Moriarty Rumbles! SHAUN OF THE DEAD! KILL BILL VOL. 2! Open Letter To The Coens! New Recurring Feature Begins Today!!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to catch up after my recent vacation. In an average 52-week year, I tend to work about 50 of those weeks. Taking a vacation is a luxury I rarely afford myself. These days, my wife is the one who insists when it’s time for time off. When I do take one, I notice it takes me two weeks to recover once I’m back. I’m a man who prefers his routine, because at least things get done. I’ve seen a bunch of films since the last time I wrote, so let’s get right down to it, shall we?
WHAT WOULD ROMERO DO?
It’s a good time to be a zombie fan right now. No question about it. In fact, I can’t think of a time when the genre was getting more high-profile love at the multiplex. Last year’s 28 DAYS LATER was more of a virus movie than a full-fledged zombie movie, but there’s no denying the enormous debt Garland and Boyle owed to George Romero. This year, Zack Snyder’s DAWN OF THE DEAD remake is a surprisingly okay movie. I didn’t love it, but I thought it worked well in certain stretches. There are some great moments, and I’ll give credit to both Snyder and James Gunn for the way they’ve tried to make their own movie while staying true to the general outline of the original Romero film. It was a hell of a lot more successful than last year’s miserable TEXAS CHAINSAW remake, and I’ll bet it ends up being lots better than the cheapie DAY OF THE DEAD remake that Richard Rubenstein is rushing into production at the moment.
But if you’re a real fan of the genre, the big news of the moment is that SHAUN OF THE DEAD is coming, and it deserves all the hype it’s already gotten in the UK press and online.
I first heard about this film from Edgar Wright around the same time that he set up his deal to make it at Working Title films. He sent me a poster mock-up that his brother had done in the style of an Italian poster. My manager had gotten me hooked on SPACED about six months before that, pushing a stack of tapes on me and insisting that I watch them, and word had evidently gotten back to Edgar that I loved his show. Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson struck me as original comic voices, performers who didn’t just write material to show themselves off, but who also were smart and generous enough to write great roles for their entire supporting cast. One of the things that made SPACED such a treat was the way the show effortlessly referenced doznes of geek-favorite films and TV shows and games, both with narrative references as well as sly visual gags. Pegg’s character, Tim, was a proto-geek, vaguely employed and Playstation addicted, and it was nearly impossible not to identify with him while watching.
Thanks to BBC America and DVD, everybody’s seen THE OFFICE by now, but music clearance issues have kept SPACED out of circulation on this side of the Atlantic. That’s why Edgar went to great lengths to show AICN staffers the film two weeks ago in Austin. We’ve been looking forward to this for a while. We ran an open casting call for zombie extras for the movie that pretty much melted a mail server. We were one of the few American outlets to have actually seen SPACED, so we had some rooting interest in seeing how the film turned out.
Short answer: a classic. Go ahead and clear some shelf space for the inevitable and covet-worthy DVD release of the movie. You will love the movie. You will end up watching and rewatching the movie. And if you don’t, chances are you and I have never agreed on anything. This is one of those comedies so great and self-assured that I can’t imagine any audience dour enough to resist it. Edgar Wright is officially too cool to hang out with me. He’s got one of the most original comic voices as a director since the debut of Wes Anderson with BOTTLE ROCKET.
Right away, as soon as we meet Shaun, Pegg’s character in the film, it’s obvious that he’s not just playing Tim again. He’s not as bright. He’s not as cynical. When confronted by his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) and her friends David (Dylan Moran) and Dianne (Lucy Davis), there’s not much Shaun can say to defend himself or his behavior. It’s not even that Shaun’s a bad guy. He’s not. He’s just inert, stuck in a rut. And he’s insanely, incredibly loyal to his best friend, the source of all his troubles, Ed.
Oh... how do we even start to discuss Ed, played with a sort of shambling magnificence by Nick Frost? Ed is one of those characters that doesn’t just steal a movie; they provide the movie with a reason to be. Ed deserves to be embraced as a comedy icon on par with Belushi’s Bluto or Turturro’s Jesus. He’s the best friend who Shaun keep around for sheer entertainment value, and it’s Ed’s pot selling, his never paying rent, his belligerent sense of humor that keeps causing Shaun all the friction in his life. He’s Shaun’s anchor, in both good and bad ways. One the one hand, no one speaks in shorthand with Shaun the same way. They’ve got this great natural secret language that is the source of much of the film’s best humor. There’s real poignancy to the way Pegg and Frost play off each other by film’s end. Pete (Peter Serafinowicz), who shares the flat with Shaun, may be fed up with Ed, and so is Liz, but Shaun still can’t cut him loose. Pete’s at the end of his rope, tired of paying for everything, and there’s a great early showdown between Pete and Shaun that really sums Ed up.
Shaun’s so busy dealing with the whole Ed situation that he hardly has any focus left over to spend on his mum, Barbara (Penelope Wilton), much to the consternation of Shaun’s stepdad, Philip (LOVE ACTUALLY’s Bill Nighy). Is it any wonder he barely has the energy left over to do an entirely mediocre job managing an electronics store? Based on all of this, you can understand how Shaun just doesn’t notice when the world ends.
Well, let’s be fair. It is with a whimper instead of a bang, and it’s just that he doesn’t notice at first. When the living dead actually start showing up in the garden, Shaun and Ed start to get the idea that something might be wrong. And the more the world falls apart about them, the more they step up, snapping out of their lethargy. The way they rise to the occasion is the reason they are soon going to find themselves as beloved as Ash by fandom. They are remarkable reluctant comic heroes as well realized as BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s Jack Burton or even the various Ghostbusters. By the time Pegg’s gone full-blown DEER HUNTER late in the movie, fans will already be planning their Halloween costumes for this year.
The rest of the cast all manages to shine to varying degrees. Lucy Davis is very different here than she is as Dawn on THE OFFICE, and I must say... I’m smitten. Yes, Shaun’s in love with Liz, and Kate Ashfield (who I remember as one of the things I liked in Norrington’s THE LAST MINUTE) does a nice job here overall. She just isn’t as adorable as Davis, and there’s this great sort of just-below-the-surface something going on between her and Shaun that actually had me hoping that he was going to switch girlfriends by the end of the film, leaving Liz to the long-pining David. Penelope Wilton is very good as Shaun’s mother, and even though Bill Nighy has a small role, he makes the most of it, with a final punchline that’s even funnier in hindsight. Dylan Moran (known for his fine work in English bookstores in productions like BLACK BOOKS and NOTTING HILL) isn’t my favorite performer in the film, but his big moments really pay off, and it’s more an issue of me not liking David than it is any fault of the actor. Even if you don’t know Peter Serafinowicz by sight, close your eyes, and there’s no missing the voice of Darth Maul. This big, younger thug version of Stephen Fry makes me laugh a lot, and has some stand-out moments.
I’m not going to describe any of the rest of the film. I don’t want to give away any of the jokes. Like all of the best film comedy, that sense of discovery is part of the joy of the film. As these great scenes play out and the low-key charm of the dialogue works on the audience, there’s that great exhilarating charge that comes when a movie’s really hitting on all cylinders. You know the feeling... you start laughing as soon as the film begins, and it just keeps building and getting better and better, and by the end, you’re sorry it’s over. You want to see it again. In fact, you’re already thinking about who you want to show it to first. And it also knows the rule of great horror-comedy, which is that the horror has to actually be scary in order for the film to work. The reason AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON felt like a lightning bolt strike to the forehead when it was released was because no one had ever managed to mix the naturalistic dialogue, the dark humor, and the flat-out spattergore horror before, not like that. Films like DEAD ALIVE and EVIL DEAD 2 are undeniable classics of the genre because of how well they walk that line. Personally, I was bored silly by last year’s much-touted UNDEAD. I admire the Spierig Brothers for making something that looked so nice on such a low budget, but I flat-out hated their lead actors, and I spent most of the movie waiting for something either funny or scary to happen. Instead, it’s repetitive and flat. This is not that kind of film. There’s no comparing the two. The difference is that Wright’s made a real movie, with a pulse, and not just an intentional cult item that drowns in its own style.
There are any number of reasons why I adore this film. First, there’s just plain surprise. SPACED is, as I’ve said before, a very good show, and part of its appeal is the very cinematic style of Edgar Wright. Even so, I wasn’t expecting a film this confident from him the first time out. Pegg and Wright co-wrote this script, and they’ve done something incredibly difficult, making it look very easy in the process. Wright’s visual style has been unleashed by moving from the small to the big screen, and his use of the full 2.35:1 widescreen frame rivals John Carpenter, as high a compliment as I can pay. Credit David M. Dunlap with the film’s exceptionally slick and accomplished look. He shot a sweet little Lili Taylor film that I saw at Sundance ’01 called JULIE JOHNSON, but he’s got a long career as a second-unit D.P. and as a camera op. He’s worked on big-budget fare like this summer’s THE STEPFORD WIVES remake and CHANGING LANES, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, HANNIBAL, FORREST GUMP, MEN IN BLACK, AIR FORCE ONE, Coppola’s DRACULA, and on and on. You really look back, though, and you’ll see some cool credits that really qualify him for this job. He was a camera operator on RAISING ARIZONA, one of the most fluid and kinetic film comedies ever shot, and on AFTER HOURS, which has that same sort of sleep, propulsive feel. Even further back, you’ll see that he got his start on films like ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE and CHUD, so the class and assurance of his work here brings him triumphantly full-circle. Wright is also an expert editor, and his work with Chris Dickens is surgically precise. He uses smash cuts to hilarious effect, and when he cuts to music, it’s as infectious as the best moments of John Landis or Alan Parker.
Which reminds me... the soundtrack is available now in the UK, and it’s fantastic. Still, don’t even bother to pick it up and read the track listing if you haven’t seen the film yet. You don’t want to know what songs are in the film ahead of time. There are two Queen songs that are perfectly chosen and placed, a rap classic that made me grin from ear-to-ear, a hysterically perfect Smiths tune, a perfectly eerie Specials track, and some beautifully-used catalog tracks and samples sure to make any Romero fan squeal in glee. The CD itself features tons of dialogue from the movie, so you don’t want to hear it until you’ve seen it. Once you have, I dare you to stop listening to it. It’s taken up permanent residence in my car’s CD player now, supplanting even the KILL BILL VOL. 2 soundtrack.
Focus Features has the distribution rights in the U.S., and so far, they haven’t put out an American trailer, and they certainly haven’t chosen an American release date. Here’s hoping the film’s strong commercial success so far in England helps motivate them, and that they get in gear and start working to get this thing in theaters as soon as possible. They certainly don’t need to worry about the “Englishness” of the film. Anyone who speaks geek will fall head over heels in love with it, and I think it has a real shot at being a mainstream hit as well, thanks in large part to the films that have been laying the groundwork over the last year or so. Audiences will understand a lot of the little touches they might otherwise not get, even people who aren’t lifelong fans of Romero’s classic original trilogy. If you are a lifelong fan, then there are a million little easter egg style jokes peppered throughout the film, and I’m sure repeat viewings of the film will turn up even more of them.
This is a film that was obviously made by people who are deeply, drunkenly in love with this genre, and that affection is impossible to resist. I hoped this would be good when I flew to Austin to see it, staying less than 24 hours. I went specifically so I could meet Edgar face-to-face, eat some flesh with him at the Salt Lick Barbecue, and see the movie at midnight. I had no idea it was going to be great. Hats off to all involved.
It’s appropriate that I’d end up reviewing this film and SHAUN OF THE DEAD in the same column. Both films are overstuffed with a giddy sense of geek love, although for very different genres. I know many people thought it was a stunt or a cash grab when Quentin Tarantino cut his fourth full-length feature in half, releasing VOLUME ONE last October with only vague promises about when we’d get a look at the conclusion.
Those people were wrong, wrong, wrong.
VOLUME ONE had Japan on its mind, pure and simple. The film embellishes its main narrative drive with sidetrips into blaxploitation and Brian De Palma worship, but the undeniable centerpiece of the film is the Showdown at the House Of Blue Leaves and everything about O-Ren Ishii, played so memorably by Lucy Liu. The film was given unexpected soul by Sonny Chiba, who gave a knockout performance, charming in a way I didn’t know he could be. The Bride’s time with him in Okinawa, the anime sequence, the final confrontation on the beautiful snow-covered set... like I said, it’s obvious where Quentin’s heart was while working on this one.
KILL BILL VOL. 2 is a totally different movie, more nakedly schizophrenic than the first one. This time, it’s Chinese martial arts and Italian spaghetti westerns that take center stage, with a third act that becomes absolutely original, standing outside easy genre definition, thanks in large part to the portrayal of Bill by David Carradine.
That reminds me. I need to eat some crow. Y’see, when Carradine was cast, I was incredibly pessimistic about it. I wrote about my disappointment at the time, and I honestly thought QT had sabotaged his own film with oddball cult casting. Part of that was because I’m a big fan of Warren Beatty in his best moments, and I wanted to see him make a film this cool. I was actually angry at Tarantino and Beatty both when that deal fell apart, and I hated the notion of Carradine and didn’t want to see him play the role.
And I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Carradine is awesome as Bill. Thanks to his performance, everything else in the films suddenly makes perfect emotional sense to me. He moves through this film, appearing and disappearing almost at will, a ghost until his final big scene, when he lays bare the heart of a hardened killer, confusing our sympathy at the exact moment it matters most. It’s real hard not to like Bill. There’s a wonderful, wry quality about him that makes it easy to believe all these strong, powerful women falling under his sway. After all, this was a guy who gave orders to Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), O-Ren, Vernita (Vivica Fox), and The Bride herself. What sort of charisma and ego would give a man the balls to try and control this group? Thanks to Tarantino’s script (far more polished than the widely distributed early draft that everyone read) and Carradine, I believe in Bill. Now I can understand how the DiVAS might work. His introduction on the front porch of the church where The Bride intends to be married is exactly the right entrance. He’s warm, friendly, accepting, and absolutely terrifying.
His work also elevates Uma’s performance because of what he gives her to play off. As we flash forward and backward in time, Bill is a constant, but The Bride is in constant flux. When she’s younger, Uma perfectly plays her girlish infatuation with Bill. As she watches him tell a story around a campfire, she’s totally into him. Once the hard lessons of the world start to sink in, Uma expertly charts the change that hardens this girl into a lioness. And when she finally ends up face-to-face with her prey, all of their history hits her like a ton of bricks, practically crushing her right before our eyes. She’s an actress who needs a strong director in order for her to do her best work, and there’s no question about it... this is the best thing she’s ever done. Taken as a whole, KILL BILL is an incredible journey that had to have changed this actress permanently.
I’d also say this is one of Michael Madsen’s best roles, and he brings a palpable sadness to the role which nicely tempers the more blatant scumbag surface of Budd. He’s the only apparent male member of the DiVAS, and he’s also Bill’s brother. They couldn’t be more different, and the main thing that seems to separate them is the fact that Budd has a conscience. He knows that what they did to The Bride was wrong, one of many wrongs, and Budd’s daily lifestyle almost seems like self-inflicted penance. That doesn’t stop him from fighting back when The Bride does finally show up looking for him, but it makes Budd a hell of a lot more interesting overall. His twisted chivalry and self-loathing give Madsen a lot to play, and he couldn’t be any better.
Daryl Hannah’s one of those actors I either love or hate depending on how they’re used in a film. BLADE RUNNER, SPLASH, ROXANNE... those are good examples of how to use this unusual beauty to proper effect, and Tarantino’s given her another humdinger of a role here. She tears her way through the movie, an almost animal presence whenever she’s onscreen. When she finally confronts The Bride, it’s the single most punishing fight in either of the movies, a bone-crunching exchange that’s equal parts Russ Meyers catfight, kaiju rampage, and JACKASS sketch. It’s also got the best punchline to any fight in either film, and may give you a BLADE RUNNER flashback.
One of the film’s most fleeting pleasures is the wonderful work of Gordon Liu as Pai Mei, fabled martial arts expert and brutal taskmaster. In the press notes for the film, QT confirms that he was going to play Pai Mei himself at one point, going so far as training with the actors so he would be physically ready. The demands of directing eventually sidelined that notion, and it’s a good thing. Liu has been working in martial arts his whole life, since the age of seven, and became a star in the late ‘70s with THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN. His brother is one of the unquestioned greats of martial arts cinema, and Gordon has an extraordinary presence. He has an innate understanding of the archetypes that Quentin is playing with. Every flip of the beard, every raised eyebrow, every dodged punch... Liu knows precisely what Pai Mei would do, and if there’s anything I’d complain about, it’s the brevity of his screen time. Like Sonny Chiba in the first film, Liu takes a role he’s either played or seen played a hundred times before, and he makes it his own, defining the archetype for a new generation of viewers.
