Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

AICN Downunder's End of the Year Spectacular + Quint's faves!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here to introduce Latauro as he runs through his memories of 2005... He goes over films, events, controversies and ends with his Top 10 list. It's a bit weird to see some of the picks that came out last year here in a States (or in Korea for that matter) in the list, but you know how them Aussies are... a little behind, but full of passion. hehe.

I don't think I'm going to bombard you with my own Top 10 list... I hate doing them and I really don't think you want to go through another big article on one, but I will say that some of my favorite flicks (off the top of my head) from the year, in no particular order, are: BATMAN BEGINS, WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, MATCH POINT, MUNICH, KING KONG, THE NEW WORLD, WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, HUSTLE & FLOW, CAPOTE, BROKEN FLOWERS, SIN CITY, GOOD NIGHT & GOOD LUCK, HARRY POTTER & THE GOBLET OF FIRE, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, WOLF CREEK, THE DESCENT, CHUMSCRUBBER, WEATHER MAN and a few that'll hit theaters next year, Sundance favorite BRICK and V FOR VENDETTA. That's nowhere near a complete list, but better here than in a long drawn out article, no? What are you favorites? Read through Latauro's list and let us know what you liked this year in the talkbacks below!

THE AICN-DOWNUNDER ANNUAL 2005

Another year gone. They're getting quicker, I swear. It seems like barely twelve months ago, I was writing the 2004 edition. Hm.

I've had a pretty good year, personally and professionally. There's a lot of professional stuff I'm pacing back and forth about at the moment (waiting for *that* phone call is the hardest part), but on the whole it's been pretty good. There were too many days where I was working twenty hours straight, running from job to job, and yet somehow I managed to fit in films running into the hundreds. You gotta prioritise, right?

In Australia, it's been a pretty interesting year for local product. We had a lot of success with WOLF CREEK, LOOK BOTH WAYS, THE PROPOSITION, LITTLE FISH, THREE DOLLARS, THE MAGICIAN and THE OYSTER FARMER. A lot of people were claiming these films had saved the Australian film industry, but as I pointed out in this column, we have no industry. It took me a long time to figure out, but the more I thought about what was wrong with our industry, the more I realised that an industry, by definition, promotes growth and builds upon what has come before. What we have in Australia is people with money throwing darts at a dart board. This year just happened to see more bullseyes than usual.

Midway through the year I discussed a massive conflict of interest regarding Project Greenlight Australia. Like everyone else, I was hoping this would be a success and lead to one more film per year getting off the ground. It turned out that one of the judges, Sam Worthington (one of Australia's most-employed actors), was friends with the winner, Morgan O'Neill. The publicist for PGA claimed this wasn't a conflict of interest. I claimed it was the dictionary definition of "conflict of interest". The problem was, once I yelled "J'accuse!" and they responded with "Bugger off!", there wasn't much more I could report on. There was nothing new to the story, so short of repeating myself, there was nothing I could do but let it die. The thing that saddened me was that nobody else in the Australian media wanted a piece of it. Nobody else reported on it. It might not have been the biggest story of the year, but I think it was certainly worth some coverage. It made me a little sad that our blinding desire to follow everything that the publicity machine tells us prevented an important story from being told anywhere but here. The articles covering the Greenlight controversy can be found here and here.

Anyway, you came here to see me categorise and rank art, so I'll cut to the chase.

LATAURO'S TEN BEST OF THE YEAR (AS VOTED BY ME)

I can't believe I managed to get this list down to ten. It wasn't easy, you should know (when is it ever easy?). I was forced to leave out very-near-misses such as BROKEN FLOWERS, THE LIFE AQUATIC, SIDEWAYS, KISS KISS BANG BANG, MYSTERIOUS SKIN and THE ARISTOCRATS. (I've just scrolled through my reviews and discovered that A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT and I HEART HUCKABEES were technically this year, but I've already written the below reviews, so they stay out. These lists piss me off sometimes.) Last night I caught the low budget film PRIMER, which probably would go on the list if I'd had more time to digest it. If you've not yet seen it, you haven't experienced what it's like to have your skull squeezed out through your eyes. Really amazing film.

Being the bad movie goer that I am, I missed Australian films LITTLE FISH, LOOK BOTH WAYS, THE MAGICIAN and THE OYSTER FARMER. I haven't seen THE MACHINIST, LAST DAYS or Paul Haggis's CRASH, films that might have made it onto the list. I didn't see STRINGS at the cinema, nor have I watched the DVD that arrived a month ago.

I disagreed with every other critic by loving 9 SONGSand ELEKTRA, and hating 5x2 and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. My relationship with BROKEBACK is a tricky one. Every review I've read has described a film I would absolutely love, so I'm going to give it another go. In a couple of weeks I'll take another look at it, and I'll let you know if my opinion of it changes drastically. It's certainly a film that's given me a lot of grief.

I walked out of WOLF CREEK, not because I didn't like it, but because it was too full-on. I thought it was a terrific film, but I just didn't have the constitution to sit through it. Violence, I can handle. A main character that frightening and cunning, I can't.

I've decided against a "Worst List" this year, partly because of the vitriol that last year's rant inspired ("Mel Gibson hates Jewish people!"), and partly because I didn't see the worst films of the year. I at least make an effort to see as many of the best films (or what I think will be the best films) each year. The worst ones, I try to avoid. I was disappointed by HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE, and not just because of my high expectations. It *was* possible to live up to my hopes of what a HHGTTG could be; this film dropped the ball, big time. It wasn't close to being the worst film of the year, though. The clips I saw of MISS CONGENIALITY 2 actually made me physically ill. The worst film I actually sat through? It's tough. BE COOL was an abomination, as bad as GET SHORTY was good. BROTHERS GRIMM was an embarrassing mess, and IN HER SHOESwas one of the worst scripts of the year. ROBOTS didn't quite scale the depths that SHARK TALE did the year before, but it's certainly one of the laziest kids films I've ever seen. SKY CAPTAIN was a boring missed opportunity, and the French film 5x2 redefined pretension. The worst film of the year, however, has to go to Australian crapfest YOU AND YOUR STUPID MATE. I rarely agree with Melbourne film critic Jim Schembri, but when he wrote "Unreleasable" as his entire review (before writing a secondary review that tore the film to shreds), I couldn't have agreed more. STUPID MATE is barely a film, and the fact that its makers seem to be getting more films made than anyone else in the country should give you an idea of how well we're doing.

Nevertheless, there were some good films this year. There were some very good films. Below is (obviously) my list of the top ten. I've gone on some pretty strange rants down there. If you like reading me go off on tangents then you may enjoy it. If you think I rabbit on too much, just scroll down the titles.

On with the show...

10. HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE

You're going to see the words "vibe", "wavelength" and "socratic" a lot in this list. The first two because they're relevant; the third because I think it's awesome. Hayao Miyazaki makes films in a completely different universe to everyone else, and you're expected to go along with them. Whilst each of his films seems to have the fish-out-of-water character for the audience to identify with, those characters either inhabit worlds totally unfamiliar to us, or adapt far more quickly that we do.

HOWL'S stuck with me more than any other film from the Melbourne International Film Festival this year. I still can't shake the flame creature from my head, or the brilliant simplicity of the changing door, or the way characters morph and change without any real external influence... and we just go along with it.

The version I saw was the Japanese language print, and believe me, it makes the world of difference. My introduction to Miyazaki was seeing the original language print of PRINCESS MONONOKE, which I fell in love with. When I revisited the film, I did so with its English redub (purely for curiosity's sake) and ended up hating the film. That version, anyway. I can't stress how important it is to hear the original voices when you see the film. If you don't believe me, try listening to Phil Hartman as Jiji in KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE.

Miyazaki's films have a very specific wavelength, and if you're on that wavelength you'll see something you won't see anywhere else. And how often can you say that of a film?

9. SERENITY

Yeah. So sue me.

Speaking of vibes and socratic wavelengths, if you're lucky enough to "get" Joss Whedon, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. For my money, Whedon writes characters, story, dialogue and subtext so effortlessly, you just want to bathe in his work. Effusive? Fannish? Sure. I'm an effusive fan.

There's been so much crap leveled at the so-called Browncoats (although some of it's deserved... seriously, who gave their phone bill a thrashing just so this film could reach the top half of Margaret Pomeranz's best film show on the ABC?), they've almost replaced Trekkies in the derision and scorn department. This departments exists only within fandom, it's important to remember. Your average movie-going public guy dude person has no idea what a Browncoat is, and has probably only heard of "Firefly" in passing from a friend of a friend. I don't know of anyone who was turned off the film by an overenthusiastic fan.

These Browncoats copped a decent amount of blame in some circles for the film's poor box office results, a charge that was as incorrect as it was wrong (now THAT'S English). Simply put, the film did badly because of the sheer amount of pre-release screenings (which would have significantly diminished its opening weekend, the only thing that seems to matter these days) and the awful, awful marketing campaign. Sure, the film is not an easy one to sell, but even I was slightly turned off by the terrible posters and misleading trailers. The film failed in a big way, but it's no more the fault of the fans than it is of the key grip (Jerry C. Deats, you will feel my wrath).

Wait, am I discussing the film's brilliance, or adding to the overcrowded debate on where to point the blame? Clearly, I'm adding to the debate. Feel free to read it again if you're confused.

There's been so much damned press on this film; you don't need to hear any more. Whedon is a goddamn genius, who writes and directs so fucking well that he alone inspires such passion and love in his fans. I've come to terms with the fact that this may be the last outing for the Serenity crew. So long as Whedon is still breathing and near a keyboard, captivating stories will continue to be told.

8. OLD BOY

I jumped up and down when I saw the distinct lack of LADY VENGEANCE on the MIFF screening list this year, and even questioned Festival Director James Hewison about it (apparently the film "wasn't finished"... pfft!). I then waited the year for the film to somehow make its way onto the arthouse circuit. It hasn't. Luckily, I've had the memory of OLD BOY, Chan-Wook Park's best film to date, to last me all year.

I've loved everything Park has made. JOINT SECURITY AREA started off badly before launching into one of the greatest second acts in history (which turned a film I was, at that point, hating into one of my favourites of the year). SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE knocked me onto the floor. His contribution to THREE... EXTREMES was the best of the three films, simultaneously entertaining and disturbing the way no other film has ever been.

But OLD BOY... OLD BOY was Park at the top of his game. He managed to top his previous efforts by coming up with a high concept film that had enormous, stone-hard balls. He deals with subject matter few other "hardened" filmmakers would even be comfortable listening to, and makes sure you know exactly how demented the situation is.

OLD BOY isn't quite as devastating as MR VENGEANCE, nor is it as easily rewatchable as JSA; it does, however, blend those two elements into a perfect mix, making it more than the sum of its parts. This film will wrench you out of your comfort zone and remind you of what cinema can be if you look into the dark recesses of your mind that you try to pretend aren't there.

7. SIN CITY

So, I have three big problems with the film. They are:

1) The pacing. Film noirs, as well as the film's source material, worked at a much slower pace. The film felt rushed; the consequence of trying to cram three great films into one. (My problem with the pacing has dimished *somewhat* after seeing the extended cuts.)

2) HD. I know Rodriguez has a massive hard-on for digital, and part of me admires his cottage industry love of technology. While the HD looked better here than it ever has, it's still not as good as he thinks it is. It doesn't possess the depth and richness of film stock, and the flatness works against it. Why is this such a problem? Again, it's a film noir, and film is sort-of an essential part of it. That said, the cinematography is still very pretty.

3) Jessica Alba. I can forgive the casting of Bruce Willis (he's absolutely brilliant in it, but just doesn't look the age of his character!), but Alba just doesn't work. She doesn't have screen presence. Her acting is sub-par. While I don't find her at all sexy, I'm willing to accept that many do. Nevertheless, Alba's brand of sexy is completely wrong for the character. The sexiest woman in Sin City, the one that every many drools over? I didn't buy it. But more than that, casting her ruined what could have been the most shattering moment of the film. When Hartigan's eyes move to the stage and he sees Nancy dancing, the original comic book depicts her as almost completely naked. She incredibly sexy, and the horror in Hartigan's eyes reflect this. The innocence he ruined his life to protect had been taken away while he was in prison. It could have been one of the rare instances of non-gratuitous nudity that added to the story instead of distracting from it, and it was left out. For such a faithful adaptation, this was mind-blowing to me. Skinny little Nancy Callighan did *not* fill out. She still looks pre-pubescent up there, and the sheer amount of clothing she has on doesn't help that. I was a big fan of the Carla Gugino nudity, but would have traded it in a heart-beat for the far-more-important Moment in THAT YELLOW BASTARD.

