Ain't It Cool News (

Harry rolls over for THE INFORMANT! But mainly because it is so damn brilliantly funny!

Sometimes you can tell the instant you see an actor in character. The second I saw that first image of Matt "the fat" Damon with that magnificent hair, glasses and a frickin' gut... I smiled. Upon seeing the trailer, I really started to get excited, and last night... shortly after the film began, I was in a fairly constant euphoric state. Steven Soderbergh has had a truly remarkable year. His earlier effort, GIRL FRIEND EXPERIENCE, was a tremendous film on a subject matter that would cry exploitation, but instead he delivered a brilliant character study about a very smart, attractive girl who not only fools her clients, but most dangerously herself. He elicited a great performance from a Porn Star - so naturalistic, so heart aching that I really wondered why she was in porn, till I investigated... at length. And I found her quite... convincing... there as well. But there wasn't the slightest hint of what she did for Steven, which was amazing in entirely different ways. Here - Soderbergh has crafted a film that feels a tad Billy Wilder - if only because Matt Damon seems to slightly be channeling the brilliant Jack Lemmon - and I can't help but think of Billy Wilder, when I think of the particular character that Jack Lemmon played so brilliantly for him, that Damon delivers so wonderfully. Matt Damon plays Mark Whitacre - an orphan that caught a lucky break when he was adopted by a couple that owned an amusement park. They got him into good schools where his stunning scholastic skills elevated him into the upper echelons of biochemists, and then into an executive position at the same CORN based company - and things get all sorts of insane. You see - a rival Japanese company is apparently injecting a virus into something that's making these critters that eat something and then shit out money... well, they're just not shitting near enough money and it is costing Mark's company around $7 million a month. Mark was contacted by the puppetmaster behind the scheme to extort $12 million from his company. He takes the offer to his boss - his boss wants him to get the best deal possible, but on the other side of things... the boss brings in the FBI. And well... Mark has had a serious crisis of conscience regarding PRICE FIXING at the company and shares this with the FBI - thus setting up a multi-year investigation into a worldwide corn price-fixing nightmare robbing millions or billions from every human on the planet. Matt's Mark is such a great guy. For most of the film he's Michael Moore's wet dream. In fact, you might want to not imagine that in too much detail, but it is dead on. The corporate fucks that do what these guys do absolutely deserve to be ratted on - but the problem is - nobody in the corporate environment is not guilty of some... stretching of legality. The film is a never-ending cycle of peeling back more and more about what Mr Whitacre has discovered. Unlike similar films like CHINA SYNDROME or NORMA RAE or... well you know, the Whistleblower genre... Unlike those, this is the silliest dramatic clusterfuck of reality that you're likely to see. A satire? Not quite, the vast amount of humor comes from just the sheer disbelief at how crazy the various situations get. Another great performance is given by Melanie Lynskey as Ginger Whitacre, Mark's wife. I'm never really sure of what she knows. She's kept out of so much of it, but then the looks between her and Matt... well they tell a lot or at the very least allude to something more than what they're telling us. There's such a genuine sense of caring from her character and by the time you get to the end... you just kinda have to love her. I'm sure you remember her great performance in HEAVENLY CREATURES - which was really the key performance in that great film. She's been a really busy lady recently, but in this - and hopefully in UP IN THE AIR - we'll be seeing a bit of a resurgence of her career into a bit more prominent work. She absolutely deserves it. Scott Bakula also delivers a great performance as the FBI Special Agent that runs Matt's Mark. He's just so flabbergasted by what happens, just sitting back and gathering all this amazing info that Mark just drops on him - and he knows that he's going to get a great collar for this one. Every level of this film is exceptional. Soderbergh's cinematography is beautiful to look at. He fetishizes the early 90's in terms of color - giving the film a HEART-WARMING glow that just makes you feel good, rather than oppressed. However, above the script, the performances, the direction and the lush photography - I give the big horseshoe made of flowers and the champagne cup to Marvin Hamlisch for a BRILLIANT SCORE! Hamlisch doesn't really score films - not for a long time. We see him credited for his amazing songs that get sourced constantly by films. His score propels everything, making light out of what could have been just infuriating. His score is Mark Whitacre's rather layered soul. I HIGHLY recommend this! Truly wonderful work, amongst Soderbergh's bests!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:38 a.m. CST


    by ISleptWithKathyBatesAndAllThatIGotWasThisStupidTalkbackName

    And that's just the way it is.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Frank Welker is in that movie too.

    by DerLanghaarige

    i heard you even see him this time. Is that true?

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST


    by r_kelly

    I was hoping this would rule.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST


    by the_beard_of_Chuck_Norris

    "Matt Damon plays Mark Whitacre - an orphan that caught a lucky break when he was adopted by a couple that owned an amusement park. They got him into good schools where his stunning scholastic skills elevated him into the upper echelons of biochemists, and then into an executive position at the same CORN based company" <p> The same CORN based company as what??? <p> Harry, do you ever proof-read your articles? Seriously this review is full of bad writing.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:56 a.m. CST

    I can't read this

    by Laserhead

    Somebody get Harry a basic, elementary-school grasp of the English language. For fuck's sake, every review is more unintelligible than the last.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:09 a.m. CST

    looking forward to this

    by Juror Number 8

    but i found the girlfriend experience to be highly overrated by a lot of people. it was so-so, nothing mind blowing. i just rewatched the solaris remake the other night for the first time in years and i still think its soderbergh's "worst" (i use that term lightly) film. that being said, soderbergh's "worst" film is better than 75% of the crap out there. but what the hell do i know, i've heard people compare it to 2001 and i seem to be the only one who thinks the good german was a masterpiece. soderbergh can usually do no wrong (traffic, erin brokovich, the ocean's series, sex lies..., syriana, and out of sight are all great). the limey might just be my personal favorite, but i've yet to see CHE because fucking netflix hasn't added it yet even though it came out on DVD last month. some sort of bullshit agreement with blockbuster. i'm liking the vibe of the informant from the commercials and definitely want to check it out next weekend.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:09 a.m. CST

    I like Soderbergh but

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I kinda wish he'd stop screwing around with these comedies - like the Oceans BS that was fun at first but just went on too long (did we need 3? Really??). I really thought Traffic was a great film and wish he do more stuff in a more serious vein.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Can't wait

    by The_Ad_Wizard_Who_Came_Up_With_This_One

    Looks great.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST


    by SprechenZatoichi

    I stopped after this: "You see - a rival Japanese company is apparently injecting a virus into something that's making these critters that eat something and then shit out money... well, they're just not shitting near enough money and it is costing Mark's company around $7 million a month. Mark was contacted by the puppetmaster behind the scheme to extort $12 million from his company." Terrific.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:25 a.m. CST

    This actually looks ridiculously funny

    by SoylentMean

    Corporations don't lie, scheme, or ever do anything illegal. It's like some kind of fantasy world here. Also, Matt Damon is wearing a fatsuit that is made entirely out of Matt Damon. Hilarity.<P> Seriously though, I'm interested in seeing this. I'm usually not one for comedies but this looks, dare I say it? Funny.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Saw this last night - it is brilliant.

    by vic twenty

    This is a very funny film, and Matt Damon is brilliant. His interaction with Sam Beckett is highly entertaining. This is a very good film.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    "till I investigated... at length."

    by Droid

    I just threw up in my mouth.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Could Harry have seen the same film I did?


