Moriarty's Rumblings From The Lab #8RE: SUPERSTAR, Coppola & MGM & SUPERNOVA, DETROIT ROCK CITY, IRON GIANT...
Hey folks, Harry here with a late installment of Moriarty's Rumblings from the Lab... A piece that can regularly be found on AICN on every Tuesday, unless... UNLESS Moriarty was pouring alcohol down his gullet like water into a leaky radiator at a KISS concert the night before thus leaving him hemoraging in a pool of evil vomit like a fountain in Paris. Moriarty, while being an evil genius, can be an amazing consumer of Jack Daniels and Mountain Dew. YECH! What a combination! Well, luckily he survived and here he is...
Hey, Head Geek...
First, a question: how adorable is Sharon Costanzo, and how freakin' addictive is the single "Steal My Sunshine" by LEN?
Second, a comment: Harry Knowles is a dishonorable fibber. Not a word of his account of our adventures on Monday was true. Total fabrication on his part. Heck, it wasn't even me at the DETROIT ROCK CITY party and premiere. I sent a clockwork replica of myself that was equipped with sophisticated monitoring devices that allowed me to observe everything from the comfort of The Moriarty Labs.
Before I give you the truth about the events and an explanation for my tardiness in posting this week's RUMBLINGS, there's a lot of other ground I want to cover, things that are on my mind.
First of all, I'm heartbroken about last weekend. I really thought there was a chance people saw IRON GIANT coming, and I guess I gave too much credit for critical reaction to overcome a lousy ad campaign. I am personally pulling for a BABE/FREE WILLY situation, where word of mouth starts to bring the film's box-office up over a period of time. I'd just like to see families actually find a good family film. So often, I hear complaints that there's nothing worthwhile for whole families to see together. I think it's pathetic that a miserable series of stupid gags like INSPECTOR GADGET is what gets rewarded in the marketplace when something truly worthy is left twisting in the wind.
I don't think the opening weekend disaster of IRON GIANT teaches us anything specific, since there's all sorts of contributing factors. I do believe the film was marketed poorly. At the premiere, I saw four mock posters that were on stands by the entrance to the party that were all better than the actual poster used. They would have been an outstanding teaser campaign. The trailer Brad Bird showed me at WBFA when I interviewed him was better than any of the actual trailers released. The studio should have let Brad finish his sound mix properly, for chrissakes.
I also think the failure is on the part of parents, and this raises a whole different set of issues. One of the reasons we're embroiled in the whole MPAA flap right now is because Valenti claims he is trying to help give parents the information they need to make a judgement about a movie. This past weekend has proven conclusively to me that parents don't give a shit. Mr. Valenti, you are serving no one any longer. If parents really did their homework and read up on the movies that are available to their children, they would have noticed the outpouring of affection for the film from most major critical outlets. They didn't, though, and that means they're not reading. They're not trying to find out why something got a particular rating. They take their kids to see things that are easily identifiable, already branded. RUGRATS or Disney... those are names they already know. TARZAN didn't make money because it was better or worse than any other Disney animated in recent memory. It made money simply because it was Disney animated.
I also think that last weekend was overstuffed. August used to be considered too late to open a "big" summer movie, but Harrison Ford has changed all that with THE FUGITIVE and AIR FORCE ONE. Now the first weekend of August is still considered a potential $100 million slot, and the enormous overall box-office of last weekend proves that the potential is there. When five good films are released on the same day, though, there's going to be blood in the water. Too bad for the charming DICK and too bad for my beloved GIANT.
Now we're faced with another weekend with some pretty good new choices as well as a film that I can't imagine being excited about, the long-delayed, retitled, much-reshot 13TH WARRIOR. I dug BOWFINGER, and you'll read my thoughts on DRC below. Enjoy these last few treats, though, everyone, because it's slim pickings from here to October. That's the month when we get THREE KINGS, FIGHT CLUB, and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, all of which provide plenty of opportunity to get excited. The time between is what we call the "dog days," though.
Don't believe me? Check out a mere sampling of the fine fare we've got coming until then. DUDLEY DO RIGHT, MICKEY BLUE EYES, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 2, THE MUSE, THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE -- is there even one of those titles that makes you think, "Oh, yeah, baby... opening night!" Is there even one of those that you'd be willing to watch without the option of turning the DVD off if it sucks as bad as you suspect it will? Maybe this lull will allow the good films that are already out to do better due to word of mouth. I can only hope...
All sorts of interesting names attached to interesting projects in the last week or so. Joe Johnston for JP3? Fine by me. He's paid his dues, and he just might pull it off. He's definitely got the visual imagination to bring something fresh to the already fading franchise. Joss Whedon for X-MEN? Better than fine by me. I'm addicted to his BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and truly think he's come into his own as a writer over the last three years.
It's been a big day already today for Mike Binder, who has directed films like INDIAN SUMMER and BLANKMAN in the past. He was announced as a cast member in the upcoming political thriller CONTENDER opposite Jeff Bridges and Joan Allen, and he was attached as the director of Tim Allen's untitled new dark comedy about a motivational speaker who is trapped in a depressing, almost suicidal funk when offstage. Sometimes you see it all come together for one person at one time, and you have got to admire the effort that goes into a moment like that no matter what you think of someone's resume. Nice work, Binder.
I'm not surprised to see many of the core X-FILES team members starting to line up work to guarantee life after this year of the show. Morgan and Wong signed their development deal at DreamWorks this week, and I'm praying that they find the right way to channel their talents. These guys can put it together brilliantly under the right circumstances, and I'd love to see some different shades from them. Meanwhile, Rob Bowman has attached himself to something called RIPTIDE, based on a novel from the same guys who wrote THE RELIC, and it looks like Paul Attanasio is writing it. I wish I could be more excited by Attanasio being signed. As a writer of human drama, he's excellent. I still think QUIZ SHOW is one of the better scripts this decade. But as a writer of big action films or SF pictures, I don't know if his heart's really in it. His work on the adaptation of SPHERE was truly horrible, and he seems to have no feel for the genre. Here's hoping that was just a singular case, and he finds a way to bend his particular talent to the task at hand.
