredible script. Probably because Robin Williams was dead on.

I don't write reviews like the average critic. I don't hide my feelings behind criticisms of pacings, shot selection, minor imperfections. I thrive on the tiny imperfections of life, and I live for great stories. What I should live for is my own great story. That's what GOOD WILL HUNTING meant for me, that's why I believe it was the Best Film of 1997, that's why I'm very proud to have spent some of my life with two best friends doing what they love... making a movie. Good show guys... good show...

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 1, 1998, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Goodwill Hunting

    by DeaN4U2C

    Goodwill Hunting seemed to be a migic mirror,because everyone I've talked to about the picture(male of female) seemed to be able to see a little bit of themselves in it. I thought it was one of the rarely "all around" well done movies -- talent-wise, writer-wise, and technically-wise. It is one of the few movies that I would recommend to friends.

  • May 24, 2003, 7:45 p.m. CST

    My favorite film of all time.

    by tsion7

    I was just amazed when I looked and there is only one person talk back about this film. This is, without a doubt, my favorite film of all time. It just nails every element with such precise detail, wit, and intelligence. I loved the acting, the cinematography, the writing (which, kudos to Matt & Ben), was one of the best scripts in a VERY long time. Casting was superb (really gave Matt and Ben their "superstar status"). This film just goes to show that a great film, with excellent actors and an unadulterated (by the industry big-wigs) script (thanxs to Harvey for trusting in this as was origionally visioned) can make lots of money, and does not need to cost $100 million to make a fucking big profit, since that's all you dumb motherfuckers seem to care about these days. Anyways, just thought someone should say what a wonderful piece of art and cinema this is - im out.

  • Aug. 13, 2003, 9:55 a.m. CST

    One More Thing

    by WoodyStiffer

    Tsion - you're dead on - a fantastic film that should have been the best picture winner that year. Wonderful all around. The only thing you neglected to mention was Danny Elfman's INCREDIBLE music which really helped to underscore the power of many of the scenes.