July 28, 1999, 4:07 p.m. CST
I am such a tool...Sorry.
July 28, 1999, 4:13 p.m. CST
I agree with Harry's thoughts on the film. Every fan boy (or Fan Man as Gene Simmons would say) has always wanted to been the hero in the comic book of their lives. But what do you do when all of the good powers are taken or you can't afford. The real heros use what they have inside and have the strength and courage to show it to the world. While we all have met people like this in our lives ( and sometimes they annoy the piss out of us ), you still have to admire their courage to stand out as individuals and be counted for who they are. That to me is what this film unabashedly typifies. I can understand what you mean Harry when you get the goosebumps at the right times during a film. The first time this happened to me was when Christopher Reeve ran across the street towards the camera and tore open his shirt revealing a gigantic "S" beneath. That moment has stayed with me all my life and allows me to still look at the world with the wonder of a child.
July 28, 1999, 4:19 p.m. CST
by Blue Spark
After the recent mediocre reviews I've been seeing, I was starting to get a little worried about dragging all my friends along with me to see this movie when it comes out. After this review I will do so with confidence, as the awesome characters were the reason I've been wanting to see the film all along.
July 28, 1999, 4:26 p.m. CST
What follows is a review I wrote a few weeks ago after a screening and sent to Harry: Hi Harry, I caught Mystery Men earlier today at an audience test screening (you know the ones where you sign releases swearing not to post anything on the Internet) and I thought I'd break my word to the studio as soon as possible. If you post this review, please call me Brendan3 (my talkback ID) First let me say that I went into this film only with the impressions I got from trailers and trade magazines. I hadn't read the Dark Horse comic that inspired it. But I still think I'm qualified to review it since most movie goers will also be unfamiliar with the comic. How would I describe this film? Is it a super hero action movie or is it a spoof of the genre? It is, in its own clever way, neither and both. This is going to drive the marketing people crazy. Think BUCKAROO BANZAI, the film that was neither sci-fi action nor spoof, but something in between, something hard to describe....unusual and fun. MYSTERY MEN is very much BUCKAROO BANZAI with super heroes. There are things that work and things that don't work in it. The tongue in cheek characters, William Macy as The Shoveler, Jenneane Garaffalo (who has some of the best lines) as The Bowler, Wes Studi as The Sphinx, and Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious (whose super power is simply his short fused temper) work well. They're ridiculous, but they take themselves and their callings as superheroes extremely serious. I was afraid the second half of the film would sell out these characters as most big studio films do, but the light hearted air of the film stays pretty consistent throughout. The rough plot follows our hapless band of heroes as they try to save Captain Amazing, the corporate sponsored super hero of Champion City, from the clutches of disco super villain Casanova Frankenstein. I love the names of the super villains. They mention a Baron von Chaos as well in the film. Champion City looks like a sunny version of Tim Burton's Gotham. The specific super hero costumes look really cool and really funny at the same time. The scene where the team auditions a rabble of new superheroes at a pool barbecue is a sight to behold. The scene comes complete with two Wonder Woman look alikes having a cat fight by the beer kegs. There were also numerous cameos by older comedy actors in supporting roles. I can't recall the names and the screening I attended had no end credits to check. There is also a great William Macy/Ben Stiller argument about Captain Amazing's real identity which is obviously making fun of the glasses that keep the characters in Superman comics from figuring out Clark Kent is Superman. The film is not an outright comedy per se, but it kept me smiling (and occasionally laughing) from start to finish. There are a couple of things that don't work, but fortunately they're not enough to detract from the movie as a whole. There is, of course, a love interest sub plot between Ben Stiller's Mr. Furious and a local waitress that feels out of place and forced. It's during these parts that the movie slows down. It's as if some studio executive looked at the treatment and said "When does the hero get the girl? Where's the girl? Write a girl in there!" There's nothing wrong with having a love interest here, but it feels forced and it doesn't work. There's no chemistry and no reason for them to come together except that the writer wrote them that way. It's not believable. It feels like an excerpt from a studio formula screenplay. Fortunately, the story doesn't dwell on this long enough for it to be anything more than a minor annoyance. There is also the graphic death of one of the good guys, caused by the accidental pulling of the wrong switch. I won't spoil it by saying who, but a "good guy" dies horribly on camera in a very Raiders of the Lost Ark flesh melting sort of way. I have no problem with graphic violence, but it really puts a damper on a light silly movie that otherwise is okay to take small kids to. Yes, kids will want to see this movie. The subtle humor and sexual references will be over their heads, but it's still got superheroes fighting crime. It's a smart self aware fun movie that even while it's taking itself seriously can't help winking at the audience. It's a BUCKAROO BANZAI for the 90's and it's a hell of a lot better than some of the other crap (Wild Wild West) being pushed on this Summer's audience. - Brendan3
July 28, 1999, 4:29 p.m. CST
Come to think of it, the intended lameness and humor of Capt. Amazing would have been emphasized if an A-list actor had been cast. Clooney would have been perfect. But I'm not sure if he would have been as funny. I too felt that Jeffrey Rush's villian was pretty weak but you know what, Harry? I didn't care. I liked the fact that MM focused on, and was more concerned with, the titular heroes. After all the Batman movies that were so intent on playing up to the villains, I felt this was a right change of pace. I'll even argue that Kenneth Branagh's Dr. Loveless was a better, more menacing and creepier villain with a thought-out backstory (Cassanova's origins were never explained). This is a big-budget, well-produced cult film complete with tons of quotable dialogue and, thus, I predict it will bomb at the box office because mainstream moviegoers just won't "get it." The dialogue is along the lines of the Simpsons and Futurama with sarcastic schmaltz thrown in. Like you, I agree that William H. Macy's and Janeane Garofalo's superheroes were the coolest (my girlfriend decided she's gonna be The Bowler this Halloween). A bit of on-screen trivia, the scenes in which the Mystery Men are on a retreat to hone their super abilities was filmed on the island set used for gilligan's island, which i believe was not incidental -- like the show, there are seven characters. It's subtle but knowing this makes watching these scenes even more hilarious. I'm not a shill for Universal (don't I wish). I guess I'm awfully tired of the utter lameness of superhero movies and reading about the Hollywood bullshit that goes on behind the making of them.
July 28, 1999, 4:43 p.m. CST
Harry-you won't see Runaway Bride because you don't like Richard Gere. Yippee!!! I thought I was one of the few people on earth who cannot stand to watch Richard Gere. I would rather see Notting Hill. -email@example.com
July 28, 1999, 5:01 p.m. CST
One more thing: I hope MM does well enough to warrant a sequel (which could also ride on the coattails of Singer's presumed-to-be-hit X-Men). You can totally imagine the possibilities after watching the movie: Flush with their success and corporate endorsements, the Mystery Men have their own headquarters skyscraper (a la the Fantastic Four's HQ) in the midst of Champion City. They fight a cadre of supervillians -- it would be like the Justice League vs. the Legion of Doom. The potential for more superhero parodying is there -- technophilic superhero vehicles (The Shoveler would drive some sort of high-speed bulldozer), teen/kid sidekicks (would I love to see characters inspired by the Wonder Twins!), comic book sci-fi geek-boy conventions in which the Mystery Men attend and answer their fans' obssessive, overly detailed questions...GOD! The creative possibilities are just too delicious!
July 28, 1999, 6:03 p.m. CST
About your comments on criticizing movies, Harry...I agree with your viewpoints. I see movies to be entertained, not to look for every little flaw and harp on the movie for it. Many people do this endlessly. If a movie is made, you can bet it could have been better. I get very tired of the constant "this sucked, that sucked, don't make this movie, don't make that movie" that seems to permeate every single talkback. Face it people, no matter how much you piss and moan, that Tron sequel or Battlestar Galactica remake is going to be made as long as the people with the funding want it made. To a degree, I will respect the "don't reward mediocrity" argument, but do you know why we don't hear the creative forces behind The Matrix publicly bashing the producers of Independence Day, saying how superior their own film is and how low-rent the other is, how they should be allowed to make Plastic Man while Emmerich and Devlin should not get to make Godzilla 2? Because they are busy DOING. They spend their time creatively, developing new entertainments instead of trying to criticize and convince others that they should not enjoy films made by someone else (regardless of whether or not that 'someone else' may equal their own creative abilities). As the old saying goes..."Those who can, do. Those who cannot...try like hell to persuade everyone else not to enjoy anything that they do not."
July 28, 1999, 6:18 p.m. CST
by free flying soul
July 28, 1999, 6:20 p.m. CST
Harry, I wasn't trying to bad-mouth you with the 'Will Rogers' line. Actually, there are a lot of far worse people out there you could be compared to. Jeff "I only have to see 60 seconds of a movie to know that it rocks" Craig, or maybe Paul "Insert Rave Quote Here" Wunder? I'm kind of surprised, actually; people are continually running Harry down, often about things that have nothing to do with his reviews, and he gets upset over an innocuous little joke that a good number of people probably didn't even get...