People who felt short-changed with VOL. 1 are going to like this one more, I suspect, since it more closely resembles what we think of as a “Quentin Tarantino” movie. There’s a greater emphasis on character and dialogue, and more of his geek fetishes are on display this time around. You’ll spot many of his favorite people in oddball cameos, like Michael Parks, who plays a completely different role here than he did in VOL. 1, as well as Bo Svenson and Samuel L. Jackson, both hilarious and memorable in their brief appearances. Detractors of these films accuse Tarantino of self-indulgence, but they’re missing the point. When he comes to Austin to host his QT Fests at the Alamo Drafthouse, these are not events that are about the careful, moderate consumption of cinema. We’re talking about a guy who hosts two-week orgy marathon mainline injections of pure cinema overload, who loves to do 12 hour programs in a night. The one time I’ve been to his house to watch movies, he invited us over for one and showed three. A gangster film, a kung-fu film, and a Dario Argento thriller. They couldn’t have been more different, but they seemed linked in his mind, and by the time we were done, they seemed like a perfect triple-feature. These movies are the way he can share that same sugar-rush manic overload with an entire world of cinema freaks at once. You want to know what it’s like to go to QT Fest? It’s exactly like KILL BILL, but for two solid weeks. I’ve heard one particularly rabid detractor try to say the film is empty, unimportant, but it’s the sort of claim that indicates someone just wasn’t willing to give the film a chance. When Spielberg and Lucas made RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, they weren’t just regurgitating moments from old serials. They were summing up the movies that shaped them and trying to impart just what it was that made them love those films in the first place. If you think KILL BILL is nothing more than a cinematic mix tape, you’re wrong. It’s a love letter to Uma, as complex as the freakshow love/torture that Hitchcock used to put his blondes through, written for her by the one director who truly seems to get her, and it’s also a guided tour through all the things that make Tarantino who he is. This film is incredibly revealing about Tarantino as a viewer and a writer and a consumer, and everything you need to know about him is in there somewhere. The fun part is sifting through all of it. This is a rare confection, a litmus test I’ll be using on film friends in years to come. This isn’t ultimately a deep movie, but it’s an intoxicating one, filled with the sheer joy of movie-making.
In a recent article about THE GREEN HORNET, Kevin Smith talked about his decision to finally make an action film. He says someone assured him that he wouldn’t have to actually direct any of his action scenes himself. He was told that Bryan Singer barely directs any of the X-MEN movies, something that seemed to give Kevin some degree of comfort. But whoever told Kevin that was doing him and his eventual audience a disservice. Yes, there are guys like David Ellis who come in and do amazing jobs delivering second-unit work, but what makes KILL BILL so exciting for me, especially during the action scenes, is knowing that Tarantino wasn’t using a second unit. Like Guillermo Del Toro, he knows that shooting it all is the only way to put your stamp on those scenes. He didn’t hand the action off to someone else. Instead, he forced himself to learn how to shoot it. It helps that he had the amazing cinematographer Robert Richardson shooting, but the personal fingerprints of Tarantino are all over every frame of the film. Even his choice of film stock in certain scenes is a knowing joke.
In my mind, the most important question regarding the film is “Was the journey worth it?” We started the first film with a woman lying on the floor of a church, broken and bleeding, her last few minutes before having her brain splashed across that floor. By the time the second film ends and we see our last image of The Bride with her little girl (a truly remarkable child actor with Mariel Hemingway’s dimples and Damien Thorne’s eyes), the answer to that question for me is a resounding yes. I have fallen for Beatrix Kiddo, and that’s all that matters. Q&U have made me love this blood-spattered angel. Every other pleasure I get from the films is pure gravy. I go to the movies to fall in love with characters, to be transported, to connect with great moments and to see someone move heaven and earth to entertain me. In this case, mission more than accomplished.
O, BROTHERS, WHERE ART THOU?
I love the Coen Brothers.
I figured I should say that now, since later on in this piece, you may not believe that.
First thing I saw of theirs was RAISING ARIZONA back in ’87, during its first run. I remember reading a fairly negative review for the film in US NEWS & WORLD REPORTS, of all places. In an effort to show just how bad the film was, the reviewer quoted some of H.I.’s voice-over about his wife Ed: “Her insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase.” That one line sold me a ticket. When the film opened on one screen in Tampa, I tracked it down, dragging along my girlfriend at the time. I should have known then that it wouldn’t work out between us. She didn’t smile once. I, on the other hand, laughed from the film’s incredible prologue all the way through that final beautiful dream, and by the end of the film, I was convinced that Joel Coen and his brother were the most exciting filmmakers working.
Film after film, their work has served as a benchmark for me over the years, a standard of excellence to which I could aspire. MILLER’S CROSSING. BARTON FINK. THE HUDSUCKER PROXY. I even love just saying the titles of their oddball masterpieces. FARGO. THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE. THE BIG LEBOWSKI. BLOOD SIMPLE They seemed to effortlessly conjure up great characters and wonderful riffs on genre and these self-contained aesthetically amazing worlds, and I was willing to follow them anywhere.
Christmas of 2000 marked the release of O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?, an insane comic Southern-fried reworking of Homer’s ODYSSEY that spawned one of the biggest-selling soundtracks in recent memory. People seemed open to the peculiar personal vision of the Coens in a whole new way, and the script they were preparing to shoot was easily the best thing they ever wrote.
Based on a slim novel by poet James Dickey, TO THE WHITE SEA started as an adaptation by David and Janet Peoples (12 MONKEYS), and that draft was pretty goddamn good in its own right. When the Coens got involved as director/producer, though, they rewrote it, and they came up with something great and terrifying, a script that represented the biggest challenge of their careers. Universal put the film in turnaround, and the Coens rode it over to Warner Bros., where they worked to get it up and running with a $75 million pricetag and Brad Pitt as their star.
What happened next may well be the moment that Coen fans look back on in the future as the end of all good things. In rapid succession, TO THE WHITE SEA got axed, the Coens lost their mother, and the attacks of 9/11 drove them out of New York, where they had just relocated. This was a period of weeks we’re talking about, and that trifecta of tragedy seems to have shattered the Coens. That’s why I’m writing this open letter to them today, speaking as a fan who believes in their enormous and obvious gifts.
Please... Joel and Ethan... stop.
I tried to shake off the feeble slap in the face that was INTOLERABLE CRUELTY. I figured it was a one-time thing. They were recovering from a series of setbacks and decided to make a studio film as a way of warming back up for something great. That’s what I kept telling myself. After all, the thing that has always distinguished them was the way they managed to stand on the edge of the system, making film after film seeming designed to primarily please an audience of two. They made movies that were impossible to categorize. With INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, they seemed to make a creative 180, and for the first time in their career, they made a boring movie. George Clooney grins his way through a hollow farce, trying hard to pump some life into the proceedings, but Catherine Zeta-Jones gave him less than nothing to play off of. It’s not an awful movie. It’s not offensive. But there’s absolutely nothing special about it. In every way, it is just another mid-budget Imagine comedy, no better or worse than HOUSESITTER or FOR LOVE AND MONEY or GREEDY or SGT. BILKO. The real shock, as a longtime Coens fan, was how completely they managed to submerge their personalities. There are only two sequences in the film that feel like the Coen Bros. When Miles (Clooney) goes in to see his boss, everything from the magazines in the waiting room to the way his boss chokes out his message amidst the workings of his various health-related machinery feels like we’re finally in familiar territory. And late in the film, the death of Wheezy Joe is a very funny gag, and well-orchestrated. But that’s it... two sequences in a whole film.
The scary thing is that THE LADYKILLERS makes INTOLERABLE CRUELTY look like RAISING ARIZONA by comparison. The rebound I was hoping for did not materialize. If anything, they’ve moved further in the wrong direction. As much as CRUELTY embodied the spirit of the mediocre Imagine comedy, LADYKILLERS is the perfect realization of just how crappy Touchstone comedies can be, and often are. The visual invention, the eccentric and clever characterizations, the sense that anything might happen at any moment... all the things that make the Coen Bros. who they are... have all vanished without a trace. Even worse, the dazzling cascades of language that have always distinguished their characters have finally dried up, stranding Tom Hanks, who has never looked more desperate to make material work. Hanks is one of our greatest comic actors, gifted with natural timing and unforced charm, and I appreciate the vigor he brings to THE LADYKILLERS. He does everything he can to prop up a script that simply isn’t funny, but I know a drowning man when I see one. Like many modern farces, the film mistakes loud and manic with hilarious, and it ends up playing as dull more than anything, a series of empty moments with no sustained energy. Part of the problem is the casting, which pretty much stinks across the board. Normally, the Coens have a genius for picking just the right person for just the right part and bringing out the best in people. For pissakes, these are the guys who made Tara Reid funny. If that’s not miracle working, I don’t know what is.
How then can one explain the insanely unfunny work of Marlon Wayans or Ryan Hurst, who manages to stop every scene cold just by speaking up? Even the always-reliable JK Simmons comes up dry here as he’s reduced to playing a guy who really, really needs to shit. That’s it. That’s the best this film has to offer. There’s certainly nothing to recommend about the heist that is the film’s centerpiece. It’s so off-hand and limp that it barely deserves to be shown. The “complications” that start piling up are ridiculous, nothing inventive or interesting about them, and the material about the guys trying to kill Irma P. Hall was handled better last year in DUPLEX.
And trust me... DUPLEX fucking stunk.
So let me offer up the hopes I have for the Coens. I refuse to accept that the bored studio hacks who made these last two films are the real Joel and Ethan Coen. I know that these artists still have the ability to summon thunder. I believe it. But they’ve proven now that doing work-for-hire just doesn’t suit them. When they got chewed up by the process on TO THE WHITE SEA, it seems to have taken something out of them. When you read that script, their hearts are on every page. It’s the most difficult thing about working in the studio system. To write a great script, you have to pour all of your faith and belief and energy into that script, but you have to do so knowing full well that you’ve got, at best, a one-in-five chance of seeing that script produced. You may well be creating art for an audience that will never see it. TO THE WHITE SEA has got to haunt the Coens, and in particular, I wonder about what it’s done to Joel. THE LADYKILLERS is the first film where both brothers have shared the director credit. Up till now, Joel has been the director. Is this shift in billing an indicator that Joel is less involved now? At least that would explain the sudden shift in quality as far as how their films look. There is no way the same person was calling the shots visually on THE BIG LEBOWSKI and THE LADYKILLERS.
I hope the Coens begin to follow their muse again. I hope they write original scripts that allow them to return to their own interests. I hope Joel returns to form as one of our most impressive visualists. I hope they stay miles away from studio assignments from now on.
And failing all of that, I hope that before they make another lousy anonymous studio piece of crap, they just stop. I would rather have no Coen Bros. films than have these heartbreaking misfires. Barton Fink wasn’t meant to write Wallace Beery wrestling pictures, and no matter how much of “that Barton Fink feeling” he gives the thing, the studio will never appreciate him properly.
Find your beach, guys. Sit in the sun. Recharge.
When you’re ready, we’ll be waiting.
WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Mr. Molly is a mean sumbitch.
He’s dropped by the Moriarty Labs a few times before with articles for me to print. He’s not the kind of guy who asks me to do things, either. He just tells me.
For example, I was working at home on Saturday afternoon when the front door suddenly got kicked in. Mr. Molly walked in, casually strolled over to where I was siting, and knocked out one of my teeth with his ring. I cursed loudly, holding my jaw, but he seemed unimpressed. “Got something for you.”
He grabbed a stapler from a nearby shelf and pulled out an unevenly folded sheet of white paper. He unfolded the paper with a snap of his wrist and held it up to the side of my skull.
”Wait. Don’t.” That’s all I managed to say, since he didn’t wait. He just stapled the sheet to the side of my head with three solid whacks.
”Put that on your website.” He didn’t wait for me to answer. As far as he was concerned, the matter was settled. I tore the paper free from my skull as soon as he left and read through it. And, damn it, it’s actually pretty fun. So fun, in fact, that I’d like to make this a regular feature, open to any reader of the site. I’ll also solicit entries from my friends to run here. This is the first, then, of many of these, and I’ve included Mr. Molly’s note to explain the idea. Enjoy it. Or he’ll break my legs. He promised.
I thought you might like this list of my 100 favorite movie moments. I thought this mainly because my list kicks a lot of ass, and is no doubt better than any list you might start and abandon halfway through. Ahem. At any rate... run this, punk.
Uncle Bill recording his lines in AMERICAN MOVIE
The night swimming sequence in CAT PEOPLE (1941)
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke, and a tiger fighting in a minefield inside the Roman Coliseum at the end of DOUBLE TEAM
Spina Bifida Sister from PET SEMETARY
The monsters getting their invitations during the opening credits of MAD MONSTER PARTY
The last eight minutes of BLOOD SIMPLE
The first fourteen minutes of RAISING ARIZONA
Frances McDormand’s awkward “date” in FARGO
Jeff Bridges explaining the “newest shit” in the back of the limo in BIG LEBOWSKI
Robert Redford’s on-air crack-up in THE CANDIDATE
Albert Finney getting ready for bed in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Zander Schloss singing “Feelin’ 7-Up” in REPO MAN
Two great movie dads played by the same actor: Paul Dooley in BREAKING AWAY and SIXTEEN CANDLES
Peter Boyle negotiating his fee with George C. Scott in HARDCORE
Scene-stealing performance in a film no one saw: Oliver Platt as “Toad” in ZIGZAG (“Gimee knobbyjob!”)
Chevy Chase crying in the desert with Anthony Michael Hall in VACATION
Great performance in a great film: Eric Bana in CHOPPER
Great performance in a good film: Jackie Gleason in SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT
Great performance in a shitty film: Dana Olsen as spoiled rich asshole Palmer Woodrow in MAKING THE GRADE
The news reports in the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Zombies prowling to the Muzak in the original DAWN OF THE DEAD
“Send more paramedics” from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
Celebrity target practice in the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake
BLADE’s entrance at the blood rave
John Malkovich’s insane, Wile E. Coyote death at the end of CON AIR
The gunman eating the dead man’s candy bar in BROKEN ARROW
Alan Rickman in DIE HARD
Bill Murray getting baptized in ED WOOD
The sad, ironic final twist in LE TROU
The funny, ironic final twist in TAKING OF PELHAM ONE, TWO, THREE
Joe Don Baker ordering breakfast at the whorehouse in CHARLEY VARRICK
Laird Cregar watching film of the dead woman in I WAKE UP SCREAMING
Ella Raines seducing Elisha Cook, Jr. in PHANTOM LADY
The final “frames” of TWO LANE BLACKTOP
Gene Wilder’s complete fucking meltdown in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
Bullet deflected with a bullet in FULL CONTACT
Marina Zudina out-running the hall lights in MUTE WITNESS
Columbo’s first “appearance” in DIABOLIQUE
Don Cheadle’s interrogation technique in DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
“You’ve gotta be fucking KIDDING!” from John Carpenter’s remake of THE THING
Bill Paxton’s face when he overhears the two city cops making fun of him in ONE FALSE MOVE
“We belong dead” at the end of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
The senile child molester tracking the girl around the lake in NEVER TAKE SWEETS FROM A STRANGER
Peter Cushing’s line, “PACK! We’re LEAVING!” in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED
Hearing aid torture in THE BIG COMBO
The end credits sequence from WILD THINGS
Brad Pitt mumbling, “Fucking condescend to me” in TRUE ROMANCE
The reel of rescued kisses at the end of CINEMA PARADISO
“Why don’t dey just call him ‘Girl George’ and get rid of all dah CAHN-foo-shun?” from COMMANDO
The scarred girl releasing the doves at the end of EYES WITHOUT A FACE
Alan Barron stalking through Harlem in BLAST OF SILENCE
Target practice in DAY OF THE JACKAL
The Klumps at the all-you-can-eat buffet in NUTTY PROFESSOR II
Nelson De La Rosa in ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Peter Falk telling the story about the “eagle-sized” tsetse flies carrying off the brown babies during the dinner party in THE IN-LAWS
Lukas Haas’ speech on the White House steps at the end of MARS ATTACKS!
