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Big Movie Weekend! Moriarty Looks At BLINDNESS! Pulls A Gun On APPALOOSA! And Questions His Faith In RELIGULOUS!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. I don’t like to lump films together in one review most of the time... I like giving each piece room to breathe, and I like to give you guys room to have one talkback per subject if possible. But today, there are a ton of new films opening in limited and wide release, and I’ve seen three of them. I’ve got no interest in BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA, I never managed to snag an invite for NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST or HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS & ALIENATE PEOPLE or THE EXPRESS, and I’ll see RACHEL GETTING MARRIED as soon as I can. FLASH OF GENIUS, AN AMERICAN CAROL, and BALLAST all also slipped by me for one reason or another. That’s eight films right there in addition to the three I did see, and my wife wonders why I get frantic at this time of the year about making it to the screenings that are scheduled each and every day. With the three films I did manage to see, I had pretty serious expectations for all three, and in only one of the cases do I think the film really works. This is supposed to be the moment in the year where things kick into higher gear, where we start seeing really good movies every week, and when the awards-worthy pictures start rolling out. So why am I not more excited by all of these? My heftiest expectations were for BLINDNESS, and it’s taken me a while to work out my feelings about this film. I was a huge fan of CITY OF GOD and THE CONSTANT GARDENER, and I heard only great things about the novel by Jose Saramago, especially with director Fernando Mierelles working with Don McKellar, whose screenplays include CHILDSTAR, THE RED VIOLIN, the end-of-the-world drama LAST NIGHT, and the frankly amazing THIRTY-TWO SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD. That’s a hell of a pedigree behind the camera, plus Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Danny Glover, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Yusuke Iseya among others in the cast. BLINDNESS looks like an easy grand slam on paper. But I found myself making excuses for it after I saw it. Wanting to like it more than I did. As I’ve mulled it over in the weeks since seeing it, it’s really settled in, this nagging realization: it’s terrible. And that realization is a crushing disappointment, all things considered. If you’ve seen the TV spots or, even worse, heard the radio ads for this film, you’ve been sold a bill of goods. They’re selling it like a thriller about an epidemic with some big government vs. our heroes plot like CHILDREN OF MEN. Uhhhhh... no. I’m not basing my disappointment on the ad campaign, either, but rathing noting how inaccurate it is. It’s like Miramax realizes that they can’t sell what they’ve got, so they figure that if they lie reeeeal hard, they’ll at least have a weekend of potential earning. My first problem with the film, and perhaps the most insurmountable issue, is that this material is just plain hackneyed at this point. How many times can we see someone regurgitate the Stanford Prison Experiment in fictional form, this LORD OF THE FLIES microcosm that has been done and redone and redone and redone. Can we just accept it as a given that, under extreme duress, groups of people play out these same power dynamics again and again and again? What really shocked me is that Mierelles, a gifted filmmaker who was able to create immersive emotional experiences with his first two films, completely misses the mark with this one. This is a film where the viewer’s left completely on the outside of the experience. It’s not horrific or agonizing or engrossing... it’s more dreary and oppressive and just plain gross. It strains for deeper meaning at every turn, and struggles to find something new to say with the metaphor of blindness. Of course, Mierelles isn’t completely to blame. The screenplay by McKellar just plain doesn’t work, which is odd. LAST NIGHT was made for probably 1/10th of the budget of this film, but it managed to say more about the way people behave in the face of societal collapse than this movie does, and without resorting to a preposterous overreaching central conceit like everyone suddenly and mysteriously going blind. There are moments early on where it works. The first ten or fifteen minutes paint a decent picture of banal dread, slowly mounting as we see the viral chain of custody play out, one person after another stricken blind in a matter of moments. This is an ensemble film, but if there are any characters you could call the leads, it would be The Doctor (Mark Ruffalo) and the Doctor’s Wife (Julianne Moore). He’s an opthamologist, and his office becomes a major flashpoint for spreading the blindness, as many of his patients are afflicted before, finally, he wakes up blind himself. People are immediately rounded up and whisked away from population centers in an effort to keep the disease in check, and Moore makes an impulsive decision when she sees how they’re handling her husband. “Take me, too,” she says. “I’ve just gone blind. I can’t see.” The men in the HAZMAT suits aren’t interested in arguing. They’re too freaked out, and as a result, Moore ends up in a converted hospital with her husband, a building that has become a prison for all of the sick. And as it fills up, conditions get worse and worse. The people, suddenly robbed of a sense they’ve relied on their whole lives, devolve into squalor and chaos fairly quickly, and Moore has to play nursemaid to her husband, even as she feels him pulling away from her, driven by his shame at his condition. Nobody in the film gets a name. They’re painting in broad archetype here, with the obvious point being that a situation like this is an equalizer, forcing people who might never meet to have to depend on each other for survival. The hospital is divided up into wards, and gradually, power games start to play out as one of the wards decides that they’re not going to co-exist any longer. Gael Garcia Bernal plays a truly loathsome little man, a shameless opportunist who keeps escalating the situation until Mierelles treats the audience to a nightmarish rape montage that drove several people from the screening I attended. If I thought all of the misery and the shit and the suffering added up to something, I’d be more willing to take the ride. There was a film I saw at Fantastic Fest called EX-DRUMMER that was morally repulsive in an almost gleeful way, but there was a point to it, and there was so much raw energy and skill to the filmmaking that I set aside my own gag reflex while judging it. With BLINDNESS, the film knows how to provoke certain reactions, but the characters are such ciphers and the drama is so blatantly symbolic with no semblance of real life that I can’t get past the surface. Technically, the film is slick, but it’s inert. More than anything, this one frustrates because it represents a real setback for a filmmaker who seemed to be so promising, so boundlessly inventive, with his first few movies. Here’s hoping this is a mere speed bump, and that his next film wipes away the memory of this one. I wouldn’t say I disliked RELIGULOUS. I just wish I liked it more overall. And, no, I’m not going to use this moment to write a long treatise about my spiritual or religious beliefs. I’ve seen many critics take reviewing this film as an opportunity to climb up on a soapbox for a little preaching of their own, either pro or con religion and faith. I will say that I think those two things are different, and that difference is one of the main subtexts to this film by Larry Charles. I’m not sure I’d call it a documentary in the strictest sense of the word... it’s more a piece of exploratory journalism. It actually reminded me of another documentary that just came out on DVD this week from Magnolia Pictures called BIGGER STRONGER FASTER, which is all about steroid use in American culture. The director of that one, Chris Bell, started out to make an anti-steroid movie, but along the way, he found himself constantly challenged by what he learned. Bill Maher’s taken a lot of shit already for being part of RELIGULOUS, particularly from people who assume that all he’s doing is attacking people who believe in something. That’s not really the case, though, and because there’s more going on, I’d say RELIGULOUS is worth at least a look. It’s frustratingly incomplete, but a lot of what’s in the movie is worth seeing and certainly designed to spark conversation. Look, religion is one of the touchiest subjects there can be in terms of debate. People’s faith is very personal, and one of the biggest problems I have with religion is the idea that we put such strict names and rules to something that is essentially impossible to define. You’re talking about something that people believe, something that’s impossible to quantify in any tangible or scientific sense. And the easiest way to turn a simple conversation into a screaming match is to tell someone that what they believe is wrong. I don’t mean saying, “Well, I believe something different,” either. I mean telling them, “Nope. What you believe is stupid and wrong and I’m going to laugh at it.” And that seems to be what I see happening more and more these days. People don’t just disagree; they feel an almost pathological need to tear down someone else’s belief system completely. What is it about someone else’s faith that threatens people so much? And, conversely, why is it that people of faith feel so often that they have a mission to