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Moriarty's Rumblings From The Lab #11Re: THE GREEN MILE, THE 13TH WARRIOR, THE MUSE, TV show WASTELAND plus..

Hey folks, Harry here with Moriarty's Eleventh Hour edition of the Rumblings he's become so well known for. It is my belief that the bug that caused AICN to be down a few days was in actuality caused by Moriarty just so his Tuesday column would be pushed to Thursday... the day after THE GREEN MILE screening in Scottsdale, Arizona (Come on you Arizona Readers.... How was it?) so he could rant and rave about it right up top. I have to say I am heh... happy as a jaybird with the buzz that came out of that screening which seemed to back up the prediction I made over a year and a half ago that this was the frontrunner for this year's Oscars... Heh... If that actually comes to pass... I wonder what sort of odds Vegas would have given me a year and a half ago and exactly what my pay off for a $10 wager would've been. Hmmmmm.... Bet I wouldn't even be given odds. Sigh.... Well, enough of me... on to the old man.... He's nearly dead already!

Hey, Head Geek...

"Moriarty" here.

First, a gigantic "congratulations" goes out to Frank Darabont and all the good people working on THE GREEN MILE for their wildly successful Arizona test screening of the film. Clocking in at around three hours, the film scored a phenomenal 94 out of 100 overall, and there's a chance they won't bother test screening it again. This definitely looks to be a case where a great script plus a great cast plus a great director equals (shock!) a great film. If I have to send a team of henchmen over to Castle Rock to get a peek at the film, I will, because the anticipation is killing me.

Second, what with all the server issues, it turned into a very long weekend at the Moriarty Labs. With the upcoming Labor Day weekend, I'm afraid the henchmen are going to get spoiled and think every weekend should be four days long. I'm ordering extra taser guns and genital cuffs to help maintain order when reality hits them. I'm often amazed at how far off your perception of something can be from the reality of it. Take THE 13TH WARRIOR, for example. It sat on a shelf at Disney F O R E V E R before they finally dumped it last weekend. Man, they played hide-and-seek with it all the way up to the last minute, showing it to no critics, moving the weekend twice in two months, until finally there was another John McTiernan film that actually came out first, and then -- and only then -- they dropped it into theaters, a stinker just waiting to play out.

Except... it's not, really. It's not the world's smartest film, but it sure does move. And there's some really stirring imagery throughout. And when the action kicks in, it's suitably bonecrunching that I thought I got my money's worth. I saw it at Hollywood's El Capitan, the Disney showcase theater, and they had the film cranked to a half-full late show on Saturday night. No matter what failings I thought the film had narratively, it made up for it as a blood-soaked fantasy adventure. True, it doesn't approach the heights of John Milius' glorious CONAN THE BARBARIAN, the film that is still the standard bearer in my mind, and, true, it doesn't aim for the heights of Peter Jackson's LORD OF THE RINGS. Doesn't matter. Somewhere, between what McTiernan shot and what Crichton reshot, there's a visceral, thrilling ride. In hindsight, there are story problems so profound as to render the film ridiculous, but during the two hours I was watching, I bought into the world. I think Banderas is at his best when freed from the limitations of English. He's a silent movie star in the best sense of that term, and this is one of those roles that exploits that perfectly.

I liked how the Vikings teased him, calling him "little brother" and calling his horse a "dog." I liked McTiernan's Viking-to-English transition trick, almost as much as I enjoyed it when he did it in RED OCTOBER. I thought the film was lean, never strayed from its central story, and I appreciated that. The production design, the almost-right Jerry Goldsmith score... it all worked while I was watching it. And if the film evaporates in memory... if those holes become more pronounced upon inspection... well, so what? It was the last weekend of August. It was a film delayed by two years. I'm thankful for what simple pleasure I took from it.

