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

Harry contemplates and celebrates Darren Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN!

I’ve watched THE FOUNTAIN three times now. I’ve seen it with audiences that just absolutely loved it, and I’ve seen it where some left scratching their heads. This isn’t an IQ test film. This is about the questions that nobody has answers for. It’s about the cycle of life, death, love and the infinite. In THE FOUNTAIN, the characters played by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz are not deeply defined, they’re not fully explained. We meet them at the crucial point of the relationship. We don’t need to know how they met, why they fell in love or any of the history of the relationship, because what is important is she’s dying and he’s desperate and obsessive about saving her, prolonging her life, giving him one more minute with her. He’s a man of science, a man that doesn’t deal with the maybes of the hereafter, the happiness of the afterlife – he doesn’t want to be alone. He doesn’t want to stand over her grave. He doesn’t want to lose the one thing in this world he loves. As a result, in these final days – he’s obsessing in the lab, trying exotic formulas, innovative – perhaps inhumane experiments. Doing everything but spending what time he has left with Izzi. But a man with an obsession is hard to distract with something as small as taking their annual first snow walk. A lot has been said about 1000 years that this film is purported to take place over. Art is a subjective thing. I read interviews with Darren Aronofsky, I’ve even conducted one with Darren at FANTASTIC FEST. To me, there is only one reality – the story that takes place here and now. 500 years ago is in Izzi’s book – a fictional book written by a woman that loves her husband and wants him to be her conquistador – questing for his queen to win eternal life and defeat the eventuality of death. Izzi wanted Tommy to read her book, a fictional account about Tomas questing for Queen Isabel. She knew she wouldn’t be saved and that the quest to save her would consume and take Tommy’s life, she wanted him to understand that it wasn’t his fault, that death was natural, that it was peaceful and is nothing to be afraid of, but to be embraced. What is that future? Izzi asks Tommy to finish the book. To me, that is this man of science’s take on how he would be reunited with her. He would find a way to live forever, till science could take him to that nebula where Izzi believed her soul would go and be waiting for him, and he would be reunited. Why do I not believe those scenes are real? Because of the flashback. The flashback where Tommy remembers Izzy asking him to go for a walk in the first new snow of the year, the final walk in the first new snow. In Tommy’s mind, he fantasizes that he took that walk, that he spent what time he had with Izzi. That science wouldn’t have given him one more moment, but that caring and paying attention would have given him months of time that he spent obsessing at the lab. That instead of a book about a questing conquistador – he’d have had memories of going to galleries, museums, shows – of loving her and her loving him. Instead all he has are bittersweet memories of a chase. That’s what I believe. If those memories 500 years in the future are real, then Hugh has lived for 500 years on a quest to die in the spot he knew Izzi believed she would be. That makes this film an incredible science fiction story of obsessive compulsive self-destruction. I prefer my interpretation. Where Hugh’s Tom realizes his mistakes, misses Izzi and realizes that the here and now is the most important thing. That his wife’s death was natural and that his talents can save future lives, but that Izzi will live forever in his memories of her. And that she will inspire his amazing talents to save others and in his own natural death, he’ll be rejoined. But that’s my interpretation of what happened. Aronofsky has made a work of art, one that can be interpretated in a varied amount of ways. It is beautiful, loaded with symbols and stunning colors. The characters are cyphers for us to place ourselves in. Asking each of us how we would deal with the dying of a loved one. And the message I take away from this film is this… I will love my loved ones while I can, as long as I can, for the rest of my life – however long that may or may not be. This is a short review, but do not mistake it’s lack of girth, for a lack of passion. This is one of the monumental films of the year. I just have a very concise take on the material. I could argue points of view and alternative takes on the film for days, and I have. This film is Aronofsky’s very best film to date, and to date he has been brilliant. The visual effects are brilliant. But make no mistake about it, to me, this is no more Science Fiction - than it is Historical Fantasy. This is a Drama about two people in love dealing with one of them dying - each in their own way - one through science, the other through fantasy. Two belief systems. Each keeping them sane, through the maddening frustration of life. We never have as much as we want, and we never have enough time to love who we love as much as we love them. It is a brilliant film.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Nov. 24, 2006, 2:58 p.m. CST

    first

    by DoodlyDingDongTickTock

    HA

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST

    WOO.`

    by DoodlyDingDongTickTock

    can't wait to see this. Love how mixed the reviews are. Look at Citizen Kane or Raging Bull or a dozen other movies that got mixed reviews but were then in critics top ten list for the year or decade.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Harry: "these characters are ciphers"

    by s00p3rm4n

    I completely agree, but this is the exact reason I didn't connect emotionally with the story for a second! It was the most schizophrenic moviegoing experience ever - thinking simultaneously how gorgeous it was, and how empty it felt. Yes, a story is just a coat to be worn by the sights and sounds and actors, but still - ya gotta sew the damn thing first before you take it off. I don't think Aronofsky did the legwork necessary to ground these characters as human. They're both clearly superhuman in their own way, but without the- I dunno- development element or spark that puts the "human" part alongside the "super" part. As a related note, this film helped me finalize my thesis about his filmmaking: Darren Aronofsky makes movies about actions rather than characters. Pi is a film about mathematics and mental illness. Requiem is a film about taking drugs. Fountain is a film about dying. Maybe it's just me, but this film wasn't about the people in it. It cared mostly about what the people did. I'm not asking for FIVE EASY PIECES IN SPACE here. Simply, without a clear picture of the Who and the Why, the What just doesn't seem as dazzling in retrospect. How fucking great was that soundtrack, though? In postscript, I want a furry edible tree in my backyard.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 3:37 p.m. CST

    But Harry *SPOILERS*

    by Moonraper

    If future Hugh is also past Hugh, how do you explain past Hugh being turned into a tree?

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I'm going to see this movie tomorrow.

    by rbatty024

    Aronofsky is one of the best directors out there. Too bad he makes a movie only every four or five years. I hope this film does well so that he can get the funding he deserves.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this

    by Bean_

    I'm trying not to read any spoilers, it just sounds so damn good!

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Moonraper *SPOILER*

    by HEADGEEK

    To me - Hugh turning planty was the self-destructive path that Izzi saw for his character. And past Hugh - was a fictional projection that was written by Izzi, not in any way, shape or form, a reality.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 4:42 p.m. CST

    PR_GMR

    by PR_GMR

    I watched 'The Fountain' last night.. and very much enjoyed. It's unfortunately one of those films which will not gain converts easily. It's multi-threaded, difficult, ambitious, and ambigous. People walked out of the screening I attended. Sadly, I think it's going to bomb. Having said all that, I loved that.. and I think there's an audience for this film, if only a cult one. I'm glad to see Aronofsky get to the finish line with this obsession, and I want to see more films from him.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 6:08 p.m. CST

    probably the most divisive movie of the year.

    by waggy

    i've spoken to friends who loved the film to death, and others who called it "the worst movie they had ever seen". personally i dug it a lot. i've been mentally going back to it ever since i saw it wednesday afternoon. i prefer to think the future and past sequences actually happened in the movie though.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 6:28 p.m. CST

    I loved this film so much.

    by Nordling

    It's a goddamn masterpiece.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 7:32 p.m. CST

    I can see it

    by kirttrik

    Police Academy may not be in the realm of Apocalypse Now, but as a series I can see it compared to BBC's I, Claudius. I mean, a comedy equivalent of course.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Booing at Cannes - ZombieSolutions

    by Mr. Winston

    First of all, it wasn't "booed off the screen". There was a collective of a handful of critics at the FIRST screening who booed loudly and vehemently - which makes sense, considering that critics, by and large, have hated the movie so far. <br> <br> However, at the very next screening - still at Cannes - it was given a ten minute standing ovation. So the idea that this is "universally panned" is especially ridiculous. In fact, the ratings for it on IMDb have soared in recent days and much of the tracking has been extremely positive. <br> <br> Unless you've seen it I can't understand why you're so worked up about it...so relax a little. Still, I'm inclined to agree that any comparison to 2001 is way off. Not because it's a lesser film - it's not, and this is coming from a Kubrick enthusiast (and that's being calm) - but because the themes are so totally different.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Re: Zombie Solutions

    by HEADGEEK

    1st) 8 people booed at the "Critics pre-screening" at Cannes. At the actual Cannes Premiere it received an 8 minute Standing Ovation. <BR><BR>2nd) At RottenTomatoes it's at 49%. Which shows that right at Half of Critics are loving it. And they're not typically the "blurbmeisters" that are loving it, but thoughtful critics. <BR><BR>3rd) I made no comparisons to 2001. I hold this isn't even Science Fiction, I believe this to be a drama - where one dreams in a fantasy quest - and the other dreams in a science fiction death, but both are of today... and those sequences only exist in the imaginations they each have. <BR><BR>4th) If I secretly hated the film and was scared of alienating the advertiser - I simply would not have reviewed the film. Having said that - I could care less what the various studios think of my openion - and I'm not so egotistical to believe they'd give two shakes if I did shit on a film of theirs. Especially the Warner's folks - I spent years alienating them when they were a shit factory. <BR><BR>Lastly - Comparing THE FOUNTAIN to 2001 is a viable comparison. Not in that THE FOUNTAIN is anywhere near 2001 - they bear very few similar levels in which to compare. But at least they both have confounding sequences that confused and divided audiences and critics down the middle when they initially came out. The both dealt with 3 time frames - the distant past, the year the film was set 2001, and the infinite. <BR><BR>However, your comparison of POLICE ACADEMY 17 to APOCALYPSE NOW is asinine - as those are totally different genres. A better derogatory comparison would have been to compare GREEN BERETS to APOCALYPSE NOW. But then you would need a film education for that.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    "It starts in Spain... ends there."

    by Nordling

    I think it's all one story, and the science fiction story is Tom's way of dealing with his wife's death. Izzy wrote up to the point in her book where the conquistador is supposed to die, and it's a subtle way for her to communicate to Tom that it's unavoidable. Tom writes about how she can escape death, until he comes to understand and deal with his loss.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Interpretations

    by readingwriter

    I've always disagreed with the idea that a great work of art is one which is open to varied interpretations. It's part of the PC "no one is wrong, it's all just opinions" point of view about art. An artist working in the narrative arts has a clue as to what he's making, and saying a movie is great art because different people can interpret it in different ways is no more pertinent than saying a rock is a work of art because many people looking at it are thinking different thoughts at the time. I'm interested in what an artist is saying to me--communicating to me; inventing my own ideas about what the artist meant is not only demeaning to the artist's efforts, it is indicative of a solipsistic mindset.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Zombiesolutions

    by readingwriter

    "an unintentionally hilarious, painfully pretensious, achingly naive, psuedo-intellectual, mind-numbingly awful stinker of a film for stoners and/or starry-eyed newly weds in their early 20s (pre-divorce, of course) "...that reads like a Rex Reed attempt to smear a movie he didn't understand. It also reeks of a childish academic's need to insult movies someone ELSE found meaning in, when what you REALLY want to say is something like "Why didn't this movie conform to my personal views of everything?" Sorry we all aren't as worldly and ultra-hip as yourself, or as needlessly cynical (someone with access to an internet movie site can't be as bad off as some starving kid shitting out his insides in some poor country, so forgive me for not believing your life is as miserable as you want us to think). Sure, stoners and newlyweds may be the absolute worst beings in a world of terrorists and child rapists, but are you aware that we are talking about a science fiction entertainment, which intends to tell a story, and not some life-altering philosophical work? So Aronofsky and company have DARED to talk about Big Issues without having their papers from The World University of Smart Guy Posters in order--I guess that means they should have gotten together and made the ten zillionth knife-kill flick instead of DARING to make a movie about issues NO ONE (not even you) has the answers to--should we castigate them for DARING to step out of liine? How about just not talking about a movie you have no interest in? Knowing one more pseudo-intellectual (the only kind of people who use that term--including me!) doesn't think Aronofsky isn't the Dalai Freakin Lama isn't going to cause him to lose one minute of sleep, which he does beside Rachel Weisz (and you don't).

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Venice, not Cannes

    by Koola_Norway

    Hey, just wanted to comment on you THREE different people who all agree this film screened at Cannes. It didn't. it screened in Venice. But I blame the first guy. I saw The Fountain on wednesday, and I can with pleasure join the chorus of the admirers. A moving, challenging film that made me face questions about mortality that my 24 year old mind has never had to worry about. I enjoy a film that makes me think way more than 100 that just entertains me. Agreed, this film might not be an instant boxoffice success, but getting a great film that'll last pleases this film lover much more than dollars.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Most naysayers...

    by Gil Brooks

    ...on the net seem to be people who haven't seen the film yet. That said, here's a my review of the film, which bears an eerie resembelence to Harry's (in POV), despite being posted elsewhere a few hours before him- "This is a difficult movie to talk about with people who haven’t seen it, as I hate spoiling movies for people. Also, it’s totally up to someone’s interpretation as to what they get out of the film. To me, in basic terms, the film is about accepting death as a way of being part of the cycle of life. All things come back around. Like letting go of love. It’s a film with a very Eastern point of view, and I can’t believe a major studio actually backed it. I guess there is hope… The film goes over 3 different time periods, with 3 different characters on a quest for the same thing, only in different ways. Different ways, physically, but with the same determination. Now, are these to be looked at literally? Metaphorically? In my mind, one time period is obviously a metaphor. Another is obviously literal. But the third is either way, though I think it’s metaphor in a different way than the 1st, but completely complementing it. To say more would be too much. I hope others here see it, for I would like to discuss more. Easily my favorite film of the year."

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Wow, Koola

    by Mr. Winston

    You're right - it screened at Venice, not Cannes. Unfortunately I had to look that up to verify it. Do you know that I read TWO separate articles last week that talked about this very situation - the small number of critics who booed the film. Both articles talked about how absurd it was that there was a rumor that the film got booed out of Cannes. <br> <br> Well, chalk Yahoo! up to another source I can cross off my list as posting reliable information. I wonder if the Venice Film Festival is developing a Farnsworth Complex.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 8:58 p.m. CST

    readingwriter

    by Mr. Winston

    I think you look at the idea of subjectivity the wrong way. <br> <br> From the interviews that I've read with Aronofsky on this film, he definitely had a very clear sense of the story he was trying to tell and had an exact interpretation of his own that he was attempting to transmit. However, he's so far - for the most part - neglected to say what his interpretation is. <br> <br> Why? Because on the user end, more often than not, it's a more fulfilling experience not only to draw your own conclusions about film but to put those conclusions up for debate with other viewers. It's easiest if you're spoon-fed an idea; it's much more challenging and gratifying to develop and back your own. <br> <br> Would the MONA LISA have been so intriguing and discussed if Da Vinci had come right out and said, "I've got a thing for bangin' chicks with no eyebrows?" I get where you're coming from, but I don't think the interpretation of art is a PC construct designed to make everyone feel they're intelligent. The measure of a piece of art is the number of interpretations it can engender that can be backed up with reasonable analysis. Most of the time a rock is a geological conglomerate of sediment, but what if a certain rock has meaning, like a marker for a centuries-old gravesite devoid of writing? You could make the same argument that a painting is just a conglomerate of oil-based pigmented paste smeared around on canvas, but that doesn't diminish the idea that the end result strikes a different ideological chord in different people.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 9:19 p.m. CST

    To Put It Frankly

    by The Ender

    If you saw this movie. And you walked out not thinking about it, or appreciating the artistry and amazing risks this Director dives into. Appreciating bold and DIFFERENT film making. Or just pondering the real brilliance in Hugh Jackman's performance. You are a fucking cunt. A Stupid, Black Souled, Anti-Good Shit, Dark hearted, cunt. Stop watching movies. And go fuck yourself. That's my review.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Readingwrite

    by The Ender

    My hat is off to you. I bow to your superior verbal fighting skills. If I could write as intelligently as you, I wouldn't have to go around reffering to ass licking fucktards like zombiesolutions, as cunts and pancake titted bitchfucks.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Really Looking Forward To This But

    by georges garvaren

    infinity is total horse crap. If something goes on forever, it ceases to go on because it could not of come from somewhere and can go nowhere; it mearly is and isnt at the same impossible moment. And that is scary as hell. Stil, want to, need to, got to see this movie. Nice review Harry.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I'm dubbing this the 2001: A Space Oddysey of our time.

    by DanielKurland

    I saw the movie, and it's definitely something you need to see a few times I think. The acting is phenomenal, but I don't know if I like it more than "Requiem for a Dream"; They're obviously different movies though. I don't know if the comparison has been made before to 2001, but I definitely think it applies, and 2001 was also panned by critics.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 9:52 p.m. CST

    I see 2001 comparisons have been made, and...

    by DanielKurland

    hatred has thus resulted. Let me just clarify, I didn't mean it was like 2001 on the level of science fiction, story, or theme, but just based on the visuals of it.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 10:08 p.m. CST