I am disgustipated by the results of the big SIGHT & SOUND poll to pick the greatest Hitchcock film of all time. The top ten list was compiled to coincide with this Friday's 100th anniversary of Hitch's birth, and PSYCHO came out as the favorite of those polled. Pardon me while I shake my head in disdain. PSYCHO? Please... if we're talking about technical mastery as well as personal investment, there's only one film that can seriously be discussed as the man's masterwork, and it's obviously VERTIGO. At no other point did Hitchcock come so close to revealing what really made that dark heart of his beat, and the film continues to reveal new facets of itself to me on every viewing. My other favorite of his films, REAR WINDOW, didn't even make the list, even though such flawed pictures as FRENZY and MARNIE did. It makes me seriously question how the polling process worked. To not acknowledge the other great collaboration of Hitchcock and his (in my opinion) greatest leading man, James Stewart, is just plain criminal. I think that the collaboration between the two artists may have produced my favorite work from both of them, and maybe it's because of what they brought out in each other. Nobody, not even Capra, had ever pushed Stewart so hard. He revealed parts of himself for Hitchcock that audiences didn't know existed. Anyone who's a fan of Stewart's knows that he was a different actor post WWII, as if something about that experience changed him. Directors didn't want the more complex, darker Stewart at first, though, and it wasn't until Hitchcock set him free that I think we really saw just how much war had affected him. Scottie in VERTIGO is no hero. He's not even likable in most of the film. He's fascinating, though, and I believe him. This is a guy I can buy, and I am equally able to accept the reality of REAR WINDOW. We're all voyeurs to some degree, and the film is marvelous at making us complicit in Stewart's peeping game. In the end, it doesn't matter how SIGHT & SOUND ranked the films as long as the list inspires people to enjoy some of Hitchcock's greater efforts this weekend. If at all possible, check your local revival houses and see them on the big screen. After IRON GIANT, of course.
A little while back, I reviewed the upcoming Paramount comedy SUPERSTAR for this page, and I finally got a look at the trailer for the movie the other day thanks to a link at Garth's DARK HORIZONS page. I would say that anyone who hates the trailer should stay far away from the film, because it's a pretty accurate representation of the movie. It's like WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE with adults playing all the roles, and I genuinely like the film and wish it well. It's one of the best efforts I've seen yet at translating a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE character to the bigscreen, and it's also a showcase for the singular talents of Molly Shannon. Since we often bitch about marketing departments not knowing how to sell a film, I thought I'd point out an example of a trailer that gets the tone of a picture exactly right, for better or for worse.
Speaking of trailers, did you all hear about the latest example of the MPAA acting like complete and utter mental patients? There's a TEACHING MRS. TINGLE ad for television that the MPAA will not allow because of a joke involving Mrs. Tingle's dog drinking alcohol from a spilled bottle. Barry Watson says, "If I belonged to Mrs. Tingle, I'd drink, too." The MPAA says the spot promotes teen drinking.
I wish someone at the organization actually had the balls to stand behind their decisions publicly. Instead, they continue their blanket of silence, refusing to comment on anything, on any of their choices. How much longer are the studios going to bow to the whims of this obviously malfunctioning organization? How long until they take back control of their own product? What's it going to take to realize that there has got to be a better way, and any option is preferable to this?
Not that I give studios credit for always knowing what's in their best interest. Take the whole MGM - Francis Ford Coppola thing. The rumor around town is that he's going to become more and more involved in the management of the studio, and that his recutting of SUPERNOVA is just the first step in that process. Has everyone forgotten that despite the fact that he is a great artist, he is a HORRIFICALLY bad businessman? This guy has been in personal debt of up to $100 million at a time. How in the name of all that is rational do you dig a $100 million hole for yourself? And once you've done it, why would any sane person hand you control of a studio? American Zoetrope was a nobly minded failure, as was The Director's Group before that. Coppola can be a valuable artistic consultant, but handing him the keys to the kingdom strikes me as madness, especially for a studio that's ailing as hard as MGM is right now. Leo's roar has never been fainter, and even if THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH does well, it still won't make up for the rest of their slate.
And over at Disney, they're proving that they can commit self-sabotage just as well as anyone else in town with their decision to recut WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? for its upcoming DVD release. They're going to be sly about it and just slip it into the marketplace, hoping no one notices, but that's bullshit. Fixing the moment with Baby Herman and the girl's dress or the foul name Donald calls Daffy is just plain artistic bad sportsmanship. The film was a critical and commercial success. Leave it alone. Does Zemeckis know about the cuts, or is it being slipped by him, too? And if he does know, shame on him. That's the film you made. Leave it alone. Or if you really have to go in and take out moments that were in the original, say so. Label the DVD a "special edition" and explain that you cut material to make the film a little more squeaky-clean, more PC, and that you've lost your nerve in the intervening years. I am getting so tired of people screwing around with films that are already firmly established in the consciousness of an audience that I am ready to scream. It is disrespectful to the audience, and it's upsetting to the people who supported a film and made it a success in the first place.
I am sorry that I wasn't able to meet Kevin Mack at the Digital Domain party at the Palladium on Tuesday night, but anyone who was there can vouch for the fact that it was insanely crowded, powerfully loud, and lots of fun. I had to use a new invisibility device of mine to sneak in, but it was worth it. This was one of the many parties that will be raging here in town this week in honor of SIGGRAPH, which is well underway. As of now, I have no plans to attend the other parties, but I had to go to this one. Meeting Mack was foremost on my mind because I wanted to discuss his work on David Fincher's upcoming FIGHT CLUB. I still haven't seen the whole film, but I was recently able to view a few key sequences from the film. Anyone who stops by the Digital Domain booth at SIGGRAPH should be able to see the same amazing footage. The opening shot of the movie is a remarkable uninterrupted 95 second pullback through a human brain that reminded me of the classic opening shot of CONTACT. Knowing that Mack didn't design the brain so much as grow it, just like he grew the Autumn tree from WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, had me worked into a frenzy. I still want to sit down with this bold FX visionary and get a handle on the work he's doing, and I can't wait to see more of the wondrous sights he and Fincher are about to unleash on us.
Right now, though, I should start wrapping this up for this week, and that means setting the record straight about what really happened when Harry and I went to see DETROIT ROCK CITY. I sent my henchmen to the Westwood Marquis Hotel just after 10:00 on Monday morning, where they subdued and blindfolded Mr. Knowles. He was then brought to The Moriarty Labs, the exact location of which is still a secret even to him. We used my elaborately rigged series of hidden cameras and microphones to spy on various productions around town and we plotted out exactly how I'm going to infiltrate the set of "Wes Craven Untitled" as it shoots around town in the next month. After I knocked him back out for the trip back to his hotel, I substituted the clockwork version of myself for the real me. That's who escorted Harry from his hotel into Westwood just before 6:00 that evening.
I had to do it. I'm manic about not having my face photographed. I have too many powerful enemies. Harry and the MotoMoriarty did the whole red carpet thing, making their way past the gauntlet of photographers, and then chose seats that put them fifth row, center, where the film would be huge and blisteringly loud. From my seat in the Labs, I was able to view the whole thing as if I were there, and I have to say, the movie's a gas from one end to the other. I have fond, fond memories of the '70s, and the film manages to pay homage to that time without wallowing in it. The characters would ring true no matter when the film was set, but the period detail adds another level to the comedy for me personally.