    It wasn't a horrible film, however it isn't the classic Harry makes it out to be. But then he points out the best feature to be the most troubling aspect to me - having a Marvin Hamlisch write a 60s sounding score to a film set in the 90s that is dressed like the 70s/80s. There are a handful of funny bits, but you can see most of those in the trailer. It does feature a great ensemble cast, but most are given as opportunity to do anything within their limited cameo appearances. And it certainly doesn't help that Matt Damon looks like Eddie Murphy when he did the skit on Saturday Night Live masquerading as a white man.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Harry, this review was so poorly written...

    by kjmad25

    ... that once or twice I could not even understand what you were attempting to say. Usually, I can decipher the meaning behind your ramblings. But parts of this jibberish is literally untranslatable.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Soooo who thinks Joel McCale

    by Series7

    Somehow got Matt to make an appearence on The Soup? I don't think he will.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST

    a frickin' gut

    by Series7

    yyyeah? Lets make fun of how fat Captain America got. <P> Then lets note he lost it all in order to play some rugby. <P> <P> You try to make it sound like he became this guy <P>

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    As someone 30 minutes from

    by DanielPlainviewOnVacationInBoston

    ADM, located in Decatur, IL, the company that this is based upon, I can now freaking wait for this movie! The price-fixing was such an enormously big deal around here that I just laughed at the whole thing. And then Soderbergh makes a comedy out of it? GOLDEN.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Maaaaatttttttttt Daaaaaaaammmmonnnnnn

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    And why a third Ocean's flick? To wash the bad taste left by Ocean's 12 out of our mouths, of course. Seriously, how often is a third series entry better than a crappy second one? Soderbergh honestly seemed to understand he fucked up royally with Ocean's 12 (a heist movie without a, what?), and made 13 basically as an apology. 13 wasn't as sublime as 11 (one of the best damn "just a fun movie" movies of the past decade), but it was a damn sight better than the confusing, drab, over self-satisfied 12 (where it seemed like everyone just went through the motions for the paycheck and a free European vacation).

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    I mostly agree with you, Harry

    by DrAndonuts

    I saw this last night in Atlanta, and enjoyed it. I wouldn't say is was brilliant, but I enjoyed the movie overall. I was also surprised by the number of comedic cameos in the movie. Patton Oswalt, Joel McHale (who was essentially in an extended cameo), Paul F. Tompkins, Scott Adsit, Tony Hale, a lot more, too.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:11 a.m. CST

    After 'The Limey'....

    by KillDozer

    and 'Traffic' I just wasn't all that into what Soderbergh was up to. This is the first film of his in a while that's got me excited.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Geez, Harry...

    by ndoty_sa

    I hardly ever post, and I've been visiting this site since 1999, when I first began searching for X-Men movie info. I've always been amused by your illogical ramblings, but this was by far the most incoherent. I couldn't even understand you most of the time. I highly suggest (as a fan, of course) that you read some Hemingway. He made famous the short, straight-to-the point prose style that you may want to try. All in all, keep up the great work!

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Why no mention that this is based on a true story?

    by My best friend

    I read this book in business school about 10 years ago. Great story, and absolutely true. The company at hand is ADM near Chicago. Largest antitrust case in history.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    This looks funny

    by Reckoner

    At first when I saw that Matt Damon was making a movie w/ Soderbergh I was hoping for something dramatic like The Insider. I was at first disappointed when I saw the trailer that this is a goofy comedy. But now I'm warming to the idea and it actually looks very funny with a great comedic performance by Damon.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Book is same name as movie

    by My best friend

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    The Japanese co. is doing what???

    by Beezbo

    Can someone explain to me what Harry is talking about?

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Every once in a while, Harry writes a review that's so damn good

    by V'Shael

    Every once in a while, Harry writes a review that's so damn good that it makes me want to see the movie RIGHT NOW god damn it. <p> It's gonna be a LOOOONG week....

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I haven't liked Steven since

    by Series7

    Schizopolis, its all been down hill since then.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Oh, and Damon's character (in real life)

    by V'Shael

    was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The corporate fat-cats? 3. <p> American justice. Gotta love it.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Saw it.

    by ColinSL

    Sent in a review yesterday, but I guess since Harry posted his, mine won't be seeing the light of day. Lusting after Megan Fox?

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Was that review in English?

    by Spandau Belly

    I couldn't make sense of what Harry was saying other than that he liked it. Maybe he should stick analyzing things with vulgar metaphors.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Yes I also cannot wait to see "Matt's Mark"

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST


    by CarlThorMark1978

    At heart he’s an arthouse wanker who only reached for the mainstream when he realized that aloof pretentiousness doesn’t translate into box office. Now, I liked Out of Sight and Ocean’s 11, because they actually had a little bit of life in them, but otherwise Soderbergh’s movies feel very stiff and clinical. His movies just don’t have a flavor to them or show any sort of character while Traffic and Erin Brockovich feel as though anyone could have made them. Solaris should have been an emotional, thought provoking Sci-fi movie but it was excruciatingly slow and, for all the drama presented in the original book, Soderbergh’s movie is as cold as space nor does it stimulate the mind the way good Sci-fi should such as A Scanner Darkly.<br> <br>The Informant! looks like he’s channeling the Coen’s (who I also do not like save for Barton Fink) and what could be a great comedy, about a manic depressive high IQ moron, will no doubt be drowned in “quirkiness” as Soderbergh kills any humor with his lack of warmth and indifference to humanity.<br> <br>Final note, after anticipating seeing Che parts 1 & 2 since I first heard that Soderbergh was going to tackle the subject, I can report that the entire thing is a dud that bored me to tears which is a crime considering that the life story of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara is so inherently dramatic that I can’t believe that fucking moron made such a relentlessly dull piece of fucking shit. Oliver Stone may not be subtle but what I would have done to see his take on the life of Che instead of that retard Soderbergh who should go back to making movies about navel gazing yuppie scum.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Is Harry's new Animation

    by Series7

    For Land of the Lost? Seeing that it was only seen by Harry and some metally handicaped people (who saw it on accident), its hard to say.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Hehehe, Harry- "researching" Sasha Grey...

    by YackBacker

    Your journalistic bona fides were firmed up that day, no doubt.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Sasha Grey's original job

    by Series7

    Not really a fan.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by HarryCalder

    Long-time reader, first-time poster. One, must agree - much of this otherwise entertaining review is truly a grammatical nightmare. Two, Tootsie IS rolling-in-the-AISLES hysterical. That is all.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Not to be a dick...

    by HarryCalder

    But I just love Tootsie so much... to each his or her own, of course.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    CarlMarkThor1978, it's a good thing...

    by BrashHulk

    that you don't rely on your movie criticism to pay the bills, because if you did, you'd be destitute. While I love Barton Fink also, it's insanity to dismiss every other Coen Bros. movie. I'm not a huge Soderbergh fan, as he misses way more than he hits in my view - but you should see "The Informant!", as it's definitely one of his hits. And by the way, using the term "manic-depressive" instead of "bipolar" is like calling post-traumatic stress disorder "shell shock."

