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Moriarty Interviews Will Farrell, Adam McKay and David Koechner For ANCHORMAN!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I didn’t write a review of ANCHORMAN for the very simple reason that I felt like I’d already been speaking about it for so long here on the site, and I’m so obviously a fan of the project, that I didn’t expect anyone to read my review as impartial or unbiased. I have been rooting for this film since before it got the greenlight. When I first read the script, back when it was called ROD BURGUNDY, ACTION NEWS MAN!, I pretty much flipped out for it. At that point, the film was in limbo, and if you read that script review, you’ll see that some of the details have changed, but the heart of the final film is pretty much the same. My first clue that something was actually happening with it came on the set of ELF, when Ferrell brought up the script review and told me that the film was finally about to happen. That’s entirely because of the success of OLD SCHOOL, which woke Dreamworks up to the potential of this project that they had already put into turnaround. Mike DeLuca and Adam Goodman were the two execs who were smart enough to realize what they had, and as a result, this weekend America is finally getting a chance to see what I first got a taste of when I dropped by the film’s set last year.

When the press junket took place a couple of weeks ago, I went to both the general press conference in the morning and a separate private interview later in the day. Both were held at the Beverly Wilshire Regency Hotel, with the afternoon interviews taking place upstairs in private suites. I specifically requested time with Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and David Koechner, and had no idea they’d toss me into a room with all three of them at once. Keep in mind... this isn’t an interview. There’s no way to steer a conversation like this. All I could do was try to observe.

It was the end of a fairly long day of press for them, and as a result, they were all a little giddy as we settled in to speak. They all commented that I had picked the absolute best day to visit the set in terms of seeing a lot of great cameos, but they also remembered that it was brutally, punishingly hot out. Dave and Will took their seats on the couch while Adam wrestled to pull an overstuffed chair close enough to be part of the conversation.

Ferrell: God, that was hot as hell.

Koechner: It was 103. I keep telling everybody it was 106.

Ferrell: Y’know, it might have been. I’m serious.

Moriarty: It was brutal. I can’t believe you guys shot all of that in one day...

Adam finally gave up with the chair, grabbing the footrest and tossing it.

McKay: Y’know what? This is bullshit. I’m a big-time movie director. I shouldn’t have to be doing this.

Both Ferrell and Koechner seemed delighted by their director’s mock fit of pique, and started laughing as he finally dropped into his chair.

McKay: Do you know who I am?

Ferrell: That junket changed you. From that point on...

Koechner: Seriously, I can see how this junket thing would spoil people. I don’t have to get up. People just bring me stuff...

Ferrell: I don’t know. I don’t know.

McKay: I’m kidding, but this is pretty fucking exhausting.

Ferrell: How crazy was that one interview we did?

McKay: That was fun. He just let us go off.

Ferrell: I couldn’t tell if he was with us, or if he totally missed the joke or what. He kept doing these things...

McKay: We did this interview together.

Ferrell: ... and at one point, he was doing this Howard Cosell impression, and he just... kept doing it. And I didn’t know what we were supposed to do. And what about that question he asked where we literally weren’t doing a bit, and we were like, “I don’t know what you’re trying to ask.”

McKay: That question didn’t make sense. At all.

Ferrell: Adam tried to answer it. I can’t remember what the question was exactly...

McKay: He said, “When the teleprompter comes on, is that when Ron Burgundy comes to life?”

Ferrell: No, that almost makes sense.

McKay: Right. He didn’t say that. It was more like, “Ron Burgundy is...” Wait. How did he say it?

Ferrell: “The teleprompter does not come on. Does Ron Burgundy live?” More like that. Like some sort of philosophical statement. And I just stared at him, and Adam jumped in and said, “Good question. Now let me ask you this in response: do you think the linear space of the outside makes you feel strongly?”

McKay: Which scared me, because he seemed to make sense of that.

Ferrell: Right. And then he started trying to have this weird nonsensical conversation with us, which I thought was sort of cool, but I was wondering the whole time... is he doing a bit with you, or does he actually think we are communicating?

McKay: I have no idea. And the whole time, he was also still doing Howard Cosell. That’s what made it beautiful.

Koechner: You should have done John Wayne back at him.

Ferrell: I finally asked, “Are you from the East Coast?” Because that was what kept bleeding through. “You know that’s stronger than what you’re doing, right?” I finally broke it to him. “Nah... not the best Cosell.”

McKay: We should have done random bad impressions back at him. “You dirty rat...”

Koechner: That’s like [Fred] Willard in GUFFMAN, where he has to tell you what impression he’s doing.

Ferrell: It’s like, “That impression is 40 years old now.”

McKay: My grandfather would have laughed. “Oh, it’s Howard Cosell. That’s kind of amusing.”

Ferrell: (doing a truly rotten Cosell) “Hello, there David Koechner.” (segues into an equally rotten Cagney) “You dirty rat.” (laughing, tries an equally rotten John Wayne) “Well, hello there, Pilgrim.”

At this point, my tape dissolves into a series of nearly unintelligible bad impressions and hysterical laughter. Ferrell in particular seems a little breathless about it.

Moriarty: Right. I was talking to Dave right before you guys came in...

McKay: Oh, god, we’re still talking to you, aren’t we? I’m so sorry.

Moriarty: I didn’t realize you’d all started [SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE] the same year.

McKay: Yep.

Ferrell: Yes.

Koechner: Yeah.

Moriarty: Now, that’s...

Ferrell: God, you guys might have even driven out there together.

McKay: We did. We got that U-Haul with Tom Gianas, who was also hired as a writer.

Koechner: Three men and their entire belongings in a U-Haul. A short U-Haul, too, I might add.

McKay: That says a lot about what we had done to that point in our lives.

Will couldn’t even speak up at this point, he was laughing so hard.

Koechner: I packed in one day, and packed both of these guys in the morning. One morning. That’s how much they had.

McKay: I had a dart board and a pair of underwear. That’s it. That’s all I had by that point. I had a Nerf football and a bullet casing.

Koechner: Did we drive in one day or two? I can’t remember. Might have been two, ‘cause that’s a fifteen or a seventeen hour drive...

McKay: Come on, David, don’t you remember? We were desperate to find a place to stop, and we literally just pulled over, stopped, and were like... [snoring]

Koechner: Wasn’t that some horrible place in Pennsylvania where we..?

McKay: Yep. Yep. We drove around looking for a joint there. Three sweaty losers.

Koechner: Yep. Big guys, all sitting in that fucking truck, and I’m pretty sure there was no tape player.

McKay: And not one of us in a healthy, active relationship, either. We all left these withered, miserable two-month relationships behind us.

Koechner: Tons of them!

The phone in the suite rang, interrupting Adam.

McKay: Now that’s really bullshit.

As the phone continued to ring, making Koechner and McKay laugh even harder, Ferrell turned to me.

Ferrell: You know what really makes me laugh? Every time we get a good review on Ain’t It Cool News, those posts underneath are so abusive. All the good feelings about the good review just go away.

McKay: It just happened again. I read one, and I was like, “Oh, that’s so cool,” and then I read the posts, and they’re just fucking vicious. “That moron Adam McKay directed those SNL shorts, and they sucked!”

Ferrell: “Will Ferrell’s just not funny!”

Koechner: You’re kidding.

Ferrell: Oh, it’s brutal.

Moriarty: Frank Darabont described talkback as “rabid ferrets fucking in a burlap sack.” Pretty much the best description of it I’ve ever heard. Believe me... nobody gets treated well in the talkbacks. Not us. Not anybody we talk about. Not anybody we interview. It’s kids with pens and a wall.

Ferrell: What’s awesome is when you give something a negative review and the talkbacks all say how great it is.

McKay: Yeah, I saw one for WITHOUT A PADDLE the other day where the guy didn’t like it, and the talkbacks were all like, “You’re crazy! It will be hilarious!”

Koechner: I understand it. A lot of the Internet is interactive, like the IMDb, where you can just push a button and comment on this person. I clicked on mine, and it’s basically just someone saying, “Why hasn’t anyone else commented on this guy? He’s awful! I haven’t seen him do one funny thing ever!”

Ferrell: I snooped around under Nora Ephron on BEWITCHED...

McKay: Mmm-hmm. Awful.

Ferrell: “Oh, god, please don’t cast Will Ferrell! Jim Carrey was a great choice, but Ferrell?!”

Koechner: [groans]

Ferrell: It was, like, four out of the six. “If they’re not doing the movie about the TV show, then why are they doing it?!”

Moriarty: That’s one of the things I really like about the concept for BEWITCHED. [to McKay] You’re working on the script, right?

McKay: Right. Yeah, yeah.

Moriarty: I like the fact that you guys aren’t just doing a straight version of it.

Ferrell: That’s the only way I was even remotely attracted to it.