“James Caan. Is that real enough for you?” from REAL LIFE
“Hulk running” in MODERN ROMANCE
Albert Brook’s crossing guard job in LOST IN AMERICA
The apocalyptic gunfight at the end of Takashi Miike’s DEAD OR ALIVE
Ben Stiller in HEAVYWEIGHTS
Ed McMahon’s disembodied, accusatory floating head emerging from the depths of space at the beginning of DAUGHTER OF HORROR
Edie feeding the raccoons in GREY GARDENS
Morgan Freeman asking Kathy Baker which eye she wants to keep in STREET SMART
John Wayne shooting out the dead Comanche’s eyes in THE SEARCHERS
The freeway battle in MATRIX RELOADED
The song “Up There” from SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER, UNCUT
Philip Baker Hall explaining the rate card in HARD EIGHT
BACHELOR PARTY: “I just bet my balls, and shook on it.”
REVENGE OF THE NERDS: “I thought I was looking at my mother’s old douchebag, but that’s in Ohio”
HEATHERS: “Football season is over, Veronica. Kurt and Ram had nothing left to offer the school except date rapes and AIDS jokes.”
Christy Hartburg dancing towards the payphone in Russ Meyer’s SUPERVIXENS
Joy Harmon washing the car in COOL HAND LUKE
The screaming contest in THE VANISHING
The fucking contest in SWEET SWEETBACK’S BADASSSS SONG
Alan Arkin introducing “Geraldine” in WAIT UNTIL DARK
Robert DeNiro ambushing Sean Bean with coffee in RONIN
Pee-Wee Herman dancing his way out of a biker beating
Unk pontificating on the tenement roof in HATED
Eli Wallach assembling his gun in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
Leatherface’s chainsaw death-dance at dawn
Bill Pullman as “stupidest person on the face of the earth” Earl Mott in RUTHLESS PEOPLE
The first ten minutes of FINAL DESTINATION II
John Candy’s side of the phone conversation in UNCLE BUCK
Thelonious Monk spinning around and around in circles in STRAIGHT, NO CHASER
Samuel L. Jackson’s interrupted monologue in DEEP BLUE SEA
John Voight’s winking corpse in ANACONDA
Julie Christie explaining the brothel biz to Warren Beatty in MCCABE & MRS. MILLER
Scott Jacoby coming out the woodwork in BAD RONALD
John Cassavettes putting the beatdown on Ronald Reagan in Don Siegel’s THE KILLERS
Chris Holmes on the pool raft with the “vodka” in DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILZATION II: THE METAL YEARS
Andy Kaufman going on a killing rampage in GOD TOLD ME TO
The abandoned pavilion in CARNIVAL OF SOULS
Jeff Daniels and Lauren Holly’s snowball fight in DUMB AND DUMBER
Ray Sharkey shadowing Peter Gallagher’s onstage moves from the sidelines in THE IDOLMAKER
The final, tidal-wave-of-blood samurai duel in SANJURO
John Lennon battling The Glove in YELLOW SUBMARINE
Jack Black cradling the dead rabbits in JESUS’ SON
Joe Patoliano screaming, “Everybody’s telling me to go fuck myself!” in MIDNIGHT RUN
Everyone here can think of a hundred more, each, I’m sure.
And when you do, send them to me at my regular address. I’ll publish the ones that are the most fun and the most original in future columns.
THE MATRIX REVISITED
So here’s my theory.
I picked up MATRIX REVOLUTIONS on DVD when it came out. And I’ve decided I don’t just want to watch it by itself. Instead, I’m going to take one last stroll through the entire world of The Matrix so far.
I’m going to break it into three distinct programs. I’m going to take a break between each section, but I’m going to make one full day of it. I’m breaking it into the three sections because I think you can sum up the whole series in three simple words.
Birth. Life. Death.
Contained in those three words are all the spoilers and subtext one could ever want. It’s a dense and messy series the Wachowski Bros. created, and if you’re willing to open yourself to it, it’s fairly rewarding.
Try it yourself, so that when I put up the DVD column, we can discuss this.
BIRTH. Show THE SECOND RENNAISANCE PARTS I & II, then WORLD RECORD, then THE MATRIX, then KID’S STORY.
Take a break. You’ll need it for this next big gulp.
LIFE. Show A DETECTIVE STORY, then PROGRAM, then FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS, then THE MATRIX RELOADED.
One more break before the final stretch.
DEATH. Show BEYOND, then MATRICULATED, then wrap it up with THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.
If it all sounds silly to you, or if you gave up on the series, don’t bother, but I think it might be a lot of fun, and really illuminate a lot about these fun and flawed SF flicks. We shall see...
COMING UP SOON...
I’m seeing COFFEE & CIGARETTES tonight, then sitting down with Jim Jarmusch one-on-one tomorrow. I’ve got a DVD SHELF column coming later this week. I'll announce the winners of our FREAKS & GEEKS contest. And we’re just starting to put together a new Jedi Council meeting with some material that should be really exciting. Until then...
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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April 19, 2004, 3:13 a.m. CST
by Jon E Cin
You are dedicated..i cant even get through reloaded...revolutions has potential though and the animatrix is amazing!
April 19, 2004, 3:22 a.m. CST
Yeah, so what about my false post above this. Mori, you're not gonna win any friends with your review of "Shaun of the Dead," positive or negative. I so just want that movie to be dead and I've never even seen it. Stop covering it! I prefer Amazon links over the mentioning of that flick. Besides that, nice to have see your presence on this site once every coupla weeks. Oh, and I hate that whole 100 Best Moments from that schmo. Bad gimmick. Scrap that on the pronto.
April 19, 2004, 3:33 a.m. CST
by Wesley Snipes
Good writing, but something about the Coen piece pisses me off. I think it's because it fits that irritating, self-important fanboy stereotype (and yes, it takes one to know one) where they make some completely bullshit, stupid request to filmmakers that seems like a joke due to its sheer ridiculousness (ie, "quit filmmaking. seriously. I didn't like your last movie and you need to quit now before wreck me mental image of you"), yet written with this remarkable, hand wringing, furrowed brow seriousness. Just makes you want to exclaim, "Oh, give me a fucking break!" But otherwise, good stuff.
April 19, 2004, 3:42 a.m. CST
by Daryl van Horn
I mean that. Not just because I almost always agree with you, but because you simply write the best reviews. I like Harry's passion (which compensates for the grammatical errors and such) but you're the one I come to read. There should be a link to all your reviews in chronological order, just like Harry's. And yeah, wasn't that a moment, when you realize, QT really made two different movies out of it, and not just two halves of one? Can't wait for the combined DVD. Good stuff.
April 19, 2004, 3:45 a.m. CST
1. Kill Bill part2 was one of the worst movies ever. 2. What is the deal with Shawn of the dead? I have seen about 500 articles on it so far and they all come off as vague and ambiguous without really saying shit about the movie itself?
April 19, 2004, 4 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
Personally I won't trust a single review of SHAUN OF THE DEAD where the reviewer doesn't express just how fucking awful UNDEAD was. I want SHAUN to be as good as I hope it will be, and it helps to know just how selective reviewers are when judging zombie comedies.
April 19, 2004, 4:05 a.m. CST
This drivel is coming from the same mutant that recommended 'The Punisher'. I hate you and I hate your face.
April 19, 2004, 4:07 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric
1. Mulholland Drive...The Cowboy scene 2. Buffalo '66...the fantasy sequence in Scott Wood's tittie bar 3. Super Troopers...the first 10 minutes 4. Pulp Fiction...Jules talkin' shit before his first Ezekial recitation 5. Bound...uhh, the extended take lesbian action 6. Equilibrium...the last fight sequence 7. American Psycho...Bateman's sublime takes on the popular music of the 80's "Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?" 8. Punch Drunk Love..."I will beat the hell from you." 9. Suspiria...the barbed wire floor sequence 10. Spider-Man...final web-swinging sequence
April 19, 2004, 4:39 a.m. CST
by Monkey Butler
I ask you, is there anything funnier than a naked alien saying that it's comfortable with the way it looks?
April 19, 2004, 4:49 a.m. CST
by Andy Travis
Joel and Ethan have always been co-directors. So the idea of Ethan suddenly muddling up the visual flair of their films now that they're sharing the credit is silly-ass. I have to admit, the Coen "rant" comes across in the style of a Star Wars prequel bitch-fest. So you don't like their last two movies--fine. But there's no little hobgoblin hiding behind the curtain, pulling the strings. You don't need to concoct a convenient string of circumstances to explain that YOU PERSONALLY don't like the last two Coen films. And it makes for a shoddy piece of writing that serves little purpose. Ahem. Nice to hear the praise for Shaun.
April 19, 2004, 5:04 a.m. CST
It's better not to watch Reloaded and Revolutions again..let them fade away and just enjoy the first film. 2 and 3 ruined the original for me a bit, but hopefully I'll still be able to enjoy it in the future.
April 19, 2004, 5:19 a.m. CST
no one popped outta graves in that one. and there were infections. so they're all fucking virus movies. zombies come from hatian lore, so all this bullshit about ohh, 28 days later is more of a virus movie, stop it with that shit, they're all virus movies. serpent and the rainbow is prolly closer tothe story, only with the gay dude from 227 as an evil bastard. now that's cool!!
April 19, 2004, 5:29 a.m. CST
Spot on Moriarty. S.o.t.D. is a GREAT movie, and it would be a great movie regardless of what the subject matter was because it's all in the treatment. To the 'fan' above who want this film to 'die', get a grip. What's wrong? Can't believe that someone did what you've been dreaming of since puberty? Can't accept that a low budget British horror movie made by unknowns (to you septics anyway) could so effortlessly nail the comedy/horror sub-genre that you'd like to keep underground (pardon the pun) and in Wisconsin? Pull yourself together and pray that Shaun gets the major backing, massive marketing and mainstream release that it so richly deserves on your shores.
April 19, 2004, 5:30 a.m. CST
hehehe... I had all but forgotten that one :)
April 19, 2004, 5:34 a.m. CST
by Steve Rogers
That movie is awesome! Shut up, Mori!
April 19, 2004, 5:36 a.m. CST
"Yeah... and then we're off to Haiti..." "That's TAHITI!" "I knew that...."
April 19, 2004, 5:39 a.m. CST
by Mr Sidney James
OK so Shaun of the Dead doesn't have a release yet in the US - Tough shit it's a great film a true original - even if it derives so much from Zombie films of the past. Don
April 19, 2004, 5:47 a.m. CST
April 19, 2004, 5:54 a.m. CST
Does anyone know if the Office Christmas Specials will be released on DVD any time in the near future? I have both series on disc and am dying to see the specials. Also, is there any more word on whether there will be a third Spaced series, or will they go the "special route" in order to tie up the story? Can't wait for Shaun!
April 19, 2004, 6:12 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
I couldn't say. I was half-comatose by the time that bit happened. I truly admire your ability to withstand such staggering mediocrity to find one semi-humourous joke. P.S. I'm Australian and Aussie humour died with THE LATE SHOW. Want proof? You got it last night when that little closet-case Rove McManus won the gold Logie.
April 19, 2004, 6:59 a.m. CST
by The Fatman
... is the 25 October 2004. Aargh. SotD is fabulous. I've never laughed so hard at someone walking to the shops in my life. And the ending! The ending! The best ending to a zombie movie ever. People are too hard on the Coen's latest films. They're not their best ever work - I admit - but everyone is allowed a dip. Still compared to the vast majority of what passes for "comedy" in Hollywood "Intolerable Cruelty" is a classic and "The Ladykillers" is in the top ten percent. It is only that we've come to expect so much of them. Like Mori I look forward to them returning to form, I think maybe they should take a break. And I REALLY want to see To The White Sea.
April 19, 2004, 7:40 a.m. CST
by Darth Tedious
All your Spaced needs can be handled at www.spaced-out.org.uk. Doesn't look like much is going on as far as a third series is concerned; personally I think the ending of series two is a perfect place to leave it. I can't help agreeing with those getting pissed off with the Shaun coverage on the site. I think anyone interested in the film will already be keeping an eye out for a US release date and those sitting on the fence are just going to be put off. Enough already. Player Two has left the game.
April 19, 2004, 7:53 a.m. CST
That scumbag Gunn is asinus asinorum in saecula saeculorum.
April 19, 2004, 7:57 a.m. CST
...those pathetic abominations aimed at the 12 year old mindset, Hackantino's "Kill Bill" vomovies.
April 19, 2004, 8:13 a.m. CST
there's a guy on ebay,scrappymills or something like that,that sells copies on dvd for about $15 including s&h.Got mine about a month ago & was very impressed by the picture & sound quality.Can't wait to see what extras they throw on the official release,though.Hopefully one day we'll get to see the shorts Ricky made for Microsoft.
April 19, 2004, 8:18 a.m. CST
by Judge Doom
Great moments, Nice Matrix idea. Yhe olny - on it was the obrigatory "Shawn of the Dead was given to men by God" review.
April 19, 2004, 8:54 a.m. CST
by The Real McCoy
Mori, you have no idea what you're talking about. Intolerable Cruelty was, in no way, different from any other Coen brothers film. It was their version of a romantic comedy. And you know what? I'm getting really sick of all these fucking naysayers with the last two Coen films. People bitchin' about how the brothers have lost their touch, blah blah blah. Most critics will mention how Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty don't measure up to Fargo or Blood Simple. In reality, Fargo and Blood Simple are the least signature Coen Brothers films. Although good flicks, they don't quite feel like the rest of their films. If you don't like their latest films, too bad. Doesn't give you the right to command them to stop filmmaking, you assclown.****And why the hell should I listen to someone who told me The Punisher was a classic revenge flick and hyped it up unbelievably? I'm a huge Punisher fan and a huge revenge film fan and I thought the flick was alright. But nothing to get excited about.****AND WHAT KIND OF "BEST SCENES" LIST EXCLUDES A SCENE FROM BLADE RUNNER BIIITTTTCHHHH???!!!****And please stop posting crap about Shaun of the Dead until it is close to opening up in the U.S.
April 19, 2004, 8:57 a.m. CST
That happened to me with "Duplex". Why are people so stupid? sk
April 19, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST
I mean, WTF?
April 19, 2004, 9:39 a.m. CST
Real Coen Brothers movies are written by the Coen Brothers. They have *screenwriting* credits on The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty, but not "written by" credit. All the good ones, the real Coen Brothers movies, the ones that are advertised as such (Lebowski, Fargo, Hudsucker, Man Who Wasn't There, etc), have "written by." When they come back, the credit will say "written by," and that's how you shall know them.
April 19, 2004, 9:49 a.m. CST
methinks you were a tad hard on Ladykillers.
April 19, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST
I know this because Patton posted the list as a message over on the Special Thing message board (www.aspecialthing.com) Now, he posts over there under his real name, so I guess he doesn't have a problem with people knowing who he is. So why the pseudonym? If this is supposed to be some "big secret", feel free to remove my message from the talkback. But Patton's a funny guy and he knows his movies for sure.
April 19, 2004, 10:11 a.m. CST
... it's not the fucking greatest film of all time. Yes it's funny. Yes it's strangely shocking when things start to go tit's up in the pub. Yes I will buy it on DVD so I can watch it in a druken stupor and laugh my ass off. BUT FOR FUCK'S SAKE JUST CALM DOWN WITH ALL MUTUAL MASTURBATING OVER IT. If the film flops in the States then it will be because filmgoers will have built up a hatred of reading Harry and co's FREAKING love of it.
April 19, 2004, 10:14 a.m. CST
by Blok Narpin
....then I hope they make more movies that bad. I loved that film. It was VERY Coen Bros. in tone. A very dark comedy. I'm gonna wait for video on LADYKILLERS. I love the Coens, but come on.
April 19, 2004, 10:14 a.m. CST
Usually when someone makes a plea or request for something, he or she does not insult the one who is the giver.
April 19, 2004, 10:20 a.m. CST
Moriarty - thank you to your cohort for including "Mute Witness" in their 100 Greatest Movie Moments. "Mute" while not perfect, is one of the most fantastic and gut wrenching thrillers made in the last ten years. For anyone who hasn't seen it, search it out at your local video store, though it may be hard to find. It's well worth the trip.
April 19, 2004, 10:25 a.m. CST
Also, I suspect that critics are the last people on the face of the planet that The C's were trying to please with their latest project. I found The Ladykillers to be endlessly amusing...