As pleased as I was by that film, I'm equally disappointed to see that Albert Brooks continues to simply spew vile at others upon release of arguably the worst film he's been involved in, THE MUSE. The film's worst quality is its lack of satiric focus. Who is Albert making fun of in the film? Studio executives? His character? The filmmakers who rely on a muse instead of themselves? The filmmakers who are so desperate they would even believe in a muse to begin with? The system that doesn't value older filmmakers and their experience? A system that would value an idea as crappy as his "Jim Carrey owns an aquarium" idea that saves him in the film?

One of Brooks' current targets is apparent, since he continues to beat up Adam Sandler in interviews. In a much-quoted interview with the TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL, Brooks announced (tongue seemingly in cheek) that he plans to make a film that will lampoon the current trend of gross comedies. He specifically bags on Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller in the article, seeming to forget that Stiller's TV show was one of the best comedy shows of the decade or that FLIRTING WITH DISASTER was exactly the kind of savage social comedy Brooks used to be renowned for. He says he would call the film THE BIG DUMB STUPID MOVIE. This is the best Brooks can come up with? This is a man who wrote scenes that not only supported but demanded dialogue like, "I have seen the future... AND IT IS A BALD-HEADED MAN FROM NEW YORK!" This is a man that set the bar for verbal acid wit in film. And now he's reduced to falling down with food on his face and throwing stones at other comics. This weekend's sure-to-be precipitous drop for THE MUSE at the box-office should remind Albert that fixing the state of the art in film comedy should start with one's own pictures. Give us something as good as your best again, Albert, and the box-office will be there. You're not giving the Farrellys credit for the level of sophistication under their silliness. If anything, they're making it safe for smart humor at the box-office again. Try it... you'll see.

I told you last week about how new AICN contributor FreeRide had tunneled into Miramax. Turns out he's been working with one of my henchman, a pituitary case named Mongo, to widen the tunnel network. On Friday night, they accidentally dug right into the Paramount back lot, connecting their tunnel with the subway "entrances" on the New York street set. I went to inspect their work and found myself right in the middle of a night shoot for the new Kevin Williamson series WASTELAND. The Professor is fond of the salmon dish craft service was offering, so I stayed to have a look around and meet some of the key cast members of the show. In the end, the key to any show's success is how connected an audience feels with a cast. A great show runner like Joss Whedon or Chris Carter is invaluable, but the audience isn't inviting them into their homes each week. It's Duchovny and Anderson or Gellar, Hannigan, and Brendon they're inviting in. It's Mulder and Scully and it's Buffy and the Scooby Gang.

That being the case, there's a good chance WASTELAND could connect, because this is a likeable cast. Rebecca Gayheart has been paying dues for a while now. Anyone who suffered through either URBAN LEGEND or JAWBREAKER can vouch for the fact that she's the best thing about either one. Hell, I saw a music video recently where she was a waitress at a small town diner where she showed real chops, actually turning in a performance despite it being without dialogue and less than four minutes. She's a charismatic center for a show, and that was only made more obvious because the sequence I watched them shooting had her playing opposite Jeffrey D. Sams.

Now, a lot of news outlets have been playing up Sams as a late addition to the cast, pointing to pressure from the NAACP as reason for his character's creation. The shame about slanting the coverage that way is it misses the real story about Sams. This guy is George Clooney right before ER. If you've seen him in supporting roles in WAITING TO EXHALE or SOUL FOOD, or in the TNT film HOPE that Goldie Hawn directed last year, then you know what kind of charisma he brings to a project. He's also the king of the short-run TV series. Since 1993, and including this one, he's been on five series now. His best one, in my opinion, was last year's CUPID, but he's had standout moments on each of the shows. Now he's finally being featured on a show that a network is fully behind, and believe me... ABC is behind this show. All you have to do is look at the way this cast is dressed. Look at the way they're promoting them. Dan Montgomery is playing one of this season's big buzz characters, and the show also benefits from the presence of KILLING MRS. TINGLE's Marisa Coughlin. Love the film or hate it, TINGLE was a showcase for her. She didn't have to carry the film the way Katie Holmes did, and that means she won't get blamed for the film's underperformance.