jam that faith down the throat of other people, as if they can’t be content in what they believe until they have absolutely forced you to believe it, too? Maher speaks at the start of the film about the oddity of growing up in a house where two religions were present. His father was Catholic, and his mother was Jewish, so Bill had these two influences playing out in his early life, even if he wasn’t totally aware of it. It’s obvious as he talks that religion was a hot potato in his house, and that’s probably why so much of his early stand-up material dealt with the subject in some way. Most of those early jokes were fairly harmless, jokes that were funny no matter what your faith. In recent years, though, Maher’s become more and more strident in his attacks on religion, calling it a form of mental illness. I think he idolizes guys like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and the fact that these guys have found the audience they have shows there is a hunger for this school of rationalism over the supernatural. That growing unease between the two extremes has made mass culture increasingly unpleasant, especially for people whose own faith falls somewhere in the middle. I think Larry Charles was the best choice Maher could have made for a collaborator on the film. Charles did an excellent job with BORAT, and I was afraid that Charles was gong to do a lot of “gotcha” type set-ups on this one, but instead, he seems to have really pushed Maher to interview people instead of attacking them. The best material in the film comes when Maher really engages with the people he’s talking to. I don’t think I could have taken two hours of watching him shit on other people’s beliefs, and that’s really not what the film is. More than anything, he seems determined to lay bare the contradictions and hypocrisy and just plain screwball logic of these stories people adhere to with such passion. The people he seems to have the best experiences with are the ones who acknowledge that there are imperfections to the dogma of their particular religions, but they choose to maintain their faith anyway. And, unsurprisingly, the people who come off the worst in the film are the ones who reject any challenge or conversation in favor of easy regurgitation of bumper-sticker-style religion, who seem to have little or no understanding of what they’re actually saying or why they believe what they believe. The reason I’m not crazier about the film is because I don’t think it ever really pulls its thesis together, and Maher certainly never earns the rant he lurches into as the film’s closing moments arrive. There’s an anger in those moments that the film doesn’t really earn, and it almost undermines everything that comes before it. Still, I get why that anger burns so bright for Maher. I think there are many, many terrible things that have been done in the name of one prophet or another, this messiah or that, but I think there is also a moral code that many of the world’s religions have imprinted on people that has led to a whole lot of charity and kindness. I’d like to think that even without religion, those same impulses, both good and bad, would play out in people, and maybe in equal measure. I think anytime you have groups of people, certain patterns play out. That’s part of what BLINDNESS tried to say in its own hamhanded way, and religion is just one of those social group structures that has led to those same problems. I find that in my own experience, I have little or not tolerance for organizations and groups and hierarchies, but I have boundless faith and love for individuals. RELIGULOUS is a hard film to summarize or to offer up any in-depth criticism of, but that’s because it’s not really a conventional movie. It is, more than anything, a litmus test, a match that will light a fire under most viewers, and how you feel about it in the end will depend largely on how willing you are to have that conversation at all. The final film I’m reviewing this weekend is APPALOOSA, the new film directed by veteran character actor Ed Harris. I haven’t read the Robert Parker novel that this was based on, but I’m pleased to report that this is a simple pleasure, unadorned and lovely, a real no-shit Western. It’s not a post-modern take on the genre. It’s not a reinvention. They’re not being ironic about it. It’s unapologetic, and it’s a great example of the best-case-scenario of what can happen when a really gifted actor gets behind the camera and directs other actors. The opening scene of the film works beautifully. No credits, no nothing. Just three men on horseback riding up to the yard of a ranchhouse. The owner of the ranchland, Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), walks out with a gun slung over his arm to talk to the man on the middle horse, US Marshall Jack Bell (Bobby Jauregui). The Marshall tells him that he needs to take some of Bragg’s men back to town to face charges for raping and murdering some travelers. Bragg tells him that isn’t going to happen. When the Marshall orders his deputy to arrest the men, Bragg shoots all three of them in the faces, barely moving as he does so. He does it the way you’d swat flies that were bothering you, without the slightest twitch of conscience. He orders the men who were going to be arrested to bury the bodies, then heads back inside. And just like that, we’re off and running. The town that sent Marshall Bell (the character, not the bug-eyed character actor) to arrest Bragg’s men, realizes that they may be in trouble when the Marshall never shows up again. Bragg’s men treat the town as their own personal playground, and with no Marshall in town, they feel free to forget all about the rule of law. The local businessmen and the figurehead mayor realize this can’t continue, so they hire help from the outside in the form of a pair of ringers: Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his right arm, Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen). And if you want to know what the film’s “about,” above and beyond the story (which is a deliberate but well-constructed yarn in its own right), it’s “about” the relationships that certain men build, where they form a partnership that supercedes everything else, a code that exists that is more binding than law. It’s about the way that code changes everything else they do. And when you’re making a movie about that, and it stars Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, and Harris is directing which means that there’s all the room in the world for these two to just act the shit out of every unspoken silence, every action beat unfolding as a duet between these two serious badasses. This film is all about the soul behind the gunslinger, and it’s verrrrry subtle stuff. I’ve heard a few people complain that it’s “just” a Western, but I far prefer this approach to last year’s problematic and much-hyped 3:10 TO YUMA. That film’s got some great chemistry, but the script is one frustration after another, characters acting out of convenience instead of their already-defined nature. APPALOOSA is a film where everything happens because of the way these characters are defined. Bragg is the immovable object that is set in the path of Virgil and Everett, and the first part of the film is all about setting up how they put their irresistible force to work on the problem of taking back Appaloosa from these outlaws, as a way of defining how they work together when everything’s right. That is, of course, so that when things go wrong, and they do, we understand just how wrong they go. Virgil Cole makes the simple mistake of falling in love. He meets Allison French (Renee Zellweger), a new arrival in Appaloosa, and he’s flattened by her sense of culture. She represents a world back east that Virgil’s got no place in, no sense of, and he is pretty much useless from the moment she shows up. Everett knows exactly what flavor of trouble she is, but he also knows that his relationship with Virgil and his adherence to the code means that he cannot comment on her. He can’t warn Virgil off. All he can do is back Virgil’s play or walk away. No middle ground. Virgil calls the shots, and as soon as she’s in the picture, his judgment slips. It ultimately puts everything up for grabs, including ownership of the town, everyone’s lives, and the code itself, this stress caused by this woman, and what kept me hooked is the way the film so clearly builds a sense of tension thanks to the way we know these characters are going to have to react as things keep building. Harris has a real feel for the classic oater, and he gives his entire cast the same room to play that he creates for himself and Viggo. Zellweger’s good as a consummate survivor, a woman whose morals depend on the company she keeps, and who turns out to have more in common with Virgil than he suspects at first. All the tough guys and townspeople are well-cast and well-played with familiar faces. In particular, Lance Henriksen shows up with his glower at full wattage, the only guy I can imagine going toe-to-toe with Harris and Mortensen side-by-side. Jeremy Irons doesn’t play quite as large a role as you might think from the way the film begins, but the way he blows with the wind is interesting, and by the end of the film, I’m not sure I’d even call him a villain. Robert Knott and Ed Harris did a nice job adapting the script from Parker’s novel, and even if the film doesn’t innovate, it’s a solid and rewarding genre treat, and my favorite of this weekend’s movies that I’ve seen so far. Lots out there to see, and I plan to catch up with a few of them myself this weekend. What have you guys seen so far, and what are you still planning to see?