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Girlfriend Experience was one of the best films...

    by TheWaqman

    this year by far. This film looks really enjoyable. And Soderbergh is certainly an interesting director. Must check this out.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Its GOT to be better than Burn After Reading

    by skimn

    which I thought was too arch to be funny. I think Matt Damon has a sly comedian inside him, that was just waiting to be released. He was hilarious on Letterman last night, doing his McConaughey impression.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Beezbo: Here's the link to the story...

    by Royston Lodge<p> Once again, all praise Wikipedia.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Damn stupid talkbacks text parsing!

    by Royston Lodge

    Use this link instead:<p>

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    giving matt damon good reviews is "playing ball"

    by HaterofCrap

    he is one of those studio assets of the moment that these reviewers need to be nice to if they want set visits. but since that shit isn't my problem, i'll say the bourne movies are nothing you can't see on any lame tv action show at any time of the day. his only somewhat good movie is the departed. and thats because JACK does all of the heavy lifting in that one.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    i like soderbergh.

    by water_shit_anderson

    I get what people are saying when they call him cold or clinical, but that didn't keep Kubrick from being great. (i'm not saying hes at all on kubricks level...just comparing the coldness) <p> I thought Bubble was fantastic. The performances were great and it really gave me flashbacks of what life is like when you are working in a factory. He portrayed the mundane lifestyle of working blue collar america with depressing accuracy. His oceans films are probably my least favorite of what he has done, but even those are enjoyable. He is kind of hit and miss but I respect that he is a varied, prolific, risk taker. From time to time he makes something great. I haven't seen Che yet but I can't wait.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    When I saw the fat Damon, I got excited.

    by lockesbrokenleg


  • Sept. 11, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by BoE

    Wow - you are so profoundly retarded I'm thinking it might be better to respond with pictures. Sadly, this talkback doesn't allow image postings, so we are going to do this the hard way. The Bourne franchise is one of the best things to happen to movies. Ever. Brilliant. The chase scene where he tracks down Desh across the rooftops is jaw-dropping - twenty minutes of unrelenting win. I still remember seeing it for the first time in the theater here in NYC - when the scene ends, the crowd erupted in spontaneous applause (something that very rarely happens in this city because applauding in a theater is moronic - particularly for an action movie). It was about the most memorable movie moment of my life. On The Departed - Jack was the biggest problem with that (still excellent) movie. In his old age he has become another Pacino - eternally glazing the ham. Damon deserved an Oscar nom - he turned in a much better performance than DiCaprio. I always get the impression that people who don't like Damon have some kind of an axe to grind. Republicans hate him because he is an unapologetic liberal - why anyone else would dislike him is a mystery to me.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    The boring movies

    by Series7

    I've seen all three... I think it could have been the same one all three times. Nothing memorable about them.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST


    by MacReady452

    Peddle your agenda elsewhere. This is for movie fans. "Saw it.." Lusting after Megan Fox? Yeah I'm a guy. I'll try to be nice. Do go away. I've seen the same thing on more than one talkback. Got it. Don't care. Religion has it's place. Not here. Don't respond. Cause I won't.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Fuckin' A, BoE.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Matt Damon isn't a bad actor...

    by TheWaqman

    but he's not great either. He's just a solid guy who can give a decent performance all the time. Nothing more, nothing less. He's nothing special. Same goes with Bale (although that guy's talent IMO).

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    I meant to say..

    by TheWaqman

    "although that guy's talent is dwindling IMO"

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Marvin Hamlish wrote a new score?!

    by judge dredds fresh undies

    Well I never, thats awesome news.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST

    I'm not seeing it

    by CherryValance

    Yeah. I don't think Damon can do comedy. He could always prove me wrong, and maybe he will, but I have a bunch of movies I need to see before I get around to fat Matt Damon. So it'll be a while.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Damon is fucking awesome

    by lockesbrokenleg

    In everything he does. I will catch this on DVD however.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    GI JOE...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    How can we trust you, Harry? You gave GI JOE a thumbs up. And you loved DISTRICT 9, a social-satire with some of the worst bigotry (the depictions of the Nigerians) since TRANSFORMERS 2 (the depictions of the "urban"-bots).

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    And don't get me started on...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    ... GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE. It was a waste of time. Soderbergh is better when he has plot, though SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE is still really good.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I've always felt the same way. Why should I give a shit who Brad Pitt votes for? Y'know? Why should I care about where these people place their votes? They aren't even working Americans in the same sense as the rest of us.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    i don't get the resentment

    by BoE

    I tend to agree with cheyne_stoking_DMS on most things, even when he is wrong, because he is a fearless, unrepentant asshole like myself. Not this, however. When I was a kid, you didn't talk about politics. This is not the world I grew up in and I don't think it is coming back again. Everyone talks about politics now. I shoot my mouth off about politics whenever I get the chance. I amuse the shit out of myself with all my clever musings because I'm the star in my own private movie about me. Brad Pitt doesn't give a shit about me, so I didn't cast him in my movie. He has my respect, mind you - he bangs hot women, rides fast motorcycles, doesn't believe in religious voodoo bullshit, builds houses for poor folks and enjoys his weed. Good for him. If I met him I'd probably ask him and Angie to adopt me so I could kick back at the mansion where I would load bowls and play video games for the rest of my life. Until that happens, I'm really way too busy wallowing in my own smugness to bother giving a shit about the political opinions of actors.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by lockesbrokenleg


  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:50 p.m. CST

    I can respect that.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST


    by Domi'sInnerChild

    "I'll go back to the car." "THERE'S A BOMB!" <Slomo> "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Girl does drugs, boyfriend instantly dies, and then she become a crack whore for a big black dude. "NOOOOOOOO!". That movie was like a Republican's nightmare after watching a Miami Vice marathon tweaking on Oxycotton. Gotta be one of the most cliche ridden and overrated movies ever made.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Yeah, traffic was shit

    by BoE

    though, I did dig Benicio (whatever happened to tough, cool Benicio? i'm tired of the moody troubled version), and I do love that Michael Douglas' son appeared to have missed all of the heavy handed, cautionary life lesson crap they heaped into that screenplay because now he is living it. Way to go, dipshit - you had it all, and now you are going to spend the next 10 years married to a 300 lb psycopath. Bravo.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Traffic is overrated and cliched?

    by BadMrWonka

    god, you can't make up some of the idiocy in the talkbacks these days...

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:21 p.m. CST

    BadMrWonka, you actually liked Traffic?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    I think you proved your own point.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I think they're giving their,uh ,opinions?

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:26 p.m. CST

    It was nice for your input though...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I pressume you've just finished yourself off and decided to stroll onto aintitcool.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Neutron

    I wonder how they decided to make it a comedy. The book is amazing so I'm looking forward to this, I just don't remember it being a laugh riot. The real story is strange enough without jazzing it up.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Larry Gelbart died.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Nothing?!? Not even an...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    insincere "R.I.P"? Degenerate scum. The lot of you.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST

    George Lucas died.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Your mom died.

    by lockesbrokenleg

    After I boned her.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    The only thing you can bone is...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    between the cushions of your couch, numbnuts.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 7:58 p.m. CST

    I get that people have different opinions

    by BadMrWonka

    but sometimes you hear things in the talkbacks that are so simple minded, it's hard to lend them any credence whatsoever. <p>I remember we were debating something or other, and someone brought up Shawshank Redemption as a sort of "idiot-proof" movie. meaning that no one could really HONESTLY think it was a bad film, right?<p>and sure enough, 4 posts down, some brain donor pops in with "Shawshank was boring as sheeeet. blah blah blah, a bunch of dudes in prison whining. wht the fuck ever!"<p>now, was he joking? fishing for attention? sure, maybe. but maybe the people who think Traffic, a movie on like 50 critic's 10 best lists, a movie that won an Oscar (not that that means much after Crash bought one a few years later) is "one of the most cliche ridden and overrated movies ever made." <p>I mean, if you don't care for it, fine. there's a lot of simpler movies out there, and that's your prerogative. but look at the hyperbole in that statement. "one of the most cliched and overrated movies EVER MADE." how can you take that seriously? that's a ludicrous statement. <p>and earlier, someone wrote that Traffic looks like "anyone could have made it." are you on fucking drugs? look at the way the camera was used, look at the light filters, the color palates, the editing choices, the long shots.<p>that movie, under ANY other director, would have been much less visually interesting. Soderbergh is arguably the most knowledgable director working in terms of camerawork and cinematography. <p>so if you say, "I don't like Jaws." fine, that's your opinion. but if you say, "Jaws was boring." then you're starting to slip into ridiculous territory. and if you say, "Jaws is the most boring and overrated movie in the history of cinema." well, you're off the deep end, aren't you?<p>not all opinions are created equal.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:13 p.m. CST

