Moriarty Meets Mark Hamill! And Picks The Best Of 2003!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I mean, the last thing I wrote for the site was my RETURN OF THE KING review. And I’m sorry about that. I’m hoping I’ll finally be able to reveal what I’ve been working on, maybe some time in the next few weeks. It’s been the focus of pretty much all my waking hours for six months now, and I’m excited to see how the year ahead plays out as a result.
In the meantime, I get to focus on AICN again for a while, which pleases me enormously. I’ve missed seeing so many films recently, and there have been so many things I’ve wanted to write about. Hell, if I manage my time right, I’ll be able to write everything I want, and even see my friends again. Bliss!
Right now, though, I’m rusty. Not just as a reviewer, but also as a viewer. I’ve been watching so much on DVD that I’ve become theater-intolerant. A crappy LA audience pulls me right out of whatever I’m looking at, and the unpredictable nature of my schedule has kept me from being able to RSVP for any press screenings.
So I’m getting back into the habit. Realistically, I plan to write two weekly columns for AICN this year. I was out of my freakin’ mind when I announced my DVD column as daily. No way. Never gonna happen. My regular RUMBLINGS column will be reviews, script previews, and commentary, the sort of thing I’ve always done. The second column will be the return of my DVD SHELF. I’ve got an astounding backlog of stuff to write about.
For today, I’m going to review COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE, Mark Hamill’s mockumentary about fandom, I’m going to discuss my New Year’s resolutions for AICN, and I’ll start my countdown to my top ten list for 2003 with my Runners-Up. Lots to do, so let’s get started...
Mark Hamill is a nerd.
Oh, sure, he wields a lightsaber with the best of them, and his Joker is genuinely scary. Despite that, I maintain that Mark Hamill is a big, giant nerd.
See, last year I got a call from the guys at Creative Light, asking me if I wanted to come in to see a very rough cut of COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE. They put the right worm on the hook, too, offering a lunch with Luke Skywalker after the screening.
I mean, they didn’t call him Luke Skywalker, obviously, but that’s what I heard. Anyone around my age understands. For six years, Mark Hamill was one of the biggest names in movies as far as I was concerned. Luke Skywalker was as iconic as any heroic figure from my childhood.
The notion of lunch with Hamill would have gotten me to sit through pretty much anything, so walking into the editing room to see the film on an AVID, I didn’t have any expectations for it one way or another. I didn’t know much about it aside from the fact that Hamill starred in it and directed it, and before the screening, the guys from Creative Light gave us the background on the film.
First and foremost, they explained, Mark Hamill is a nerd. Card carrying. Lifetime membership. He was a comic-book fan as a child, and when he was cast in STAR WARS, it was practically preordained. This goes right to the heart of why I still think his performances in the STAR WARS film are among the finest of the genre: he believes in this stuff, heart and soul. It’s not corny or campy or silly to him, and his performances made you believe that the details of the world felt lived in, real. Watch him in EMPIRE when he’s inside Yoda’s house on Dagobah, or when he first slips into the gunner’s seat on the FALCON in ANH. He’s so comfortable, so natural in the way he uses the props or interacts with the FX that he sells the larger world of STAR WARS. Same thing with his voice work as The Joker. Forget Jack Nicholson or Caesar Romero. Both of them did their best with the role, but neither of them even came close to capturing the cruel and brutal heart of Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime. Hamill was a BATMAN fan from his childhood, and no doubt, he’d been playing The Joker’s voice in his head for years. Finally, thanks to him and the amazing creative team behind BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, The Joker was played as a psychopath, more pathetic and freaky than funny.
One of the best things about COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE is the way it finally gives all the great voice actors Hamill has worked with over the years a chance to act together in front of a camera, and not just a microphone. I’m a big Billy West fan thanks to FUTURAMA and his time on the Howard Stern show and, of course, REN & STIMPY. For over a decade, West’s been one of my favorite funny people, but I didn’t even know what he looked like until this film, where he shows up at Leo Matuzik, the heir to the creator of COMMANDER COURAGE. Even thought CB:TM is Mark Hamill’s show as star and director, it was Billy West that really made it work for me. I also really love the work of Tom Kenny as Donald Swan’s partner in the comic book store. Kenny’s known to many as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, but I’ve always been smitten with his work as Binky in Bobcat Goldthwait’s sadly underrated SHAKES THE CLOWN. He appears here with real-life wife Jill Talley, a treat for anyone who enjoyed their work on MR. SHOW. There’s something real and wonderful about their appearance with their son, a side of Kenny I’ve never seen before.
Hamill is the center of the film, and his portrayal of ubernerd Donald Swan is pretty much pure affection, permission for him to finally give voice to his geekiest side. Hamill lets the freak flag fly, and the result is often very funny. Like Larry David’s CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, much of this film is improvised, unscripted, and the cast was required to think on its feet.