The cast is great without exception, but I salute James DeBello, Natasha Lyonne, Eddie Furlong, Lin Shaye, and Sam Huntington as the reasons to see the movie. They're just given the advantage of the best written roles in the film. The rest of the cast, including Melanie Lynskey (truly adorable here and unrecognizable as the co-star of HEAVENLY CREATURES), Joe Flaherty, and Giuseppe Andrews, is very good, even if their roles are underwritten. It was inevitable since the film is written like a bullet, fast and furious, and there are so many characters given screen time. DeBello adds his performance as Trip to a long tradition of screen stoners played to perfection by actors like Rory Cochrane and Sean Penn, and he manages to pull off some of the film's trickiest material very, very well. Huntington is fresh faced and has many of the qualities that make Topher Grace such an appealing lead on THAT '70S SHOW. Word is that Huntington won the lead after sending two audition tapes from his home in Connecticut, and he definitely displays some nimble comic chops that should serve him well in the future. Furlong has been developing into a better comic actor over his last few films, and this, like PECKER, proves that his smile is a secret weapon. He's got a real charm that is starting to shine through on screen as he gets away from just playing sullen adolescents.
I'd also like to send a special congratulations to Adam Rifkin for finally nailing it. This is a guy who I harbored envy for over the first part of his career. He started young. I mean, most of the time, the term "young director" means the guy is between 30 and 35. Rifkin made NEVER ON TUESDAY when he was 19. When I saw that film, I felt almost vindicated in the fact that it was awful, and I didn't like his other films much more. THE CHASE was impossible for me to make it through, and THE DARK BACKWARD was the kind of failure that I tried to like but ultimately couldn't, although I did love the film's unorthodox ad campaign, centered around Blump Pork Products, and was delighted by DRC's background Blump references. As a writer for DreamWorks, I thought Adam did some nice work, with MOUSEHUNT being the standout. Although not a great movie, it is a confident feature-length version of the kind of energy that distinguished the old Termite Terrace cartoons.
So it was that I approached DETROIT ROCK CITY with a fair amount of skepticism. If you're not won over by the time the opening credit sequence is over, then you're a Grinch, and you should go be by yourself so you don't ruin the fun for the rest of us. Me, I handed myself over the film completely, and even the gags that fail didn't throw me at all. The film works so hard, and has so much fun with itself, that I just couldn't work up anything negative to say.
All of that is separate from the experience that the MotoMoriarty had at the KISS concert after the film, though, so don't confuse my enthusiasm and assume that I'm being easy on the movie. I'm not. My affection for it is genuine, and I think you'll be charmed by it if you give it a chance this weekend. As far as the KISS concert goes, it was awesome. I thought Everclear really rocked when they opened, and they got even better when Cheap Trick joined them onstage for a kick-ass rendition of "Surrender." Still, that was just a warm-up. Nothing could match the sheer bang-your-head, over-the-top fun of KISS in full makeup, up close and personal. Due to the way the party was set up, the audience at the show was able to basically press right up to the edge of the stage. There were no bad spots, but Harry and the MotoMoriarty got particularly phenomenal spots. I think I even heard the automaton sing along at the top of its mechanical lungs. "I wanna rock and roll all night... and party ev-e-ry day!" indeed.
And everyone who met and spoke to the MotoMoriarty over the course of the party was gracious and fascinating, and it was yet another lesson in just how pervasive the readership of the page has become. It's nice to know that the people we are writing about, whose work gives us such pleasure, are getting some small measure of that enjoyment back from what we do, and that there are artists and executives alike out there who genuinely get what we're doing. It's also cool as hell and absolutely surreal that I got to meet Ron Jeremy, even if it was by proxy.
Anyway... it's taken me this long to decode all the tapes and fully analyze the data that the MotoMoriarty gathered, so I apologize for missing the Tuesday morning spot. Rest assured, we'll be back on track for next week. Until then...
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Aug. 12, 1999, 1:01 a.m. CST
In any case, I'm the first poster. The Evil Genius schtick has whiskers on it.
Aug. 12, 1999, 1:27 a.m. CST
Psycho is a brilliant movie, and I adore it. But it's not Hitchcock. Hitchcock was a maker of masterful thrillers. Psycho was a horror. A very skilled horror, a brilliant example of subtle manipulation that Hitchcock could do so well. And I would put it at number 2, easily, but Vertigo is the definitive Hitchcock. A pure thriller, stylish, considered, and giving a rare insight into the mind of Hitchcock. And should have been at number 1. That Rear Window wasn't recognised is criminal. I wasn't expecting Rope to be recognised, although that is a film that is woefully underrated in my opinion. As for Marnie, I was glad that one made the list. It's his last masterpiece, although some will debate that, and cie The Birds. But Frenzy? It's an okay film, but...
Aug. 12, 1999, 1:41 a.m. CST
Please man, don't give away the scenes of the movie Fight Club.I hope that when you get to write down about this movie you don't fuck us up telling the whole thing just to show off and make sure to everybody that you really saw the movie before everybody.
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:28 a.m. CST
by Anakin Rocks
Gotta put in my vote for THE MUSE, written and directed by ALBERT BROOKS, which will be in theaters at the end of the month (during those "dog days"). In my opinion, ALBERT BROOKS is an underrated treasure. He has written such gems as "Lost in America" and "Mother" and offers charming, fun, and heart felt comedy. I am looking forward to THE MUSE quite a bit. - John
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:30 a.m. CST
by Anakin Rocks
RIPTIDE is a book written by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, the authors who wrote THE RELIC (a book which was QUITE a bit of fun & MUCH better than the movie). RIPTIDE is my least favorite of their books, but for a good, not too serious but thrilling, read I suggest MOUNT DRAGON or THUNDERHEAD. - John
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:37 a.m. CST
by Darth Fart
RW's ending is an anti climax, the killer moves so slowly to get Stewart who uses his flash to disorientate him ? Why doesn't the killer move faster. It killed the film for me. Anyone agree ? Disagree ? Rope is so underrated, I love this film, love it to bits. This must be in Hitch's top 10, it must!!!!!
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:45 a.m. CST
First of all, I agree with Anakin Rocks. I'm looking forward to The Muse as well. Will I be there opening day? I doubt it. But I WILL be there opening weekend. I've loved Brooks ever since I saw Lost In America as a wee lad. I like all his movies. I even liked The Scout(really, I did). Second.... oh what was I gonna say........ uhhhh.... hmmmm.... alright, i'll continue this in a moment, I gotta reread moriarty's report to remember what number 2 is.