April 19, 2004, 10:32 a.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykilers were both hilarious. I can't for the life of me see this "decline" in the Coen's work that everyone is whining about. "We must all have waffles, forthwith!"
April 19, 2004, 11:01 a.m. CST
Does anyone understand what the hell he's talking about?
April 19, 2004, 11:41 a.m. CST
I wish the Coens would write their own stuff as well. Coen Bros lite is sort of like picking up a hot chick, gettin' the kit off and finding out she has inverted nipples...oddly off-putting. and mute witness is a wicked fun ride.
April 19, 2004, 11:52 a.m. CST
hey all...I rarely ever write back, but something in the Coen bros. section really ticked my heels the wrong way. Moriarty's take on their career turn as of late was filled with the type of disrespect usually afforded college students and national government. So he's writing for a big studio now. So he hangs out with the upper crust. Does that in ANY way shape or form entitle him to lord above his supposed 'heroes'? Dammit man, you're like a whiny Metallica fan, trying to curb any artistic growth because they'd like to FREEZE frame their 'heroes' in a stifled bubble. You've found what YOU like, and any movement from that spot means they've "lost it". How juveline and callow can you get? Like a freshman college student who's gotten a little taste of how things work, then decides all his newfound inclinations are 100% gospel truth. Hence the student protests, riots, and likewise trash. Now we see Moriarty here not only judging their current work, but he feels empowered by his new connections to patronizingly give the COENS a lesson in screenwriting!! WTF? Dude, just because ur foot's in the door doesn't mean you're entitled to preach to the management. Show some respect, and don't feel the need to lecture people on the ethics of disagreeing with your personal tastes. I hope you'll learn the value of not judging others (isn't that biblical?), as it might seriously help your growth, rather than pandering to a specific group. Thanks, KU
April 19, 2004, 11:55 a.m. CST
by Darth Thoth
Excellence on your part Mori. Good read. I think you and Harry hit KBv2 right on the nail. I went with a bunch of friends this weekend to see it (twice). Some liked it, some didn't. But I loved it because you HAVE TO GET IT. My fav movie buddy GOT IT. If you are a fan of this stuff and see the genius behind the lines you will GET IT and thoroughly enjoy and respect what Tarantino has done here. Lastly, thanks Mori for the suggested viewing order of the Matrix series. I should've thought of it sooner myself. Peace.
April 19, 2004, noon CST
by Jervis Tetch
"Fargo," it wasn't, but I'd put it squarely in the pack with most of the other second-tier Coen pictures. Just to see superstar Hanks toying with the language and immoral attitude of this smarmy character after a decade of earnest tearjerkers (in which he was very good) was worth the price of admission. It turns out "The Ladykillers" is Hanks' first relative flop in years, which shows me at least he stretched on this one -- like fellow superstar Tom Cruise did with "Magnolia". I actually saw "The Ladykillers" twice, and found that on the second go-round, once you got past what it WASN'T (i.e. either a typical Coen Bros film or a typical caper comedy), it was even better. Consider: Hanks had actually recruited this gang with a newspaper ad, and only one of them (the General) was competant at his job. I would also say that the timing/filming of Pancake's demonstration of the explosives ("inert, you can set it on fire, take a hammer to it...") is as good a gag as the Coens ever filmed. Anyway, it's not a classic in either the Coens or Hanks tradition, but I liked "The Ladykillers" and I'm glad Hanks agreed to do it.
April 19, 2004, 12:07 p.m. CST
I have no interest in ever seeing "Intolerable Cruelty" or "Ladykillers" (I never thought Los Bros Coen would stoop to Soderbergh lows and do a remake). Sam Raimi needs to get his head out of his ass, too.
April 19, 2004, 12:09 p.m. CST
by The Dude Abides
I don't care if this movie is supposed to be an homage or not, because it is absolute shit. The pacing is terrible, the dialogue is abysmal and the delivery is even worse. The Superman monologue? What? Have you really not thought of that before? That Clark Kent is Kal El's costume? No fucking shit. Tarantino needed an editor in both these films. It dragged and dragged and dragged and dragged and dragged... This site needs to stop sucking every director's cocks and actually offer a criticism instead of a fucking handjob. If you think I'm trolling, you're wrong. This is my honest fucking opinion...I almost walked out. Now, I did like the scene with Uma in the coffin. It was dark and tense and claustrophobic (reminiscent of Poe)and the sound editing gave the experience a certain depth of impending doom. Oh, and Michael Madsen was pretty good too, considering the shit he had to work with. Outside of that, this movie deserves to be dumped in the trash bin.
April 19, 2004, 12:26 p.m. CST
This has happened to them before. They followed up the mildly amusing Hudsucker Proxy with the brilliant Fargo. They ventured into lame-ass territory with O Brother but got plenty fucked up the next time around with the vastly underrated Man Who Wasn't There. Intolerable Cruelty and Ladykillers are scarily not great, but they promised that their next project will be fucked up. I, as a Minnesotan and life-long fan, pray that they aren't fucking with me.
April 19, 2004, 12:29 p.m. CST
... half of my favorite movie moments are covered on Mr. Molly's list. The "fucking contest" in SWEET SWEETBACK is more important to the furthering of cinema as an art form than anything that pussy Eisenstein ever knocked out. That's some fine Colombian.
April 19, 2004, 12:30 p.m. CST
by B. Lake Austin
Kill Bill sooooo sucked, man! Right on! I also agree with you implicitly about how much Citizen Kane is a travesty of a film and is a piece of donkey doo. I also agree with you that all the Star Wars movies suck (especially Empire, as you say) and that the negative prints of Indiana Jones should be burnt along with everything that isn't color and especially Ben Hur and Casablanca. I also agree that not a signle person with a sane mind and a firm grip on relality should even joke about seeing the Lord of the Rings movies. But most of all, I agree that you were totally right in bitching about a movie you obviously sat through in it's entirety and then took the time to write a quarter-assed (less than half) reasoned execution of it's worth. Should you have left once you found that you hated the movie? Perhaps not, since it sounds like you're masacistic in nature and enjoy harming yourself by sitting through a film you so hate. Or did it take you the entirety of the film for you to solidify you're opinion? In that case, I would say that you probably waited to see whatt he prevailing reaction was to the film so you could be contrary to some popular norm. So bravo to the man, The Dude Abides, who absolutely hates film. Thank you sir. The fact that your opinion of Kill Bill is so absolutely negative leads me to belive your either a boob who wishes to be a social contraversy or you're a genius for posting it. You can't be both and I suspect you're most likely the first. Station.
April 19, 2004, 12:38 p.m. CST
Kill Bill Volume 1 is easily the greatest action film since Raiders of the Lost Ark for my money. If the second one were to even ATTEMPT to top the first one in terms of action, it would fail miserably. Tarantino, being the mastering of fucking with his audience, KNEW that the bigger surprise (and bigger pay off) would be to make his audience love and care for his characters. It has been said, but these films work wonderfully on their own, the first as a combo of blaxploitation and yakuza flicks, the second as a merging of kung fu and spaghetti western. The first one is kinetic as fuck and the second one is leisurely. KBV1 proved Tarantino can do action sequences better than anyone else working presently while KBV2 proved that he is still the master of storytelling and character. It is like the fucked up fusion of Reservoir Dogs shock the shit out of you QT with the understated master storyteller of Jackie Brown version of QT. Personally, I love both films for two completely different reasons. I don't care if they are ever combined, in all honesty.
April 19, 2004, 12:43 p.m. CST
by PBJ Street Gang
They have chunks of you and you and you in their STOOL. There are a few artists out there dead and alive, who are quite simply, critic-proof. And don't get be started on how this defines their Fanboy-proofness. Lynch, Kubrick, Scorsese, Tarantino, Malick and these guys, just to name a few. They are Master Directors. Which essentially means that even their LESSER work will be the subject of their own symposiums in the film school pantheon. I enjoy Master Directors when they appear to stumble. Why? Well because five years later we always realize they didn't stumble at all. Why? Because they're usually plugged into something you aren't. I'm talking about movies like "Jackie Brown", "Bringing Out the Dead", "Casino", "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues", "Eyes Wide Shut". These are flicks which most of these guys did in response to a much greater successes prior. They have real odors permiating from them--but they endure because they have the hands of divinity on them as well. In a world where we are bombarded with such jacked-up high octane comic book product--when each fanboy darling is lifter higher than the last--we are soo lucky to be able to witness guys like the Coens and Tarantino reappear and JUST TAKE EVERYONE TO SCHOOL EVERY TIME.
April 19, 2004, 12:43 p.m. CST
Beatty's presence would have added an extra level of heft and meaning to that last chunk of "Kill Bill"... Carradine was fine, but Beatty would have been tremendous...
April 19, 2004, 12:57 p.m. CST
you know what's great about something like this; you don't have to read the whole thing then einstein
April 19, 2004, 1:26 p.m. CST
I don't think a two-film slump (in less than a year) is reason enough to go into crisis mode. Judged against other prolific directors, this is like Hitch following up ROPE with the tepid duo of UNDER CAPRICORN and STAGE FRIGHT before getting to STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, or, to cite an even worse string of failures, Woody Allen's trio of RADIO DAYS, SEPTEMBER and ANOTHER WOMAN in between the brilliant HANNAH AND HER SISTERS and CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. Just thought I'd add some actual grist for discussion.
April 19, 2004, 1:46 p.m. CST
How many movies have you written and directed? Oh, that's right... ZERO. So, you MUST be the ideal person to tell the Coen Brothers what to do. Sarcasm aside, you should really be queit, Moriarty. Your arguments against "Intolerable Cruelty" and "The Ladykillers" are thin and unrealized, like you watched both movies out of the corner of your eye. How can you not see that "The Ladykillers" is a brilliant comedy? While not necessarily improving upon Alexander MacKendrick's original, it does manage to bring the ingenious premise to a new generation of movie-goers. For those of us who ACTUALLY love the Coen brothers, the last two movies have been bright spots on the barren wasteland of American comedy. This Coen Bros. phase may not be to your liking, but if you want to write bitchy open letters, start with Soderbergh, (whose recent slump is far less entertaining than anything the Coens have ever done.) Or for that matter, start with someone whose never made a great film period. Like you or me.
April 19, 2004, 2:01 p.m. CST
It's sounds a whole hell of a lot like you're saying it's literally impossible for a 'master director' to slip. To make an insignificant, second-rate work. Simply because they're master directors. I mean it's cool if you don't think the Coens aren't slipping, but it's a bit absurd to claim that their slipping is a literal impossibility. With that said, they are slipping. Their last 2 films have been very underwhelming. And not in a 'i might appreciate it more in the future' way. No. In a 'it's not very good' way. As for the other topics here: Kill Bill was great, though flawed, and it DOES seem like 2 completely different films, surprisingly. Which is good. The Matrix owns you all, all chapters, all incarnations. And.. that's about it.
April 19, 2004, 2:05 p.m. CST
by Mr Chuff
Man... I did that whole Matrix/Animatrix mix ages ago... it does work out cool though
April 19, 2004, 2:10 p.m. CST
Just Saw Matrix Revolutions for the first time. It made Matrix Reloaded look like a masterpiece. Lots of news characters I didnt care about ( or just forgot about) and hey lets make it incomprehensible and they everyone will die! boy what a bitter disappointment. also, that guy's list sucks. does he only watch bad 70s zombie movies?
April 19, 2004, 2:21 p.m. CST
Namely that the Coen Brothers should making movies. Nah, just kidding. It's just a fucking slump. Get over it. Hell, some people consider Lebowski to be a disappointment after the brilliance of Fargo. Those people are worng, but still. I'm proud to say I knew and loved every one of those 100 greatest moments. Do I get a reward? Will Patton Oswalt come over to my house and do tricks?
April 19, 2004, 2:31 p.m. CST
Are there certain levels of "Enter The Matrix" I should play? I'm just askin'
April 19, 2004, 3:23 p.m. CST
by Gheorghe Zamfir
Or just me?
April 19, 2004, 3:29 p.m. CST
by George Newman
The Wachowski Bros were jerks (to the general audience) for doing this but the video game has some very important stuff in it, so much so that I don't think I could have appreciated the films as much as I did without the game. One most know the game in order to understand why the crap Revolutions begins with a search for Niobe's ship. That is certainly NOT where Reloaded left you off. The plot holes of the sequels are filled in with Enter the Matrix. Such hole-fillers include 1) the retrieval of the package delivered in The Final Flight of the Osiris,, 2) Niobe's handy positioning behind a semitruck to catch Morpheus when he falls off,, 3) Niobe's and Morpheus go-ahead with the romance in Revolutions without the general getting in the way (Niobe pretty much broke up with him in the game). And then there was just a whole lot of FUN stuff like getting to know Ghost and Sparks. Ghost is by FAR my favorite character in the Matrix but he has only about 2 lines in all of the films. He is definitely the most likeable--he is not a Caricature(Morpheus), he is not stupid and long-winded (Trinity) and he is not a bad actor or whiny (Neo)--and he is sympathetic: He loves Trinity but she was destined to love the One. What I feel sucks for him is that she dies because of the One while she could have lived happily ever after with Ghost. Oh well. SO PLAY THE VIDEO GAME. Or at least get a friend who has and have him show you all the cinematics.
April 19, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST
Agree with the general sentiment. I am a Brit, have seen it, it is great, but youve let everyone know, its time to stop talking about it until (if) the US release happens. 3 words: overload.
April 19, 2004, 4:09 p.m. CST
by Snow Is Fun
Saying that it did only demonstrates poor taste. And I was super suprised to see Heavyweights get mentioned on that list. That was one of my favorite movies growing up. The part where Stiller goes swinging out over that cliff was hilarious, as was his complete breakdown toward the end. Hell, that whole movie was great.
April 19, 2004, 4:25 p.m. CST
I was the first one to defend matrix reloaded and revolutions but Enter the matrix the game was the biggest piece of shit game out since superman 64. It was THAT bad. And I agree that the worst move the wachoswkis did was assume everyone was going to go out and play the game JUST to see these stupid movies. If there was a way to see these videos without having to play the game then it would have made more sense, . Now they say that the MATRIX ONLINE a massive online multiplayer is going to answer more questions Offends me as a matrix fan. The whole purpose of a CONCLUSION of a story is to finalize everything and tell the fucken story. I have to agree that matrix revolutions ending left me wondering what the fuck just happened. I think everyone is smart enough now to know not to give a fuck about matrix anymore and move on to other stories. with better conclusions.
April 19, 2004, 4:33 p.m. CST
by Jervis Tetch
(Other than Pancake's demonstration of the "inert" explosives): (1) Introduction of Lump from the inside of his football helmet, taking hits, falling down including the pass bouncing off his helmet and the interceptor doing his little dance in front of him (2) Introduction of the General in his donut shop -- he and his wife are deadly; (3) Hanks' line when Mrs. Munson says she was surprised, "No, m'am, actually WE were surprised. You were "taken aback," though I can understand your confusion given the former terms' constant misuse in the vernacular." These were very Coen-like moments, to me. Plus: I liked how the General proved so quick and cat-like chasing Mrs. Munson's cat. He showed later just how deadly his speed could be. And the whole business with the garbage scow was a great ode to the original, a great running gag, and nicely Gothic in the Hitchcock tradition. These were all high points in a film that sure isn't perfect, but they shouldn't be forgotten.
April 19, 2004, 4:47 p.m. CST
by Bill Maher
Just wait and see!
April 19, 2004, 5:22 p.m. CST
Far from it. I saw the first one and was quite impressed. Not head-over-heels in love, but genuinely enthusiastic. Then I see "Reloaded", and I can honestly say i've never been so bored watching an action movie. Hell, i've never been so bored watching any movie. I take that back, "What Dreams May Come" was pretty boring. Still, it was all basically rehash with lame CGI human renderings. Worst of all, no one seemed to get hurt or fazed at all. I've said this before and i'm saying it again, it's like they were made of rubber. They just flipped around and bounced off each other with a series of effortless kicks and punches. This isn't even mentioning the wasted characters(the Merovingian, ghost guys, etc.) not to mention plot points that went nowhere(viruses are vampires and werewolves? okay why are you telling us that?). Worst of all, Neo just fucked around. Yeah, he knows kung fu, that's ALL he seems to know. He stopped bullets, jumped into an agent and blew him apart, and flew away at the end of the first movie. You'd think he'd have really refined and discovered new abilities by film 2, but you'd be wrong. He knows kung fu and flies. It was just a wasted oppurtunity.