July 28, 1999, 6:36 p.m. CST
by free flying soul
because I noticed the first two chapters of this review are the same as that lengthy mission statement Harry posted in the DBS talkback. I agreed with it, up until the last sentence where he cursed the naysayers. That was unnecessary, but, understandably, your enthusiastic critics, Harry, seemed to have gotten to you a bit. You seemed nervous about saying you liked MM, and most of the article was about what you didn't like (OK, I scanned the review). Honestly, no matter how easily you can shake off personal attacks, it's still hurtful, and I see why you reacted. You could justifiably react more often, I think we could all agree. REMEMBER Harry, the majority of us out here reading jump to neither extreme like the most dedicated posters do. They are by no means an accurate sampling of the whole who (mostly) take this site for what its worth: nothing more or certainly nothing less than it is. And that's not elitist, because I think that 99% of us know what that is. P.S.- don't press the enter key in the subject line or it will post your blank comments.
July 28, 1999, 6:44 p.m. CST
I just read your review on mystery men, and let me just start by saying that it was a great review and I am SO glad that I heard about your website! Because of your review i am making it my start up page so I beginhyere everytime that I sign on. i am a movi head too although not nearly as much so as yourself, and i really agree with your philosophy and those things that make you feel good about a movie. I felt the same way about The Full Monty... I too am an ordinary guy and i think that all of us have a piece of the extra ordinary man inside, and when that shows through in a movie its especially endearing. I m sure you get tons of e mail so I will make this short... way to go... i think you are doing a great job and I am alreadey looking forward to fully perusing your site and reading more of your reviews in the future. Kindest Regards, JW
July 28, 1999, 7:11 p.m. CST
Had to say it. Anyway, I suppose this will cool down the "Harry Reviews" furor. I personally have nothing bad to say about Harry's reviews except that he doesn't stand by them down the line, that the original information isn't firm and we should almost expect a "Reviewer's Cut" somewhere down the line. Oh well. Anyway, I am so looking forward to this movie. The latter half of July has been kind of dreggy and this might be the flick to kick up my spirit again. Time will tell.
July 28, 1999, 7:33 p.m. CST
by Wally Ballou
First off, if you never read "Flaming Carrot" or if the first time you heard of the Mystery Men was when you saw the poorly cut trailer in front of that "Star Wars" movie, go die now. Thanks. I saw an advance screening Tuesday night and I am STILL laughing. This is one of the best movies of 1999. So many reviews seem to misinterpret the way the film indulges each and every cheesy aspect of superhero/action movies (avenging the death of a parent, the passing of a totemic weapon to a burgeoning hero, the "tacked-on" love interest, the coming together of a team, their possible dissolution - the list goes on) only to subvert ALL of them by the movie's end, often with a single, well-turned line of dialogue. At the same time, the main characters were afforded the kind of quiet dignity that you might expect from a Merchant-Ivory film; they never became just props for the sight gags. The flaw with the movie is some painfully underwritten parts; there are probably a good 30 mins. of deleted scenes to be included on a future DVD. But I have to say that this movie was much, much more than a flawed gem and I'll be in line again on the 6th(which SHOULD be the 30th, goddamn you chickenshit Universal, goddamn you "Last Broadcast" Project). One last incidental: - MINOR SPOILER WARNING - AVERT YOUR EYES, BITCHES - I was the only one cracking up when Captain Amazing turned inside-out, CGI-style. Admit it, haven't you always wanted to see Greg Kinnear with his eyes hanging out of their sockets?
July 28, 1999, 7:45 p.m. CST
We would all be happier people if we simply ignored bad movies instead of bitching about them, and revelled in the the glory of quality cinema.
July 28, 1999, 8:01 p.m. CST
If Harry rejected it, he probably had good reason, ever think of that? Maybe the reason he never printed it on the site was that IT SUCKS and you HAVE NO TALENT? ("Buckaroo Banzai"? Get a fucking LIFE!)...........................................................................................oh and HARRY, your reviews (while millions of light years ahead of Brendan3's crap), need some work. Try focusing more on your long-term feelings and less on spur-of-the-moment ramblings. "JAR JAR BINKS? MESA LOVED HIM!" That one will haunt you ***FOREVER*** after you utterly belly-flopped and declared THE HAUNTING better than Star Wars (you are fucked in the head, by the way - TPM Rocked).
July 28, 1999, 8:05 p.m. CST
"With some reviewers I get the feeling they love to trash a film, with me... It
July 28, 1999, 8:21 p.m. CST
by Darth Taun Taun
This movie is a precious stone... give me a break. Harry, I have lost all respect for your reviews. The beach-ball Godzilla incident, the "Mesa loves Jar Jar" quote, and the retarded I AM GOOD WILL HUNTING diatribe are the three big nails in your coffin. You're the only person who thinks Lake Placid was a comedy. Grow a spine and slam a movie when it blows.
July 28, 1999, 8:39 p.m. CST
by Ferris Bueller
I'm glad to hear some positive news on Mystery Men. It's like the only opinions I've been hearing, have been more negative than positive. I beleive it will be a great experience for me to see it. I also think it will do very well in theatres, despite it's release date being pushed back a week. I think it will make back that 60 mil, and make a handsome profit. I won't mention any names,(CINEMAN), but I've been hearing some bad things about how they shouldn't have made a 60 mil$ movie without a big star to back it up with. I believe that despite the date change, and the competition, M.M. will come out doing very well. F.B. on M.M.
July 28, 1999, 8:51 p.m. CST
I wish I could dislike more movies. I wish I could downright hate and loathe them. Yet, it is a rare occasion that I find a film I can truly say I wish I had not seen. The Avengers, The Postman, The Haunting; these were all flawed movies, but I loved them. The exaggerated plots and storylines and the disappointing conclusions almost make these movies more enjoyable than really good ones just because my imagination gets set into motion on how I would have fixed the flick. It makes these bad movies just as intellectually stimulatng the rare David Lynch gem or the finely crafted noir thriller. Finally, so long as it doesn't have Jennifer Love Hewitt or a chic from Dawson's Creek in it, I'll probably like any movie. It's not right, it's not fair, but that's the way it is. Of course, I loved the Ice Storm and Dick looks pretty funny, so even my Dawson's criteria may be out the window. Oh well, so long as I still hate Jennifer Love Hewitt and think she's the worst actress on the planet there is still something right in this world. Skylewalker
July 28, 1999, 9:21 p.m. CST
This is directed at Warrior's comments about my review. (Nice talkback name "warrior"-a little insecure are we?) I don't care that Harry didn't post my review. I was just offering my opinion of the film. I thought that's what these talkback sites were all about. Yes, you're right, it wasn't very well written. I originally wrote it tired and a little drunk after a long night out. I wasn't submitting my final thesis for my doctorate, I was posting on a movie fan's web site for Christ's sake. The BUCKAROO BANZAI comparison was deliberate. If you saw MYSTERY MEN you would understand that what I was trying to say was that it has the same feel and will probably have the same audience reaction: marginal commercial success, mixed reaction, and a small cult following. But then again you, of course, have a better insight, having never seen it. As to your "get a life" comment to me, some one you don't know: I have led a far better life than some little boy who calls himself "warrior" on his computer ever will.
July 28, 1999, 11:23 p.m. CST
It's your monkey show, big guy. You just say what you feel, and naysayers be damned. I can't speak for everyone, but I enjoy the hell out of reading your opinions, whether I agree with them or not. Don't let these hydrocephalic baboons get you down, and keep up the good work. There are tons of us who appreciate it. P.S. Moriarity, if you're reading this, if I don't get to see a review of the LOTR script soon, I'm gonna eat my own kidneys. BIIGGGBUUUGGGGG!!!!!
July 29, 1999, 1:47 a.m. CST
William Macy is one of those actors that lifts any scene in which he appears. Apart from his work on Fargo, think of his appearances on ER, he only has to be standing at the back of a scene in an elevator to attract attention, there is a fascination about his face, like the Gorgon you ar fatally drawn to look at it, luckily it is a kindly face, it has a twinkle about it even when it is trying not to, there is something of Edmund Gwenn about him if that is not too fanciful. I look forward to the release of Mystery men in the UK, no doubt in a years time or so the way things go here, although Blair Witch is at the Edinburgh Film Festival at the moment.