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:53 a.m. CST
Sorry, I've had a few drinks tonite. So on with the show. Concerning the Hitchcock thing.... I know I'm in the minority of one, but, I always loved Rope. The Jimmy Stewart Hitchcock films have always been numero uno in my book, but Rope takes the cake. Simple, not overbearing, based on a play so the whole movie pretty much takes place in one room. But, hell, my dad rented this movie for me one day when I was sick (6 years old) and I've loved it ever since. Infinitely more watchable than Frenzy (which I abhor) in my opinion. Also concerning the Hitchcock poll(which I've seen the results of), I would've rated North by Northwest and The Byrds MUCH higher. The trailer for The Byrds ALONE shoulda given it at LEAST a #2 in the poll. Just my opinion.....
Aug. 12, 1999, 3:46 a.m. CST
I've had just about enough of the whining about the failure of "The Iron Giant" to connect with the audience. The "artist" and some of the writers here make it seem like there was some kind of a conspiracy on the part of WB's, the studio that invested upward of 50 mil into this pic, to sink it. Now, why the heck would they do that?? The reasons the movie bombed are simple. Even though it's cuddly and cute, it a:) has nothing to offer to little girls (the only girl is a non-descript mom -- come on!); b:) the cold war setting is confusing and dull for all children, boys and girls; c:) it's not edgy enough for teenagers; and d:) it's too conventional and tame for grown-ups... well, let's face it, adults don't go to movies like that without kids. The critics loved this move because it's inoffensive and has some messages to deliver... "Guns Kill" "You can choose what you are"... ooh... how can the audiences not appreciate the depth! And how can the critics ignore the uncanny and annoying similarities to "E.T." (This movie "chose" to be a rip-off.) Hey, I don't mean to be too tough on this trifle of a flick... In the summer of inanity, it should be commended for its relaxed pace, warmth, and subtle humor... But it's just not original enough! And the constant whining of its creators is just plain silly and childish...
Aug. 12, 1999, 4:09 a.m. CST
I went and saw Iron Giant for my birthday. My wife and daughter took me out. I thought that it would be good, and I loved it. My wife didn't think that she would like it and she did("an 8 or a 9"). She also said that she thought that it was as good as an animated movie could be (I know bad statement). And my daughter, who by the way is obviously a girl liked it to. So whos to say it has nothing to offer little girls. And by the way isn't it kinda sexist or somrthing to say that anyway. I mean not all girls love barbie as much as you do.
Aug. 12, 1999, 4:25 a.m. CST
First; Moriarty, I just recently discovered AICN, and I compliment you on your work and find I agree with your point of view. (And after the boozing comments, maybe certain people will lighten up about one night, old Scotch, and diet Dr, Pepper. Hey, I LIKE fizz.) 2nd: Absolutely rabid on the point of recutting or otherwise screwing around with films. Isn't this what the Ministry of Truth did? Hmmm? The wonderful "Batman" serial of 1943 (starring Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft, Directed by Lambert Hillyer) is available in two parts from Goodtimes video and re-copyrighted by Columbia Pictures. Volume Two (Chapters 8-15) is readily available. Volume One is mysteriously rare. Why? One voiceover. "This is Chinatown, where the yellow devils live." This was the height of WWII, our own citizens were interred in California deserts for being of Asian descent; and these PC asswipes want to "protect" our youth from an ugly truth. I say expose it! If it was a bad thing to say, so be it. If exposed as fact, we have the opportunity to deal with it and move on. Should "All Quiet On the Western Front" have the final sequence cut so it is not so disturbing? Should the statue of David be made to wear BVD's? Crap. I'd rather live in an uncomfortable reality that be bashed by it from ambush (if you get my drift.) Ranting,
Aug. 12, 1999, 5:31 a.m. CST
It's good to know some others agree with me about Rope. Now, regarding Rear Window's ending. I never thought about it before, but you're right, he does move slowly. I haven't managed to see it in a while, and my memory may be wrong and I may have forgotten something, but my thoughts are that the neighbour (Raymond Burr) is not a killer. He killed his wife, not in a premeditated way, but perhas in frustration at this invalid woman who keeps bossing him. He is not a cold blooded killer. But now, he has to kill James Stewart with pre-meditation. And his slowness may be just a sign of an internal struggle, where he has to force himself to take each step to do something he really doesn't want to do. Just a thought, and if there is anything I have forgotten that negates what I have said, please tell me. Also, I forget who mentioned Strangers On A Train, but no, that wasn't in the list either. The full list was 1. Psycho (1960), 2. Vertigo (1958), 3. Notorious (1946), 4. Birds, The (1963), 5. North by Northwest (1959), 6. Shadow of a Doubt (1943), 7. Foreign Correspondent (1940), 8. Frenzy (1972), 9. Lady Vanishes, The (1938), 10. Marnie (1964).
Aug. 12, 1999, 5:36 a.m. CST
I knew there was something else I thought was wierd about that list. Martin Scorsese voted for Psycho. Why is that wierd? Well, I have seen interviews, read articles, (he wrote a foreword to a book about the making of Vertigo) in which he gives the impression that it is Vertigo that is his favourite Hitchcock. I've never heard him talk about Psycho. So why the sudden switch?
Aug. 12, 1999, 6:06 a.m. CST
Blast! I was hoping for a second that Attansio was writing a big screen adaptation of the RIPTIDE T.V. show. It would be nice to see Thom Bray returning to Murray Bozinsky, the role that made him the $20 million superstar he is today. That will continue to be my wish. Adam Rifkin..... I remember when, after being ballyhooed by Film Threat as a cult classic for all time, I rented THE DARK BACKWARD. I've been regretting that day ever since. I was so sickened by its awfulness that I jokingly called Chris Gore, editor-in-chief of Film Threat, to complain. The joke, however, turned serious when Gore actually took my call, and we argued over Rifkin's merits as a writer/director for nearly an hour. My ammo at the time consisted of his hack work on THE NUTTY NUT (which was released under a different moniker,) and the aforementioned. Gore kept maintaining that Rifkin was talented, and that I'd eat my words. A few years later, when THE CHASE was unceremoniously dumped into the 'plexes, I finally felt vindicated, and was sure that was the last I would ever hear of the guy. Imagine my horror, then, when, two years ago, I discovered that Rifkin was one of Dreamworks most valued writers. I will admit I found MOUSEHUNT tolerable, but, should I truly enjoy DETROIT ROCK CITY, it will be a hard pill to swallow. Just proof, I guess, that there's hope for all of us struggling writers.
Aug. 12, 1999, 6:27 a.m. CST
I finally saw Iron Giant yesterday afer trying to get everyone and his mother to see it with me. I went by myself. I don't know what in god's name anyone is talking about saying it doesn't appeal to this group or that one. The movie is almost perfect. I went home, got my girlfriend and saw the movie again at 9. It's sad to see a movie where everyone is cheering at the end of the movie but there are only 10 people in the theatre. If this movie was playing to full theatres the places would be going crazy. I vow that however annoying I have to be, everyone I know will see this film. I'm calling radio stations. They've been promoting crappy movies too long. And of course it's a lot like ET, but so what. I think it's better. And the moral "Guns kill" is a lot better than the morals you get from all the other movies out these days. Namely, none. And really the real moral is more like, you choose who you want to be and in this day and age I think we could all use a little of that. Plus, it's funny as hell.