Moriarty: It sounds like such a losing proposition, just doing a straight translation of a TV show on the bigscreen. If you can’t bring something to it...

Ferrell: Yeah, at that point you’re just counting on your audience being people who have great knowledge of BEWITCHED.

McKay: It was a very clever script she had. That’s why I liked it. That’s why he liked it. We were like, “This is actually interesting.”

Someone from the hotel walked into the suite at this point, carrying a gargantuan tray of vegetables which they set on the table between all the guys, distracting Will immediately.

Ferrell: Could there be more vegetables on that plate?

As all of us laughed, Will shook his head.

Ferrell: I’m sorry. I feel bad. The guy’s just trying to do his job.

McKay: You have the luxury of being able to make a joke right now, Will. He doesn’t.

At that point, the guy came back in with an even larger second plate of vegetables and chips, more than anyone was going to be able to eat.

Ferrell: Oh, my god!

McKay: Yes. Beautiful.

Ferrell: I hope this isn’t the only platter. We’ve got more, right?

The guy smiled, nodded, and started to leave again.

Ferrell: Okay, see? He made a joke. You don’t really have more food out there, do you? This is amazing. I guess we’re supposed to have dinner.

Moriarty: Okay, Will... Dave... at what point did you guys see the final cut of the picture?

Ferrell: A month ago. Was that the one?

Moriarty: Because you’ve played with it a lot in testing, haven’t you?

McKay: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And actually I think they one they saw was not finished yet.

Koechner: Yeah? Is there a lot more of me in it now? ‘Cause I’d love that.

Ferrell: I don’t even know if I’ve seen the “finished” finished one. I’ve seen the...

Will stopped, dumbstruck. As Adam and David laughed even harder, the guy returned one final time, this time with a tray laden with various dips and sauces, which he managed to also find space for on the now seriously overladen coffee table.

Ferrell: Good lord, man!

McKay: Oh, my god. Jackpot.

Ferrell: Look at all the gravy! Oh, my god!

McKay: That’s it. I’m getting involved in this.

Adam pulled his chair closer to the coffee table, and all three of them began to vigorously dig into the spread, making an already difficult transcription job even more insane for yours truly.

Ferrell: Have a straw!

At the sound of the door opening, Ferrell’s eyes grew wide and he shook his head.

Ferrell: There’s more?

This time, the guy wheeled in a beverage cart, stacked high with ice buckets and various drinks.

Ferrell: What happened?

Moriarty: Looks like they scheduled a food break right in the middle of my interview. Convenient.

Ferrell: This is your suite, right, Dave?

Koechner: How much you wanna bet this is going on in your suite right now, too?

Ferrell: You know how to do it right, mister. (to the guy from the hotel) Thank you, sir.

McKay: Thank you.

Koechner: Mmmph phhmmble.

Guy: You’re very welcome.

Ferrell: Overwhelming. Anyway, we’re having an interview.

As this sets Adam and David off laughing very hard, I just shake my head.

Moriarty: Yes, and it’s incredibly structured and rigid so far. Anyway... about the various edits of the film... as we were talking about this morning, there’s the notion of so much extra material that there’s a second movie that you can put on the eventual DVD...

McKay: Mmm-hmm.

Moriarty: There were entire subplots out of the script that I read that got cut, like when Ron gets his investigative journalism show...

Ferrell: Oh, yeah.

Moriarty: ... which was awesome. Actually, when I told the guy who gave me the script that subplot wasn’t in the movie, he was like, “WHAT?!” and kicked a table over. “That’s what I was waiting for!”

More laughter and general chip and veggie sounds from the guys.

McKay: There’s a lot of stuff we cut that hurt us to have to cut it.

Moriarty: I can imagine. Just watching you guys this morning, there’s such a sense of freedom. I imagine some of that comes from you three having worked together before, and with Steve [Carrel], there’s obviously a strong improve background, too...

McKay: Actually, we’d both worked with Steve.

Ferrell: Yep, at Second City.

Moriarty: It strikes me that making this kind of ensemble comedy is sort of egoless. It just feels like everyone came to play.

Koechner: Well, I can comment on this, and I’ll be the cornball one for a moment, but honestly, guys? That’s because of the way you set it up. It’s a feel you knew coming in. They made it safe to do that. This is all cornball sounding shit, but it’s the truth.

Ferrell: Right.

Koechner: Adam’s not a control freak. He’s inviting, and he’s been that way ever since I’ve known him.

Adam pointed at the carrot covered in dip that Dave was using to gesture while making his point and barked:

McKay: If you’re going to eat it, eat it. Now.

Dave laughed as he quickly ate the carrot.

Koechner: Yessir. Seriously, Will’s the same way, so... and we did a week of rehearsals before the movie started, and they’re like, “Oh, don’t even worry about the script. Just improvise.” And the rest of us were like, “Holy shit.” It was fucking amazing. And, Will, really... hats off because that’s the atmosphere you guys made on the set from day one, and it just happened. The casting was great, and you guys found all the right people.

Moriarty: There’s so much insecurity in this business that for a lot of people who were making their first starring vehicle... because certainly, Will, this is the biggest thing you’ve done personally...

Ferrell: Absolutely.

Moriarty: ... it would have been all about them, and instead, you’ve got this great ensemble, and everyone ends up walking away with moments in the movie. That’s what is so fun about it. At no given point is it just one person’s story.

McKay: Yeah.

Ferrell: Yeah, that was...

McKay: I always say that about Will, because that’s Will. Any other big comic... well, not any of them, but a lot of them... you know who created that model? Jim Carrey. Jim Carrey came out and created this new comedy model where he could do these one-person Jim Carrey movies, and he was so frickin’ amazing and dynamic...

Ferrell: Right, right...

McKay: ... and he was capable of doing it, but he’s also this comedy monster. He’s incredible, but then everyone started imitating that...

Ferrell: Mmm-hmm.

McKay: ... and every movie is like, “Okay, there’s one character, and he’s the only funny one,” and so... y’know, we always loved those ‘80s films like STRIPES and CADDYSHACK, and those were all ensemble comedies. And we said to each other, “Why don’t people do ensemble comedies?” But that’s just because Will is cool enough to, like... we knew when we were writing Brick Tamland that he may be the thing that makes me laugh hardest in the script, but...

Ferrell: I love Brick.

McKay: ... but it’s not Will, and I think some people would have been like, “Can you tone him down a little bit? We have to keep the focus on...”

Moriarty: God, there are times in the film where it’s like looking into the eyes of a dog...

This elicited a pretty hearty round of laughter from all three of them.

Moriarty: ... and that’s what is so beautiful about it. Steve’s a really smart performer, and that character... oh, my god.

Ferrell: (crunching carrots as he talks) It was actually Lorne Michaels, when we were doing A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY, who kept telling us that you want to have the characters make an exit so that you can have them make an entrance later, and so you don’t get sick of them.

McKay: Yeah.

Ferrell: So when we started writing this, we were like, “God, let’s take the weight off of Ron and make everyone else just as funny.” It just helps everything, and it’s more fun to write for, and it’s...

McKay: You don’t know where the jokes are coming from then.

Ferrell: Right.

McKay: So many comedies are predictable based on rhythm. “We know the main character has to have a set piece here.” This way, you don’t really know. Rudd can be talking about his cologne and going off, or Koechner’s professing his love to him out of nowhere, and it suddenly becomes this long awkward monologue, and usually, supporting characters don’t get those moments. That was always a big goal for us, to make it as unpredictable as possible. We didn’t know what was going to happen next, and we didn’t rely as much on formula. Obviously there’s a light plot that goes through it, but I just love the fact that you really don’t know what’s going to happen next along the way.

Koechner: Isn’t it more fun to get broadsided?

McKay: “Wait a minute... they’re having a giant BRAVEHEART gang fight?”

Moriarty: I think it’s apt that you compared the film to CADDYSHACK or ANIMAL HOUSE, because I think your visual style is a nice throwback to what Reitman and Ramis and Landis did early on, which is basically you have to have a really limber D.P. who manages to capture whatever’s going on. There’s a nice immediacy to it, and it’s not overly stylized, but at the same time, it’s not that Kevin Smith flat thing that drives me crazy.

McKay: You actually just expressed it exactly the way I said it when I first met with Tom Ackerman. I said, “I want you to be mobile. I want to be ready for coverage. I want to use two cameras.” I don’t think two cameras has to look shitty. “I want a style.” And a lot of that style that sort of ekes in there is Clayton Hartley, our production designer, who did ALMOST FAMOUS. Incredible guy. We got a steal on him. Scenes that would ordinarily look okay, because he’s so frickin’ good, always had a little extra depth, a little extra color. We didn’t want it to overpower the comedy. It doesn’t look fantastic, but it always looks good enough. Like Ron’s apartment... that set looks incredible, and that was all Clayton Hartley. You’re absolutely right, though. Sometimes comedies can look too good, and they get too shadowy and layered and distracting. You want comedies to not look bad, but just look solid. STRIPES is a great example. STRIPES looks nice and good. It’s perfect.