Any time you take a chance like that, results can be a mixed affair. CB:TM was still long when I saw it, and uneven. Much of it was ontarget, a pitch perfect evocation of the mania that plays out in fandom each time some new screen adaptation of a beloved comic book property gets announced. I assume they’ve tightened it up since then, and I look forward to the January 27th release date on DVD. If you live in LA, you can see the film in the theater on January 21st at the Sunset 5 on Crescent Heights and Sunset. They’re showing it twice that night, and if I were a betting man, I’d expect to see Hamill there. It’d be the perfect place to see it, too, surrounded by other geeks, everybody tuned in to the often-very-inside jokes that fill the film. Keep your eyes peeled for cameos from all sorts of names in the comic and SF world.
Part of what makes the film work is the backdrop of the San Diego Comic Con, where much of it was filmed. If you’ve never been to Nerd Nirvana, this annual event might just be it, and Hamill’s fame enabled him to take full advantage of the convention’s attendees. There are tons of cameos in the film, and many of them appear to have been random, on the spot. It’s impressive how quickly people seem to have gotten the joke and how eager they are to jump in and play along. It’s infectious fun. Hamill’s not so much the star or the director here as he is the ringleader, riding herd over the more outrageous Billy West or Jess Harnell as the perpetually bemused and probably stoned cameraman shooting the documentary on Donald Swan that serves as the framework for the whole thing.
If you want to see the trailer for the film, it just went online RIGHT HERE. If you want to read a review of the finished film from an even bigger STAR WARS fan than me, CLICK HERE.
In the meantime, you can read an AICN script review by “Donald Swan” RIGHT HERE. I look forward to seeing the final release version of the film in the next couple of weeks, and I’m sure you guys will enjoy it. After all, you’re geeks. And Bruce Campbell’s in it. That means you’re required to like it, no questions asked. I think that’s federal law.
And, yeah... lunch was great. I took along my co-writer, Scott Swan (whose father is named Donald in a bizarre coincidence), who was almost as happy as I was. Check out my ridiculous smile in the attached photo. That’s a very happy seven-year-old you’re looking at.
Because I’m a nerd, too.
And COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE was definitely made for us.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Everyone makes them.
Everyone breaks them.
Let me explain what led me here. I’ve been struck by a wicked case of nostalgia this past holiday season. Both personally and professionally, 2003 was the best year of my life. I couldn’t help but reflect on the 13 years of life in Los Angeles that led up to this set of circumstances. One thing in particular has occupied much of my consideration: my role on AICN, past, present, and future.
It’s been six years, after all.
I started writing for Ain’t It Cool News six years ago. I sent in a few things in 1997, starting in the spring, but it was right around the end of the year that I sent in my reviews of a test screening of THE TRUMAN SHOW and the Academy-qualifying limited run of GOOD WILL HUNTING. That was the moment where I remember thinking, I like this. I like this website, and I like these conversations.
Before that, I was posting pretty much the same sort of material on Usenet newsgroups. I was reading screenplays early and going to NRG test screenings and writing up reactions that I’d post even then. I was already a working WGA member at that point, published and produced, and I’d done a lot of development legwork. Contrary to the idea that AICN was something I started working on because I saw it as a way to pimp my particular product, I went through great pains to disguise myself. Usenet was one thing. AICN was very different.
In those six years, there’s been a lot I enjoyed about AICN, and there’s been a lot about it that’s been pure burning hell, too. I’ve met lots of amazing people. I’ve been allowed to do lots of amazing things. I’ve made some tremendous mistakes along the way, and once or twice, I’ve even made a difference.
I have had a lower profile on the site this past year than ever before, and I’ve found that it drives me a little crazy not to be writing. I mean... I am. That’s all I do every day, pretty much. But I’m not writing for the site, and it makes me crazy. Logic mandates that I should quit writing for AICN altogether. It makes sense. After all, I’m doing what I really want now, right? That’s all my harshest critics say I ever wanted out of AICN in the first place. They say I manipulated my way onto the site only to sell my screenplays. I figure if I’m going to keep writing for the site, then I’m going to explain myself this one time. And make no mistake... despite logic, I plan to be right here this year, and I’m going to do my best to make this year better on the site overall. I never once thought of AICN as a way to get anything or as a means to an end. I started writing for AICN for the same reason that I still work on articles and updates at 2:30 in the morning instead of snuggling up warm next to Mrs. Moriarty. Because I have an opinion.
See, the whole “secret” of AICN is that only a moron would try to use it or manipulate it or make it a means to an end. Because AICN isn’t some corporate magazine or some media giant. It’s a sort of a buggy, bloggy, low-tech thing that’s published primarily out of three private homes. There’s no staff supporting us. There’s a loose agreement we have with regular contributors, but by no stretch of the imagination would I call this a “job” for any of them. It’s an outlet. A platform. A bullhorn that we pass around. It’s the most democratic thing I’ve ever seen close-up, and that’s what keeps me coming back.
The reason AICN is occasionally perceived to have any sort of power or influence is not because of us. It’s because of you. It’s because our readers are such an incredible cross-section of film fans. And you’re vocal. You write in. You send us stories and reviews. You criticize us and you criticize everything we put in front of you. When you love something, you can go crazy about it, and the same is true when you hate something. You are the thing Hollywood is most afraid of, and the thing they chase the hardest. You’re our audience and theirs, and you are the thing that remains relevant no matter how our site changes over the years.