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:39 a.m. CST

    What is it about someone else’s faith

    by DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET

    that threatens people so much? <P>PresBush Admin, Creationism, The Stall on Stem Cell Research, The Abortion Bullshit, The Anti Gay Marriage Crap. The Catchphrase Printed on our Currency. Not having the right to freely believe in what ever it is you do. The honest people don't know who god is or what god wants or even if there is a god. One things for sure. We all die, and when we do we will know then. That or Nothing happens.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Religion is evil. Deal with it.

    by DerLanghaarige

    It turns otherwise nice people into raving psychopaths. This is something that all horrormovies and videogames in the world couldn't do.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Rachel Getting Married is the best movie in theaters this week

    by applescruff

    That's all.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:48 a.m. CST

    the more I hear aobut Apaloosa

    by Bloo

    the more and more I want to see it, I really wish my small town theatre was playing it this weekend

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:58 a.m. CST

    People have killed in the name

    by DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET

    Grand Theft Auto 3<P> Natural Born Killers<P> Scream<P> So for all the blame tossed at religious group. <P>I guess what I'm trying to say is that people like to blame everything that doesn't include personal responsibility. What else is new. It called an excuse for inappropriate and or selfish and or evil behavior. Also Talents make failures. Part of the process of exploring ones self as an artist. Why are we so hard on these people when they've done so many things right in the past. Everyone loves to see Kings fall. Soon or Later they will hate you- Green Goblin was right. Mori was being soft about it but it was still a pretty strong hit. These kinds of attacks have place Berg and Lucas into a very bad place. I hate it. No one is perfect. No matter how hard they try. Respect the effort.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:59 a.m. CST

    People are evil. Deal with that.

    by The Tao of Joe

    Maher is a bigoted and idealistic fool for thinking that if we got rid of all religious people from our world cultures, companies will stop polluting our planet and people across the world will stop fighting in needless wars. Maybe we'll all get free puppies and candy as well. Unfortunately, what Maher fails to realize, or at least prove otherwise in his film, is that pollution and violence have little or nothing to do with religion. Sure there are people out there who use the dog stuff to make the horrible things they do go down easier, but the people who fuck up our planet and cause terrible wars do so because they believe the ends justify the means -- something that no religion really teaches. I mean the Nazi's were largely atheistic. So were the Russians and the Japanese when they were stacking up bodies during the mid 1900's. Maher's film was all over the place in terms of having a focus in order to back up his thesis. His film was tantamount to mowing one's lawn with a weed-eater. What Maher and Larry Charles basically did was shoehorn about two hours of loose, sloppy diarrhea between a book end wherein Maher - who believes we should be humble and non-religious - gets on a soapbox and preaches directly at the camera saying that we should no longer be enablers (i.e. 'tolerant') of religious people. Let's face it people, his closing statement was just a few work camps and a people-sized oven short of a final solution. The answer we atheists should look for is not to split the world into yet another binary (religious people vs. non-religious people), because that's what all the morons who do terrible things in the name of 'God' already. What we need to do as atheists is be more 'Christlike' than most of the Christians we know, and hope that a few of them will learn from our example.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7 a.m. CST

    and blindness sounds like it was

    by DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET

    based more on the events of katrinia than lord of the flies. I mean the same sort of shit went down at the rose bowl. Food for sex and murder and rape.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST

    when I wrote...

    by The Tao of Joe

    "dog stuff" what I mean was "god stuff." Reminds me of an excellent "Kids in the Hall" sketch....