Phew. It feels good to get that off my chest. Er, again.

I spent an awful lot of time describing what Rodriguez did wrong in a film that I consider to be one of the top ten of the year, didn't I? That's because it's so close to being perfect that I can actually name the elements that keep it from being that way. For me, anyhow.

We are all so blaze and desensitised by visual effects, I don't think anyone really took the time to appreciate what a visual phenomenon the film was. Cinema is all about creating moving worlds we wouldn't otherwise see. Miyazaki does it, but pencil and paper can do anything. To put real-life actors in a photorealistic setting and make us believe it for two hours plus, you have to know what you're doing.

I ate up every frame, and fell madly in love with the world presented to me. So why did this work where SKY CAPTAIN failed? SKY CAPTAIN promised edgy 30s-style dialogue, and dropped the ball. It promised a great story told amongst kitchy retro backdrops and forgot the great story. SIN CITY had the advantage of Frank Miller's superb source material that does for gritty film noir what PULP FICTION did for, well, pulp fiction. It acts as a summation for why the genre is great, but is also greater than the sum of its parts. It manages to eclipse the very style it's celebrating.

The cast is (with odd exception) spot-on. This is the role Mickey Rourke was born to play. He perfectly inhabits the skin of a character I never thought they'd get right. Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Clive Owen and the brilliant Benicio Del Toro each nails their role home with perfect precision. The big surprise? I never thought I'd type this sentence, but one of my favourite performances of the year goes to Brittany Murphy as Shellie. Not afraid to make herself look silly, Murphy completely overplays the breathless heroine to amazing comic effect, and gave me the biggest laughs of the film.

The detail and precision with which Basin City is recreated makes me yearn for this type of creativity in other films. I know it's hoping for too much, but can you blame me? Rodriguez and Miller are guilty of spoiling me completely and raising my expectations high. Possibly too high. I yearn for SIN CITY 2, and the I-can't-believe-they-haven't-done-it-yet merchandising of Jackie Boy Pez Dispensers.

6. HOTEL RWANDA

The first half of the year basically saw us film fans sitting around watching our DVDs and waiting for the truly cool shit to hit us come Winter (that's "Summer" for those of you hemispherically north). Luckily those of us in Australia got all the Oscar stuff we hadn't got over Summer. See, they wait to see how the awards do before beginning their marketing campaign in we, the "Other Territories".

So, during that usually-dry first-half-of-the-year, I was treated to a remarkable film experience that has stayed with me longer than I'd anticipated. If you missed HOTEL RWANDA because it doesn't have the geek appeal that usually draws us to cinemas, then you've done yourself a great disservice. You've missed the most perfectly-scripted film of the year. One that manages to tell an horrific true story without (a) overwhelming the audience, or (b) diminishing the event's importance.

I can't talk about the film's subject matter and do it justice (believe me; this is the umpteenth time I've attempted to write this paragraph), so I'll leave it to you to see the film on your own. What I can talk about is the note-perfect filmmaking. All the horrific elements are shown without gloss. Light moments are interjected at perfect places, and manage to relief us from the horror without diminishing what came before. It's phenomenal filmmaking that's only enhanced by Don Cheadle, one of the greatest working actors in the world, transforming completely into a character that's not a hero, but a human doing heroic deeds. Unmissable.

5. WAR OF THE WORLDS

One of the least interesting things in the world to me is tabloid gossip. I don't care who is dating who. I don't care whose marriage broke up because of which adopted baby, or which nanny cheated on which star. I just don't care. I've never met these people. Now, I'm interested in the lives of people I admire, the Whedons, the Sorkins and the Soderberghs of the world, because I'm fascinated as to how someone with such a fast amount of talent can get to that stage where most everything they create is effortlessly brilliant. That said, if Soderbergh divorced a "Friends" castmember to shack up with one of the teens from "The OC", I just wouldn't give a damn. And I'm an avid viewer of both shows.

So where am I going with this? I watched the Australian "Sixty Minutes" interview with Tom Cruise this year because I'd hoped that they'd be forced to discuss the process of making a film like WAR OF THE WORLDS or MAGNOLIA. I thought a show that claims to have so much more integrity than the rest would, at very least, make a show of delving into substance. I was wrong. Interviewer Peter Overton asked questions about Cruise's love life, and was told to "put his manners back in" by the Cruiser. Apparently, Overton was stepping over the line by asking about the one subject Cruise can't shut up about: Cruise.

See, like most people in the world, I'm sick of Tom Cruise. And I say this as someone who avoids tabloids, Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, etc. Now, if I'm avoiding all of this stuff and *I'm* sick of him, imagine how the rest of you must feel! Yeah, you. The one who checks the Celebrity Briefing on IMDb so you can laugh at glamour couples having the same problems you do. Or, rather, the same problems your older brother has. The cool one.

WAR OF THE WORLDS is an amazing film, and time will tell if it's Spielberg's best (my mailman is already anticipating the hate mail for that comment, so do your worst). Okay, so maybe that should read "...if it's Spielberg's best non-SCHINDLER film". There's a reason that Spielberg is a household name, a reason that's he's the most famous filmmaker in history. Look at the opening of WORLDS and the tension created there. Look at the scene where they're trying to get in the car. Look at the basement scene with Tim Robbins (the highlight of the movie) and tell me Spielberg's not every bit the filmmaker every Joe Schmoe unthinkingly acknowledges him to be.

While part of me still wishes he'd gone the period piece-route, it's no longer a specific problem I have when I watch the film. Like all great stories, it works perfectly on its own and perfectly as a parable. The film is such a powerful analogy for the world as it is now, that it deserves to be studied for decades to come. It's one of the most important films of the decade, and it really should be higher on the list.

Why, then, is it not? Tom Cruise is a fantastic actor, and I've no doubt of his abilties, but his face is so phenomenally over-saturated that I just can't take it any more. There are a few moments during the basement scene where he disappears into his characters, but those moments are few in the context of the film. The rest of the time, he's Tom Cruise in a baseball hat, and I do not believe him. I have no problem in casting stars, but cast someone whose life isn't a movie playing out in every form of media on the planet. Matt Damon's a great actor and a marketable star, isn't he? I have no idea who he's dating, or if he's married, or not. The only times I see him are in films or talking about films, and that's fine. Okay, so he may not be suited to the role, but the point remains valid. Cruise only works in films like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, where he may as well be called "Tom" on screen. Films like WAR OF THE WORLDS are too important, too great to be dragged down by an oversaturated celebrity.

Just to make sure I end on a positive note, WAR OF THE WORLDS is a great film, and Spielberg is a great director. And that's that.

4. BATMAN BEGINS

I'm one of those guys who sort-of likes Tim Burton, but finds him incredibly overrated. Of course, as a teenager, I loved him, just as every teen does when he first learns what directors do and what their names are. Then I came crashing down to Earth. It wasn't even PLANET OF THE APES that did it, awful as it was. It was BIG FISH. Here was an opportunity for layers and depth, and it was pretty much squandered so Burton could make another surface-level quirky film that *looks* like a modern-day fairy tale, but lacks the deeper meaning those stories always had. It was then that I looked back over his work with grown-up eyes, and few of his films stood up. His BATMAN films certainly didn't.

See, I really enjoy his two BATMAN films. Hell, the deluxe four-film box set is shipping from Amazon as I write this. The thing is I like them as Tim Burton films. In that sense, they're very good and very entertaining... but they're not Batman.

Christopher Nolan was an inspired choice for the role, mostly because he lacks the heavy signature flourishes that burdens so many of Burton's films. Nolan simply steps back and makes great films, and for the first time I felt like I was immersed completely in the real-life Batman world.

The big, sweeping master strokes were brilliant. The cast, for example, were fantastic, with the glaring exception of Katie Holmes. The only female role in the film, and they surround a roll call of phenomenal actors with a magazine cover. Holmes in BEGINS; Alba in SIN CITY. A trend is forming. Holmes is the only problem I have with the film. Her singular expression and lazy delivery left her character flat and sucked the spark out of every scene she appeared in. Fortunately, Bale saved the day (so to speak) with a representation of Batman that has left every other for dead (except Kevin Conroy's!). The way he chose to play Batman was incredibly risky, but made him into an actual character instead of an empty figurine. Likewise, Caine proved he wasn't stunt casting, and nailed the role of Alfred like no other. Gotham itself looked like a real city; this fact somehow enhancing its fantastical nature.

As enthralled as I was by these "big things", it's the smaller ones that made the film for me. The genuine moments of humour between Alfred and Bruce (particularly on the plane). The business dealings needed to get the cowl shipped in without anyone noticing, and then the design glitch forcing them to re-order. Gordon taking the trash out. All of these small trivial things made me believe the world, and believing the world made this the most effective Batman to date.

3. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK

Having only just reviewed this film a week or two back, I'm not sure if I have anything new to say about it. The subject matter, the screenplay, the direction, the actors, it's all fantastic. It's all perfect.

One thing I've noticed recently is that with the decline of honest, truthful journalism, the feelings of frustration felt by those seeking honesty and transparency has led to something of a surge in art and media. There are countless examples of this, but perhaps the most incisive has been GOOD NIGHT. The film so succinctly explains why asking questions is important whilst showing the danger and humanity in a mob mentality, that it's impossible to dismiss it. It's impossible to accuse it of being propaganda, as the film triumphs nothing more than honesty and thoughtfulness.

There are few films from this year that I would recommend more. In fact, there are only two.

2. THE PROPOSITION

This is the sort of film that gets made when bullshit political agendas, wanky pretentious filmmaking and focus group screenplays are ignored and true artists take the reigns.

THE PROPOSITION has a unique voice. It's not slamming home the fact that it's Australian; it just accepts the fact. We're not treated to any sort of ponderous history lesson; the film's story takes place against the backdrop of Australia's past. It's a slice of life from an early period of British colonialism, and whatever conclusions we reach are our own.

No, writer Nick Cave and director John Hillcoat cleverly focus on the story the are telling... and that story is a corker.

Guy Pearce plays a man whose only hope of saving his younger brother is to kill his older brother. The irony of the situation is never played up. The tragedy of the situation is barely referred to. In fact, the film is so alarmingly subtle, that when it hits you right between the eyes you won't know where the punch came from.

I've casually referred to this film as Australia's version of DEAD MAN, but I acknowledge that the comparison does a disservice to both DEAD MAN and THE PROPOSITION. This is a truly unique film that I hope gets the recognition it deserves. At very least, it has won the honour of replacing Clara Law's amazing GODDESS OF 1967 as my favourite ever Australian film.

1. KING KONG

Okay, this is the big one. This is the review I've been gearing up for. You know those articles Harry writes where he details how a filmmaker or film had a profound influence on a very important period of his life? This is me doing that.

The first memory I have is of the first film I saw. Ever. It was on the big screen, and it was the 1933 production of KING KONG. My clearest memory is having to go out to the foyer for a few minutes because it was scaring me, but the film itself must have left quite the impression on me. See, my parents would frequently take me to the house of family friend George Viscas, whose film collection left me awed, even at that age. George was, and is, an early adopter, and I remember being shown a laser disc years before I heard the name mentioned anywhere else. The nights my family would visit, there would be the kids' film that my brother and I would watch while the parents talked in the other room. Following that would be a film George was itching to show my parents. With all of this overwhelming film information flooding into me (and, undoubtedly, having a profound effect on me), what could I not get out of my head? Kong.

Now, I've decidedly avoided corroborating any of this with my parents or George, because I'm influenced by my memories more than the slight details that separate them from the facts. What I remember is constantly drawing pictures of King Kong whenever I had a pen and paper. I'd also get mum and dad to draw pictures for me that I could colour in, because they were so much better at the buildings that I was. Without quite knowing why, I was obsessed for years with this giant ape climbing a building.

Now, the influence this film also had on Peter Jackson is, by now, notorious. You know it all by now. As much as I loved LORD OF THE RINGS (and trust me, the love is deep and palpable), I wasn't sure if he'd be able to get this right. On the surface of it, KONG is an easier film to make that RINGS, but once I saw FELLOWSHIP, I knew he'd be able to knock Tolkein's trilogy out of the park without hesitation. KONG, in my mind, was such a magical and untouchable thing, I honestly didn't know whether he'd make a Very Good Peter Jackson Version of KONG, or whether he'd actually make KONG itself.