    You have a point...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    but everyone on this site exaggerates. Most of the time they do it just for the fuck of it.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:23 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    for you to bitch about it and type all that in response to what I've said then the joke's on you. The joke in question? Aintitcoolnews.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Mr Bad Wonka.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Excellent post, well put.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:33 p.m. CST

    I think SHAWSHANK and TRAFFIC are overrated

    by Continentalop

    and cliche ridden. Having said that, I would also add that is my opinion and not an absolute truth. Film is a subjective medium, so the only way you can "prove" or "disprove" something is to back it up with evidence of why it didn't work for you and maybe other people will realize your argument has merit or else they can continue to disagree with you. <p> To many people here think saying something means it must be true and that they somehow hold a monopoly on the truth. Just doing the AsimovLives route of yelling DAWSON TREK and Jar Jar Abrams sucks over and over again does not make it so (although I could care less about that movie) and even if you're argument is strong, other people can have a valid reason to disagree. I think TDK is overrated - a B+ movie at best. But hey, that is only my opinion. <P> But, of course, in the long run I am right and everyone else is wrong...

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Uh oh...

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I was really looking forward to this movie, the trailer is hilarious. Then I see Harry has posted a positive review. Looks like I'm waiting for the Blu-Ray now.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Harry likes EVERYTHING though...

    by TheWaqman

    the good and the bad. Don't let this dissuade you. Just ignore it. I have a sense of disinterest when Harry writes a review.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Traffic was a good film....

    by TheWaqman

    you can tell Crash was trying to be similar (but with a different theme of course) and absolutely failed. Some really gritty performances and cinematography in Traffic. Not in my top 10 this decade though.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:37 p.m. CST

    I should add

    by Continentalop

    That you should always include "I think" with any statement. Someone can say "I think Star Wars is stupid" or a "I think Jaws is boring" and that would make it true. It is your opinion. Saying "Star Wars is stupid" or "Jaws is boring" is making it a fact, and that is very presumptuous of people. <p>

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:43 p.m. CST

    I don't like saying "I think" or "IMO"

    by TheWaqman

    but I find I have to here. People assume I'm parading around facts or trolling. But then that makes no sense. I'm on the internet, on a message board. I'm only going to be posting my opinion. No matter how enraging it is. Star Wars sucks btw.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:50 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I have seen you go off for two or three sentences, ripping into critically acclaimed and beloved books and movies. Never once do they read as just an opinion or personal taste; they sound like you are stating a truth to people to dumb to know better. <P> That might not be your intention, but it sure comes across as condescending as hell (see The Road TB for example).

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Fuck all this noise, Jack.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    I like Jaws, but it IS kind of boring.

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I really only watch it when they go out on Quint's boat.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:04 p.m. CST

    It's not boring at all...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    You're ignoring all those great little moments before they board the boat. "You yell shark...and we've got a panic on our hands on the 4th of July."

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by BoE

    Last night I was out with my very hot wife to see the premiere of a Korean flick here in lovely NYC...because I'm cool like that. Anyway, the movie was shit. It was the biggest grossing movie in Korean history (my wife is very hot and Korean...because I really am cool like that) and, unlike The Host or Memories of Murder or Oldboy or the Sympathy movies this really wasn't very good. So, what I learned was, when something is shitty you must be honest. And when you are honest, you will, ultimately, be rewarded. So there I stood, one of few white guys in a mob of asians, and I said it - "That, my friends, was shit" and they, proud Koreans all, agreed with me. They loved the spectacle and they loved seeing their favorite pretty people on the screen but the story was ass. The movie was called "Haeumdae" and you will never see it because it is crap entertainment. It was very much like Traffic - a big, proud, self-important, bland story about nothing and nobody really talks about it after having seen it because they are all ashamed that they enjoyed something soooo pedestrian. Traffic was an overblown movie of the week (it was actually based on a british mini-series which was far more compelling) and it won the Oscar because they wanted something safe and obvious. Also,

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Oh BOE your blog site misses you.

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 10:03 p.m. CST

    I'm going to see this for two reasons:

    by morganmorgan

    Frank Welker

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Dude how do I find old Talkbacks?

    by TheWaqman

    What was I ripping up there? I know I've been bashing Pan's Labyrinth alot, but I fucking hate the acclaim that film got.

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 11:08 p.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    actually, the safe choice that year for best director was Ridley Scott for Gladiator, since Gladiator won Best Picture.<p>Soderbergh won for Traffic because of the sheer amount of people who appreciated the amazing direction on that film. Even if they had to concede that Gladiator was a "grander" film, and deserved best picture, Soderbergh deserved best director, even though it's unusual to split best picture and best director.<p>again, everyone's entitled to their opinions, but you have to stay within reality. saying Traffic was a safe choice for its Best Director Oscar is just wrong. or did you think it had won Best Picture?<p>"a big, proud, self-important, bland story about nothing and nobody really talks about it after having seen it because they are all ashamed that they enjoyed something soooo pedestrian."<p>what do you mean "nobody really talks about it"? as opposed to what? do you mean YOUR friends didn't really talk about it? and if so, who cares?<p>I Think Crash is a good example of the type of bloated, meaningless jerk-off Hollywood movie you are imagining Traffic to be. Crash was a feel-good movie about racism. Traffic (and the miniseries it was based on) are about the futility and hypocrisy of the "war on drugs". it shows the average moviegoer how much more complex an issue it is than simply "bad people do drugs, stop the drugs!". and yes, some of it is a conceit (the daughter lapses pretty damn fast into full blown addiction, Zeta-Jones' character is a little one dimensional at times) but in general, you've got like 15 of the best character actors out there working under one of the best directors of our generation. <p>and not for nothing, but how is Traffic self-important? most of the complaints about it were that it did NOT take a stand, it did NOT try to judge the "bad guys" and fall into either the traditional hollywood militaristic nonsense OR the phony hippie "drugs are no problem" vein. <p>I do love the fun of reading someone describe something as "big, proud, self-important and bland"...that made me chuckle.<p>my cousin is also short, tall, smart and a Scientologist...makes sense, yeah?

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    I think Ebert said it best about Traffic:

    by BadMrWonka

    "The movie is powerful precisely because it doesn't preach. It is so restrained that at one moment—the judge's final speech—I wanted one more sentence, making a point, but the movie lets us supply that thought for ourselves."