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:07 a.m. CST

    It's Simple "We Don't Know"

    by DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET

    Accept it. Even the Atheist can't conclude otherwise. You either Think You Know, Or you Don't. But all faiths stress in the fact that You Must Believe. Or you wont be saved. So people Believe. And even then they have moments of Doubt. So That's my stance. Everyone Doesn't Know. Problem is we can't figure a true way to respect one anothers Unknowning Commitments to Their Personal Beliefs.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Spot On

    by toxicbuddha

    With the Appaloosa review. just saw the flick last night and it's exactly as you described it: a spot-on Western, bereft of contrivance and pretension. Ed and Viggo do make every scene a pleasure and I found myself chuckling at their exchanges throughout the film. It is a two hour pleasure to behold. And I gotta co-sign on 3:10 to Yuma. I love a good oater and I had just watched the original about a month before the remake was released. I was very disappointed with the newer version but never really bothered to try and figure out why. You nailed it in that brief sentence.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Good call Mori pointing out

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    "How many times can we see someone regurgitate the Stanford Prison Experiment in fictional form, this LORD OF THE FLIES microcosm that has been done and redone and redone and redone." I wonder how many young geeks know about this. Thank goodness for the web. Google it one and all and get yourself an edumacation.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Aaand I'm back to being excited for Appaloosa

    by O_Goncho

    Thanks for that Mori, Quint's take on it dulled my flame somewhat. Great article again, as ever.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET

    by JamesT

    I think you meant to say the Superdome not the Rose Bowl.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    The problem with attacking religion

    by Monkey Butler

    Is that it's simply a social ordering system. The problem that I have with Dawkins' argument, and I guess the same is true here, is that he believes that if you get rid of the religions, you get rid of the evils done in their name. So no more crusades, no more jihad, no more social ostracism based on sex or race or whatever. But that's blatantly untrue. Religion may be an excuse and an enabler of some terrible things, but scared and weak people, and that's definitely not to say that all people are scared and weak, are always going to find some way to make themselves more powerful and more secure about their place in the world and in the universe. If it's not religion, it's politics, or it's social castes. Global atheism would by no means create utopia. <p> Regarding Blindness, I think from the very first trailers it was obvious exactly how the story was going to play out. The only surprise, and disappointment, is that it wasn't handled better by a director with a brilliant, if brief, track record, and by a pretty stirling cast. <p> And finally, what the hell is classic oater?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST

    "I haven’t read the Robert Parker novel..."

    by xavier masterson

    ... that this was based on,..." "Robert Knott and Ed Harris did a nice job adapting the script from Parker’s novel,..." Good reviews,Mori, and while you can certainty comment on the quality of the script, can you really judge how well they adapted the novel if you haven't read it?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Why?

    by The Ringwraith

    "conversely, why is it that people of faith feel so often that they have a mission to jam that faith down the throat of other people, as if they can’t be content in what they believe until they have absolutely forced you to believe it, too?" I can answer that. Its called The Great Commission and its an important part of Christianity. Jesus called upon the disciples to spread his word to "people of all nations". Its in the Gospels and in Acts.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Hey, Mori

    by j-bot

    I really enjoyed the book Blindness is based on, and a lot of what you described you didn't like about it seemed directly from the book. Did you read the book, and if so, Are you saying the stuff just didn't translate well in the movie or that you didn't like general story and symbolism? I was fairly excited for this movie.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST

    No, DerLanghaarige, Religion isn't Evil

    by zinc_chameleon

    Superstition is. And the problem I have with Maher's film is that he doesn't get to the core of why superstition exists. It's called neurological expectancy, and it's the root of all dangerous irrational beliefs. The good news is that every carbon-based lifeform with a nervous system--from sea snails to Einstein has exactly the same problem. A little science goes a long way...

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Religion isn't the root of all problems, but...

    by rbatty024

    it does make problems worse. It's kind of like an enzyme. An enzyme is an aid to a chemical reaction without being central to that reaction. People will still hate and kill but religion makes certain that there is more hatred and killing.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Most wars in history are fought over territory...

    by Tacom

    not religion. Even the Crusades was really about land grabbing in the end.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Why do people hate on "3:10 to Yuma"?

    by elsachmo

    I don't get it. I would definetly say that it was the best modern western since "Tombstone", certainly much better than "Unforgiven".

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    City of God is a great movie, and I love Alice Braga,

    by CreasyBear

    who I saw first in Redbelt. I don't love her enough to see Blindness, but, uh, yeah, I pretty much love that woman.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:49 a.m. CST

    If religious people wouldnt try to

    by Omegaman

    use the government to force their beliefs on everybody else then it really would be personal and it wouldnt be a problem. Thats where I think I disagree somewhat with Maher. I dont care what loony stuff people believe as long as they are for separation of church and state, and it doesnt seem like thats ever the case no matter what religion it is.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    apaloosa is not as good as 3:10.

    by HypeEndsHere

    full stop.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 11:11 a.m. CST

    and 3:10 was not as good as Unforgiven.

    by HypeEndsHere

    these are the facts, people.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Why do they "want to jam it down throats"? Silly question.

    by Behemoth

    As Ringwraith said, the reason so many people who are religious aren't content keeping it to themselves is because most religions DEMAND THAT THEY DON'T! Christianity demands that its disciples go out and "win souls." After all, ETERNAL HELLFIRE is at stake for those who don't convert. If you actually believe that, how can you possibly be content just "keeping things to yourself"? <p>That's the whole problem with so much of this stuff. It would be one thing if Christianity simply dealt with loving your enemy, loving your neighbor, etc. That would make for a great way to live. But if you're going to believe that the Bible is holy, then you MUST believe all of it. If one part is "wrong" or false, then all of it could be. <p>That's why, even though I think the guy is freakin' nuts, I have more respect for the builder of the Creation Museum shown in the film. He actually believes dinosaurs and humans lived together and that the earth is only 6,000 years old. Why? Because, as he said, "If one thing is wrong about the Bible, then why can't all of it be wrong?" At least the guy is logical in his buffoonery. <p>I prefer the so-called Christians who "just want to keep it to themselves." (I'm pretty much agnostic at this point in my life, but I come from a strong Christian background and usually don't like to be bothered with the discussions anymore.) However, in a weird way, I also lack respect for them, because their beliefs are based on convenience. Pick and choose what Bible verses they want to believe. YOu either believe it all, or you believe none of it. And that includes those pesky verses about death penalties for picking wheat on the Sabbath or God wiping out every living creature in a village or Lot, the supposed "holy" man of Sodom, offering his daughters to a sexually-crazed mob. <p>Maher DEFINITELY earned the right for that final tirade. The movie showed just how friggin' NUTS so much of these beliefs are. The Jews working on ways to get around Sabbath restrictions using technology??? Are you KIDDING ME??? That was worth the price of admission alone, in all its insanity. <p>Thank God Maher had the balls to put something like this out for those of us who DO question things. And yes, I get the irony of that statement.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Bill Maher is no rationalist

    by LordTwinkie

    This is a guy who believes stridently in homeopathy, and didn't south park already settle this with their epic Go God Go episode. Plus Bill Maher = not funny.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST

