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Moriarty's Rumblings From The Lab #3

Hey folks, Harry here to introduce you to the third installment of the dear professor's rantings and ravings. Seems the ol evil one is honing his sword to a razor's edge in his continued strong feelings about Barry Sonnenfeld. Just at a personal interest level I have to say I'm not curious in the least about seeing a Sonnenfeld directed, Will Smith vehicle about ALI. When I hear things like, "Ali was the first rapper," I just get this sinking feeling like someone is completely missing the point. It's akin to talking about latex nipples and Batman. It just doesn't raise a flag of interest in the least. Well, enough from me... onto the evil genius....

Hey, Head Geek...

"Moriarty" here.

I spent the holiday celebrating with fireworks like everyone else. Of course, most of them were strapped to various henchmen who have angered me recently, but I enjoyed the hell out of it just the same. I hope that all of you had a good time whether you were in a theater or out and about. If you were in a SOUTH PARK audience, I'm sure you had a blast. I know I did when I paid to see it for a second time, something I only do with movies I love these days. Besides, I wouldn't have missed that brilliant SLEEPY HOLLOW trailer for anything.

If you were in a WILD WILD WEST audience, I'm sorry. You can't say you weren't warned, though. Aside from my review, the film took a fairly merciless beating from the national critics, and no matter how hard Warner Bros. spins the story (kind of a dramatic jump between the estimates on Sunday night and the estimates on Monday night -- funny how that worked), their box-office take since Wednesday is a disappointment. I'm dying to see what sort of precipitous drop the film has in its second weekend.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't just a case of Schadenfreude run amuck. After witnessing the debacle of WILD WILD WEST, I now have a powerful interest in seeing the film bomb. If it does, then we will be spared one of the projects we've been hearing rumbles about for months now. I'm writing, of course, about Sonnenfeld's proposed Muhammad Ali biopic starring Will Smith.

When the idea of Sonnenfeld and Smith working together on the film first went public, I thought the weak link was the casting of Smith. He couldn't physically be more wrong for the role unless he were white. His "nude" scene in WILD WILD WEST made that abundantly clear. Smith's lean, smooth torso doesn't remotely resemble Ali's iron frame. Their specific types of charisma are almost exactly opposite as well, and I don't think Smith has the range to change himself enough. One of the working titles of the biopic is POWER & GRACE, and that certainly sums up Ali in his prime. He could beat the hell out of anyone alive, but there was an elegance to his life outside the ring that distinguished him from the typical "fighter."

Smith is the least of my concerns now, though. Instead, I'm actively afraid of how badly Sonnenfeld will mismanage one of the greatest human stories of the 20th Century. Muhammad Ali is not just a great boxer. He is a great man, a true legend, deserving of that status. Both Harry and I have met him, and we both agreed that it was a humbling experience. He was a powerful voice against the war in Vietnam and an active figure in the civil rights movement. He's also one of the only true role models I can think of in pop culture. The telling of this epic and important story demands a filmmaker of remarkable sensitivity and skill, someone capable of balancing the heavy dramatic material, the political content, and the thrilling fight sequences. We need someone who's proven their capability at a wide range of styles.

What we don't need is a director who frequently talks about how much he dislikes watching movies -- any movies -- and who complains that filmmaking is boring and that he doesn't really care when he's on the set. We don't need someone who prioritizes style over substance. We don't need Barry Sonnenfeld. If you want a look into the mindset of this director, you can pick up any of the articles currently hyping WILD WILD WEST. In particular, though, I'd recommend the new issue of CINEFANTASTIQUE. It's revealing material, but I'm not going to take any of his quotes out of context. Read the whole thing. It reads a lot like every Sonnenfeld interview, thick with his dislike for the work he does. At least he and I agree on something.

Before you think this is personal, allow me to interject that I think his work as a director of photography was frequently brilliant. RAISING ARIZONA and MILLER'S CROSSING are two of my favorite looking films of all time. He was collaborating with some real artists on those films, though. Same with Rob Reiner. I just think he's out of his depth when he's in charge of the whole picture. As Columbia rolls ahead with the project, AICN plans to cover the film every step of the way. If this thing derails, we plan to be there. I've got the latest draft of the script en route right now and will be reviewing it soon. I sincerely hope that the heat of the Sonnenfeld/Smith team has cooled enough that saner heads will steer the project forward to success.