If there’s something you want to see covered on the site that you feel isn’t getting the love it deserves, let us know. Believe it or not, we read everything you send to us. Maybe not the same day you send it, but sooner or later, we try to get to all of it, and we appreciate everything you take the time to write.
I say all of this to set the stage for my Resolutions that should help define what it is that I plan to contribute to AICN in the coming year:
I resolve to stop shrugging off AICN deadlines. My ‘90s lists are a joke with no punchline right now, and unless I can recover some data off my crashed hard drive, they’ll stay that way. Harry teases me constantly about setting deadlines for articles and missing them completely. But believe it or not, it frustrates me, probably more than it frustrates you. By setting up the two weekly columns, there’s a greater chance I’ll be able to budget my time and get the things online that I want to.
I resolve to see more movies. Right now, I feel a little adrift. I hate not having seen almost half the films released last year. I feel disconnected from things. In a way, it was beneficial, but it left me unable to talk about some surprising subjects. For example, I didn’t see THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS until the week after Christmas.
I resolve to not give a fuck what anyone thinks about AICN. By now, you’ve got a pretty good idea what you think of me and Harry and the other regular contributors. So often, when people go on the attack regarding our site, I find that they are getting heated over issues of perception or perspective, and the more you argue with someone about their perspective, the more they dig in their heels. We will have our detractors until the end of time. All I can do is offer up my honest opinion of this business and this art that I love.
Mainly, though, I resolve that 2004 is the year I get back to what made this fun in the first place. This year, I want to get back into the conversation with all of you. I want to get back to talking about the movies.
To that end, let’s start wrapping up 2003...
I have heard that this is one of the worst film years in recent memory. Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I missed giant chunks of it. In particular, October through December were a total wash. I saw about 1/20th of what I wanted to during that time. As a result, the lists I’m offering up today don’t pretend to be comprehensive. They never are anyway. Anyone who tells you that they know what the ten best movies of a particular year were is an idiot. I can tell you what ten movies I enjoyed the most, but that’s all a list like this is ever going to be. If nothing else, maybe I’ll turn you on to a few titles you haven’t already seen, or I’ll remind you of something you enjoyed and spur you to see it again. At any rate, these are the films that I enjoyed that almost but not quite made it onto my 10 FAVORITE list, which I’ll be publishing in next week’s RUMBLINGS.
I dig each and every one of these films. The fact that they didn’t make my main list makes me think it’s been a good year at the movies, although maybe not an epic year at the movies. Who knows? Maybe if I’d seen all of the big end of the year Oscar movies, I would have flipped out for something else. But I’m happy with this list. Keep in mind... these are films that I saw this year, whether they were at festivals or in limited engagements in LA. Some of them may not technically be 2003 titles, but I don’t really give a shit. They made my year better in every case, and that’s worth rewarding in some way.
2003 was the year Hollywood finally figured out what the fuck to do with Will Ferrell. Congratulations. Now let’s get out of his way and let him do whatever he wants for a while. He’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that when he gives his all to a film, no one could ever give more. OLD SCHOOL has some great moments in it, but Buddy The Elf is the more indelible of his creations this year. It’s very, very difficult to play childlike innocence and not make it come off as an act. Will simply throws some sort of switch and becomes this incredibly sweet, pure character in this film. There’s something magical and slightly insane going on beyond those eyes of his. Jon Favreau has just the right touch for this particular story, and his decision to make the North Pole look like a Rankin-Bass special pays off in some of the year’s silliest images that somehow also manage to be hip. Will’s got a great supporting cast to play off of in this film, and if the third act is a let-down, it’s not the kind that ruins the film. Instead, it just reminds you that this is indeed a Hollywood movie. The further Will is allowed to bend formula in his films in favor of just plain making us laugh, the better the films will be. He’s got one of the strangest brains in film comedy today, and he should be encouraged to push himself even further in the years ahead.
9. WHALE RIDER
This movie soars almost exclusively on the charms of Keisha Castle-Hughes as Paikea, a young Maori girl who wants to step up and lead her people despite the fact that no girl has ever done that. Her family was left broken by the refusal of her father (Cliff Curtis, turning in some of his best work ever) to fulfill his role in the family and in the community. Her grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene) sets out to find a suitable replacement from among the young boys of the village, but Paikea is sure that she’s supposed to step up and bring honor back to her family and unity to her people. She’s fascinated by the old ways, determined to honor them even as she challenges them. I would compare this gentle, lyrical fable to John Sayles’s THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, another film that managed to mix the magical and the everyday in a way that casts a powerful spell. The end of this film is one of the year’s purest images, poetic and emotional, a fitting conclusion to a film that should put director Niki Caro on the map.
Big time big budget superhero fun. This is the model for what I want from my superhero films, folks. Right here. You wanna see what it looks like done just right? Yes, it’s a shameless rip-off of STAR TREK 2, right down to the closing shots that are startlingly similar, but who cares? There’s so much energy here, so much sincerity, and the cast really digs into what they’ve got to do and makes it all seem terrifically important. Hugh Jackman earns about 50 “Get Out Of Movie Jail Free” cards with his work here. He’s Wolverine, and I have trouble envisioning the character without seeing his take on it. I’d love to see VAN HELSING work for his sake, but even if it doesn’t, we’ll always have X-MEN. The introduction of Nightcrawler bodes well for how they can add future cast members even as they rotate others out. This is a franchise that’s built to last, and I hope the rumors of Singer gearing up to do X3 and X4 back-to-back in order to do the Phoenix saga right turn out to be more than just rumors. Check out my original review.