July 29, 1999, 5:16 a.m. CST
Dammit Harry, you didn't say a freaking word about Mr. Furious. Musta been pretty f***ing Forgetful. -- Milo
July 29, 1999, 6:05 a.m. CST
I completely understand your point, Harry. I definitely respected your defense in the Deep Blue Sea talkback yesterday. (Regarding the vulgar attack on your critics, I do agree with the one person above, though. I understand that you were riled, but I think the cursing was unnecessary. As the manager of this site, I believe it is your duty to keep yourself above the undignified portion of the fray. It was an effective sentiment, but I think you shouldn't bring yourself down to their level.) Whether I agree or disagree with your reviews, this website is your show. Sometimes it seems to me that you go a little easy on movies, but I only have my opinion as a frame of reference. Hence, I can't be the judge of how lenient you are being, and no one else here can either. To be honest, amidst all of this blatant cynicism, it's refreshing to me that someone can love movies enough that they will accentuate the positive aspects. I wish that I could do that. To dismiss a film as totally flawed simply because a few minor flaws keep it from perfection is ludicrous. I realize there's a threshold; enough of those minor flaws will sink a movie. To the person above who criticized Harry's viewing Lake Placid as a comedy: does it really matter how the filmmakers intended it? Even if it was an unintended effect, the viewer is allowed to appreciate a movie on any level he/she damn well pleases. In the end the moviegoing experience is subjective and personal.
July 29, 1999, 6:19 a.m. CST
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Kinnear host "Later" for awhile? I don't remeber him on Talk Soup (only John Henson).
July 29, 1999, 6:22 a.m. CST
by The Gline
...if a movie is mediocre, then it is entirely possible for you to criticize it without being unduly bitter. Even a mediocre movie may do something right. If you're so scared of turning bitter if you write more negative reviews, then I think we're not talking about a *movie* problem here, you know what I mean? By all means, write up more reviews of movies that didn't tickle you and tell us WHY!
July 29, 1999, 6:36 a.m. CST
I've been waiting for this movie for months! It could 'SUCK' and I would probably still love it just because of the cast. If Janeane Garofolo would marry me my life would be complete! :^)
July 29, 1999, 7:05 a.m. CST
I partially agree with you. It would be interesting to me to read more of Harry's negative reviews. It would give me a better idea of his taste, and thus give me more information in general on whether or not his praising a film should convince me to see it. I realize that telling us what to see and what not to see is not Harry's job. I'm going to see whatever I like. However, if movie reviews are entirely subjective, what other service does a movie reviewer provide? Certainly expression of opinions promotes dialogue, but the last time that I checked, I wasn't on a friendly dialogue basis with Harry Knowles, Roger Ebert, or any other movie critic. I can dialogue about movies with my friends. On the other hand, Harry's site serves as more than a movie review site. This is a movie rumor and buzz site. This is the source for our cool news. If it's a choice between Harry's writing more movie reviews (namely, the negative ones) for us to read and that other more important aspect of this site suffering, then I would say that Harry's current review writing habits are fine with me. I think the site is fine as it is and that this probably isn't necessary, but perhaps there is a compromise here. Harry, you say that you see four to six movies a day. If it's the act of writing a full-blown review that you fear will make you bitter, could you possibly keep us aware of the stuff that you have seen that you did deem crap? Perhaps a daily log of what Harry watched along with a brief recommendation or warning would suffice. Thanks for reading my diatribe.
July 29, 1999, 7:13 a.m. CST
I made a comment on one of your previous reviews maybe two months ago. I commented that you seem to like every movie. Now, in a way, you've justified my comment by saying how you don't feel like writing about ones you didn't like, and I can relate to that. But to the people, such as myself, who visit the site everyday reading the excellent content, I say this to you: it's your duty to write about the films you don't like as well. If you've taken it upon yourself to maintain this excellent website, you must also take upon yourself the task of writing about all you can, not just your favorites, IMHO. You should let loose sometimes, like Moriarty does. I know, I know, you do it, and I don't, and you have the right to say that, and I have the right to dry up and blow away. I just feel that you should be more negative, and balance things out.
July 29, 1999, 7:31 a.m. CST
The problem with your opinion is that the reason we didnt like something was that we saw it the wrong way, like "Lake Placid". Let me state for the record Lake Placid SUUUUUUKED!!!!! How? It was neither scary NOR FUNNY!!!
July 29, 1999, 7:37 a.m. CST
You know, with a lot of reviewers, I never know what I'm getting. One local reviewer (in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area) hated "A Time to Kill" because he disagrees with the death penalty. What does that have to do with the quality of the movie? I don't know. But now I always wonder when I read his reviews, "Is this movie really bad, or does he just disagree with some of its ideas?" At least, with Harry's reviews, we know what we're getting. (Or, if we didn't know before, we know now.) We're so used to reviewers ticking through what is bad that we can't stand it when someone reverses the process. And, as a writer, I know it's a lot harder to write interesting positive stories than interesting negative stories. Anyone can criticize, but it takes someone unique to find the positive and talk about it in an interesting way. Besides, there are other reviews on this site, and some of them are negative. Harry isn't blocking these, he's just choosing not to write them himself. If I saw six movies a day, I'd be worried about cynicism too.
July 29, 1999, 7:42 a.m. CST
Harry Review Mad Libs: (Verb ending in -ing) (Someone in the room) Wow I just have to say I spent all (measure of time) staring at my (electric device) wondering what I was going to say about this movie. But before I wrote anything my (a relative) called from the (a public building) where they were screening another new movie called The (adjective) (nonsense word) (verb)(an animal), a foreign type film which is supposedly very (adjective). But back to the movie I'm reviewing. I have to say, I expected this movie to be (adjective)--but you know what?? It was (adjective) and way more (adjective) than any movie I have ever seen. It was about a team of (noun) scientists who discover that (verb ending in -ing) with Mother nature will only end in a (a significant event). I urge everyone to see this movie, if only to experience what will surely become a classic line of dialogue: "(The strangest thing you've overheard this week)!"
July 29, 1999, 7:58 a.m. CST
I'll be big and say I'm sorry for putting down your opinions Harry. I disagree with you, but honestly you do always have disclaimers that your reviews are not the last word. They sometimes feel that way, but they're not. Actually, I prefer reading your reviews after I've seen the movies myself--which is why I don't know what you think of Mystery Men. I love film, and I tend to get angry when it seems like one view of it is given too much exposure: CGI is crummy, Titanic sucks, Phantom Menace sucks, South Park rules, Austin Powers was good. I disagree with these statements. I was disappointed by TPM, but I'm not taking the hostile attitude, and I, like you Harry, find things to like in even the disappointments. Saying "I love film" is no excuse for saying your opinions are wrong though. This is a problem we film geeks ignore a lot. We DO have different opinions, and it's not fair to say ours is more important than another's. Considering that your opinion of the Phantom Menace has changed since the first viewing, Harry, why don't you review it again. Or did you say you'd do that at the end of the summer? I can't blaim you for waiting, if you're feeling just mad as hell, it becomes too hard to think straight and judge fairly. I can attest to that.
July 29, 1999, 8:02 a.m. CST
He didn't like Lost in Space, I remember because I did like it. He didn't like Wing Commander. And he's smashed movies that he never wrote reviews for in other articles, so he's hated plenty of films. If a movie truly sucks, nothing in it to savor, all he needs to do is type, "it sucked."
July 29, 1999, 8:42 a.m. CST
It's a rare film that has NOTHING good in it. I mean, I just saw The Avengers on HBO, and I'm glad I watched it. Now, if I had paid to see it I'd be ticked off, but as it is I'm just glad I saw the very cool scene with Steed and Peel calmly striding across the water in those giant plastic bubbles. Now, I'm not saying the bubbles were original or brilliant or anything, or that the movie wasn't bad overall, but that one image was pretty darn cool and I'm glad I saw it. (And equally glad I didn't spend any cash to do so.) If a movie's so bad it doesn't even have one notable scene, why bother talking about it? Like the guy said before, just write "it sucked" and don't waste any more time on it. I mean, I generally check reviews to find a good film to go see, not to see a bad film get put down (although it is kinda fun sometimes). By the way, by being patient, checking the reviews and most importantly listening to the word of mouth from my friends, I can honestly say it's been YEARS since I spent any money to see a bad film. Now, I've seen some pretty bad ones, but it's usually on free movie channel weekends or something. It's not hard to do, so I usually have little sympathy for people who complain about spending their "hard earned money" on a bad film. Just wait a week or so and listen to the buzz. You can save yourself a lot of bucks, and also stop rewarding bad movie makers for being able to cobble one cool advertisement together.