Koechner: You’re not aware of the rest. It just allows the thing to happen, right?

McKay: You’re not showing off with your camera. You want it to be about the performers and about the moments. You want to draw the crowd in. If you’re showing off the camera, you’re already fucking with it.

Moriarty: I also thought you struck a nice balance with the ‘70’s detail, because you didn’t go crazy with it, and it’s not the main joke of the film. Admittedly, a few of Ron’s suits are spectacular, but...

McKay: We always sort of hated that it was a ‘70’s movie, because there have been so many of them. We just wanted it to take place pre-political correctness.

Moriarty: That definitely works for it... that idea of Christina being the first woman to do something...

Ferrell: About scaling back the ‘70’s thing... I think we started giving the note a little bit too much. At one point we were like, “Oh, we’re losing out on some of the fun here.” Our costume designer, Debra McGuire, really rode that line between bad in a good way outfits, and never too much. Lots of wide collars...

McKay: And there were some things we just couldn’t resist, like we just started laughing because people used to just fucking litter a lot. You forget about that... people just throwing shit on the ground. We had to do that.

Ferrell: And there are a lot of details that make me laugh, like the fact that Champ wears a cowboy hat, and never mentions... never... I mean, consciously, we never say that he’s into Westerns or anything. He doesn’t talk about, “We should go to the rodeo” or anything. We don’t ever pay off the cowboy hat. Ever.

McKay: It’s such a strange affectation.

Koechner: “This is what I am. It doesn’t define me, but it defines my head.”

Moriarty: Okay... for all three of you... what’s the one moment in the movie that you’re sorry didn’t make it into the final cut?

Koechner: I think the plotting against Veronica...

Ferrell: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s a good one.

Koechner: They’re all meeting in the cafeteria to plot against Veronica, and the way you shot it, you get right away that it’s surreptitious. It’s just low angles, and tight shots on their faces, and it goes all the way around the table, and they’re all just adamant...

Ferrell: “She’s got to be stopped. She HAS to be.”

Koechner: ... and I’m sure it’ll show up on the DVD.

Ferrell: “She’s writing her own stories! I didn’t even know you could do that!”

Koechner: ... and then there’s this whole other comedy piece that takes over in the end. It’s just beautiful.

Ferrell: Yeah, finally at the end of the scene, someone’s like, “By the way, Brick, what is that you’re eating?”

McKay: And he’s like, “Oh, it’s just one of those falafel hot dogs with M&Ms on it.”

Koechner: “With bacon bits and cinnamon.”

McKay: And it’s like, “What do you mean ‘one of those’? Those don’t exist. That’s a used coffee filter.” And he’s like, “I got it out of the food basket at the end of the line there.”

Ferrell: “Brick, that’s a garbage can.”

Koechner: I loved how he would just laugh, then go back to eating it.

Ferrell: “Well, with the food around here, I might as well be eating garbage,” and he’s just laugh and then keep eating.

McKay: He was frickin’ hilarious.

Koechner: What killed me was the way you would go way down, then way back up with it. “What do you mean one of thooooooooooose? Thooooooooose don’t exist.” That to me was funnier than anything else, because when...

McKay: I miss that scene a lot. That was a funny scene.

Ferrell: The cannibalism scene was...

Koechner: Oh! Yes!

Ferrell: I don’t think it played with the audience, necessarily, but we... in the original b-story, we... we’re, we gotta find the San Diego observatory, where Christina gets kidnapped by the Alarm Clock. We set out on these ATCs and we’re repelling and then we get to a point where we’re just lost. And it very quickly, in a matter of seconds, disintegrates to “We’ve got to eat someone.” And Champ’s like, “So, how’s that ankle, Brian?”

Koechner: “We’ll let you decide, Ron, but it should be the weakest one.”

Ferrell: Right. We’re trying to figure out who’s the weakest one. Champ goes, “How’s that ankle?” “Oh, it’s a little sore.” Before he can even answer, you’re about to kill him with a rock, you’ve got it up over your head, and I’m moving in, but then you can see over my shoulder, there are... prominently in the shot... a 7-11, a McDonald’s, and a gas station, just right over my shoulder. And then we’re about to literally kill him. And Champ’s not even hungry. He’s just, “I’ve wanted to do this for so long. We’re gonna eat you so bad! I’m going to eat your face off your bones!” And then Brick just says, “Look! Over there!” And he’s not even seeing the food. He sees the observatory, and we just drop it and go right back into the scene.

Koechner: We don’t see civilization at all. We just see where we think we’re going.

Ferrell: That made us laugh so hard. I don’t think it worked because, story-wise, it was so off-beat, and with the audience, they were like, “What is this about?” You know what, though? There are so many off-beat story things that it’s weird that... maybe they were just tired of seeing so many tangents.

McKay: Yeah, yeah, they were looking for something to make sense at that point... which it didn’t.

At that point, it was the end of the junket day for those guys, and I’d already exceeded my 20 minutes with them, so the Dreamworks publicists chased me out of the room and I ended up walking down to the elevators with Will, chatting casually. It’s interesting to see him in an unguarded moment. Watching the publicity blitz on all the talk shows for ANCHORMAN, no one works harder than Will when it’s time to turn on the crazy, but in his quiet moments, it’s obvious that he’s a thoughtful guy who really appreciates this particular explosion of excitement around him and his work. I’m dying to see what happens when someone casts him against type, and I wish I’d had time to talk to him about the fate of A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, one of those long-in-development projects that may never happen at this point. I think he’d find the soul of Ignatius O’Reilly in a way that people wouldn’t expect, and I’d love to see it.

That was a Saturday, and the following Monday night, my wife and I enjoyed a nice stroll from the Labs down to the Chinese Theater on Hollywood, just a few blocks from where we live. It was a great night for the premiere of the film, and our second time seeing it. The first time was in a small screening room in Beverly Hills at 11:00 in the morning, and as much as we enjoyed it, that was one sleepy roomful of reporters. Seeing it in the Chinese, with the theater completely packed, the energy was totally different, and I think I actually enjoyed it more the second time. By now, you’ve had a chance to see the film, and it looks like it did really well this weekend. Personally, I think it’s a pretty wonderful comedy, unrelentingly silly and mercifully devoid of any deeper meaning. It’s just about making you laugh.

The party afterwards was across the street at the Roosevelt Hotel, and it was enormous fun. At one point, I was standing in line for drinks behind Ashley Olsen, and when I went to go find Eli Roth to tell him she was there (mainly to be sure he didn’t violate his court order), he was already smiling from ear to ear. He held out one hand towards me and bellowed, “I TOUCHED HER!” Then security tackled him and applied the genital cuff.

I got a chance to chat with Steve Carrel, and we talked about the fate of the American remake of THE OFFICE. I had a chance to see the pilot for that a little while ago, and I’m of mixed opinion about it. I wish they hadn’t stuck so slavishly to the original show’s first episode script, because it pretty well hamstrings the actors on the new version. What made THE OFFICE great is that sense of unpredictability, the feeling that what you’re watching is just happening, and the cameras happened to catch it. Sitting through this version was like a karaoke rendition of a great song... the words were right, the notes were right, but it just didn’t feel like the performers owned it. Carrel was the one exception, and I think it’s because he has a totally different comic energy than Ricky Gervais. You can’t help but feel sorry for Gervais because he’s such a flaming git. He doesn’t mean to be. He just is. Carrel’s version of David Brent is different, though... more calculating and cold-blooded. He’s a flat-out prick at times, and Carrel manages to take the same lines and the same scenes and find something totally different in them. Carrel said the show’s been picked up for six episodes, and they’re currently scripting them. The nice thing is that they’re not based on the BBC scripts now. Only the pilot is a direct translation. If the show moves forward, they’ll be allowed to establish their own sense of identity, and I think based on how much Carrel steals entire scenes from the rest of the cast in ANCHORMAN, it would make sense for NBC to get behind him and nurture this unique comic voice and give him a long-term home.

Everywhere we turned, there were familiar faces. John C. Reilly and Jack Black huddled in one corner talking. Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor, who was particularly stunning in person. People seemed really open and friendly as we discussed things, like Seth Rogan from FREAKS & GEEKS, hanging out with friends, who confirmed that the UNDECLARED DVDs are on their way soon. Or Mike Binder, who couldn’t contain his enthusiasm for the performance Kevin Costner gives in the film THE UPSIDE OF ANGER, which Binder just finished for a fall release by New Line. Fred Willard was a delight to talk to, one of comedy’s elder statesmen, totally approachable and casually hilarious. My wife was particularly giddy about meeting Paul Rudd, and it wasn’t until days later that I finally figured out why. CLUELESS. When she showed her sister the pictures from the premiere, it was Rudd that they both went crazy about. They were evidently big, big fans of Heckerling’s picture, and Rudd in it. She was also pretty amazed by finally meeting Will face-to-face. I warned him at the junket that she is a big fan, and I gave him permission to terrify her a little. As a result, when we ran into him and I introduced her, she piped up with a quote from OLD SCHOOL: “I had an awesome time!”