  • Sept. 11, 2009, 11:39 p.m. CST

    i'm just here

    by frank cotton

    for the tangents

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST

    I liked Traffic but thought it was overrated

    by Continentalop

    But I still think it is head and shoulders better than Gladiator. Gladiator is like Braveheart and 300, and that is they are dishonest. And I am not speaking historically (which they are) but they lie about what the true meaning of the theme of the movie is, They claim it is about Freedom or stopping tyranny, but really they are just about some guy who wants revenge, or in the case of 300 a bunch of guys who just want to bust heads. <p> Now I don't mind revenge flicks or violent movies, I actually love them, but what I hate is when they try to claims to be about something else when they are not, like they have all these high ideals and big concepts and they don't. Gladiator was an Arnold movie pretending it was a David Lean movie. <P> And in my mind the best movie of 2000 was Battle Royale.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Ebert said he hated Avatar too

    by lockesbrokenleg

    After seeing 15 min of out of context scenes.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 1:10 a.m. CST

    "Battle Royale" DESTROYED anything released in 2000

    by blakindigo

    Continentalop for the win on this one…

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Gladiator was a revenge film through and through...

    by TheWaqman

    David Lean movies don't really have much meaning to me. I love them, but they are more about imagery and the like. And seriously, you can say Braveheart. Yes, they are quite similar. But no, don't mention 300 among the likes. That was Gladiator/Braveheart for the ADD testo-fueled morons. At least Gladiator/Braveheart had some good performances and music in them. And they are very likeable films.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Not imagery....

    by TheWaqman

    I meant cinematography. Lean's films look really good.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:05 a.m. CST

    I didn't like Battle Royale very much.

    by TheWaqman

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:20 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    Ebert wrote, "I'm hoping that James Cameron's "Avatar," opening in December, will be a terrific film. But I was underwhelmed by about 15 minutes of preview footage I saw."<p> doesn't sound like he's prejudging at all, he's just giving his opinion on the footage. nowhere does he say he hated the movie sight-unseen. in fact, he expresses hope for the finished film.<p>remember, we can all have opinions, but we can't make things up.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Gladiator should have been just a revenge movie

    by Continentalop

    But they had to add all this stuff about the Republic and then make Crowe the defender of the republic against tyranny. It was just following the same formula as Braveheart (and the Patriot). <P> I will admit that 300 isn't a real good comparison other than the fact the protagonist give lip service to some noble effort, which is complete bullshit why they fight.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:24 a.m. CST

    And I like David Lean

    by Continentalop

    Not just for his imagery, but also his editing. Him and his editor Anne Coates did a hell of a job on Lawrence of Arabia. I think that is an awesomely paced film, and I know people say it is slow but my response is don't you think if you were waging war over a vast desert you would have to be patient and it would take awhile before major events happen? It isn't like fighting in a city where the next encounter is only a block away, this is a vast landscape where it takes time to travel and face the enemy. Those two capture d the feel and mood of what war there was like (to a degree).

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:31 a.m. CST

    And Battle Royale is a brilliant movie

    by Continentalop

    Just like blakindigo said, I don't think anything can touch it in 2000. It is one of the best social metaphor movies ever, up there with Dawn of the Dead's consumer culture theme and the Incredible Shrinking man as an allegory for the loss of masculinity amongst men of that era. Taking the idea of the competition amongst japanese young for a future life and turn it into a literal battle royale for your actual survival was genius.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:32 a.m. CST

    He was underwhelmed. He'll definatly slam it

    by lockesbrokenleg

    going in. He's already hating it. Eff these tired old critics.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:47 a.m. CST

    You know, I'm going to defend the "tired old critics"

    by Continentalop

    The point of the critics isn't to like mainstream movies. They are critics, they analyze movies based on it being art and judge it's form and content. That is how they rate movies. And lets be honest, most blockbusters are not art, they are aesthetic nightmares. <P> The thing is those movies don't need critic approval. They appeal to people not because (or usually not) of some artistic merit, but because people can relate to them somehow. That isn't to say people are wrong to like them, or that some of those movies can't be art, far from it. But it is wrong to demand that a movie you like has to be regarded as art. Popularity and quality are two separate things. Arnold was a popular star and worked great in some movies, he was far from a good actor. My mom's pork chops and noodles are great (and she makes a really good one) but they are not fine dining or great cuisine. But I don't care, because I like my mom's cooking. <P> Critics jobs are to champion movies that people otherwise wouldn't see. To tell people which ones to take a chance on. And because they see thousands of non-mainstream movies, they are better at labeling obscure movies as something to see instead of blockbusters or major releases. Avatar and Transformers and even Spielberg's next one don't need critic support. Those films are judged by word of mouth and memory.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Damon and Bale are VERY talented

    by AsimovLives

    Jesus Fucking Christ, what passes for talent for you geeks this days? Get a fucking grip!

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:41 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    I'm taking what he wrote at face value. you're imagining that you can predict the future.<p>do you see the difference?

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:41 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Sorry, but people are wrong to like a bad movie. You, me, anybody. It's the same to call a bad car good and try to push that notion. a ford Pinto will never be a good car, and Tnansformers will never be a good movie. Popular, yes, both were, they sold a lot, and they all fail the most basic notions of what a car and a movie should be.<br><br>Critics might not make an imediate impact on movies, specially if they get into the zeitgeist and became popular. also, critics, like human beings, can also be mistaken. In the end, it's time that tells. And time always tells.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:47 a.m. CST

    And i agree, Battle Royale is a brilliant movie

    by AsimovLives

    A far more intelligent movei then it's reputation for violence would make people believe at first. I was amazed and at awe of how thoughful, dramatic, and sometimes even comic the movie was. The movuie has a lot of violenc,e but never once i saw it as gratitious. and the movie has something to say about today's Japan society, or even world society. And it was done with a lot of care and an artist's eye. how many exploitations movies made in Hollywood can claim such qualities? Death Race? Fuck hell no!<br><br>The thing that amuses me and impresses me the most about Japanese exploitation movies is that they still do them the same way americasn did their exploitation movies in the 70s: they mixed gore and sex tintitalion with social comentary. The americans, for the most past, gave up on the later, but not the japanese. Which is part of the reason why i can't help but to love the japanese explitation stuff. A bit of brain always help the fun be more fun.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST

    This might be (almost) as good as Abrams Trek!

    by Sal_Bando

    "Bring the Red Matter" and all that. A realllllllllllllly good way to reboot that tired old Franchise. I esp. liked seeing Eomer as Bones. Good times, good times.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Congrats Harry

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    This is perhaps you most incomprehensible review yet. The grammar and writing style is so embarrassingly elementary that I can't believe a grown man actually wrote it. Seriously, are you retarded?

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:10 a.m. CST

    (your) not you

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    Install an edit feature too, for Christ's sakes!

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Fake ass Batman 3 poster...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    some dickweed is throwing around in the talkbacks. Don't believe unless you were born without a brainstem.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Another Brilliant Knowles Review....

    by benlinus

    Seriously Gingerman, arent you the least bit embarrased that you are the laughing stock of this site?! Ive really run out of insults to hurl at you Harry.....just GO TO LUNCH!! WILL YOU GO TO LUNCH??!!

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Bad movies

    by rogueleader66

    What is bad to one person may be good to another, there are no absolutes. No one person is any more right than the other, no matter how strong an argument they may present. A person can believe their opinion is the correct one, but that does not mean it is, because opinions are just that, opinions, there is no right or wrong and to sit back and say that your opinion is the definitive and only correct one is just short sighted. <P>Entertainment is subjective, period. The criteria for what is or is not a good movie is different for everyone, therefore, no one person's opinion is any more right than the next person.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Cars and Movies

    by rogueleader66

    Asimov, please, you cannot compare bad movies and poorly constructed cars. A car is a mechanical object, and a poorly made one simply cannot be disputed as being a good car. Movies on the other had, as I said above, are different for everyone, as the criteria for each individual is different, therefore there is not and cannot be one definitive correct opinion. If there was a universal standard of movie opinions then it would be different, but there is not, it's all up to the individual.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    I Liked This Movie Better When It Was Called "Burn After Reading

    by the_first_rule_of_fight_club

    give me a fucking break. this looks like such an obvious fucking ripoff of that coen brothers' gem. "he, i have an idea! let's mine the boring, mundane aspects of bureaucracy for comedy!". nice try, soderbergh, but the coens got there first. damon is probably pissed that the coens invited clooney and pitt for that one but not him. and isn't this, like, soderbergh's seventh film this year?