July 29, 1999, 8:52 a.m. CST
Before I forget, the Matrix still sucks! Sorry, just had to get that out of the way...I know I'll be called a hypocrit(?) forthis because my whole reason for posting this is to agree with Mr. Montag. Its one thing to have an opinion and granted we all have differing taste, but the whole idea of just slagging an artistic effort for every single little thing is absurd! Anyone ever involved with creating anything from an idea to a finished product knows what a bitch it is to do. Sure, I'll watch a movie and I cant help but sit there and wonder how some things couldve been done better or different or whatever, but I try to see the movie as a whole effort. I'll admit, a movie that has me examining every loophole or giant gap (how did Keanu reeves just sit there for the last 10 minutes with a 60mm pouring bullets into a room and not hit Laurence Fishburn who is sitting upright with his head up in the middle of the room?) will ultimately leave me not liking it, if I spend too much time asking questions and laughing at the wrong parts (Matrix) I'll go home thinking it sucked, but I'll give it a chance, I'll ask those questions of someone who loved the movie, I'll discuss it with someone because I do want to understand the ideas. A great story as we know can become a terrible movie, I am more interested in the idea than I am the movie in a lot of cases, and so in discussing those ideas i think the movie can better validate itself or at best give its distinction of a good attempt gone wrong or poorly executed..I think that post movie dialog is ultimately what helps shape my opinion on someones effort...
July 29, 1999, 9:09 a.m. CST
by Obee Juan
Greg Kinnear was in fact the original host of Talk Soup. He left in 1995 to pursue bigger and better things on the big screen. It was then that John Henson replaced him. Check out the Internet Movie Database for Kinnear's filmography. http://us.imdb.com/Name?Kinnear,+Greg
July 29, 1999, 9:25 a.m. CST
I hope my comments didn't offend you. I didn't mean to ignore the value of dialogue within the talkback. That is an extremely good point. I am often frustrated with said dialogue, however. Who actually reads all of these things? I often feel ignored. It's as if I'm desperately shouting to a nonexistent audience my inconsequential opinions with the resulting sound and fury signifying nothing. I wish that I could channel my creative efforts into something great. I still harbor such an aspiration.....What's more frustrating are the inconsiderate personal attacks and the ridiculous notion that their opinions could somehow be absolute. I am not certain if they truly think their word is law or if their bluster is purely to draw a reaction. Both are probably in effect. To the person above who so eloquently stated that Lake Placid is not funny (in all caps, no less), did I miss something? Since when can humor be objectively measured? I myself laugh at very few things, but I'm not going to condemn someone's sense of humor just because they find something funny that I find unfunny or stupid. I'm sure some of the humor I find in things are a total mystery to some people.
July 29, 1999, 9:35 a.m. CST
Kinnear started out on Talk Soup, then replaced Bob Costas on Later. He did both at the same time for a little while, if I remember right. Then he got Sabrina, I think, and the rest is history.
July 29, 1999, 10:26 a.m. CST
I, Warrior, have been on this site for over a year. I realize that is not a long time compare to others, but I am also not some newbie. I, Warrior, am not a 'little boy', having over twoscore years under my belt. Again, not alot compared to others, but not a child either. I, Warrior, see myself as a well-needed device here, in the bloated world of the Talkback. My role is to bust the bubble of the pompous, the arrogant, and the inconsistent. Again, I am not above these qualities myself, but if I succumb to them, someone always tells me. I, Warrior, am not going anywhere. If you say something that I don't like, fucking LOOK OUT!
July 29, 1999, 10:40 a.m. CST
If you're gonna set yourself up as a reveiwer then you can't just write about the movies you like. So what if writing about a crappy movie brings on cynicism? Whats wrong with being cynical about crap? And about Will Rogers, i think alot of people miss the point of that quote... he never "MET" a man he didn't like, however; after he met them there were pleanty he didn't like. It's about not pre-judging people. Same thing with me and movies; I never stood in line for a movie i didn't like.
July 29, 1999, 10:46 a.m. CST
It's good to know that there's someone over 40 (you did say over two score years) out there calling himself "warrior" who is there to be our champion. I bet you have a really nice cape too. Save us WARRIOR!
July 29, 1999, 10:50 a.m. CST
I'm sure you realize how bombastic your mission statement was. Nevertheless, it was high in entertainment value, which I am certain was intentional. Thanks for the laugh.
July 29, 1999, 11 a.m. CST
The Haunting. That flick bit. I seldom feel ripped at a movie, but this one.... I'm sure MM has many redeeming factors that make it worth while. A good cast helps (even though it couldn't help TH). Best surprise movie was Summer of Sam. Nothing else has pumped me. Not even Star Wars (ghoddamn it).
July 29, 1999, 11 a.m. CST
by The PimpDragon
I have been on your site for several weeks now, but have never felt the need to talk back. But I have to commend you on your reviews and having the balls to post your thoughts, whether they be too critical or not enough. So many fuckers want to bash you for not saying things sucked enough, and that defeats the entire purpose of this wonderful site. This should be a place where film freaks like you and me can talk about the wonderful world that is filmmaking and not have to worry about assholes who cannot handle the fact that there is almost always something to like about a film, be it one single frame or piece of dialogue or tune from the soundtrack. As an actor, one of the most important things I ever learned was from my mentor, Eugene J. Anthony, who you may remember as Grupenfuhrer(?) in The Blues Brothers and Arturo, the Dancing Waiter of Woody Allen's Purple Rose of Cairo. He told me that even in a hillbilly high school production of Oklahoma, there will be at least one good thing worth seeing it for. I feel the same way about film, and I can tell you do too. The world has too many "I,WARRIOR" fuckers in it already. To them I say, who asked you? Sure, you have the right to voice an opinion, but you don't have the right to trash everyone else's. What are you, a republican? I,WARRIOR, get A,LIFE! Harry, keep up the good work, and keep me posted on the Tron sequel and LOTR. Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
July 29, 1999, 11:08 a.m. CST
I haven't seen Mystery Men yet, but i can tell you that there hasn't been a movie with Miss Garofalo that disapointed me in my whole life so far. You talked about "The truth about cats & dogs" but there's so much more she's done that cracks the hell out of me. How about her scene stealing performance in Bye Bye Love or in Romy & Michel's High School reunion? I don't know i really REALLY dig what she does & even though she's a woman & i'm no lesbian, i can't help myself but literally hunt every cinematic move she makes. I admire how she stands aside from the whole Hollywood crap & what she stands for as a women. She's so freaking bright, plus I think we could use having more women like her in the cinema industry. Anyway, just wanted to say that she never deceived me so far as an actress & wanted to thank her for brighting up my days by making me laugh so hard. NB: Harry rent her movies i guarantee you won't regret it. Portish
July 29, 1999, 11:09 a.m. CST
Harry, you had mentioned you hadn't seen any of Janeane Garafalo's TV work? This Sunday the FX network is having a marathon (13 episodes) of Ben Stiller's original TV show from 6:00p to 12:30a et/pt. Check out her workt. This is where I first became hooked on her unique style. BTW, can't wait to see MM!
July 29, 1999, 11:26 a.m. CST
Hold on now! What do you have against us hillbilly Republicans? :-)
July 29, 1999, 11:40 a.m. CST
by The PimpDragon
This is for anyone who would take offense to my republican comment. I don't mean ALL republicans, hell, I have conservative feelings just as much as liberal ones. As a matter of fact, I don't believe in parties, because no one side is always right. But for Andy, I am from WV so I deal with the hillbilly stereotype all the time:) Please take no offense, unless you are one of the assholes I'm talking about. If you are not, then rock on with your bad self!