Will’s face went cold, and he stared at her for a moment. “Oh, really. Did you really?”

She looked taken aback for a moment, not sure what she’d said, and just nodded, suddenly nervous. Will let her off the hook quickly, though, laughing and giving her a hug to reassure her. In the picture she took with him, her smile is ear-to-ear. Will was effusive, thanking me for all the support for the project, but the truth is that moments like this are the whole reason I read scripts and write about films in development in the first place. Will Ferrell is a fucking funny man, and from the moment I read ROD BURGUNDY, ACTION NEWS MAN!, I just wanted to be able to see it. I wanted to see what would happen if he got to star in a film and build an ensemble around himself that he really enjoyed. I would never in a million years imply that any credit belongs to AICN, because it doesn’t. Will and Adam McKay and that great cast and the guys at Dreamworks who took a chance on the film... all of that has nothing to do with us. The part that is gratifying is being able to see a process that comes together in the right way and being able to watch how it can go right in this town. So often, we watch these bizarre, torturous development processes like the ongoing SUPERMAN debacle, and it saps all the fun out of things. By the time they eventually make a SUPERMAN movie, fandom is going to be so fucking tired of hearing about it that I’m curious what happens, but only in a train-crash sort of way. ANCHORMAN appears to have been a blessed experience for all those involved, and as they all deservedly partied long into the night, we made one last round, offered our congratulations again, and headed home.

Thanks to the guys for the interview, and to Dreamworks for the premiere invite. I’ve got to hit the sack right now because I’m off to the set of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s TEAM AMERICA in the morning, and then I’ll be back tomorrow with that DVD Shelf column, including an announcement about who ended up winning the SCTV contest after all. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • July 12, 2004, 4:05 a.m. CST


    by BilboFett

    But First! Comments coming later after I actually read it!

  • July 12, 2004, 4:15 a.m. CST

    "ferrets fucking in a burlap sack"

    by Ribbons

    Hmm...real nice.

  • July 12, 2004, 5:58 a.m. CST

    ANCHORMAN was just a better kind of funny, it is the best kind o

    by gunnarcannibal

    This thing was like "The Jerk" funny, like classic funny not "Old Shchool" funny, which is funny, but normal non classic funny...shit I am tired...this post isn't funny but this movie was funny and if anyone says it isn't they most likely are not a very funny person, they are the kind of person I would never want to talk the type of person who actually liked Shrek 2 or something, somebody who thinks O.J. Simpson jokes are still funny, or calling a store Baskin Robin Hoods or some stupid shit like that... ANCHORMAN IS FUNNY!!!!

  • July 12, 2004, 5:59 a.m. CST

    holy shit did i spell school wrong!

    by gunnarcannibal


  • July 12, 2004, 6:06 a.m. CST

    talking shit about mother fuckers! Dont bite th

    by Jon E Cin

    You guys look a little coked up...must be the reason for the messy interview.. burn..

  • July 12, 2004, 8:38 a.m. CST

    You know, kids with a pen and a wall eventually become kids with

    by rev_skarekroe

    Or kids with rotten eggs and your mailbox. I mean, where does it all end? sk

  • July 12, 2004, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Did the Big Kids luv your funny jokes M

    by DannyOcean01

    I hope it was worth it. And I'm sure they gave more than a hearty laugh M, to match Ferrell's real smile. A true smile that not at all masks an uncomfortable fear of a brown nosing, hypocritical, hack.

  • July 12, 2004, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Play D'oh...

    by rev_skarekroe

    What's necessary about a boil? sk

  • It should have been a classic.

  • July 12, 2004, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Gee... Why Am I Not Surprised...

    by drew mcweeny

    First of all, no one mentioned the readership of AICN. Just TalkBackers. There was a time where I used to really love TalkBack. There used to be real conversations here, discussions about things, film fans stepping up and using the opportunity to make their voice heard, and I really felt like the TalkBack was as important as the articles themselves. I'm sorry to say, but I do feel that time has passed, and there's nothing Harry or I can do to fix it. It's up to you guys to figure out if you just want to be children with pens, determined to shit on every single thing that gets mentioned on this site, or if you actually want to matter again. You're offended by what I said? You're surprised that other people see you that way? Well, boo hoo. How about proving me wrong? How about shaking off that stereotype and actually getting back to what used to make this place great? There was a time when I used to hear from directors about how they would print the TalkBacks out and take them to studios to help make a point. You guys were like the most wild and wooly unfiltered market research ever, more honest than anything NRG could manage. Now it's a small group of people who are more concerned about making sure they get their Hulk Hogan catch phrase up than they are in actually saying anything of substance about what gets posted. My e-mail feedback to the articles outnumbers the TalkBack 10 to 1 at this point, and anyone who wants a real discussion obviously has migrated to private e-mail anyway. All the unfocused bitterness and random hatred has chased them away. You don't want to be known as rabid ferrets fucking in a burlap sack? Then stop acting like it. Easy enough.

  • July 12, 2004, 3:34 p.m. CST


    by Itchy

    Jesus, Moriarity ... how long did it take for you to get Will Ferrell's manjuice out of your hair ? I mean, unlike the turds he's quoting with the "Will Ferrell isn't Funny" quip, I appreciate the guy's sense of humor as much as any one, but this piece is just one long felch job. At least try to give us something we didn't know about Ferrell or the movie, rather than just a 500 line hand job. Will's entertaining, but in every interview I see of late he's got that vapid look on his face (kind of like Sandler when he hit it big)that basically said "How the fuck did I ever get to be this big?". I'll tell you how, Will ... because when you bang that cowbell, or shout "You kids get off the damn shed", we believe, baby. We believe.

  • July 12, 2004, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Harry, Weezie aka Isabel Sanford is dead...I better see some tri

    by Terry_1978

    Come on, know you're a closet fan.

  • July 12, 2004, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Current day Talkbackers NEED to "have shit talked about them"...

    by Alatar_Blue

    You fucking whiney little cunts. Ferrell spoke the truth about the TB's these days and Mori agreed, with him, because Ferrell is RIGHT! There USED to be intelligent discussions on these boards. In the last year or so it's been mostly a bunch of monkeys flinging shit and any waste case out there without an ego the size of Jupiter sees it. You guys are just pissed because Ferrell an Mori called a spade a spade. Now QUICK! Someone come up with some lame Hulk Hogan post asking me why I gotta go racist with the "called a spade a spade" crack. Fucking brilliant.

  • July 12, 2004, 4:21 p.m. CST

    This movie was a severe disappointment

    by wash

    I wrote a long explanation for why I thought so, but this CGI crap ate it.

  • July 12, 2004, 4:33 p.m. CST

    I consider the "rabid ferrets fucking in a bag" thing a complime

    by rev_skarekroe


  • July 12, 2004, 4:40 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    If I have my facts straight, Ferrell himself said (not in this interview) that Moriarty's positive script review helped push the project into production. I don't know if that's the truth, but contesting its validity seems like a potshot anyway.

  • July 12, 2004, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Talkback is what MADE this site.

    by John Travolta

    Take away talkback, and I guarantee that 90% of all the hits will disappear overnight. Without it, this site is nothing. And you know it.

  • July 12, 2004, 5:14 p.m. CST

    The Reason Talkback Sucks

    by Itchy

    Okay, Moriarity - you want to know why Talkback has devolved to its current state ? It's because HARRY FUCKING REFUSES TO FIX THE GODDAMN SOFTWARE. No one of any intelligence could possibly discuss anything of worth here. The reason everyone just tries to dump their one liners in is because YOU CAN NOT FOLLOW A THREAD. Try making sense of a topic ... go on. As far as I can tell, dates are completely randomized and you can't even tell who is saying what, since everyone on here has been banned at least three times for mysterious reasons. Clean up the software, make people apply to be members and watch the quality of the site return. Oh that and have all the contributors quit being a fucking mouthpiece for any hack that will pile their fat ass on a plane and fly you out to stroke off with B grade talent. Okay, that last part was uncalled for - but some of us frustrated denizens also wish things were as "inside" as they used to be.

  • July 12, 2004, 5:17 p.m. CST

    How about a proper forum structure?

    by Zodlander

    I think one thing that contributed to the Talkback chaos is the lack of a threaded forum. If people could post comments and other people reply in that thread, then that could encourage decent discussion. The way it is now, with all the posts out of order, you have to hunt through the posts to see who was responding to what.