Jackson has somehow managed to make the film that sits inside your head. You know that feeling when you revisit an old film and you're waiting for that specific bit you loved because to you it was the most profound moment in the film and then when you get to there it either doesn't exist or it's blink-and-you-miss-it fast? Jackson has put those moments on film.

The reason we spend so long in the first act getting to Skull Island is because he's reveling in the world. He's swimming in it. The magic doesn't just exist on Kong Island; it exists in 1930s New York. A city in the throes of a Depression that doesn't realise what's about to be unleashed upon it. Establishing the World of Man is deeply important, because it's the villain. It's almost as if the hero and villain roles are reversed in this film, with we, the audience, following the bad guy as he tracks a giant monster (the good guy). It's amazing stuff, and for all the complaints about how long it was, I could personally stand to see more. But that's me. When I see something I love this much, I just want more of it.

The humans are all terrific, but it's Carl Denham that blew me away. The path they went down with him was an intriguing one, and only emphasised the awful behaviour the human race exhibits in this film. His re-used obituaries for his fallen crew are almost word-for-word identical, yet each had the opposite effect on me and my opinion of him. I actually prefer Black's character to Robert Armstrong's, and while part of me feels I'm committing cinematic blasphemy, I honestly think this film more than stands up to its predecessor.

KING KONG is more than just a film for critics, or movie geeks, or action lovers. My girlfriend was in tears at the end (as was the girl on the other side of her, a friend of ours, who was devastated by the thing), and she is in no way a film buff. Getting her to come with me to the cinema or sit through a DVD is a challenge in itself (we actually do have other things in common, if you're wondering... a mutual adoration of me, for starters), and she only came to KONG because a dozen of us were going and she was up for the social aspect of it. In watching the film, we could not have had two more different expectations, and yet it hit us both in almost the same way. You can't help but shed a tear at the end. You can't help but pity the poor, dumb animal who was in no way responsible for the devastation he unleashed.

Our main character is a giant ape, and yet it's the most human story we've seen in years.

The cast is perfect, from Naomi Watts, who could not have been more perfectly suited to her role. Adrian Brody looked exactly like he should be a 1930s action star. Jack Black looked exactly like he should be a 1930s film director (my house mate pointed out why: he's the spitting image of bloody Welles).

The cinematography, the "rushed" score, the production design and the effects are all at absolute top-notch. This is a film you use to show everyone working with their A game. The screenplay is close to flawless. The direction is... well, mind-blowing. Jackson, in making a film purely for himself, has made a film that is many, many notches better than it deserves to be. No monster/action B-flick should have this much depth and humanity, but here it is.

For two and a half years, I've dined out on the fact that my first big scoop was breaking the news that Jackson would definitely be making KONG (my scoop can be found here -- and the glorious confirmation here). It's pretty satisfying to finally see it come to fruition. For the fourth time in three years, Jackson has made my hands-down favourite film of the year. There is most definitely life beyond RINGS, and undoubtedly life beyond KONG, too.

So, there it is. An Australian film at number two, and a (mostly) New Zealand film at number one. (I didn't plan it that way, incidentally, it's just something I noticed as I was wrapping up the KONG review). It's a nice year to be writing this column.

I hope you all have an excellent new year, and let us pray that 2006 is one of those years we talk about in hushed tones for years afterwards. A year where every week sees at least one new film that blows us away in some capacity.

Happy new year,

Latauro



Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 31, 2005, 4:54 a.m. CST

    First!

    by Hideo Kojima

    yay

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Serenity? WOTW? Begins? Kong? And yet no SITH?

    by Hideo Kojima

    I call bullshit...

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Nice work

    by CeeBeeUK

    Good reviews, well justified, looking forward to another year of AICND. Happy New Year everybody!

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:07 a.m. CST

    "I don't know of anyone who was turned off the film by an ov

    by supertoyslast

    I was turned off Serenity by overenthusiastic fans. I was going to see it in the cinema, but the sheer rabidness of the fans on this site completely turned me off. Not because I was afraid of meeting rabid fans at the cinema - I knew that wasn't going to happen. But because I was left with a sour taste in my mouth from the insistence by so many fans of how great Joss Whedon is and that anyone who is left underwhelmed by his writing must be a moron. This did not make me well-disposed towards the film and because of that I felt that I would not be able to judge it fairly. So I shall not see it until the fervour has died down and the DVD has been released in the UK.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:31 a.m. CST

    Why does everyone go out of their way to make excuses for Sereni

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    The show was a flop, the movie was a flop. Why doesn't that logically follow for folks?

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Maybe you don't understand, EyeofPolyphemus.

    by dr_dreadlocks

    Serenity didn't flop. You see, it was just an undiscovered gem that will one day find an enormous audience on DVD. You know it'll sweep the Academy Awards this year and be the Shawshank Redemption of the decade. Slowly it'll climb up the imdb.com list, pass The Godfather (pfft, as if it was half as clever as Serenity) and then be deemed the greatest film of all time. The Browncoats will always win, you can't stop the signal. Well, you can. Because the general audience response, in my area, was that the film was putrid and cutesy. But, maybe that's different in, like, maybe Red States. I have no idea.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Yeah I agree about the obnoxious Serenity fan thing.

    by Thirteen 13

    I went and saw it and enjoyed it, but how some people become such rabid insane fans of this leaves me a little confused. And there is no middle ground with this cult. Either you MUST love the film or else you are the stupidest person on the face of the planet. I remember waiting in line to buy tickets and one of those idiots was in line ahead of me and he turned around and said to everybody "If you don't buy Serenity tickets then your just wasting your money." Sheesh. What obsessive bizarro dimension do these fanatics come from.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Lat, dude, Sin city was shot ENTIRELY on a green screen. How can

    by BendersShinyAss

    That said, I've NEVER seen Digital look so good on the big screen. I only saw 1 shot in Episode 3 that looked 'video-y' Thats saying something. How could you walk out of Wolf Creek. It wasn't THAT scary. But you're right.... the bad guy certainly was 'real' wasn't he?

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Well, I don't agree with everything (of course, DUH...), Lat

    by CurryIce

    but i really enjoyed reading your list. THX

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:03 a.m. CST

    I thought the lack of visual depth in Sin City was another succe

    by Lone Fox

    That was the point wasn't it? Can I just commend the reviewer on having a better command of English than the regulars... or at least using spellcheck. Strewth!

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:05 a.m. CST

    oh lay off Serenity. It was a good flick

    by BendersShinyAss

    And I've never watched Fire fly.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:07 a.m. CST

    while I admire you love for the new king kong

    by BendersShinyAss

    I await to see if repeated viewing don't somehow provide you with a feeling of 'there's something wrong with this, this and that'

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:12 a.m. CST

    I love Joss Whedon. Great talent. Love Buffy and Angel and Firel

    by Pumpkinsboy

    I was underwhelmed. But maybe a second viewing on DVD will convert me.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Agree with almost everything

    by Riz

    The only thing I disagree about is King Kong being number 1, but then I never saw it as a kid. But he was spot on about everything else, especially Serenity and War Of The Worlds.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Quint's Top Ten List is #1 on my Top Ten List of Top Ten Lis

    by Big Bad Clone

    becasue it's so damn short

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Sin City

    by Lujho

    I agree with you about Alba and the pacing, though the pacing didn't bother me that much. But you're sopt on about Alba.Nancy - I'd much rather have seen a no-name actress more physically suited to the part and who would would do the nudity in the role of Nancy than what we ended up with - for exactly the reasons you state. It was a detrimental change from the source material, purely for the sake of casting the current "it-girl" in the role, and I'm quite surprised Miller and Rodriguez did it.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Happy New Year Australia 2006.

    by Shan

    From an Australian in Sri Lanka, which is still 2005 for another 4 hours at least. Of course, only parts of Australia are in 2006 anyway as we have about 5 or 6 different timezones ...

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Kong's score should win the Oscar!

    by Orionsangels

    I love it, its the most moving score of the year, although ROTS score, amazing as well. When the Jedi are killed and especially towards the end when Anakin goes toasty. William's pulls out a sad chilling song from his bag of musical goodies.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Where the goddang hell is Wallace and Gromit, Latauro?

    by The Wrong Guy

    The funniest movie of the year doesn't even get a mention? Bah!

  • Yes. And her name is Jessica Alba, you stupid Aussie. Sheesh. What is wrong with you people? If you're going to hold forth an opinion of how sexy a woman is, at least be the sort of bloke that has sex with women. Your review makes it clear who you fancy: Mickey Roarke. Leave the judgement call on which female is and which is not sexy to the heterosexuals, mate. G'day.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:26 a.m. CST

    You lost me at "I don't find Jessica Alba at all sexy".

    by Garbageman33

    Granted, she's got all the emotional range of a beanbag chair. But she is fine as hell.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Oh, and one more thing about that piece of shite "Serenity":

    by fiester

    The "Transporter 2" made twice as much money at the box office. So suck on that. Now let's stop the madness and move on.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Apparently, great minds think alike, Fiester.

    by Garbageman33

    Mostly about how tappable Jessica Alba's ass is. I'm sure if Einstein were alive today he'd have come up with some sort of equation for how hot she is.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    this is hilarious...

    by torpor_haze

    all Serenity trolls on one talkback and no browncoats to hear them...BloodRayne is here fellas..enjoy

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Now THAT'S an article!

    by moviemaniac-7

    Hey Lat, Happy New Year. Keep doing a great job on that fine island of yours. Fantastic list, man! Only a few hours to go in Europe till the new year. I'll see you all in 2006 here on the boards!!

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Bruce WIllis was absolutely brilliant in that?

    by chickychow

    thought he sucked just as bad as everyone else (save for the really retched performances like Brittany Murphy and Rosario Dawson)

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Ugh, enough Kong cocksucking. It really wasn't that awesome

    by Tall_Boy

    No long flamebait wars, no in depth multileveled paragraphs explainging why it Is Peter Jackson's Genius Unleashed. The flick is simply "alright". Great FX, awesome action, but too much badness offsets it to make it "alright". Certainly not one of the years best. Hell, Serenity was better than it.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 1:31 p.m. CST

    to Goatzinger

    by Vern

    This is an intervention, motherfucker. You need to quit. Here's how you should've said it. "I had the opposite feeling about War of the Worlds. The cellar scene was where that already problematic movie turned around and all fell apart. I also disagree with..." etc. What you said instead was, "You moron. Seriously." And then went on with a bunch of angry bullshit about what this writer "wishes" and how wrong he is and how he's an idiot and how he's fooling himself. How is he a moron, just because he liked a movie that you didn't? How can anyone seriously get that riled up about an ordinary top ten list like that? Dude, get a fuckin grip. Write a subject line that isn't a paragraph. You're standing there in a glass house considering that you praised fucking INDEPENDENCE DAY in your talkback AND are so fond of, I don't know what to call them, parody titles? I mean, "Jurassic Kong" is embarassing enough but "Thin Shitty?" That shit wouldn't even make it into the garbage can at the Cracked Magazine headquarters. They would hire a crime scene cleanup unit to come dispose of it. You, you repeat it all fuckin year and yet you're supposed to be the world's leading expert on quality and good taste. Come on Goatzinger. I'm trying to appeal to your humanity. Understand that people have different taste than you, especially on a "fanboy" sight like the Ain't It Cool News where EVERY one of the movies you hate (King Kong, Serenity, Sin City, War of the Worlds, etc.) is either somewhat popular or widely beloved. Don't act like you're fucking surprised when you come on a web sight with King Kong as the background and then find out that there are some people there who like King Kong. Would you go on espn.com and start berating everybody for liking sports? Would you go to the park and make fun of the kids for using the swing? Would you go to a retirement home and punch elderly people in the stomach and call them pussies and then run home and desperately jerk off? Yes, I am absolutely positive you do every one of those things but what I'm saying is, this is a good time for one of them resolutions where you say, I have had enough of this pathetic existence, I am going to change. What does it take to change the essence of a man, it takes time, but the asshole also has to fess up to being an asshole and try to just fucking be nice and get along with people every once in a while. If you do this you make yourself better, you make society better, and I guess talkbacks won't necessarily be better because when you kill one goatzinger 5 more pop up in its place. But don't do it for the talkbacks, do it for YOU. You can do it bud, I am in your corner. I will back you up, and I think alot of us here will. You will be a better Goatzinger. We are gonna do this bud, all of us, as a team, as a family. Let's roll.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Goatzinger needed that intevention

    by Thirteen 13

    Even a grade school kid would pass on parody names like "Jurassic Kong" and "Thin Shitty". I doubt he will take the advice but it was worth a try anyway.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Nice Vern

    by Banky the Hack

    You know, I love seeing people from AICN try and reform Talkbackers. It's not going to work, but I love to see it, because it means they actually care. Hell, if a post is over 5 lines anymore and starts with "dumbass" or "moron" I just skip it anymore. I'm truly amazed that you all don't :)