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:25 a.m. CST
The killer's approach in Rear Window is appropriately slow because it establishes the tone of the final scene and remains true to the alternate world that Hitch has created throughout. The whole movie is a detailed insight into Jimmy Stewart's mind: one critic has argued that the windows across the street play out the different scenarios of marriage and love that Scottie imagines when considering his own choice to get married. In effect, the whole movie is a sort of dream-sequence, complete with the theme of not being able to run away(wheelchair). Nightmares are always as torturous as possible. Can you imagine an incredible suspensful buildup of the whole movie, culminated by the killer's two second run across the room? No, there must be tension, apprehension and calculation on the part of the killer that allows Stewart to really drown in fear. As far as believability, every Hitchcock movie requires you to be sucked in and forget about reality--his movies are the true example of what is good about suspension of disbelief. They are all an alternate world where strange things can and do play out, because our minds always experience things differently (sometimes subtly, sometimes not) than the reality of the world actually presents them. But, if you are looking for "realistic" reason why Burr doesn't rush across the room, it could be because he is alone, in the dark, with a man in a wheelchair. There is no need to rush--instead, he should take his time to make sure he does it exactly right. And, it makes more sense if he exercises this control, shows Stewart who is the boss after he has been caught by a man in a wheelchair. That impulse to kill is the last, sickly effort of someone who has lost all sight of what is right in the world because he is so caught up in seizing or regaining some sense of "control." Burr now advances slowly just to drill it in to Stewart to try to show that he is still in charge, compared to this crippled man. All in all, it's my opinion that, once again, Hitchcock's endless wrestling and attention to detail make this ending, at least upon a little closer inspection, the ONLY possible right ending (which is what the countless number of directors who attempt to remake Hitch's films will never, ever understand, and why it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to make a satisfying remake. Anyone ever seen The Lady Vanishes with Eliot Gould and Melanie Griffith? Laughable. The only remake that doesn't deserve to be destroyed is van Sant's, because it is as close to an exact remake as possible, though it too seems to be quite lifeless in comparison.)
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:26 a.m. CST
Hey Moriarty, thanks for leaving me in a deep depression regarding the movies coming out from now until October. What will I do with my free time? Oh well, there's always the second run theatres, where I can catch the great summer movies over and over again. But let's not give up hope for The Iron Giant just yet. Yes, it had a dismal opening weekend. But the audiences gave it an "A" rating. Remember that There's Something About Mary and Scream also opened low and were two of the biggest hits the years they opened. And if it doesn't do well, so what? At least you had the chance to see it. Right?
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:27 a.m. CST
The trailer for The Birds is brilliant! Hitchcock knew how to make trailers. Why can't more trailers today be like that one? Those Fight Club trailers Moriarty mentioned earlier sounded seriously cool and in that spirit, but I guess we'll never see them. Other recent favorite trailers of mine were Godzilla (too bad they had to release the movie) and Face/Off. I hate spoilers. Since the bad trailers so overwhelmingly outnumber the good, I have almost resolved to give them up entirely (i.e., always bring a pair of earplugs and cover my eyes).
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:36 a.m. CST
by Sean Orca
Yesterday DVDFILE.COM posted a good editorial (rant) on the whole Roger Rabbit mess. The author said he had contacted Zemeckis' office and that they had not been informed by Buena Vista that a DVD was even coming out! Check it out at http://www.dvdfile.com/disc/crusade/1999/august_11.htm.
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:42 a.m. CST
While I enjoyed vertigo, i would not say it was Hitchcock's best. In fact, it wasn't even Hitchcock's favorite. Yeah it's a personal look into his dark little soul and all that, but it's kind of silly at times and it's hard for me to watch repeatedly (I get a little bored). i'm not saying that I must have non stop action, but Vertigo definitely drags. I think it's dumb that the film Hitchcock himself listed as his favorite American film (he really had at least 2 careers, he made more than 20 films before coming to Hollywood) is not even on the list. That film is Shadow of a Doubt. While I love most Hitchcock's films, i agree with the director, this is an oft overlooked jewel. If you haven't seen it, go rent it. As to the Iron Giant, I couldn't get anyone to go see it with me, so I went by myself. There was a huge line of goobers lined up to see Runaway Bride and Blair Bitch Project (from what I could tell everyone was buying tickets to these, so I assume that is what they were going to see). There were about 7 or maybe 10 people in the theatre. I loved that film, like some other films to come out this summer, this one has been lost amidst the shuffle of overhyped crap. It irks me seriously that a mediocre flick like Tarzan should do gangbusters at the theater, while a good movie like IG shuold whither and die. I know some folks are probably sick of hearing all the hype, but it is one of the few films that is worth it. I personally would not have said anything if the film was doing better. Go see for yourself.
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:55 a.m. CST
The Nutty Nut is a piece of garbage I "had" to watch twice because Tracy Lords can do no wrong and Mousehunt had me on the floor laughing with tears coming out my eyes. Few movies are that funny; Something About Mary got me like that, too. And by the way, I don't care about lists but if you haven't seen Hitchcock's Rope yet --RENT IT TODAY.
Aug. 12, 1999, 9:12 a.m. CST
by The Ref
You're right, Moriarty... parents don't read, they don't monitor what their kids are watching, they don't care. At least some of them don't. I went to see South Park this past weekend. Afternoon matinee. This woman sitting next to me brought her 6 or 7-year old son to see the movie AND FELL ASLEEP. I wouldn't have had so much of a problem with her bringing her kid if she had some intentions of actually WATCHING the film with him so that they could have a discussion about it with him afterwards. What kind of irresponsible people are out there? Why do I, a 23-year-old unmarried guy who spends his free time playing PlayStation and watching television, feel more capable of raising a child than so many of these idiot cretinous morons that think they can bring a life into this world? This is why kids shoot up their schools. This is why they turn out to be screwed-up adults. It's dunderheaded, incompetent parents like this: the ones that don't read movie reviews, don't watch television with their kids, don't check to see if the kid has been designing a Neo-Nazi web page, don't take an interest in their child's life beyond a superficial level. Stuff like this makes me grateful to my family, who were always interested in my life (without being nosey or overbearing). Peace, I'm outta here.