  • July 12, 2004, 5:38 p.m. CST

    RE: Intelligent Consersation (Will Ferrell Read this)

    by The Tao of Joe

    After seeing Anchorman, and thinking about all the recent "frat-pack" movies coming out recently, I think the cool thing to do is to get all these guys together, Ferrell, Rudd, Carell, Koechner, The Wilsons, Vince Vaughn, Stiller, The Wilson Brothers, et all, and make a Superfriends movie. Yes! Before you throw the rocks, think about it. Warner Brother's could almost be capable of something like this anyway. Since they cant get a serious super hero film of the ground, why not make a(n) (intentionally) comedic one? Will Ferrell could play Aquaman, king of the sea, Carell would make an excellent disturbing Robin (with homosexual undertones to boot). Christina Applegate would even make a great Wonder Woman with a black dye job. Make sure to use all the cliche's, the narration ("MEANWHILE AT THE HALL OF JUSTICE..."), The color scheme, and get into the post modern super hero groove a la "spaceghost coast to coast." Oh and before I forget, a bald Vince Vaughn would make a great Lex Luthor. Yes it could be a horrendous flop, but it could also be phenominal, the perfect vehichle for the "FRAT PACK" (because lets face it, Ocean's 11 was already remade). Mull it over HOLYWOOD, and get this project made FAST!

  • July 12, 2004, 5:47 p.m. CST

    i like scotch...scotch scotch scotch

    by ScreamingPenis

    the bit about the vegetable platters is funny, and the interview is effective at portraying ferrell in a way that most people don't know him. i'm not sure how important the weather small talk is, though. how about an indy 4/darabont scoop? or is it as scandalous as dark horizons says?

  • July 12, 2004, 5:47 p.m. CST

    could they BE more right about Talk Back?

    by Duke Ray

    Sorry, oh ye envious infants on TB, but it's a statistically-verifiable fact that the vast majority of TBs these days are all about slagging off on the topic at hand and making pubescent bathroom stall jokes. Also true is that the vast majority of AICN readership stay away from the TB wasteland. And a penultimate truth is that TB was NOT always the sole domain of assholes; the constructive thinkers gave up on TB years ago, including yours truly, because of the overabundance of assholes. TB is now largely irrelevant, and the site would lose very little of its appeal if it was removed altogether. Being dissed in TB, like being given a bad review by Ella Taylor, is now a sign that one has arrived. Congrats, Ferrell, McKay, Moriarty, et al., you've made it! Duke Ray out.

  • July 12, 2004, 6:23 p.m. CST

    "If Moriarty cared what you thought of him, he "would have taken

    by drivewayfriedegg

    See title.

  • July 12, 2004, 6:44 p.m. CST

    I can't believe there's so much DEFENSE for these TBs.

    by E.C.

    When you've got people calling Harry a fat retard over an obvious joke review and every other thread turning into "you liberals, you conservatives" and FIRST and PLANT and tirades over how utterly awful every aspect of Batman Begins looks and nothing but bloated, geek hyperbole in every response... well...

  • July 12, 2004, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Anchorman is SWEEEET and those who disagree are dumb

    by Fielding Melish

    that's really all i had to say. If you can't laugh a lot in this movie then maybe you've got mental problems.

  • July 12, 2004, 7:05 p.m. CST

    I think collectively the internet has killed any enjoyment most

    by Silver_Joo

    I have not enjoyed The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or Spiderman - four films that were hyped to the rooftops on this site and others, be they film or fan sites. Yet somehow, watching films in development, reading scripts early kills these films years in advance - even if we get excited by certain hype. I think AICN is dying a death, it seems pretty bloated and too many of the writers are being allowed too much freedom and this is diluting the product. It's not just Moriarty though - the only time I have been angry with the guy was the Coen Bros bashing, which he tried to attone for half heartedly - either way, this site is no longr holding attention and I don't think the writers are good enough to write reams and reams of what is essentially editorial. It is your tone that is grating AICN, you patronise, alienate and condescend towards people that read the site who are also film fans but aren't privy to the new shit you guys are - we just love film, we love what we're given at face value - this site needs to re-assess its purpose because the Talkbacks aren't angry because they are full of kids with pens - we are the proles of geekdom and we have great power, if we stop reading who is going to listen to writers or wannabe movie makers like Harry and Drew, who are only a few steps ahead of those in pursuit of this dream? Buck up guys, give us what we want - NEWS and REVIEWS not hyperbolic waffle on what you ate last Tuesday and how it made you feel when you watched Spiderman. If that is what you want to write, set up new sites - there are too many personalities dragging the site down, just like the cast of Batman Begins will to that film. WE just want the old AICN back, not this pseudo-intellectually aspiring shit fest that runs on a lousy server. We'll play nice in the sandbox if you give us the necessary toys.

  • Talkbackers saying they butter Mori and Harry's bread are kind of like the drunk rednecks who tell ticket-writing police officers that their taxes pay their salaries. Except not, because Harry and Mori DON'T get money from talkbackers, who make up the barest margin of AICN visitors. Most AICN visitors just read the articles, and move on. They don't obsess over everything every other talkbacker says, starting little junior high school quality "flame wars" over who likes or dislikes what. Pretty much everybody who visits this site (and it's obviously more than just you whiners who keep bragging about getting banned, or else New Line wouldn't be shilling out the dough for which they've "sold out"), skips talkbacks altogether, because YOU FUCKERS RUINED IT. I hope you're proud of yourselves, but at least I get to laugh whenever someone in the industry that you'll NEVER make it into laughs down derisively upon you. Because you deserve it.

  • July 12, 2004, 7:42 p.m. CST

    You Want A Response?

    by drew mcweeny

    My first response is that it is HILARIOUS that TalkBackers cry so incredibly hard when someone says they have a problem with TalkBack. Irony, anyone? Pot, this is the kettle calling. You're black! You guys can dish it out, day after day after day, pissing on everyone and everything, but if someone calls you on it, you go ballistic and start screaming like someone broke into your house and shit in your mouth while you were sleeping. Forgive me if I'm unmoved by your outrage. I have met hundreds of AICN readers over the years and traded e-mail with thousands of them, and I think we have an amazing readership. We seem to have people of all ages who read the site, from all sorts of different fan backgrounds, and I've made some close friends based on conversations that started as a result of the site. You know full well though that TalkBack is, more often than not (and especially as of late) an excuse for people to vent their own worst natures towards anything being discussed, many times regardless of how you really feel. Guys like BigLew 27 with his oooooh-so-tough "your dreams will never come to fruition" make me laugh. You have no idea how many jobs I'm currently juggling. Suffice it to say, I've long since stopped worrying about whether or not my dreams will come true. If you really think that TalkBack is the only interesting thing about the site, then believe me... I'm not worried about changing your opinion. I love writing about film and I love the vast majority of readers, most of whom confide in us that they've stopped reading the TalkBacks altogether because you guys stopped even trying to be interesting. There's such a vicious and ugly herd mentality that has set in, and that's the reason for the dwindling number of TalkBackers. Our readership is actually up in recent years, not down. It's just that people's posting habits changed. When someone like "Freddieshoop" chooses to take potshots at my wife, do you really think that you're proving that you're not a bitter, witless little man? Do you really think you've somehow validated TalkBack and proven my point wrong? Or are you just completely reinforcing every negative stereotype about the internet with your behavior? And FluffyUnbound... you say we treat you like crap? Really? Because I adore the readers and am constantly working to bring them things they can't get elsewhere, and to share my enthusiasm about film with them. If you personally feel like you've been treated like crap because a troll site sent us fake reviews, then I don't know what to tell you. Yeah... we took the fake reviews down. Did we run some giant piece about it? Nope. I'm not steering any traffic to a site that runs polls to see what's worse -- "niggers, queers, or jews". They're repulsive little boys, and it sounds like many of you would be happier over there. Go. Enjoy. No one has a gun to your head making you use our bandwidth or read our content. I continue to happily turn out material for people who love movies, and will do so for as long as I can. But I'm not going to lose a bit of sleep over calling a troll a troll, and calling TalkBack a sewer. Again... you earn respect with your behavior. You seem to have none for me, so believe me... the feeling's mutual. Change my mind. I dare you. Have a real discussion about film without resorting to vile namecalling. I dare you. Enjoy something without striking some post-ironic pose about it. I double dog dare you.

  • July 12, 2004, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Well said, M.

    by RonBurgundy

    I'm somewhat new to the site (in the past year) and it amazes me how unbelievably mean people can be. And just plain childish...I wish I came here at a time when I could give my opinion without being torn to shreds with nothing but put-downs. And I just realized that I sound like a frickin nun right now. Damn... Hey, I loved your interview; I found it VERY interesting. I loved the fact that they could still go through the deleted scenes line by line. I loved the movie--thought it was consistently hilarious--and can't wait to see all the bonus material on DVD. You know, speaking of...McKay never really said for sure if a whole new movie was being cut together. Do you think it is M?