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Howl's and Billy Crystal's Calcifer.....

    by Lain Of The Net

    I agree completely about Howl's Moving Castle. It must be seen with the original voices so just sit back and read those subtitles. An example (only slightly exaggerated) "Hey kid...look at you ...you got some spell on ya. I'm calcifer ....a demon...and the name's Crystal.....script? I don't need no damned script. Isn't this a Disney thing? Hey kid...I'll change ya back when I get paid for dis...badda bing I am soooo outa here...hey isn't Captain Picard working on dis job? Ha cha cha!!" Un Fucking Real. 'nuffsaid. Dubs may work for Full Metal Panic but not on anything Miyazaki has graced.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Thanx Vern for that...

    by torpor_haze

    Harry you should make Vern's post a disclaimer when registering for the talkbacks.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:22 p.m. CST

    i saw king kong today and it was beyond description...

    by jig98

    really a truly amazing, incredible great piece of work. the cgi king kong was something else too. and my parents were blown by it too. my dad said as we were walking out "forget the oscars, that movie needs its own awards, the KONG-IES!" my mom related to passion of the christ in a bizarre kind of way. by the way, I TURN 19 AT 12:01!!

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:24 p.m. CST

    kong was awsome

    by DocMcCoy

    and transporter 2>serenity regardless of lack of plot

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Yeah, the more I watch KONG the more I like it. The score really

    by Orionsangels

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Jurassic fucking KONG? Haha King King came first, If anything Sp

    by Orionsangels

    Haha I like the way people hate PJ so much they try to turn KONG into an after thought, as if no love went into making it. Stop comparing it to a 13 year old movie. What? no movie can feature dinosaurs anymore?

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:39 p.m. CST

    The talkbacks should work like Survivor/American Idol/Real World

    by Garbageman33

    In other words, every day someone gets voted out. Today, we could boot GoatZinger. Tomorrow, GusVanRant. And then maybe we could set our sights on SirBiatchReturns. Huh? Who's with me?

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 5:56 p.m. CST

    anyone else find the score in kong creepy when lumpy is eaten?

    by DocMcCoy

    during the entire bug scene,there's this subtle music,and when lumpy is devoured,it's just...so...strange.it's kinda offputting.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 8:09 p.m. CST

    SITH is an anagram of SHIT

    by The Outlander

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Once again...

    by Ribbons

    ...people just love to bitch about 'Serenity.' It made less money than 'Transporter 2,' therefore it must be worse, because we all know that's how it works.... right? The fact of the matter is that it's a franchise that many people couldn't care less about and the fact that some people actually could gives its detractors a chance to sharpen their claws. For all the bitching I hear about AICN regulars who were turned off to the film by all the "overzealous nerds" who called anyone who *didn't* groove on the film a moron, I think if you'll actually go back and read the TalkBacks you'll find it's the other way around for the most part ("for the most part" being the operative words here). Notice how I did not compare 'Serenity' to 'Shawshank Redemption;' that's one of them straw man arguments that hardly has any basis in reality. But hey, it's always hunting season in TalkBack and "Whedonites" are fair game, right?

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 8:53 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry to see "Walk the Line" get lost in the shuffle

    by 007-11

    I was dissapointed in "King Kong" and "Syriana". The only movie that really exceeded my expectations was "Walk the Line". I'd heard how electric Joaquin Phoenix's performance was, but I didn't know just how great it would turn out to be. I wasn't as engaged with the movie I wanted to be in the beginning, but I totally locked into it when he started singing "Folsom Prison" at the audition at Sun Records. Then Reese Witherspoon and the guy who plays the Killer(you're fantastic, and I'm sorry I can't remember your name) come in and totally seal the whole thing for me. It was everything I wanted and more. I can't numerically place things, but it would be high on my list.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 8:56 p.m. CST

    A very good list...

    by Rasputin77

    ...except WOTW, which I did not much care for. Latauro's columns are always a pleasure to read however. My biggest problem with the anti-whedon talbackers, is that so often they say that they saw an episode or a few minutes of Firefly/Buffy/Angel and found it to be crap. I think that with all of Whedon's work, the brilliance of his writing becomes apparent from watching the characters on a regular basis. The joy of watching Whedon's shows isn't instant, it comes in the character interactions and big payoff scenes that build up over a season. Serenity was one of the best films of the year, cos the creators gave a shit about their characters. I find most other sci-fi/action films these days don't really care. They are about moving characters from point A to point B, with cool action sequences in between. Besides, Serenity was also nice and subversive too!

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Please don't mention the Real World.

    by Shermdawg

    Just track down that Inferno 2 talkback and you'll see why.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Or was it The Gauntlet 2? The one thats airing now.

    by Shermdawg

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 9:49 p.m. CST

    This was probably the worst year at the movies I can remember.

    by Shermdawg

    There was some bright spots, but overall itr was meh. Kong, way overrated. Sith, better than the last two, but still bad. Potter, zzzzzzzz. WotW, I actually liked the film, except for the son living, and the consistency of Tom's peanut butter. Sin City, great, except for Willis' awkward delivery of the voiceover at the first of the film. Oh, and I agree with Quint, I didn't find Alba all that hot. Rosario, and that Gilmore Girl were waaay hotter. And as far as Serenity goes, who ever marketed that film, and also designed the dvd cover, neeeds to be bitchslapped.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Fuck yeah! 8:20 and I'm wasted. Off to party. See ya next

    by R.C. the "Wise"

    Happy New Year's to all from The wise Man.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 10:37 p.m. CST

    intervention part 2

    by Vern

    I am not joking bud. This is for real. There are a large number of things blatantly wrong in your response there but the main one is that I'm not asking you to like WAR OF THE WORLDS, etc. I am asking you to learn how to be a normal human being and have civilized conversations between disagreeing people on a topic that both sides share a passion for. What you do is not that, it is calling somebody a moron for liking a movie that you didn't like. It is as basic as that. How can you seriously justify that kind of bullshit? You can't. The guy from Australia liked War of the Worlds, you didn't. So fucking what. You liked Independence Day, widely agreed by normal people to be one of the worst and most idiotic major hollywood releases of the last ten or twenty years. Am I gonna come at you calling you a moron, accusing you of being Moriarty and making indecipherable Dennis Miller style references just because you like a terrible movie that I hate? No. I'm reaching out to you with friendship. If you are not man enough to take my help then this will be a long god damn journey. But we're making it whether you like it or not. Hop on board.

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Fly boy with no life takes Hyperspace code #4

    by scumbag

    Thanks Moray, didn't know if you were taking the piss or not, but I'm now a member!

  • Dec. 31, 2005, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Seeing Dick Clark was cool. He talks like Kirk Douglas now, but

    by Orionsangels

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 12:43 a.m. CST

    bad craziness

    by thanner

    With the amount of time, money & market research spent in Hollywood, I find it amazing that they consistently screw up the final acts of films. WOTW starts out a great film and gradually degrades. Spielberg did that in Minority Report too. Ronin is pretty good for the most part but has a crap ending. De Palma seems to have hit the absinthe after filming the first 30 mins of Snake Eyes. What is with these people? Meh.....to each his own I guess. I mean, there are actually buffoons out there that don't see the genius of Roadhouse....go figure......

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 12:52 a.m. CST

    "Here was an opportunity for layers and depth, and it was pretty

    by ScarranHalfBreed

    I love Timmy boy to death, but that statement pretty much sums him up far more eloquently than I ever could.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 3:16 a.m. CST

    What the heck is this "V-Rex" business?

    by NiceMarmot

    I keep seeing the big meateating dinos in King Kong called this, but I don't remember any mention of it in the movie. What is the V supposed to stand for? Virtualsaurus? VelvettaChesseasaurus? VanHelsingsaurus? VideoGameasaurus? Does Spielberg own a copyright on T-Rex or something?

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 3:27 a.m. CST

    V.Rex

    by Windfola

    It means Vastatosaurus Rex. It's an evolved version of a T.Rex that lived on Skull Island. It's much bigger than a Tyranosaurus, has 3-fingered arms , crocodilian teeth and spikey scales on the back.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 4:05 a.m. CST

    intervention part 3

    by Vern

    You see Goatzinger, we are already getting there with that list about the robots or whatever it was. I don't think I understood any of it but I could tell you were expressing yourself instead of calling some random stranger from Australia stupid for having different taste than you. Good job bud, I'm proud of you. Of course you did tell me to fuck off, etc., but as your sponsor I understand that I will be the focus of alot of the pain that you're going through. That comes with the territory. So I understand your lashing out. But it is time to set aside paranoid delusions. I do not have the power to ban you like whoever "Zipperhead" is, nor would I want to. I am your friend and I will not harm you. Anyway good job Goatzinger we're doing this one day at a time. Thanks for taking a risk and putting your trust in me. your friend, Vern. * * * As for Ringbearer though. No fucking way I'm giving you an intervention. You are WAY too far gone for my skills. That would take a team of serious professionals who would probaly have to abandon their families for 15 or more years so they could work on you day and night. Don't get me wrong, I would do what I had to do to help you out, but I think I have to wash my hair that night or some shit. But here's my point. If you stand in the way of Goatzinger's progress you will live to regret it. This is a safe environment, motherfucker. You've been warned.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 4:45 a.m. CST

    re: "V. Rex"

    by Ribbons

    Like Windfola said, it means "Vastosaurus Rex," or something, and it's not actually the official name of the dinos, which I assume either go nameless or are simply intended to be taken as a reasonable T. Rex facsimile. The folks at Universal cooked up the name "V. Rex" while they were marketing 'King Kong.'

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 7:47 a.m. CST

    "And my most beloved film of the year is...

    by SalvatoreGravano

    ...the one into which I was put as an unseen extra! Woohoo!"

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Who got wasted last night?

    by Orionsangels

    http://www.myspace.com/orionsaint

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Not a bad list. I don't agree with all of it but oh well.

    by Juggernaut125

    Serenity. The reason Serenity did not do well at the B.O. is simple. There are no bigged named actors for the average bulk of viewers to recognize and glean their hopes to, for a worthwhile viewing. Try to explain Firefly to a leyman and you'll hit a brick wall every time as soon as she asks "Who's in it?" As for the movie, itself. I loved it. War of the Worlds. Meh. Tom Cruise is the anit-hero. Meaning, when there's action instead of tackling it (and perhaps dying to protect his children) he's the guy that runs away and keeps running until the aliens get tired of looking for him. Sure it's over-simplified but for my money that's not a good flick. Kong. Here in Canada, a movie costs about 10 bucks to see, sometimes more depending on where you live. And for my money Kong was worth EVERY PENNY of that 10 bucks. And THAT is how I judge whether a movie is good or not. Did I just waste 10 bucks? Yes? Crap. No? I'd recommend it. My only request to Mr. Jackson is PLEASE CUT IT BACK TO ABOUT 2 hours and 30 minutes. The movie doesn't feel too long. But Jimmy was a worthless piece of screen time and there are quite a few other scenes that were unneccessary.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    *anti-hero*

    by Juggernaut125

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    to Goatzinger

    by kai028

    Vern is not saying that you have to agree with him or with anyone else about these movies. He is just saying that you should treat people with more respect. You call people morons if they like a movie that you don't - that's disrespectful. Don't talk down to people - they won't end up respecting your opinion, they'll just either ignore you or hate you. (If you want to be hated and ignored, on the other hand, then you're doing great! Don't let anyone stop you!) Constantly referring to "King Kong" as "Jurassic Kong" is not only disrespectful, it's kind of pathetic. It's like an eight year old who tells an unfunny joke and nobody laughs, so he tells it again and again, trying desperately to get approval. Same with constantly referring to Peter Jackson as "Sir Petey Jax" - it's childish. What goes around, comes around. If you want respect, treat people with respect. If you want to be despised, keep despising people the way you are. In sum: It's ok to disagree about the movies. This is not about your opinion of movies, or Vern's, or anyone else's. It's about how you treat people.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    "A main character that frightening and cunning, I can't."

    by BitterMan23

    uh... what? ive seen more terrifying episodes of Life Goes On.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Good one Vern.....

    by BendersShinyAss

    I don't know what you did but you've sent Goat Zinger into some sort of ..... I don't know what it is. But it kinda reminds me of this time i gave this little 5 year old girl a packet of sherbet and when she was finished she started yelling incomprehensible shit at a couple of ice cream workers.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Orionsangels..... You're a babe.

    by BendersShinyAss

    If I'm not mistaken.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    You're my boy, Blue!

    by Aphex Twin

    God it was hard enough watching him die onscreen. Now reality sets in. Rest in Peace Mr Crenshaw. May plenty of topless mudwrestlers be awaiting you on the other side!