Enough with the big-budget impersonal world of filmmaking, though. Last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to get a good look at the other side of things when I joined the Filmmakers Alliance (www.filmmakersalliance.com) at the Director's Guild for an evening of short films, free food, and tequila. As with any collection of work, there were certain shorts that stood out over the others, but my compliments to everyone whose work was shown. For me, there were three films that really shone.

IS2O was 16 minutes of sublime visual power, shot to great effect on MiniDV. Described in the evening's program as "the edited log of an alien transmission," the short was an exercise in point of view. An unidentified device or creature observes a photographer as she moves through various southwestern locations, trying to find something to photograph, seemingly unaware of what a fascinating subject she is. Writer/director/photographer/editor Elyse Couvillion shows enormous control here, and her film is visually ravishing. Her subtle visual wit is bracing, and I'm curious to see what else she can do.

Another female filmmaker with a strong visual sense is the charming Shawn Tolleson, whose HIDE AND SEEK manages to telll a simple, emotionally direct story with no dialogue, no color, and a mere nine minutes. Tolleson told me that she's worked in color and sync sound before, but she chose to push herself to tell a story with the most basic tools available. If this is the kind of work Tolleson can do when intentionally limited, someone should set her free soon.

Finally, there was the collaboration of Frankie Como and Ken Lipman on THAT MARINO THING. Lipman was the co-creator of Nickelodeon's long-running THE SECRET WORLD OF ALEX MACK, and Como was a regular on the show. This short is their first film. Como plays one of the leads and directs, and it's obvious he's an actor since the film's clear emphasis is performance. Despite a surface similarity to HBO's recent sensation THE SOPRANOS and the spring hit ANALYZE THIS, the short film manages to take the central conceit of mobsters consulting a psychiatrist and wring fresh laughs from it. Doing this kind of goombah humor without crossing over into caricature or cartoon is tricky, but Lipman's script pulls it off with real flair.

The event as a whole was great fun, with Neil LaBute (IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, the upcoming NURSE BETTY) delivering a strong, funny speech to kick things off. The afterparty ran for several hours, and gave us a chance to talk to people about the Filmmaker's Alliance. It's a great idea, a group that really practices what it preaches , and it's great to see new filmmakers given a voice. I'd advise anyone who's still taking these first steps in the field to visit the group's website and see how to get involved. Maybe we'll see your film next year.

Has anyone else noticed the truly deplorable trick Paramount's using in their GENERAL'S DAUGHTER campaign? The TV spot starts with the announcer solemnly intoning, "Roger Ebert calls it a 'steamy psychological thriller.'" Then they run the quote by onscreen. The thing is, I've checked Roger's reviews at his website and on the SISKEL & EBERT homepage. He gave the film a thumbs down, and he doesn't actually call it a "steamy psychological thriller" anywhere in his print review. In fact, it's a mixed to negative review. Isn't that just inherently dishonest? Paramount has plenty of quote whores they can run, but they know that using Roger's name implies he gave the film a good review, no matter what he said. He didn't though, so I'm calling a foul.

Another foul I'm going to have to call is on the makers of this Friday's release ARLINGTON ROAD. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to write a full review for the film or not. I'm not sure if I feel like the film's worth the effort. It's not a terrible film by any means. In fact, there are bits and pieces of the film and the performances by Tim Robbins, Jeff Bridges, and Joan Cusack that I liked. In the end, though, I can't recommend it. The material is ultimately too distasteful, played as exploitation, to be enjoyed. The topic is demanding enough that it should have been written smarter, and less like a conventional thriller. The real kicker is the film's ending. I won't spell it out here, but I will say that I'm a big fan of THE PARALLAX VIEW, a film that was just released on DVD. Rewatching it for the first time in years, I was flabbergasted at how exactly, beat-for-beat ARLINGTON ROAD rips off the earlier film. Note to screenwriter Ehren Kruger: when you come up with your clever twist ending for SCREAM 3, make sure it's actually yours.