July 29, 1999, 11:44 a.m. CST
Ok...here are my thoughts for you Harry. I understand if your opinion changes about movies..so does mine sometimes, it would be nice however if you pointed out, "I used to feel like this, and now I feel like this because.." it would help people understand where you are coming from. Not reviewing mediocre movies. Ok sure, it's your site, it they don't inspire your don't write a review, but at least put a note saying "I saw X and it didn't inspire me to write a review either way right now" so that at least we know you saw it. The point of all this is that for people (well me anyway) to get anything out of a review, we (I) have to know what the reviewer thought about other movies that we have both seen. This way you can compare taste right? If we both saw 5 movies that we thought were funny because of say the dark humor, and you say movie X has great dark humor, then I can be pretty sure I will probably enjoy that movie also. This is the thing. I don't care if a movie was good or bad overall for the average person. I want a review that lets me know what things in the movie I will like or not, and I need to know what the reviewer liked in other movies to see if their opinion jives with mine. hmm...did I make my point clear there? I'm not sure..but i don't want to babble on any more. Robin (a.k.a Gladiator - heh..just kidding)
July 29, 1999, 12:25 p.m. CST
It looks like Harry has got his feelings hurt that some of us don't always like his "Will Rogers of Film Reviewing" methods. We're "bashers," just because we can't afford, or don't have the time, to watch 2 - 6 films every day, that we have to be more discriminating than Harry apparently does. Well, I'm a basher, because even though when I "walk into a theater there is usually one single reason I
July 29, 1999, 12:30 p.m. CST
The problem with this website is that it is becoming too popular. The average number of talkbacks, movie reviews and ratings have been growing steadily for a while now. This site used to cater to a select few who were fortunate enough to have found it. The people who have been on board since the beginning have learned how to deal with Harry's reviews. New people to this site however have no idea what to make of it, thus the 'Harry likes everything' or 'Your reviews aren't any good, we just want facts/plot/spoilers' posts start appearing. As the popularity of a website increases, the signal to noise ratio falls... more people means more noise. The talkbacks lately are painful to read - no one keeps them on topic and discusses the film, all they do is bash each other and every opinion posted, especially Harry. I have seen this happen on other websites that work in much the same way. Bear with me, I know this is getting long. Let me make a comparison for you: www.slashdot.org. Slashdot is a geek/tech/linux news site. Their motto is 'News For Nerds:Stuff That Matters'. Slashdot is a project designed by Rob Malda, a compsci college student, in his spare time. It mushroomed. His selection of news made the site famous. It developed a huge userbase. The 'original' fans of the site were mainly linux geeks and very well educated computer tekkies. The site's popularity grew and it reached the point where their 'comments' section (like AICN Talkbacks) grew into a shitfest of FIRST POST/YOU SUCK flamewars and personal attacks, mainly the older readers vs the newer ones that didn't understand the spirit of the site, or didn't care. I have this theory that the 'First Post' phenomenon is first the sign that a website is developing this problem, since those showed up on slashdot just before everything fell apart there. Slashdot however FIXED THE PROBLEM. Rob coded a moderation system for rating the comments on the site. All comments receive a default rating, then it is added to or subtracted from by the other readers of the site. The posts can then be sorted by score (highest first), or a threshold can be set so that a reader will not see posts that get below a certain score. Slashdot uses -1 to 5 as a score. -1 is flamebait, junk that is off topic and deserves no attention. 0 is default for anonymous posts. 1 is default for registered users. 2-5 can only be reached by moderating the post up. This means that anything with a 5 got moderated up three times by three different users - it is probably worth reading. Strangely enough, after slashdot implemented this, the bad posts simply began to disappear. First posters vanished, flames disappeared or became constructive criticism, and trolls went to the bottom of the list. Peer review can clean this mess up. For every poster, there are at least 20 lurkers out there who just want good information. They will read it all anyway, moderating is as simple as clicking a mouse. Get a few moderators and things will clean up. To see what I am talking about, go to slashdot and open any news story (click read more), then play with that little green comment bar below the story. Read their moderator guidelines, it explains the system in detail (left side of page). Then come back here and see if you think that AICN would benefit from such a system. I think it would benefit greatly. The best part of it is that slashdot's code is free - open source, if you will. All Harry needs is to find a web admin who can rebuild the comments to use slash (the name of the comment system), and we are done. It means a lot more work now, but the rewards are well worth it. Harry, you must have some computer-savvy friends out there who could help you do this, right? Your site gets mentioned over there occasionally (that's where I first heard of this place) and I have a feeling that you share some of the same readership. What do you all think? This site is driven by its readers almost as much as its reviewers. Do you think that this would work, and solve the problem? Is it worth the trouble? Is anyone out there good enough with perl to implement this and willing to help out? I'm not, unfortunately, but I'm working on that. For the record, I would rather read an over-emotional review from Harry than a dry autopsy from some cheap film critic any day. Harry at least has his enthusiasm, although the majority of the talkback posters lately seem determined to beat it out of him. That's my rant for today.
July 29, 1999, 12:40 p.m. CST
Don't worry, no offense taken. Just kidding around with ya. Be sure to rock on as well!
July 29, 1999, 12:52 p.m. CST
This is in response to Andy, who says he has little sympathy for people who spend their "hard earned money" on a bad film. According to Andy, you can "save yourself a lot of bucks" by waiting a week and listening to "the buzz." I disagree entirely. The "buzz" frequently makes it sound that drek like "Starship Troopers" or mediocre spectacles like "SW:TPM" absolutely rocked. People are sheep. I mean, Hollywood can convince women that ugly men are hot just by casting them in the "attractive" role. MTV convinces people that totally talentless losers can sing just because they are on MTV. If talent and quality were any guarantee of success, then Daniel Day-Lewis would have won top awards for "In the Name of the Father" and Tom Hanks would NOT have a shelf of Oscars (especially not for that triumph of hype over substance, "Forrest Gump"). Think about this: Morgan Freeman is nominated in "The Shawshank Redemption" and Tom Hanks wins?!? "Pulp Fiction" AND "The Shawshank Redemption" are nominated for Best Film, and "Forrest Gump" wins? That's what "the buzz" guarantees, that mediocrity wins.
July 29, 1999, 1:09 p.m. CST
It's probably a good flick and I really wanna see it, but let's face it (F.B.), this movie is gonna bomb worse than a peroid flick starring Steven Segal. It's got a clever premise and some funny commercials but the waters are filled with swimmers and one movie has gotta drown. Even with its talented ensemble cast, it still lacks star power and you can see how nervous Universal is for their investment when they pussied out and moved to August 6 (Yeah, like that'll help, there's even more competition that date). Oh yeah, doesn't Bowfinger open that day. Is Universal so stupid as to open to comedies practically aimed at the same audience on the same day? I guess so.
July 29, 1999, 1:12 p.m. CST
Sorry, my bad. By buzz I was referring to was the buzz from my friends and co-workers more than anything else. My mistake, I realize the term is more general than that. I've got buddies who see almost every movie the day it comes out, and luckily I can usually trust their opinions. Still, there are a few reviewers I trust pretty well, or at least know their tastes well enough to evaluate them pretty accurately. Harry likes most films a bit more than I do, but not by too much. The woman on ABC News late at night's pretty good. (Leah Brahms? Is that right?) I know Ebert likes anything that has historical figures getting naked, so I factor that in. :-) I usually wait until stuff comes out on video, to be honest, so by then I've been able to get lots of info from different sources (the talkback here being one of the biggies). I know some people don't like to wait that long, but it really can help you avoid spending money on the bombs.
July 29, 1999, 1:26 p.m. CST
You made your points already, but I wanted to go on the record. The general buzz can be bad. (I'll admit I liked both TPM and Starship Troopers. I'm sorry if my enjoyment as a member of the vocal moviegoing public contributed to tricking you into a less than pleasurable moviegoing experience.) Specialized buzz - if you know your sources - is useful. I would like to point out that - in my opinion - Forrest Gump's Oscar victories had less to do with the fact that it made so much money and more to do with the composition of the Academy. I agree that either Shawshank Redemption or Pulp Fiction deserved the victory. The sap of Forrest Gump makes me want to vomit, but it is apparently more acceptable to the Academy than a stark (yet ultimately uplifting) tale of prison life or a humorous, spectacularly written romp through the world of hit men, drug users, and other assorted characters.
July 29, 1999, 1:36 p.m. CST
I agree this could be a good idea. I have not gone to look at the site that you referenced, however. Is this ranking system designed to weed out everything that is off the given topic? I enjoy tangents, and I wouldn't want indirectly related dialogue between users that is still intelligent conversation about movies to end up under the same heading as the Warrior manifesto. :-)
July 29, 1999, 2:49 p.m. CST
Harry, I have no idea if you know or not, but the stories about the mystery men, (all 30 or so members, it's hard to keep count, what with everyone getting killed so often) are currently being published by dark horse comics under the title 'bob burden's original mystery men.' i just got the first issue and laughed my ass off. the spleen, the hummer, metro marauder, and the strangler are the four heroes in this issue. go pick up a copy, you'll love the hell out of it.
July 29, 1999, 3:19 p.m. CST
by All Thumbs
1. Janeane Garofolo is one of the funniest comedians/actors in movies and television. I saw her stand-up routine on Comedy Central and I know have a favorite quote from her, "I have a very 'can you start my orange' approad to life." (pardon me if I paraphrased) She steals the screen in every movie she's in...someone needs to do a tribute to her on this site. 2. I, too, would like to see Harry let loose on movies he doesn't like. That is, when he truly doesn't like them. You don't have to be cynical...or cruel...just be you and all will be cool. 3. Does anyone find it ironic that someone mentioned censoring (in a way) the Talkback when lately we've been speaking out against censorship of movies? I think the personal (and I mean you put the person's name on the subject header...hmmm....)flaming needs to cease, but that's just nettiquette. We need to learn to play nice. 4. I just wanna say to Harry that I may criticize some of the stuff happening on this site, but I try to do it in a way that isn't threatening but more of a devil's advocate way of commenting. I really would like to see more geek girl representation on the site, but it's your show and your choice. I think that the recent publicity like in Yahoo! magazine has just put you in the spotlight and made you a target like all professional critics even though you're more of a movie adventurist than a professional critic.