    I found Mahers remarks on Daily Show utterly dismissive..

    by LORDRANDO

    and offensive. If he was trying to push his "ideas" he could come across like less of a bigot. I hate the notion that religion and rational thought are mutually exclusive. Some people reach faith after a lot of rational mental excercise and contemplation, and there is nothing to game in blaming zealots.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST

    The recent 3:10 to Yuma is the only DVD-worthy

    by CreasyBear

    western. Ever.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    I think most agree 3:10 to Yuma

    by The Ringwraith

    is the shit...Moriarty, I'm pretty sure, is in the minority here. The film has strong critic cred and a solid joe-six-pack fanbase. Although having discovered Unforgiven lately, I'm not willing to say I think Yuma is better...I kinda think Unforgiven is a masterpiece.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    hackneyed

    by Raymond Shaw

    Blindness: "this material is just plain hackneyed...How many times can we see someone..." Appaloosa: "Bragg shoots all three of them in the face...he does it the way you'd swat flies ...without the slightest twitch of conscience" ...and that isn't hackneyed? A cold-blooded killer displaying no emotion while shooting people...I suspect that most people have seen that type of scenario 10 times more often than "the LORD OF THE FLIES microcosm". "Blindness" might not be very good, but not because the material is "hackneyed". Hackneyed material can be interesting if done well, that seems to be the case with that scene from "Appaloosa".

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 1 p.m. CST

    3:10 to Yuma is a fun oater

    by O_Goncho

    It's not even in the same league as Unforgiven (there are several Western Leagues, don't you know)

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST

    3:10 from Yuma ...

    by Lukecash

    Didn't work for me for a number of reasons. Russel Crows hyped "Evil" character wasn't that evil. Also he was "artistic". That right there is a cliche. And Christian Bales "Honorable" civilian who lives up to his word despite all odds was also a big ass steryotype<p> But the scene that didn't work for me was when Russel Crowe finally had the upper hand on Bale, was strangling him and Bale explains his motive for not giving up...(another cliche") Crow uncharacteristically decides to give himself in.By his actions before, he should have just beat the crap of him and left...instead he "sees the ligbht". What would have made that moment work had BALE had the upper hand and beat some sense into Crowe. That way, he's finally been bested by a better man and see's it in a new way.<p>

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Bill Maher is a hack in the shadow of Carlin

    by ArcadianDS

    he so desperately wants to be the new George Carlin, except that Carlin was funny, original, insightful, and in some ways even prophetic. Carlin actually believed 100% in every word he said. He just happened to say them in a fun and entertaining way. Maher is a hack who just wants to be king of the clowns, and now that Carlin is gone, he's putting for an application for what he sees as a vacancy. He's an opportunistic stand-up comic whose stand-up act wasn't even all that funny. It was silly, but in no way is he or will he ever be George Carlin.<p>

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I'm an atheist and Maher's smugness is annoying

    by drturing

    Whatever the case with Religulous may be, I'll never catch it because despite tuning into Politically Incorrect every week I can't take his smugness, nor Dawkins', nor HItchens, nor that mental midget Sam Harris, whose book I flung across the room. What a boring world it would be without a hint of the supernatural or superstition, or any sort of transcendent resolve. The new atheism has a sickening smugness which has an analog view of religion that's far too simple minded, combined with an arrogance that's even less attractive. Lots of bad and good has been done in the name of religion, just as lots of good and bad has been done in the name of natural resources like oil or food. <p> Having said all that, Scientologists on the other hand, are batshit crazy.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Mori...but doesn't Appaloosa also have...

    by Executor

    ..."characters acting out of convenience instead of their already-defined nature." <p>Slight spoiler:<p>When Harris and Viggo chase Henriksen and co. after the train sequence and get the drop on them...they conveniently give them back their weapons for the old cliche "we need your help to get past the indians, but we'll settle up in town." When in reality, all they needed to get past the Indians was to replace their horse. (Not to mention, although this beat was played out in 3:10 also, it was more understandable there. Bale and co. were inexperienced and needed Crowe's help. Harris and Viggo are such badasses, they are more than capable of blowing away the bad guys and making a stand themselves if need be...two more gunhands aren't going to make THAT much of a difference.)<p>I agree with the rest of your review and think there is a lot of fine character work and it's a small, enjoyable movie made better by the Harris-Mortensen casting and camraderie...but that moment was a huge misstep to me, just a lazy and convenient way to force a showdown in town.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Great reviews, Drew

    by chrth

    Have we mentioned you're the best on this site lately?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    I believe in God and agree with drturing

    by chrth

    Scientologists *are* batshit crazy

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    BLINDNESS - movie vs. book

    by jeremykeijo

    The movie is surprisingly faithful to the book... although actually seeing some of the things mentioned can be a little more taxing than reading about them. Bottom line, if you like the book, then you know what you're in for and you should like the movie.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Blindness: about the book.

    by Onyx390

    I'd recommend you actually read the book, Moriarty. It, too, was terrible. In fact, from what you say, Mierelles should be respected for this movie. He seems to have stuck to the material rather faithfully. At least it shows that he respects the author. Although I think that this book should have been changed, I'm sick of directors taking it upon themselves to "fix" a book. Mierelles did what a good director should, nothing except direct.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST