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Most sincere apologies Mr Cranshaw.

    by Aphex Twin

    I have no idea who Mr Crenshaw is but hopefully he's a cool cat like you.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    intervention, day 2

    by Vern

    You see Goatzinger, I'm not the only one looking out for you. It's gonna be a long hard journey but we're gonna be with you every step of the way. Happy 2006 and welcome to the first day of a new beginning. p.s. movies mostly popular around here that I savagely panned: Gladiator, Wedding Crashers (review title: "Fuck Wedding Crashers"), Armageddon, Daredevil, Domino (my most hated movie this year), Equilibrium, Man On Fire, Snatch, Team America (although the first half is hilarious), Texas Chainsaw remake (every other review here was positive before mine), The Transporter, Waking Life. I also hate Harry's beloved Michael Bay and Stephen Sommers and although I don't believe in violence anymore I would probaly be willing to take any opportunity to punch them in the balls as a symbolic act on behalf of movie lovers worldwide. Hell, I even think Mystic River was overrated and Clint Eastwood is pretty much my favorite dude in all of cinema. And get this, I even kind of agree with you on Sin City. I liked it overall but I don't think the experiment works, being so literal to a comic strip makes it not work as a gritty crime story. The point is, you can hate every movie you ever saw, I don't care, just don't be an asshole about it. And you won't after we're done with this. thanks Goatzinger.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Did Sith even have a unique score?

    by Thumper2k1

    It seemed to me that they just used themes from the previous episodes.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Vern, What are you talking about??

    by GingerTwit

    You seem to be one of these people who forgets that just because some film makers have a string of crap, doesn't mean they were always crap. I mean, Sommers. Sure Van Helsing was trashy. And you're right about the Mummy returns being loaded with lots of action and big music, but no point....... but lets not forge the man also made 'the Mummy' No. 1. which, I don't care what anyone says, was such a cool fucking sit back and enjoy flick. Granted it's hard to watch these days. but that first screening was mind blowingly cool. He also made that boat horror film. which when it was finished I watched again immediately. It had that movie magic thing happening. Althought the rant about Australia not being a true country pissed me off. Fucking supremacist Americans! And Michael Bay. I'm fully aware of what it is about Armageddon that gives people cranky germs. (I just made that up) But don't knock Armageddon in 1 sentence and praise kong in another. Both films have their failings, and both films have their praise worthy moments. And like I'm saying before, just because Bay has had some shit (Pearl harbor. The island) Don't forget this guy made some kick ass entertainment with The rock! or maybe that was just the cast. I don't know. i'm over this now. happy new year

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Sith and it's unique underscore

    by GingerTwit

    Absolutely this film had a unique underscore. Be careful who you elect and give unlimited powers too. Their intentions may be nothing but lies and pure evil. Very timely, no?

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 3:36 p.m. CST

    WAR OF THE WORLDS was pure shiite, a cross between DAY AFTER TOM

    by Spacesheik

    nuff said

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Gingertwit

    by Vern

    Actually you got me backwards, I gave up on Bay after Armageddon and Sommers after the first Mummy. I watched their movies up to those points and then I cut them off. You can only give somebody so many chances before you have to give up. So I can't comment on their most recent works. I agree that The Rock isn't nearly as bad as Armageddon but I didn't like it. When I first saw it I couldn't put my finger on why the action scenes were so unexciting, but of course Armageddon went so far over the top it was clear what he was doing to the cinematic language. What can I say man, I guess I'm old, my brain can't even comprehend that style of action scenes. I can't get involved at all. I wouldn't take the Michael Bay thing so personally if what he was doing didn't catch on so much that it pretty much killed American action movies as far as I'm concerned, and if he didn't buy up the rights to my favorite horror movie and make a shitty remake of it. Anyway, Goatzinger was trying to say that I just want everyone to agree on the same movies, but that's not the case. My point was that Harry loved Armageddon and The Mummy, and I hate those fucking movies. And we can discuss it like gentlemen like you and I are doing. We're a couple of gentle dudes right here. As for King Kong vs. Armageddon, I don't see anything in common between those movies at all. I don't know how it is contradictory for me to despise Armageddon with every fiber of my being and also love King Kong. So you'll have to explain that one further I guess. If for some reason you want more detail on what I liked/hated about both you can look up my reviews. thanks Ginger.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 7:19 p.m. CST

    I love when idiots mention box office returns...

    by grendel824

    ... as though they somehow support their idiotic opinions about movies. "HA! The movie you like is bad because a terrible movie made more money than it did!" That's not even logic. Using that inane philosophy, Titanic is soooo much better than Citizen Kane and the Godfather and Jaws. Morons.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Martians and Reavers and Sith, oh my!

    by Gorrister

    I have tried so hard to understand the appeal of the new War of the Worlds, but can only assume it's just Speilburg/Cruise mania. As far as Serinity goes, it was good but I agree it was overhyped. Not to mention the fan base was too small to make a successful big screen feature. And I agree that Revenge of the Sith had the least amount of original John Williams score than any other Star Wars movie I can think of. Nearly every piece of music was a variation of an older Star Wars score. There were a few original works, but they are easily forgettable. And the Anakin/Obiwan finale had a really weak score. I was expecting something with more emotion behind it. (But I understand Lucas mettled with Williams creativity on that score)

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Flip63Hole

    by Ribbons

    Actually, it was a made-for-the-movies movie, but it's cool, everybody makes mistakes.

  • Generally top tens tend to me wanna puke.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 10:08 p.m. CST

    The Proposition

    by MaulRat

    The Proposition!!! AMEN BROTHER!!!!... oh and I think there should be a new rule, that Peter Jackson can direct anything he likes as long as the title has the word "KING" in it.

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 10:11 p.m. CST

    You're mistaken BendersShinyAss, thats David Bowman from 200

    by Orionsangels

    Haha, i'm still adorable though

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 10:14 p.m. CST

    This is the guy you're in love with...

    by Orionsangels

    http://digilander.libero.it/stanleykubrick/2001/images/2001-bowman.jpg - and he doesn't look like that anymore - http://www.criticdoctor.com/Resources/ebertfest/keirdullea2001.JPG - lol

  • Jan. 1, 2006, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Now Orions, I don't want you arguing with me anymore

    by BendersShinyAss

    whether you're in your 30's or in your 60's. You're a babe. deal with it.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Vern, the comparison of Armageddon to King Kong

    by GingerTwit

    While the two films are VERY different in their whole approach. They are both within the realms of Comparability. I don't even know if thats a word but here goes......... Both films were makor studio releases. That's vague I know, but hear me out. These major releases have the same aspects going for them. Somewhat of an attempt to put the audiance into an extraordinary situation and make it feel as if it's somehow 'real'. Have a running time over the 2 and a half hour mark. Major special effects which attempt to 'wow' us into repeated viewings. Mass distruction from the forces of nature. An attempted original take on stories which are, in fact, not original and somewhat done to death before them. Multiple storyline threads which don't necessarily have anything to do with the overall plot to the film, but act like someforem of pull for the lesser audiance members who require something of 'substance' to an other wise brainless film. Armageddon did this much more effectively than kong I might add. Dozens of actors all trying to get their due screen time, but are ultimately faded off before the end of the film, or are used as an emotional tool which usually doesn't pay off as probably hoped in the production meetings. I say one thing for Armageddon, if Kong had used the same style of editing, it could have been the exact same film but 15 minutes shorter - thus 15 minutes faster. You don't see a shot of the asteroid in Armageddon for a full 6-8 seconds and then another angle for a further 5 seconds and then return back to the first angle for a final 3-4 seconds. Armageddon is a slickly edited flick - and it bloody worked wonders for this viewer. I saw it 4 times just because I couldn't keep up with it. At least in Armageddon it didn't have corny references to better stories to try and enhance it's own. It knew it wasn't real. It knew how outragous the premise of destroying an asteroid was, but it at least gave an attempt to answer logistics. Even if those logistics were stretched fairly thin. Kong just avoided them and didn't even bother to move fast enough for us to simply forget about the last head scratching scene. Don't get me wrong. i really liked King Kong. And I really liked Armageddon. but as far as enjoyment goes, I found the same things i like about the two film to be very similar. BIG. HOLLYWOOD. OUTRAGOUS. FUN. The difference is that King Kong almost tried desperately to convince us that is was something beyond. But it wasn't. You ever have someone with short hair and clean shaven face start telling you "Pay no attention to the way I look, I used to have long hair and Goatee" That's Kong for me. Michael Bay knows what kind of film maker he is. And speaking of remakes to classics - I thought texas Chainsaw was pretty bloody good. I say that as a fan of the original. As a fan of the original Kong (Not the 70's kong, bla!) I think Jackson could have taken some notes from the styles employed in remaking TTCM. But this is all just my oppinion. And I know there are lots of kids out there who are in love with King kong. I see them every day. But they all agree on the same thing. IT'S SO BLOODY LONG. Who ever complained about the length of Armageddon? it's only about 20 minutes shorter.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 1:06 a.m. CST

    I Defend HitchHiker's Guide...F U ALL!!!!

    by JA_Prufrock

    Don't Panic...

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 2:12 a.m. CST

    That list is a joke

    by Razorback

    Those are cute, flashy, fantasy movies (for the most part). How about putting out a list that includes movies worth writing down? All those movies mentioned are good, liked every one of them (loved some) but best of the year? Give me a break. Maybe if you have the mentality of a 35-year old virgin Browncoat.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 2:29 a.m. CST

    thanks Gingertwit

    by Vern

    for explaining your concept there. I still don't see it though. For me Armageddon is about thirty thousand feet higher on the retard-o-meter than King Kong. Sure, Kong is a silly fantasy world of dinosaurs and giant bugs. But to me it rings true for many reasons, by far the biggest one being the emotional connection between Kong and Darrow. Yeah he's an ape and he's a special effect but I feel for that big hairy bastard. There's not a single thing in any movie Michael Bay has ever made or ever will make that has as much human heart and emotion in it as the character of King Kong. And keep in mind, Bruce Willis is the motherfucking man. For me to hate a movie starring Bruce goes against my very nature. Not to mention they had Billy Bob Thornton in there and some other cool guys. They fucked up, man. As for the editing, I think you know how I feel about Armageddon. I like movies where you can figure out where people are standing in relationship to each other, etc. I can't relate because I don't think King Kong is too long at all. I wouldn't want it to be shorter. If the opening hour was sped up to get him to the island faster that would be fine, but I would want to be compensated by more Kong. Finally, on his massacre of Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I can and have spent thousands of words on this topic (look up my review on here, I cut the movie's face off and wore it for a mask). But what it comes down to is a perfect movie being remade by people who seem to have no clue what made the original movie so great. I don't think they even knew Texas Chain Saw was about a family, since they never have their family interact. I'm pretty sure they saw part of part 3 and based it on vague memories of that one. (R. Lee Ermey was good though.) I will say this for Michael Bay: "The Transformers" is the movie he was born to make. My understanding is that is a movie about living cars, which is the only thing he can connect to emotionally. I predict that he will pour every ounce of his soul into that movie and if it loses money he will commit suicide by driving a solid gold Hummer off of a jump. I know it sounds weird but when it happens you will have to give me some credit here. thanks again Gingertwit. You are setting a good example for my little bro Goatzinger here and I appreciate that.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Transformers! Michael Bay!!

    by GingerTwit

    Fuck yeah!!!