Aug. 12, 1999, 9:13 a.m. CST
...(which would have gotten my vote- I had to vote for Litzomania instead! Bad Harry! No soup for you!) is Toni Collette not the best actress on the planet right now? Look at her three big roles- Muriel, VG and now the Sixth Sense. All are brilliant, totally believable performances, and all are totally different. She's outstreeping Streep! And for the record- the Chase is a very, very funny film. A little heavy handed at times, but very subtle in places too. I like it, and I own it. So nyaah nyaah nyaah.
Aug. 12, 1999, 9:27 a.m. CST
I agree that Hitchcock pushed Stewart hard and between them they brought out the best work in each other but the contribution of Anthony Mann was also important in all those fantstic Stewart westerns of the late 40s and early 50s (The Naked Spur and The Bend in the River are just brilliant and don't let me start on Winchester '57). Mann also knew that Stewart was a lot more than just the likeable hero of the pre-War era and his contribution towards the darker and deeper Stewart of the later years was equal to that of Hitch.
Aug. 12, 1999, 9:52 a.m. CST
If the MPAA objected to the fact that the spot of the dog licking a wine bottle promoted teen drinking, why did they then allow a spot to run that shows Katie Holme and her boyfriend under covers talking on a bed with Katie Holme covering herself with a sheet, thus implying that they had been have been having sex. Her statement of "I'm going to hell for this," and his snotty reply of "It'll be a party" further enhances this innuendo. So what the hell is it with this mixed message? I mean, it's not like I'm gonna lose sleep over this, but I would just love a little bit if consistency on the part of the MPAA.
Aug. 12, 1999, 10:10 a.m. CST
oh my god. maybe we should call afi and inform them that by popular demand, the iron giant is now the best film of the last 100 years. are you people kidding me?!? the movie was cute. it had some nice moments. when the giant is flying towards the missle and thinks of being superman, i'll admit i shed a tear. but this is not a GREAT movie. it reminded me of a saturday morning cartoon (the crappy ones of today, not the eighties) with a little more heart to it. there was laugh out loud humor, a really lame cold war back drop, and the villian was just stupid (unless it really is that easy to launch a nuclear missle on a small maine town). it is just amazing to me how the opinion of one popular movie reviewer can so strongly influence the opinions of so many others. just because harry thinks this movie is the greatest thing ever, does that mean it is. is this movie better than toy story? no way. how about beauty and the beast or aladdin, not really even close. maybe it is getting such acclaim because it differs in many ways from the very formulaic structure of recent disney movies, which have been well received and reviewed, but are nothing new. maybe i'm just missing something...
Aug. 12, 1999, 10:26 a.m. CST
Have the studios forgotten the DVD feature that allows parents to choose an "R" or "PG-13" rating? "Ever After" was presented this way and everyone (well, some people anyway) got what they wanted. Why not just release the film as it was originally shown with the option to turn off those "offending" comments or gestures?
Aug. 12, 1999, 10:26 a.m. CST
A buddy of mine was a bartender at the after-party and told me a funny story about Ron Jeremy. Ron was sitting at a table with a bevy of other porn actresses, enjoying his drink and leaned back in his chair expecting a wall to be behind him. Unfortunately they were in the V.I.P. TENT, and there was no wall to support him, and he fell back in his chair spilling his drink all over himself. Still, that's an easy mistake. The funny part is, it happened TWICE!
Aug. 12, 1999, 11:31 a.m. CST
a panel of top directors assembled by the British Film Institute's "Sight and Sound" magazine has selected 'Psycho' as Hitchcock's greatest work. The panel included Martin Scorsese, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Robinson, each of whom voted for Psycho. Milos Forman, John Carpenter and Baz Luhrmann selected Vertigo.
Aug. 12, 1999, 12:15 p.m. CST
That was perfectly put, I think. I liked Hitchcock's `Psycho', but I absolutely loathed Van Sant's `Psycho'. He didn't capture the feel in any one of the scenes. That would be like an artist tacking a sheet of tracing paper over the Mona Lisa, and the doing a pencil sketch-trace of it. It's not the same. The images are exact (well, sort of), but the feel wasn't in the picture. 2 years ago, Starz was showing a few Hitchcock films back-to-back, and `Rope' was one of them. I woke up, and saw the film starting as I was dressing, only to realize this was the film I had wanted to see for the longest time. I was furious that I had to leave. I only got to see it up to the point with the brothers talking in the begining, and one walks into the kitchen to put a rope in the drawer. It was confirmed, this was the film I heard about. The film where Hitchcock tried to do as many single take shots as possible. No cuts unless it was absolutely necessary. Damn! I waited to see that film for the longest time, and it hasn't played since. And to throw salt in my open wound, I find out that not only does my video store *NOT* have this film, but the people working there have never even heard of it!! Now I can't rent at that store again, all because their clerks are ignorant - Long story that ends with `never berate a manager over his lack of taste'. <sigh> I wish I could see/have seen this film. It's one of 5 Hitchcock films I have yet to see.
Aug. 12, 1999, 12:41 p.m. CST
by Killer Bee
It's easy to criticize other peoples parental abilities when you don't have any children of your own. Still, here's something to ponder: When I went to see the Blair Witch Project there was, in the theater, not one but TWO mothers (sitting at opposite sides so obviously they did not know each other) with two screaming kids. Real babies man. Now I don't think that the movie would warp those kids, since I doubt they could understand what was going on much less were even paying attention to the screen. However I think it's funny when I tell people that I couldn't here what the actors were saying because some damn kids wouldn't stop crying in the theater.
Aug. 12, 1999, 1:23 p.m. CST
Finally, a voice of dissent. Thank you, THX 12/76... I thought I was crazy... reading this page (and I love this page!) it seemed like everyone just loved Iron Giant to death... Well, not everyone. And although, the movie is decent, all these rave reviews proclaiming it to be better than "E.T." (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!) and "CASABLANCA"?!?!?... all these pumped up raves fit to be put in the newspaper ads, only made me like the movie less. And the constant complaints of the "artists"... pleeeese... Brad Bird and his collaborators are damn lucky that they had a steady job for several years and that a major studio took a gamble on such a flimsy premise... -- (who the heck IS Iron Giant, where did he come from, and why should we spend hours explaining to our little tykes the intricacies of the Cold War in the 50's...?)... The promotional campaign was just fine, and so was the trailer, given that very little actually happens in this movie. Did we all forget such great animated movies as Little Mermaid, Toy Story, Antz, and (a true forgotten classic) The Last Unicorn? STOP THE WHINING! MOVE ON! Come up with something original, and then maybe you'll have a hit.