    What people need to understand about Maher

    by NoodlesHahn

    is that he's not saying people shouldn't believe, he's saying people should admit they don't know for sure.<p>If you've lost a loved one or were stranded by Katrina, if you've been surrounded by hopelessness, he understands why people rely on faith. But faith is in the belief.<p>The difference between believing and knowing is accountability. If abusive priests believed in God, they would struggle and fight that temptation that's within them. But because priests KNEW that God exists, they fell back on the mantra, "I am as God made me." They have absolved themsevles of personal accountability.<p>Suicide bombers KNOW that there is an afterlife, they KNOW that 72 virgins are waiting for them. That's why they do what they do. If it was merely a belief, if there was the slightest bit of doubt that the end of this life might be the end of their existence entirely, they wouldn't lay down their lives so easily for a belief, for a hope, for a hunch.<p>The world is a better place with a diversity of belief systems, faiths, personal sets of morals that have been imprinted on us. The pain that we cause each other comes from letting faith turn into misguided fact. Believe what you want as loyally, lovingly and faithfully as you want, all Maher wants is for everyone to admit that they'll never know for certain until they get there. Now he's a comedian and he has his own style so he gets points for being as incendiary as he can but I think the point he's trying to make underneath that style is a valid one.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Discordian Omnitheism At Work

    by DOGSOUP

    Student: "Teacher is Eris True?" Teacher: "All Things Are True." Student: "Even False Things?" Teacher: "Yes Even False Things are True." Student: "But how can that Be?" Teacher: "I dunno man, I didn't do it."

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    MAHER IS FLATOUT MEAN; FILM A TOTAL JOKE

    by filmgenius

    I've just seen this so called "film." Let me atest you, a film, it is...not. Bill Maher is a total imbicile when dealing with religion. He taunts and protagonizes religious people just to get a rise out of them. As I just learned in class, the major tenets of film are to bring people together. Maher simply doesn't do that, he is, alienating. He is unrespectful to religious people. No, take two, he is so unrespectful that it surpasses anti-respectful to the point where it offends me and any free thinking individual. This film will and deserve to fail.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 3:53 p.m. CST

    No, what people need to understand about Maher is...

    by thedarklinglord

    He's a soulless douchebag. End of story.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Filmgenius

    by Onyx390

    Um, film isn't a belief or dogma. It has no tenets. It's a medium. You can't recklessly toss around words like that. Film is not a religion.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Yep

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    Can't wait to see Appaloosa

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Thanks for ruining the opening scene

    by broken ear

    of Appaloosa.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 5:50 p.m. CST

    WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOOOUUUUU!!!!!

    by Han Cholo

    I'M GONNA DRILL YOU SUCKA!!! I'M GONNA GRIND YOU UP!!!!!

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    Religious stuff is easy

    by Jodet

    If you're not cutting peoples heads off and flying planes into building I don't really care what you believe. What, Jesus died to save the little children? That's nice, have a nice day. The anti-christian people need to chill the hell out.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Monkey Butler

    by Mockingbird Girl

    Since no one seems to have answered your question: An "oater" is a Western. It's an example of the "slanguage" made famous by Hollywood trade paper Variety. See http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=slanguage for more examples.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the triple feature review, Mori.

    by TheRealRatigan

    I can't wait to see APPALOOSA.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:54 p.m. CST

    GIVEN: RELIGOUS STUPID, OBVIOUS: APPALOOSA JUST DUME

    by filmgenius

    As i prior said, Religiulous is just flat out dumb. If you don't acrue with me, fine that's, fine. But in truth, I'm highly educated and my opinions are widely inspected within the film communities in Las Angeles and New York City (namely Manhattan, but a little bit in Brooklyn too,). There for heed my advice: do not see the movie, it's a waste of time. If you want to see a decent film try a little something i call Kane Citizen Kane. As for Appaloosa...a western? are you kidding me? My colleagues in the film criticism community in both Universities and Journals totally unvalidated those films ini the 1970's. Sergio Lahore has gone down as one of the most poorly funded makers in the history of cellulum. So please HOLLYWOOD. I SPEAK FOR EVERYONE ON THIS FORUM. STOP PRODUCING THE UTTERMOST SHIT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PRODUCING THE PAST 6 DECADES. A PUT OUT DECENT FILMS AGAIN AS YOU DID PRIOR TO 1949. Nuff said.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Filmgenius

    by Johnny Smith

    Is English your first language?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    Johnny Smith

    by filmgenius

    I'm sorry...i don't speak the vernacular. I'm not a vulgarly plebium like the people you find on this boared.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Constant Gardener was terrible too

    by jimmy_009

    That one was way overhyped. As far as I'm concerned he's 1 for 3 now if Blindness is in fact a dud.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:08 p.m. CST

    oh jimmy...oh jimmy...

    by BadMrWonka

    the constant gardener terrible? that's a new low in attention-baiting even for you. EVERYONE knows that film is a masterpiece. of course, I'm on a lot of cold medication at the moment. maybe you're being serious.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:17 p.m. CST

    film genius

    by cripeman

    Just saw it too. It was everything Mori said. And Maher admits a couple of timers in the movie that he still wants the answers. <P> I get the impression that he was trying to understand that thing that compels us to WANT to believe ... him included.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Maher doesn't have to be respectful of religious people...

    by tendermelon

    And neither do I. That's the great thing about liberty, my friends. I can basically tell you and your god to go screw himself. What Maher is doing is just preaching doubt. If you get offended by this movie you're probably an idiot.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Sorry Gang...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... but I can't deal with the troll anymore. Filmgenius is being shown the door. It's such a transparent shtick. No one is that fucking stupid, making that many blatant mistakes in a single post. He's just someone's idea of a joke, and I'm not laughing. Bye, Filmgenius. We hardly knew ye... thank fucking god.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Religion is like Sex

    by antonphd

    When it's something you have chosen to participate in... it's a beautiful life altering experience. When it's forced on you... it's a horrific life altering experience.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    antonphd: you know they were asking for the religion

    by chrth

    ...<p> what?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, why faith threatens people...