April 19, 2004, 5:34 p.m. CST
by Junior Frenger
I believe Scorsese said it best and I'm paraphrasing here: "Filmakers should make movies based on there life not based on other movies" I think what Marty meant was that the emotional heart of the films should be based on personal experience. It's probably why Tarantino's film lack any real depth. Hey Moriarty, where's your re-review of The Punisher.
April 19, 2004, 5:43 p.m. CST
A) Neo and Smith don't hurt each other for a reason. The whole reason for that (supposedly pointless) fight is to denote a stalemate of their powers. The first hint to Neo that he can't beat Smith traditionally, and that Smith can't beat him traditionally. Something that pays off in the trilogies climax. As for other characters, The Agent beats Trinities ass pretty bad B) Uh, they talk about rogue programs because how else are they going to explain the appearance of ROGUE FRIGGIN PROGRAMS?! Such as the twins, merovingian, his henchmen, etc. Not to mention the importance of understanding the nature of characters in Revolution (Ramakandra i.e. dude in the train station, his daughter etc.) Typical for a Matrix underminer to miss the most obvious things. Not to mention the subtle. C) Neo not being able to "do more" is just asinine. He can fly, stop bullets and is basically invincible in the matrix... wtf else SHOULD he do? What more is there? "Well, I'm already invincible, but maybe I should do some super-speed freestyle swimming, just to expand as a Messiah". Horrible. You should feel embarassed for having these 'problems' with the film. The problem is you. You were bored because you're a moron.
April 19, 2004, 5:50 p.m. CST
by burt gummer
Has anyone considered the possibility that the reaon this site is hyping this film to the hilt is so that maybe Focus will get around to releasing it over there in the states. No its not a life changing film, its not the best thing ever (its close mind)You see, if enough people show an interest, maybe you guys in the US will get to see it sooner rather than after we Brits are sitting comfortably watchin it on our lovely DVDs.Have a banana!!
April 19, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST
I wish this site would stop praising Sean of the Dead as genius, by all accounts it's an amusing but typical british comedy-that's all. As for that 'open letter', this comes from the man who thought the world wanted another Mortal Kombat movie
April 19, 2004, 6:08 p.m. CST
by Bill Maher
You see, "great" movie scenes in general are subjective. There is no right or wrong answer. Some will go nuts over "No, I am your father." while others prefer "They call me MISTER TIBBS!". See what I mean? However, when it comes to nude scenes, there is only one opinion that's 100% right: MINE! Anyone who disagrees is a big fat fag. So here goes: (10) Halle Berry -as PUD! would say, a strong, proud black actress- shows some very strong, proud black knockers- and does a completely gratuitous topless sunbathing scene. "Gratuitous" means you get a good look. (9) Kate Fischer, Elle McPherson and Portia DeRossi in Sirens. Fischer is the least well known of the three, but by far the hottest. (8) Monica Bellucci in Dracula. If the Wajackoffski Brothers had gotten her to whip 'em out instead of pandering to computer nerds, the Matrix wouldn't have sucked so hard. (7) Salma Hayek in Frida. If Robert Rodriguez wasn't such a hack, he wouldn't have cut up her nude scene in Desperado like a goddamned car commercial.(6) TIE!Cynda Williams in Caught Up. One of the best racks on Earth./ Angelina Jolie in Gia and Foxfire. She also has one of the most amazing racks on Earth. (5) Kate Winslet in Jude. Forget tomboy beanpoles, give me a "fat chick" with big bouncy ass that just says "Go ahead and fuck me on the floor!" natural tits and a full bush. Landing strips suck!(4) Ione Skye in Gas, Food, Lodging. Perfect B-cups. Perfect ass. So perfect I forgot to put verbs in the last three sentences. (3) Nicole Kidman in Billy Bathgate. This should have been #1. Perfect face, tits, legs, ass, and auburn bush. But for some reason Kidman -A NATURAL REDHEAD!- started dying her hair blond. WHAT THE FUCK? Redheads RULE! I can't let that shit slide. (2) Uma Thurman in Dangerous Liaisons. Someone told me I had to see this fruity movie because she whipped 'em out. I rented a copy and right when she pulled off her nightgown... the screen was full of static and "snow". I complained to the rental place and they said "Yeah this happens a lot to that tape. We have to replace it every month. (1) Jennifer Connelly in the Hot Spot. Her jugs are so perfect they'll make you get on your knees and beg for buttermilk. I actually watched a Don Johnson movie to see these! She had such a perfect bod, that when I saw her all emaciated at the Oscars two years ago, I cried real tears of pain and sorrow. Some poo-stabber made her go on a diet. I hate Hollywood; I just hate it! =-=-=-=- Honorable mention should go to Katie Holmes in The Gift. Michelle Willimas in some lesbo movie on HBO. Maybe the dudes watching Dawson's Creek weren't cocksuckers after all... and Phoebe Cates in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. She sold more records for the Cars than that shitty band deserved. Got lists of your own? Who cares what you think? Shove your lists FAR up your ass!
April 19, 2004, 6:11 p.m. CST
by The Dude Abides
Citizen Kane is a watershed moment in cinema. Empire is by far the best of the Star Wars movies. The negative prints of Indiana Jones should DEFINITELY not be burned. Ben Hur is phenomenal. Casablanca is one of my favorite films of all times (although it is tough for me to decide if Seven Samurai or The Third Man is actually at the top of my list). The Lord of the Rings trilogy is by far the best movie series given to cineastes in this millenia. Oh, and its spelled MASOCHISTIC you dumb fuck. Don't condescend to me because I have an opinion about Tarantino's failure as a director. Yes, I did sit through the whole thing. Both fucking volumes. Because I believed that Tarantino deserved a chance. And you know what? If he re-edits it into one film, I'll give it another shot. But until then, go back to twiddling your fucking thumbs and watching Dragonball Z.
April 19, 2004, 6:14 p.m. CST
I saw these movies on the weekend and I still don't understand all the dick sucking for Quentin Tarantino and the hatred for The Punisher. After seeing Kill Bill, I felt so violated that I felt like asking for my money back. Take the intro for example, same as the first movie and the second scene after the intro was like a commercial. The Samuel L. Jackson cameo was unnecessary (message to Tarantino: You're not going to make the movie any better by casting the baddest dude from Pulp Fiction). The scene where Mr. Madsen was being drilled by his boss was also unnecessary and the way he died was weak. Another scene that didn't need to be in the movie is the Mexican pimp monologue. What the fuck was that? What was Tarantino's point? David Carradine's delivery was boring. Personally, I think he talked too damm much. Volume 1 had Bill being this mysterious bad motherfucker and Volume 2 he was a sentimental pussy...WTF! If he was to be the baddest guy around...How come his fight against Beatrice was so short and weak? I was thinking at the end of the movie that even Elle would kick his ass twice in one minute. Shit! I jerk off longer than a minute! The pacing was slow, the action was terrible and it had scenes that the editor forgot to delete. This movie had only one thing going and it was Pag Mei...nuff said. I give it 2 out of 4 fat men.******************** The problems I have with The Punisher is that too much was filmed on daylight and the change of location. I've always said that big New York gives Frank his indentity...grim with a dark soul. Thomas Jane was a great Frank. Travolta was good at the beginning and kind of over did it on the second half. Laura Harring is so fucking hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost dropped my pants in the theater to pull off a Pee Wee Herman everytime she was on screen. HUMMANA HUMMANA HUMMANA! Frank's neighbors gave it that comic book feel. The action was brutal at times. Almost at the end when Frank was dishing out bullets and he was being hit without taking any cover and not giving a fuck, I was like, " Oh Shit! now that's The Punisher". I do have a little problem with the T-shirt Punisher suit, but I can understand that maybe he wasn't thinking on being a vigilante just yet. Maybe if there's a sequel, we'll see the whole bullet proof body suit and shooting motherfuckers in a dark alley somewhere in Hell's Kitchen. I give it 3 out of 4 fat men. Stick that to your pipe and smoke it big man...C H E E R S Amigos!
April 19, 2004, 6:32 p.m. CST
Because of your insessent yattering about the Spaced what has the Simon Pegg and the comedy, i went and bought series 2, even though i didnt care much for the first one, and even though it was going to cost me twenty quid. Why? Because of you, you fiend. you're yammering about how its the best thing what you ever did see and so on caused me to rethink my life. Especially the bit of it where i said "spaced isn't for me, not at all". Hey, i was wrong. Give a man a motherfucking break for once in your lives. sheesh. Anyway, series 2 of that there comedy what has the Simon Pegg turned out to be very funny, and won me over instantly on account of the Manhattan homage. Becuase of this twist in the tale (the twist is that i liked it) i won't charge you twenty quid. Make it, i dunno, 4 quid, lets say. Just whatever you have on you at the time. Cheers. Duke De Mondo http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando
April 19, 2004, 6:40 p.m. CST
Is the best thing what Mori has posted on here in a while. Great stuff. Duke De Mondo http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando
April 19, 2004, 7:18 p.m. CST
If you were satisfied with Neo's performance inside the Matrix in Reloaded, you're the one who is lacking in Imagination. Read "Stranger in a Strange Land", then watch Reloaded again, and tell me Neo does enough with his powers. Morpheus tells Neo in the first film that inside the Matrix rules can be "bent" or stretched, UNLESS you're the One, in which case you can edit the code of the Matrix at will in real time. Strictly speaking, anything possible within the range allowed by the physical laws of the entire universe should have been possible for Neo. He should have been able to open black holes next to agents in the Matrix if he wanted to. He should have been able to turn the air around agents into plasma at the same temperature as the heart of the sun. At the very least, assuming we don't want to let him do things like this for plot reasons, he should have been able to make the floor disappear under people, open 100 foot pits in the street under the Smiths during the burly brawl, made cement walls appear in front of Smith punches, etc. This is FAR from the real problem I had with the last 2 films [my main problem is that the Wachowskis stopped recasting Platonist idealism in amusing ways, and started spewing French post-modernism in unamusing and incredibly dull ways] but it is definitely a valid criticism: Neo's powers do not fulfill the promise of the first film, and the rules of the universe as they were explained to the audience.
April 19, 2004, 7:22 p.m. CST
by super Cucaracha
At least The Punisher had two women showing their tits. Bill would have never killed Laura Harring if she was The Bride. He'd be like "Shit, this woman is fine. I want to fuck her again and again so why kill her?" Kill Bill vol 1 was cool, volume 2 dragged ass.
April 19, 2004, 7:33 p.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
If Bruce Wayne is his mask, he's just a mentally disturbed vigilante. QT was right about Superman... think about it, when Superman was 5 years old he was leaps and bounds (so to speak ) above a 5 year old bruce wayne. Superman never had a human life. By definition, he was an alien. Clark Kent was an alien's impersonation/interpretation of a human being. Bruce Wayne might be a lot of things, but he's still just a human no matter what's going on between his ears.
April 19, 2004, 7:40 p.m. CST
by Smeg For Brains
Big Lebowski is definitely the most OVERRATED of their films. Raising Arizona is great, but not much more than a quirky comedy. Ladykillers is a quirky comedy for the most part, but it has moments that just blow me away, especially considering that it really isn't trying to be anything more than an extremely funny, quirky comedy. O'Brother is great, but I prefer Ladykillers. Never saw Intolerable Cruelty due to matters beyond my control, and I just haven't gotten around to checking it out on video yet. Man Who Wasn't There lacks the comedy that the Coens are so great at and makes their films so brilliant. Millers Crossing is by far the best Coen Bros. movie ever. It perfectly blends their senses of complex storytelling, hilarious comedy, and incredible visuals into one of the best films ever made period. Fargo is second best as it brilliantly takes a completely serious story and treats it completely serious, yet still winds up being utterly hilarious. Moriarty is just plain wrong about Ladykillers. It is the best Coen bros. movie since Fargo.
April 19, 2004, 7:51 p.m. CST
Super Geeks liked it yeah, but super geeks have no lives!! Given the context, it forces me to conclude that you are completely fucking stupid.
April 19, 2004, 8 p.m. CST
by Harmonica Man
... it doesn't matter what film it is, I would say that there is someone on these talkbacks who'll shit on it... probably to make themselves sound smart because they don't fall in line with the rest of us "unsophisticated" types. I don't care what film it is (and I think somebody named quite a few earlier), whether it be The Godfather, Jaws, or A Clockwork Fucking Orange, some greasy-haired gnome living in mama's basement will crap all over it. Here's a contest... name one film in history that will be universally praised on AICN. Now here's a request... is there a site out there that one can actually have an intelligent conversation about film while recognizing that as an art form movies are totally subjective, and therefore not "crap" just because they make more than a few bucks during an opening weekend?
April 19, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST
The petition starts here: http://www.nitro-movies.com/Features/209.html
April 19, 2004, 8:54 p.m. CST
Point 1)Did I specify the fight between Neo and Smith as the thing that left me wanting? Nope, I made a sweeping generalization about all the fights and I stand by it. Trinity, Morpheus, whoever and whatever, when they were fighting it was more choreography than fight choreography. I'm fully aware that they're fighting in a fake world, but why not make it interesting? I didn't see any kind of pain or damage inflicted on anyone, they just had some cuts, they never seemed to be in any kind of danger. Point 2) Rogue programs? Yeah, I get that, but why go to the trouble of saying they're vampires and werewolves? WHY NOT JUST SAY THAT THEY'RE ROGUE PROGRAMS AND LEAVE IT AT THAT??? That's like Q saying to James Bond "This car has a rocket launcher" and James Bond not using it later on to blow something up. I wasn't filled with vampire and werewolf lust like Harry, but really, what's the point if there isn't a payoff? Point 3) DID YOU EVEN READ MY POST?? Or is there a Cliff Notes edition floating around somewhere you skimmed through? HE BLEW AN AGENT UP BY JUMPING INTO HIM AND FOR AN ENCORE HE CAUSED THE SPACE AROUND HIM TO EXPAND AND CONTRACT. Forgive me for having an imagination but I assumed that someone with that kind of power who's just getting the hang of it could really start some shit in some cool mind-boggling ways. Hell, I might have less to bitch about if did do some super-speed free-style swimming. At least I would have gotten the impression someone was trying to be inventive. Now that that is all out of the way. YOU should be embarassed because YOU are a hypocrite for not really reading my grievances and furthermore you weren't bored because you are a moron.
April 19, 2004, 9:05 p.m. CST
ALL OF YOU THAT DID NOT LIKE KILL BILL VOLUME 2 DESERVE NUCLEAR WAR. You really do. As for the best all time movie moments, here goes: The big battle sequence in APOCALYPSE NOW. The most fucking brilliantly executed moment in film history. Rutger Hauer releasing the dove and lowering his head in death at the end of BLADE RUNNER. Spock's death in STAR TREK 2 (used to make me sob when i was little). The last ten minutes of PULP FICTION. Jean Paul Belmondo making faces at Jean Seberg as he dies in the end of BREATHLESS. De Niro talking to himself in TAXI DRIVER. Christopher Walken and De Niro playing russian roulette in THE DEER HUNTER. Al Pacino shooting the men who killed the Don in THE GODFATHER, and of course, the horsehead scene as well. The opening sequence in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. The first half of FULL METAL JACKET. "get away from her you bitch!" and ripley vs. the queen from ALIENS. and how could i forget, the death star sequence in STAR WARS. There are so many i can't remember them all....Robert Duvall climbing to the surface at the end of THX 1138. the final battle in HEAVEN'S GATE. Ripley falling to her death in ALIEN 3. The ending of 2001 A SPACE ODDYSEY. "it has already begun.." the ending of AKIRA. Those are just the ones that immediatley come to mind, but of course there are many many more and I could go on for hours. I'm probably gonna look back over this list and go "how could i forget so many!"
April 19, 2004, 9:23 p.m. CST
Anyway, "Raising Arizona" is a cinematic gem, while "Big Lebowski" is rather overrated. Still, Moriarty's surprisingly dull rant and attack on the Coens is his most unintentionally hilarious piece since the unforgettable "don't download Hulk or anything else for that matter, it's bad, m'kay?"... So, the brothers made some less-than-good films recently. That's why they need to stop? Why didn't Harry or Morty tell Donner or Goldstein to quit after their abysmal Timeline & Dreamcatcher, then? For that matter, why not tell, say, McGinty (Charlie's Angels) or that Pitofrenchy (Catwoman) to stop, instead? These two have *never* made even an average film. By the way,
April 19, 2004, 9:31 p.m. CST
I read an interview in fangoria I beleive where Quentin was asked if he would be directing his action scenes for Kill Bill and he said that getting another director to Direct the action scenes would be like going on a date, buying a girl dinner and then paying someone to fuck her for him. In another more recent interview he said that he considered great action directors to be the greatest directors.