If 2003 was the year where the mainstream audience finally figured out that documentary features really are just as entertaining and engrossing and involving as narrative fiction, then this was one of the strangest cross-over hits imaginable. This is a brutal, punishing film that offers no easy answers and no immediately sympathetic characters. Now, as Jesse Friedman goes back to court thanks to new issues raised by the filmmaker, Andrew Jarecki, a DVD is on the way that features even more material, allowing us to dig deeper into this horrific, mesmerizing story. There’s something important about this story that is so indicative of a larger attitude at the time, a record as potent and dramatic as Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE. I’m as unnerved by the rants of David Friedman, the angriest clown I’ve ever seen, as I am by the total absence of Seth, the middle son. Because of David’s obsessive use of a camera as a kid, there’s miles of footage of the Friedman footage imploding in slow motion. It’s wrenching, raw, revelatory in ways that David may not have realized when he handed the footage over to Jarecki and allowed him to use it. This, like Oliver Stone’s brilliant JFK, is not a film about any one truth, but rather the elusive nature of the truth, especially once media is involved.
6. BAD GUY
Each year I’ve gone to Montreal for the FantAsia film festival, several of the films I’ve seen there have ended up on my final list. That’s a testament to the strength of their programming, and to the overall strength of Asian cinema right now. This year was no exception, and I don’t care that BAD GUY (known as NABBEUN NAMJA in Korea, where it opened in 2001) is not a “new” film. This was my first exposure to it, the first chance for people to see the film theatrically in North America, so it qualifies for my list. Ki-Duk Kim is represented this year at Sundance with his latest film, SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER... AND SPRING, and it was at Sundance that I first saw THE ISLE, an earlier film of his. He’s a very, very different filmmaker than Harry’s current choice for Most Interesting Korean Director, Chan-Wook Park. Kim’s far more animal and natural in his fable-making, with an almost ethereal touch. His mix of the brutal and the beautiful puts me in mind of the way Lars Von Trier finds such beauty in the destruction of his female characters. BAD GUY could be seen as a film about the degradation of a pure iconic symbol of girlhood, but that’s just a surface reading of it. There’s so much more at work here, a naked cry for respect at any cost, an overtly political call for help from anyone willing to reach out. The lead performance by Jae-hyeon Jo is as unrelenting and risky as De Niro’s work in RAGING BULL, and for the most part, it’s silent. Impressive on every level, this film’s most haunting aspect is its cinematography, a major accomplishment by Cheol-hyeon Hwang. There are searing images here, magnificence amongst the mundane, that rival even the collaboration of Christopher Doyle and Wong Kar-Wei. One of the most popular, recurrent symbols of fear in Korean cinema is imprisonment, restriction, the inability to move or to leave a room or a situation. This film ultimately becomes a testament to the healing power of freedom on the other side of captivity, the courage of releasing that which we treasure, and the value of compassion in the most impossible moments.
This is the even darker underbelly of something like CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, and in some ways, it’s a total corruption of the documentary film as a form. Steve James was the director of HOOP DREAMS, one of the great films of the ‘90s. In that film, he managed to show us not just a slice of life, but the actual evolution of a group of lives, the seismic changes in these amazing families that we came to care about over the course of the three hour epic. Here, James revisits his own past to reconnect with a troubled young man, also named Steve. Stevie Fielding turns out to be more than James expects, though, and there’s a gravitational pull that James seems unable to escape. Stevie doesn’t just have bad luck... he is bad luck. The film asks hard questions about how much of that is Stevie’s fault and how much is the way he was raised, and it’s obvious that James wrestles with his fair share of guilt, too. He was once a volunteer Big Brother to this kid, and now he feels somehow responsible. At the start of the film, James barely seems to know why he’s shooting Stevie, or what he hopes to gain from the footage. Gradually, the story takes shape, and it’s not the human, uplifting story of redemption that HOOP DREAMS was. Instead, it starts to become a sort of horror film, a waking nightmare of a life that Stevie seems unable to control, like a Harmony Korine freakshow or a David Lynch fever dream. I’ve lived in Texas and Tennessee and Florida in my life, and I’ve known plenty of Stevies. They are set adrift when they’re still young, and no amount of special attention seems to be able to correct the course of these lost souls. In the end, the film is immeasurably compromised by how involved James becomes in the story. He doesn’t get a film so much as a record of failure. It’s a harrowing ride for an audience, and a long film. Still, it’s engrossing for every minute it’s on.