    DanielKurland

    by Mr. Winston

    Though I don't believe I've taken any part in the "hatred" against those making a 2001 connection, I have to admit I don't see it. Though I agree with you that some of the visuals are similar and that there's an exploration of careening through space with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company, I think the themes are too dissimilar to make a deeper comparison between the two. <br> <br> So in essence I agree with you. I think most of the fire and brimstone directed at the people throwing around the 2001 thing are because the associations are made so lazily; it seems like a cult concept that everyone is agreeing without of convenience without bother to think about why they agree with it.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 11 p.m. CST

    It's a good thing the mainstream press bashed this...

    by Ribbons

    ...because now it's being championed by people who like films that are "misunderstood." Time will tell whether or not that's a legitimate claim but I gotta say, as someone who's not seen the movie yet -- and as someone who's *wanted* to see it: all this talk about negative opinions being invalid because they don't "get it" (two of the most vile words in film-geekdom because of how they're overused, typically by people who don't "get it" themselves) is really putting sand in my vagina.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 11:39 p.m. CST

    The Only Way to Describe this Film...

    by Mr. N

    ... is that it's a work of art. The focus of this film is not the story, characters or even action; the focus is the thematic progression. Time, Death and Love are broad subjects that painters such as Blake, Van Gogh and countless others have put their own twists on. Aronofsky's project has resulted in a highly interperative experience that's also just plain beautiful to behold. If you are going to see this, it must be done on a big screen. The images are too epic and stylistic and could not possibly be enjoyed on a small screen. This movie while it can be compared to 2001 in terms of the importance both placed on themes. Kubrick was onced asked what 2001 was suppossed to mean? He said, people would never come out of a Beethoven symphony and ask 'what did it mean?' We are taking a far too intellectual approach to this, which can be a danger to do with art as well. We should not focus on what this meant, we will never agree on that. It is meant to be experienced and enjoyed (though that is optional depending on open mindedness). Any analysis should be brought on out of smart thematic provocation, not out of nit-picking and questioning critique. It doesn't have to mean anything, it's art.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:03 a.m. CST

    ZombieSolutions - No, I Think You're Off

    by Mr. Winston

    Specifically here: >>As far as having an education in film; do you mean like taking a graduate course at NYU or sitting around the homestead watching DVDs? The former I would take seriously, the latter... not so much. << Actually the latter will make you qualified to develop critical assessments of film; the former will only make you think you are. Check how many people working productively as producers, writers and directors in film to day bothered going to film school as opposed to just being learned fans. Here's a hint: you'll find much more of the latter than the former.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Ribbons

    by Mr. Winston

    I'm growing quickly tired of that label as well. I loved this movie, but I'll be the first to admit there's very little to "get". With all the layers stripped away it's a very basic, straightforward love story. <br> <br> On the other side of the coin, you have to appreciate those layers and be able to recognize them as more than just mere symbolism to enjoy this film. If you can't or don't, you wont. I've been thinking about the story nonstop ever since I saw it yesterday and I've enjoyed very much debating its meaning with other film fans. <br> <br> But it's not an exercise so much in intelligence or comprehension as much as it is in one's ability to creatively interpret its meaning. I can understand why someone wouldn't like this film. It's not for everyone; nothing is. But I'm equally disillusioned with the people who automatically blow this off as "pretentious" - another label that's being thrown around too cavalierly. If you just toss off the imagery and the way the story is constructed as mere folly with little character development, you're passing off the test the film is throwing at you: what, here, is reality? <br> <br> Go in with an open mind and if you get into the structure of the story, you'll find much about it you'll dig.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Pains me to say, but I didn't like it

    by Freakemovie

    Saw it tonight. I could think about it and ruminate on it, and I have, and the movie makes you think. To me, it's about one man finally accepting death. And the images -- beautiful. There's so much to admire and so much to think about that I almost want to say that any movie that can provoke those thoughts is "good". But I can't bring myself to say it. We didn't care about Izzy. We didn't know anything about her. Tom's obsession was compelling but oddly unsympathetic. I wish they had a stronger explanation of the future scenes -- no, not some exposition-y thing that over-explained things, but some kind of linking factor that we could follow. I suppose most succintly, I can call The Fountain a risky and beautiful but ultimately failed experiment. Still: Aronofsky, get back on your feet and keep making movies.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Freakemovie

    by Mr. Winston

    While obviously I disagree with your viewpoint, I understand where it comes from. <br> <br> For my own part I have developed some specific views about the film which I won't bore you with, but one idea that I came to accept was that Izzi was less a character and more a compliment to the story of Tom. I didn't believe this was about Tom and Izzi; I slowly began to realize I found this a story about Tom. It's not that Izzi didn't have much to say; it's that I found most of what she had to say buried in the details of the book she left for Tom. And from that we learned more about their characters than is on the surface in the year 2006. <br> <br> If you decide to tackle the movie again, I would pay attention to the more material symbols that show up in all three stories (the ring, the dagger, the pen, the nebula, etc.). I found that they were almost like roadsigns pointing us in the direction of the narrative connections you were looking for.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1 a.m. CST

    Zombiesolutions

    by readingwriter

    I'd respond to your silliness but to be completely honest? I got bored halfway through your post because of your pedestran "I read 'How to Read a Film' TWICE so I Know Film!" attitude. One doesn't have to like or appreciate or sign on to a filmmaker's beliefs in order to enjoy a movie, understand it, or put it in some kind of meaningful context--or are you saying that only those who buy into Nazism can appreciate the filmmaking of Triumph of the Will? (I'll wait while you search through your beta tapes of The Actor's Studio with James Lipton for some kind of halfway intelligent answer.)

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Mr. Winston

    by readingwriter

    "Because on the user end, more often than not, it's a more fulfilling experience not only to draw your own conclusions about film but to put those conclusions up for debate with other viewers." I see your point, but I respectfully disagree. I can watch a good movie, if it's properly made, and don't need to have the additional information from interviews to understand the point the director was trying to make. It's the essence of communication. The DaVinci example doesn't work in this context, either--if I were a contemporary at the time of its painting, I wouldn't need to read an interview to understand WHY it is such an important painting--with knowledge of the art scene of the time, I would "get" it, just as folks with some knowledge of film can "get" why something like THE FOUNTAIN--whether or not they LIKE it--is not just another movie but something that attempts to be different, that attempts to deal with issues of importance to the filmmakers. None of this has a thing to do with one's personal enjoyment of the movie; it's just about one's grasping the significance. It doesn't matter much whether zombie people like it; it doesn't matter much if a well-informed film fan or filmmaker likes it, either--I can appreciate that a movie is attempting something. (A movie doesn't become a classic, and I wouldn't consider it a good movie, if it merely ATTEMPTED something, either.) I think you took my rock comparison a bit too far, but otherwise I enjoyed your comments, have a great weekend.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:19 a.m. CST

    readingwriter

    by Mr. Winston

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree - it's just nice for me to see that someone I disagree with has put thought into their opinions. I think we simply have differing (not better or worse, just incongruent) scales on what we expect a film to "tell" us. That in itself could be an interesting debate.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:19 a.m. CST

    readingwriter

    by Ribbons

    So what are you trying to say, exactly? Because lots of movies ATEMPT things. I'm sure Spike Lee had a lot to say about male hegemony in America with 'She Hate Me' (or whatever) that he thought we all needed to bear witness to, but does that make it an admirable or even respectable piece of art? Will you voraciously defend it from anyone who dislikes it or doesn't appreciate its ambition? What is it about this movie that, as an acolyte of Cinema, you "get," and that sets it apart in terms of significance from any other work by any other auteur who tackles themes that are Big -- or at least to them? By the way, I personally think that liking or disliking a movie for expressing ideas that you find offensive in some way is a personal prerogative. Begrudging other people for liking it is a little stickier.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Yackbacker

    by HEADGEEK

    Re: BLADE II review - little background history - the girl I was dating at that time asked me if I could write a review drawing a comparison to any subject and I said, Absolutely. Challenge me. She said, I bet you can't write a review drawing a paralell to the way you eat pussy - and I said, oh - I bet I can. Thus a challenge was borne. That said - I got so many complements on that review - not to mention future dates. My favorite letter I got on that review came from Roger Ebert, who was jealous of the freedom I had as a writer on my site. And loved that review.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Fuck Solaris And Fuck People Who Like Feeling Smart

    by georges garvaren

    Intelligence does not breed entertainment and entertainment is all my money gives two shits about. 10 bucks for 2 hours deserves an experience I could not get watching worn out VHS classics on my 30 inch tv. So suck my nuts ZombieSolutions and go take your Mensa mind and cram it up your loose tush, you pompous little monkey. There’s nothing “mind expanding” about 2001 and if Kubrick were alive and sitting next to your computer when you wrote that he would most certainly call Nicholson up and the two of them would take turns beating you black and blue with soap in a sock. I hope you fall down a well and are eaten slowly by, I don’t know, some sort of well dwelling flesh eating monstrous creature from the deep. Cunt.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:52 a.m. CST

    WELL/GREAT REVIEW

    by THE KNIGHT

    Harry took the words right out of my mouth. i also believe the future scenes weren't real.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Freakemovie - my thoughts exactly.

    by s00p3rm4n

    And to the earlier apologist saying it's Hugh's story, he exists ONLY in relation to Rachel Weisz' character. He commits to his actions ONLY because of her. Hence, if we don't know her, we don't know him.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 2:20 a.m. CST

    It all sounds a bit Highlander though...

    by workshed

    ...just kidding. Anything made by the bloke who brought us Pi ought to get you salivating at the mouth. Remember 2001:A Space Odyssey completely divided critics at the time. In fact, it was only the geeks who were taking LSD before watching it that realised it's trippy potential and, through word of mouth, defied the critics. I will always see Darren's movies because he will always try to buck what people expect of him. I think he needed to get a film about 'Love' out of his system.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 2:42 a.m. CST

    s00p3rm4n

    by Mr. Winston

    I'm not sure that I agree with that theory, especially in this case. You're absolutely right in that Jackman's character functions in the film only in the context of Izzi's situation. That's true enough. But we don't need to know much about her to know that it's love that drives him; once you know that there's nothing else that needs explained or extrapolated. We can understand the incredible drive of someone whose wife is dying; it comes from love, and in this situation we certainly don't need to know WHY he loves her, just that he does so tirelessly. I would also submit that you end up learning much about Izzi anyway by the way she not only acts in the present but how she depicts herself and Jackman in the Conquistador thread.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Tom and Izzi

    by Anton_Sirius

    I suspect what Aronofsky was attempting here was something akin to a 'secret' cartoonists and animators have known for years -- that is, the fewer details you add to a character the easier it is for the audience to identify with... had Tom and Izzi's relationship been filled with a back story and cute catchphrases and all the other conventions of Hollywood love they might have seemed more "realistic", but by not supplying that short-hand Aronofsky made it easier for the audience to put themselves in Tom's (or even Izzi's) shoes. How would *I* react? What lengths would I go to if it were me fighting to hang onto the person I loved? Etc. etc.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 3:12 a.m. CST

    ZS

    by Anton_Sirius

    And truth be told, I also suspect the virulent reactions of someone like ZombieSolutions against the film are a product of not liking the answers he got back when he asked himself those very same questions...

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 4:02 a.m. CST

    harry, one thing you forgot...

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    the past is a book. that story's ending is stilted because Jackman is a scientist, not a storyteller. the current storyline and the future one are one in the same. Izzi Dies and Jackman plants a tree on her grave. then, he takes the syrum. it expands his mind and after a period of time, he becomes sick of life on earth. so, he goes to Izzi's grave and using his expanded mind he creates a telekenetic ball of energy and goes off into space to Xibulba to meet G-d, or whatever there is out there. however, when he reaches Xibulba, it is about to explode and he realizes there is nothing else. (that is a secret of this film, it implies there is no G-d). however, he does reach eternal life with Izzi through the supernova though. the two are destoryed, and their atoms spread throughout the universe to create new life. thus, creation through an act of destruction.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 5:44 a.m. CST

    All Movie critics opinions are

    by emeraldboy

    Worthless. Its the audience who decides what sinks or swims. Critics are people who are paid to give their opinions. but strangely enough a trailer can make you decide if a film is worth seeing. Take the Holiday. Starring Diaz, Law, black and winslet. I have seen the trailer twice and it does nothing for me. But then it is a crimbo-chick flick movie and one by Nancy Myers , the queen of Malsh. The London based NY film critic Joe Queenan once said to enjoy the english patient you have to be (a) english and (b)Patient and saw the english patient and I agree, what a boring film that was and concur with his recent opinion that Scarlett Joahannson is box office poison. Crtics Vs Box office, the winner will always be box office. On broadway it is a different matter. That is the one place where reviews can literally close a show.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    "But then you would need a film education for that."

    by dtpena

    For the first time in 6-7 years reading this site, I want to have sex with Harry.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    about it being a love letter to weisz

    by dtpena

    I don't know how anyone (and i'm talking to you zombie) can see this movie as a love letter from aronofsky to weisz, because he made the script, and started making the movie waaay before meeting her, and don't forget that he originally had cate blanchett in the role of izzi, and I don't think he is eternally in love of blanchett, or is he? And you know what? I think you're a fuckin asshole.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Great review

    by Mr Glass

    Seriously, this might be the best one you wrote, it gets right to the core of a film it's easy to stumble while discussing.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Most people are to shallow for The Fountain

    by Cyberfury

    It the same reason that a lot of people can enjoy Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' without actually 'feeling' in every fiber of their being how profound it really is. It kind of makes you sad but on the other hand, evolution is slow process..

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Romantic love is indeed highly overrated..

    by Cyberfury

    So is eternity. But Love in itself is not my adorable ignorant friend. But you will find that out for yourself eventually. You could also read Kahlil Gibran's 'Prophet' and see the truth a little quicker perhaps. (Yes I am in a bookmood today'

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 11:46 a.m. CST

    zombie

    by dtpena

    again, this is not a love letter to weisz, so could you stop playing that card?

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Angry little man

    by Dr. Hilarius

    Well, the movie accomplished it's purpose as a work of art. It draws emotional reactions. In this case, it just happens to be anger from a wee boy whose mommy apparently didn't love him. Probably because she was too busy loving me as I filled her mindhole with my man tree of truth.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    wow, ZombieSolutions

    by ar42

    It must be great to get so much pleasure out of belitting other people's opinions. Myself, I find it tiring.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Zombie

    by Mr. Winston

    I couldn't disagree with you more vehemently as per THE FOUNTAIN, but you are fucking making me laugh. I think you need some therapy and a rather heavy dose of Lithium, but still...

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:10 p.m. CST

    VERTIGO

    by THE KNIGHT

    Not to even compare it to Hitchcock's greatness but I wonder if The Fountain will be considered a masterpiece in years to come... Everyone knows how much Vertigo was bashed when it first came out and it looks like the fountain is getting the same treatment...

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 12:17 p.m. CST

    ZombieSolutions,

    by georges garvaren

    you seem to of come up with that Madonna b-side argument pretty easily. You wouldn't be a fan would you? You know the type of fan I’m talking about here; it’s the sort of boy who secretly enjoys something that forces strange feelings to arise inside him. He is unaccustomed to these new feeling and due to his unfortunate immaturity (usually the result of poor parental involvement during the early growth stages of a childs development) these new feelings are forcefully replaced with embarrassment and the inability to appreciate positive emotional reinforcement. So to rectify the strange emotions, he lashes out in an angry, childish tirade against the very thing he enjoys and those that have also partaken in said enjoyment. But I'm sure that's not the type of person you are because you do seem to be in possession of such a superior intellect. Perhaps you are the One the prophets have foretold; the One who will now lead us through our darkest two and a half hours. Oh Wisest One of Unimaginable Wisdom and Light, we kneel before your boundless supremacy and ask that you show us the way to the exit sign before we are washed into the tideless seas of a B-grade science fiction movie. Ya nit!.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Future Hugh

    by Turd Furgeson

    I thought future Hugh was the last chapter of the book. The one she wanted him to write. So he wrote what he thought would keep them together. I got this from the telescope scene where she shows him that Myan death nebula. Anyway, wonderful film. Really enjoyed it.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Beautiful and audacious

    by Pabodie

    The Fountain is a great example of what a film can be when it's creator has the control to execute his vision. The beauty of The F. is that D.A. respected us enough to give it to us straight. I think it both succeeds and fails beautifully. It's also a lot of fun to discuss over beers. Best film of the year.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    zombie

    by dtpena

    I quit. You're too stupid to even read my last two posts.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Zombie Mombie

    by georges garvaren

    That is a good question: 'what Guru Aronovsky will follow up with next?" Im really not sure but I bet it will be a feature film that will most likely make its money back (therefore allowing for future film productions) and during the entire script writing process, location scouting, pre and post production, marketing, and press tour - whenever he has the chance - he'll bang the shit outta Weisz like she was a garbage can on fire. This topic has grown stale though, as I am sure you would agree, but it has been fun. Toodles till next time.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 3:39 p.m. CST

    I wonder...

    by Novaman5000

    if future Tommy isn't already dead. His journey to Xibulba in the tree sphere was his soul, post-death, going to it's final resting place, searching for Izzy, being forced to make peace with everything that had come before, being forced to "finish it" (the book, his life), and finally embracing death at the end. He imagines taking the walk with Izzy because he finally realizes that that's what's important, and instead of trying to beat death he should have been enjoying what time he had left.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 3:44 p.m. CST

    I think future Tommy wasn't just a written chapter

    by Novaman5000

    because present Tommy wasn't anywhere near a frame of mind where he would embrace death like that, so he wouldn't write anything like that (Unless it was what he wished he could do). So, either it is actually happening in real life, or it's some sort of supernatural death thing.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST

    I also wondered...

    by Novaman5000

    What if Tommy never did all that science discovery stuff and instead just spent the time with Izzy. That last scene we saw was what really happened, and everything else was him reimagining what might have happened had he tried to save her. Maybe he's regretting not trying hard enough. I don't know, there are many interpretations of this film.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Interesting Interpretation

    by Capt. Spaulding

    That's what I love about this movie, it's going to be debated for decades. Name one other movie in recent memory that sparks CONVERSATION (beyond organic web shooters and Affleck sucks).