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:09 p.m. CST
by Crackity Jones2
First off, my apologies from deviating from the current talk back discussion of Hitchcock films for Harry Knowles to please read the following. For further info please check yesterday's Detroit Rock City TalkBack, after my post was pulled and banned from Talkback for criticizing Harry's integrity.~~ Gee Harry you sure do like to keep an open forum for the geeks to discuss films but if just one person lashes out and attacks your credibility, you pull their post. I guess then I shouldn't have reprinted your heart felt email you sent my friend telling him how much of a pile of crap he was for attacking your character and integrity when he said on the Lake Placid talk back that you got a $1000 for writing a good review. Boo hoo. My heart really goes out to you. Here are some questions I want you to address Harry, Why didn't you make a statement in the Salon article about the fake internet hype around Blair Witch? Why is it that you love every movie (except films by Jon Peters and Joel Shumacher, who everybody knows suck ass to begin with)? Why indeed do you recommend crap every week to the same hundred geeks or so who monitor your site 24 hours a day? You claim to love movies, so do I, but I do not love crap! And believe me, we are all entitled to an opinion, but I have found that yours has become tainted over the last 2 1/2 years I have been visiting your site. Sure you have everybody on your side, everybody loves the big red-headed fat guy who doesn't allow other people's opinion on his site especially if they are attacking his credibility. Harry, do us all a favor, just admit you are a sell-out. It's like taking off a Band-Aid, it would be quick and painless. But I imagine you are trying to be more like Chris Gore who originally sold out to Larry Flynt and then bought FilmThreat back and you know what, he's doing alright. He can feed his family, has health care, he's just made a business out of his obsession and that's what you need to do with yours. Turn Aint-it-Cool into the ultimate movie site. Get that TV show you want, become the household name you know you don't deserve, and once the lights come up and you have the lowest ratings in the history of cable TV you can blame me for being the selling out you became and being the fame whore you've always wanted to be.~~ P.S. Harry, Two strikes and I am out, come on, have some heart.
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:12 p.m. CST
have you even read the original book? it never explains where the giant came from either. the fact of the matter is that whether or not the iron giant is a "classic" (i believe it is, but that's not relevant), it is better than pretty much every other film out right now, and definitely better than any animated film that has been out in recent memory. and warner brothers is burying it. i went to my local warner bros. store today, waaaaaaay back in the corner of the store they had two iron giant action figures. two. no signs to promote the film. i went into fao shwarz. nothing. if i wanted a star wars action figure, hell, i could take my pick. they had a whole damn wall of them. and as far as the creators "whining," it is an injustice whenever *anybody's* film isn't given a fair chance, not just this one.
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:35 p.m. CST
by Cassius the Evil
I don't know about this movie... I recall seeing a commercial for it and grinning a bit. With my luck, though, that was probably the best part of the movie. Well, maybe I'll go see a matinee...
Aug. 12, 1999, 2:36 p.m. CST
by W. Leach
First of all, I have to credit SIGHT & SOUND: PSYCHO is my absolute favorite Hitchcock movie, AND one of my top three favorite movies of all time. And as for FRENZY and MARNIE being "flawed?" FRENZY is one of the Master's greatest thrillers, and MARNIE is an extremely underrated film. Why is it "flawed"? Because of its cheap-looking rear projection and (in some sequences) painted sets? Hitchcock delibrately made the movie in this surreal way to give the audience a glimpse into the heorine's warped mind. Like THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, the painted sets actually contribute to the story. Plus, actress Tippi Hedren gives one of the best performances of the 1960s as the troubled Marnie. Just watch the scene where she's forced to shoot her beloved horse to see what I mean. Now for the bad news, and the big question of the day: why does Lorne Michaels still churn out half-baked movies based on SNL sketches? CONEHEADS, STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY, and A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY didn't exactly set the world on fire. SUPERSTAR is more of the same: a sketch that isn't even funny on the show (what is these days?) stretched out to a 90-minute movie. Obviously the producer shows no signs of slowing down: apparently there's a SPROCKETS movie in the works (Huh? That is SO 1991), and the inevitable LADIES' MAN. Who says there's a lack of originality in movie land?
Aug. 12, 1999, 3:15 p.m. CST
by The Ref
You mean if I had kids I would be more understanding of the woman who brought her young son to see the almost-NC-17-rated South Park and fell asleep?? I don't think so. I'd have less understanding, I think. Regarding babies (and parents understanding other parents), this couple brought their baby (probably year and a half) to the Sixth Sense last Sunday. Not only did it scream, but to placate it, they brought a MUSIC MAKING TOY! WHICH PLAYED MUSIC!! DURING THE MOVIE!! Another guy finally lost it and yelled "GET YOUR KID OUTTA HERE!" which was echoed by a number of frazzled people. The father (I assume) yelled back "Hey, shut up! Do you have kids?!" To which the annoyed guy yelled back "Yeah, three... and I had the good sense to leave them at home!!" I am not making this up. This happened in the middle of the film. (which was totally great, BTW). I think America in general is slowly losing any sense of class, manners, decency, not just in movie theaters. It's sad.
Aug. 12, 1999, 3:56 p.m. CST
Now you know how I felt with BLAIR WITCH. I loved IG though. I took my 4 year old to see it. He loved it. He didn't clue into the Cold War thing at all. We played at home afterward where he was the IG shooting laserbeams from his eyes. Then he's stop and say, "I am not a gun". A week later, he looks at me and in a deep voice says "Superman." So, he didn't get the Cold War part. He got the important part. And yeah, I shed a tear too Lorett. My question is, what impacted you more: Little Mermaid or IG? For me IG -- if Little Mermaid is considered a classic (one where the message seemed to be "don't be yourself") then I'll argue to the end IG should be too. BTW: I have a talent for sarcasm. I worked hard not to be aggresive so don't take this as an attack, just friendly discussion.
Aug. 12, 1999, 4:15 p.m. CST
That's cool, not everyone likes everything Thx and retta, but please don't give away the movie for those who aint't seen IG yet. and I agree with saklas, Disney movies have really strange messages. beauty and the beast's moral: "all he needs is a good woman and he'll stop being the violent, ugly and abusive beast" which by the way is a total distortion of the original story. in the original, the young girl, the "beauty" is vain and judegmental, she judges and condemns the beast because of his foul looks. the beast is kind, and in the end, she comes to love him, reguardless of his ugly looks. the whole "don't judge a book by it's cover" thing. what was the question?
Aug. 12, 1999, 5:20 p.m. CST
couldnt agree with TheRef more, I hate all this Cellphone shit in the theatres, every frickin movie I go to, someone gets a page, or a call, or has a screamin kid, or snores, Check this out, I got a great story for you guys. Im inthe teatre, opening night of the Phantom Menace, and im just waitin and im hyped, like s many of us were, (if we only knew then what we knew now huh?) anyhow, im waitin there, and my girlfriend just happens to know the theatre manager, (who was a real idiot by the way, his name is Rob and he's a scremin freak who sucks balls) anyhow he is talkin to my girlfriend and me about his experience with an earlier screening of the film, blash blah blah, and fu**in tells us "you know Darth Maul dies at the end right?"....NO I didnt F***iin know that, you A*#$%. It was one of those times that you wish murder was legal, you know what im sayin, even the damn theatre managers suck, I hate the theatres, espescially the jac asses who like to lean over the seat and talk to you while the movie is goin on, man o man, they are screwin it up for everyone, glad to know that im not the only one getting annoyed with theatre patron and administrators, Well, thats it for my ranting and raving for the day......