  • July 12, 2004, 9:12 p.m. CST

    by Volstaff

    Mori,I'm glad someone at AICN finally said it. I almost never read the talkback section anymore, nad visit the site less and less,because it really is like a bunch of fucking children with pens and a wall. It oughtta be about a bunch of movie fans discussing somehting they love,but these fucking kids...The new cool nowadays is to tear apart everything,in the misguided belief that it makes them look like intellectuals. Just like the great interview with the makers of " My Brothers Keeper". All the fucking kids wanted to talk about was how Metallica sucks,and how much feces they could toss on the wall.It was really depressing,to see them shit all over a great interview. I really believe you could take out the talkback section and the number of readers of this site would INCREASE. These fucktards hurt your site,not enhance it. Those days are gone. Oh hey,and children? Post whatever the fuck you want,I won't be reading it. You actually think you're the sites bread and butter?Hah,grow the fuck up. You're a detriment,NOT an enhancement,but I think you already know that. And to steal a line from the great Anchorman movie. "Talkback,go fuck yourselves

  • July 12, 2004, 9:27 p.m. CST

    BTW,Anchorman was hilarious

    by Volstaff

    Anyone who says different is just out and out lying to go along with this mob of talkbackers. I say this because the crowd I saw it with on Saturday laughed all the way through,even as we were leaving the theatre people stopped in the aisles and watched the outtakes and end credits. I haven't laughed out loud so much since Bad Santa (haven't seen Dodgeball yet). Anyway I don't know what you can do about the forum,maybe setting an age limit? But I doubt if theres a way to enforce that. Too bad.I wish there was a place for movie fans to go and talk about what they love.It sure aint here. I love the info and the articles,etc..,but Talkback is really like the ass end of the site,in more ways than one.

  • July 12, 2004, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Abusive people

    by jackburtonlives

    moriarty has a point. i've stopped participating in talkbacks simply because i'm tired of having 10 yr olds hurl abuse at me. then again, compared to Harry, Moriarty has a really thin skin. given the abusive environment here, it's a liability. maybe the answer for moriarty is to stop reading the talkbacks... or stop caring about them so much, like Harry.

  • July 12, 2004, 10:18 p.m. CST

    great article, Moriarty. WILL FERRELL ROCKS, you silly dipshithe

    by dregmobile

    like bill murray before him with TRANSLATION, he is finally getting the attention he deserves. i only hope that down the track he gets to work with the likes of michel gondry and coppolla jnr. this guy is a comic genius no matter how much is talked back.

  • July 12, 2004, 11:11 p.m. CST


    by Dr. Death

    You sound like a whiney bitch. Do yourself a favor and never come to AICN again.

  • July 12, 2004, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Talkbacks could be good again. Will Ferrell is a god!

    by tile_mcgillus

    Well Mori I have to say I agree with you on this one. However anyone reading these can distinguish the real people with intelligent opinions and the sad pathetic basement dwellers who talkback to condemn everything no matter what. As for Anchorman, it was hilarious. The gods came down from the heavens and gave us just a taste of ambrosia...a two hour snippet of heaven called Anchorman. To Ferrell, McKay, and Koechner thank you for bringing the funny. Every scene was genius. It was well worth the money. See some of us talkbackers can still post with civility.

  • July 13, 2004, 12:45 a.m. CST


    by thecomedian

    The cologne scene is the sign post where the film goes from being painfully unfunny to pure comic gold. Will and Adam if you're reading this, good job. P.S., You should have used more stuff with Kathyrn Hahn. She's fucking hilarious.

  • that and Talkbacks are FOR rabbit crazy fucking ranting. its what its there for.

  • July 13, 2004, 1:36 a.m. CST

    I like the talkbackers who are agreeing with Moriarty.

    by Mosquito March

    As long as you're posting here, guys, he's talking about YOU, too, no matter how much you kiss his ass. Honestly - if you guys were so above it all, why would you be here posting, right now? You're writing a bunch of hostile, negative shit too, and it isn't even about movies - it's about placing yourselves higher than other talkbackers. Unfortunately for you, Drew McWeeny and his new movie pals think you suck just as bad as everybody else who posts.

  • July 13, 2004, 2:12 a.m. CST


    by dregmobile

    as much as i'd like to see a film like that, that's how the suits would do the math. especially seeing how stiller was in mystery men himself...

  • July 13, 2004, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Now this is less a talkback as it is an intervention.

    by WeedyMcSmokey

  • July 13, 2004, 2:40 a.m. CST

    i dunno, everybody here brings up good points, tbers and moriart

    by BEARison Ford

    the fact is, as a reader, i do feel that most of the problems that come from rabid talkbackers are a direct result of the irreverence that the site webmasters and maintainers show towards them. i'm sorry but we're all sitting here using the same software the site installed on it's first initial redesign. as others have said, there's a lot of ways to alleviate the riffraff in here but we don't see anyone doing anything about it.

  • July 13, 2004, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Moriarty is right about you assclowns...

    by JWBlack67

    ...but he really needs to stop talking about his wife in every article. We get it, Drew, you're getting laid. Now let it go.

  • July 13, 2004, 3:42 a.m. CST

    I think we're missing out on the fact that talkback one-liners c

    by Tall_Boy

    hell, I've seen a few headlines in the talkback and gotten a good laugh out of it, sometimes a knee slapper or two. Any time I hit a post more than a few lines long, I just flat out don't read it. As for people saying there was a "golden age" of talkbackers . . . personally I don't believe that either. I've had the same name and the same sign in EVER since the site was redsigned in . . . what 98? (all you people who say guys get banned left and right are friggin loco) and maybe my memory is killed from too much booze over the years but it was always the same shit as long as could I remember.

  • July 13, 2004, 3:44 a.m. CST

    besides, wear it as a badge of honour - Kevin Smith made a whole

    by Tall_Boy

    how cool is that, eh?

  • July 13, 2004, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Alright, M since you dared us........

    by Manfool

    I personally think that AI was an excellent movie that will be known as a classic in ten years. I also think that The Terminal was a horrible peice of shit and so is the "new" Speilberg that raped my childhood, damnit he was right.

  • July 13, 2004, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Talkbackers make up a tiny percentage of AICN's readership...

    by Alatar_Blue

    ... so please spare us the "Talk Back is the foundation of this site! Talkback is the raison d'etre of AICN!" rubbish. You crack heads are delusional if you think anything you post here amounts to a hill of beans.

  • July 13, 2004, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I actually come here FOR the talkbacks.

    by Weezie-Fett

    Call me crazy, but there seems to be something pure about the talkbacks. I do have to ask Mori (and everyone else) if there are any TBers that are worthy of being on AICN? Is there a "TalkBack Hall of Fame"? Who do we put on it? Seriously. Who do we nominate for the Talback Hall of Fame? Who can we say is one of the better ferrets fucking in this napsack?

  • July 13, 2004, 9:51 a.m. CST

    My friend said ANCHORMAN was hilarious.

    by mcflytrap

    Oh, and you're all gay.

  • July 13, 2004, 10:37 a.m. CST

    The reality is that most, but not all, TalkBackers are no-life,

    by Regicidal_Maniac

    Come on you creeps know you are. Time and again "everything sucks" It's tired and most of you suck, or you would if you could reach. Whatever happened to hoping things would be good? Go against the grain retards and live a little. Maybe develop an outside interest so that your pathetic life doesn't hang on the suck or rock status of a piece of filmed entertainment. Or just do whatever.

  • July 13, 2004, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Pots, kettles, chickens, eggs...let's talk about something that

    by mortsleam

    Namely, who's going to play Uncle Arthur in the Bewitched re-make? Andy Dick is the only real choice. Who's with me?

  • July 13, 2004, 10:56 a.m. CST

    This reminds me of a moment from the Simpsons

    by Fearsme

    Skinner is talking to Lisa and he says "Then the dumber students would be in my office, furrowing their brows in a futile attempt to try and understand the situation." Talkbacks are where the dumber students go. Remember in school there was a Gold Reading Group, and a Silver Reading Group, then there was the malcontents in the Brown Reading Group that were ushered off the basement to play with finger paints. Talkbackers are the Brown Reading Group. Now heres your fingerpaint, start painting ree ree.

  • July 13, 2004, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Let Me Get This Straight - Harry Writes About "Ass Carrying" Wil

    by hipcheck13

    ...I'd say McWeeny's diatribe on how the talkbacks have eroded shows more than a huge dollup of pretentiousness and hypocrisy. The site itself pretends to be "gonzo" movie reporting, but balks when the boards get too anarchistic. Maybe if the site itself wasn't so fucking irreverant (and no, McWeeny, one of your 20,000 soliloquies doesn't count as "well spoken;" a great writer can speak volumes in two paragraphs) you'd have more of what YOU consider "control" on the boards.