As far as the criticism that Williamson's star is on the wane, I'd say that's not true when it comes to television. DAWSON'S CREEK isn't my cup of tea, but it's been a hell of a launching pad in a brief time, and it's still performing well. WASTELAND is aimed squarely at an older audience, one that's going to need a new guilty-pleasure soapy weekly habit now that MELROSE PLACE has closed its doors.

At the beginning of the week, I went with Mongo on another excursion over to Miramax, where I was surprised to bump into Martin Landau in the lobby. There was a fair amount of activity around the screening room, so I had Mongo clear us a path to a front row seat for whatever it was they were showing. Sometimes it's fun to see a film with no advance warning, knowing less than nothing. Sometimes films hit you harder that way. I know I value my BLAIR WITCH experience, seeing it in a room with ten friends at 2:00 in the morning months before the buzz began. I also now value my first viewing of an indy that you should be hearing a lot about next year as it finds a home and gets rolled out to fests and theaters. The film is SHOE SHINE BOYS, and it's a winner.

Turns out that Martin Landau is one of the film's executive producers, along with Spencer Proffer and Rich Abramson. The picture was produced by Evie Willis, and was written, directed, and edited by Mikki Allen Willis. If Willis isn't familiar to you, don't panic. He wasn't familiar to me, either. He's a former acting teacher who taught in NY and LA for six years. The two stars of this film were both students of his. The only thing I knew about this particular film before walking in was that Quentin Tarantino saw the film recently and had a strong reaction to it. I can understand why. In tone, this plays like Quentin's original draft of NATURAL BORN KILLERS, back before Oliver Stone got a hold of it.

That's not to say the stories are similar. They're not. There are common themes and ideas, though, foremost of which is the idea that fame is a drug in America, and the one which can be most destructive. The film stars Darren Geare as Matt and R.J. Knoll as Eddy. The title refers to a garage band the two were once part of. They're old friends with familiar roles. Matt's the guy who has a million bad ideas, and Eddy is the guy who listens to them. As the film begins, Matt has the mother of all bad ideas: in order to get on TV, they're going to ambush the woman who is running the Olympic torch, then put it out with a fire extinguisher and grab it from her. Instead, the Olympic runner, one Sue Sue Robinson (played with a bruised dignity by C.C. Ruffin) fights back, refusing to let go of the torch. Matt and Eddy grab her and take her back to Eddy's parents house, where they have four days to figure out what to do. As they watch the coverage on TV of the case and they make disastrous occasional contact with the outside world, Matt and Eddy unravel completely, documenting it all so that there will be some record of their acts. After all, if there's no video, you can't be on TV, can you?

I thought the best thing about the film is its willingness to try anything. It plays a little long right now, and there's some side notes, some diversions in the film that could be tightened up. That's minor cosmetic stuff, though. I know the film is being screened for distributors all over town in the next week or so, and I'm excited to see who picks it up. It definitely deserves to find a release. There's some affecting material here, particularly in showing the ruined lives on the fringe of fame. Matt's mother is shown in flashback and in the present, and she's a broken, spacey woman, a casualty of chasing fame her whole life with no real talent to back it up. She's a haunting presence, and the film's wicked comic edge is tempered by the reality of these moments. It's what makes the film really work where so many media-conscious indies fail. The film comments on the way the dream is formed, and it does assign some blame to the people who peddle fame, but Willis keeps his eye on the people in his story. By doing so, he keeps it affecting, emotionally involving.

There's a couple of "celebrity" cameos in the film, one of which works brilliantly, and one of which becomes a bit distracting when it's returned to more than once. Rudy Ray Moore, the one and only Dolemite, shows up in the film as Matt's godfather. Matt speaks of his memories of the set of HUMAN TORNADO. When Moore talks about his relationship to Matt, I can say without a hint of irony or sarcasm that it's the best he's been on screen. Moore is the perfect guy for this cameo. You can't make up a Rudy Ray Moore. You can't make up this guy's career, or his act. He's better than fiction, and I thought it was a great sequence. Hank Nasiff is also used in the film in a supporting role, and I thought it was far less successful in the end. For those of you who don't listen to or watch any version of Howard Stern's tv show, Hank is more commonly known as "the Angry Drunken Dwarf," a name that is entirely accurate. His first appearance in this film was funny, but there's an extended appearance later that literally stops the film dead at the halfway point. It's the only time in the film where director Willis didn't feel like he was in control of the chaos.