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 7:33 p.m. CST

    The Fountain

    by Dokkalvar

    What have I learned from this film? That Aronofsky needs to stop making these silly films with their unnecessary repetition (yeah I got it already!) and start spending more time with Rachael Weisz.. before she's GONE.---- Now give me my 20 bucks back.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST

    @ ZombieSolutions

    by Cyberfury

    LOL!

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Deeply flawed and hardly on par with Kubrick's film

    by acroyear77

    Totten Tomatoes: 48%.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 8:23 p.m. CST

    so..

    by dtpena

    zombiesolutions just made another account to lol himself... or there is someone as stupid as him out there... no I think the first one is more plausible.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Put a cape on 'em and I'd be way more interested

    by Immortal_Fish

    Make mine Marvel, not Aranfosky.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Please remember...

    by Billyeveryteen

    Zombie hates The Fountain, but finds Star Wars: RoTS perfect. Treat his opinions justly.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Anyone Else Think This Was A Time Travel Film, Before

    by The Ender

    you actually saw it? I didn't see any previews but the original teaser, as I wanted to walk into this movie fresh. But from what I gathered I thought the movie was about a guy traveling through time to save a woman that he loves. I loved the idea. And aronofsky behind it, made me rejoice! I didn't get my time travel film (Aronofsky are you listening?) but I still think this movie was pretty brave film making, and I really enjoyed it. Zombiesolutions you seem pretty cool on the other boards, so I wont call you a cunt. but you're opinion of this movie is a salty little cunt.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 10:02 p.m. CST

    acroyear77

    by Mr. Winston

    Remember, only critics reviews are on RM. Had this been 1968 and they were reviewing 2001, the count would be even less. Critics - Roger Ebert aside - largely hated the film when first released. So the notion that THE FOUNTAIN is somehow lesser simply judging by a critic meter doesn't hold up. In fact, the user rating on IMDb is 7.8/10. So who's to say it's "hardly on par"? It's certainly more accessible.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 10:41 p.m. CST

    One thing I know.....

    by shellfishh

    Any movie that encourages this much passion and debate, for AND against, is a movie worth seeing. Even if you loathe it, admire the experiment and be glad it's not a movie you forget about by the time you get to your car in the parking lot.

  • Nov. 25, 2006, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Good review and analysis...

    by Executor

    ...so-so movie. B+. I got it. I agree with everything Harry said as far as the themes and time frames. Just didn't affect me as much and thought more could have been done. Maybe his original "epic" would have wowed me.<p> Now "Children Of Men"...that's some brilliance and brilliant directing...

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Ribbons

    by readingwriter

    I'm saying that I don't like a movie just because it attempts something different, but I can admire the moviemakers for not just making another popcorn muncher. A movie can FAIL and I can both enjoy it and admire it, while still admitting it failed--my favorite example of this being Alien 3, a pretty bad movie by my standards, and yet there is a valiant attempt to make something other than a slimy monster chase flick. So I am saying I can see that The Fountain is a movie that tries something beyond the ordinary (do I really need to explain what I mean when I say "the ordinary"?). Whether or not I liked the movie doesn't change the fact that it is different from most of the crap at the theater right now, that the director made an attempt to do something that hasn't been done before, and that even if I find his value system as expressed in the movie a crock, I can praise the filmmaker for attempting to make a more significant contribution to the world than the makers of, say, Daredevil, Blade 3, or The DaVinci Code.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Harry Nice Review. . .But as Empty as the Film Itself

    by ShelbyBach

    Harry, thanks for the review. However, unlike your brilliant review of Pirates and Casino I've got to disagree with you. First of all, I'm going to have to explain how I measure and enjoy a film. It's different of course for all of us. I put filmgoing in today's times of cell phone IMs and constant connectivity on a par with going to church on Sunday. Yes, it's inconveninent and it costs money out of your pocket and you don't always agree with the sermon, but you feel so much better after the experience. I believe that going into a darkened theater filled with faceless patrons approximates the first religious experiences that man felt 50,000 years ago. Alone among others in the dark with little light watching the images flicker on the walls while the Shaman, a spiritual leader extols the 'rules of living' through epic tales and parables. We're human and we deeply desire this return to the cave. So Harry when I go to a film, and I do so multiple times to fully experience it on all levals; intellectual, emotional, spiritual I first look to the cave. How do I experience these messages from the shaman/director in the darkened theater. Do they move me? Do my fellows experience a catharsis as well? FYI I sat through The Fountain with no preconceived persumptions. I've written, pitched and loved Science Fiction for many, many years. More importantly I know what moves me. And frankly Harry while I agree with you that The Fountain is a well crafted and visually stunning Haiku. . .it deeply lacks a connection with the cave dwellers. I felt nothing watching this Shaman, felt nothing watching what were technically brilliant performances from top flight actors at the top of their game. Frankly, I was more easily moved and experienced more awe during a preview for In Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. Seriously, when this obviously poor man clutching his son dispossessed son in a filthy public bathroom forces his foot against the door to stop an intruder, tears streaming down his face. . . I openly wept. The Shaman of that preview presented in image and sound a simple morality tale of humanity versus the world that touched me in a profoundly human way. I wept and was one with the cave and my fellow theater goers/tribe. I wanted the same experience from The Fountain. It never happened. Don't get me wrong. I did not want a Love Story for the 2006 audience, "Death means never having to say your sorry!". What I wanted was simply to care about an obviously handsome and talented man and his beautiful wife who were ending, through death what was a deep and passionate relationship. I wanted to find meaning in Izzy's death that would transcend the pain and find wonder and redemption/sacrifice in her husband's valiant efforts and 500 year journey to find peace. Didn't happen. I wanted it to. But, walked out of the theater (by the way I sat through the entire picture, at least half of the audience I attended this film with LEFT before the closing credits) less engaged, less human than when I entered. So, I agree we should disagree Harry. It's a beautiful work that in my estimation missed the mark of connecting on the most human of levels. I didn't feel. And my ability to feel is the humanity that each and every artist especially in film must engage. Make my angry, make me cry I am an animal that revels in my ability to be manipulated by the Shaman. I will enter other caves with Mr. Aronofsky (sic) but not too soon.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Well, Shelby...

    by kintar0

    if anyone ever wondered why your "written [and] pitched" sci-fi has been aparrently fruitless, they have only to read your post to learn the reason. A film made you feel less human, huh? Wow, you have some serious, serious emotional problems. If you honestly cried during the Pursuit of Happyness trailer, there truly is no hope for you. JDanielP, is that you? Is this me?

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 2:15 a.m. CST

    That you walked out of the theater...

    by readingwriter

    ..."less engaged, less human than when I entered" says a lot more about you than it does about the movie.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 6:26 a.m. CST

    if you don't think this is genius...see it again

    by dragon-lord

    Harry, you missed it. He finds the key to eternal life and lives for 500 years in order to reach Xibalba. It's pretty obvious that the seed he plants at the end is the tree that grows over her (remember the moses guide story). And he goes to the place he thinks she will be reborn, though, as we all know, he will die there...where he will finally rejoin her. You've seen it three times and yet you are still confused by a story I have seen just once. I'll cut you some slack because you still love it, and it's the first time we've ever agreed on a film. :) But I'll take ALL the levels the director intended, not just stop at yours (level 2). ;) Peace.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    LOVED IT

    by white owl

    damn right.saw it wednesday night with a half-packed audience and i think they all loved it as well. you know a movie is good, or at least incredibly thought-provoking when no one got up and left until about three minutes after it ended. including me. we all just sat there.. lost in the film. the way it is directed is fantastic. great movie, everyone must see it.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Since it seems a lot of

    by Gil Brooks

    Since it seems a lot of people here have seen it, I don’t feel so bad going into spoilers. My interpretation is thus- <p> Modern Tommy was the only literal thread in the film. His quest for a cure consumed him to the point of missing the obvious answers, and having the one he loved slip away. Even after Izzi died, he still quested for a cure, and an answer. <p> Tomas’s story was Izzie’s view on how Tommy saw her and her condition- She was a queen that Tomas had devoted himself to, without question, and to go unwavering on a quest that would, in the end, consume him. Literally. That’s why the book was left unfinished- Izzi wanted Tommy to figure out this for himself, so he wouldn’t go down the same path. <p> The future Tommy, to me, was a metaphor for Tommy’s internal struggle with Izzie’s death. He’s not really in space, being haunted by her ghost. The tree in these scenes is symbolic for his idea of her- something special, and dying, that has to be quested for. It’s not until the end that he realizes that Izzi appearing in front of him is really that voice in the back of his head, telling him that the answers were right in front of him- finish the book, see the path that you could go down, and use that to move forward without me. He finally realizes it, as he climbs the tree, jumps, and separates himself from it. This is in fact him letting go of Izzi. Notice the tree blooms as he goes into the star. That’s her living on, in the cycle of life, now that he’s moved on. <p> Back in the literal world, he has given up his obsession, planted a seed over her grave, so she can live on. And so can he.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Finally saw this film last night...

    by rbatty024

    and Aronofsky needs to be commended for doing something completely radical. That couldn't have been a cheap movie, and how he got it made I'll never know. My fingers are crossed that this does well this weekend so Aronofsky can make more tripped out sci-fi movies, or whatever the hell he has up his sleeves next.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Unfortunately rbatty024-

    by Gil Brooks

    It's only made $5.4 millon since. Wed. But at least it's doing better than that horrible looking Tenacious D movie...

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Finally...

    by Uncle Clay

    after so long, a movie made for those with an IQ above 84. Thoughtful, interesting, and doesn't feel the need to explain everything to those who probably wouldn't even get the explanation. As I was leaving the theater yesterday, I overheard someone who said "fucking god-damn hippie movie, I hated it." Thus spake the epitome of the IQ of 84; one hopes he will enjoy Van Wilder 2.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Sorry, didn't love this movie

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I wanted very badly to love this movie. This movie felt very "Solaris" at times, and I love that movie despite the fact that so many don't. But every time I started to love this movie, I felt like Arnofsky alienated me again. I think this movie is beautiful, yet it fails big time in that it made me laugh unintentionally several times and most of the audience has no clue what the hell is happening on screen? Even when it's over, you cannot be sure. Sure, I'm all for ambiguous, but this movie is beyond ambiguous. This movie is pretensious and self-indulgent. And I don't want to hear that "only dummies will dislike it" argument, because I have a 169 IQ, have written seven published books (including a film text book), and found this movie distractingly absurd, frequently boring, and mostly just downright inaccessible. Art for art's sake is grand, but if the audience has no clue what the hell is happening, what is the point? Two hours of abstraction seems largely pointless. Every time the baldheaded Hugh Jackman raised his arms and flew into the sky I felt the urge to laugh. Sorry, this is a failed experiment to say the least. Nice try, Arnofsky. Better luck next time.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Cruel_Kingdom

    by dragon-lord

    Your pretentiousness exceeds that of the movie you ignorantly condemn. I think the reason you've missed it is that you have clearly never truly loved and lost. Anyone who has been there and back again will see, even feel, the movie as the masterpiece of a "true love lasts forever" homage. I agree that there are missing scenes that could clarify it for everyone. I expect they were cut for budget, sadly. But if you don't "get it", see it again, or, more likely, go out of your self-important analytical box and truly love someone. If you do that, and then imagine losing them, you'll understand where the director and main character are coming from. What good does your IQ do you if you can't feel what it is to be human?

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Zombie Solutions is brave!

    by dragon-lord

    The bravest of retards, for evidence of his mental midget status is recorded here now for all to see. :)

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Gil Brooks

    by dragon-lord

    I find your analysis well reasoned and insightful, and clearly the film is intended to work on that level as well. :)

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 5 p.m. CST

    dragon lord, you are so wrong...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I know loss, my friend. This is precisely why the moments of the film that did connect with me connected in the first place. The movies which resonate with me the most tend to be movies about loss (again, like Solaris). Sorry to burst your bubble, but you're wrong. I know the movie is supposed to be about loss, but it doesn't connect with me. Truth be told, the moment Jackman's character learns that he may have found the cure at the exact same moment Rachel dies almost caused me to cry. So your theory is incorrect.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Your name is dragon-lord

    by georges garvaren

    should you really be commenting on other intelligence? Just asking.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Cruel_Kingdom

    by dragon-lord

    A) I know loss B) I'm glad the movie did move you, but you made it seem it didn't C) My IQ is MUCH higher than yours, and I'm telling you, you missed it See it again.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    Georges Garvaren

    by dragon-lord

    My HANDLE/ALIAS is dragon-lord on this board. I'm not sure why you'd confuse a temp e-board handle with a real human name. If that's not a sign of YOUR lack of intelligence, I don't know what is. ;)

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Just saw the movie a second time...

    by dragon-lord

    I stand by my position that it is a work of genius, flawed by a weak A-plot (hence the missing scenes), but still one of the most truly romantic movies about love and loss ever made. And visually, it's a stunning tour-de-force.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Cruel re:loss

    by dragon-lord

    I did not mean to demean anyone's pain, just that the hero's loss connected with the losses I have suffered. So, yes, THE FOUNTAIN moved me...completely. I'll take a million of these movies over 1 more Paul "this is a significant moment, really!" Haggis monstrosity. :)

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 8:15 p.m. CST

    can we all at least agree on the AWESOME soundtrack?!

    by dragon-lord

    It's pretty damned great stuff, imho. :)

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 8:40 p.m. CST

    dragon lord sounds like a pretty smart name to me

    by Westonian

    seriously....if someone is lording over dragons....he knows what the fuck he's doing.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 8:43 p.m. CST

    The 'Review'

    by flashfast

    Great review Harry. I was sure to see this before it, and feel better now since reading your mushroom laced opines. Great work.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Problem with Harry's review - only focuses on the past.