    by C0ns

    is because it is dangerous. Dangerous to the faithful themselves, and to everyone else. Religious faith fosters a state delusion and complacency. Why must the faithful mind worry about anything? It's all part of God's mysterious plan regardless. Why does a faithful person need secular science? Why does a faithful person need to tolerate those unfaithful (an extreme example, but it's prevalent enough to warrant attention)? These are just a few concerns among many intrinsic to faith that can have devastating consequences for the faithful and quite literally all of humanity. And for what? Name me one thing a balanced individual, one positive aspect a person might benefit from that absolutely requires religion. One positive trait reliant upon religion that one could not obtain through secular means. Can you do that? Faith threatens me because it is beyond useless; it's counterproductive to humanity as a whole. We don't need it almost as much as we don't need the negative aspects inherent to it.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by C0ns

    Could someone please let me know who to properly use paragraph breaks here? Thanks.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST

    groups

    by antonphd

    Religion is personal for many people. It is for me. Groups is the problem with religion. When you retreat into the security of a group of religious people to protect yourself from the challenges to your religion from other people. When you form a group to protect yourself from those who don't accept your beliefs... well... what happens when there are differences in beliefs within the group. The group exists to protect belief... what happens when belief is challenged within this same group? You get sub groups. Often the sub groups split from each other forming individual groups. This happens over and over again... each split solidifying a belief. More and more the sub groups become more and more firm in their beliefs until you have a group that finally adopts the belief that challenges are unacceptable within the group. And that's how you get your religious people who don't believe in challenging beliefs. These groups also believe that everyone should believe what they believe. This is how you get the groups of religious people who demand that others accept their religion.... they don't accept challenges to their beliefs even from themselves, so, they don't accept them from anyone else... this is how they go from sharing their beliefs to trying to make their beliefs the law of the land.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:12 p.m. CST

    chrth

    by antonphd

    i grew up with religion forced on me by my parents. i grew up with other people who had religion forced on them by their parents. throughout history religion has been forced on billions of people by their family and their government. being forced to accept a belief is a violation. but accepting a religion because you believe in it of your own free will can be a very rewarding experience. that's the truth of most things. nobody wants to be forced into anything in life.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:28 p.m. CST

    He was just another reviewer UNTIL...

    by O_Goncho

    ...he met one troll too many. This fall, Drew McWeeny IS 'Feedin' Trolls: The Professor Moriarty Story'

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:34 p.m. CST

    "win souls."

    by Thrillho77

    Christianity demands that its disciples go out and "win souls." <p> I'm a Catholic who's been going to church for 20-odd years and I've never once heard this. I've also never pushed the merits of my religion on others, and I am very reluctant to even talk about my religion with others very often. All I've ever heard was the preaching of tolerance and compassion. <p> There are a lot of zealous nuts out there, speaking out in the name of God and they give a terrible name to all the normal people out there walking around who just happen to be religious.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Also...Appaloosa

    by Thrillho77

    A hell of a fun time - with a FUNNY ass script. But Renee Zellweger's stepping-off-the-train is one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes in the movie. Her sour-ass face all scrunched up from the sunlight could make even the staunchest town sheriff run for the hills. What happened to the Jerry Maguire Z that we once knew?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Appaloosa...good movie, but...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    A.) Zellweger's hideously squinchy, botoxed face is SO not 1882, and B.) Ed Harris singing(!) over the end credits sounded like one of those John C. Reilly spoof songs from Walk Hard. Otherwise, good movie, but it's ain't 3:10 To Yuma (one of my favorites from last year).

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:42 p.m. CST

    You said it, Thrillho77

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I could buy Kevin Costner mooning over Annette Benning in Open Range, but I can't imagine ANY man going for Zellweger, especially a badass like Ed Harris.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:44 p.m. CST

    C0ns, here's an honest answer...

    by Thrillho77

    And I hope you'll consider it, even if it doesn't apply to you. Faith brings me inner-peace. That's the positive aspect. It calms me. It in no way makes me think that all will okay, if I just believe. Again, that seems to be a misguided generalization of what people find in religion. <p> Quite simply, I have faith that comforts me somehow. Would I be at peace without it? Who's to say? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's something I have been brought up with and developed over time. <p> And I've never hurt anybody with it. And I've never manipulated anything in any way with it. And it only concerns myself. So what's wrong with that? Call me weak, I guess, if you'd like. It won't bother me, because I know what kind of person I am. But I've been a "balanced" and "good" person all of my life. Was it because of faith? I'm not sure. But faith is part of who I am - that much is a certainty. Of course, a lot of others do bad things in the name of what they believe. And THEY are the ones who are too weak to realize when things are an "allegory" vs. the things that have been misinterpreted for wrong-doing.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:46 p.m. CST

    *all will BE okay

    by Thrillho77

    /obligatory lack of an edit feature on AICN post

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Nasty In The Pasty

    by Thrillho77

    I'm fairly certain there was an audible GASP in the theater when she appeared. They might have done well to release that movie closer to Halloween. <p> Nice screen name, by the way. Are you your own father?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:20 p.m. CST

    My username:

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    [talking to Enis' crotch] "Hang tight in there, Dad!"

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:37 p.m. CST

    It's a strange thing.

    by irritable

    Humans don't usually seem care much what other humans are thinking about.<p> But when it comes to religion, many people become ENRAGED if other people aren't thinking "right" thoughts.<p> (In the US and a few other places, that also applies to political beliefs.)

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Thrillho77

    by C0ns

    I can deal with that. I would say that you're probably an example of the best case scenario religious person, and i'm sure you're a fine person, as are a lot of religious people. My argument here is that take religion away from your childhood, and what's stopping you from being the person you are today sans religion? I think the answer is nothing. I do not mean to be presumptuous and offend you here, but you were likely taught religion before you were able to comprehend the world even to the slightest degree, as basically all religious people are. If whatever arbitrarily chosen religion wasn't a forced institute upon your developing mind, you wouldn't need it today like you do, it wouldn't be a part of you, and you would be none the worse for it. In fact i would argue that you would likely be a better person in many ways. I think that in realizing that there is no Catholic god (or any of the gods detailed in the numerous man-made religions prevalent in our world) you would be freed from the many rigid preachings that are a part of the religion. I think you would have a batter understanding of the world and universe we live in and thus a better approach. This may all sound arrogant and condescending to you though surely i do not mean to come off that way that way, but i very much know that it is fundamentally true; and not through faith, but from experience and observation. And assuming you can imagine yourself minus the religion but still the good and great person you are today, and others like you who wrongly take comfort in religion have managed to outgrow it, basically a world without religion, we humanity still have all of the benefits that may arise form religion, but none of the much more numerous maladies. Does that truly sound so unsettling to you?