I know that this film is going to play at the Santa Monica Film Festival on September 16 at Laemmle's Monica 4Plex at 9 PM. Beyond that, I don't know when you'll get a chance to see it. Hopefully someone is going to see the film and snap it up. It's not a big picture, but it makes the most of its limited budget. Director of Photography Frank Suffert shot the film on DV, Hi-8, beta cam, Super 16 and 35mm, and it's all used well, never feeling like a mish-mash. Instead, it's all clear, communicative, exciting. It's one of those go-for-broke debut pictures that is always invigorating to stumble across, and it holds a lot of promise for Willis' next venture.

One of the new things I saw this weekend was a teaser poster for Brian De Palma's March release MISSION TO MARS. Maybe I should write that as MISSION 2 MARS, or just M2M, like the logo on the poster reads. It's a pretty striking design, and I have to admit -- M2M has a great pedigree if you're just looking at it on paper. I am, and always have been, a big De Palma fan. Yeah, he makes missteps, and some of them are astonishing in sheer scale, but when he puts it together, I think he's one of the wittiest stylists around. Working from a script that was originated by Jim and John Thomas (PREDATOR) and rewritten by big-time script doctors Nick Kazan and Ted Tally, De Palma's got a solid cast of character actors here. It's almost like an APOLLO 13 -- Don Cheadle, Kim Delaney, Elise Neal, Jerry O'Connell, Tim Robbins, and Gary Sinise. I guess if I were De Palma, I'd just be concerned that the whole M2M might get confused with the decidely De Palma-less MI2, which is finally wrapping up with some American location work. Woo and company have been pushing themselves to free up Tom Cruise for MINORITY REPORT, but I've had reports now from three different sources that he shouldn't bother. Word is that script problems have finally killed the Fox/DreamWorks picture, and that the teams who have been working in pre-production are being shut down and sent home. I don't know what the script issues were, but I'm pretty sure that if someone like Scott Frank can't solve them, then they're not going to get solved.

I know that M2M isn't going to get confused with that other Mars film now that they've changed the title from simply MARS to THE RED PLANET. Without having read the two scripts (and I'm working on that right now), I'd have to give De Palma and Disney the edge on the "want-to-see" scale. THE RED PLANET stars Val Kilmer, Carrie Anne-Moss, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt, and the suddenly-very-employed Terrence Stamp. There's six producers listed on the film and a whole fistful of writers. When you've got strong voices like Jorge Seralegui, Mark Canton, and Bruce Berman all listed as producer, you have to wonder who's really driving this thing. I guarantee it's not Anthony Hoffman, the film's director, who appears to be a first-timer. He's under the gun here to not come in third after the Disney film and the various James Cameron Mars projects, but I think it might be a losing battle. I'll report more after I finish reading both projects.

Speaking of Terrence Stamp, I saw another one of the many films he's appeared in recently at a screening last night, and I am still recovering from it. Of course, it's something I completely left off my look at the fall season last week, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. It's a little film, despite being directed by Steven Soderbergh fresh off his career-best work on OUT OF SIGHT. Stamp isn't a giant name, and neither is co-star Peter Fonda, even though this is his first really important work since ULEE'S GOLD. I'm writing of the fantastic new THE LIMEY, another film from this year's little indie that could, Artisan.