    by HappyHamster

    (also put on my blog @ http://delolampkin.com/serendipity/index.php?/archives/14-The-Fountain-Lots-of-movie-Spoilers!.html) (I'm too lazy to proofread this too much today, so I apologize off the jump for gramatical errors :-) ). Saw an interesting movie at the theater today called The Fountain. It was made by Darren Aronofsky, the same guy who did "Reqiuem For a Dream"(read: a brilliant director). Afterwards, I read some reviews online such as Harry Knowles's review over at "Aint it Cool News and Roger Ebert's for the Chicago Suntimes.<p> I'm not quite sure what I saw, but I'm pretty sure Harry's interpretation is "wrong". He gets himself into trouble by focusing so much on the book aspect of the story and the present timeframe, while virtually ignoring the futuristic aspects. In fact, the only sentence dealing with the future out of that review is this one:<p> "If those memories 500 years in the future are real, then Hugh has lived for 500 years on a quest to die in the spot he knew Izzi believed she would be."<p> And even this is "wrong". This is just lazy lip service to an aspect of the film that he otherwise ignores (though the rest of the review is great! :-) ). Roger Ebert goes over what we see on film, but doesn't give his interpretation of what happened (unlike Harry).<p> Here's what I think happened: First I agree with Harry in part - the stuff in the past is fictional. The movie is wierdly shot so that it begins with scenes that are really chapters out of Izzi's book. However, the book itself isn't introduced until well after the movie begins. This is a nice loop-d-loop thrown by director/screenwriter. Anyway in the book, Tom's pursuit of a cure for his wife's cancer is paralleled by a Spanish Conquistidor's search for the Biblical Tree of Life for the Queen of Spain. Izzi never finishes her story - she leaves that for Tom (Big Point!).<p> Anyway, Izzi dies in the movie. At Izzi's funeral, Tom becomes angry and yells at Ellen Bursten's character that "Death is a just another disease! It can be cured!". This is a Big Moment (capital 'B' and capital 'M'). This is the key point that Harry and Roger missed (and as far as I can tell, everyone else) - Tom finds the "cure" for death!. Future Guru/Yogi Tom is in actuality existing in the "present day" from the movie's perspective. The present-day Tom is actually existing in the past from the movie's perspective. The Conquistidor Tom is still a character in an unfinished book...which Izzi's memory/ghost continuously whispers for Tom to finish.<p> So how'd that happen? Remember the cure for the brain tumor that Tom and his collegues discovered (though it was too late for Izzi). The cure came from a tree in Guatemala. I think after Izzi's death, Tom goes back to Guatemala, finds that "Tree of Life" and makes himself immortal.<p> Warning: I'm now going to really go into speculation-land because this sequence of events is not explicitly covered in the film. The director leaves the audience to figure this out the stuff following Izzi's death on their own. Harry says future Tom is supposed to be 500 years into the future. Roger says it's a few thousand. Roger's answer seems more likely, but it's kind of beside the point.<p> Tom lives a VERY long time and reaches a new level of englightment. The audience never sees this journey. We skip from Izzi's funeral straight to Tom floating in space, next to the Tree of Life he grabbed from Guatemala...heading straight for the Mayan Underworld/Heaven spoken of in Izzi's book and by Izzi herself - the nebula Chibalbon (I KNOW I'm spelling that wrong). I guess Tom figures if Izzi's book stumbled over the location of the Tree of Life, maybe she was right about the location of the Underworld/Heaven. So he uses his new super-powers/insights to pick up his Tree of Life, create a metaphysical spaceship, and travel to the nebula! The fate of the rest of mankind is unknown at this point. They could all be dead, they could all be at this higher enlightenment, or they might be doing something altogether different.<p> During this time, Izzi repeatedly tells him to "finish it". At first, we (the audience) doesn't know what the hell she's talking about, but eventually we learn she's referring to the book. Future Tom STILL hasn't finished that thing (he's got serious procrastination issues)! He finally gets around to finishing the book when he reaches Chibalbon to rejoin his wife in the MayanUnderworld/Heaven. In a very dramatic scene in the movie, Future/Yogi/Guru Tom appears in place of storybook Tom who has been confronted by an "angel" with a flaming sword guarding the Tree of Life. Tom drinks the sap of the Tree and in turn becomes the Tree of Life. (Story ends) It's never explicitly revealed what Future/Guru Tom finds at the Chibalbon nebula (I may have to watch the movie again as I may have missed some clues at this point). He becomes awash in light and we are transported to the end of the story (just described) and we see an alternate present where Tom is given the choice of pursuing everlasting life or enjoying present with his wife...and Tom chooses the latter. Or seems to. In this alternate reality, Tom is handed one of those pricly tree seed thingamagigs by his wife (or her spirit). Presumably this is the seed for the Tree of Life, possibly the same one that Tom is floating around with in the future. Present-day Tom plants it at her grave and the movie ends. This is where the real mystery lies for me - was Tom handed that by his wife's future spirit? Did something wash over Future/Guru Tom to jump back to that critical point in the past? I suspect it's the latter, but a couple more viewings might reveal more.<p> Anyway, that's my confused, rambling breakdown of The Fountain.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Lack of emotion = ignorant?

    by s00p3rm4n

    There are some really fucking childish commenters in this board, for a film that tries so hard to feel intellectual. Anyway, I think it's ludicrous that some of you are calling people "ignorant" (and, more childishly, gay) for not enjoying or outright hating The Fountain. Just because you loved it doesn't make it good. Many people love the Eagles. Many people enjoy kimchee. Doesn't make it good. The Fountain was by far one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. But, to me, it felt entirely empty. Winston, I agree that Hugh reveals himself, but only to the extent that his character continually reveals one note - he's determined, and he loved her. That's not enough. Death is not a dramatic emotional change in a character. I know that's begging the formula, but hear me out. It's supposed to be a story about love conquering death that turns into a story about death conquering love. Sure. Grant that. What does that reveal about the human condition? What does that tell us about our lives, our loves? Nothing. It's some shmuck's wife dying and then him dying in a bubble. Call that a reducio ad absurdum if you will, but I demand a bit more of my characters than only their actions. We never get time to react, and neither do the characters. For once, I actually wanted a movie to be longer. Honestly, 15 or 20 minutes of more character work and it could've been Harold & Maude in Space instead of Love Story in A Bubble. (Spot the common thread between those two films and win a cookie!) Anyway, I hope no one thinks I'm "ignorant" for not basking in Aronofsky's utter perfection. I don't hate the guy and I didn't hate the movie. I just hate what it didn't do for me, what it could've done pretty easily. Oh, and I am gay, so feel free to leave that card in your deck.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Fountain

    by Cobbio

    Thanks for the review, Harry. It was a good take on a thought-provoking film. I saw it last night and I completely understand why so many people laughed and guffawed after seeing it. But many scenes in the film stayed with me afterwards. Yes, the vagina tree sequences were a bit odd, I agree, ZombieSolutions. And yes, the floating in lotus position through space sequences were almost too earnest and serious for their own good.<p> But with all that said, I still enjoyed the film. My take on it is far different from anyone else's here, which shows me that Aronofsky's film is capable of many, many interpretations. My take on it was pure science fiction, not metaphysics. To me, it played out a human distant orgin theory. The nebula was where the progenitors of humanity came from, a possible human-looking alien race. They landed on Earth millenia ago and set up a system whereby their offspring would be able to check back in when a certain level of technological competence had been reached. I know this take might sound wacky to people with cycle-of-life interpretations, but we all saw Jackman spinning through a nebula 500 years in the future. In my mind, there's no other interpretation besides Jackman completing his futuristic goal.<p> I respect anyone's alternate view of Aronofsky's story, though. It's certainly a wide-open landscape. <p>I'm not sure if I'd call "The Fountain" a "masterpiece," as others here have done, but I certainly enjoyed the distant origin theory playing out in a very dramatic and personal way. Maybe I'll consider it a masterpiece at some point soon.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 10:07 p.m. CST

    It might be tolerable on acid...

    by NapoleonDynamite

    ..it might even seem deep in the same way that Pink Floyd seems deep when you're on acid. Personally, I thought it was pretentious, mock=profound, atsy-fartsy, pothead masturbation. The milk-sap coming out of the tree is an awkward, unintentionally laughable image. Wolverine turning into a tree even more so. The ending is obtuse and unsatisfying, the love story is tiresome and played and the underlying "message" is really nothing but a trite platitude ("live for the moment" basically -- how fucking inspired). I probably would have been really impressed when I was a pretentious, 19 year old stoner.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 10:11 p.m. CST

    HappyHamster...

    by NapoleonDynamite

    The seed-pod thing she gives him symbolizes the book, which in turn symbolizes...I don't know, memories, consciousness, the NOW? Some shit like that. I'm still not exactly sure how that ties into the pussy-tree, though.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST

    dragon-lord,

    by georges garvaren

    you're the equivalent of a urinary track disease - you make me piss my pants. I honestly thought your given name was Dragon-lord and that you lived in some magical land where dragons are plentiful and need constant overseeing by a strong, knightly figure such as yourself. Do me this favor, before you die, please send a self-addressed envelope to me detailing where your burial plot is located so that I may visit your corpse - along with my dedicated posse of fellow dragon loving, kingdom dwelling, fairy dust sprinkling, templar’esc knights - so that we may give you the respectful burial that a courageous solder of the roundish table deserves. May the one and true King bless you, brave knight and please take due care in your many dragon related adventures as I hear them bitches can burn.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 11:01 p.m. CST

    s00p3rm4n

    by Mr. Winston

    I hear you. Though I loved this film I can understand the reasons why it might not mix with someone else - it's one of the reasons I'm telling some people to see it right away and others not to waste their time. And I'll be totally honest with you: if I thought for even one second that the Scientist (2005) story was even remotely literal I wouldn't have liked this story at all and I would have thought it was QUITE pretentious. In fact, I would have thought it was a waste of time. <br> <br> Rather, I took some clues from the stories that made me look at the film in another way. And while I agree with you that Jackman's character works on one note for much of the film, I don't think this it's totally pervasive. My feeling is that there is a large emotional range for both Tom and Izzi built into the characters that they create for each other. It's not that death brings about an emotional change in a character - it's that it's a catalyst to reexamine a life. One could argue as to whether or not this happened for them in this film. For me it did.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Saw it Thanksgiving morning. Hated it.

    by McGsStepson

    Just really pretentious crap in my opinion. I "got it." I just did not "like it." The story within a story is borderline insulting AND a joke and this film should no way ever be mentioned in the same sentence as 2001.

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 11:48 p.m. CST

    saw it this afternoon. Loved it.

    by oisin5199

    I gotta say I can't remember if I've ever had such an intense, transcendent experience watching a film at the theatre. My jaw was on the floor and my tearing eyes popping out of my head for the final scenes. It will take me a while to process all the layers of meaning and image. And 'getting it' isn't just about understanding the plot. It's about unpacking the imagery and understanding and experiencing the emotion behind it. There was this very interesting 81 year old man sitting behind us who was weeping during the film and he told us afterwards how he understood the film and about losing someone that you're so connected to. As I begin to unpeel the layers behind this emotional onion, I'll probably have more to say. But I think an appreciation for the hermetic, particularly the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm, and the esoteric, particularly the alchemical and the balance between the masculine and feminine archetype certainly allows for a rich perspective on the film. I do think this is a genius film that transcends (there's that word again) the genre and I'm not afraid to say so. Is there such a term as ritual cinema?

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:14 a.m. CST

    a few more thoughts. It's not about Love.

    by oisin5199

    I think that people who are going on about this movie being about eternal love, especially Zombie Solutions' childish thumbing his nose at the concept of love in general (and how's that working out for you by the way? I'm sure you're just fine with your plastic girlfriend) are completely missing the point. This movie is NOT about love. It's about fear. Tommy's despearate actions are out of fear, of losing his loved one. But ultimately it's a fear of death. And not just Izzie's. His OWN. When he finally comes to the realization in the bubble and says 'I'm going to die' he starts to get it. It's all about our own mortality. I would argue that his separation from the bubble at the end is not just letting go of Izzie, it's letting go of his attachment to his fear of death. When he violently penetrates the Tree with his knife, he's overtaken and has to separate himself from that urge to take life. Thus, the receptive lotus posture. And I'm definitely in the camp that takes neither the past or the future scenes as literal, that he lives for thousands of year or anything like that. They are both metaphors for the journey one has to take in dealing with death - when someone we love dies, we mourn them but we also mourn ourselves, our own mortality and our own attachment to this world. To me, I can see the 2001 comparisons, but whereas 2001 dealt more with a broader cultural sense of death and rebirth (or moments of intense evolutionary change), this film focuses on the more personal journey through death (2001 was more macro, and the Fountain is more micro). And let's face it, you can't call anything the 2001 of today because of the different times - today, the cinema (and music, for instance) market is so saturated that it's next to impossible for a single work to have such a huge cultural impact as works did 40 years ago. One last thing - you gotta give Aronofsky props for bringing together the Kronos Quartet and Mogwai for an incredible soundtrack. Who would have thought to bring those two together? But what a perfect match.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Impressions from trailer

    by adeepercut2k

    I HAVE NOT WATCHED THIS MOVIE, PLEASE DON'T PILE ON THIS POST...i.e. no offense intended. But to me, from watching the trailers, it seems like a "guy's" film on love. Kinda like the way there's conquistadors and sickness to be 'fought' and some weird sci/fi tossed in. Are there any other characters involved in the story? Or is it just the two? Seems like a sappy 'guy's love story.' I don't know, I guess I just have to go see it. P.S. to Georges...why would you say fuck Solaris...have you seen Tarkovski's film/s? I mean it's not his greatest film, I find Stalker and Nostalgia to be his stronger films. Or did you read the sci/fi novel and expect a more sci/fi film?

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:54 a.m. CST

    oops...

    by adeepercut2k

    I meant Stalker, Nostalgia, AND Mirror

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Westonian

    by dragon-lord

    Cracked me up. Thanks, mate. :) Whereas Georges seems out to lunch. How else were we supposed to interpret your earlier post? ;)

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 1 a.m. CST

    Oison5199

    by dragon-lord

    Pretty friggin good post. People are afraid to love, because they are afraid to lose it. And why shouldn't we? I have truly loved and horribly lost and while I wouldn't trade those wonderful moments for anything in the world, I wouldn't wish the death of a soulmate on my worst enemy. I think 2001 screwed up its ending, but they are two entirely different films. Your micro vs. macro contrast is a good one.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 1:05 a.m. CST

    the 81 year old man gets it...

    by dragon-lord

    ...and so will anyone who is (un)lucky enough to outlive someone they truly, deeply love more than themselves. Transcendent is indeed the word for this...and the music is what places you there in preparation for the imagery. See this even once in a theater just for the final scenes. You will never forget that moment for as long as you live. I promise.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 1:08 a.m. CST

    zombiesolutions rules!!!

    by wolvenom

    Personally, I have trouble believing that this films achieves a total illumination on the human condition and some all knowing powerful catharsis through existentiallism by plumbing through themes of life and death (like some of you people are saying it does).... I agree with zombiesolutions that this movie is for the starry-eyed college kids with their belief in 'soul-mates' and stoners. Anyone who has lived for any fucking time on this planet knows for a fucking fact that there is no such thing as a 'soul-mate' and biology is is where its at. To tie in the theme of 'love' with 'immortality' as aronofsky is doing with this film is boring. We all know that sex organs, chemicals, and interpersonal relationships are what makes babies,... not some idealized 'love' that is the key to understanding the purpose of life. I would like to think that the meaning of life is more than making babies and fucking. Atleast 2001 didn't pull in that droopy eyed listless lovey dovey bullshit into its highly intellectual and provactive attempt at explaining our existence.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 1:52 a.m. CST

    It's about love, death..and obsession.

    by HappyHamster

    When Tom sees his wife dying, he becomes obsessed with "curing" death, even after his wife dies. Note his rant at Ellen Burstyn ("Death is a disease and can be cured!"). <p> Tom succeeds in his quest to cure death and outlives to reach a new level of enlightment/evolution (see my original post). This is very similiar to the Star Child in 2001.<p> Tom is able to reach Heaven in his physical form (and just in time since the Tree of Life dies right as he gets there!). It's implied that he becomes reunited with Izzi, though this isn't quite explicitly shown.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 2:04 a.m. CST

    dragon-lord understands: TOM finds eternal life!

    by HappyHamster

    Very few people seemed to get this - the stuff at the end is "real". Tom cures death (via the Tree of Life that saves that baboon) just as he set out to do. He uses that tree to live until he reaches a new stage of enligtenment. And then he goes looking for his wife in...Xiabiala? That sounds much better then the word I used (http://www.aintitcool.com/talkback_display/30805#comment_1327466) - Chibalbon. :)<p> Just for my information, where are you guys getting this "500" year gap thing from? It seems to me that Tom was around for *FAR* longer than 500 years.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 2:48 a.m. CST

    wolvenom & Oison5199

    by Mr. Winston

    Responding to this, wolvenom: <br> <br> >>Personally, I have trouble believing that this films achieves a total illumination on the human condition and some all knowing powerful catharsis through existentiallism by plumbing through themes of life and death (like some of you people are saying it does)....I agree with zombiesolutions that this movie is for the starry-eyed college kids with their belief in 'soul-mates' and stoners.<< <br> <br> I think you're trying to be insulting for the sake of being insulting, but that's fine. And I don't think there's really anyone here who's saying that this film in any way sums up the human condition or is meant to be a totalitarian experience. It's a look at one man and his struggle. It's a cautionary tale. It's about the extremities of feeling, realization and regret, not a blueprint for interpersonal expression. And it's not trying to say that it's something everyone experiences. More, I think it's trying to say it's something that few do, and that's why it's worth examining. <br> <br> Yet in either refusing to recognize this or deny it you create a hypocrisy in your statement that human beings are compelled simply by biology. That's an overstatement of dramatic proportions and a scientifically incorrect idea, just as it would be to claim that Love and Puppies are the emotional catalysts of the universe and that Cupid sets dials to control how we feel. While we may know much about our physiology and the chemical reactions within our bodies (we can always dip to that ever-so-popular evidence that you can biochemically recreate the feelings of love by eating chocolate) we have comparatively little clue about the root of these reactions - our own conscious. <br> <br> I've already said that there's nothing to "get" in this movie, and I'll stick by that. It's a simple story and an even simpler logline. What I now realize is that, for the most part, the people who dislike this movie (and more those that vehemently hate it) can't absorb the fact that this film isn't trying to come to some profound, sweeping philosophical ideology about the universe or about the human species. They can't stand that fact, they can't stand that they feel it's not "deep" enough for their collective ego, and now they're blaming Aronofsky for not helping them figure out their worldview. For not giving them a prefabricated pedestal on which to display the rest of their beliefs. It's sort of sad. <br> <br> Oison5199, I think you hit on an interesting chicken/egg argument here. I think you're right - this is about mypoia and pain and fear. But why? Would any of those be present if Tom didn't care, if he wasn't feeling so strongly? On the same token, you can't have love if fear and death aren't enough to keep you awake some nights. So it's not that it's not about love - it's that it's about a hell of a lot more than that. But I think because Tom and Izzi are shown to be good people (even if Tom is flawed) the story has its base in love first. And I think that bleeds wonderfully into your extremely intuitive assertion of the micro/macro levels of this film and 2001 (to which, as I've said, I think this film bears very little comparison).