July 29, 1999, 5:17 p.m. CST
Zippidy diipidy dippidy whoha's and monkey in shorts. Zooahhh! Harry what is it, Dr. Evil not evil weehahahah! He's evil, weeehahah! That's the spirit of Myster Men n xlsdlfksdfj xoasdfkasdfasdfasdfkasdfjjkasdfkjasdkfjfkgasdujrfweigvnmerkt Zoobab dooba doo! It's not defined as, "He's not evil, bla bla blabitty blah!!!" Rip Ripyy zippy da doo! Forget it, dont say that don't not say it, bloobity bloobity zoobity yeah! I won't try to explain to you Nayszayers who haven't READ the comic, cause this is a fan's film, and huge fans of the series should "get" the film, although getting it can't be right, cause the comic isn't meant to get, its that zippidy doo bitty doo.
July 29, 1999, 6:40 p.m. CST
I have also written a review for this movie. It is in my house, on top of my refrigerator. Please be careful with it, it is my only copy. (I had to type it on an old-fashioned type-writer, as I do not have access to a computer)
July 29, 1999, 9:34 p.m. CST
hey CHASUK: I guess I'm in the 'vocal minority' that thinks STARSHIP TROOPERS was a fantastic movie. Personally, I believe that most critics who don't like ST really didn't GET it at all. When you mature a bit and change your outlook, it'll come to you. I am also in the 'vocal minority' who thought PHANTOM MENACE rocked. Yes that's right, the same 'minority' that brought in $400 million PLUS for the movie. We must be seeing it a HECK of a lot, us 'minority' people. By the way, I am also part of the 'vocal minority' who think that you, Chasuk, are a fucking retarded MORON. Oh, wait, I meant vocal MAJORITY.
July 30, 1999, 2:45 a.m. CST
Harry, I think you forgot to mention WHM's unforgettable performance as Little Bill in BOOGIE NIGHTS ("My fucking wife is lying there with an ass in her cock in the driveway!"). He is the perfect actor for underdog parts. A bit like Harry Dean Stanton. Hope to see him in a lot more parts, a little more meaningful than the pilot in Air Force One !
July 30, 1999, 6:05 a.m. CST
It won't actually delete anything, just rank the scores. Anything that is considered to be interesting on slashdot is kept around - funny posts and intelligent ones, even if they are off-topic, are usually given increased scores. Slashdot uses a threaded system for comments, AICN uses a flat mode. I think threaded is better because you can post replies to other replies, and this usually means that all off topic discussions occur in their own threads under the main discussion. It really makes following things a breeze. Think usenet, only all the garbage is filtered out. When I say off-topic in my previous post I am referring to the non-film related stuff that pops up here. Let me give you an example - take this section of talkbacks. My original post would be 'off topic' however since it is relevant to the board it would still be moderated up if the moderators felt that this was a pressing issue that deserved attention. The 1st post message would be rated -1 (the worst) for off topic or troll (attempt to start a flamewar). Brendan3's mystery men review would probably get a 4 or 5 since it is very relevant. free flying soul's post (the blank one) would be set to 0 since it has nothing in it. Most of the other messages would be in the 1-2 range, standard fare. I think that Lyon's post would also get a 2 or 3 for its humor value. Slashdot selects a random number of users that visit the site regularly and assigns them 5 points to moderate. These points last for 3 days before expiring. You can use them to change any one post by one point up or down. You cannot post and moderate in the same discussion (I think that could be changed here, but over there we have a lot of self-righteous bastards who would love nothing more than moderating their own posts up.) No one can moderate a post more than once - you can only control it by one point. a -1 means that two people demoted it, a 5 means that four promoted it. Since the points are scarce (not unlimited) it cuts down on the excessive 5's and -1's... Slashdot also asks you to concentrate on moderating up not down. It may sound complex but it is very easy. You simply have a small box next to the subject in the post, you choose +1 or -1, and a reason why from a pulldown box (reasons like informative, interesting, funny, flamebait, troll, etc.) You continue reading and assigning (if you choose) to each post in the discussion as you read normally. At the bottom of the page is a moderate button that you click when finished, this submits your changes. If you visit slashdot you won't see this unless you get moderator access. Slashdot also won't grant moderator access to anyone that hasn't been there for a while (a few months at least) so that people learn what the typical posts are like and how to behave on the message boards before they can moderate. You also must read the 'moderator guidelines' to moderate (the system won't grant access unless you have read that page.) If you don't want to moderate, you can click a check box in your profile that prevents the system from granting you moderator privs. Under no circumstances can anyone delete or modify a post - only the owner of the site can do that.
July 30, 1999, 6:42 a.m. CST
Why do you feel the need to sign all your talkbacks "(by Warrior)"? Your idiotic name already comes up everytime you post. Maybe you can't read, because you certainly can't write worth a damn. All you write is uninformed slander about everyone else or you constantly repeat clever thought out statements like "The Phantom Menace Rocks!" Well said. Very articulate. Perhaps you can offer an opinion on this site about something to do with the subject matter. This is a MYSTERY MEN discussion talkback and all you have posted has been "TPM Rocks!" or third grader caliber put downs of other people. You say you're over forty, unless you don't know how much "two score" is, and if that's true, than you are pathetic and I feel sorry for you.
July 30, 1999, 8:03 a.m. CST
Ok Warrior-you're an idiot. Did you not like that?? I'm looking out now *and shivering*. LOL
July 30, 1999, 8:59 a.m. CST
BRENDAN3: I put 'From Warrior' in my subject line so that everyone can see another Warrior posting is up. Else they will only see my subject line and might skip it, not knowing it is from me. I don't want to be some anonymous loser. ........... ..................... .W-COAST: Who asked you to jump in to this argument, you airheaded beach bum? Why don't you go get stoned out in La-la-land California, go surfing, and get chomped by a big shark? I swear there is no one STUPIDER than a Californian.
July 30, 1999, 9:12 a.m. CST
Hey, if you want to critique my writing, you'd better damn well expect to be critiqued yourself.
July 30, 1999, 10:45 a.m. CST
Anyone who passes judgement and then throws in an adjective like "Stupider" has got to still be breast feeding his mommy. Let me know when you head out this way and we'll see if a surfboard will fit sideways in that big gay A** of yours. Get real slacker.
July 30, 1999, 11:52 a.m. CST
"hey CHASUK: I guess I'm in the 'vocal minority' that thinks STARSHIP TROOPERS was a fantastic movie." Guess what? If every person who had ever gone to see "Starship Troopers" thought it was a fantastic movie, that wouldn't make it so. Movies, books, albums, all produce examples of hugely popular pieces of shit. "Personally, I believe that most critics who don't like ST really didn't GET it at all. When you mature a bit and change your outlook, it'll come to you." Hey, I love Paul Verhoeven. He's a great director. And I love the novel by Robert Heinlein. That's why I've read it half a dozen times since it came out in '59. And the F/X were great. I really wanted to love the movie. A classic SF novel turned into a filmic masterpiece by one of the best directors on the planet, that's what I was looking for. That's not what I got. I got a SF version of Melrose Place. If I have to "mature" to "GET" that, then I guess I'll never qualify by any definition you might provide. I'll live with that, quite happily. "I am also in the 'vocal minority' who thought PHANTOM MENACE rocked. Yes that's right, the same 'minority' that brought in $400 million PLUS for the movie. We must be seeing it a HECK of a lot, us 'minority' people. By the way, I am also part of the 'vocal minority' who think that you, Chasuk, are a fucking retarded MORON. Oh, wait, I meant vocal MAJORITY." I don't like ANY of the Star Wars films. Period. I don't care if you and the entire sentient surface population of this spinning globe absolutely adore them. You can masturbate to your Darth Maul action figures if it makes you happy. George Lucas is a good director/producer. He proved it with "THX 1138," "American Graffiti" and "Kagemusha." I wish he'd prove it again. I've been going to his movies for over twenty years waiting for it to happen, that spark of magic I felt when I first saw the aforementioned films. But all I've seen are mediocre box office spectaculars that parody everyting I've ever loved about SF. Yes, I know he produced "Willow" and "Howard the Duck." I didn't like those, either.
July 30, 1999, 1:49 p.m. CST
by Ferris Bueller
M.M. is going to do sooooo well at the box office!! You skeptics out there(CineMan), need to face the facts. This is a great summer movie, that is going to rise to the occassion.