God bless Samantha Morton. She’s one of those screen treasures, a pair of amazing eyes, deep and provocative, full of life and secrets, set in the midst of a tiny heart-shaped fist of a face. She’s a gift for any director lucky enough to work with her, and when a filmmaker understands just how wonderful she is and takes full advantage of the opportunity, sparks fly. Case in point, Lynne Ramsay’s brave and disturbing portrait of a woman in flux, possibly grieving for a lover who has just killed himself, possibly running from the scene of a murder. Ramsay doesn’t give you any answers up front, and then she keeps it up for the rest of the movie, offering up an almost pure character study, refusing to contextualize or indulge in the type of exposition that so frequently bogs films down. We drift with Morvern Callar, through whatever happens, taking it all in like she does. Ramsay’s got a real gift for evoking a place and making it feel authentic, captured rather than staged. The fact that this feels so loose, so improvised, and it’s based on a novel, is a testament to the script by Ramsay and Liana Dognini and the cinematography of Alwin H. Kuchler. It’s a delicate film, and if you pull too hard at the fabric of the thing, I suspect it might fall apart. But that fragile quality is what makes it so memorable, so deserving of a spot on this list.
Yeah. I know. David Gordon Green has a major fetish for the films of Terrence Malick. So do I. And since Malick doesn’t make his movies anymore, somebody should. Green’s doing a nice job of claiming a particular style as his own, and for the most part, ALL THE REAL GIRLS is affecting and sweet and painful in all the right ways. Paul Schneider and Zooey Deschanel are both wonderful and charismatic and goofy and wounded, and Green directs them through this beautiful, hesitant dance, where they’re both trying to figure out exactly how love works and how to deal with these feelings and how to deal with each other’s pasts. It’s just right. Some of Green’s subplots don’t go anywhere this time out, and this is not the equal of Green’s magnificent GEORGE WASHINGTON, but when this movie’s working, there was very little that cast a more effective spell. For anyone who can still remember the absurd and overdramatic pain of first real love, this movie should be a nostalgic kick in the gut. Read my original review here.
2. MASTER & COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
Awesome. Peter Weir comes through in a big way with this slice-of-life look at what it would have been like to live on a ship like this at a time like this. The details are what matters in a film like this, and Weir reveals his artist’s heart with his choices, his refusal to pump up the story or the broad characterization in favor of muted accuracy and dramatic calm. There’s an authenticity to everything that only a truly gifted filmmaker is going to be able to create. It helps that he’s working with Russell Boyd as his cinematographer. Boyd’s an old pro who worked with Weir as far back as PICNIC ON HANGING ROCK in 1975. This is on my shortlist of favorite studio films from Weir, along with FEARLESS and THE MOSQUITO COAST. Russell Crowe gives the kind of performance that reminds me why I li
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Jan. 19, 2004, 2:13 a.m. CST
Jan. 19, 2004, 2:30 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
I'm not player hating on you big guy, but 'van dykes' (accompanied with three day growth) and plaid shirts are just not done these days. Shave, get a nice haircut a pimp new suit and try not to look like EVERY SINGLE aspiring screenwriter in the world. I'm tough because I care. Oh... and welcome back. Love the DVD column.
Jan. 19, 2004, 2:33 a.m. CST
I could see how he wouldn't look right in Episode 7. www.zeedarteretz.com
Jan. 19, 2004, 3:17 a.m. CST
Out of all the writers on this site you make the most sense. Especially when I see you pushing Northfork which I couldn't believe more people on this site didn't back in their year end lists. It seems even when I disagree with you though I still mantain a certain respect. Except for Daredevil, sorry but I just gotta call shannanigans on that one. Anyway you have to write more, this site is definitely starting to lose it's grass roots feel. And what happened to all the juicy rumors? Those were the backbone of the site for a time and we seem to be getting ALOT less of them these days. You also have the only reviews worth reading (The Butterfly Effect was just touted as a masterwork from Quint for God sakes!) Us readers could use a little help over here.
Jan. 19, 2004, 3:33 a.m. CST
by Darth Thoth
For your (Harry and Co.'s included) honesty and passion that keeps me coming back to this site. You're a real cat and I respect that a lot. I come to AICN because the LOVE you guys have for film and everything related, is evident and permeates from your reviews, comments, and just plain geek-talk. Much props and keep up the good work.
Jan. 19, 2004, 3:36 a.m. CST
by Darth Thoth
Mark Hamill is the MAN! Period. I can't wait to see his DVD.
Jan. 19, 2004, 5:09 a.m. CST
If they ever make a Spider-Man movie with Venom as the main villain, someone like the Jackal would be good for the first act as the warm-up before Eddie Brock meets up with the symbiote. And just listen to Hamill in the Batman series and say that with some alteration that wouldn't be perfect for a slimy bastard like the Jackal?
Jan. 19, 2004, 6:01 a.m. CST
Back to Back x-men movies why haven't I heard about this already if Mori's just tossing it out there like it's old news. Oh Mori now you've set yourself realistic goals I hope you stick to them. AICN wouldn't of been half as enjoyable without your input down the years.
Jan. 19, 2004, 6:03 a.m. CST
by Gere's AssGerbil
Or maybe that only happens to Scientologists.
Jan. 19, 2004, 7:55 a.m. CST
Why do so many nerds wear reading glasses that are shaded? Did something special happen in 1983 that you are paying homage to? Clear lenses, dorks... it allows you to PRETEND to be not so nerdy. Works for me anyway.