April 19, 2004, 9:47 p.m. CST
April 19, 2004, 10:05 p.m. CST
Man, I haven't thought about Making The Grade in years. Now I must seek it out. Even if it was pretty sucky.=Also:Good list.
April 19, 2004, 11:09 p.m. CST
And I hate to say it, cuz I wanted to laugh at them for being wrong. But both movies are terrific. Sorry. I'll continue to doubt the reviews on this site, but these two are spot-on. Except I loved Intolerable Cruelty, so whatever. www.rockithardcore.com
April 19, 2004, 11:29 p.m. CST
I'm still waiting for Bubba Ho-tep. and the AICN crew blew that movie like it came from sophia loren's vagina.
April 19, 2004, 11:55 p.m. CST
I walked out of it. Tom Hanks doing a Col. Sanders impression is not funny. Actually nothing was in that movie.
April 20, 2004, 12:27 a.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
Superman was never a human being, Batman was an insane human. Any man can become insane and have an alternate personality takeover, but can any man become Superman?? not bloody likely. From the first moment Superman landed on earth he was non human, the very word "super" means "above." How can the fact that he is AN ALIEN be irrelevant in any discussion of Superman's identity? Having a human life and being raised as human don't mean shit if you can leap tall buldings in a single jump. It's not about environment. Being raised by wolves does not make one a wolf. QT's point was that Superman can pretend to be human, but he will always be ABOVE human. Bill's belief was that Kiddo can pretend to be a housewife but underneath she will alway be a natural born killer. Batman is just fucking insane and has no revelance to the discussion. Cut him and he'll bleed just like any other pussy. It's real tough to cut superman though, even though he had a shitty human upbringing. His super powers coursed through his body every second of every day of his life (with the exception of kryptonite encounters) so he was a lot more than alien in definition only. He would always only be a god playing at being human.
April 20, 2004, 1:41 a.m. CST
by Han Ol' Buddy
Who can forget Uli (played by Al Leong) in Die Hard setting up for the SWAT team ambush and glancing down at the candy bars in the display case? Who hasn't ever wanted to do that?!?! Best comic relief in an action movie full of comic relief I've ever seen.
April 20, 2004, 1:53 a.m. CST
I'm not going to repeat that that "open letter to the Coen brothers" was stupid and pretentious. I'll just list one - just ONE - of my favorite movie moments... "You've crossed my line of death!" "You haven't dismantled your MX stockpile!" "Pakistan is threatening my border!" "That's it buster - no more military aid!" -- NUKEM: Get them before they get you! Another quality game from Butler Brothers.
April 20, 2004, 4:03 a.m. CST
I admit to being vastly disappointed by Intolerable Cruelty, while still agreeing with most Coen fans that even a disappoiting Coens effort is better than 98 % of Hollywood product. But The Ladykillers was a welcome return to form for them. It may not reach the heights of anything they have done prior to Intolerable Cruelty, but it kept me laughing.
April 20, 2004, 6:53 a.m. CST
April 20, 2004, 6:59 a.m. CST
I just can't understand why this site persists in either talking a film up or talking it down. You are damaging people's response to these films, you are no longer objective because you have your feet in the Holywood door - your product is no better than anyone else's because you know film - why is this site so elitist now? I would appreciate it if you guys waded into talkbacks and defended yourselves, or instead of writing 'open-letters' to film-makers you could write one to all the people that shared in your early vision and now feel somewhat cheated by www.aintitcool.com. It's about time you updated your manifesto, I don't think I'm alone in being slightly jaded by the egotistical, back-slapping nature of Harry and Moriarty now.
April 20, 2004, 9:07 a.m. CST
You come off as the most pretentious amateur critic in the world. No offense but everytime you write something like this I chuckle and think of the comic book guy on the Simpsons. Seriously, I know its cliche, but I do. Now I know you have a "property in development". Let me let you in on a little secret , so do a third of the people who read this site most likely. It is enough that I can barely read your tripe, but then you give career advice to the Coen Brothers? You analyze them? How about this McWeeney. The people who read this site who actually have credibility most likely are big fans of the Coen Bros. Here's my advice for you, and I actually have creditibility to do this, just stop Moriarty just stop, for your own good. It's just sad at this point.
April 20, 2004, 9:51 a.m. CST
stop hyping shit like this, for serious. give us news, gossip, reviews, etc, but dont hype shit like this. you guys fuckin ruined hellboy for me with the six months of guillerimo handjobbing...so take it easy with the hype and maybe i wont be so disappointed if this shaun thing sucks
April 20, 2004, 10:49 a.m. CST
To be honest i expected 'Shaun of the dead' to suck but it was quite entertaining and funny, though it has been overrated in the press. Decent film, but nothing to start jerking off about. What pisses me off the most is the fact that they gave away practically every single funny joke IN THE TRAILER! All the other comedy in it was hit and miss, but the truly funny bits were all in the trailer. F**g studio executives.... -And while we are discussing zombies, am i the only one who thinks 'Night of the living dead' is a piece of shit that is so bad im at loss to explain its 'suckiness'? I enjoyed the original 'Dawn of the dead'(sequel matched up IMHO) but 'Night' was truly awful even with his limited budget. It annoys me the way the critics fawn over it like its a classic- even by B-movie standards i think its particularily bad.
April 20, 2004, 11:12 a.m. CST
Fluffy. The 'rules of the universe as they were explained to the audience' were that SOME rules can be bent and SOME can be broken. Morpheus, nor anyone else, specify which rules are which. Yet, you claim to know exactly which rules they are and to exactly the degree they can be bent or broken? Fascinating. Where did you locate this information I wonder? The fact that you wanted Neo opening black holes in the Matrix says everything about the validity of your opinion that i could never say in a thousand words. 007: 1) *shrug*, you're probably just focusing on the unimportant. The conflict is more in whether or not they'll complete their task, not whether or not they'll survive. As Morpheus says, their lives are secondary. 2) First of all the brothers are creating a UNIVERSE. A mythology that extends beyond just these films. So that's one reason. Another is that they fucking DO introduce vampires. When Persephone shoots Merovingian's henchmen she says "he's notoriously difficult to terminate. How many people do you know that carry SILVER BULLETS in their guns. *Bang*", and he's dead. hm, wonder why it takes a SILVER BULLET. Idiot. 3) Horrible. Some mindboggling ways, like say flying at incredible speeds, and fighting a hundrd Smith's at once? Yeah, check on the mindboggling. Just no ultra-homo, opening-black-hole type super-gay mind-boggling. Sorry if the matrix isn't queer enogh for you.
April 20, 2004, 11:24 a.m. CST
by Brian Bialy
I agree 100% with you on the nude scenes. Anorexic chicks suck, give me a healthy girl (No, not "BBW" or fatty, but with nice healthy tits and ass, mayby a little tiny pouch), a natural Bush (Landing strips are for the Playboy crowd, and playboy SUCKS. I want my women to look like WOMEN, not hairy Amazons or PRE TEEN GIRLS. Shaved is for PERVERTS! and landing patches look faker 'n silicone boobies! And I am sorry, Kill bill V.1 and 2 ROCKED in different ways (V.1 was action packed valentine to Hong Kong cinema and V.2 was a character developed homage to spaghetti westerns... both worked as ONE STORY, a hack couldn't do that). Matrix Revolutions and Reloaded, along with the Star Wars prequels do not exist. Any mentions of them will be ignored and I am forgeting this as I type! You know what would be cool? A sequel to the Matrix, that movie was incredible! I'd also like to see the Star Wars sequels finally get made, and then maybe even the prequels that Lucas has been talking about for years! The Coen Bros. Are geniuses, they don't need our "advice" I have yet to see The Ladykillers, but I will. And if I don't like it I can always pop Fargo or O' Brother into the DVD player. So in short: Natural (That doesn't mean fat hairy hippy) Women Rock. I would love to see a sequel to the Matrix and Love the Coens regardless.
April 20, 2004, 11:34 a.m. CST
What other info are you holding back? Your so busy pimping kill bill and shaun of the dead. Is shaun going to be direct to video? I wouldn't be at all suprised.
April 20, 2004, 11:58 a.m. CST
1) So? 2) No 3) So? 4) So? 5) Um, there was MORE llegitimate b/w in Kill Bill 2 than there was in 1, i.e. the whole opening scene. Most of the B/W in 1 is for censorhsip reasons. And you mistook it for a quality artistic choice? When it's quite obviously out of place? Speaks for itself. 6) So? It's part of the irony. Not doing the obvious and predictable thing is now considered a PROBLEM? I always thought that was a good thing. 7) It's just an interesting metaphor you dunce. 8) No. 9)No.
April 20, 2004, 12:09 p.m. CST
"insane-beard-flipper to teach her wax on, wax off"?? Guess you've never watched a fucking kung fu movie in your entire life...cause Pai Mei (or some rendition of him) is in like 75% of them.
April 20, 2004, 12:57 p.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
Acting like a human being does not make an ALIEN more of a human than a MAN like Bruce Wayne. Superman can't cross that vast biological divide. Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken, and a lifetime of dumbing a god down does not make him a human. Them's the facts. Unless I hear a substantive rebutal beyond "dude, you're wrong" I'll consider my argument fairly solid.
April 20, 2004, 1:29 p.m. CST
by Brian Bialy
Silver Shamrock, as much as I liked Kill Bill V.2, QT's (Bill)monologue on Superman was totally wrong. As are you. Superman is human because his HUMANITY comes from within. If he were to think that he were above "normal" non meta humans, what would there be to stop him from using his powers to lord it over the DC universe? It was his UPBRINGING in Smallville by caring, loving parents that make him HUMAN. Bruce Wayne does not exist, he is only a means to an end for the Batman. Bruces childhood was fine, but he lost his parents at a young age and was raised by a servant. Once he finished his training and put on the cape he CEASED being Bruce Wayne, and forever became the bat: a cold, calculating machine of vengance. Thats what makes the characters so cool in different ways. Sure Bruce is biologically more human, but Clarks soul and heart make him the person he is. As opposed to one tragedy defining Batmans "life". As Captain Kirk said of Spock in WOK: "Of all the souls I have encountered on my journey, his was the most.....HUMAN"
April 20, 2004, 2:08 p.m. CST
by Rapmaster C
Nice to see someone actually standing up for the Matrix movies. I refuse to believe that all the people here actually hate these films, rather than just being sheep and attacking them for the sake of it. The "problems" with the films are becoming more and more obscure, as people seem desperate to find something wrong. As for Moriarty, thanks for the good Kill Bill review. While I haven't seen the first volume (and probably won't see the second), it was finally a good review of the film. Now what about Spiderman 2? Any more news....
April 20, 2004, 4:28 p.m. CST
...for the Office DVD details. Much obliged.
April 20, 2004, 4:35 p.m. CST
You admittedly have absolutely no concept of, or appreciation for, quality filmmaking in general, and if a film isn't a great samurai film (or at least if it doesn't have infinite bloodshed/action sequences), then it can not be a great film at all. Terrific logic. I'm sure glad you haven't been exposed as an absolute clown. Oh, wait...
April 20, 2004, 4:36 p.m. CST
You admittedly have absolutely no concept of, or appreciation for, quality filmmaking in general, and if a film isn't a great samurai film (or at least if it doesn't have infinite bloodshed/action sequences), then it can not be a great film. Terrific logic. I'm sure glad you haven't been exposed as an absolute clown. Oh, wait...
April 20, 2004, 5:06 p.m. CST
Fett's back! Oh wait... no he isn't. I wish you guys would stop banning him. We need a real nemesis here. He brings... purpose... to the TB Matrix.
April 20, 2004, 5:34 p.m. CST
by D. Allusion
And the Crazy 88's fight is a RIOT in color. In fact, there are several graphic shots and other moments in that scene that don't appear in the US version. And I haven't even seen what happens to Sofie Fatale yet!
April 20, 2004, 5:41 p.m. CST
Fucking great movie. Cohen brothers return!
April 20, 2004, 5:53 p.m. CST
Dead wrong. When training Neo, Morpheus specifically talks about the type of rule-bending that is available to Agents and [to a limited degree] humans who know what the Matrix is. You can run faster, you can have preternatural agility, you can get information and knowledge downloaded directly into your brain. But there is also the scene where the machines trap Morpheus and the crew in the building by EDITING THE CODE OF THE MATRIX TO BRICK UP THE WHOLE BUILDING AND BLOCK THE EXITS. In other words, they change the physical landscape of the building by changing the code. This should not be difficult to do, with direct access to the code; the only reason there are walls or buildings in the Matrix at all is because all of the physical reality has been composited and fed into the brains of the people experiencing the Matrix: walls are there because you get electrical impulses in your brain telling you that you feel and see a wall. Neo stops bullets and the like because he is able to make the code say what he wants it to say. If rewriting the code can make bricks appear and fill windows and block exits in a building, rewriting the code can make stone walls appear in empty space anywhere in the Matrix. And it should be able to make ANY phenomena which exists ANYWHERE in the Matrix available at any time to anyone who can edit the code. I specified that a black hole would be a bit over the top, because it would destroy the entire Matrix at once, and on a plot basis you could claim that Neo refrained from doing it because it would be too powerful. You could also argue that the phenomena doesn't exist as available code to write, because there aren't really any black holes in the Matrix, there are only the measurements we make of them at a distance [I would refer you to Hawking for a discussion of the relevant distinction, if any, between the measurement of a singularity and the singularity itself]. But you just can't argue that kung fu was the best weapon available to Neo, because if that's the case being the One means very little except for marginal greater control of the "rules" of the Matrix than Morpheus already had, as an example. Neo fails to physically manipulate the Matrix to any significant degree at any point in Reloaded, and that was supposedly the point of awakening his powers as the One in the first film. Who knows? Maybe Neo is a dope, but given his powers as shown at the end of the first film it should be impossible not only to fight Neo but even to touch him in the Matrix, if he doesn't want you to, whether you're an "upgrade" or not. His powers should allow him to - fuck it - surround himself with a shield made of inpenetrable buckeyballs, or extend the distances between himself and his opponent from feet to miles at will. It's all code, and he is supposed to be able to edit the code. Given him less impressive abilities than the Moriarty character in Star Trek holodeck episodes did not impress me, since he's supposed to be a messiah figure. But to repeat myself YET AGAIN, this is far from the biggest problem with this film, and is kind of a side issue, so if you want to insist that his powers are just fine, hey - whatever floats your boat.
April 20, 2004, 6:09 p.m. CST
You are interpolating conclusions with little to no data to back them. Neo can SEE Matrix code, not edit it. Again, it's never said or implied to what degree the one can bend or break rules, as compared to other non-One humans. The ONLY rule the Brothers laid out in this regard is that The One can do more than non-Ones. And Neo DOES do more than them. Why you think he should be able to edit code (and thereby physically alter the matrix)... i don't know. It's a contrivance of your own imagination, not a necessity of the reality of the film.
April 20, 2004, 7:01 p.m. CST
I think there's a very fine line when arguing this point. Shamrock questions Supes' humanity because he is not ,in fact, human; making him more Superman. Kneel is arguing Supes' values are what makes undeniably human and there for more Clark. There are valid arguments either way. I think I have to go with the stance though that is indeed more Superman than Clark. As an example, look at the Superman film. I doubt Kal-El's true self is the foppish, clumsy do-gooder from the film. Superman is who he truly is. While his values are instilled from the Kents, he has accepted Superman as who he really is. Clark is a persona he adopts to fit in with the rest of society. Superman is confident and a leader of men. Clark is an Oaf that stutters and can talk to women. That is the context of Bill's speech. That is why he is Superman and Clark is the alter ego.
April 20, 2004, 7:19 p.m. CST
"He stares into the darkness, confessing as much to himself as to Neo. MORPHEUS When the Matrix was first built there was a man born inside that had the ability to change what he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was this man that freed the first of us and taught us the secret of the war; control the Matrix and you control the future. He pauses. MORPHEUS When he died, the Oracle prophesied his return and envisioned an end to the war and freedom for our people. That is why there are those of us that have spent our entire lives searching the Matrix, looking for him. Neo can feel his eyes on him. MORPHEUS I did what I did because I believe the search is over."