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 3:21 a.m. CST

    I saw THE ISLAND and was not shocked to see the *exact* same hig

    by Spacesheik

    that ISLAND was a piece of shit - ill take michael Caine in '81's THE ISLAND machinegunning bloodthirsty modernday pirates over that any day - at least that ISLAND had ennio morricone score and david warner and some brutal action scenes -- bay should have called his flick LOGANS RUN LITE

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 3:38 a.m. CST

    hahahahahaha

    by BendersShinyAss

    it was only the third act which ruined it for me

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Completely disagree on "WotW"

    by Drunken Rage

    A very unremarkable, very boring movie. The image with the bodies in the river was nice, though. An interesting top-10 list nonetheless.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Ryan is far better than WotW if ya ask me

    by Neosamurai85

    I'm not really in the mood to break this down right now. But if someone disagrees I will, but I'm running on three hours and need that sweet sexy, sexy bed. Also, I like Bruce's performance in Sin City a lot, but in reply to Latauro's thoughts... I think a motivated James Cromwell would have been frighteningly kickass. Peace.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:22 a.m. CST

    why I LOVED 'war of the worlds'

    by BendersShinyAss

    Because I LOVED the book. I LOVED the musical album. I LOATH the original movie. And Speilberg does it for me as a film maker. Tim Robbins was a fucking champion in his role. And dare I say, So was Tommy baby. And While I didn't like the older teenage son. I loved the adition of the little daughter. It wasn't that I didn't like the character of the son...... I just think the guy from Donny Darko would have been a better choice. Maybe to tall. Or to old. Jesus, they made Sola into a fucking dwarf.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Vern, that intervention was ace...

    by JimboLo

    "...What does it take to change the essence of a man, it takes time..." You are Seagal, Goatzinger is dopey, fat drunk guy getting his ass slapped around the bar.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Comparing King Kong to Hulk.

    by Juggernaut125

    I was thinking about this yesterday. These movies are VERY similar, in structure, in style and in character. They both contain CGI characters that are the lead characters (and I'm not talking about Bana). For me, I enjoyed both performances completely. The both had a gorgeous leading lady that wanted to be close to / or loved the CGI monster. In this category, I give the edge to Connelly. In Kong, I prefer the Wray performance where she is actually AFRAID of the big ape. Betty Ross (who IS afraid of Hulk) is trying to get to the man inside. I also give the editing to Hulk as well. Although, as I said above, King Kong never felt too long for me, there were scenes (and entire characters; I'm looking at YOU Jimmy.) that could've been removed. Hulk saves Ross from the Hulk dogs. Once. And that is all it takes. In Jackson's Kong we see him rescue her again and again and again. We get it. For film endings, I give the points to Kong. Although that stupid part about the ladder and saving Darrow (again...) Kong's ending was more emotionally charged. In the end, I think I liked Lee's Hulk better than Jackson's Kong. But both movies were definitely worth the money.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Mm-hmm

    by Ribbons

    I don't know if you heard this, but the movie was actually not made for TV. Therefore, it's not a 'made-for-TV' movie. But it's funny to call it that, I know. We get it. Is it *like* a made-for-TV movie? Perhaps; although I wouldn't even begin to know where you draw the line on what constitutes 'made-for-TV.'

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Adoption, War of the Worlds & flipthehole#63

    by Vern

    First of all, if I'm not mistaken my little bro Goatzinger seems to have been disappeared. If so this is a tragic start to my Adopt a Talkbacker program I am trying to introduce for 2006. I'll have to start over from scratch I guess. Fuck. * Why I liked War of the Worlds: the whole approach of showing the invasion from the point of view of one family instead of the usual God's eye point of view (landmarks being destroyed, military guys standing around in war rooms looking at maps, etc.) was ingenious. It personalized it and made it the scariest PG-13 movie probaly ever. It reminded me of nightmares I've had the way you'd see those things across a field or something instead of in perfectly composed shots up front and center. And there were lots of unexplained surreal images like the plane crash, the burning train and the floating bodies, it made it creepy. I agree that Robbins was over the top, but not enough to ruin it. And I understand why people didn't like the reunion at the end, but since I never believed the kid was dead (rule #1: if you don't see a body, they're still alive) it didn't disappoint me. * Finally, to Flip #63. I feel like an asshole defending Serenity, but buddy you got no credibility. Either don't see the movie and say "I don't think I would like it" or see it and say whether you liked it or not. You can't pretend that watching part of a movie on fast forward proves anything other than that you're a weirdo. Die Hard would suck on fast forward. 7 Samurai would suck on fast forward. You remind me of a weird retired dude I know who rents about 20 movies a week and watches them on fast forward with the subtitles on. He says if he goes back and watches it at regular speed that's a great honor. You know why he does that? Because he's fuckin nuts. And at least he could probaly tell you some of the plot and maybe a line or two of the movies, which you would not be able to do. Not to mention having any idea of the atmosphere, the timing, or even the voices. They could be all talking completely in burps and you wouldn't know. I demand that you apologize for your actions and go watch Die Hard at regular speed repeatedly until you are straightened out.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Fine i'm a fuckin babe!

    by Orionsangels

    call me

  • ....the proceeds to call it terrible is a complete moron. It doesn't matter what the film is, that just shows the greatest amount of bias possible without even giving it a chance. Flip63hole has no right to even comment on a film that he scanned through.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Vern

    by El Vale

    I love you, man. Seriously, I wish you were my dad. And i have something to tell you: Now that Goatzinger was banned or something (they erased all his posts) i think it'd be wise to look into this guy "moviemack". This guy needs your help, he really does. Sponsor him is what i'm saying. I know if you read his post in this talkback you'll find nothing wrong with the guy, but i'm telling you, man...there is! You should see him ranting every week about Batman Begins and calling people dumbass/generation dumbass (don't ask) for having opinions about things like movies and/or comics. So if you're feeling down for losing your project i give you another project. Thanks for your time *heart*

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 4:25 p.m. CST

    "7 Samurai would suck on fast forward."

    by Neosamurai85

    Um... no... I can't agree with ya on that one buddy. I think it would be funny as hell to see what would happen if Toshir

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 4:29 p.m. CST

    HOTEL RWANDA

    by Ben Hawkins

    I thought that was 2004? Good movie though.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST

    The actor from Drake & Josh was in a horrific car accident

    by Orionsangels

    He was recently in that dennis quad movie where he has 19 kids or something. anyway, he has stitches on his face broken neck and a slew of other things. doctors say he'll live

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:03 p.m. CST

    El Vale

    by Vern

    Thank you for the suggestion, bud. I will keep my eye out for the most at-risk talkbacker who could best use my mentorship. I appreciate your input and support of the Adopt a Talkbacker program. Also if Goatzinger is reading this (and I know he is) seriously dude, I know you thought I had the power to ban people but I don't, I wouldn't have banned you, I really wanted to help. Good luck in your endeavors and I'm sorry if our friendship is damaged by this setback. It might be good for you though, just try to keep a positive outlook, treat people as you'd want them to treat you, don't sweat the small shit and you'll go places.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:09 p.m. CST

    SERENITY RULED

    by BADBOYBROM

    This film never stood a chance, but those willing to give it one will discover one of this years true gems. For me it was in the years best 3, I just wish that we still had the tv still with us. Imagine what Joss could have given us with 5 or 6 seasons. Forget the force, get shiny instead.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Why "Jurassic Kong?"

    by tango fett

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Why "Jurassic Kong"?

    by tango fett

    It's as if people who make this comparison haven't seen the original which (gasp) has DINOSAURS in it. Also DocMcCoy, Lumpy getting eaten with the borderline pleasant music really, really bothered me. A little bit of old school Jackson coming out of that it seems. And while you are here Moviemack, do you have a review or somethin' I could see of Batman Begins? I'm curious.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Only losers haven't seen Kong 33!

    by Orionsangels

    Don't even call yourself a geek if you haven't seen Kong 33. Actually get away from me, just go.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 9:06 p.m. CST

    HULK?!

    by coolhive

    Random thoughts... Are there actually still people who thought Hulk was good? That, to me, was one of the most jaw-droppingly, unexpected career killers I had seen until that point. Thankfully, Ang Lee recovered and will probably take home an Oscar this year. Hulk was a giant green poo. You know its true. Oh, and looking at some of the time stamps on these posts, I guess it is true. Geeks live in their Mother's basement and do nothing but eat Cheetos, lurk on fanboy sites and masturbate to the image of Jennifer Connelly and Jessica Alba. It's f**king New Years and you're on AICN?!!! Grow up geeks! See more than genre films. Use deodorant and brush your teeth! Serenity was fun the first time, but after a second viewing on DVD, it just barely fills the time. It desperately needs another action sequence in the middle, which really drags. And if Whedon is gonna sprinkle homoeroticism throughout his movie, just show the Captain's ass and be done with it. You know you wanted to in that one scene where he is sleeping on his stomach with his shirt off. Be your real gay self, Whedon. I'll still watch. That Captain whatzizname is hot. A cheesy Han Solo rip off, but still hot. Bryan Singer needs to learn the same thing. Stop hiding and come out of that cinematic closet already. We all know superheroes in tights is homoerotic anyway. Embrace it.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 9:49 p.m. CST

    I nominate coolhive for the Adopt-A-TalkBacker program

    by Ribbons

    I wish I could say the constant struggle of geeks trying to establish relative "coolness" over other geeks amuses me, but it doesn't. It's annoying. If all you have to inject into a conversation is how much cooler you are than all involved parties, then kindly keep your mouth shut and pretend you're not an asshole.

  • Jan. 2, 2006, 10:09 p.m. CST

    To answer your question, yes

    by Vern

    I do still love HULK. And I'm not afraid to say it. I'm not that surprised it's not popular, it's kind of amazing that Ang Lee was allowed to make a 100 million dollar art film about the Incredible Hulk contemplating lichen in the desert. But that's part of what makes me love it. I like the weird schizophrenia of the movie, going from slow-paced character drama to bursts of ridiculous action with a giant green monster flying through the desert and throwing tanks through the air and shit. I don't think my man Eric Bana got to show the skills he had in Chopper but he did a good job. He is overshadowed by the genius of Nick Nolte in the best over the top crazy guy performance since Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau. It's like they picked him up from jail after that famous mug shot and brought him straight to the set. The scene where he performs a little one man play about the military industrial complex is fuckin classic. Movies like that don't get made too often. But I'm happy to find that I'm not the only one who appreciates it. It's funny how many times it's come up this week actually, people talking about either Ang Lee and Brokeback Mountain or Eric Bana and Munich, suddenly bringing up how they don't care what anyone says, they love HULK. So yes, yes we do, and I'm sorry you feel that way bud. thanks. By the way, I will consider your application for the Adopt-A-TalkBacker program, but please understand that we only have one volunteer so far (me) and there are hundreds of at risk talkbackers to consider mentoring. thanks again bad have a good one.

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Hulk is even popular downunder...

    by rastar

    Just to add my two cents, I think HULK is one of the better comic book adaptations of recent years, partly because it dares to push the boundaries of what is expected of the genre. It's full of Freud and meaningful subtext, as well as being funny and dramatic. In a word, it's mature. Also, regarding Latauro's comment about the Australian film industry... He's right! As an Aussie filmmaker, I'd have to agree with that assessment! Sure, we make great movies once in a while, and we've given birth to some of the best and most successful filmmakers/performers in the world over the past 100 years, but we still haven't figured out how to finance regular production here! My own theory is that we haven't got enough investors willing to make commercial "genre" films using Australian locations and Australian talent. It'll take a few years, but we have to get started, or else we're gonna wind up another department of Hollywood some day soon... By the way, I love Hollywood films and I'm proud to be an Australian. I'd just like to see a wider variety of films made each year!

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 2:59 a.m. CST

    quint has a conflict of interest - he met spielberg a few times

    by Spacesheik

  • Well said, Vern. MB is the bastard child of Tony Scott and Peter Hyams - all camera movement and smoke, blue collar heroes and playboy centrefolds. Not that that's a such a bad thing... I've sort of forgotten my point. It's late where I am. Solid gold Hummer. Brilliant.