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Sal_Bando, that means it's a complete piece of shit

    by AsimovLives

    Which i seriously doubt, because it's made by a really talented director called Steve Soderbergh. No comparinson at all.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Night of the Comet

    by TotoroSan

    Speaking of piece of shit movies. That had to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And yes, I grew up in the 80's so I know it is dated. But seriously, why do critics and fanboys fall over themselves for it. It's horrible. The acting is awful. It can't decide if it is serious, campy, or something in between.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST

    I know I'm responding to an old post, but,

    by skimn

    Jaws "kind of boring"?!! Jesus man, there's full frontal nudity in the first five minutes in a friggin' PG movie. Granted, its obscured by being underwater and dark, but the mind fills in what the eye can't see. And Spielberg was at the top of his game in composition and editing (ok it was whats-her-name) during the Brody checking out the shoreline scene (Thats one bad hat Harry, Bryan Singer even stole the line for his production company). Someone mentioned earlier the "perfect" movie. Well, in structure, character, cinematography, editing, John Williams fucking score!, etc. Jaws comes pretty damn close to perfect. Yes, Bruce the shark looks pretty plastic in the "gotcha" scenes, but, back in the day, people were SHITTING THEIR PANTS.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    "Jaws "kind of boring""

    by AsimovLives

    Peeople who say such things deserve no respect. That's not an opinion, it's a mind fart.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Who are you kidding? Critics are hacks.

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Read Pauline Kael and tell me thats not one bitter old bitch.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives fuck off. You didn't whine about Trek

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Abrams Trek was a good, surprisingly fun movie.

    by Sal_Bando

    You just hate the fact that you Love it so much, Mammaries. Simple as THAT. <p> Bugs Life is fun, too.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Well, I see Tyler Perry's latest douchefest is number one

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Can 9 even make it to 9 million?

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    I don't care if Tyler Perry...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    lives or dies. His film at the #1 spot means ________ to me.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Do White People See Tyler Perry Movies?

    by the_first_rule_of_fight_club

    just wondering what the ethnic breakup of the audience is. i've never been compelled to see any of his flicks so i don't know what the fuss is about. but then, i'm not black.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Jaws boring?

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    Seriously, I have to agree with Asimov Lives, (and that's scary). Anyone who calls Jaws boring? I don't even have the will to argue with such a person. Go watch Billy Madison and some quick-cut Ratner/Michael Bay shit and please comment no more on anything that requires an attention span larger than the one that God gave to a gnat.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    She is dead. So she is one bitter dead old bitch. <p> But I would rather read her opinions on film than 90% of the guys here. At least she could back up her arguments with some line of reasoning. Might not agree with it, but her taste were probably closer to mine than 90% of the guys here.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Um, people complain they can't follow a Bey movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    That's fucking laughable.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    lockesbrokenleg, likewise to you too in double

    by AsimovLives

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Dancetotheliving, you're referring to Lockesbroken's...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    comment. So you don't have to scratch your head too hard.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Dancetotheliving, you're referring to Lockesbroken's...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    comment. So you don't have to scratch your head too hard.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Some critics are hacks, true enough. SOME critics!

    by AsimovLives

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    dancetothebeatofthelivingdead, it's easy to agree with me

    by AsimovLives

    All it takes is for you to like good cinema.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    Please explain to me, scientifically, how and why Star Trek by Abrams is the worst thing since Hitler? How is it that you rage against that film more than you do the films of Uwe Boll, Paul WS Anderson or the torture porn and the New French Extremity directors? What makes that film an unpardonable sin? <P> Secondly, film critic Kenneth Turan of the LA Times, one of the most respected critics out there, gave it a good review. Was he wrong, was he mistaken, and if so how? And more importantly, why should we consider your opinion more valid than his? What is your credentials that make you a superior expert than the critics (and Star Trek has a 92% approval by the Top Critics)? And what is your exact criteria for a great film, because you seem to be able to determine what they are? <P> Also, if you get your list of great films from a source, name that source and what his or her (or their) credentials are to make them infallible film critics.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Sal_Bando, why are you even trying to argue?

    by AsimovLives

    Ignorant fools don't argue, so save your breath. And go suck Jar Jar Abrams' dick.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Lol, AsimovLives can't even understand a Trek movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    And he's yelling at fucking everyone.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    I didn't see 'Star Trek'...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS I have no comment.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    I recently got snubbed...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    by a fucking D-list actor. Go figure.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Hey, during Kevin Smiths 24 hour twitter thing

    by lockesbrokenleg

    he actually answered one of my questions. That was cool.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    I will watch anything with Scott Bakula in, he rocks

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Maybe this will give him a career resurgence and they can use my new quantum leap script, wrote a whole damned season. Better than all the other trash on tv right now. A tad off topic.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I've ALWAYS wanted a 'Quantum Leap' movie...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    That really was some great television.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    If they can do 25 'Star Trek' shows and movies...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    They could bring back QP in one form or another. Besides, the ending of that show screamed "We're not done yet."

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Bale isn't talented at all..

    by TheWaqman

    other than Empire of the Sun and American Psycho everything else from him has almost been monotone. He's just a fanboy thing. They latched onto him. I'll say Damon is better, but merely competent. Fassbender would fucking mop the floor with both of these guys, too bad he doesn't have the same fanbase or studio backing.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    I can't follow a Bay movie at all....

    by TheWaqman

    the way he films his action scenes are fucking awful. Give me seizures almost.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST


    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I have to admit that Asimov Lives said it too. Gotta give credit where credits due.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    Yeah, but I liked Abrams' Star Trek, bro. Though it was the third best of all the SK movies. Sorry.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Give credit to what? Idk what you're referring to.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Knowles should try that...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    Ad out. The Gabriel Method thing.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Star Trek was entertaining...

    by TheWaqman

    that's all I asked for from it. I didn't want fucking Kirk and Spock debating colonialism and such, like the TV show. It was obvious they were just going to stuff it full of sci-fi action and summer movie humor. And at least the action was easier to follow than Bay's shit.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    I can't wait to have a TWOK and 2009 Trek double feature

    by lockesbrokenleg


  • Sept. 12, 2009, 7:10 p.m. CST

    What the hell is TWOK?

    by TheWaqman

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    The Wrath of Khan, dumbass.

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    TWOK, Waqman...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    the sound Lockesbroken's mother makes in the sack.

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST

    cheyne_stoking_DMS you fucking douche

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST


    by cheyne_stoking_DMS


  • Sept. 12, 2009, 9:05 p.m. CST

    We know Harold prefers This news.

    by Sal_Bando

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 9:45 p.m. CST

    We are amongst...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    the smartest men in the world. I say we stop these stupid little internet tb feuds. Is anyone down?

  • Sept. 12, 2009, 11:45 p.m. CST

    LOL that was hilarious....

    by TheWaqman

    also I can't believe that "Wrath of Khan" abbreviation went over my head.....actually I can believe it. Why does everything have to be abbreviated?