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 2:56 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry what's your point mr. winston?

    by wolvenom

    That my grammar is a bit fucked up? I'm sorry english isn't my native language fuckhead, but i stand by what I said.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:27 a.m. CST

    No

    by Mr. Winston

    In fact I wrote three paragraphs after that. I don't know what happened to them. Let me try to recreate and hope they get posted this time. And perhaps you might try to calm down a little, yeah? <br> <br> In responding to the quote from my previous post, I want to point out that I don't believe anyone thinks that this film is about the totalitarian human experience and isn't supposed to speak on a bunch of different existential levels. It's about one man and the pain and fear that radiate from his love for a woman - and his insane drive to keep her from dying. In fact, I think it's incredibly shortsighted to claim that this is TRYING to be more than that. <br> <br> What I've come to realize is that most people who dislike this film (and especially those to really hated it) appear to be enraged that Araonofsky WASN'T trying to be more philosphical or expound about the profundity of the Universe. He was merely trying to say something about the human condition on a personal scale, on an intimate level. And the moviegoers who can't grasp this are taking it out on the director for not giving them basis on which to build or deconstruct their ideas of how the Universe works. That, I think, is incredibly sad. <br> <br> You created an interesting hypocrisy when you claimed that human beings are driven solely by biology. That's a point that's not only horribly overstated but scientifically indeterminate at present. True, we know much about our physiology and the chemical reactions within our bodies (and many are quick to claim the ever-so-popular model that the feelings of "love" can be created on a biochemical level by eating chocolate). At the same time, we know next to nothing about consciousness and what makes the human brain catalyze those chemical reactions. We know the source, but not much about it. <br> <br> My point therein is that there's nothing to "get" about this movie. It's not a state on the nature of the Universe or a scientific and philosophical extrapolation of the human condition. It's an examination of one man who's genuinely special in that he IS able to feel so much for another person. And it's a further exploration of how that tears him apart - and how he comes to grip with the realization that he has no control. Others have tried to make it much more than that, and they seem to be the ones dissatisfied with their experience. So point all the fingers (and call all the names) you want, wolvenom. I'm not inclined to justify my tastes, especially to someone with such juvenile tendencies. <br> <br> Oison5199, I think you hit on an important chicken/egg situation with the themes in this movie. It's not that it's NOT about love or it IS about the dear of death - it's about all of them. Love is able to exist because there is death and there is a terminal quality to this life, and fear exists on that plane because death begets an emotion that strong. It's all-inclusive. And I think your simply-stated idea about 2001 and THE FOUNTAIN being a macrocosm and microcosm of the same basic principles, respectively, was rather brilliant. I will stand by my belief, however (and I think you feel the same) that the two films are only very loosely related.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:28 a.m. CST

    The tree goo look liked cum...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Just sayin'.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:30 a.m. CST

    By the way...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Why does someone have to be labeled as stupid just because this movie doesn't resonate with them?

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Can I Ask a Serious Question?

    by Mr. Winston

    I don't want to get too off-topic here, but something was bugging me... <br> <br> Some of THE FOUNTAIN's haters have referred to Aronofsky as a pretentious hack, even when they admit that they liked some of his earlier films. And Uwe Boll gets a lot of (deserved) negative action here, but he's not trying to be a serious filmmaker either. At least not profound or artistic, anyway. Then there's Michael Bay. And sometimes Kevin Smith. And others. <br> <br> How come no one ever mentions perhaps the most pretentious and hackly director working today, Gus Van Sant? He's awful. I mean he's fucking awful. Unless a script falls into his lap (GOOD WILL HUNTING was incredible and FINDING FORRESTER was at least serviceable) this guy is an absolute train wreck. Have you seen ELEPHANT? LAST DAYS? Fucking GERRY? I mean...a shot-for-shot remake of PSYCHO? There are ways to speak about the infinite emptiness and sadness in humanity without actually showing ten minutes of labored, wordless walking on film. And yet no one ever mentions the fact that he's absolutely humped all the bad habits out of Stanley Kubrick's ever-rolling-over-in-grave corpse. <br> <br> So...someone explain that to me. Especially in light of the absurd discussion that Aronofsky was trying to "copy" 2001; Van Sant's been Xeroxing Kubrick for years and no one ever mentions it.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Cruel_Kingdom

    by dragon-lord

    I think I would label you as a neanderthal because of your post calling the tree sap "cum". Your homophobia/fantasies are showing through. That completely shattered any pretense you had of actually being engaged in a discussion that is clearly beyond your grasp. :(

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Bravo Winston

    by dragon-lord

    You're right on the money on the list of REAL hacks. I think the ending for THE FOUNTAIN is vastly more successful that Kubrick's mess at the end of (his otherwise genius) 2001 or Spielberg's mess of an ending(s) for (an otherwise genius) A.I. If this is where this director is at by his third film...I'm REALLY looking forward to where he's going to be in a few films from now. :)

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 4:39 a.m. CST

    See! HappyHamster gets it!

    by dragon-lord

    Is "georges" going to equate his IQ with his handle, or is he going to run off in another non-sequitur tirade? The world yawns in anticipation.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Wolvenom is never been in love

    by dragon-lord

    I mean really, deeply, "I can't fucking believe the two of us are so perfectly matched in every way, I can't breathe when you're gone" LOVE. I hope you find that. And when you do, you'll understand that biology's only the half of it...maybe less. :)

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Fountain sucked!

    by Dazzler69

    Don't bother with this movie. It's not even a rental. Only good parts are the past shots with the medieval shots which is 10-15 mins tops. Wait for an edit for youtube. It's like a big long music video with no idea what's it's about.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 8:11 a.m. CST

    It is you who do not understand, Dragon-lord

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    that I don't give a shit, you arrogant little piss ant. I'm a homophobe because I think the tree goo looks like cum? Are you freaking kidding me? If you think I'm a homophobe, why don't you ask your dad? I'm sure he will paint you a different picture. Bwahahahahaha! How's that for neanderthal, you arrogant douche bag? The only thing I find with homoerotic undertones is your blatant sucking of Arnofsky's tree of life.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 8:19 a.m. CST

    This movie was a noble failure

    by BobParr

    Harry's interpretation was interesting and does explain the confusing, choppy ending. But so what! In some ways it hurts the movie even more. When did Hugh Jackman have this massive, intricate fantasy of immortality? I guess this is supposed to be an "Owl Creek Bridge" type of thing where the whole thing happens in an instant. Enough of that shit! From what I read it was a more straight forward, less romantic (sappy) movie when Brad Pitt was attached. Then Aranofsky fell in love and became a huge pussy and made a Sci-fi chick movie. AICN will continue to claim to love this movie because this is a movie that they are SUPPOSED to like. I'm sure they were bored to tears watching it in the theater.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Re- Dragon Lord and tree cum

    by BobParr

    DL, It was white and sticky and Hugh Jackman was playing with it between his fingers before swallowing it up. Do you think maybe it was supposed to look like cum? The tree bringing life and all. Why even bothering arguing a point when all you can do is call somebody some kind of "phobe" or "ist"?

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Why all the "stoner" hate?

    by Billyeveryteen

    You don't need to be high to enjoy 2001, or The Fountain, or The Wall. I just choose to be.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST

    wow, you people really need to get out of your heads

    by oisin5199

    I still think that trying to interpret this film literally is a big mistake. I think we get a big clue when Aronofsky says 'it's not science fiction' - if he had written a movie about a guy who comes up with a cure for death and lives 1000 years and travels around space in a snowglobe, then that would be scifi. If you want to go the literal route, at least you might interpret the scenes in the future as Tommy's vision of the final chapter of Izzie's story. Doesn't the repetition of the phrase 'finish it' indicate Tommy's constant reminder that Izzie wanted him to finish the story (thus finishing his attachment to his fear of death)? And doesn't the fact that the movie ends with the 'real' Tommy planting a seed on his wife's grave indicate something? I guess you could argue that this doesn't prove anything because of the non-linear structure of the film, but even then, it's a weak argument. You have to go into this movie with your senses open and experience it as an emotional and spiritual event. If you're not willing to do that - if that's asking too much of you as an audience member, then you'll probably hate this film. And Wolvenom - you seem to have not read my earlier post. Love does NOT conquer all here. In fact, the opposite. This isn't What Dreams May Come. Yes, I've lived long enough to know there's no such thing as soulmates - at least not the sugary concept that pop culture has fed us. But 'love' is just a metaphor for bonding, chemical, alchemical, biological, what have you (which is why there was so much fractal imagery. Again, micro/macro.) And if that's not amazing and mystical and magical, I don't know what is. What happens with futureTommy is that he is able to break away from the bond of love (what held him in the tree bubble) and proceed onwards into eternity. Love is an attachment and the eastern religion imagery, the mandalas and lotus position, certainly seem to indicate a move towards non-attachment. Even if soulmates don't exist, it's certainly a great idea worth exploring as a metaphor for our condition. There's no such thing as organic spaceships, but they're in the movie too. But again, the point of the film (imo) is to transcend the notion of soulmates to be complete in one's self.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 10:29 a.m. CST

    What's with the hate?

    by Mooly

    I can see why some people wouldn't like the movie, and why critics would be divided. It is too wierd for a mainstream audience, but too mainstream for the cult crowd to follow. I can even understand some of the people who say the movie is boring. I really enjoyed the movie but felt like the repetition was causing some drag in the middle. However, what I don't get is the people who find the movie confusing or hard to follow, or those who say it's just bad. The movie is well made, beautiful to watch, emotional and probably the best performance so far of Jackman. I felt the movie was quite easy to understand. You have a tale of love, loss and obsession. You also get visual portrayals of the characters interpretation of what is happening. In Izzi's version, whcih she writes down, the hero is obsessed and willing to die for a quest that is neither realistic or believable. In Jackman's version, the hero is obsessed and willing to travel to the stars, but really is just running away from truth and reality. One could possibly interpret the future reality as Jackman actually overcoming the disease of death and traveling into the future to save the tree which provides eternal life...but I doubt it. I too believe this is a fiction. A metaphorical version of how Jackman views his quest. It is no doubt that Izii's version is violent and barbaric while Jackman's version is seen as science fiction, or more peaceful considering his obsession with science.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:20 p.m. CST

    knowthyself

    by Mr. Winston

    "To say that this part of the story isn't real is really to miss the point entirely." <br> <br> One could also say that you've taken too literally a few obvious pieces of symbolism. One could also say that it's YOU who missed the point. Try not to speak in absolutes.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Future as a metaphor.

    by Mooly

    I agree with Harry's take. First of all, it is clear in the future version that Hugh believes the tree is his wife. However, he keeps himself alive by feeding on the tree. Why would the tree he planted on his wife's grave be a tree of eternal life. In the real world the wife says that planting a tree on the grave means the person will become part of the tree and a part of anyone/anything that feeds from the tree. There is never any suggestion that the tree is THE tree of eternal life. I believe the future world is Jackman's version of what is happening to counter his wife's story. The tattoo rings on his arms represent the amount of time wasted chasing a cure that he could have spent with his wife in her time of need. His feeding on the tree to sustain himself represents his selfishness for wanting her to live. IN the real world he ignores her and what she believes while in the future he feeds off of her to sustain himself. As a result his selfishness does nothing to help his wife and only seems to make her death come that much quicker for him. Finally, the future Hugh being tormented by memories of his wife telling him to finish it clearly point back to her wishes for him to finish the book she wrote. However, he is ingoring this wish insisting her doesn't know how it ends. In reality he just can't accept that it WILL end. The point when the tree dies is the point where Hugh finally realizes his folly and the time he wasted and all his mistakes. At this point he essentially becomes enlightened, finishes her story (appropriately for what he has learned) and everything ties together as he tries to make ammends for the mistakes in his past. In the present he says death is a disease and he will find a cure. But at no point does he say the cure will be for her. It is about his own fears and his own obsession. An obsession that we can only assume he realized was stupid when he planted the tree for his wife, or when everything ties up in the movie.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Finally, I agree 100 % with Harry

    by hktelemacher

    And I don't think any of what Aronofsky does here is simplistic or hamfisted. It's not subtle, but in making the film play out as a kind of puzzle to be put together he allows/forces the audience to conclude as to the themes on their own. Does it take a particular kind of genius to decipher what he was trying to say? No, it's easy and obvious, but I don't think he ever spells things out -- hence, all of the debate as to what was real and what wasn't. That's not the big picture. Harry's correct though, the only stuff that was "real" within the reality of the movie were the contemporary segments, the past and future parts echoed and reflected them in symbolic, hyperbolic and entertaining terms. Cynics hate this movie because it's a big wet kiss about denial and acceptance and not Kubrickian precision cold sci-fi. I don't think it's a mess by any means, not even a "noble failure" -- it was a success that, of course, split the audience right down the middle and made no money. Classic in the making, right? At the risk of dropping in a Harry-esque "I have a girlfriend!" plug - my girlfriend did in fact sob through the last twenty or so minutes - so it tugs those strings for sure. Of course, she also cried at the WE ARE MARSHAL trailer so that could discredit that. Little detail - I like that Tom tattooed rings on himself like a tree, and that the quest for the tree quite literally consumed the conquistador Tom. And see, I don't find those images heavyhanded. I think Kubrick, Tarkovsky and especially Jodorowsky (it shares a great deal with his comic book work) would be entertained, if not accepting.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Symbolic, yes! Symbolic for shittiness!

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Symbolic for half-assed pseudo-intellectualism. Symbolic for boring and laughable. Yes, the film is filled with metaphors...

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Vagina Tree: Ode to Rachel Weisz's stems, buds & flower

    by wolvenom

    I figured it out. This movie is basically Reqiuem for a Dream' all over again. Except instead of drugs and addiction, its love and addiction. I have felt 'love' before. I even believed in the notion of a 'soulmate' at one point in my life. The relationship devastated me when it came to an end. Then I took some courses in psychology about the nature of the brain and emotions. One of my professors likened the chemicals that induce love to the chemicals in cocaine that produce the high. The feelings I got after the relationship was over were more closely related to a feeling of withdrawl from a drug addiction. 'love' and cocaine both work most of the same chemicals of serotonin, dopamin, norepinephrine etc. When you are given a strong dose of those chemicals long enough, you begin to get this 'notion' of love. Its like how a heroine addict may testify to how they feel they have a love affair with the needle. The going to get the drugs, the ritual, and the effects are to them more than just a chemical reaction. It helps explain why people with more addictive personalities have more trouble getting over a relationship than people with less addictive personalities. So in conclusion this movie is nothing but a confused aranofsky attempting to explain his addiction to rachel weisz's vagina tree.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Hey...

    by Godardwhowhatnow

    That ZombieSolutions guy is an asshole! Wow!

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Knowthyself

    by Mooly

    Maybe people make things symbolic because very few people actually are able to create truly random thoughts without reason or meaning behind them. In fact, I would argue that not even YOU believe your own arguement as you yourself attempt to find meaning in the event you claim is non-symbolic and random. I would also add, that there are too many connetions and comparisons in the movie between the future tree and the present wife...words he says to her, the hairs rising as he nears, etc. So I think this contradicts the view that the future tree is the tree of life that he went and found. And as I've said before, if the future tree was the one he plants himself, then there is no reason for it to be the tree of life. Neither option makes sense unless we just assume the writer messed up. However, as a fictional world, not only does it makes sense...it also fits with the fictional past as a bookend to the pain and obsession of the present.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Zombie: Put down your thesaurus and realize...

    by DoctorWho?

    A critique is one thing...even a scathing one...but your usual condescending, intolerant..."everybody who disagrees with me is an idiot" type rants A) aren't funny B) grow tiresome quickly and C) reveal you as the asshole that you truly are...as lots of TBer's seem to be noticing. Remember, if everyone at the party is telling you your drunk...just sit down.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:25 p.m. CST

    And Readingwriter...

    by DoctorWho?