Loved the news about David Mamet writing the adaptation of HANNIBAL. Let's have another VERDICT or UNTOUCHABLES or HOMICIDE, David. You can do it.

To those of you lucky enough to be able to take advantage of that Kubrick festival in Australia (see our story today), ask yourself this question: what's the likelihood of seeing Cruise and Kidman there with him working on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 and her shooting MOULIN ROUGE, both there in Australia? I'd guess pretty good.

Gabriel Byrne's playing a priest fighting Satan in STIGMATA. He actually plays Satan in END OF DAYS. I saw the trailers back-to-back today. Isn't this somehow conflict of interest?

Anyway, I've got to start scrubbing the henchmen off the walls to gear up for the week ahead. I'll be looking at DICK, LAKE PLACID, and I'll be offering the first review anywhere of Peter Jackson's scripts for LORD OF THE RINGS. Next week, I'm going to take an in-depth look at why Bill Murray is one of our national treasures. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • July 6, 1999, 4:02 a.m. CST

    where there's a will there's a way...

    by reni

    Arlington Road really isn't as bad as some of the shit that's been released this year. I know what you mean Moriarty, it is pretty mainstream, and mainstream with a thorny subject matter can be seen as exploitative, but it's still pretty good. Now let's consider the adaptation of 'Hannibal' for one moment. How is Hollywood going to work this? I loved it. I thought the ending was absolutely surreal. What do you think Moriarty? Is Mamet up to the challenge?

  • July 6, 1999, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Moriarty- Du er fed

    by Fairlane

    Hey there- the only thing i want to say to You M. is to keep up the good woek and please whip some henchmen from me!!!!

  • July 6, 1999, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Ebert quote . . .

    by mcarbone

    He may have not said it in the article, but he could have said that phrase on the TV show or on a separate medium from the Sun Times. If you read the Answer Man this week on his web page, you'll see how he talks about being taken out of context - and how it's fair.

  • July 6, 1999, 5:51 a.m. CST

    what is wrong with me today..?

    by reni

    Sorry everyone, I'm not reading the articles clearly today. Not only am I seen to be starting wars with Australia but now I'm trying to start up a talk back about a topic that was done to death about two weeks ago. Sorry, I wasn't in work that week...

  • July 6, 1999, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Moriarity you dumbass, Sonnenfeld's being facetious

    by Wesley Snipes

    Do you really think he'd keep working if he hated it as much as you make it out to be? He has a dry wit and his comments are often meant to be humourous. It should be clear from most of his interviews and commentary and what not. However, I guess if you're on a raging 180-after-one-bomb geek rampage, you're apt to forget all that and start pretending everything he says is dead fucking serious so as to 'prove' your point. Sheesh!

  • July 6, 1999, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Wild Wild West

    by HarrisTelemacher

    I agree this was not a great movie, I was bored senseless, but Moriarty, shut up about it and Sonnenfeld already. You seem to be getting dragged into a senseless, petty feud over one movie and misunderstanding Sonnenfeld's interviews. Get over it, it's a movie and he's just a man! Get back to your previous greatness or this will get old qu...too late!

  • July 6, 1999, 7:16 a.m. CST

    LOTR script

    by sjmaatta

    I can't wait 'til nnext week, I'm going to have my summer vacation, and can't probably get to surf the net!!!! C'mon Moriarty, dear friend, spill the beans as soon as possible! As a life long Tolkien fan I'm dying to know!!!

  • July 6, 1999, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Scriptorama + LOTR = Good

    by DOBBALINA

    I say give the script to Drew's Scriptorama and post the whole Goddam thing PERLEEEEEAASSSE!!!