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Ex-Drummer

    by irritable

    A Belgian movie determined to offend everybody - but not in a good way. Smug, crude and puerile.<p> The 'energy' you mention Mori is the only thing that makes it (barely) watchable. <p> When I saw it last year most of the audience walked out.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:54 p.m. CST

    C0ns

    by Thrillho77

    First of all, thanks for being cool. It's tough to actually get mature discussion going about this. <p> Second of all...No, it's not that unsettling. Surely, what you say is a very plausible idea. Even as a religious person, I can admit that a world like yours could possibly still exist without religion. I think that is an even fairer statement, if you believe that common morals are inherent in our culture. <p> I only object to getting flack from some just because that's the way I happened to be brought up. The fact of the matter is, religion does exist, and some have found peace in it, and as long as I'm a good person and can lead a happy and successful then I'm not harming anyone. That's all. <p> But I think what you say is very true also. I think it will be interesting to see the future generations grow up. Less and less people go to church. And do I think we'll be worse off as a world for it? No, I don't think so.

  • Oct. 4, 2008, 10:55 p.m. CST

    ....

    by Thrillho77

    We'll be worse off, but for other reasons, I'm sure. :)

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 12:34 a.m. CST

    stepping into the fire and the flames

    by Bloo

    while the "Great Commision" in Matthew, Mark and Acts does tell Jesus' followers to "go into all the world" and "spread the good news to everyone everywhere" it doesn't lay out a game plan to do that, the street corner evangelist, the Kirk Cameron Way of the Master plan rarely is effective for soul winning and really generall pisses off people. the heart of biblical evangelism as I understand it, is in doing good works (see the book of James for it's treatise on "you say you have faith, let me see your works"). St. Francis said it best and more and more christians need to take this advice, "preach the gospel to all the world and if neccssary use words" basically what he was saying, what he molded, was doing things to help people rather then preaching adn screaming and whatnot. In Proverbs it says "do not withhold from someone in need if it is in your power to help them"<P>it's when Christians are building houses (habitat for humanity), are rebuilding after disasters (like Operation Blessing and many many others), when you run a soup kitchen, or buy someone a meal or groceries or something like that that's seems to be the most effective form of evangelism, again in my opinon

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Viggo = Grommit

    by canucklehead

    Seriously, all his work in the first 1/2 hour of Appaloosa is in the eyes; hilarious and brilliant.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Canucklehead...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... phenomenal comparison. That's one of the things I forgot to mention... APPALOOSA is frequently quite funny, and a lot of it is simply in the silent reactions of Viggo to what's going on. Spot on, sir. Well played.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 1:58 a.m. CST

    I completely agree with Nasty In The Pasty...

    by waitingimpatientlyforingloriousbastards

    Appaloosa, while not as good as 3:10 to Yuma, was an enjoyable, fun film, filled with lots of humor and pretty cool gunfights as well. Ed and Viggo were both great, as was Jeremy Irons. I definitely recommend this film, as it's probably the best film in wide release this weekend. I wish I could see Rachel Getting Married though!

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Moriarty -

    by drturing

    I finally saw Foot Fist Way tonight. I feel like I just saw Spinal Tap for the first time. Thanks for pointing that one out.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 4:34 a.m. CST

    After Nicole Kidman Renee takes second prize for

    by GQtaste

    most plastic surgeries of the face. Those two have to have a piece of botox's stock. Kidman's new baby has more wrinkles on his forehead than both his mommy and Renee's.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 4:41 a.m. CST

    As Johnny Lenon sang in "God." God is a concept by

    by GQtaste

    God is a Concept by which we measure our pain I'll say it again God is a Concept by which we measure our pain I don't believe in magic I don't believe in I-ching I don't believe in Bible I don't believe in Tarot I don't believe in Hitler I don't believe in Jesus I don't believe in Kennedy I don't believe in Buddha I don't believe in Mantra I don't believe in Gita I don't believe in Yoga I don't believe in Kings I don't believe in Elvis I don't believe in Zimmerman I don't believe in Beatles I just believe in me...and that reality The dream is over What can I say? the Dream is Over Yesterday I was the Dreamweaver But now I'm reborn I was the Walrus But now I'm John and so dear friends you'll just have to carry on The Dream is over

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 6:07 a.m. CST

    With all due respect to John Lennon

    by irritable

    He came up with some cringingly pretentious lyrics on that that album.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Two Extremes ??????

    by Sluggolicious

    The notion that "the school of rationalism over the supernatural" is an EXTREME point of view goes to show how brainwashed Moriarty really is. Believers are so deluded that someone who asks for one shred of evidence in support of their silly theory is called an "extremist." Laughable.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Hey man let me ask you something.....

    by Han Cholo

    You ever fuck a mutant?

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Way off the mark on Blindness, Moriarty.

    by HoboCode

    Really? Inert? What in the fuck are you talking about? Blindness is a phenomenal film that is every bit as good as the book. I think you're crazy.

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Filmgenius banned?

    by Lenny Nero

    Looks like a lot of his posts are still around. What happened to good old fashioned ultra-banning?

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Appaloosa.....I must watch this!!

    by TheWaqman

  • Oct. 5, 2008, 8:25 p.m. CST

    God I love Westerns

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Love em. I want more! MORE! ahem. That is all. And Blindness sucked. Middling effort and a piss poor script. All I have to say is they all deserve what they got in that place because they are a bunch of sheep...baaaaahhh! If you see it you will know what I mean.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Religulous should win an OSCAR for best doc

    by uberfreak

    All you religious moderates need to look at the world around you and see that religion is a poison and needs to be put on the shelf like all other stupid ideas. Grow up!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Congratulations, RELIGULOUS !!!

    by maddox

    You have now been reviewed more times on this site than The Dark Knight !!!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST

    John Lennon's net worth at death - 73 million

    by JackRabbitSlim

    For someone who talked about if there were no money - he sure accumulated a lot of it...

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Bill Maher will join you non-believers in hell

    by Jeditemple

    So, bash religion all you want, along with your buddy Bill. You'll be sharing the same fate and pain.