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka


  • Sept. 13, 2009, 3 a.m. CST

    This thread is no longer in service.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    If you'd like to make a talkback, please log off and die again.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 3:20 a.m. CST

    MACTFSOTW is a great movie!!!!

    by Lashlarue


  • Sept. 13, 2009, 4:20 a.m. CST

    I was so sad at Quantum Leap ending that I had to write Sam Beck

    by Drsambeckett1984

    It took me little over a week to write a 'pilot' for new Quantum Leap, I managed to bring Sam home, reunite him with Al, and kept the show going. I then wrote an entire season of 13 episodes, my show was darker in places but still retained the humour and fun of the original show. After all the rubbish that has been remade, lets have Quantum Leap back on our screens.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 4:24 a.m. CST

    I was so sad at Quantum Leap ending that I had to write Sam Beck

    by Drsambeckett1984

    It took me little over a week to write a 'pilot' for new Quantum Leap, I managed to bring Sam home, reunite him with Al, and kept the show going. I then wrote an entire season of 13 episodes, my show was darker in places but still retained the humour and fun of the original show. After all the rubbish that has been remade, lets have Quantum Leap back on our screens.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 5:09 a.m. CST

    Bigger Part for Bruce Campbell in Spider-Man 4?

    by Snikkar124

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Ah yes - the defense of "opinions" of film critics

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Truth is, I bet most critics wake up at 3 in the morning, realizing how well-documented it is they have little to no effect on films success or failure, that they are profoundly wasting their lives. I'll remember the hackiest porno more than I'll remember any review. I'm funny that way - I make my own mind up about films. <p> As for Miss Kael, she was bitter for multitude reasons including 1) Her trashing by her up-to-that-moment heroes Warren Beatty and Robert Towne in the late 1970s who mocked the shrewish bag as she flopped miserably during her Paramount days. 2) Her wailing and whining over the state of "film" (what elitist bullshit, that term) as Jaws and Star Wars wiped out the 1970s auteurs she wet her panties over. <p> Easy Riders, Raging Bulls exposes Kael as the pretentious fraud she was. Funny, in some ways, her and Harry aren't that far apart (the usage of banal personal anecdotes in reviews; the blatant favoring of directors they have personal relationships with etc)

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    It's hard to follow Harry when he likes something.

    by dr sauch

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    I'm pumped now

    by justinvsky1

    Matt Damnon is the shit, I'm pumped to see this now. Bring on Dogma 2!!

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    It's nice to see Harry's review getting more elegant

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Oh wait that's the opposite of the truth!

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    'Dogma 2'...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I say nay. Nay as loud as possible. We've seen what Kev Smith can do with sequels and it isn't pretty.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Traffic was complete shit.

    by BigTuna

    Very, very overrated. I cringe everytime people claim it should have won the Oscar instead of Gladiator. Bullshit. Gladiator was much better. The best film of 2000' clearly was "Wonder Buys".

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I wail over how Jaws and Star Wars wiped out the 1970s New Hollywood movement that I loved. Jaws and Star Wars were good movies, but they without a doubt led to the studios realizing that there was big money in blockbusters and mass entertainment. And that led to dumber and dumber blockbuster movies. Like I said, I probably agree with her taste 90% of time more than I do with the guys here. And unlike most people here, she and other critics didn't resort to "It's gay" as the reasoning for hating a movie. Even when I disagreed vehemently with her about a movie (Goodfellas for example) at least she made an actual argument. <P> (Although I would blame Independence Day for the truly horrendous nature of blockbuster movies. I think that was the point the studios realized that you don't need a talented director or even a good script for a movie to make millions.) <p> And another thing in defense of critics - when I was a kid in the midwest, I never would have heard of movies like Farewell My Concubine, She's Got to Have It, Mishima or even Blind Fury. <p> Like I said, the point of a critic is to championing undiscovered movies.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Anyways, I knew Soderbergh and Damon were gonna do a movie like this ever since Damon played that Nevada Gambling Commission character in one of the Ocean movies. I will watch this - never pass an opportunity to stuff some money in Damon's pockets. He always delivers.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Chickens shitting money? What the fudge?!

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST


    by Sal_Bando

    But you DO have Erika Christensen doing the fandango in one vs. watching BeatnikMan getting shot 1000 times in the other, so-making yer mind up just THAT much harder.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Conti Pops is gonna hate me.

    by Sal_Bando

    I REALLY enjoy ID4. And no I know that (most likely) comes as NO surprise to you.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Never liked Pauline Kael.

    by Sal_Bando

    Read plenty of her compiliations, but it's verrry clear that she was a fan of things I'm not, and I'm sure 4 minutes of watching a _Bay flick or Johnny Sokko would have curdled her snarlies. Jest sayin'.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Pauline Kael was probably great in the sack

    by lockesbrokenleg

    all that pent up energy.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 10:45 p.m. CST


    by brobdingnag

    "The point of a critic is to championing undiscovered movies?" Bullshit. The point of being a critic is to evaluate a movie on its merits not to champion a movie simply because it is unknown.

  • Sept. 13, 2009, 10:49 p.m. CST

    "Matt Damon is brilliant"

    by brobdingnag

    To quote Extract. Oh..poor Vic, poor, stupid...stupid Vic.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 6:05 a.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    Correct. Championing the unknown isn't the only point of a critic, but it is one of his charges. Obviously you didn't see Ratatouille, where the critic goes on to describe how something you must champion that "which is new, which is different." <P> And unknown movies is an unknown quantity. It is something strange and different. Read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, and he has a section of the purpose of critics and experts, and how they are in charge of discovering that which is new, something that might not be accepted yet by the mainstream.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 6:06 a.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    That is ok. You can like ID4. I hated the movie, but each their own. <P> But on a side the fuck did you like that?!?

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    You have to admit about Kael

    by skimn

    that she loved movies. Yea, her opinions could be nutty, not liking Raiders, but loving Temple Of Doom, but she did love De Palma and even was a fan of flicks like ReAnimator.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by rassmguy

    Not even the headline on this article made any sense, let alone the text of it.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I have to speak

    by riggs_and_murtaghs_love_child

    I have been coming to this site for years and have never posted but now I have to. WTF makes this Asimov guy think his opinion is the only one there is? I have been reading his posts about Sta Trek, and while I did not love the movie, I did like it and am interested to see where they take it from here. But who does this guy think he is? If anyone likes Star Trek, he basically says they are idiots and don't like good movies. Where the hell does he get the idea that he is the fucking authority on what is good or bad? Seriously, one is entitled to one's opinion, but to call everyone else who likes the movie lovers of bad movies? Wow that is one arrogant SOB. Oh one other thing I noticed, when someone makes a valid point that he cannot dispute, he does not respond to it. Just wondering what makes him think he is the final word on what is or is not good.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST


    by rogueleader66

    Some people just have strong opinions and truly believe they are right. As we all know there is hardly any right or wrong when it comes to movies, there is only opinion. If we all thought the same things, we would not be individuals.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST


    by rogueleader66

    A classic that is never boring. I suppose to someone with a VERY short attention span it might be boring, but apart from that, not boring in any way.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    What's the song they play on their commercial?

    by My_IQ_is_135

    I SO wanna download it, it sounds pretty good.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Movie looks funny...but why did they pick this case to make a co

    by chaseguy17

    I have studied this case in Law School and I'm kind of baffled why they choose this famous antitrust FBI operation as the premise for a comedy. The informant was not an idiot by a long shot. If you look up information on the guy, he ratted out his own company when he got scared he would get caught because they were working with Japanese companies to fix the price of lycine (basically farm animal feed). This guy managed to smuggle millions of dollars from this companay while being an informant and the government nor the company figured it out. He got scott free. I read that he left his brief case with the recorder on the table once and the FBI yelled at him, because it's not normal to place your brief case on the table but he never opened it up and such in the previews. The guy Damon plays was actually a genius. He got scott free, stole millions and set an antitrust precedent throughout the world. I mean, I think it's funny they turned it into a comedy, but they could have found funnier material. I wonder who came up with the idea for this.

  • Sept. 14, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST


    by brobdingnag

    Actually I did see Ratatouille, and I liked it, but so what. I don't base my opinions on what other people have to say. I love the never ending stream of posters who think "oh if only this person will read ..."

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    the guy may have been a manipulative genius, but he was still bipolar, megalomaniacal, and awkward as hell. it's also a very surreal case...why not make it into a strange, comedic movie?