  • July 6, 1999, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Tim Robbins Rocks

    by Anakin Rocks

    Just putting in my feeling that Tim Robbins (one of the stars of "Arlington Road") is truly one of the great film artist of out time. Not only is he a talented actor, but his work as a director has been phenomenal. He also has a strong social conscience & is a man I truly respect. - John

  • July 6, 1999, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Holy sh**!

    by creamy goodness

    The LOTR script is out?!?! WAHOO! Gimmegimmegimmegimmegimmegimmegimmegimme!!!!!!!!! And yes, Bill Murray is one of our national treasures (as is Tim Robbins). -CG

  • July 6, 1999, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Would someone please link?

    by Prankster

    Would someone provide a link to an online interview with Sonnenfeld so we can clear this up? I have to say, though, that this doesn't sound like Sonnenfeld, all the earlier interviews I read or saw made him out to be a goofy guy with a good sense of humour. I respect both Moriarty and Sonnenfeld, so it's hard for me to take sides...anyway. Yes, Tim Robbins and Bill Murray rock (just saw Rushmore again). And yes, for the love of criminy, PLEASE post your review of LOTR forthwith. (I don't think we should be reading the script, though...I mean, the material is going to be the same, and it'll probably feel flat. It's the direction that's going to make this movie come alive.

  • July 6, 1999, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Gawd bless yer Moriarty me darlin'

    by Call Me Roy

    Fair play to Moriarty for scratching his (her?!) Sonnenfeld itch. The 'style over substance' comment had the sound of nail heads ringing in my ears. Minor quibble on the 'Moriarty Labs' logo though. The 'L' looks like a 'B' suggesting that Moriarty is living a triple life as a movie geek/imaginary evil genius/cockney gangster's moll.

  • July 6, 1999, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Ebert dishes it out

    by Moby

    This happened twice in a span of eight days with Roger Ebert's AP:TSPSM quote surfacing everywhere even though he gave the film a thumbs down. I also remember Disney shamelessly playing that "Two thumbs way, way up!" James Wood snippet in 1997 when they knew that Gene gave it a negative review. And he was their EMPLOYEE! At least Paramount and New Line were using actual quotes, though a wee bit deceiving. The Hercules clip was an outright lie. I didn't like the movie either and would be a little ticked if Disney was deceiving America into thinking I really liked it!

  • July 6, 1999, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The OTHER Script Site

    by MrSID

    For those of you STILL waiting for Drew to update his once excellent site, Drew's Script-O-Rama, you might want to take a look at this site: The Daily Script http://www.un-official.com/The_Daily_Script/index.html

  • July 6, 1999, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Can't get enough of the Evil Genius

    by Oberon

    I've said it before, but good work merits good words. Moriarty is one of the real highlights of your site now, Harry. He's well connected, insightful, and has a knack for good commentary. He also saved us $14 on Wild Wild Mess that I was able to spend instead on fireworks - they burned up in a hurry, but at least they didn't insult my intelligence. I'd love to see "Rumblings From the Lab" become a regular feature, preferably on a weekly or biweekly basis at least. Perhaps his henchmen will kick him loose often enough to do it...

  • July 6, 1999, 10 a.m. CST

    Let's go, Tim!

    by Ellie Sattler

    Have to agree with Anakin Rocks. Tim is a genius, amazingly talented, and very socially conscious. And frankly, if it wasn't for him, I couldn't care less about "Arlington Road." I'm counting on him and Joan Cusack to bring some spark to the movie.

  • July 6, 1999, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Moriarty is a disco drag queen...

    by FreeRide_n

    "I'm gonna dance! Dance! I'm gonna dance!" The Ali story is far too important to let fall in the "wrong" hands. I a-g-r-e-e. As for Mamet... ...as long as he just writes, we'll all be fine. Dude is far too disassociated with humanity to ever be a director, though. Stick to writing, and we'll ALL be happy. Anyhow, good work Mori... Longlive FreeRide to Texas!

  • July 6, 1999, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Mamet's Humanity

    by mrbeaks

    It's on full display in THE WINSLOW BOY, which is, in my opinion, the best movie so far this year. Far from ladling on the sentimentality, he allows his characters small victories; such as the child learning of the verdict, and Nigel Hawthorne's reaction to it. It's a wonderfully understated film that further legitimizes Mamet's standing as one of our best dramatic writers in any medium. If anyone can make HANNIBAL work, it's him (and how about finding some actual *suspense* in that tome. I know it's a strange book with more on its mind than your garden variety James Patterson crapfest, but a little sense of dread wouldn't hurt the story.) And what's this about WILD WILD WEST being "pretty good?" Just to what depths does your scale slide, and could you say hello to Pol Pot on your next visit? As a fan of Sonnenfeld's DP work, as well as MEN IN BLACK and ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES, I'm amazed at what a hack job the man turned in. Screw the ALI project, he's not even qualified for a Leon Spinks biopic.