April 20, 2004, 7:39 p.m. CST
Stopping the bullets would require Neo to physically alter the Matrix. He would either have to remove the momentum of the bullets [meaning he controls either their mass or their speed] or he would have to oppose the momentum with an equal and opposite force, or he would have to interpose a barrier that was transparent to light but which the bullets could not cross. Come to think of it, any of those options actually requires more discrete control of the code than dropping a few bricks into the air someplace.
April 20, 2004, 8:36 p.m. CST
This Moriarity comes off as a smug and hateful person with this attack on the Coens. I did not like it. Interlorable Cruelty was funny. More of a return to a Raising Arizona type of Coens. Sorry you didn't like it, Moriarity. While the LadyKillers is probably my least favorite Coen movie, it certainly looks and feels like a Coen movie still and it certainly doesn't merit this guy telling them to "stop".... where does Moriarity get off telling the Coen's to stop? According to what he wrote, the Coen's are on a 2 film slump to him ... welll ... even if there are on a 2 film slump (I disagree with his take on Intelorable Cruelty) ... SO WHAT. I have every confidence they'll give us films in the future on par with their best. But their last 2 are still better than most of the slop out there. Maybe it's just me, but these reviewers seem more like frustrated wannabees trying to get in or stay the film business now than people who think "Aint It Cool?" Once you step over thru the looking glass, attacks on the Coens like this seem a little mean-spirited and not the work of a fan. It sounds more like someone who can't get anything produced and takes out his frustration on something he unfairly thinks is inferior to his professional tastes. I take offense to telling the Coens "Please... Joel and Ethan... stop."
April 20, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST
I've already stated that I will no longer try to explain these films to Matrix bashers, but I will rub their noses in their blind stupidity. All super heroes have a power cap, any creator of super heroes worth their salt knows this. "Neo's cap" is intricately weaved into the whole meaning of the fucking films. If your asking why Neo didn't go all "Akira" in the Matrix, you do not know what his cap is, if you do not know what his cap is, or even worse, you didn't even know he had a cap, then the meaning of the movies has escaped you and Meleractor is still laughing at your ignorance.
April 20, 2004, 8:56 p.m. CST
My fear going into LADYKILLERS was that by hiring Tom Hanks (and releasing through Touchstone instead of Miramax), the Coen Bros were going even more mainstream than INTOLERABLE CRUELTY. But there wasn't much that was mainstream about LADYKILLERS. And add to the memorable scenes already mentioned here, the one showing the cobwebs on the jailcell key.
April 20, 2004, 8:59 p.m. CST
Vampires can't be killed with silver bullets. Those guys Persephone wasted were the werewolves. I can't believe this kid is calling me an idiot. So the Wachowski's are creating a large scale mythology eh? Well, maybe they should have been more creative. Other mythology doesn't let logic or anything else get in the way. Loki was fucked by a horse and gave birth to Sleipnir. No one batted an eye. They could have made a really interesting story and actually branched off into different amazing directions, but they decided not to. The only thing I really liked about Reloaded was the Merovingian, a very interesting character with infinite layers to be uncovered. But the Wachowski's said let's not let something new and interesting get in the way of repetition and so we see him for about 3 minutes and never again in Revolutions. It's no wonder the Passion is making so much more money than the Matrix. Jesus is way cooler than Neo, and he doesn't even wear a trenchcoat. He never let a lack of imagination limit his powers. Healing the sick, water to wine, making much out of little(bread and fish), walking on water, coming back from the dead, Jesus wasn't afraid to let his mind roam free. Anyway, i'd like to thank everyone who backed me up and brought their own compelling(in some cases better) arguments to the table. Especially Fluffy, Lord knows we've had our political differences, but at least we can occasionally join in on a bipartisan effort to show this kid what a lifeless sham a trilogy of movies were.
April 20, 2004, 9:05 p.m. CST
Wow, I'm sure you'd have a great argument, if you could be bothered to make it, instead of just falling back on "If you don't already know what I'm thinking, I guess I can't explain it to you".
April 20, 2004, 10:52 p.m. CST
"one only bounded by rules to the extent its inhabitants believe that it is" this is a very important statement, unfortunately you have imprinted it's meaning on the WRONG characteristics of the movies, and not the place it was intended. "Still using all the muscles except the one that counts". Jesus christ Ivy league it's slapping you in the fucking face. You are still chewing on the "dream" Morpheus had such a hard time letting go of. (hint) The "bad guys" are the walking clue sticks for you "bright boys," listen VERY CLOSELY to what they have to say and you just might garner a tidbit or two. You believe Neo can do anything he "wishes" he can do. But the question you have never fully ask yourselves is why. Surely big brains like you are familiar with Greek Mythology, what were those gods so fond of doing? Perhaps the Merovingian could tell you...the architect certainly has. For such a simple minded film people are sure missing a lot. Back to Super Heroes, they have caps, those who don't become boring really fast, as one who tells these types of tales can assure you. Neo most certainly has a cap. But there is no way in hades I'm telling you what it is. You know something just occurred to me, maybe I'm overshooting your complaints. Maybe your not so much upset about a characters seemingly illogical physical limitations than the simple fact your mad because he didn't shoot hot plasma from his fingertips? Perhaps fiery eye-beams? Maybe a propensity to magnetic attraction, hmn? Come on admit it, that's why your pissed, you wanted Neo to give Morpheus the power of transmogrification, and trinity the ability to phase through objects. Well as "exciting" as all that sounds, they are kung fu movies for crying out loud (a little restraint please), and even the kung fu is an illusion. But as someone stated early they are creating a "universe." Perhaps some of these "cool" features will rear their head, but really, let's learn the basics first. Now, who here can tell me what Neo's "cap" is? Anyone, anyone?
April 20, 2004, 11:45 p.m. CST
How many times must the creators rebuke this idiotic claim.
April 20, 2004, 11:46 p.m. CST
Moriarty!!!! SPLIT THIS THINGS UP. Give them their own page each.
April 21, 2004, 12:01 a.m. CST
Thanks for saying everything about Batman vs Superman so I didn't have to. The fact that Superman is an alien is wholly irrelevant to each of their characterzations. Superman is so much more human than Bruce Wayen. Its like Kirk said at Spock's funeral, "Of all the people I've met in my travels, he was the most... human."
April 21, 2004, 12:09 a.m. CST
I think most Coen fans would agree with Moriarty that there is something missing from their last two films. From almost any other filmmakers, this wouldn't be a surprised. But the Coens went for so long with a perfect track record of awe-inspiring genius that we started to take their near flawlessness for granted. Intolerable Cruelty was someone else's script that they rewrote and were talked into directing. It definitely felt like a work for hire, with the L.A. divorce lawyer satire being pretty lightweight for them. But it was still pretty damn funny. I have heard other people say that it isn't recognizable as a Coen brothers movie, but I can't imagine how you could hear any of the dialogue in the movie and not know it immediately. And Clooney is great. Ladykillers is a little more disappointing. Marlon Wayans' character is especially un-Coen-like - a corny stereotype that isn't funny or true to life. I thought JK Simmons was hilarious, though, and the lady's contempt for "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" was one for the ages. (I don't know what to make of the weirdly uncomfortable racial themes.) But Moriarty's statement that it doesn't seem like the Coens visual is baffling to me. I guess maybe if you'd never seen O Brother Where Art Thou. I thought the garbage barge, for one thing, was very Coen-esque. And the football helmet POV shot. And the southern setting in general. * * * Anyway, here's my theory for why these two were not masterpieces. I think it's because they're following other people's storylines. They have said that when they're writing a script they regularly stop and ask themselves what the audience thinks will happen next, and then go in the opposite direction. You can't do that much when you're rewriting someone's romantic comedy or working different characters into the storyline from an old Alexander Mackendrick movie. Nor can the story come out of the personalities of the characters, since the story is already pre-ordained when they come up with the characters. (I do have to admit that the original Ladykillers is a lot more satisfying, especially since the old lady is rewarded for her kindness.) * * * And finally, I would like to note that most Coen brothers movies are not truly understood until they are viewed twice. And how many of us have viewed these two twice? How do we even know what we're talking about?
April 21, 2004, 12:24 a.m. CST
by Jon E Cin
Guess I was wrong.
April 21, 2004, 9:31 a.m. CST
by I Shot Kennedy
April 21, 2004, 10:23 a.m. CST
I've just gone and bought the DVD of a brilliant TV series Peter Serafinowicz made: "Look Around You". Hilarious spoof of late 70s schools' science programmes... Oh, you have to see it. Edgar Wright is in it. And Nick Frost. And there are many uncredited cameos... Try and order it, Moriarty, and see what you think.
April 21, 2004, 10:49 a.m. CST
by Rapmaster C
You scold Illegit for apparently telling Matrix bashers that they don't "get it", and that he is wrong for saying this, and yet you tell him that he should be "embarassed" for liking Revolutions. So anyone who actually liked Revolutions should be embarassed? I don't think so. Uninspired action sequences? So the Burly Brawl and the Freeway chase didn't surpass the action in the first movie at all? Well, thats your opinion. The point is, there are people who like the Matrix films. Some people genuinely dislike them, while others are simply drawn into the contraversy and criticism thrown at the Wachowski brothers. But if a person doesn't like the Matrix films, it doesn't make that person any cooler or smarter by constantly going "The Matrix sucked! It sucked!".
April 21, 2004, 10:52 a.m. CST
by Rapmaster C
You scold Illegit for apparently telling Matrix bashers that they don't "get it", and that he is wrong for saying this, and yet you tell him that he should be "embarassed" for liking Revolutions. So anyone who actually liked Revolutions should be embarassed? I don't think so. Uninspired action sequences? So the Burly Brawl and the Freeway chase didn't surpass the action in the first movie at all? Well, thats your opinion. The point is, there are people who like the Matrix films. Some people genuinely dislike them, while others are simply drawn into the contraversy and criticism thrown at the Wachowski brothers. But if a person doesn't like the Matrix films, it doesn't make that person any cooler or smarter by constantly going "The Matrix sucked! It sucked!".
April 21, 2004, 11:15 a.m. CST
Fluffy. As to your first response, who knows what the fuck morpheous was talking about there or to what degree it was true. It's probably his interprettation of something the Oracle told him. I do find that passage interesting though, because I think he's (unknowingly) talking about Neo who is the FIRST coming of the true One, not the second coming, and Morpheous has the story half right as usual. And yes, stopping bullets would require the bending/breaking of matrix rules. As would flying. Been established. You haven't made a point in pointing this out. You assume that all Matrix law is equal, and that neo can do any and everything he wants. 2 false ASSUMPTIONS, with no backup. You lose. AncientLights: Yes, you most likely are a moron. Yes, most film critics are morons. While I consider critics a valuable resource, as they tend to be the most knwledgeable about film, they do have their limits. Namely films that aren't filmic such as The Matrix Trilogy. In such cases being an expert on FILM can and does adversely affect one's perspective. For most films I find myself agreeing with critics far more often than with audiences. This is just one of those cases where their expertise only hurts their ability to give a fair critique, and both critics and audiences, are wrong. 1) Revolutions is the least philosophical of the 3 films, true, but the "issues from the previous films" don't NEED to be addressed in Revolutions as they are fully addressed in both Matrix and Reloaded. And some of the philosophical issues are capitalized in subtle ways i..e. Morpheous' last words in the film. Anyways, this is not a fault, not even a comment on the film itself. 2) False. 3) Somewhat. Not terribly important however, as again, this film isn't very filmic in nature. 4) Dead wrong. Between Reloaded and Revolutions you have 4 of the (6) best action sequences from 2003, as well as some of the most innovative and brilliant of all-time. (the other 2 being House of Blue Leaves and Minas Tirith). 5) Again, it's boring because, yes, you don't get it. You are a moron. And it would be one thing if it's detractors just didn't get the metaphors, the layering, the references, or the subtleties, but as is always the case with the lifeless matrix-hater, they miss MAIN FUCKIN PLOT points, and HUGE themes. Which isn't surprising. I'm a grown ass man, and I will always appreciate every chapter of the Matrix, as they deserve infinite appreciation. Hopefully you can learn to "devolve" someday, and appreciate it yourself. If not, then you will, regrettably still be dwelling in and amongst the moronic.
April 21, 2004, 11:57 a.m. CST
People I love and respect enjoy horrible films all the time, and i don't take them to task for it. However, the quote doesn't have relevance in this case, as the film in question is an unquestionably great work of art, and the only thing presented as a rebuttal to this well-established conclusion is often mis-guided and ignorant popular opinion.
April 21, 2004, 12:08 p.m. CST
I called people morons because they are morons. Because by the inadvertant admissions of their inquiries, they've proven to not grasp the films. Not even simple, obvious aspects of the film. Which I displayed fully and without rebuttal. And your opinion of the film is no more informed or sophisticated than my own. "Why is Revolutions a bad film?" "Because my opinion is informed and sophisticated" "What makes your opinion more informed and sophisticated than mine?" "The fact that i know revolutions is a bad film". The self-fulfilling prophecy. the circular logic. call it what you will it's a clown in clown shoes.
April 21, 2004, 12:11 p.m. CST
By the exact same token of the notion from your 'textbook', i have no problem with someone disliking Revolutions. Like or dislike at will. Just don't deny that it's a tremendous work of art.
April 21, 2004, 12:15 p.m. CST
After reading dozens of geekgasm reviews for these films, I think I'm about ready to turn in my Pop Culture Nerd Union card. You could perhaps cull one solid movie out of the two films that define the word "graituitous" with all it's positive and negative connotations, but I think even that would be a stretch. These films have all the eye pleasing techinque of a great piece of cinema, but all the maturity of the latest eye-catching music video making the TRL rounds. Uma Thurman has some of the worst line delivery in recent memory in a role that, when compared to the overly detailed villains of the piece, sets outr heroine up as a virtual cypher. The conviction of Daryl Hannah's work in a terribly cartoonish role made me long for her to swap characters with Thurman. As Elle Driver, Thurman could have worked her cringe-inducing inflections to over-the-top comical effect, instead of sinking her performance as The Bride to a large degree. Uma's best work, said to say, remains her appearance in Richard Linklater's "Tape." I'm still trying to figure out how people have so completely misread Michael Madsen's part, as well. He's not some sad soul who's conscience has led him to a punishing existence, as evidenced by his fucking burying the Bride alive. Elle makes it clear he's an alkie loser who's drank his money and competence dry. A stupid bout of overconfidence leads to the Bride's poor fortunes, and more time spent on Madsen's irritating attempt at Southern mannerisms. Dear God in heaven, I don't know whether to thank You or curse Your mysterious ways in not having Tarantino play Pei Mei. He's a cheesy turd of a character that, coupled with Tarantino's "acting," might have lifted the wool from fanboy eyes in regard to the merit of this piece of movie trash. Instead, reveling in the awful but accurate take on a kung fu standard by Gordon Liu insures folks will continue using "Kill Bill's" glorification as validation for their bad taste in chop sockey.