    That was a precision verbal ass- whooping you laid on him. Your a man who calls 'em as he sees 'em. Thanks for chiming in :)

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST

    zombie - it's time to move on

    by oisin5199

    You didn't like the film. WE GET IT. Now, unless you have something more constructive to say, it's time to shut the fuck up and go away. Your dumbass I Heart Rachel Weisz argument has already been proved wrong by the timeline, plus the fact that your stupid title misses the point of the ENTIRE film, which I have also already shown. As far as those of you who think the future Tommy is 'real' - you're perfectly free to be wrong. Kidding! I do disagree with a literal interpretation because so much evidence in the film and outside the film points against it - and for me thinking of it literally takes away from the very real process of grief and separation that the main character goes through in the immediate, especially in dealing with the finishing of Izzie's written story. But if believing the literal interpretation makes the movie richer for you, than I fully support your opinion. This is going to be an extremely subjective and personal viewing experience for anyone involved and I applaud any attempt to interpret it in a meaningful way. The mere fact of that kind of ambiguity is evidence of its brilliance.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Good future analyzes Mooly.

    by snakecharmer

    Now, when I re-watch the film this week, I'll go into it with another understanding. I really enjoy creative analyzes like yours but hate the "your stupid because blah blah blah" post. The Fountain either works for you or it doesn't. No one is better either way. Am I the only one who feel people have no patience for anything anymore? They want the cum shot now and don't want to do anywork. Ultimately, this film will build into a classic. Hey, you didn't like it. Fine. At least, we're still talking film, spacemonkey. Lates.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 3:37 p.m. CST

    "DEATH IS THE ROAD TO AWE" is an amazing track.

    by snakecharmer

    I can't stop playing it. If you like the film, go out and get the soundtrack. Lates, spacemonkies.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    re: dr who?

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I understand what you're saying to Zombie, but isn't that what all the people here (i.e. Dragon-lord) defending the film are saying: "if you don't agree with me, you're stupid"? Your reprimanding Zombie seems sort of one sided. I would contend the only reason the people who dislike the movie keep posting is because those who love it are so damned condescending and rude in their attacking them. I was gonna move on after simply saying the movie wasn't for me, but I was then told I was a dullard and not capable of comprehending the film. I comprehend it, I just don't love it.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Boooring. Don't turn this movie into something it's not

    by The Founder

    Just because it's DA and the fanboys think he's cool let's not make this movie more then it is. It's not classic or edgy or something that the mainstream won't connect(which they didn'tbecause the box office showed)with it, the movie was failure to me. I understood it perfectly fine, but DA trying to make some artsy film just didn't work. A waste of money, especially with all the starving children out there.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 5:21 p.m. CST

    The funny thing is if Brett Ratner had directed........

    by The Founder

    Harry would have tore it to shreds in his review.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST

    I got it....

    by staticneuron

    I understood the point that was trying to be put across. I wasn't confused about which time period was real. I walked into this movie without anticipation or even much info about it before hand. I dislike this movie, because to me and everyone I went with..... it was heavy handed and condecending. People without a doubt would get confused with conflicting information but to people like my friends and I., this was a film that tried to hard to be "deep".

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 6:27 p.m. CST

    kind of like...

    by ufoclub1977

    Slaughterhouse Five?

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Cruel_Kingdom

    by dragon-lord

    No, I'm saying YOU are stupid. Most everyone else is having a discussion, while you continue to rant and rave about god knows what in a juvenile attempt to get a childish reaction from me. Not going to happen. :)

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Tree Cum

    by dragon-lord

    While there is a legitimate discussion regarding the significance of the sap (is it representative of mother's milk like the android's blood in ALIEN, or something else?), that is a far cry from some pedant's tirade. All I was pointing out was the manner of the mental midget's masturbatory postings, not dismissing anyone's legitimately and sincerely presented opinion.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Brett Ratner

    by dragon-lord

    Could not even have come up with the connective imagery of the horse riding to the castle and the car driving to the city, etc. Even with Singer's blueprint/script/outline in hand, Ratner couldn't make X3 half the movie X1 and X2 are.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 7:16 p.m. CST

    The Twelfth Chapter...

    by dragon-lord

    ...took 500 years to come to completion, and all he learned was that Death is the Road to Awe. I particularly like how the Inquisitor's speech works on both levels, the horror and the truth. It really stands out on repeated viewings. Very well written.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 9:27 p.m. CST

    we all know what ZombieSolutions really wants...

    by kintar0

    A friend. Just. One. Friend. Not even a girlfriend. Just a friend.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 12:14 a.m. CST

    please keep proving you're a total asshole, zombie

    by oisin5199

    I'm glad you're getting the attention you so richly deserve. I hope it keeps that fragile ego afloat in that cold empty sea you call your life. See, that was a metaphor! I hope your 'girlfriend' realizes what a shallow prick you are and dumps your ass.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Holy Nail In Christ’s Crotch, ZombieSolutions!

    by georges garvaren

    I swear, you deserve some kind of medal for this incredible performance (perhaps a nice tiara would do?) The fact that you are able to keep this joke alive and running-well saves you a spot in the aisles of Geeky-Geek-Geek-Geekiness. Congratulations and firm clappings all around. On a side note, anyone seen dragon-lord? There’s a Wizard on the phone and he says he needs his pants back.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 12:38 a.m. CST

    I really liked this movie.

    by Russman

    Can't wait to buy it. Sad that it won't make much $.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Oy Vey (Hey Harry!)

    by Capt. Spaulding

    Hey, Harry, can we start two new threads, one for those who hated it and one for those who liked it? I thnk the different interpretations are interesting, but I'm getting sick of all this "you're gay" and "you're stupid" crap. I got no problem discussing the movie with someone who didn't like it, just stop with the name-calling and shit. Oh, who am I kidding, this is the internet, it's run by twelve year-olds who all think they're fucking PHD's. Of course, now everyone is going to post that they are really thirty-two, married and film professors. Maybe even one of you is the ghost of Pauline Kael, come back to haunt us. Well, fine, Pauline, here's my two cents. I liked the movie. I also liked his previous movie. The movie before that was kinda so-so. Cool, but weird. No, I don't do drugs of any kind. Just because I've liked his movies so far does not mean that I won't admit when/if he makes a bad movie (that is a bad movie in my opinion). I, like several others, am also looking forward to "Children of Men." Whoever said Gus Van Sant is a hack is right. So is Richard Linklater, in my opinion. There. That's me, over here being all neutral and stuff. Fucking Swiss.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 1:04 a.m. CST

    PS

    by Capt. Spaulding

    I'm going to see it again tomorrow.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Georges?

    by dragon-lord

    Is this all you've got to talk about? I present arguments for discussion, ideas, take a position, offer counter-positions, etc. etc. and all you can post about is some silly LOTR/D&D inside joke you share alone with your special lil bag of polyhedral dice?

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 5 a.m. CST

    we need a digg style up/down system...

    by dragon-lord

    ...so we can bury off-topic 14 year old narcissists like Zombie and Georges.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST

    dragon-lord: like to see your name in print?

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I notice that you almost always post multiple times in a row before anyone else can post, leading me to conclude that either you just really love attention or that you have ADD and cannot stay focused long enough to include all of your banal rantings into one post. Now please leave seven consecutive posts telling how ignorant I am, how smart you are, and how terrific this little gem of garbage is, you self-righteous D&D reject.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Look, I am like dragon-testes, er, lord...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I have posted multiple times consecutively while saying nothing. Scary. I've only been Dragon-lord for thirty seconds and already I want to live in my parents basement, play with toys, and never again experience the joys of sex. Man, if only I were the real Dragon-lord... :(

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 8:21 a.m. CST

    And oddly enough...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    while seeing the world through Dragon-lord's eyes -- playing with both toys and my own privates in the basement of Mom and Dad's house -- I now see that Arnofsky's film is in fact brilliant. Time to go dress up like a real dragon-lord and run around the neighborhood with my cardboard sword wrapped in aluminum foil so I can slay the dragon two houses down (it's really a german shepherd, but he's a good sport), so ta-ta, I gotta run...

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Lord Of The Dragon, Hear My Call: TOOOOT!

    by georges garvaren

    I think we should just bury you, and preferably, alive. If you, say, opening attack another person (“The bravest of retards, for evidence of his mental midget status is recorded here now for all to see...”) then I am afraid that you are deserving for any likewise retaliation from someone who is bored enough to take up the cause. If it makes you sad or causes you to question your association in the knighty world of dragon ownership, then maybe that’s a good thing? Also, you don’t ever, not even one single time, have to read or respond to something you might think is childish and undeserving of your invaluable and precious time. I and others, also “...present arguments for discussion, ideas, take a position, offer counter-positions, etc. etc.” (I’m not sure why we needed the second “etc” but you are the lord of dragons, so I will step aside). You may not agree with our statements or find them to be of a superior opinion like your own and if this does occur at any time during these talkbacks and you wish that our words would simply vanish from sight, may I suggest that you make the healthy decision and turn away, cover your eyes (and ears just for good measure) whilst calling for Mommy, who will soon arrive bearing warm milk and cookies to help take the unbearable pain away. Off topic question: I find that my dragon tends to attack my shoes when I leave her home alone. Should I just put my shoes in a place where she can’t get to them or begin a daily exercise that can teach her that shoe-eating is not acceptable?

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 9 a.m. CST

    Ha.

    by georges garvaren

    Well I guess that about ends another episode of "Look whos Yak'in". I hope y'all enjoyed our show and we'll be seeing you here same time next week. So long, everybody! (roll credits, star-wipe to commercials)

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Marvelous, amazing, awe-inspiring.

    by Veraxus

    The Fountain is not a movie you watch. It's a movie you experience. It washes over you like a dream, a vision, a wave of emotion. It's magnificent, and unlike anything you've ever seen. If you have any interest in film as transcendant art at all, you owe it to yourself to see this on the big screen. I rarely cry during a movie - but I cried during the Fountain, and after. It's not that it's a sad movie, though it is that - but because it's so overwhelmingly beautiful that it's impossible to keep bottled up. I can't wait to experience this again. The less you know, the more you'll appreciate this movie - but at it's core it's a love story and a meditation on life and death. It takes place in three time periods, each of which may or may not be real or fiction or possibly both. It's about a quest for immortality and the point that, even if it were attainable, you would not and should not pursue it.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    the truth is, zombie

    by oisin5199

    your puerile arguments have been countered many times, by myself and others, but you're too much of a coward to address them directly. Or maybe you have an aversion to reading. You'd rather stomp around the zoo like a monkey flinging his shit. So we're just using language you can understand. But really, the sad truth is, that you're really not that important. Now let that sink in. And then come up with another clever vagina tree joke to cover the abyss that you must face on a daily basis. Enjoy.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    *yawn*

    by DoctorWho?

    .

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Since we're making stuff up...

    by biggles2_22

    ...about plot holes in the movie, in order to justify the fact that out of directors sheer frustration in piecing together a decipherable (by us unwashed masses) storyline, the director has put it on-screen as is. Here's how I would interpret the film: I tend to think that it is a musing of the Dukes of Hazzard boys over a couple of Buds while pondering the mortality of Daisy Dukes shorts and the advent of winter. (sniff) I was deeply moved. Keep that in your thoughts while watching this fine advertisers movie and you'll be thanking me afterwards! Your Welcome!

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    wow, you're devolving into nonsense, zombie

    by oisin5199

    time to get a grip. I'm not angry. Or defensive. You don't really elicit any emotion in me at all. I was simply calling you out on your patently false statements about legitimately criticizing the film and having people respond with insults. Here's your reality check - your criticisms were lame and when they were easily answered, you resorted to childish rants to distract everyone from the fact that you haven't really thought anything through. Apparently your opinions don't mean enough to you that you can let them speak for themselves. You have to do a monkey dance because that's the only way you can get attention. Sad, very sad. And now since I seem to be feeding your need for attention, I'm done with you. Good luck at the institution. Hope the straitjacket's not too tight.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Sad, very sad.

    by Billyeveryteen

    Too true Oisin. Zombie once was able to converse. Sadly, this is no longer true.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 2:58 p.m. CST

    1hr 36min though?

    by riskebiz

    I wouldn't thought that the YEARS it took him to film/finish it that it would have been longer. Hell, he gave a huge preview of it at the San Diego Con in 2005! He fine tuned it down to a quick hour and half? I'd image that the Director's Cut DVD will be 3hrs long.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Horrible movie

    by BigTuna

    I knew Harry and many geeks on this site would love it, but Christ, it was stupid, boring, dumb, pretentious and has no point.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Thunderballs

    by Mr. Winston

    You will get me to admit that I couldn't look away from ELEPHANT, but I would argue that the film was FAR from genius. The subject matter was riveting and the story could have been amazing, but leave it to Van Sant to fuck that up with six-minute tracking shots of ancillary characters walking through school halls and a plot that could have been fascinating but was abandoned in favor of whatever the hell it is that Van Sant does, which I don't think any rational person could describe. Unless to say it's "time wasting". If you're going to make a Columbine story as an ensemble drama I'm interested, but if you're going to piss around with it until you've found some way to make that story boring, you're an idiot. <br> <br> I have to admit I've seen all of his films and I've hated almost all of them. At this point it's sheer, morbid curiosity. I feel like a shepherd, like I can watch the films for everyone else and then call out, "Stay away! Here's why..." Come to think of it, I'm a hero. A dense and masochistic hero, but a hero nonetheless.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    I saw this movie on Saturday,

    by rbatty024

    and I love the fact that Harry can write a review not talking about how good the movie was, but just discussing the mechanics of the story itself. What is real and what is not real. I found some parallels with Harry's interpretation and the Russian novel Master and Margarita, which also features a novel within a novel.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Fountainium

    by ENAN

    Living forever would be hell. Eternity claws at the heart of Aronofsky’s temporally transcendent hero, Thomas. Hugh Jackman plays Thomas, but the character embodies director/writer Aronofsky’s complex and insightful interpretation of what immortality means. Beyond humanity conquering time, this film tackles how ideas, and even feelings, can be inherently timeless. The Fountain courageously examines what keeps us here and why we eventually need to go. Aronofsky’s ability as a director has been hailed with both Pi and Requiem for a Dream. The Fountain is unlike anything he has done before. He provokes audiences intellectually, spiritually and viscerally, but this time, with extra concern for plot and character dynamics. Like Fellini, putting his wife in his films compels a richer and more passionate creation. Weisz proves more enchanting in this sci-fi spirit quest than any other film to date. Instead of isolation and dependence, Aronofsky focuses on interconnectivity. A responsibility to his wife, new born, and devoted fans gives birth to a film that aspires to be something timeless itself. Aronofsky, more than anything, demonstrates how much he expects of himself. Moving within the millennia spanning the films narrative are the souls of a Thomas and Izzi. They are tied to each other and the tree of life. Uniquely positioned as the tie that binds them to the tree is love. In every period, Thomas scrambles to save Izzi in some way. Thomas exasperatingly challenges the life threatening circumstances Izzi faces. Battling Mayan warlords, cancerous tumors or traveling to Xibalba(The Place of Fear) are dwarfed by the life purpose Izzi instills in him. The limitations of love and devotion are reluctantly acknowledged, as Thomas becomes a slave to hope and memory. The very essence of existence comes into play as fantasy is given as much legitimacy in the film as reality. The scenes from the Mayan period are melded together with the fiction Izzi is writing in present day. The line between truth and fiction disintegrates as the three stories continually intertwine. The motives of the characters are similar in each, but it takes the fantasy to provoke their destinies. Thomas’s ultimate fate and acceptance of reality can only happen in surreal settings. The Foutain delves into the ineffable headfirst. Infinite possibility lies at the heart of life and death. One answer is as valid or invalid as the next without a map key. The closest we come to understanding it all is when determining what it isn’t. Aronofsky posits the question as the answer stylishly, uniquely and profoundly.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 6:33 p.m. CST

    how is it like Master and the Margarita' rbatty?

    by wolvenom

    I'm curious... other than the book within a book similarity how is this pile of crap zen film like that beautifully written masterpiece about good and evil?

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 8:22 p.m. CST

    The Master and Margarita

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Never read Mikhail Bulgakov's novel, but I'm curious: does it have a vagina tree and a cum tree, as well? Does his protagonist cross his legs and fly? If so, I am right there.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 9:09 p.m. CST

    I'm A Big Fan Of Aronofsky's Work So Far, But...

    by PervOmatic

    If you try to spin a 49% RT rating into some kind of positive aspect, that is just gonna work for me. Trying to convice me that pretty much half the people liked it isn't valid because that isn't the way average scores work out.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Conquistador Debate

    by andenu

    I don't see how anyone could think it's anything other than Izzy's book. The camera is zoomed really close into the letter on the frigging page, and it dissolves to show ... exactly what those words say. The fact that she wrote it as something made up more or less quashes the idea that these two characters lived long ago. And it's almost as obvious that the "present" and "future" feature the same thomas, since he starts a tattoo in the present that has been added to in the future. Among other things. Seemed pretty cut and dry to me. Stragihtforward even. What happened at the end, that's another story. people talking so much about the movie so much that haven't seen it are pretty ridiculous. people constantly assuring their audience (such as it is) that they are merely having fun getting their goat are at least half full of shit. people who use too many semi-colons are more pretentious than aronofsky.