Jan. 19, 2004, 8:23 a.m. CST
I was lucky enough to meet Mark last November after seeing him in the play SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS. Much like Mori, I grew up with the Original trilogy as a part of my life and it was a complete thrill to finally meet him, even though I was mildly surprised to see that he's only as tall as me. (And I don't consider myself tall...) He was a really cool guy who seemed comfortable taking a moment to talk to each person as he signed autographs.
Jan. 19, 2004, 8:31 a.m. CST
by Max Rockatansky
That picture of you and Mark Hamill: Ugh! Get a toothbrush, man
Jan. 19, 2004, 8:44 a.m. CST
Ah, how quiet it can be without the incessant bitching of the angry fanboys. How much clearer could they be about what they want out of this site? Keep the "Van Helsing" + "Catwoman" TBs coming- they're the perfect playpen for those fanboys that just can't stop bitching. In the meantime, it's great to hear you're coming back as a regular, Mori. I've missed your reviews. Okay, I'm getting gushy now... sorry. Out.
Jan. 19, 2004, 9:07 a.m. CST
What's more, I BOUGHT the DVD to Reloaded and haven't bothered to watch it yet. Hear that Wachowskis? sk
Jan. 19, 2004, 10:34 a.m. CST
Gee, u look funny, man!!! A couple of friends o
Jan. 19, 2004, 10:43 a.m. CST
by The Tao of Joe
We have had a plethora of excellent films come out this year. So many that some of the films we would put in our top five or ten for last year, wouldn't even make the list this year. This was a GREAT year for films. We had In America, Big Fish, X2, The Matrix Sequels (some hate them, but must accept some skill was involved in their making), Pirates, Open Range, City of God (one of the greatest fucking films ever made), Dirty Pretty Things, May, Lost in Translation, School of Rock, American Splendor, Bad Santa, Stevie, Capturing the Friedmans, Spellbound, Whale Rider, Bend it Like Beckham, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Return of the King... I still havent seen Cold Mountain, Peter Pan, The Station Agent, Thirteen, The Magdeline Sisters, Monster, and the list goes on. This was a great year for films. As good as 1999 I would dare say. It was definitely better than the last two years. ToJ out.
Jan. 19, 2004, 3:14 p.m. CST
What? Someone at AICN actually types in coherent sentences? No super exaggerated ellipses or pointless ramblings? I enjoyed your column man, and look forward to reading more from you.
Jan. 19, 2004, 4:57 p.m. CST
The Joker will never be as good without your voice and laugh. Seriously, someone cast him as the Joker in the Batman movie.
Jan. 19, 2004, 5:44 p.m. CST
Good to have you back. I kinda figured you were a little bit over optimistic with the timetable for the dvd column, unless you'd found a way to cram 30 ours in a day and didn't sleep. I'm looking forward to seeing some more rumblings from the lab, and some more dvd stuff. (Incidentally, this in no way means that Harry didn't do a great job with his dvd picks. Among the esoteria there, I first heard that they were releasing Lost in Space's first season. Stupid UK release date is still five weeks away, but thanks for the heads up, big guy - it's on pre-order). Anyhoo- back to the point, welcome home.
Jan. 19, 2004, 6:46 p.m. CST
mmm...elf was for 10 year olds only. it looked like they cut all the funny stuff that ferrell did apart from a couple of scenes and the song at the end made me cringe...so much so that we had to leave the cinema. it was embarrassing. I also had to leave the cinema during master and commander. pity i really wanted to see the big battle scene at the end, but to sit thru all the crap was unbearable. it was like your national broadcaster's made by the BBC docu drama of the week. theres a big storm, then no wind, then a fight between the higher ranks, then a man overboard, then the ship be a phantom ship! arrrh! what a load of crap. and shakes the clown deserves to be with ET the video game buried in the middle of the desert somewhere. horrid. do not buy this on dvd on recommendation. what it first if you have any wonderings about this horrid piece of film making. er, that's it. i have just woken up. but man i'm looking forward to comic book the movie. i love me mockumentary stuff dearly. my fave genre.