Aug. 12, 1999, 5:26 p.m. CST
"The Iron Giant" is dead. There, I've said it. No amount of raving will save it. Nearly everyone on this site has been extremely enthusiastic towards the movie, and I admire that, but it'll take a lot more than that to save IG. It can't be done. It's time to move on to other things. There was no conspiracy between Warner Brothers, AICN whipping boy Jack Valenti, or anyone else. The movie just failed. Why can't you fanboys understand that? Forget it. It's over. Harry, your enthusiasm for IG was good at first, you seemed sincere, and you still do, but it got way out of hand: now it seems like rabid boosterism, and it's getting tired. Speaking of getting tired: Moriarty, lose the "evil genius" schtick. That's all it is:schtick. It was sort of amusing the first time, but now it's staler than a box of week-old doughnuts. Also, is there anyone in Hollywood you actually like? You seem so bitter sometimes. I don't know why, but I'll bet Jack Valenti and the MPAA are to blame.
Aug. 12, 1999, 5:30 p.m. CST
...The reason 'Rear Window' is not on SIGHT & SOUND's list is because it's not on video. Not currently, anyway. Universal had it out on tape many moons ago, but I don't believe it's been re-released within this passed decade. Shame too, really. When all this Hitchcock reverie came up, I was hoping the numerous companies would finally get the movies out on widescreen DVD. So far, all Universal has done is repackage the two movies that are already out on DVD (Psycho & Vertigo) and repack the tapes, which were repacked about four years previous to this. It's really a shame that these movies have been left to languish in dropout/vid noise hell.
Aug. 12, 1999, 6 p.m. CST
Rear Window is currently undergoing a restoration process and planned theatrical re-release along the lines of Vertigo so this classic isn't being ignored or left to waste. I'd also say that it didn't make the Top Ten just because other films happened to get the votes (I would've liked to have seen Shadow of a Doubt on the Top Ten myself). When the voters include such walking encyclopedias of film like Martin Scorcese, the fact that a film isn't currently on video doesn't really factor into the situation.
Aug. 12, 1999, 6:42 p.m. CST
Check out www.virtualproducer.com
Aug. 12, 1999, 7:52 p.m. CST
Hitchcock was a deviant. Hitchcock was a cinema genius. One informs the other. He was the first director I was conscious of, as a director. I was a kid when NBC SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES ran NORTH BY NORTHWEST. It dazzled me. Soon after, I saw THE BIRDS, and though I did not know who made the movie, I could tell it was Hitchcock. His deviancies echoed in me. His artistry impressed me. And I was a very dumb little kid! My top 5 Hitchcocks? In no particular order, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, THE BIRDS, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (remake), VERTIGO, and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.
Aug. 12, 1999, 8:46 p.m. CST
Thank you, Sakla. That's all I ever wanted -- a friendly discussion... Well, I also wanted to derail the banwagon a little, to stamp the stampede a bit, to de-classify the classic a notch. My feeling is, we're being fed so much crap at the movies nowdays that when something semi-decent comes along, we lose all perspective, jump up and salute... Again, I don't want to re-convert the Iron Giant faithful... they loved the movie, and that's great... But to suggest a WB conspiracy, some boogymen trying to muck it for the IG creators... well... you know, it goes like this: (SPOILER) A BUNCH OF ANIMATORS WENT INTO THE WOODS TO MAKE "THE IRON GIANT" AND NO ONE'S HEARD OF THEM OR THEIR MOVIE AGAIN... (ALTHOUGH SOME CUTE FOOTAGE WAS FOUND)... BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID!
Aug. 12, 1999, 10:30 p.m. CST
Sick and tired of what? Hearing people talk about IG. I have yet to see the movie and I'm already damn sick of it and people saying it's the best thing since sliced bread. I don't even want to see it anymore... I've become numb to people's suggestions. I think that's happened across the board to everyone, in a way. Like I just got back from seeing Mystery Men. I liked it, honestly I did... my friends who were more exicted than I to see it, didn't like it. Things happen that way. To be honest, I've been coming to AICN for a few months now, but I'd rather read kewl news than opinionated bickering (although I guess I'm not helping much here...). My point: Go see what you want, don't let others infulence you (good or bad), and don't base your opinions on that of a reviewer, a Talkback-er, or a friend. And that's the bottom line.... Baron out.
Aug. 12, 1999, 11:13 p.m. CST
I was truly amazed to find someone on this message board who thinks that "The Iron Giant" is "not as good as the cartoons we had in the eighties." WAKE UP, ZOMBIE!! Saturday morning cartoons have ALWAYS been crap, and the only reason you like them is because you grew up with them. All the Saturday morning cartoons (except maybe Bakshi's "Mighty Mouse") of the last 25 years have been DOG CRAP, and the same goes for the syndicated afternoon cartoons (the only thing less inspired than the turgid "Inspector Gadget" show was "Masters OF THe Universe!") IRREFUTABLE FACT # 1 : There have been very few really good movies this year: "Existenz", "Eyes Wide Shut", "Blair Witch", "Star Wars", "Election"...but the ABSOLUTE BEST AMERICAN FILM RELEASED SO FAR THIS YEAR IS "THE IRON GIANT" IT'S NOT OVERRATED, IT'S A MASTERPIECE. Trust NOBODY who tells you otherwise. Some people just can't stand animated films regardless, because of the kiddy stigma. These people are idiots who can't see past their nose. IRREFUTABLE FACT # 2 ) PSYCHO is most certainly Hitch's best film, ever...and, beyond that, it's probably the most efficient and perfect film ever made. Sure, I like "American Graffiti" and "The Graduate" a little bit more, but PSYCHO IS FLAWLESS (like "Jaws".) "Vertigo", while terrific, is a bit overrated. Slightly overlong, with an abbreviated finale. After "Psycho" (which is OBVIOUSLY Hitchcock's masterpiece, and certainly more along the lines of grungy indie filmmaking that all you lemmings slobber over), I'd throw in "Rear Window" and "North By Northwest". And, just because we associate Hitch with murder, let's not forget "Rebecca" and "Notorious."
Aug. 13, 1999, 12:02 a.m. CST
I've always been rather fond of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (with Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery) myself ... although I'm sure it never even came close to being on the list. ^_^
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