  • Nov. 28, 2006, 11:20 p.m. CST

    'love' and cocaine

    by hktelemacher

    Difference is, you don't have withdrawals from cocaine - you just come down really fucking hard. Or is that just me? See, it's that exact kind of clinical cynicism (such bullshit, by the way, regarding the drugs/love rigamorole - "I believed in soulmates once, then I took an extension class.") that makes this movie appear empty and soulless to you while others have a different experience altogether. Completely subjective. Of course I was in love with cocaine when I saw it, so whatever, whatever. As a side note, "'Love' and Cocaine" should be the title for a P.T Anderson boxset. Related, since his name is invariably tossed around these parts whenever Aronofsky's quality is questioned. It's funny - nobody is really debating the filmmaking here - as if the craft is all pro and fine - but rather it's the conceit people have trouble getting on board with. It falls to what kind of person you are. If you can't swallow the saccharine as something positive, THE FOUNTAIN is little more than a Jodo/Herzog helmed episode of GUIDING LIGHT. That should be the DVD description.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Whoa hey wooo wait

    by Jaka

    lol, I had to stop reading before I got all wrecked in the head about it. I'm going this weekend. But I wanted to say that Requiem only made 7 million in the theater. Split pretty even between the US and the rest of the world. If word of mouth is decent on this film it might break even on it's production budget, or it might not. Regardless, and as much as I want to see this film in the theater, it's real life will be on DVD. Where people can pause, rewind, debate, and watch it again tomorrow, or next week. No doubt it will eventually turn a profit. At least, I sure hope it does. Because I love this guys films.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Interesting description ENAN....

    by staticneuron

    I have seen many articles and even heard some people describe this film as science fiction. Normally, doesn't science fiction have some truth or plausibility in its concepts? I could not enjoy this film as a Sci-fi but I did view it as a fantasy film. Heavy with philosophical questions and drama but still far enough to label it a fantasy. But when is enough... enough? The allusions about what was going to happen were repetative and didn't leave that much room for questions. I felt like to much was given out and the film would have been stronger if the audience was left to draw thier own conclusions.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Cruel_Kingdom

    by dragon-lord

    I post one after the other because this board doesn't have a way for people to actually respond in a threaded fashion, so I come back here every few hours to check on this board and then post. That ends up causing my answers to multiple retards, like you and lil georges, to go one after the other. It's not hard for the rest of the talkbackers to follow. Hint: the subject of my post tells you which post(er) I am responding to. It's not THAT hard to figure out, is it? :)

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Georges

    by dragon-lord

    Again, you spend your entire post saying nothing...nothing at all...about the movie, or your position in it. It has become obvious that you are a troll, here to flame just to get a result. Well, I've been dealing with self-important wanna-be's like you on message boards since the days of the 300 baud modem, so if you think that you can insult me out of here, I got news for ya...not gonna happen. The only thing you're burying is your credibility.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    reading Enan and Scrivener's posts

    by dragon-lord

    Makes wading through the infantilism of ZombieSolutions, Georges Garvaren, and Cruel_Kingdom worth it. Thanks for putting up with all of this and sharing your thoughts. :)

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Andenu

    by dragon-lord

    Remember that it is Thomas's job to write the last chapter. I believe it takes him 500 years to do so and those are the "pages" you are referring to. So, yes, you are correct, but I think that this does not negate the position that he really does spend the next 500 years trying to get her reborn...hence the reason he is devastated when the "Izzy tree" dies (so to speak) just before reaching Xibalba.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST

    re: dragon-lord

    by dragon-lord

    I have contributed scoops to Harry and his crew for years, but under a different alias. But since I am a working filmmaker in Hollywood, I decided that I needed a different alias for posting, in order to keep my long term industry relationship with this site separate from my occasional foray into the notorious (amongst other Hollywood professionals) AICN talkback cesspool. Didn't you guys ever wonder WHY so many of the people who actually MAKE movies in this town NEVER post here - even though they hit the site for news every friggin day? Why would they? Even the best talkback opportunities (like THIS movie, or Paul Haggis's latest abomination) degenerate into "shit-throwing monkey fests" (great comment from above). But I believe in this movie strongly enough, and found myself agreeing with Harry (which is a rarity recently, hehe), so I felt it was worth wading in...and still do. But don't make the mistake of assuming I am "new" here or that I don't see exactly how the little brains who troll this board turn everything into a beginner's 101 flame war just to puff themselves up. With a digg style thread/post system, you'd see more film makers genuinely looking for input from the people who care enough about the movies to take time out of their days to post here regularly and intelligently. I think there is a place for that in this day and age, and I don't see that happening anywhere else. Why not here?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    staticneuron

    by dragon-lord

    You are correct in that science fiction generally takes a hypothesis or trend and extends in forward in the extreme in order to shine a light on the present. THE FOUNTAIN can only be called science fiction in its very underlying theme that "even the quest for immortality caused by modern medical trends does not provide true happiness." So, yes, this film is DEFINITELY more of a fantasy, a spiritual journey wherein "Death is the road to awe, not life. As life is the road to enlightenment." Hence Thomas as Buddha at the end. Excellent observation. :)

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    knowthyself

    by dragon-lord

    Damn good point about the tatoo rings. I think if the director had included scenes (even as short flash cuts) of the tree growing over her grave during the movie, I think less people would have been confused by the connection between the seed at the end and the tree in the spherical ship on its way to Xibalba throughout the film. That tree is the result of the seed grown over her grave (re: the moses mayan guide story regarding his father). I think the tatoos are a really nice touch to show the immense passage of time without spelling it out for the audience in so many words.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Dragon-turd

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Be as rude as you want, but The Fountain still sucks.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 4:41 p.m. CST

    re: dragon-lord

    by andenu

    yeah i'm just saying the pages dissolving into conquistador times = conquistador times are a story within a story. that's not even to say the movie treats one as more "real" than the other ultimately. doesn't negate anything, but makes it unlikely to me that the conquistador stuff is the same reality as the other stuff. also i didn't think that tree was izzy. i guess it could be. hell what do i didn't even notice any tree vagina, something you'd think one would notice.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Short film inspired by The Fountain

    by ENAN

    http://tinyurl.com/yhdw54 A concise depiction of the major thematic elements found in The Fountain.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Wow, I hate to be on Zombiesolution's side here...

    by FluffyUnbound

    But I am definitely getting an "AI" type vibe here - where a bad film says trite and maudlin things about emotion, but precisely because of that, people who break their arms patting themselves on the back for their "sensitivity" and "capacity for experience" eat it up and get indignant at anyone who doesn't drink the Kool-Aid.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Andenu

    by dragon-lord

    Yes, the conquistador stuff is definitely the story as written by Izzy, no doubt there. And I didn't see the tree as a vagina either. But then again, I've seen real vaginas up close and none of them looked like that, so maybe some of these posters haven't? Or maybe they cruise the Dirty Grannies websites or something? :)

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Fluffy

    by dragon-lord

    I hear ya, but I think this movie works a lot better all the way through than A.I. does.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    Fluffy

    by Anton_Sirius

    The film isn't about "emotion" at all, really. The romance is more plot device than central pillar of the film. And you'd have to be getting more than an 'AI' vibe from it to be on ZS's side -- he seems to think it's worse than an Ed Wood movie, and that it's set the art of filmmaking back a couple of decades or something. Either that or he's just pathetically desperate for attention, and doesn't actually mean a single word he's saying.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 11:05 p.m. CST

    AI was flawed and it was way better than

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    this fucking tripe.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Don't waste your money, go see "Stranger Than Fiction"

    by The Founder

    Good movie and certainly outside the mainstream. You'll enjoy it far more then the boring old Fountain.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:13 a.m. CST

    OK now I've actually seen the damn movie...

    by biggles2_22

    ...I stand by my original post. A mess with the film-maker desperately compensating for a lack of a cohesive story line with arresting visuals and an email to Harry "filling in the blanks" of interpretation. I can totally understand why this film was sooo damn hard to bring to screen. But I understand the positive review, Harry. A man's gotsta do what a man's gotsta do. You've got a hottie wife to feed now!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    by the way...

    by biggles2_22

    I "interpreted" Jackmans bubble character to actually be an unfertilized egg travelling through a fallopian tube and the uterus. The jiz dripping from the treegina was pretty self explanatory.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Emotion / Fluffy

    by andenu

    As others have said, the movie's central theme isn't "emotion" per se. (AI is blatantly about One Robot's Search For Love.) It's more about accepting death, and the need to let go. I thought the love story, though very important, was ultimately a way of showing with what desperation people cling to life, even given (or maybe because of) the inevitability of death. Love being arguably the most powerful emotion - at least as this film would have it - it's the epitome of life, the strongest attachment to this existence one can have. What makes it cool to me is the personification of love in the film is also the main conduit for death. Izzy is basically life telling Thomas "It's OK" as he fearfully and stubbornly refuses to accept death as part of life. It takes him a long, long, long time but he finally "gets it". PS no personal offense at all but the line "OK now I've actually seen the damn movie ... I stand by my original post" is a classic for the ages.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST

    andenu

    by biggles2_22

    No offense taken...asshole. (just kidding) ;o) I happen to be a dead-on prognosticator of bad film. The wife, however, had her choice of flick last night.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 9:14 a.m. CST

    dragon-lord say what?

    by georges garvaren

    Aren’t trolls from Medieval Folklore? Dragon-lord, are you trying to pull a fast on one me again? I think I’ve just about figured you out. You’re Hank Morgan, aren’t you? And you posses the ability to travel back and forth through time and space! That’s pretty nifty, little buddy. Your Mommy must be proud. But lets wrap this up soon as I would not want your bedtime to pass, it will only make you grumpier in the morning. Here’s the thing: One, I never said anything for or against the Fountain, I have yet to see it so why would I? Also, I do not feel it necessary to stay on any one specific topic in the TB’s as very few others do. Two, I was unaware of all those totally radical terms you use, like “troll” and “flame”, but I have since looked them up and you are somewhat mistaken. I do not “troll” and most certainly in our instance, I was not “trolling” but rather I was responding to YOUR hostile and insulting comments towards another. I have yet to see a comment from yourself about your own aggressive words and comments towards others and am now beginning to wondering if you believe that it is quite fair for yourself to hand out insults but stay immune to retaliation? Most would say that was unjust and quite childish. Three, I’m not sure what I “wanna-be” by posting on movie message boards or what you think I would “wanna-be”. I also do not see the connection between my posting and my supposed internal striving to gain or become something I see as being greater or more advanced than I may already be (or not be). Perhaps you believe that I wish to become a strong individual like yourself; the sort of person who has had the fortunate luck to of been able to write on message boards for more than twenty-six years and still have the stamina to be going strong. Four, why would I want you to leave? You’re a Hollywood player, playa’! You send in all those amazing scoops I read and flame upon in my trolling ways. I wonder though, Hollywood Player that you are, if you may be so kind as to remove the tight fitting, and mostly likely, jewel incrusted mask so as to begin a conversation about your career and contributions to cinema. Might be fun, Hollywood Playa’. But really, please stay, forever if you can. I know people are getting laughs over this and I wouldn’t want them to go without for too long. So say you’ll stay with me, I beg. Take my hand in yours; I will be your Rose and you can be my brave Jack and together we can fly. I’m flying Jack! Can you feel it!? Lastly, any credibility I had I gave up a long time ago and I do believe it was when I started writing on message boards, but I can’t be sure. Well, that’s it. A direct response to your lack-luster comments. I hope that’s not a sign of your film-making abilities? Who am I kidding, I know it is.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST

    georges garvaren

    by biggles2_22

    Congrats! You've just won the Longest Post About Nothing award.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:24 a.m. CST

    -

    by andenu

    anyway, isn't "lackluster" one word?

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Years later...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    ... and I still can't erase Harry's review of "Blade 2" from my memory. It's like watching "Cannibal Holocaust". Something's you just can't forget.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    mmmmm....Treegina!

    by biggles2_22

    didn't even know that I'd made up a new word

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Georges - I tried to let this drop, but...

    by dragon-lord

    You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. And if, the next time you want to post it, you avoid posturing with your purported IQ and publishing credits (which are dwarfed by at least one poster on this board), you'll get a civil response...by me at least. As for me, I'm way too smart to take your childish bait. I chose an impossible to google handle for just that reason. :)

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    biggles2_22

    by dragon-lord

    made me laugh out loud. Thanks. :)

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    Andenu re:AI

    by dragon-lord

    Actually, AI's central theme is about the different levels of love we give to our blood children, versus adopted children, versus created children, versus pets, versus toys/possessions. It is a VERY difficult subject to shine a light on to, and in that way I think AI does a great job in doing that. It's just that it was Steven's take on Stanley's film and so we got a hybrid of the two directors that didn't feel cohesive...hence the two endings, for example.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:32 p.m. CST

    ooh, and georges...

    by dragon-lord

    I was being facetious about the handle thing. I don't really care if you find out who I am. I have worked on great projects that turned out stellar and on potentially great projects that turned out like shite. So, like just about everyone else working for a living in Hollywood, whether I'm a "playa" or not depends on the day of the week. :)

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Oh My God! Shut Up!

    by Toshiro Kurasawa

    It's a fucking movie!

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Toshiro?

    by dragon-lord

    Why in the world are you reading a talkback on a movie forum and then telling people to shut up? Isn't that like walking into a children's playground during recess and screaming at everybody to take a nap? :)

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Dragon-lord

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Wow, I actually hate you.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    By the way, asshole

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I was the one with the "purported IQ and publishing credits," not Georges. Did your "extremely higher" IQ fail you there, you smug, self-righteous dick?

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Can I borrow a tackle box? I’m fresh out of lures

    by georges garvaren

    Dragon-lord, you can say that you never once took my bait but you did nibble a whole fucking lot. And for someone who has stated multiple times during this talkback, that he is too smart to ever stoop to the level of responding to someones unintelligent off topic comments, you have certainly proved otherwise. Unfortunately this is what you are failing to understand: your own phoney posturing and sad hypocrisy. The obvious fact is that during this talkback I have teased you like a big ol’ tittie’s nipple; you may not of cum but you sure did moan like a bitch.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Nice work Georges!

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Very good, my friend, lol. "You may not of cum but you sure did moan like a bitch." Nice. I like. High five. Wa-wa-wee-wa!

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    A Uwe Boll remake of The Fountain

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    would be a vast improvement. The only thing this movie lacked was wooden acting and video game imagery! Damn you Uwe Boll!

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    re: georges and IQ

    by dragon-lord

    I mistyped the header...that message was intended for Cruel_Kingdom. Sorry georges! I will ignore your angry post in return, since you were responding to something that I never meant to send to you.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Cruel - smug and self-righteous?

    by dragon-lord

    Do you NEVER look in the mirror? You STARTED the smug and self-righteous crap regarding your less than impressive IQ and equally "I love the movies everyone else makes" publishing credits, remember? It's odd that you can apparently dish it out with abandon, but when someone more intelligent and more accomplished decides to throw it back in your face, you start ranting like a 12 year old Paris Hilton. :)

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Zombe - re:AI

    by dragon-lord

    The Human cruelty aspect is one part of the theme (love/hate, throwing people/robots/possessions away), as is the "twisted love" portion regarding the city and the sex slave robots, etc. As I have been fortunate to have seen much of AI's materials during its very long development, I can tell you that I believe the City sequence is VERY much as Stanley intended. Those designs are taken straight from sketches in Stanley's notes for example.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST

    fuck the "critics"

    by emarten

    Forget what the godless critics think of The Fountain. The only way they would have liked The Fountain is if Izzy had been transgender and dieing of AIDS which she got from being raped by a redneck.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 4:48 p.m. CST

    ZombieSolutions: 3,000 words and counting

    by ar42

    Please, man, keep posting! Wasting your time is so much fun!

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    emarten

    by dragon-lord

    half of the critics love it and half don't, but do I think you just gave Paul "you can tell this moment is supposed to mean something important from the music!" Haggis his next UBER "on the nose" plot idea! Get the story credit and ca$h, mate. ;)

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    dragon-lord...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I never got mad. You make me laugh, bitch. And I'm sorry to be arrogant, but a 169 IQ will *always* be impressive. You want smug? THAT'S smug. As for your more impressive accomplishments, let's hear them... I have no problem being mocked or scorned. Hell, I'm married, and that's what being married is all about, lol. But seriously, what's so wonderful about you beyond your D&D reject moniker and the fact that you love a shitty movie?