April 21, 2004, 12:40 p.m. CST
And all you had to say is "Your criticism speaks volumes". Actually, it does. The first film's universe made perfect sense, once you granted its central premise. The Matrix is not real. It is entirely a computer simulation. That means that none of the objects perceived or forces experienced by the subjects in the Matrix are real. None of them. The humans who perceive the lack of reality of the objects and forces in the Matrix are able to transcend the illusion in limited ways, due to the fact that they are not mentally accepting the illusion [and their acceptance is the Matrix's only reality]. You therefore have children who can "bend" spoons, because the spoon isn't there, and Morpheus and Trinity et al can run and fight faster, jump farther, etc. than normal people. The power of the One, and I pointed out to you where this is explicitly stated in the script, is that he is fully aware of the illusionary nature of the Matrix, and can CHANGE IT. The only way he can change it is to CHANGE THE CODE, because since it is a computer simulation it is nothing BUT code. And Neo does indeed change the Matrix "physically" [in quotes since the Matrix does not have an actual physical existence] when he stops the bullets. All of these are actually beyond dispute, and if you refuse to stipulate them it is because you have thrown out the first film in your desire to protect the others from criticism. It's a neat little universe-within-a-universe, and is entirely reasonable as far as it goes, and the Wachowskis were able to use it to make a clever film with nice, if very basic, references to Plato's Cave and a few interesting, if trite in 1998, digs at the power and perception structure of our own "real" world. But they didn't do that in the next two films. They decided to make a philosophical break with the first film that turned into an artistic break [as it inevitably would]. Rather than have a line of dialogue or two echo Baudrillard, but leaving the core of the film to Plato, as they did in the first film, they decided to go totally postmodern in Reloaded and Revolutions. Rather than straightforwardly explain the rules of their universe and then wind it up and watch it go, as they did in the first film, instead they present no argument at all, but present a pastiche of images and characters whose names and actions we are supposed to DECODE to try to impose meaning on the film. "Oooo, he's the Merovingian, that means this!" They also abandon logic and sense to express simple frustration instead of insight [ending in a stalemate, having everything be an enimga, etc.]. Finally, they pretend that anyone who demands that the film demonstrate coherence and consistency "doesn't get it". Since the use of dilettantish collages in place of creativity, the use of petulance instead of logic, and empty braggadocio instead of persuasion are the essence of postmodernist philsophy and style, the last two Matrix films are actually remarkably efficacious examples of postmodernism in art. They also suck, for those very same reasons, but I guess to you that's beyond the point. Why can't you just admit that the W's decided that they wanted a particular plot, and to realize it, they were forced to abandon the rules they had set up for the One in the first film? It's OK to admit that they were forced to dial back Neo's abilities, because if they had not done that they would be trapped by the logic of the powers they had assigned him and would be forced to show a different plot than the one that they wanted. Neo can't go on a little journey and meet all these characters if there is no goal within the Matrix that he can't accomplish by simple thought. He can't have fights that cost $20 million to make if it is impossible to fight him. So they made it up as they went along.
April 21, 2004, 12:54 p.m. CST
I said that Neo would have to be alter the code of the Matrix to some degree. YOU, and only YOU, and nothing in the films, are demanding that his control over Matrix code MUST be complete and total. No where does it say or imply that in the film. And I addressed the relevance of Morpheous speech about the one already. But to reiterate, we don't know how correct Morpheous is or even what he's referring to. Rules from the first film: adhered to fully and without seam in the sequels. An amazing feat in and of itself
April 21, 2004, 1:26 p.m. CST
by I Shot Kennedy
April 21, 2004, 1:51 p.m. CST
See... Neo is the 1... it means he's the hottie in the movie that turns everyone ON (get it, binary)... Agent Smith is the 0 ... man, no one wants to make out with poor Agent Smith. So, they have a big fight and then the father (Architect) realizes that he shouldn't have given Neo the Technicolor coat.. er code... wait... shit, never mind.
April 21, 2004, 2:17 p.m. CST
"What is the value of free will? Do we really want it? Do we even lack free will just because we're in the Matrix? Do we have free will in the "real world"?" In other words everything Reloaded (as well as Matrix and Revolutions to a lesser degree) dealt with very explicitly? Reloaded, more than the other 2, deals with these issues primarily. it's the very main theme of the whole fuckin film. Just not from the perspective of Matrix-bound humans. That was done in the first film, in case you missed it. So basically you're just pining for a re-hash as opposed to something new. And LMAOOOOO @ "My opinion is more informed and sophisticated. Ready for it? here it is. it blew." Brilliant.
April 21, 2004, 3:21 p.m. CST
It displays an inability for grow and new understanding, a stodginess that is truly a hindrance in an ever changing world. You thought you new what the matrix was, well you were mistaken, everyone was, that was one of the fucking points. You don
April 21, 2004, 4 p.m. CST
April 21, 2004, 4:05 p.m. CST
"Okay, illegit, excpet of course that the films didn't deal with the issues." -> This is factually incorrect. Wrong. If you hold this to be true, you didn't get even the most basic surface level of these complex films. Indisputable fact. Agent Smith's monologue explicitly deals with the issue BY ITSELF. As does merovingians monologue. As does Oracle/Neo's dialogue. As does Architect/Neo's dialogue. Each of them individually, factually, deal with the exact issues you mention. Not to mention the occurences of the films, and looking at all of these dialogues in relation to one another says even MORE about said issues. " Once again, unlike you, I explained my opinion. I stated *why* I thought "it blew"" -> You made erroneous statements based on false assumptions that were blown to smitherines. Having reasons isn't good enough, they have to be valid. And they aren't. As for why it didn't blow, i've given my reasons before. To reiterate: Revolutions seamlessly capitalizes on the philosophical complexities of Reloaded, with a grounded, human perspective of love and sacrifice. Visually stunning, utterly original and unpredictable. It further explores the dense and complex nature of the world set up by the previous films. etc. etc. i could go on. I've given my reasons, which can't be contradicted by any facts, your reasons can. But I can continue to blather right? You'll let this obvious obliteration of your whole stance on the issue fester, right? You won't respond right? The Matrix has you, as does illegit.
April 21, 2004, 4:06 p.m. CST
April 21, 2004, 4:39 p.m. CST
I just have contempt for the source material for the 2nd two films. I tried to make that plain above. It IS a departure from the first film, and you just agreed that it was - you just think I should find that satisfactory, and I simply do not. You also still seem bound and determined to NEVER MAKE AN AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENT CONCERNING THE "MYSTERIES" THAT ARE SUPPOSEDLY REVEALED HERE, but instead continue to hide behind the old "I can't believe you can't see this [unstated fact that remains unstated when you are done]" trick. I have to think that you either don't have any content to convey, or are simply embarrassed by it. I'll make it easier for you. The postmodernists embraced by the Wachowskis here assert that Man's semblance of mental health and social stability in the past were provided to him by the ready availability of "metanarratives" that explained each person's place in the world and in the flow [or non-flow, in static cultures] of events in historical time. They further assert that all existing metanarratives have collapsed, the last of them to go being the western "modernist" belief in reason and progress. Because it is no longer possible for old illusions to sustain us, they call for "new visions" assembled in a "collage" drawing upon disparate pieces of previous metanarratives. They also assert that the failure of the old metanarratives required the existing elites to "destroy reality" in order to maintain power in the face of the extinction of their own justifications and reasons for being, and that this "destruction of reality" is being accomplished [at least in part, in the case of Baudrillard] by a consumer culture overwhelmed by the visual image replicated endlessly, to the point that no original can be said to exist. [There is no "original" in any meaningful sense for a television show or a Calvin Klein print ad.] The problem with this ENTIRE construction is that if, like me, you don't for a minute grant the sincerity of its advocates, but instead look at it expecting to see a trick or a con, it becomes transparent, comical and a little sad. Here it what it actually is, stripped of its deception[s]: Faced with the utter failure and discrediting of ONE PARTICULAR "metanarrative" - the Marxist one - a bunch of worthless commie frogs [and that is what they should be called; they deserve no more polite designation] threw up their hands and declared reason and process dead, because to them reason was the Marxist dialectic, and progress was the march of history towards Soviet domination of the world. Since those things are dead, they consider reason and progress dead. And since they can't think of anything new on their own, they throw up their hands and declare that nothing new CAN be thought of, since to a pinhead like Lyotard if HE can't be Moses, if he doesn't have the wit to create, creation must be impossible. They DO have library cards, though, and they can cut and paste philosophical concepts like William Burroughs cutting his short stories into strips. Since that's all THEY can do, they declare that the pastiche is the only option left to humanity, forever. And lastly, since they are irrelevant fossils discarded by the living human culture, they view that culture as a trick or a deception. Their Marxist utopia doesn't have any advertising, so they look at advertising and see a plot designed for control. Any American above the age of 7 should LAUGH at this, since the striking thing about the advertising culture after 1970 is its decreasing effectiveness: far from being some mindcontrol system, advertising is something that is largely ignored 99% of the time. That's why there is so much of it - most of it is wasted effort, and to even make the average American aware of its existence, it has to jiggle around like a crack whore. Of course, they would also tell you that the "Matrix" has "ideological" elements as well - namely every thought that could occur to one that would lead one to believe that one would not enjoy living in an ant colony run by pinko frog fuckheads, wearing hemp clothes and singing folk music and bowing your head to some unclefucker who thinks that the fact that he wasted his time rolling around in mental 69's at the Sorbonne makes him the Voice of the Collective. But that's the most comical one of all, since everyone knows that EVERY LAST appeal to the concept of "false consciousness" really boils down to: "I can't make you think like me, therefore you must be under the influence of some malignant force". And they get away with calling this nonsense "philosophy" because they simply employ the Kantian technique of using 100,000 words of jargon to say what could be said in one paragraph or epigram, and then count on their audience to be so punch-drunk from the word flood that no one objects or calls them on it. The first Matrix made an old philosophical point in a new way, but at least it was a point which has actually stood the test of critical time. Reloaded and Revolutions went for new wine but got vinegar. It doesn't say ANYTHING more lucid or insightful than "power is bad, man" or "capitalism is alienating me, man" and it wastes so much time doing it that it's sad. They could still have been great action flicks, or exciting sci fi, with the philosophy off to one side not hurting anything, but they didn't manage that, either. // If you somehow think you have some profound philosophical or spiritual insight revealed in these films that I have not covered here, please feel free to STATE them. You know, write a sentence with a subject and a verb. Or go the extra mile and construct a syllogism. But if you AGAIN reply with, "There are deep meanings here and it speaks volumes that you don't see them," or similar content-free nonsense, I will be forced to conclude that you have no point at all and are a poseur.
April 21, 2004, 4:57 p.m. CST
You haven't given your reasons before. Unless you mean in a different talkback. "To reiterate: Revolutions seamlessly capitalizes on the philosophical complexities of Reloaded, with a grounded, human perspective of love and sacrifice." This is an assertion. It contains no reasons. For it to contain reasons, you would need to specifically list the "philosophical complexities of Reloaded" by NAMING them and STATING them. Once they are named and stated, you would have to give specific examples of how Revolutions capitalizes on them. And you can't just say, "The Architect's dialogue". What dialogue? Related to what point? How is it meaningful?
April 21, 2004, 6:54 p.m. CST
But we do not proceed in this debate until you answer definitively the question of whether or not Neo has a cap. If you do not acknowledge a cap exists then there really is no need to continue. It's kinda crucial when analyzing the films.
April 21, 2004, 7:12 p.m. CST
Neo should not have a cap. Other than a Cartesian cap, i.e. he cannot conceive of anything in the Matrix that would wipe out his own consciousness. So he can't make the Matrix utterly vanish while he is in it. He might also have an Anselmian cap, i.e. he cannot will into existence another being with powers greater than his own, because his power is bounded by itself. But I'm giving your concept of a "cap" more credit than it deserves by even replying, since it is YET ONE MORE OF THOSE CONCEPTS you assert exists, but UTTERLY REFUSE TO DEFINE, OR DEFEND, because everyone should just "know" about it. Are you trying to see how many times in a row you can post on a subject without adding any content to your previous post? Is this some kind of performance art piece? I realize that you are evading defining ANY of your points, as an argumentative strategy, but surely this ONE, SMALL POINT, since it's SO SIMPLE, you could actually STATE IN WORDS. It can't be ineffable. It can't. It's not the unruffled restful nature of a Haydn melody, and it's not the beauty of a desert sunrise. It therefore cannot be something one has to directly experience, but which cannot be adequately expressed in words. You have claimed that it is a limit which can be simply and easily defined. Kindly DEFINE IT. And state why it exists, with reference to the universe as explained in the films. Or don't mention it again. Ever. Thanks.
April 21, 2004, 8:29 p.m. CST
He would have the "CCD Class wiseass question" cap, otherwise known as "He can't make a stone so big that he himself can't lift it". He would also have the "Winston Smith" cap, where he can't make two plus two equal five. He would also have an "Aristotle cap", where he would not be able to make an object in the Matrix simultaneously have, and not have, the same attribute, in the same respect. There: I have now named 5 caps that he has, to your 0. Knock yourself out. Illuminate us with your wisdom. Here is the cap he DOESN'T have: any physical object or force that can be composited in the Matrix can be made by him at will, the same way you would make a wall where you wanted one if you were building a Quake level. Because if he does NOT have that power, he is actually frighteningly weak. Since the machines have demonstrated their ability to edit the Matrix to change the physical environment when they need to, all they would need to know is Neo's location and they could destroy him on sight. If they can throw up brick walls out of nothingness to trap Morpheus in a building, then they certainly can, say, remove the oxygen from the air in a three meter radius around Neo, as soon as they know his location, and make that bubble of no-air move with him. Why wouldn't they be able to do this? "Because Meleractor wouldn't think of that strategy" is not an answer. No human being whose location is known inside the Matrix can ever be a threat to the machines if he can't control his physical environment. The idea of a "One" that is just a better kung-fu guy is anti-climactic and silly. He would have to be strong enough to fight the machines in an environment where they can control every detail, every facet of existence, literally at will.
April 21, 2004, 9:09 p.m. CST
"Neo should not have a cap" Is this wishful thinking, Or the conclusion of your wholly dulled perception? You quote the words of players in game you still do not understand. You know, it has been my experience that reference regurgitating thesaurus thumpers like yourself rarely have anything original to say. You fill yourself up with the thoughts of others because you yourself are devoid of a formidable perspective, or at least fear revealing it for scrutiny. A lot of this has to due with a dire dread of the world, not the world as humans have so desperately tried to manipulate into their image, but the world as it originally was. It must be most disconcerting to have that visage threatened thru word or sword, revealing how fragile such inane constructs really are. When I hear such individuals spout dogma like
April 21, 2004, 9:28 p.m. CST
I just read your last post! How transparent you are! You run around gathering your little references in a vain attempt to prove your point. Your like a big fish flailing about gasping for air. List as many as you like, that your "supposed" vast intellect can't grasp such a simple solution is fucking hilarious. Please list more "Cap references" I will copy and save them for the day you finally learn, the same day you blow your brains out for being so obtuse. Geez, I thought you were made sterner stuff.
April 21, 2004, 9:49 p.m. CST
While the torture I have prepared for you cannot be avoided, I will at least give you a fighting chance. Your final post, a least mildly stripped of your usual posturing has finally revealed, (at least to an extent) where your train of reasoning has derailed. I realize with your conservatively skewed vision you have trouble seeing things outside the spectrum of " black and white" so here's a bone, Your assumptions about the nature of the human and machines relationship is misguided. That is all I will give you. I am feeling magnanimous at the moment. Well, its time to go home.
April 21, 2004, 10:48 p.m. CST
If you didn't know who directed "Kill Bill Vol. 2" and "Ladykillers" before seeing them, chances are you wouldn't have had the the same opinion. A film can be viewed and/or judged without thinking every possible influence the director may have had, not to mention comparing the current film to every piece of work that came before it. *friendswithbenefits.com*
April 21, 2004, 10:56 p.m. CST
Since you have finally admitted that you have no intention of actually offering any argument [and you seem to think that everyone should be aware of this, since the world news media covered your "announcement" in Harry's DVD column] then you are quite right, we have nothing to talk about. You're a coward, but you are probably used to dealing with people who allow you to employ craven enigmas to create an illusion of a depth you don't possess. And if you have indeed read my "circumlocutions" elsewhere, enough so that you have added me to your "list" of people who will "learn their lesson" when the "truth comes out" [Oooooo, I'm scared - the Matrix geeks are coming for me. Maybe they're going to put on their trench coats and charge me in bullet time], but you have somehow come to the conclusion that I am "conservative", then your reading comprehension is worse than your taste in movies. But remember: your silence is equal in truth value to stupidity. You may think you're an "original" thinker, but your complete lack of a case is as unoriginal as the silence of empty space. You have made as many valid points about the Matrix here as your average Kuiper Belt object. Meleractor and the Kuiper Belt: tied at 0 for original points about the Matrix for the last 5 billion years. But at least you admit it.
April 21, 2004, 11:48 p.m. CST
Who's the bigger idiot, the Bull, or the asshole trying to milk him?
April 21, 2004, 11:51 p.m. CST
April 22, 2004, 12:32 a.m. CST
The Matrix has died on the table (as it died before my eyes in the theater). Rumors of dissection...or vivesection by keyboard where said to contribute to the gaseous whiff of offal in the air. In attendance where Mr. Scientist and Mr. Physician. Thanks comedians. I will buy you crumpets and clotted cream for evensong. Just make sure you sit up straight in your chair young reprobates. We wouldn't want to upset your bleeding piles anymore than neccessary.
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