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Ribbons

    by coolhive

    Ribbons, will you adopt me? I'm not cool, but I have a tremendous....heh hemmmm....DVD collection. We can snuggle on the sofa and watch Hulk or Serenity together. But you'll have to tuck me into bed because I'll be asleep in two minutes. BTW, not sure if I qualify as a geek, since I practice good hygiene and watch more than genre films, but we can debate that on your comfy sofa...

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Kong

    by board shitlez

    It comes to something when a film has me aching for the wit and brevity of Titanic. Chronically overlong, bloated, in need of editing. Stunning special effects? No, just people running on treadmills. Just awful, risible storytelling.

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    coolhive part 2

    by Ribbons

    My sofa's not that comfy, but I'll pop you some popcorn if that makes up for it.

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Wow, Turns out Ringbearer9 and Goatzinger were one and the same

    by BendersShinyAss

    Of course I already figured this out, in one of goatzingers posts where he clearly answered as Ringbear. How embarrasing. good bye old friend. You made Kong so much more

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Wait Bender

    by Vern

    How do we know this about Ringbearer and Goatzinger? I mean I was thinking that but I didn't know there was any proof. If so he did a good job of making "Ringbearer" more insane than "Goatzinger." Also I would have to give him credit for the time when Ringbearer asked Goatzinger to please stop reposting his King Kong review. That was hilarious and even better if it was the same guy.

  • Jan. 3, 2006, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is what I like to say...

    by Halloween68

    I liked BROTHERS GRIMM more than SERENITY, OLD BOY and HOTEL RWANDA. Actually, much more in the latter two. OLD BOY...I didn't get all the hubbub on that one. HOTEL RWANDA I though suffered from the John Boorman syndrome. There were too many moments where the film makers relied too heavily on trying to force the message and not enough on the story of the film to carry that message. 'Still haven't seen your number 3 (though I'm looking forward to it very much so) or your number 2.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Vern, It's an exciting story of coincidence and conjecture

    by BendersShinyAss

    It's a strange hobbie, but I like to 'read into' posts to see who has the same 'structure& style'. You and I (and possible others) were tipped off by said posts above. But the real kicker was when I happened across a post by Ringbearer, and when I clicked to open it.... it wasn't there. Then we recieved word that Goatzinger had been deleted. So I went onto the Kong talkback and sure enough, it's no longer 1100 posts but only 10. Ringbearer9 is gone too! I wonder about these multiple persona's a lot of talkbackers seem to have. Love your talkbacker name. Go with it. or you may find yourself talking to yourself.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    BIG FISH and Tim Burton

    by Halloween68

    Not sure what you were looking for in BIG FISH. But there's plenty depth there. It's plenty intimate. BIG FISH was a very good film. As a matter of fact, it's one of the very best Tim Burton films. 'Certainly his best since NIGHTMARE. As far as directing...it's easily his best since ED WOOD. The only flaw I found in it was the ending. I thought the ending was done sort of half-assed. It felt rushed and didn't measure up to the rest of the film. As far as the man himself: I guess you either like Burton or you don't. Just as any good artist, he has found his voice or his own unique expression in filmmaking. Don't slam the guy because he uses it to effect. As far as I'm concerned, the only bad film he's made is PLANET OF THE APES. And that one he came in in the middle of. Burton is one of those guys who's got to be involved from the very beginning. It's his creativity and his decision making that makes him the filmmaker he is. In order for it to be a Tim Burton world, he has to have the vision himself. His BATMANs were Tim Burton BATMANs. Warner should have scratched them and started over once Burton was no longer involved. His was just a step in the Batman cinema evolution. Now we're looking at Nolan's BATMAN. His is a far different BATMAN and it shouldn't draw any comparison, as well as it shouldn't draw any from the 1960s television show. Point being: Nolan's BATMAN doesn't make me think any less of Burton's BATMAN. It's a different perception entirely.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST

    BIG FISH is Tim Burton's best film.

    by Shigeru

    and the ending makes me cry like a girl. who cries.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 5:01 p.m. CST

    I do

    by The Heathen

    especially from laughter of pooping in volcanoes

  • Basically you just called all conservatives racist. Way to make Paul Haggis cry, you intolerant bastard.

  • April 4, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Every fuckin line of the below just made you out to be SUCH a fu