  • July 13, 2004, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Anchorman is BALLS Funny!

    by Trav McGee

    ...As in, VERY. Holy crap I don't think the laugh motor ever stalled out, kept up a solid idling giggle for the duration with a hefty revving up to chuckle with regular bursts of eye-watering nose-bleeding guffaw roars. There's your damn poster blurb! The people who don't laugh with "Anchorman" are the people who bore me. There's your other poster blurb. Way to go, Ferrell, McKay, everyone else -- you made something damn special, that'll keep me laughing for a long long time. But those Lost Scenes you describe up there, holy shit. Seeing your performances, than reading those bits, fuck me I can't stop fucking laughing just picturing it all! Great Odin's raven, like I beg of Christopher Guest's movies give me the fucking 4-hour version already! ...So, immediately people take whatever opportunity in Talkback to talk about themselves, instead of the film at hand. "He started it! Moriarty called us all dicks! The fucker!" Nope, he didn't call me a dick. If you take offense at his and the interviewees' comments, then most likely you're one of those folx who aren't reeeeeally interested in MOVIES so much as you are in movie WEBSITES, which is really once removed from Reality more than I personally think is healthy. You "scorched planet" kids, holy shit but you need a hobby that doesn't involve a keyboard and monitor. Something that would make for genuinely interesting dinner conversation with a young lady, perhaps. ...I might as well add that every complaint I read about this website, including every one on this here TB, I've been reading for 6 years now. Literally, and I use that word correctly. AICN's doing quite well, though, huh? So, maybe the faults are in the eye of the beholder? ...I just wish all the people who SAY they're leaving and never coming back, actually had the courage of their convictions. I want the old boards' style back, too, Moriarty, when the heated discussions were film-based and not just Mad-Lib swearing contests. So, I'm going to do my best to resist any more meta-talkbacking. No more talkback about Talkback. Gonna keep to the topic above, make my comment(s), and ignore the rest of the field. (But dammit I still keep backsliding like this!) AICN still is my favorite workplace diversion. All you AICN haters, bye! See ya! Keep your promises! Goodbye!

  • July 13, 2004, 11:23 a.m. CST

    AICN & TB

    by DocPazuzu

    Taking this article into account, as well as the implacable tone on both sides of the debate, perhaps it truly is time that this issue came to a long overdue head. Personally, I feel that fault is to be found on both sides. Before I go any further, I do want to reinforce the notion that the TB had a much better quality of debate a few years ago. It

  • July 13, 2004, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Oh, do people read the articles?

    by Frank Black

    I am such a dummy. I usually go straight to the Talk Backs! And honestly, Will Ferrell is not funny! Seriously, every character he plays is the same! I love this site, and I love you angry talk backers! Be nice to Drew! Just look at him! He is harmless and he makes me look like a f*cking stud, (and my wife is smoking hot and he's hanging out with Will (same character every time,) Ferrell. Man, I'll take my wife any day of the week! America's Funniest Home Videos is a million times funnier than Will Ferrell! Honestly, a baby covered in paint falling backwards down a flight of stairs is funny! Will Ferrell is not! Ah HA HA HA HA HA

  • July 13, 2004, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Here Here DocPazuzu Here Here

    by Regicidal_Maniac


  • July 13, 2004, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Yes, by all means, go to SP

    by NovasTwitchyMom

    where you can be taken even less seriously than you already are, if that's even possible.

  • July 13, 2004, 12:09 p.m. CST

    I agree it's not right to dump on Mori's wife.

    by jim

    The poor woman has suffered enough; after all, SHE MARRIED HIM! Ha! That Jim Carey cracks me up. Seriously, I have to agree with Hipcheck13 that the erosion of the TBs is in part due to the erosion of the News Posts. Hipcheck mentioned a few. Let us not forget Harry's "write me an erotic X-Files story" contest, which I believe to be a low point for this site (although I did write a story to win the prize, I am not proud of it). I do agree that there are TBers who do fit Moriarty's description. I have seen them. Sadly, as Mori has shown, it is their posts that get noticed and remembered. There are positive and creative posts on this site but they do not stand out like the flaming negative ones. Yes there are those who think Will Ferrell is just not funny, but there are more who think he is hilarious (which he is, IMO). Mori, everybody, want to clean up the TBs? Do not respond to the negative posters. By responding you encourage them and fuel their fury. Just ignore them and they will eventually go away.

  • July 13, 2004, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Were some posts deleted?

    by IAmJacksUserID

    I could have sworn I added my one and a half cents (sense) to this thing going on here.

  • July 13, 2004, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Be warned, someone is stealing passwords at this site.

    by FluffyUnbound

    I think if you actually GO to one of those scorched planet links these people keep pushing, to see what the fuss is about, they steal your password file. 'Cause as soon as I went there this fake fluffy showed up.

  • July 13, 2004, 1:35 p.m. CST

    To quote the immortal words of the immortal George Clinton

    by Pallando Blue

    If You Don't Like The Effects, Don't Produce The Cause. ["America Eats Its Young" Funkadelic, 1972] Feel free to misapply the above words of wisdom as you will. *** "Anchorman"? Disturbingly hilarious. "Look! It's the most glorious magical rainbow ever!" "Do me on it!" ** "Where did you get a hand grenade?" "I don't know." ** "Kawto-jo is my cousin." ** "Dorothy Mantooth is a SAINT!" ** "It smells like a turd covered in burning hair!" "It smells like Bigfoot's dick!" ** "Go fuck yourself, San Diego." ** "I pooped a hammer." ** Christ, am I gonna be quoting this for years, like -- dare I say it -- The Big Lebowski?

  • July 13, 2004, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Anchorman is one of the best damn movies I've evr seen. Not ever

    by Big Bad Clone

    "It is the way of the talkbacks. We are a noble and jealous race that will consult a medical dictionary to insult you. Do not attempt to resist or appease us. For we are assholes, and we will never be satisfied"

  • July 13, 2004, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Frater 405

    by DocPazuzu

    For all their faults, neither AICN as a whole or the TB in particular, are as sad and pathetic as you racist cretins on scorched planet, whose only reason for existence is slamming AICN. Honestly, is that not truly the nadir of online existence? Scumbag.

  • July 13, 2004, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Oh c'mon, you kwazy SP kidz

    by NovasTwitchyMom

    Come in from the heat, I've been shaking this chocolate milk for you for about an hour now. Of course, it might be mine, I don't know, they just handed it to me as they were running out the door.

  • July 13, 2004, 2:15 p.m. CST

    What, you mean they actually read these talkbacks?

    by Dragonfire

    That's pretty brave of 'em.

  • July 13, 2004, 2:29 p.m. CST

    What we're seeing above...

    by DocPazuzu another example of "technical problems" at AICN. Mori -- just how, exactly, are scorched planet losers able to actually steal our passwords and post in our names?

  • July 13, 2004, 2:32 p.m. CST

    It's kind of dumb to commit identity theft and then post to a si

    by FluffyUnbound

    Why would you do something like that?

  • July 13, 2004, 2:33 p.m. CST

    They post in your name but the e-mail is different

    by jim

    Or did they steal that too (using someone else's e-mail)?

  • July 13, 2004, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Comments on the Rabid Ferret Syndrome

    by Lilium

    Hello there Moriarty and Harry as well. I have been a long time visitor of this website. I believe I started coming here right around the time of the developments concerning the first X-Men movie. I even participated in a few Talkbacks myself under a different name. (I'm just on a Godzilla: Final Wars kick right now ever since I saw the awesome design for Monster X. Henceforth the new nick. It's tough to tell whether or not I like Irys or Monster X better.) But just to get to the meat of my post, please do not take offense to anything I say because I mean this as constructive criticism not as an offensive, harsh, vindictive accusation. I hate to say it but you invite these "Rabid Ferrets" into discussions by utilizing an unmoderated Talkback format. Yes, even moderated forums have to deal with Trolls who have nothing intellectually stimulating to say other than they're so high/drunk or that Spam is nice or that "This sucks" or "That sucks" with nothing rationally intelligent to back up their opinion, I think you get the picture. But because these forums are moderated the out of hand situation can be remedied more readily. Dare I say that you have let the wolves through your door of your own free will by persisting in continuing with utilizing an unmoderated forum?

  • July 13, 2004, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Ah, I see. I thought that usernames had to be unique?

    by FluffyUnbound

    If I knew you could re-use them "Fluffygreycat" and "SonofFluffygreycat" and "FluffyReturns" and every other ID that I got banned would still be in use. Unless it's the blank space trick after all?