July 30, 1999, 2:03 p.m. CST
As I said before and I stand by it, this movie will bomb gloriously.
July 30, 1999, 2:04 p.m. CST
MM certainly looks great in the trailers. I'm hoping that it is. I love superhero comics, yet for some reason they have never really translated very well for me to film. I can't think of a single superhero movie that really kicked ass. MM looks to be tongue-in-cheek, which might make it work very well indeed. <P> Harry, thank you for this incredible site. I don't think that I like movies as much as you do, but I'm glad that you are such a fan. Your enthusiasm is really inspiring. As much as we "bashers" might complain, we obviously must find your site more than worthwhile or we wouldn't keep returning. <P> Keep up the good work!
July 30, 1999, 4:56 p.m. CST
Oh, OK CHASUK! You are a rabid Heinlein fan! Why didn't you say so? I hate rabid Heinlein fans. Guess what? I have never read Heinlein's book. And do you know what else? I have no desire to ever read it. What you people don't seem to understand is that we, the intelligent lovers of Starship Troopers, are fans of VERHOEVEN'S MOVIE ***Not*** Heinlein's book. You're just another loser bellyaching about how the movie isn't a word-for-word translation of your hero's book. "WAAHH, where's the power suits?" "WAHHH they changed things!!" "BOO HOO this is not like in the book!" Gimme a break. Starship Troopers is an amazing film, personally it's #3 ALL TIME on my list (and constantly challenging for #2, actually). If your blind, rabid adoration of Heinlein's book deprives you of the ability to love ST, then you are the big loser.
July 30, 1999, 5:52 p.m. CST
Dearest Warrior, The book (the thing with all those words) was completely different from the film. The guy who complained about the film adaptation (who you've chosen to attack) didn't like the film, because it was completely different from the book and he wasn't expecting it. I, myself, am a fan of the book, but I also enjoyed the movie because I knew about all the changes before seeing it. I liked it as a good sci-fi action film on its own. If they'd changed the title and a few names no one would have known it was based on the book. It was that different.
July 30, 1999, 8:09 p.m. CST
"Oh, OK CHASUK! You are a rabid Heinlein fan!" No, not really. I loved Starship Troopers (the novel), but most of RAH leaves me cold. "What you people don't seem to understand is that we, the intelligent lovers of Starship Troopers, are fans of VERHOEVEN'S MOVIE ***Not*** Heinlein's book." I understand perfectly. What YOU don't seem to understand is that I think the movie sucked irrespective of the book. Paul Verhoeven is a cinematic genius. He gave us "Soldier of Orange," "Spetters," and the deeply satiric "Robocop." He hasn't made a good movie since. "You're just another loser bellyaching about how the movie isn't a word-for-word translation of your hero's book." Not at all. Cinema and literature are different art forms. I just expect a capable director to make a good film out of great material. Paul Verhoven failed. "Starship Troopers is an amazing film, personally it's #3 ALL TIME on my list (and constantly challenging for #2, actually)." I guess we will have to agree to disagree, then. I don't like soap opera disguised as SF. I don't like soap opera, period. My favourite SF films are as follows: "Blade Runner," "A Clockwork Orange," "THX 1138," "Alien," "Terminator," "The City of Lost Children," and "The Matrix." I would nominate "Blade Runner" as perhaps my #1 film of ALL TIME, but that varies occasionally. I greatly admire "The Dead Zone," "The Deer Hunter," "Halloween," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "The Man Who Would be King," "The Professional," "Aliens," and "The Fifth Element." If you like those movies, then your taste probably corresponds with mine. If you don't, c'est la vie.
July 30, 1999, 8:35 p.m. CST
by Ferris Bueller
Well,I believe it will not bomb. I beleive otherwise. If and When it soars past 100 mil. then we'll meet again in a talkback Cineman, and we will meet again.
July 30, 1999, 8:38 p.m. CST
Yo Harry, Just wanted to let you know there are two reasons why I've been following your web site for the past year. 1) Your joy at participating in the movie viewing experience. 2) The good inside "dish" you so consistently serve. That makes you different from any other "movie review dude" that I know, and so refreshing. Aaaaaahhhhhhh!! Harry, just keep being Harry, and everything will be all right. Mmojo
July 30, 1999, 9:06 p.m. CST
Warrior, it's people like you that give the Internet a bad name.
July 31, 1999, 6:22 a.m. CST
This is soo not gonna bomb! Regarding the date being moved to August 6th: it was initially scheduled that date, moving it to July 30th was a stupid idea, so moving it back makes sense. The competition on August 6th will have little to no impact on this: Thomas Crown Affair is rated R and aimed at adults, Iron Giant has been marketed like shit and Warner's track record with animation is shit, and The Sixth Sense looks like crap: who wants to go see a movie where an annoying kid goes on for 2 hours about how he can see dead people? That leaves Mystery Men for the mainstream. Plus the Smashmouth song "All Star" is now at #2 on the top 40 countdown, with the video featuring scenes from the movie, which gives the film even more exposure. Opening weekend prediction: over $20 million.
July 31, 1999, 6:25 a.m. CST
Bowfinger opens on the 13th, not the 6th. And yes, if any studio opened any two movies of its own on the same weekend, that would be very stupid.
July 31, 1999, 8:23 a.m. CST
Listen, cretin, I'll give YOU a bad name. How about asshole?
July 31, 1999, 2:26 p.m. CST
Here's my two cence. This film will be a success if it is actually funny! It's billing itself as a comedy, so that's what I'll expect.
Aug. 1, 1999, 2:42 p.m. CST
You, Warrior, are the bane of any human with more than one active brain cell. Not even ONE of your posts here consists of anything other than flaming, bashing and trashing other users and demonstrating your truly amazing lack of anything resembling intelligent thought patterns. You are a pathetic piece of semi-organic life matter masquerading as a man, when in reality you and your ilk are the stuff that underlies the whale shit at the bottom of the sea. That said, this will be the last time that I acknowledge your existence, and I would recommend that others here do the same. Warrior thrives on the reactions he gets from those he trashes; eliminate his food source, and he will dry up and blow away.
Aug. 1, 1999, 11:16 p.m. CST
-and that is the fundamental mistakes that movie reviewers make most of the time. They don't review the work on screen, they think "Well, it would have been cooler/more dramatic/scarier, etc." if this happened. Also, with his ever-flip-floping reviews and perspectives, his style just goes from lame, to pathetic, to just not a sound basis to make a decision on because the guy can't even make a decision if he likes it or not. Quite frankly, I wanted to see Iron Giant originally, but after having Harry hype it, I'm not so sure. How can I trust a man who said that "The Haunting is better than Star Wars". . .*shakes head in disgust'*
Aug. 3, 1999, 7:22 a.m. CST
Slashdot has posted a forum for reviews of the Blair Witch at "http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/08/02/1336249&mode=thread", and they are up to a hundred posts in that discussion so far. Take a look at that and see how the talkbacks are organized - it proves my point better than anything I could say here.
Aug. 3, 1999, 11:49 p.m. CST
Very well said. I couldn't agree more. You were also right in that I deliberately went after "Warrior" each time he posted. I have to admit I was trying to piss him off. I supose it's only natural after he came at me unprovoked. But, you're right and we should be above that.
Aug. 5, 1999, 9:53 p.m. CST
I'm not sure if this movie will be great or not, but i'm ready for the sequel. "Why?", you may ask. Although I think this movie will be a lot of fun, I think they will be able to do an even better sequel because they didn't even include the 2 greatest mysterymen of them all! SCREWBALL and THE FLAMING CARROT himself!!! I hope that this one is a success so that a FLAMING CARROT move can be made (Written by Bob Burden perhaps). Screwball was always my favorite mysteryman. He has a bubble gun. But since Screwball is an alien and Flaming Carrot has that giant flaming carrot head maybe they thought it would cost too much money and CGI to pull them off. More likely, they may have thought that Screwball and Flaming Carrot were too goofy and child-like to put in a movie with such a hipster, 18-25 sheen and marketing slant (is that english?) The other great mysterymen universal seems to have overlooked (remember I've not seen it yet) are Bondo-man, Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, Red Rover, and Captian Attack. If I were a Hollywood bigshot like Executive Man, why, I'd....In Issue #17 of Flaming Carrot comics the mystery men are defined as "a rambunctious but ill fated hero team OF THE MID-SEVENTIES" Just to let y'all know how far this movie has strayed from the original vision. (or whatever) I DEMAND A FLAMING CARROT MOVIE! Maybe even guest starring the Tick and Arthur (Who could possibly play the tick? They may have to invent a new type of Steroid or Computer for that.) If Flaming Carrot and the Mysterymen can team up (and did team up) with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles why not the Tick.