  • July 6, 1999, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Who Should Get To Beat Up Fishburne as Liston

    by Anton_Sirius

    Screw Will- Cuba Gooding Jr. is the only name I can think of that could possibly do justice to Ali. And he's done a boxing movie before, too (even if it was a bad one.) So we replace Will with Cuba, and Barry with Milos...

  • July 6, 1999, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Barry and That Sirius Fella

    by HarrisTelemacher

    Yes to Cuba as Ali, no to Milos directing, yes to Singleton directing. I agree that Sonnenfeld should be held responsible for WWW but it's the venom that drips from Moriarty makes it seem like there is a personal problem between the two and I don't think that has much place in this site (maybe in the TalkBack).

  • July 6, 1999, 11:31 a.m. CST

    yeah

    by -Z-

    what a great idea. Cuba Gooding Jr. ! That dude could do Ali. While I like Will Smith, I just don't have confidence that he's got the physique/range to pull it off. And no I'm not going to waste my money on WWW just so I can "go and see for myself" I thought it looked like a total piece of crap ever since the first trailer played (you know, with that funky, Will Smith Wild Wild West theme song).

  • July 6, 1999, 11:35 a.m. CST

    The Perils of Sonnenfeld in the land of the Yik Yak

    by LOS GORDOS

    I have to reiterate what "Wesley Snipes" said above. Moriarty, Sonnenfeld is a sarcastic bastard (a good thing in my book) who's sense of humour is famous for being misinterpreted and rubbing people the wrong way. I saw WILD WILD WEST this weekend and after Moriarty's review I was expecting a film so painfully bad it would make HOOK look like a masterpiece of entertainment worth watching over and over again. Guess what, WWW is a pretty entertaining movie with some brilliantly over the top moments and the first Kenneth Branaugh performance I've actually enjoyed. No Kline and Smith's chemistry is not as great as the Smith/Jones mix of MEN IN BLACK but Smith's performance is less smug and Kline played his character well. Judging by Moriarty's own words in the review it sounds like he was already in a massive amount of pain when he saw the film. Maybe he should lay off reading every script before he sees the movie and be SURPRISED for a change. The word "jaded" comes to mind. Watching WWW made movies like IN LIKE FLINT float through my minds eye -- films that aren't meant to be taken seriously. It amazes me when people attack THE MUMMY and WILD WILD WEST for being "stupid" , "half-assed" or having too many comedic elements then go out of their way to find the good in THE PHANTOM MENACE -- a film so half-baked and packed with inappropriate comedic releif it made my head spin. TPM has the power of Pavlovian pre-conditioning behind it, WWW and the MUMMY aren't fortunate enough to have that, they are just fun, new films -- but I suppose 30 years will have to pass before people can catch them on cable unawares and enjoy them for what they really are. I recently saw HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN on cable ( a film I wasn't too happy with on it's initial release) and loved it. Fun bubble gum crap. I love fun bubble gum crap and I KNOW you all do too, especially at 1 in the morning on cable.

  • July 6, 1999, 11:53 a.m. CST

    LOTR

    by Alessan

    Yea, O nefarious morlock! Bring onto us yon script! And have it chocked full of spoilers, too. I mean, we know what's gonna happen (Gandalf isn't reallt dead?! GASP!). Any changes should be assimilated now, so that we have time to wrap our minds around them. In this kind of movie, any surprise in the script will only hurt us. So bring it on. Oh, and SSZero - I'm thinking $7 for Oberon, $7 fo Titania. Right?

  • July 6, 1999, noon CST

    Charles Barkley as Ali...

    by MM

    Will Smith is too bony and too fucking goofy to play Ali. Cuba is too small - sure, he buffed out a little for Jerry Maguire, but he isn't much bigger than Cruise, who is only 3" taller than Warwick Davis. Neither has the size to portray the Greatest, who was about 6'3" and 215 in his prime. Shit; they don't look a friggin'thing like Ali any damn way, unlike sir Charles, if he had a little hair...