  • July 13, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    This sucks

    by IAmJacksUserID

    That sucks

  • July 13, 2004, 2:45 p.m. CST


    by Immortal_Fish

    I despise how you paint all who participate in TB with a broad brush. Shame on you. The allegation raised by your publicly vocal readership still stands, however. To use your own words -- You don't want to be perceived as a kiss-up sell-out? Then stop acting like it. Easy enough.

  • July 13, 2004, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Moriarity Failure to Specify who the Ferrets of Talkback Are:

    by Lilium

    I think that is what bothers me the most. You can tell basically who contributes and who does not by the quality of their posts. But the way Moriarty's comment plays, it sounds like he's pointing the finger at all of us. That is what upsets me the most. I think some clarification needs to be made by Moriarty himself.

  • July 13, 2004, 3:39 p.m. CST

    to whomever is advocating scorched planet...

    by joe brady

    Fuck you. I don't believe that all conservatives are narrow-minded, racist, sexist, homophobic pieces of shit, but your little site isn't doing anything to discourage that belief. Seriously, what losers.

  • July 13, 2004, 4:54 p.m. CST


    by ChickenGeorgeVII

    We are a bunch of

  • July 13, 2004, 5:20 p.m. CST


    by Super Person

    Mostly I'm just astonished you guys take yourselves and your precious Talkbacks so seriously! I mean, to read these things you'd think you were just looking for some place - ANY place - to vent your frustration and bitterness and anger and superiority, and this one fit the bill because they let you get away with so much... but you guys are acting like some terrible wrong has occurred and Mori's done some terrible betrayal of all that is good and true... give me a break! It's a collection of half-wits bitching and screaming and threatening each other! Who gives a shit?

  • July 13, 2004, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Moriarty said it perfectly...

    by brokentusk

    Monster X, you say he needs to clarify which talkbackers he was talking about in his post - bullshit. Who gives a fuck? What will it matter if he writes back saying, "I'm sorry, I made it seem like I was angry with all of you. I'm only angry with the people who post shit in Talkback..." - OBVIOUSLY! We don't need Drew to post anything here and I for one couldn't care less about the Talkbacks anymore - it used to be fun, now the majority of posts are just people trying to be funny. I admit, even I've posted sometimes, trying to be a wise-ass. Bottom line: Moriarty had every right to say what he said about us. It's a shame when a 19 year old from South Africa needs to lecture grown individuals on how to act decently.

  • July 13, 2004, 8:08 p.m. CST

    I resent being labelled a rabid ferret 'effing' in a burlap sack

    by ol' painless

    The foamy mouth is due to the soap Dad fed me for being a potty mouth, and not due to the rabies coursing through my system like viral nitrous oxide. I do not fuck in burlap sacks. Burlap give me hives. Shows how much these Hollywood stars with their fancy city ways know. I try a 70/30 combination of latex and polyester. Doesn't stain. Or cling. Or get wedged.

  • July 13, 2004, 8:31 p.m. CST

    "Frustration and bitterness and anger and superiority"

    by FluffyUnbound

    Sounds like art to me, Supes.

  • July 13, 2004, 9:06 p.m. CST

    That's funny

    by jeeesus

    how no one talks after M smoked you fools. And that interview was funny. I can't wait for more Will Ferrel. I read in the SNL book that he wants to transition to dramatic work sometime. I wonder if that will work out.

  • July 13, 2004, 10:10 p.m. CST

    new at this

    by shutterghost

    I have no earthly idea what all of you are talking about. All I know is that under the circumstances, I can see why Moriarty had such a tough time. Even talking to all those stars, I don't envy having to make sense out what was probably three delirious geniuses.

  • July 13, 2004, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, I'm calling you out!

    by lachface

    What is the deal? I've posted a few times but i knew my post wouldn't be read amidst the much more lively, interesting, and creative insults being thrown at movies. i've even tried an open post to Harry to start reading Talk Back again to take an active role in controlling the language to distill the content. But seriously, there was no need outside of hoping for acceptance with Will Ferrell and cohorts to bash us like you did. You could have agreed that some posters are extreme, rude, abusive, but that it (according to you) doesn't represent a majority of the readership. Then, after basically agreeing with Ferrell you could have privately, in your lengthy editorial, personally blasted us about the language. Doing so in the interview looked horrible and including it in the posted article was a slap in the face, regardless of how you intended it to sound. I mean, this interview and those lovely pictures only happened because of your involvement with AICN. A site whose popularity was largely gained by being so visceral and being one of the first places on the internet in which voices and opinions could be heard (according to Harry). So you outright insulted one of the main reasons that the site, which made your interview possible, was famous for? Why? I can understand if you truly feel that way, but after everything that we as geeks have given you, we deserve a bit of defense. Is it so hard to apologize for what you said in the interview? Regardless of whether you truly meant it at the time the context makes you look like you were playing to the Hollywood crowd. Apologize for the context and continue your argument in a civil manner. Need I use the already addressed issue between the pot and the kettle? As for the editorial nature of your interviews, why don't all the writers at AICN just deliver the facts that they are privy to (like everyone else) and then use the Talk Back for their personal voice (like everybody else). it would at least show that you are taking an active position in the content of this site rather than posting your story and then doing something else. Don't have time for it? Boo Hoo. Give something up if you're too busy. If you and Harry are too busy with your new responsibilities (producer, writer) and have nothing to gain from Talk Backers, pass it on to he next generation, find new geeks with fresh enthusiasm to provide the insider, breaking news stories that made AICN famous and stop "juggling" so many jobs. We (the talk backers) obviously don't mean squat to you, so give up that job and hand it on. Harry too. You both seem to be too busy to continue geeking with regular geeks. Now I know that Talk Back has gone down the shitter in the last few years, but why? Is it that the Talk Backs have turned bad because of a new, bad element? or is it that you and Harry are doing so much that the geeks that post here are becoming increasingly fed up with the style and content of the "reporting". To me the latter seems more reasonable than the former. The writing is on the wall.

  • July 13, 2004, 11:31 p.m. CST is really f*cking stupid!

    by Frank Black

    Wow, do I hate that site, and love AICN even more after visiting it for the 1st time. Do those guys, (4 or 5 people,) really spend all of their energy talking shit about this site? Give me a break! It's almost shockingly stupid!

  • July 14, 2004, 1:31 a.m. CST

    cloudrider`: Sucking up so you can fit in is not "cool".

    by Mosquito March

    Maybe I'm goofy, but I'd have more respect for a guy who wasn't so ashamed about what he does for a living and wasn't so willing brown nose the big kids. Brown nosing is not "cool". And, brown nosing is just what he was doing. The whole "interview" was a bunch of sucking-up to the big movie guys, and for a big part of it, it reads like they didn't even acknowledge that Drew was in the room. (Getting upstaged by a bunch of plates of veggies is also not "cool".) This whole thing goes hand in hand with the incident at the Terminal premiere where he didn't have the guts to tell Spielberg he was from AICN. I guess it's just easier to write bad reviews of a guy's movies and not identify yourself in person? (Which doesn't put Drew much higher than the average talkbacker, does it?) Lord knows, it might jeopardize Drew's standing in Hollywood if Spielberg thought he was a member of this outfit, right? Drew can't have that, so he has to make believe he's above it all when truly important movie people are around.

  • July 14, 2004, 8:58 a.m. CST


    by Dr. Death

    You have got to be the biggest fucking idiot on the planet. Congratulations!!!

  • July 14, 2004, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Dr Death

    by Frank Black

    I second that, pal. These guys are like a hate group with nothing better to do than devote every second to bitching about AICN! Hell, they are even worse than the negative talkbackers here! It's just vile and mindless and baffling! I don't come to AICN for journalistic integrity, I come here because I like Harry and I like the site. It's movie news, who gives a shit if it's real or not! Half the fun in loving movies when you are a movie buff is getting excited about them as the release grows nearer. That is why this site was started and it has never strayed from that. AICN is still cool news, accurate, slanted, biased, or whatever! This isn't CNN!

  • July 15, 2004, 12:50 a.m. CST


    by Mosquito March

    The best thing about the whole deal is that Drew was in here fighting just like a ferret in a burlap sack. I wonder if his new friends saw. If they did, I have some words for Will Ferrell: not everybody has to think you're funny, Will. Accept it.

  • July 18, 2004, 1:06 a.m. CST

    ANCHORMAN- absolutely horrible

    by zenith1226

    One of the worst movies ever made...Did someone think this turd was funny? Jack Black was not funny, Vince Vaughn sucks as always, Ferrell at his worst. THIS MOVIE MADE WAYNE'S WORLD LOOK LIKE OSCAR MATERIAL THE RETART WEATHERMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH FUNNIER 90 MINUTE MOVIE, HE STOLE EVERY SCENE