    by Sal_Bando

    Three words for you about TRANSFORMERS: Ho. Lee. Shit. Not as in "Holy shit, I was blown away, it was a blast as well as AWESOME!" but as in "Holy shit, society really is on the brink of collapse." Usually if a movie is already playing in theaters I don't send my review here, I just use it at my geocities.com/outlawvern sight, but jesus, SOMEBODY had to say something. I can't believe how many positive reviews I have read of this. I think Harry's was the only negative I saw, but he was polite about it. I read Moriarty's review before the screening and I thought wow, what if I actually like this movie? Like me, Moriarty hates Michael Bay's movies from head to toe, style and content, and me and him agree on all kinds of stuff. I don't remember too many cases where I thought he was being too easy on a movie, at least not a big one like this (only one that comes to mind is the much smaller DAREDEVIL). I never thought I would like this movie until I read his review. He had me about 80% convinced that it would surprise me and win me over, like LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD did. And I might have to seek counseling after enjoying those two movies in a row, but that's life. I've mentioned a few times before that I have a buddy who loves Michael Bay. But before you rush to judgment, let me say that he's not some stereotype that just loves to see things explode and hear black guys joke about being "negroes" while a camera rotates around them. This is a smart guy with varied tastes. He gives me tips on older action movies I haven't seen, but his favorite movie so far this year is some documentary I never heard of. He watches more movies than I do, and is much more fickle than I am. I could not possibly list how many movies I thought were good, or at least okay, that he out and out despised. But still, somehow, he loves that fucking Michael Bay garbage, especially ARMAGEDDON and BAD BOYS 2. He describes BAD BOYS 2 as "the most hateful movie ever made" and always mentions how Bay's directing credit is over a shot of a burning cross. So his enjoyment seems like kind of a rebellious fuck you to the world, like a kid listening to punk rock or stabbing his grandparents in their sleep. He's been excited about this movie all year, and I've been shaking my head and grumbling about it. I definitely wanted to see it out of morbid curiosity, but felt it would be morally wrong to pay for it. I paid to see GHOST RIDER because I thought it would be funny, and I still feel guilty about it. So when my buddy invited me to a free screening of TRANSFORMERS I couldn't resist. He said we had to have the area's biggest pro and anti Michael Bay forces together at the same screening. Sounds like a fitting sequel to my peace initiative from last summer where I watched BAD BOYS 2 and TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE to set a positive example for the Israelis and Palestinians. So it's fitting that the movie begins in "QATAR - THE MIDDLE EAST." (Need to establish location and tell the audience you think they're idiots at the same time? Try subtitles!) An American army base is attacked by a big robot. These guys are apparently trained in a similar manner to the soldiers from THE HILLS HAVE EYES REMAKE 2, because they all just run away and don't fight. When you see all the military hardware fetishistically on display it seems kind of weird, because the robot doesn't look like it has a chance. But then some tanks fly through the air and you find out later that all but the handful of main characters were killed and nobody knew it was a robot that did it. At this point I was trying. I secured my brain safely in a locker at the Greyhound station like you're supposed to and I attempted to lower my standards. I am a guy who enjoys Brian Bosworth movies so why not enjoy this shit? Plus, if I'm gonna watch a Michael Bay movie again it might as well be one about robots. They won't joke as much as Martin Lawrence and they'll either look cool or funny. At least the effects are in good hands. And ever since I heard Michael Bay was hired for this job I thought it was tailor made for him. The dude is obsessed with sports cars and has never felt a human emotion, how could you do better than hiring him to make a huge expensive movie where the main characters are cars? It's like God made up The Transformers just to get some use out of Michael Bay. But Michael Bay told God to fuck off, and he went and made a movie about people. After that opening attack you get literally an hour of kiddie movie horse shit about Shia LeBeouf being a nerd and trying to hit on the adult car mechanic Maxim cover girl with a troubled past from his high school. He buys an old yellow Camaro which turns out to actually be a robot from space in disguise. I don't know if I need to explain this to you guys, but Transformers are robots from space and you know those Cirque Du Soleil type weirdos in the car commercial who contort themselves into the shape of a car? It's like that, they crash land on earth and are worried people will make fun of them so they pretend to be cars and planes and shit to fit in. Anyway, for the first hour of this movie his car is alive but mostly is not a robot, he just causes a ruckus by driving around doing donuts and playing funny songs on his radio. I have learned while this movie was being made that many grown adults grew up on this toy cartoon and hold its characters and concepts deep in their hearts, and were concerned about their portrayal in the movie. And I myself revere the filmatic language, and was worried that I would get dizzy and confused by Michael Bay's double-flip-off approach to editing and camera movement. Well let me tell you, he probaly blows it on both counts, but both are entirely irrelevant. By the time the movie gets to a second robot or action scene it's already way too late to turn things around. This painful first hour shows that the movie's main problem is the same one as BAD BOYS 2: constant, embarrassingly unfunny jokes. Is it too difficult to take anything seriously anymore? Everything's gotta be wacky: Shia has a little dog with a cast and he feeds it painkillers. He rides a pink girls' bike and crashes in front of the girl he likes. A robot pulls his pants down so he's in his boxers. Anthony Anderson eats a bunch of donuts. Bernie Mac's mom flips him the bird. A fat guy dances. When robots attack later, there are lots of half-assed "jokes" about little kids saying "cool!" or comparing it to ARMAGEDDON or thinking a robot is the tooth fairy. The "jokes" are more rapid-fire than a DTV Leslie Nielsen movie, and with an equal or lesser success rate. Even in that opening robot attack they don't have the discipline to take it seriously for 60 fuckin seconds, they have to have the guy from TURISTAS who looks like Johnny Knoxville on the phone arguing with a cartoonish Indian operator (ooh, topical) while Tyrese keeps yelling something about his left ass cheek. The music sounds like John Carpenter or TERMINATOR but the composer seems to be the only one making any effort to create drama. Everybody else is assuming the effects people will put that in later. For a movie produced by Spielberg it's surprisingly low on awe. People are supposed to be surprised to see robots, but they always turn it into jokes. There's not one second in the movie where you believe people are really reacting to seeing robots. In JURASSIC PARK or in WAR OF THE WORLDS or many other Spielberg movies, you believed these people really were having their minds blown by what was standing right in front of them. In TRANSFORMERS they say things like "It's a robot. You know, like a super advanced robot. It's probably Japanese," and you're supposed to laugh. And half the time nobody even notices the robots. I should mention there is one other robot in this part of the movie, a little bad guy robot who makes wacky troll noises while hacking into the Pentagon computer. I think he's supposed to be the cute comic relief character, a bad idea since there is no drama or tension to relieve. He crawls around, over and through hundreds of humans waving his many limbs all over and making loud grunts and power tool noises without ever once being detected. Either these robots are invisible or the people in charge of our national security are even more incompetent than anyone ever imagined. So you got this hour of waiting for it to get to the god damn robots, and then when it happens you realize you don't like them that much more than the people. Admittedly, they are the one thing that makes this more watchable than the other Michael Bay movies. From the ones I've seen I think this is his worst movie, but it's bad in a more fascinating way, like a $200 million version of that tv show "Power Rangers." After a good hour fifteen of failed jokes, the probably-meant-to-be-serious introduction of the good guy Transformers is finally laugh out loud hilarious. They just look so fucking silly posing and saying their names and they talk in voices just like the old cartoons, so it almost seems like one of those meta-ironical type movies like FAT ALBERT or THE BRADY BUNCH where TV characters come to life in the "real" world to show how goofy they are. And this is one of the great "did I really just see that?" moments when one of the robots says something along the lines of "Yo yo yo wussssUUUUUUPPPP Autobots REPRESENT!" and I don't think he was eating robotic chicken or watermelon but I swear to you on my mother's grave that he started breakdancing. And I'm sure black stereotype robot was in other parts of the movie but the next time I was sure it was the same character was at the end when Optimus Prime was casually holding his broken-in-half corpse like it was the pieces of a plate he dropped. But before it gets to the fighting, buckle up for a whole lot more "comedy." There's a section, probaly originally planned as a sitcom pilot but then used as part of the movie, where the robots hide in Shia's backyard. They break things and say "funny" lines and try not to be spotted when Shia's parents look out the window. This seems to support the "Transformers are invisible" theory because they're fucking 50 feet tall and shaking the earth with every step but nobody sees them. In fact, they might be like the Velveteen Rabbit or whatever the children's story is where only a kid can see them and adults can't because they don't have the magic of childlike innocence in their hearts or whatever. Anyway, Shia is able to get into his bedroom and his parents accuse him of jerkin off, and you can imagine all the "comedy" "gold" they are able to squeeze out by riffing on that one. I think it's supposed to be funny to see the serious Transformers characters involved in this sort of wackiness, but since they have not yet portrayed in a serious light there is nothing to contrast it with. At this point the movie is beyond feature length and then they introduce a new villain, John Turturro as a Men In Black type agent under the mistaken impression that he's being funny. His performance is over-the-top enough to fit in in a movie like SPACE JAM or ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, that is what they would like to do with his talents. And it keeps cutting away to a parallel storyline about a team of NSA analysts (all shaggy-haired twentysomething hipsters) and secretary of defense John Voight and Anthony Anderson playing Kevin Smith's character from LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and a giant alien cube discovered in ice by Shia's great great grandfather. And all the robots are here on earth to find a pair of glasses, which are in Shia's bedroom in a backpack, so it should probaly have taken 30 seconds of screen time to get to them instead of 90 minutes. There is a part that I almost think I might've dreamed but I remember it so vividly, where there is a cartoon BOING! sound and then there's a long shot of one of the robots proudly pissing all over John Turturro. This guy has toiled away in independent film for decades, done so much great work and in order to get a pay check he has to get R. Kellyed by a fucking cartoon robot. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be funny or if it's supposed to be sexy but it failed on both counts. And then all the sudden Shia's car/robot/pet gets shocked and dragged away on cables and the score turns into violins like it's SCHINDLER'S LIST. It is an understatement to say that this heartwrenching music is not earned. It's like if Jennifer Love Hewitt's character in GARFIELD found out she had cancer and we were expected to get choked up. Towards the end the movie starts to be more about Transformers. But if any of the filmatists were interested in turning them into actual characters they must've been too busy running errands or something to add that into the movie. Optimus Prime is pretty funny because he speaks almost entirely in platitudes. My guess is they didn't have time to write or record dialogue for him so they just used a key chain where you push buttons and different Transformers soundbites come out. His voice is awesome, the only thing resembling gravitas in the movie. He is shamelessly corny and old fashioned, while every other element of the movie is trying to be irreverent and self aware. So it's so out of place you gotta laugh any time he speaks. I guess this is the part that people wanted, the BIG ACTION SEQUENCE where robots chase a boy carrying a cube over buildings. Some robots do flips and fight each other. The effects are obviously very expensive and somebody worked a long time on making them, so way to go, E for Effort. But I think the Lord would agree with me when I say Jesus Christ, if this is what you guys consider exciting action sequences I don't even know how to relate to you anymore. Imagine you took apart a whole bunch of cars, mixed the parts up and welded them all together into a giant ball maybe 15 or 20 feet in diameter, then rolled it down a hill. Shoot that in closeup and you got every fight scene in this movie. I'm sure the Michael Bay style is a huge contributing factor, but I'm pretty sure you could've shot these fights with a stationary camera like a boxing match and I still would have no clue what the fuck was going on. I am no expert on robotics but to my untrained eye, these robots look like shit. Their designs are so overly complicated you can't tell which part is which. One robot (I think a bad guy robot, but not sure) goes flipping through the air in slow motion and while staring at it I was not entirely sure which end was up. There are scenes that are close on Optimus's face while he's talking where I could not even make out a face. I never knew which robot was which or who was a good guy or bad guy or what vehicle was what robot. Luckily Optimus has a shiny blue part on him, occasionally I would see shiny blue and know that hey, that's Optimus! I spotted one! What Michael Bay has already done to action editing and staging he has now done to character design. If Walt Disney really was a frozen head he would probaly be driven out of hiding to bite Michael Bay's nose off for what he has done here. I don't think the animation is very good either, they all move too fast and seem kind of weightless and don't know how to stand still, but it's kind of pointless to even get into that when they just look so god damn ugly and confusing that even in slow motion they disgrace the many talented artists who were roped into working on this shit. If you're gonna make us wait two hours for a big dumb robot fight at least make robots that we can tell apart or can distinguish what they are doing or which part of their body is the head. In a Godzilla movie I can tell which one is Godzilla and which one is Mothra without studying it frame by frame and comparing it to charts and diagrams. In the interest of balance, I will say some nice things about the movie. There's a part where the Transformers are in car form and they are driving around, they are all brand new and shiny stupid looking vehicles and it's shot like a car commercial. That was pretty funny. Also, it was nice that the horrible rock music only came on about four or five times, not constantly like in the cartoon version. The military stuff, sometimes that reminded me of the old '80s action movies, all this military hardware they were showing. The constant ludicrousness of every single aspect of the movie makes it less boring than many bad movies, like a GHOST RIDER or a NATIONAL TREASURE. And, the, uh-- I guess I haven't seen a side wheely in a movie in a while. I don't know. I'm sure there are other positive aspects. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that left me this befuddled that it actually existed. Now I know how your parents felt when they took you to see TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE. "Well, I guess this is what kids like now. Huh." I mean look, Moriarty's main argument was that the movie "delivers" and you can't argue with a movie "delivering." But fuck man, I guess I don't know what "delivery" is then. To me, this was an awe-inspiringly awful mess from start to finish, with no good characters, no sense of tension or drama, an asinine plot, badly told, full of constant, annoying attempts at humor, muddled action sequences and effects that hurt your brain trying to look at them. If you people are complaining about something like SPIDER-MAN 3 being too silly and then giving this one a pass, I don't know what the fuck is going on. The best "characters" in the movie are the robots during the 5 or 10 minutes when they're trying to be serious, and those scenes come off campier than SHOWGIRLS. I haven't seen FANTASTIC FOUR 2 but I can't imagine it could be THAT much more moronic, poorly executed and groan-inducing than this one. I mean this one really is off the charts, it's a record breaker. It probaly required alien technology to make it like this. I know it's not fair to drop the B&R bomb, it's like comparing people to Hitler in political discussion. But TRANSFORMERS is honestly approaching BATMAN AND ROBIN proportions of horribleness. You can't say it's as bad, because the lighting is nice and nobody's wearing rubber fetish costumes or pink gorilla suits, but it's a similar type of minding-numbing machine gun barrage of moronic, inept garbage. And it goes on for almost 2 1/2 hours, longer than some interrogations. So in a way, that does explain to me why some people might enjoy this. Some people like to be whipped and peed on. And it's an instant camp classic. I know people who get a good laugh out of shitty movies like INDEPENDENCE DAY, and I will definitely demand that they see this shit on video, because it makes INDEPENDENCE DAY look like 2001. It's so full of quick cuts and preposterousness I'm sure I missed all kinds of things. They were already onto the next scene by the time my brain processed the fact that I had just seen a Mountain Dew machine transform into a bad guy robot. Hopefully he will be the main villain in the sequel. But he'll be defeated by a good guy Nike truck. I can't see enjoying this on anything other than an ironic or anthropological "human beings really made this!" type level. No matter how it plays this summer, this movie is so full of bad taste and "what the fuck?" moments that I do believe it will live on. Ten or fifteen years from now, when some theater in a college town plays it as a double feature with ROADHOUSE, it will absolutely kill. Did the movie work on my crowd? I'm not sure. Some of the lame jokes got laughs. Some got none. There were parts obviously meant to be crowdpleasers where you would hear one person clap or laugh in the back somewhere. There was definitely alot of sarcastic wooing and clapping. But there was also some applause at the end, which I'm gonna assume was sincere. We have already seen enough reviews to know that some people can enjoy this. I talked to a guy who loved it, said it was the best movie he's seen this year, that it knew what it was and was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and what do you expect, it's The Transformers, it's a summer blockbuster movie, it's awesome. I'm glad he enjoyed it, but none of those arguments hold water with me, and I can't help but be sad that this is what we are willing to accept as entertainment. BATMAN AND ROBIN knew what it was and was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and what did we expect. And if just because it's Transformers it's allowed to be inept, moronic garbage, then why are we going to see a movie based on Transformers in the first place? I know DADDY DAY CAMP is gonna be awful but I don't expect these same people running out saying that was awesome because what do you expect, it's DADDY DAY CAMP. And I know I made this point in talkbacks, and so have others, but it bears repeating. DIE HARD was a blockbuster/popcorn/summer/event movie. So was ALIENS. And TERMINATOR 2. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. STAR WARS. JAWS. ROAD WARRIOR. PREDATOR. ROBOCOP. TOTAL RECALL. THE MATRIX. LORD OF THE RINGS. You people who like your BATMAN and SPIDER-MAN and X-MEN and SUPERMAN and James Bond and LETHAL WEAPON... these are all big event movies, many of them timeless, many of them clever, well-crafted, some of them masterpieces. I am not being pretentious, I am not expecting too much, these are mainstream, crowd pleasing movies and they are what you used to hope for when you went to a summer movie. You can't realistically expect a movie as good as ALIENS every time, but that's better than resigning to the idea that "summer movie" equals "horribly made infantile disposable pap" and being excited about it anyway. If a summer movie is meant to be like TRANSFORMERS, then why the fuck aren't you people embarrassed to be going to see summer movies? At least have the decency to admit that it's a strange, possibly deviant hobby. Everyone expects this movie to be a huge runaway hit, a moneymaking juggernaut. It happened with ARMAGEDDON and INDEPENDENCE DAY and I lived through election 2004, so certainly I can see that happening. But man oh man do I not get it. Women, especially, I have respect for, and I cannot understand them getting any sort of enjoyment out of these goofy cartoon junkpiles wrestling each other and saying things like "One shall stand and one shall fall!" If this is accepted as good entertainment then we're another step closer to the world of IDIOCRACY and the hit movie ASS. If America loves this movie, I want a fuckin recount. But what about my Michael Bay loving buddy? Did he like it? I wasn't sitting near him at the screening and as the movie went on I started to get concerned about what I was gonna say to him afterwards. I hoped he was having a good time, and I mean, I cannot comprehend his love for the other Bay movies. So I couldn't predict what he would think. But at the same time I could not actually picture him walking up to me with a straight face and saying "That was awesome!" And I couldn't guarantee that if that happened I wouldn't shake my head sadly, turn and walk away, our friendship forever weakened by a feeling that we just weren't from the same planet. The credits roll. I find Mr. Armageddon. He smiles and says, "That was a piece of shit! That was fucking garbage! Terrible!" So thank you Michael Bay for bringing the world closer together. We can have peace some day. We just can't have good robot movies. --Vern http://www.geocities.com/outlawvern AddThis Social Bookmark Button Click for previous story Talk Back More on this story Click for next story ********************<p> You fucking allow Yourself to bitch, piss, and moan ad fucking nauseum about a genre movie by a guy whose movies YOU fucking HATE, like he pissed in your fucking Cheerios. Geezus louise here Vern, re-reading your rant at myself 3 years back and then seeing you basically grow 14 personalities in reaction to Transformers--it's a wonder you didn't just have a fucking coronary right THERE. <p> The biggest thing you seemed to have against me was I was blasting a bunch of Genre movies, on a genre site---and I should just fuck off because, and I quothe here-I couldn't DO ANY BETTER? Really? Well the living definition of what you Allegedly do you fucking basket case, is THE SAME THING YOU WERE NAILING ME FOR---JUDGING THE FINISHED EFFORTS of Filmakers--Including the likes of Mikey Bay. You CLEARLY could not do what he does. You CLEARLY could not improve what he made here. Yet you Scream bloody murder about this man's movies, you act like he crapped in your Cheerios here. Get a fucking grip. <p> If you are allowed to insult Bay, dole out cute little nicknames to everyone in those idiotic movies you allegedly review, if you are allowed to forever rip off Joe Bob Briggs-who by the way must be living large off the royalty checks you and your little Geocities.com Site send him daily-yeah right-then fuckin' A bubba, you Better allow others to do the SAME fucking thing. <p> Basically this whole 'review' of yours here made you look like a fucking Wanker. Don't like Bay's movies? Don't Fucking Watch them. Go watch one of your little Segal circle-jerk things instead. Lord knows it's made your fuckin' name, asshat. <p> Tacoma sucks.