Jan. 19, 2004, 6:49 p.m. CST
er, "watch it first"
Jan. 19, 2004, 7 p.m. CST
by Mr. High
....PLEASE STOP SHOWING PICTURES OF MARK HAMILL!!!!!!! It's like watching my grandfather wither away from cancer while stubbornly insisting he can still handle non-filtered Camels. Every time I see him, I expect a Quicktime feature of his face sliding off his skull. It's bad enough that Carrie Fisher, THE FIRST WOMAN TO INSPIRE ME TO PLAY WITH THAT STRANGE THING BETWEEN MY LEGS, has to consume 85 boxes of honey buns every day or she'll die. Harrison Ford looks like he has AIDS. Pater Mayhew....well, he's just a dick and a half. That fucker should just be killed. It's not like you'd even know who he was if he didn't wear a name tag that said, "HI, I'M THE GUY WHO PLAYED CHEWBACCA!" He's a rude, intolerant fucko who doesn't deserve a single fucking fan. Cocksucker. David Prowse....man, let me tell you, he should've played Darth Vader with his mask off. That guy is just friggin' scary. My point is this: STAR WARS is PRECIOUS to me. It's a once great franchise that unfortunately my childhood is forever linked with, like my father, my first kiss, my G.I. Joe collection, "Porky's", "The A-Team" and my father's collection of "Swedish Erotica" porno mags. (You know I didn't see a pussy without an afro until I was twenty???? Women loved to hide their shit back then didn't they?) Well, My father was just stricken blind from diabetes and that's just wierd for me, because my dad was always the premium bad ass in my life and now he calls me to come over and kick the crap out of his new wife's drunken ex-husband, (GOD I STOMPED HIS ASS! I'll be lucky if I don't see jail time out of that one. One of his nuts POPPED when I hit it with the hammer!!!! God that was a great day! I love causing embarrassing, permanent damage to people! But, I digress...) He's this shiveled, helpless TINY guy now and everything I always thought about him is right out the fucking window when I watch that new woman he's married to spoon feed him. I ran into the first girl I ever kissed the other day AND SHE'S GOT NO FUCKING TEETH!!!!!!!!! It was horrible, it was like waking up and realized that your sweet, beautiful bride has turned into a Plumpers centerfold. I tossed some cookies in the general direction of that one. "G.I. Joe" is just too goddamn expensive, not to mention seriously stupid in retrospect, I mean a terrorist organization with a standing army INSIDE THE U.S.???? Bush would love that shit. "Porky's", Ah Porky, my beloved fat peddler of ugly female flesh. "American Pie" is nothing compared to you, you're the only thing that's never let me down. "The A-Team"???? Tried to watch it, then realized that Face was in love with Hannibal and the reason that B.A. is so annoyed with Murdock isn't because he's a pilot, it's because he's B.A.'s prison bitch and just won't stop reminding him of the ten years he partook of the manlovin'. "Swedish Erotica"??? GodDAMN! It's safe to say that the 70's, while getting the whole porn ball rolling, were the WORST spot in porno history. Nothing but hairy apes having their way horse faced dopers with droopy tits and too much pubic hair. Ewwww. Actually, what I was trying to say is, that my illusions are shattered to fuck and I'm mad about it. I don't think I'm one of those people that was geared toward growing up. I come home every day and can't understand why my mom hasn't cleaned up my apartment. Boston Market kind of copies my mother's bland approach to everything, but it's not the same. I have to pay bills and that sucks. My girlfriend is shit at taking care of me when I'm sick. My job doesn't have field trips. Everyone expects me to be 'responsible' like I know what that word means. Santa doesn't bring me SHIT anymore AND I WAS FUCKING GOOD LAST YEAR GODDAMMIT!!!!!!! I never once, drove through puddles to intentally splash children with icy water, I never once asked my girlfriend for anal sex (she uh, she asked for it, not me), I never once snuck into a flick without paying, I never once got so drunk I couldn't remember if the chick I fucked the might before was a man or not, I never once used any racial slurs, I never once punched the guy at the comic shop for recommending something shitty, I never once pissed through the cracked window of a car that parked too close to me, I never once stomped a little, scumbarking rat dog to shit, WHERE'S MY FUCKING SWAG, SANTA YOU FUCK???? I'm just not ready to grow up, I'm never going to be ready, at all, never. So when I read this site, I expect to see some news about flicks that will postpone my trip to CROTCHETYVILLE AS LONG AS FUCKING POSSIBLE!!! Not, see the actors from my favorite flicks, decomposing. It's just fucked up. I'd like to introduce legislation that would force all people who are aging unattractively to be locked in cryostorage until a cure can be found to make them pretty again. THINK OF IT! George could freeze himself until they find a cure for insanity and there could be new STAR WARS FLICKS, WHEN I'M EIGHTY!!!!! WOO HOO!!!! Halley's Comet, Cyborg-LoveBots, Space Travel, Genetic cures for everything and NEW STAR WARS FLICKS!!!! The futures looking up! But, what was I saying? Oh yeah, Chicks should definitely shave their shit. There's nothing worse getting hair in your food. No, that wasn't it. I was talking about illusions. STOP RUINING MINE!!! Other than that, great job, keep it up and in case you haven't heard, The Atkin's Diet really does work. My uncle went on it and aside from looking like Gollum, he's in great shape!!! Check it out! Tell Harry!
Jan. 19, 2004, 8:08 p.m. CST
Weeny is putting this excuse for a children's movie on his list?? we had tons of great movies this year,incredibly funny jones , others totally heartbreaking...and moriarty comes up with ELF????? sweet lord.
Jan. 19, 2004, 10:54 p.m. CST
I'm sure Moriarty agrees with me...
Jan. 19, 2004, 11:32 p.m. CST
Jan. 20, 2004, 12:37 a.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
Jan. 20, 2004, 1:33 a.m. CST
by Don Lockwood
So, let me get this straight. You were jazzed to meet Mark Hamill, the hero of your childhood, the coolest of your cool, one of the guys you were just dying to meet, someone you sat through watching an unfinished C-grade straight-to-video movie just to have lunch with.... ...but you couldn't at the very least SHAVE?!? Oy.