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 7:51 p.m. CST

    impressive?

    by dragon-lord

    My IQ is vastly higher than yours, but I don't think it means jack squat if one can't weird his or her advanced vocabulary in a clear and convincing manner. I actually like sharing ideas with people in forums such as this. In just this thread alone there have been a number of interpretations on this film that I hadn't considered. That's been worth the "price of admission". :) And While I have been married, I don't remember it being about mockery or scorn. Just the ecstasy of loving and the agony of losing. Maybe I was doing it wrong? ;) And unfortunately, if I list my accomplishments, it will be quite easy to figure out exactly who I am (which is no big deal). And that defeats the whole purpose of being an insider with the ability to post anonymously. :( For what it's worth, I guess it's safe to say that I am working member of the Hollywood film-making community and I have been fortunate to have worked on some of the biggest (and sometimes best) franchises in history with some of the most amazing people. Without a doubt, you know and certainly love (and probably hate) some of the projects I have been fortunate to contribute to (in sometimes minor, sometimes major roles). And I am humbled and grateful to have been honored by my peers with awards of note in multiple categories and disciplines. I consider myself a very lucky man in that regard, even though Los Angeles has been a terrible roller coaster of ups and downs for me. So, like you and everyone else, I'll try to let my positions and opinions speak for me. And I'll try not to say anything I'll regret in the future...just in case.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    hehe weird should be "wield" above

    by dragon-lord

    "weird" should be "wield"...though it's pretty funny that way. :)

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 12:11 a.m. CST

    And This Is How It Goes

    by georges garvaren

    There once was a knight named dragon-lord Whos’ head was the shape of a diving board When things got too rough He would huff and he would puff Till his head split in half like a gourd Ooooh Lord ! But that was a joke. Really it was. Not trying to infuriate here. Honestly, I would like it if you actually have worked on films that I admire. And I would love if you have directed one that I have watched many times over and never once grown tied of. That would make all of this a neat little trip. But as you know, film is a co-operative effort and you must have worked with some real smart fuckers, because your ass is goddamn crazy. I mean shit man, you respond to my response by saying that you will not respond to my response. What the fuck is that!? It’s like I’m living in an Animaniacs cartoon; I’m stuck in a fucking Rita and Runt sketch here. I can take no more of this! I’m getting out of here and I’m heading straight over to C.H.U.D. where no one thinks or knows anything at all (about movies at least.) [: [:^] [:^]-( [:^]-(=====\=====|

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Time passes.pages fly off a calendar, nations fall...

    by readingwriter

    ...and zombiesolutions is still apparently convinced that there are people on AICN who DON'T think he's a twit. So he continues trying to convince them... Dude, you didn't like it, we GET IT. Now go back to watching Desperate Housewives or whatever it is you think is cutting edge (your total lack of understanding about Kubrick's intentions for AI AND the well-known drawings he approved vs. the actual onscreen result is really embarassing). Tossing around Stanley's name to try to earn street cred here should be reserved for those who actually, you know, LIKE Kubrick's films.

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST

    dragon-turd

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Yawn.

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    georges...

    by dragon-lord

    I'm not going anywhere. And you REALLY need to learn to read. I MISTAKENLY posted a throwdown message meant for Cruel accidentally to your name. That is what you responded to. Since it was MY mistake you were responding to, I didn't think it was fair to give you a hard time over something that was MY fault. Nuff sed.

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Cruel "yawns"

    by dragon-lord

    And FINALLY shows us the first real indication we have of his advanced genetically engineered intellect. It's the smartest thing you've said all thread. ;)

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Yes, hilariousness there, douche bag

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    You may actually have accomplished credits (don't know, don't care), and you may have a 190 IQ (sounds like bullshit), but you're still an asshole.

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Dragon-turd

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Your quote: "My IQ is vastly higher than yours, but I don't think it means jack squat if one can't weird his or her advanced vocabulary in a clear and convincing manner." Hard to take this seriously when you use the word weird instead of wield. Kind of ironic. Guess you can't WIELD your vocabulary in a clear and convincing manner, huh, Janie?

  • Dec. 3, 2006, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Dragon-Lord, You Schizoid Fucking Gobioid.

    by georges garvaren

    Are you positive that it isn’t you who should learn to fucking read? Considering that you were the one to respond improperly to well-known English symbols; failing entirely to understand the intelligent and cohesive manner with which they were arranged? Or is being able to read not that important for Bestboys to understand? I still love you and hope we can spit-shine your awards together someday real soon. Sincerely; Go Fuck Yourself - Esquire, M.D.

  • Dec. 3, 2006, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Enjoyable

    by kadayi

    Just saw it and highly enjoyed it. Unfortunate that it seems to be tanking at the box office, but it's a definite DVD purchase. I hope Aronofsky isn't dissuaded by the results and continues to push the edge with his film making.

  • Dec. 3, 2006, 5:33 p.m. CST

    georges garvaren...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    My hero. Nicely said, my friend. :)

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Cruel

    by dragon-lord

    Do you read before you post? I pointed out the spelling error in that post in my post RIGHT BELOW IT. Evidence of your IQ is dropping daily, mate.

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 1:44 a.m. CST

    George and Cruel

    by dragon-lord

    You imbeciles do realize that all you do now is post middle school grade insults over and over again, right? I think I'm going to continue talking about THE FOUNTAIN while you mentally challenged twins go off and speak your own special language together. :)

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Gungan and Kadayi

    by dragon-lord

    I'm glad you guys liked it as much as some of us did. When you've had time to ponder it further, we'd like to hear your thoughts (pro or con) if you've any to offer.

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 2:03 a.m. CST

    dragon-lord...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Your pointing it out doesn't make it any less ironic. ;)

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 5:44 a.m. CST

    precisely...

    by dragon-lord

    Now you're thinking. :)

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Could edit this into a 15 min movie

    by Dazzler69

    with the medieval stuff only which was the only interesting parts. I might do that once the movie is in the bargin bin.

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Dazzler69, that will be...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    next week, lol. So have your $6.99 ready...

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 6:12 p.m. CST

    the best reason to buy hi-def DVD

    by dragon-lord

    The visuals would be worth it to be sure.

  • Dec. 4, 2006, 11:27 p.m. CST

    dragon-lord

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Your "precisely" post makes no sense. Are you admitting that "precisely" your comments about wielding your vocabulary in an incorrect sentence is ironic, or did you misuse the English language again there, Betty?

  • Dec. 5, 2006, 5:06 a.m. CST

    I guess it went over your head...

    by dragon-lord

    Just exactly how does this medium-high IQ of yours manifest itself? Are you good at counting random sticks or something? Because it sure isn't showing up in your analysis of creative content or in an ability to read between the lines? Are you EVER going to have something new to add to this discussion about the movie, or are you just going to keep trying to get a rise out of me while Curious Georges grunts and claps to your tired old organ grinder's whine? Well, that's not gonna happen, mate. :)

  • Dec. 5, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    I got it fuckface

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    I was deflecting it in much the same manner you attempted to deflect my observation. Did you eat paint chips as a child?

  • Dec. 5, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    I'm with ZombieSolutions on this one.

    by superninja

    Style over substance.

  • Dec. 9, 2006, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Cruel returns to childhood...

    by dragon-lord

    From your language, tone, and now the paint chips comment, the only way to ascend to your demonstrated impressive level of intellect is to respond "I'm rubber and you're glue..." Move on...thread's dead, baby.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 4 a.m. CST

    The thing that gets me most about the film's critics

    by readingwriter

    ...after these couple of weeks of posts, is the ferocity of those who would never think twice about bitching about 99% of the shit blabbed about on this site. "It's JUST a MOVIE!" these people would complain, while racking up their 19th posting on the infidelity to "canon" in some comic book snorefest they're whining doesn't have the RIGHT kind of surround sound when it comes out on DVD. This movie isn't for people who give a rat's ass what format wins out in the DVD wars. This movie isn't for people who care about the cardboard characters in 99.999% of the movies praised around here. This movie is for people who have lives, and think about real things, as opposed to the trivia movies revel in these days. It's the easiest thing in the world to mock a movie for DARING to have a point of view about the world that most members of the audience might not believe--these critics remind me of the folks who think The Ten Commandments is an accurate rendition of the Book of Exodus. The Fountain shows a filmmaker who has the balls to not ask anyone's permission to put his personal ideas into a movie--he's not an academic, he's not advocating for some specific religious sect, he's just making a movie about some of the hard truths of life and depicting what he believes or, more importantly in a filmmaker, what he SEES when he thinks about such things. He's not L. Ron Hubbard or Noam Chomsky, pushing highfalutin' and comforting bullshit for people who WANT to believe in Dianetics or Zionist conspiracy theories (which are comforting to them and just as divorced from realities as the bullshit from the religious wackjobs which is attacked without fear of criticism by the paper tigers who post at AICN). He's just a guy who makes movies who DARED to make one about his meditations (oh my, a "regular American" DARING to claim he THINKS about these issues? even one who hates Bush? Oh give me a break, only crusty Europeans are allowed to think abotu this kind of material!) on fighting the futile battle against the death of the human individual. I love how many at AICN whine about the lack of movies that mean anything, who reflexively bash and mock any movie that attempts to mean SOMEthing more than the state-of-the-art in special effects because the work doesn't reflect THEIR personal views. Aronofsky isn't sitting around looking at public opinion polls after right-to-die cases and saying "Well, this is what most AICN readers think about this issue, I'll make a movie about it." If one pays attention to the bloody movie, Aronofsky has made a very brave film, whether or not I believe in his conclusions--that fighting the inevitability of death through science, through fictions, robs us of the few precious moments we have of life. One of the most refreshing elements of the movie is that he doesn't even touch on the idea of the Afterlife--it's as if he said "Folks, I don't wanna even get INTO that, I want to talk just about THIS." Sure, the moment when the Mayan talks about not recognizing the reborn spirit in Jackman is a glance at reincarnation I guess, but that's nothing in the sum total of what this movie is about. Harry's interpretation makes sense to this viewer (particularly since the movie ends with Jackman at the grave, planting the seed which will become the tree which fed on Weisz's body--the closest thing to being reborn one can hope for); when the conquistador drinks the sap and then sprouts plants, I think any viewer with half a brain cell can see that this is Jackman's imagination conclusing the fantasy Weisz began to set down in the book. Does it mean one has to agree with Aronofsky? Certainly not--what does HE care? What it does mean, though, is that we should be supporting a movie that in one moment of Jackman's voice cracking while he talks to Ellen Burstyn, has more simple humanity in it that the entire Matrix trilogy, with the Star Wars saga thrown in, instead of parading our deep, DEEP childishness while an adult dares to discuss truly scary, important subjects.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 4:03 a.m. CST

    damned spelling errors

    by readingwriter

    abotu = about, conclusing = concluding

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 5:33 a.m. CST

    I really can't believe I just spent 90 minutes...

    by colematthews

    reading all of this nonsense. I would like to thank Zombie Solutions, Georges, Dragon-Lord, Cruel_Kingdom, and all the rest. I feel as though I know you all intimately. Not intimately enough to plant seeds over your graves and partake of your tree-cum, but still. I realize the thread is over, but I can't read all of that and not respond at least a little. Cruel_Kingdom: I actually laughed out loud when I read "Wow. I actually hate you." That is all.

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Seriously...

    by colematthews

    This thread should be enshrined for future generations to read. In a time when the internet no longer exists in its current form, and terms like "trolling" and "flame war" and "pwned" have long since dropped out of the common vernacular. Then, and only then, will talkbackers have contributed usefully to the betterment of society.

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    colematthews, one thing I learned from this thread...

    by ComputerGuy68

    don't bother with the films AICN gushes endlessly about, you will be disappointed with the results. i.e. - Spiderman, LOTR, Blade 2, Hellboy, Superman Returns, or most of Harry's reviews...

  • Dec. 17, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    My take on the movie...kinda

    by Mace13

    Even though this post has long been dead i'm writing my take of the movie anyway just for the hell of it. I'm not going to go into great detail on symbolism or what this and that in the movie meant to me or all of that other stuff. Just a simplistic review of the movie. I did like the movie overall. It had very interesting visuals but I did feel that the story could have had a little more umph to it. It was a little drawn out in parts. But I also liked the fact that the movie leaves things open to interpetation by the viewer. It does make you think. So if you do not like those type of movies this won't be for you. I've only seen this movie one time in the theatre but look forward to seeing it again on dvd.Just to go over everything and decide if my own peronal interpetation might need to be changed if nothing else. I'm more inclined to believe that the conquistador and space bubble parts are both fiction. The past story being written by Izzie of course and the future story being written by Tommy. I can see why a lot of people are arguing about the space bubble part being real. I would tend to go that way myself accept for a couple of parts in the movie that tend to make me think otherwise. Particularly the part where the Future bubble Tommy appears in the past conquistador story when the mayan was about to strike down the conquistador character with the flaming sword. With the future character appearing the the past story that leads me to believe that both the future and the past scenes are just fictional stories written by the two main characters. The future story is written by Tommy showing his promise to finish Izzie's book. I think that he just more or less included himself into the story and that the fictional characters actions are his way of showing what life lessons he has learned in dealing with Izzies death.That he finally learned to accept death by his stoy's end. I'm also open to the possibility that even some if not all of the present day scenes are also part of Tommys story.That they partially recollect what actually happened but that he's retelling it here and adding some things that cause it to tie into Izzies story plus his finishing of it in order to link the two together. Well anyway thats pretty much how I took the movie. I would like to see it again however so maybe i'll change my interpertation of it upon more viweings? Then again maybe not.

  • Dec. 23, 2006, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Managed to finally see this movie quite late...

    by Johnno

    Love it! Not crazily, but I really dig it! I don't know what most of the morons on here are complaining about... frankly we should encourage more creative daring films as this rather than the same old shit those critical no doubt enjoy. I can completely see why some won't like it, but damn I don't see how anyone could hate this flick... I can appreciate films that put character aside and focus on themes, whether the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions or Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. Sometimes it's just great to see stuff like that. Can't wait to see what this guy does next!

  • Dec. 27, 2006, 5:56 a.m. CST

    More people commented here then saw the movie...

    by JackRabbitSlim

    9 million dollar gross on a 60 mil budget = one of the biggest losers on Variety's Biggest Flops of the year chart. And yeah - it matters - think Soderbergh would be doing the "lets all do it one more time - for the money" Oceans 13 if Solaris didnt shit the bed? Hell no.

  • Dec. 27, 2006, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Then = Than in my world

    by JackRabbitSlim

    But not in the "sun is yellow" world.

  • Dec. 29, 2006, 4:39 a.m. CST

    It didn't make money, so it sucks?

    by readingwriter

    AICN, what hath thou wraught? (If that's how wraught is spelled...) No, it doesn't matter to people who care about movies, as opposed to people who care about Inside Baseball crap. Yeah, no moviemaker ever makes another movie of note after a bomb...sigh...

  • Jan. 9, 2007, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Unmitigated hate...

    by ChicagoNoise

    Wow. It's been a long time since I have seen such hateful comments. I'd say on this one, I am completely in Harry's camp. I was moved by The Fountain in a way that took me by surprise(unlike Solaris or even Stalker, where I just watched in rapt fascination). Perhaps I just have similar tastes (LOTR,Hellboy, etc.), but I really do think this is a wonderful drama wrapped in the skin of a science fiction. If you haven't seen it, after reading all these opinions, I can't imagine how distorted your opinion will be. For me, the movie was utterly incredible. I want to see it again when it makes its way back through Chicago to see if I feel the same.

  • Feb. 2, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST

    You guys (Harry too) might wanna look at this link..

    by ClayG

    Here's a link to a news story scifi.com did about The Fountain in which Darren Aronofsky says, and I quote, "The Fountain completely is science fiction." Now, it's well and good to have these personal subjective opinions about whether a writer/director meant for his film to be interpreted a certain way, but when the man himself comes out and says in an interview 'the film is completely science fiction', how can we say it's not? (Personally, I think it is.) Here's the URL for that interview. Check it out: http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=3&id=38957

  • Feb. 12, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Past/future=Fiction

    by JohnRevik

    The space bubble sequences are Jackman's contribution to the book. He couldn't save her in life so he would reunite with her in space (in literary form). The only reality was the present. Besides all that, I hated this movie. Certain scenes and dialogue are downright embarassing. Jackman was better in 'The Prestige'. Thank you.

  • Feb. 13, 2007, 2:56 a.m. CST

    2nd Best movie of the year

    by 2Utah2

    Pan's Labryinth and the Fountain reign surpreme. 1) The extremely personal story with giant themes of love, life and death. 2) The acting from Weisz and Jackman 3)The amazing special effects 4)The music from Clint Mansell and Mogwai. Case closed.

  • March 14, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    faahntin

    by council estate scumbag

    i also nicked this on dvd from the same posh twat we stole casino royale from. it was a bafta dvd too with the for your concideration shit on it. i aint got around to watching it yet tho. i heard its wierd and the narrative jumps all over the place. past present and future. should've nicked iwo jima instead. heard thats wicked. love japan culture. i wanna go to tokyo this year. save up me benefits and jet over there this summer.

  • July 11, 2007, 6:28 a.m. CST

    merely okay movie

    by just pillow talk

    Just didn't do it for me. And no way in hell this was 2nd best movie.<p>Guess this TB is still to new for you Orcus, eh?

  • Oct. 3, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Um, So I Finally Saw This And

    by georges garvaren

    it was a very fine film to sit through. I hope that twenty years from now people will have decided its worth.