Aug. 6, 1999, 11:06 p.m. CST
by Mr. Ho Ho
hey, man, you're starting to sound really defensive. Harry mentions something in this review that puzzles me. He had a complaint about Godzilla or some other big budget horror flick that the characters were always cracking jokes and not being scared, which reduced the scariness of the movie. Then for lake placid its a comedy not a horror film so it's okay to crack jokes. well maybe godzilla was a comedy too? i thought mystery men rocked. I'm not going to say it's a "rough jewel" because I'm not equivocating. It rocks.
Aug. 7, 1999, 11:39 a.m. CST
Hey there. I've only been reading this site for about a year and posting for even less. I write mostly about the films, because, well, that's something I'm really interested in or else I wouldn't watch and study them like the big giant geek I am! Okay, I digress. Anyway, I've really been getting pissed off at the inordinate amount of "Harry sucks" "Harry said the Haunting was better than Star Wars", "Shut up and stop beating up Harry" posts. Okay, I get it. Harry's reviews are enthusiastic. They are NOT regular reviews because Harry really, REALLY loves films. Damn it! He keeps this site up! He must! I got off topic again. My point is that talk back has been damn irritating. I'm not bowing at the shrine of Harry and I'm not tearing it down either. I just want to know a bit more about the movies than regular press gives me. I know that's what most of you want too. SO - I say, let's give EvilNight's idea some serious looking into. I don't want Harry's reviews to change, and I cringe everytime he starts an opinion on the defensive. Anybody who's been reading his reviews for some time knows that Harry can be affected by his surroundings a bit when he sees a movie. It happens to all of us! Good surroundings is what made Wild Wild West *almost* entertaining to me! And off topic stuff (ironically, like this post) can be really cool. For example, this Warrior thing going on in these posts is pretty funny. I don't want to get involved but I laugh at those of you battling it out. So that's why I like the idea of threads. We can follow what we want, without having to skim through Johnny pubescent's rants about why Harry is a big fat idiot. Unless it's funny. Because then I'll read it too and laugh along. Did any of that make sense? Oh well, it's just my opinion. Oh, and I still have hope for Mystery Men. I want this movie to be good SO BADLY!
Aug. 7, 1999, 7:14 p.m. CST
Michael bay makes a cameo on Mystery Men as a frat boy in the Frat Gang. www.michaelbay.com
Aug. 7, 1999, 9:03 p.m. CST
by Dr. Chicago
I felt than this movie was the one of the best of the summer. Sure Geffory Rush wasn't the best villan, I wanted to see more of the Disco Boys and the Frat Brothers. However, Wes Studi is hilaious in his role as a parody of every mysterious wiseman in film. Stiller and Garlofoe(I think that's how you spell it) have great onscreen chemsity, and Macy is in a word Super. Although this movie isn't as well made as Blair witch it is much more enjoyable to watch. LONG LIVE THE MYSTERY MEN!!! Dr. Chicago signing off
Aug. 8, 1999, 3:46 a.m. CST
and the best line was from a little girl who asked her parents,"Can I go home now?". MM disappoints but is in some ways among the most realistic of "comic book" movies, despite it's director. Heroes sew their own costumes and sometimes the worst they can do to a villain is scratch his car. The city and the Alcatraz-like insane asylum look super and subtle details like the red cash Mr. Furious pulls from his wallet lend credence to the alternate reality. Great production design, good actors with a not-great but good script. What's to worry? A director's job is to pursuade his audience to suspend their disbelief for the duration of the story. MM's director sets a disturbing tone in the movie's opening moments and he continues that tone throughout much of the movie. He turns it up, he turns it down, but he doesn't turn it off. Everyone familiar with the 1960's Batman television show knows what I'm referring to. It's called camp. Some people think camp is automatically funny. They're morons. Costumed heroes and villains are inherently exaggerated and potentially ludicrous. They dont need extra camp; they need extra realism. The script takes this into account while having fun with the premise and the actors play it mostly straight but it's obvious the director had no intention of making a "realistic" comedy about wannabe superheroes. Just two examples without spoiling anything for those who haven't seen it: note the way he undercuts a tender kitchen scene with abrupt and unnecessary closeups yet lingers over every disco gaudiness as if it was still possible to milk irony from Saturday Night Fever megahits. MM had real crossover potential with fanboy types and regular comedy fans but this movie will tank hard and fast. It's better than Judge Dredd and Tank Girl but so's Plan Nine From Outer Space. Anyway, I know many of us have waited a long time to see MM and will see it no matter what we read or hear so remember this: the only good disappointment is a postponed disappointment. If you wait to catch it on video and you split the rental cost with five friends you'll get your money's worth.
Aug. 8, 1999, 2:41 p.m. CST
Just saw Mystery Men yesterday. Whether it is a great movie or a piss-poor one could be debated ad nauseum, and in the end who cares? I AM sure of one thing - that I and a few hundred other paying customers had one helluva good time! I haven't heard laughter this loud or long in a movie theater since I don't know when. Go see it, don't expect a life-changing experience, just go to be entertained, and you will be!
Aug. 8, 1999, 6:58 p.m. CST
This is the equal opertunity offender. your comments on "that talk soup guy" makes you sound gay. Are you gay? Becouse you sure sound gay to me. your statements and attacks on Casanova Frankinstien are a result of him not having a sewed on dick. You nasty bastard. In closing you need to rewright your review pronto... you gay cowboy.
Aug. 8, 1999, 9:22 p.m. CST
It is official. However, I hope it is good.
Aug. 10, 1999, 9:09 a.m. CST
Enjoyed the movie. It had a lot of lighthearted fun. Didn't take itself seriously. Janeane Garafalo is awesome. Gotta love her. Ben Stiller is the coolest. This movie may not be for everybody, but I had a lot of fun with it.
Aug. 11, 1999, 2:31 a.m. CST
...is that the Dudley Do-Right trailer came before it. August 27th, can't wait! This was my first opportunity to see myself in the trailer on the big screen and it looks great. And, Susan Sarandon and kids were in the theatre. Cool...
Aug. 13, 1999, 8:40 a.m. CST
by Fred Yidas
Aug. 13, 1999, 4:14 p.m. CST
Yes, but what does anyone know about Hank Azaria in Alligatropolis?
Aug. 14, 1999, 7:12 p.m. CST
was that michael bay as one of the frat boys?
Aug. 20, 1999, 8:10 p.m. CST
I thought this movie was terrible. It was not funnny at all. I think it would of been better if it didn't go on for so long-maybe it wasn't that long but it felt like it. $ave your money!
Aug. 25, 1999, 2:47 p.m. CST
I'd have to say I agree with you on most counts. Macy, Garofalo, Studi, and Azaria are perfect in this. Captain Amazing should have been more hero-like (Stallone would have been great for this part. Kinear seems more like he fits better with the misfit team than as the city's hero.) Casanova should have been more menacing. I do have to say that I disagree with you about the Mr. Furious/Monica part of the movie. This movie is basically satire: satire of comic books, comic book movies, and action movies. I don't think they threw in the love relationship just to have one in the movie. It was all part of the attempt to make fun of comics and action movies. All comic books and blockbuster action movies have the love-interest-turned-hostage. So of course this movie had to. Just like it had to have the wise sage spouting nonsensical sayings, it had to have the goofy one-liners and tag lines. And just like Harry, the Spleen wasn't that bad (now if he had as much screentime as Jar Jar, maybe) And believe me, a flatulent superhero isn't that unbelievable. If Scott Summers can shoot force beams from his eyes, why can't a reject shoot methane gas across the room? Personally, I thought this movie is probably my all-time favorite movie of the year so far. (Which is amazing considering Phantom Menace and Matrix also came out this year.)
Sept. 13, 1999, 6:28 p.m. CST
this was my personal favorite movie of the year as well. it was advertide horribly, though. the studio tried to market it as an action film in stead of a comedy. it also failed because it was too intelligent for its audience. most of the jokes were to clever for the masses of idioit who made "austin powers: the spy who was overmarketed" a success. it didn't offer catchphrases that were beaten into the ground or sink to new lows with gratuitous shock humor. the cast was brilliant, especially stiller and garafalo. this movie's failure at the box office just shows that, like the ben stiller show 7 years ago, america is dumb
March 4, 2000, 9:27 a.m. CST
Spot on review. I loved the movie; I want to own it. A new member of my cult.
Aug. 17, 2003, 10:35 p.m. CST
(For now) I like this movie a lot. I know it failed at the box office, but I'd like to see a sequel. Cheers.
Sept. 3, 2003, 2:01 p.m. CST
Kill me now.
Aug. 18, 2006, 8:33 a.m. CST
April 15, 2007, 8:52 a.m. CST