I was surprised to see that Edward Lachman, the film's director of photography, and editor Sarah Flack are not the same team that worked with Soderbergh on OUT OF SIGHT, since this film feels like an extension of certain ideas from that movie in some regards. This film starts with a black screen and Stamp's strangled voice spitting out, "Tell me... tell me... tell me about Jenny." Just like that, it's off and running, a simple story told in deeply fragmented style. This has got to be one of the most sophisticated uses of time I've ever seen in a film. Stamp plays Wilson, a simple English thug who's spent most of his life in jail. His daughter Jenny has just died in a car accident in LA. He doesn't believe it was an accident, and he flies in, ready to kill anyone he has to in order to find the truth. This is a film that reminded me in some ways of POINT BLANK, the John Boorman/Lee Marvin classic that was remade as PAYBACK. POINT BLANK used flashbacks and flash forwards in an almost experimental manner, but in THE LIMEY, there's something deeper at work. This is a film about a man who's become disjointed in time, for whom memory and the present aren't separate things. I know that there are memories I have that are so vivid, so important to me, that calling them up is almost like time travel. For Wilson, memory is all he has, and he keeps it wrapped around himself. POOR COW is a Ken Loach film from 1967 that featured a very young Stamp, and Soderbergh bought the rights to use clips from the film in THE LIMEY, serving as Wilson's flashbacks to his own youth. I thought it was a gimmick when I first heard about it, but seeing how it pays off here is really powerful.

The film has tons of pleasures to offer. There's some great tough-guy dialogue, and wonderful supporting turns from the always-gold Luis Guzman, Leslie Anne Warren, Nicky Katt (unrecognizable here from his work in DAZED & CONFUSED or SUBURBIA), Bill Duke (in the movie's best scene), and Melissa George. There's also a very subtle reference to EDWARD FORD, a widely-read and respected unproduced screenplay by Lem Dobbs, who wrote this film as well as Soderbergh's earlier KAFKA that made me laugh out loud even though I got stared at like an idiot in the theater. This film doesn't build to some giant action sequence, but it does build to a realistically apocalyptic ending. I fell in love with Terrence Stamp as a performer all over again watching this film. I think I may have actually found a film that will supplant "Kneel before Zod, son of Jor-El." When this hits in mid-October, find it and see if you agree.

One other film that came to mind for me while I watched THE LIMEY was the 1970 classic JOE. The film was already on my mind over the last week anyway due to the death of the film's screenwriter Norman Wexler. He's also known for his scripts for SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and SERPICO, but as far as I'm concerned, it was JOE that made his career worth note. This is one of those movies that no one seems to remember, but I love it dearly. It features a very young Susan Sarandon as the daughter of Dennis Patrick. He's a successful guy who crosses paths with blue collar Joe, played by Peter Boyle in a role that I hold right up there with YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN as a career high for him. The two of them are drawn together by only one thing, a hatred of the counterculture. Their mutual hatred leads them to explore the lifestyle, trying to find the missing Sarandon, and it eventually leads them to an act of horrible, final violence. The film is definitely about generational fear, how the old fears the new, and about how painful that transition can be. It's also just a damn fine character study. Wexler's filmography reveals a bent for working-class characters speaking realistically, concerned with real life issues. I'd say that he was touched by genius on occasion, and his passing is duly noted.

It's not uncommon for people, artists in particular, to be touched by genius on occasion, but not every time out. I know I've bagged Michael Bay on occasion in this column or in reviews, but I will give him his props: the man knows commercials. If you've seen the new Levi's commercial featuring the invisible couple and their interrupted date, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's damn funny, and the work by Digital Domain on the ad is the finest invisibility FX work I've seen yet. There's some very sophisticated CG replacement work done, and it's all seamless. In this medium, Bay is as good as anyone working. There's other guys who were born to work in other mediums. Dave McKean, whose covers for the Neil Gaiman SANDMAN series are some of my favorite art of the last 20 years, directed a video for a new video by a Virgin artist named Buckethead, and it's a stunner. It doesn't look like anything else, and it somehow brings the signature McKean style to vivid, 3-D life.