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 1:41 a.m. CST

    I like Damon. The problem is Soderberg

    by criticalbliss

    I think he's a serviceable, likeable actor. Granted, I roll my eyes at his idiotic political leanings, but what do you expect? They all read from the same script in Hollywood. You have to roll with it. <p> The problem is Soderberg. I will no longer see a film made by him or starring Del Toro (sadly) because I simply can't get my head around a love letter to a degenerate, greedy, thieving mass-murderer (Che Guevera). Listen, lemmings; do a little research. Ignore the beautific, Christ-like image displayed everywhere and employ a little intellectual honesty. The truth is completely different than Che's "kindly" propogandist portrayal: firing squads, failures and cowardice, a desire for atomic cleansing of the United States (on a scale that makes 9-11 look like a bake sale), Che's destruction of Cuba, his tendency to sign his decrees as "Stalin 2". <p> Better yet, ask actual Cubans in Miami. Wearing a Che t-shirt there is akin to wearing a Nazi SS uniform to a synagogue.

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Does anyone know where I can get Che on Blu Ray?

    by andrew coleman

    Unlike some morons who talk about movies they haven't seen Che was a historically correct picture. I fully enjoyed it but I can't find it on Blu Ray. Just wondering if anyone can help out. To add I plan on seeing the Informant but I have no real opinion on it since I haven't seen it yet. Also I have really enjoyed this TB. There have been like fifty other movies mentioned. Some idiot rambling about District 9 and how they show Nigerians(Pretty accurate actually since I've been there). From Star Trek to debates about Jaws... Really? Jaws? That debate leads no where since that movie is just considered a classic so no one wins that debate. I just wanted to note how crazy this TB has been. If anyone can help with the Bu Ray news thank you.

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    i can't even read the rest of this shit....

    by FleshMachine

    harry you are a fucking embarrassingly bad writer.

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I say to you "Bullshit!" You saying that when you were a kid, an older brother, friend didn't influence your opinion? Or that some big name director, like Scorsese, Coppola, Tarantino, etc., didn't give praise to a movie you went out and looked at it, and maybe shifted your view on it based on what they say. <P> While I might not base my opinions on what others say, I am man enough to admit I do read other people's opinions with an open mind, and when they are as well thought out and argued as intelligently as Kael's was, I sometimes might change my opinion. <p> You are not supposed to blindly follow a critic, you are supposed to listen to their argument and judge for yourself if it has merit or not. Maybe that is why so many people hate critics here - they view them as elitist you TELL us what to do, instead of as reporters whose job is to INFORM us. We still get to make the choice if they are right or wrong.

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 11:46 p.m. CST


    by maitlanr

    bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa<p>turds<p>why ? jean pierre melville thinks you smell.

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 11:51 p.m. CST


    by maitlanr

    the majority of posters here are tormented shades-------put an end to them. <p> harry has suspect taste <p> but i doubt half these bitches have seen ACE IN THE HOLE <p>SUNSET BLVD <p> 7YEAR ITCH etc etc<p> why do they always announce dinner like it's a damn cavalry charge?<p>the unsinkable the unthinkably thingable MOLLY FUCKING BROWN!@

  • Sept. 16, 2009, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Someone explain this sentence to me.

    by Knuckleduster

    "You see - a rival Japanese company is apparently injecting a virus into something that's making these critters that eat something and then shit out money... " <p> I've read it ten times now. Still not a fuckin clue how those words fit together.

  • Sept. 16, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    All the grammar/writing bashing in the TB

    by WickedJester

    Is probably the reason the updates are few and far between.<br><br>Each article on here does seem to read like it was written by a dyslexic schizophrenic, though.

  • Sept. 16, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    I_am_not_the_droid_you_are_looki ng_for

    by WickedJester

    Just think someone actually has sex with him.

  • Sept. 17, 2009, 6:43 a.m. CST



    Sorry but that was the only funny line in that horrible Role Models movie. Y'know the kid from Superbad yelled it when he was freaking out. In other news I think Matt Damon should do the next Bourne movie in his current fat state. That would be hilarious.

  • Sept. 18, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    This film is a plodding mess

    by Star Hump

    "Every level of this film is exceptional." Oh horsehit Harry. You are far too forgiving. Do NOT trust ANY of the AICN reviews of this film. Worth only a rental at best.

  • Sept. 18, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Damon's 'Informant' tells a tiresome tale

    by Orionsangels

    Jason Bourne, meet Jason Boring. In “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s spoofy take on corporate malfeasance in modern-day America, Matt Damon plays real-life tattletale Mark Whitacre, doughy, toupee-topped, Ivy League executive for Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur, Ill., in the early 1990s. Mark is a sportscar enthusiast, devoted family man, probable pathological liar and possible cretin. Are you laughing yet, 401(k) investor? In opening scenes, Whitacre, a fan of Michael Crichton and John Grisham thrillers, recites the word, “corn” in the way Gordon Gekko says “greed” in Oliver Stone’s somewhat similar 1987 semi-classic “Wall Street.” Archer Daniels Midland has, umm, cornered the corn market in the United States, and after claiming that a rival Japanese scientist is shaking ADM down, Whitacre tells his FBI contact (a glowering Scott Bakula) that ADM and other global providers of corn are fixing prices. Or is Whitacre just a big fat liar? His crazy plan is to bring down his craven colleagues, including ADM’s chairman (Tom Smothers), and become CEO. A Billy Wilder-esque riff on Michael Mann’sgreat 1999 expose “The Insider,” “The Informant!” is based on the 2000 book by journalist Kurt Eichenwald adapted for the screen by Scott Z. Burns. Like Jeffrey Wigand, the tobacco industry whistleblower played by Russell Crowe in “The Insider,” Whitacre is more than a tad delusional and at the least a borderline narcissist. He sees himself as a kind of James Bond (actually, he claims to be 0014 - “twice as smart as 007”). If he was also accepting kickbacks totaling in the millions while working undercover for the FBI, so what? A man has got to provide for himself (eight cars) and his family, right? “The Informant!” has its moments, and Damon, sporting a wriggling caterpillar on his lip, is terrific as its jaw-droppingly nutsy superweasel playing a game of catch-me-if-you-can with the authorities. But even with a jaunty score by Marvin Hamlisch, the film is dull in stretches. In droning voice-overs, Mark is detached and delusional. Mark’s relationship with his wife, Ginger (Melanie Lynskey), is cartoonish at best. The FBI are idiots, we are reminded over and over again. Hey, Soderbergh, this is Boston, message received. Soderbergh, who serves as his own cinematographer, should have fired himself. Scene shots with the digital Red camera are suffused with a corn-syrupy yellow haze. Mark is surrounded by a cloudy aura as if he’s oozing ectoplasm. After his romance with Che Guevara (the two-part mini-epic “Che”) and foray into the escort service (“The Girlfriend Experience”), Soderbergh suffered a setback when his baseball project “Moneyball‘’ was dropped. He is currently in preproduction with “Cleo,” a 1920s-set musical about Cleopatra starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ray Winstone as Julius Caesar. Let’s hope he gets off his asp with this one.

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Boring! Weak!

    by Powerring

    The humor was a predictable set of non-sequiter brain droppings. The humor was too tame and sublime. This movie was released in September because they knew it would have failed worse in the summer. It's just not that good.

  • Sept. 28, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    90's heartwarming glow??

    by TheMcflyFarm

    Uhhh no. I felt like I was losing my eyesight while watching the movie.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST


    by Quadio1

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST


    by Quadio1

  • June 22, 2010, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Scott Burns

    by musicmam10

    What was Scott thinking when he wrote this? Genius! Scott shares some advice from Godfather director, Francis Ford Coppola.

  • June 27, 2010, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Bit late in the game, but OK

    by orcus