  • July 6, 1999, noon CST

    Sonnenfeld

    by W. Leach

    What's up with Sonnenfeld's I-don't-give-a-damn-about-movies attitude? If that's the way he feels, he has no business being a film director. Now I'm not a fan of Sonnenfeld (although I do like GET SHORTY). His movies put style over substance. Granted, he's a great cinematographer (MILLER'S CROSSING is one of my favorite Coens), but I don't see him as a major feature film director. As for the ALI project, I fear for it. Ali was perhaps the quentessential boxer of the 20th century. He's an icon. Putting his story into Sonnenfeld's clumsy hands is like giving a lit firecracker to a five-year-old. Someone's gonna get hurt, and in this case, it's unfortunately going to be Ali. The same thing happened a few years ago with the life story of Jim Morrison. Since the rocker's death in 1971 there had always been talk of bringing his life to the screen. In the twenty years before the movie was made, various scripts, actors, and directors were all rumored to be in on the project (the one I mourn the most about: a proposed early 1980s version to be directed by Brian De Palma and starring John Travolta). It wasn't until Oliver Stone got his paws on the material that the trouble started. His movie THE DOORS focuses on only one aspect of Jim Morrison: that of a drunken asshole. Morrison was so much more, but Stone chose to portray Morrison in this unfavorable light. Plus Stone indulges himself with various cinematic tricks and annoying FX which would become a staple of his subsequent films (JFK, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, NIXON, etc.) The one who objected the most about Stone's marring of a legend was Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who openly criticized Stone and his movie (and still does). Considering myself an amateur historian, THE DOORS, directed by Stone, is about 35% accurate. The rest is total bullshit. What does this have to do with Ali and Sonnenfeld? Simple. Like Stone, Sonnenfeld apparently has no idea how to present the life story of a popular figure like Ali without resorting to his cinematic grab bag of tricks that practically scream out LOOK AT ME!! As for Will Smith as Ali...I suggest whoever makes this movie seek out an unknown to play the Greatest (like Michael Jai White in that HBO TYSON biopic). Smith physically does not resemble Ali, and if Sonnenfeld wants Smith due to his "Mr. Fourth of July" status, well, that's another err in judgment. For me, if I want to see the definitive look at Ali, I'll rent WHEN WE WERE KINGS again.

  • July 6, 1999, 12:02 p.m. CST

    YOU ALREADY SPOILED THE ENDING!

    by inkymae

    Hey Moriarity, For those of us that have seen the parallax view, you have now spoiled the ending of Arlington Road. Thanks a lot. By the way, I did notice what you were talking about in regards to Ebert and "The Generals Daughter" very deceptive Finally, Wild Wild West........ did Sonnenfeld ever even see an episode of the original series?

  • July 6, 1999, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Sonnenfield

    by Pinball Wizard

    Moriarty, what's this sudden rage against Barry? You can't base all this anger against him 'cause of one movie! Also, I think it's pretty safe to say when Barry says he hates his work/job/movies etc. he does it with his tongue firmly in his cheek. It wouldn't be worth it otherwise.

  • July 6, 1999, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Oliver Stone should direct the Ali film and cast an unknown

    by paragonian

    Stone can do great mixing of politics, drama, great performances and entertainment. He can do it very documentary like. I can't really think of any black actors who would be good as Ali so I think it should be an unknown black actor out there somewhere. I would love to see any Ali film get made though.

  • July 6, 1999, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Wild Wild West

    by Sponge

    No way is Wild Wild West as bad at its being made out to be. The Mummy, now that was a pit of shit.

  • July 6, 1999, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Please not Will Smith

    by Basilica

    The worst thing I can possibly imagine is an annoying hip-hop song from Will Smith about Muhammad Ali. The Men in Black and WWW songs were enough, but somebody must stop Will Smith from being in this movie before it's too late. Did anyone see the HBO movie Don King: Only in America? Well anyway, the guy who plays Ali in that movie looks a lot like him and does a really good job too. I don't know his name, but he's a hell of a lot better than Will Smith.