Jan. 20, 2004, 1:39 a.m. CST
Not what I expected at all. What with all your ramblings about "tough workouts at the gym" and going on about your girl... I half had hope that you were the anti-geek movie stud I had in my mind, but alas...another geekdom stereotype is reinforced. I'm a personal trainer and nutritionist, e-me and I'll hook you up. Think of it as "Queer eye for the Geek guy" hmmm...why didn't I think of that sooner....
Jan. 20, 2004, 1:41 a.m. CST
I can't believe that X2 is only making it on everyones "Almost" Best List. Honestly guys...X2 was fucking brilliant! How many times this year did you leave the theatre with your expectations not only met, but exceeded. C'mon I saw it 4 times in the theatre...
Jan. 20, 2004, 4:02 a.m. CST
by jules windex
I seem to be the only person who thought Whale Rider was just ok, nothing special.
Jan. 20, 2004, 4:08 a.m. CST
by Darth Thoth
X2 was brilliant, confident, and the best comic book movie ever. It was funny, had efficient yet deep character development, great undertones speaking to real life issues, and it moved at a breathtaking pace. Excellent.
Jan. 20, 2004, 7:13 a.m. CST
Jan. 20, 2004, 8:20 a.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
Insert, "Ah, so you're the one" Kafka joke here.
Jan. 20, 2004, 10:12 a.m. CST
hey guess what asshole, actors get old, now why don't you do the same and grow the fuck up. finally get to see what moriarty looks like. Lucas should have foccussed on sequels, not prequels.
Jan. 20, 2004, 1:21 p.m. CST
Welcome back...And thanks for throwing me for a loop with your choices of film favs this year. Elf? Oh dear, I may have to work on forgiving you for that one. But I rejoiced when I read your point perfect comments on my favorite film of the year, Master and Commander, was angry at the way it was promoted, ie, an action film. It was nothing of the kind, as you noted. It was a brilliant recreation of a world long gone, with wonderful performances from Crowe and Bettany, believable slices of a life never to be seen again...all beautiful, engaging and intelligent. It's not a film for kiddies with short attention spans. I thought it had one of the most wonderful, unpredicatable endings I've seen in ages [Crowe telling us all we need to know with a quiver of his lower eye lid], and how I hope there will another. Weir is a genius. Crowe is magnificent, Bettany has moved up high on my "to watch" list. But you goofed on one thing... women loved the film too.
Jan. 20, 2004, 1:36 p.m. CST
I thought you looked like the cartoon picture, dog. But you just look like a regular person.
Jan. 20, 2004, 1:43 p.m. CST
200 Millions opening week-end, easy.
Jan. 20, 2004, 3:22 p.m. CST
Nerdiest sentences EVER
Jan. 20, 2004, 6:53 p.m. CST
by Sith Witch
When you hid behind an alias all was well for using your invite without question...
Jan. 20, 2004, 8:10 p.m. CST
A few moments made me smile ("did you just fart?"), but it was so incredibly cliched (just like the director's other film, GEORGE WASHINGTON)
Jan. 20, 2004, 8:39 p.m. CST
is drews last name REALLY McWeeny? No, really? REALLY??!? well it should be drew Mc WEINER hahahahahahah GET IT?!?!?!? I AM THE GREATEST COMEDIAN WHO EVER LIVED
Jan. 20, 2004, 8:42 p.m. CST
by Bill Maher
I know that ignorant jack-offs call Hamill's acting in Star Wars "bad". Fuck 'em! They're ignorant jackoffs! I defy anyone to name another actor of Hamill's vintage who could have done it better. I'll give you a hint: There aren't any!
Jan. 20, 2004, 8:51 p.m. CST
by Bill Maher
Do you nerds have any idea how much money I spent playing video games in the lobby of the local theatre? Hollywood Homicide and Cold Mountain are the only movies I watched all the way through and that was only because I ran out of quarters.
Jan. 20, 2004, 9:11 p.m. CST
Brilliant work my man. I look forward to seeing more from you.
Jan. 21, 2004, 10:05 a.m. CST
by Bruce LeeRoy
because nerds are smart.
Jan. 21, 2004, 11:25 a.m. CST
DAMN IT MORI - YOU SPENT ALL THAT TIME WITH MARK HAMILL AND YOU DID NOT BOTHER TO ASK WHEN HE IS GOING TO MAKE THE FUCKING SEQUEL TO "CORVETTE SUMMER"???????? ARRRGGGHHHH! DAMN IT! WHO DO I HAVE TO FUCKING WAYLAY INTO TO FIND OUT WHEN MARK AND ANNIE POTTS ARE GOING TO REUNITE ON CELLULOID??? And thus, I'm very pissed! - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!
Jan. 21, 2004, 10:45 p.m. CST
McW is pretty scary looking. Not as bad as Harry, but bad enough. He definitely needs to clean up his act. I agree on Hamill. He should never be seen in front of a camera again. He has aged badly, frighteningly so in fact. As has Harrison Ford. Hell, Ford could play the Mummy in the next Mummy flick. I saw Princess Leia on some live talk show this morning, and she looked absolutely frightful. These three should get together and play the witches in MACBETH. No makeup needed.
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