  • July 6, 1999, 3 p.m. CST

    Moriarty....my Hero

    by Skylewalker

    Moriarty, you didn't have anything particularly outstanding in this here update, but you once again did the excellent job that you always do. Harry's awesome, but you are honestly the only AICN contributor that I always enjoy reading. Keep the mayhem alive you criminal mastermind. And know this my friend...you are the true national treasure. The HEMP KNIGT, Skylewalker

  • July 6, 1999, 4:34 p.m. CST

    those damn previews

    by chad bearden

    The movie GO did a similar thing with the reviews...after the film came out, a preview for the film started by flashing all sorts of magazine and newspaper names then stating "the critics agree! Go is really hot shit!!" They flash Playboy, but Playboy actually gave it a bad review. They never actually use a quote from the review, but still.

  • July 6, 1999, 6:07 p.m. CST

    DWD: Damn Straight On Bill Murray!

    by DwDunphy

    In case no one caught it, Bill Murray gave the most affecting dramatic performance in a comedy this year in 'Rushmore'. He has tried in the past to expand into drama but the audience wouldn't have it, begging for more 'Carl The Groundskeeper'. But then he skated in under the radar with 'Groundhog Day' and everything changed. 'Rushmore' is even more of a growth spurt and one could only hope he continues to keep expanding. As for that thing about "Ali", well I'm sickened. You know what I say? Screw Sonnenfeld and his new good luck charm. Go see 'When We Were Kings'.

  • July 6, 1999, 6:58 p.m. CST

    On Mr. Moriarty

    by UTAmouse

    First off, let me apologize up front for being long-winded in my diatribe here on AICN. But I have been reading for a long time. I really love this site. I think at its best it can be a venue for lovers of film to learn more about upcoming movies and the whole behind-the-scenes movie-making process. However, after reading and being a fan for such a long time I felt I finally had to write in with my opinion of Mr. Moriarty and his contribution to this site. Now, this is a tricky subject. I know many of you love Moriarty. If he says a film is bad you don

  • July 6, 1999, 7:06 p.m. CST

    um...

    by Saint Jill

    That guy has a good point. He just can't type good...

  • July 6, 1999, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Well.....

    by Pinball Wizard

    .....not much you can say after that, is there?

  • July 6, 1999, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Bill Murray

    by Argus

    I'm sad to say that I don't think Bill Murray will get the respect he deserves until he's dead; much like the late John Candy. Critics seem unable to look past his early work on SNL to see just how talented he his. From "The Razors Edge" to "What About Bob?", I can't think of one Bill Murray movie that I haven't liked.

  • July 6, 1999, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Moriaty ruins the Parallax View

    by Thunderball

    Hey, inkymae, I agree with you. Only it's Arlington Road I saw and it the Parallax View that has now been ruined for me. Thanks a heap Moriaty, I would have liked to have seen that flick too. BTW: I really liked Arlington and I don't think WWW is the piece of crap that it is being presented here. It ain't a classic but it's an okay matinee visit. And why was everyone beating up on Rodzilla the other day? The guy was obviously only speaking with passion on a subject that he cares about and you guys pick on him like a bunch of third graders. Talk Backs are going down the drain.

  • July 6, 1999, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Ali was a little bitch

    by Spacey

    What the hell are you people talking about????????? Role-model????? The piece of shit changed his religion to keep from fighting for AMERICA. I know the country sucks and everything, and everyone should bitch about it and hate it, but TRY TO LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE. And oh yeah, he was a bright guy also, he really knew when to stop boxing. I HOPE HE SHAKES HIS DAMN HEAD OFF!!!! Shake little bitch, shake.

  • July 6, 1999, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Ali Movie

    by clark thorne

    If Martin Scorcese or Spike Lee are out there, for the love of God get in touch with the clowns who want to let Sonnenfeld and Smith besmirch the name of Ali by making what will be Real Real Peice of Crap. In the words of another friend, "It will float like a turd and sting like my pee." (Excuse the South Parkism) For all the movie marketing guru's out there an Ali movie directed by either of the afore-mentioned directors (neither Smith, an actor, nor Sonnenfeld, well..er... a special effects celluloid facilitator, qualify)would need very little promotion. Further, let Scorcese or Lee choose a lesser-known actor, with, unlike Smith, the character of Ali and you'll have a film that will be making you money in video and DVD rentals from now until Robert Deniro's progeny stop collecting royalties for "The Raging Bull." It's one thing to see Hollywood continually beshit itself by using a legions of lesser talents to resurrect half-baked icons from the cultural detritus of our psuedo-youth. I can't really get too mad when "Wild Wild West" stinks, or if "Battlestar Gallactica" will reek. Unlike the vast majority of the 18 to 35 male target audience, and the woman who foolishly love them enough to go the movies with them, I remember these shows on TV, and unless your mind was totally turned off, THEY SUCKED. But it is another thing to make a movie about of the true heroes of our time. Ali deserves better, America deserves better, hell, the world deserves better. To be clear here, I want a movie which resonates greatness, not merely crackling with verbal buffoonery of Will Smith. To Scorcese and Lee if you're out there, one of you make the film before Hollyworst does. Consider it an obligation for those who possess true talent.

  • July 6, 1999, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, Ali, and the Parallax View

    by psiKick

    First off, UTAmouse, Moriarty is an *evil* genius, right? And aren't evil geniuses known for their irrational emnities? Perhaps we should verify that Sonnenfeld isn't remaking "The Seven per Cent Solution". Anyway, on to other matters. Spacey, pull your head out of your ass. Cassius Clay converted to Islam for the same reason that many African Americans do. It is a color-blind religion that began its vast expansion on the African continent, and therefore has a much stronger historical significance for people trying to rediscover their African heritage. Ali's opposition to and refusal to participate in the undeclared military-industrial-complex subsidy known as the Vietnam War may or may not have been because of his religious beliefs, but who are you to question the integrity of those beliefs? Ali went to jail for his moral stand. A whole lot of rich white guys just had to go into the National Guard. And finally, what kind of weak-ass puke would make fun of any other human being for having Parkinson's Disease? Truly pathetic. On the issue of Sonnenfeld making an Ali pic, I just have to add my voice to those saying "please don't". First of all, I think biopics of living human beings should be the sole province of the USA network and its cable brethren. Second, and I know that I will get flack for this, I think that maybe an African American filmmaker should get first crack at this story. In response to the first and most vehement comment that will be thrown my way, no, I don't think only black fimmakers can make stories about black issues. I personally liked Spielberg's "The Color Purple", and I believe that Demme did a fine job with "Beloved". But Ali's story is intrinsically linked with the civil rights movement of the 60's and 70's. Ali was and is one of the greatest role models for African Americans of the last half century. I believe that his story might best be told by someone who can personally relate to the struggle that Ali embodied for many people. Finally, (and I'm sorry that this has run on so long) I must say that I, too, am a little miffed at having the ending of "Arlington Road" revealed, however inadvertent the revelation might have been. But for those of you who haven't seen it, "The Parallax View" is a good movie that you should rent even if you have seen "AR". It is a suspenseful film that plays well against the backdrop of conspiracy and paranoia that was a significant part of the early 70's. Another, and IMHO *better* film from that same era that deals with the same sort of subject matter is Coppola's "The Conversation". Gene Hackman gives one of his best and most uncharacteristic performances in a film that also features Harrison Ford's only outright villain role. Plus a pre-Shirley-Feeney Cindy Williams and Robert Duval at the first peak of his multi-peak career. See it soon. Thanks for your patience.

  • July 6, 1999, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Sonnenfeld+Smith=ALI?

    by sikfuk

    CUBA IS ALI

  • July 9, 1999, 4:50 p.m. CST

    ALI bio

    by wytshark

    Anybody remember the Ali bio from, I don't know, 15 years ago? The one where Ali actually played himself? I was just a kid when I saw it, but remember it being pretty sweet. Plus, its Ali playing himself, how cool is that? I've never seen it available on video though.

  • July 26, 1999, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Cuba Gooding Jr. is the best choice

    by JikeSping

    Nuff said. Much better suited to the role of Ali than Will SMith could ever be!

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Show me the money, the script isn't necessary.

    by Wolfpack