Also in current rotation is the new Bjork video, "All Is Full Of Love," a single off the STIGMATA soundtrack. It's directed by Chris Cunningham, who I will go on record as calling a full-time genius right here and now. Between the disturbing videos for "Come To Daddy" and "Windowlicker" by Aphex Twin and the work he did for Stanley Kubrik on the unproduced AI, Cunningham has been writing quite a career for himself. His job for Kubrick was evidently learning to build robots, and now that AI isn't going to happen, this new video may provide our only film clue as to what we would have seen. In the video, Bjork is built as a pair of robots who end up entwined in a sensual embrace. It's the finest FX work I've seen this year, and I dare you to shake the image after you've seen it. I know Cunningham has been rumored to be adapting William Gibson's NEUROMANCER as his first film, but I'm in the middle of reading Neal Stephenson's masterful new CRYPTONOMICON right now, and I'd rather see what Cunningham could do if paired with a narrative genius on the level of Stephenson. I think ultimately we the audience would be the winners in that scenario, and I hope we get the opportunity to see if I'm right.

Finally, I want to close out this week's RUMBLINGS by sharing with you an object lesson I learned this week about the responsibility of what I write. This is an ongoing subject of concern here at AICN. Despite the bitter whining of a few of our competitors and the occasional TALK BACKer, we take the idea of ethical reportage very seriously. As a result, when I feel like I've done something wrong, I'm willing to share that with you.

In particular, I have had a change of heart about the level of savagery I've used in certain reviews in the past. I had the opportunity to communicate with someone whose film I had eviscerated upon release, and I was given a clear picture of what effect that review had on that person. I have to say that it gave me real pause. It's one thing when you're reviewing a movie like WILD WILD WEST that squanders massive corporate resources. I refuse to ever pull punches in a case like that, since that kind of filmmaking is exactly what I consider the worst this town has to offer. When I'm dealing with a smaller film, though, something more personal, I believe that I'll take a different approach in the future. I'm never going to softpedal what I feel about a film, but I'm also not going to pull out the big guns and attack on such a direct, visceral level. I was told that my review was "goddamned mean," and it was. That's not why we're here. My passion for film may have gotten the better of me in the past, but I believe in learning from those events. In the future, expect me to be more precise in the application of my critical tools.

After all, I'm an Evil Genius, not a Goddamned Mean one. On that note, I have some technical adjustments to make here in the Labs so that we can premiere the PRINCESS MONONOKE trailer here at AICN in the next few days. We're going to cohost the event with, and it's going to be your first chance to see how Miramax is selling this profound and beautiful masterpiece. I think the trailer rocks, and I'm betting you will, too. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 2, 1999, 4:03 a.m. CST

    still great

    by kev

    once again, another great post from the old man, but on the minority report probs, this would obviously leave spielberg free to do something else, possibly Indy IV??? wishful thinking i know, but hey, i'm the eternal optimist.....

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 4:16 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, Minority Report, The Green Mile

    by Templer

    Hi, Moriarty--Does this mean Minority Report will be scrapped? I hope not.... I was really looking forward to this film. Hey, if this frees up Spielberg's schedule, then maybe he can finally find the time to make Indy 4 - I guess that would be the only good thing to come out of the cancellation of Minority Report. Also, I know of two people who saw The Green Mile. One of them liked it - sort of - the other was disappointed. Something about she felt the lead actor (Hanks?) seemed to be phoning in his lines -- whatever that means. And that it can't hold a candle to Shawshank Redemption. I'm still looking forward to the film, though. Everyone has different views, I guess. Anyway, great column, glad AICNs is back up. Thank you.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 4:16 a.m. CST

    Why does he always talks so much, but says nothing?

    by ferny

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 4:22 a.m. CST


    by Otaku73

    You know, I don't like Moriarty. The reasons are too various to go into here. But I do like his reviews, and thats what I think he does best on this site. And you know, I don't mind if he pens a merciless review. In fact, if it is warranted, I would rather he did. His job is to tell us his opinion of a particular movie, not fellate Hollywood or independent films. If that means he doesn't like a movie, then he doesn't like a movie. If you really want to see the flick, you will, no matter what Moriarty or anyone else writes about it. It's tanatmount to censorship to create such a public outcry over a man (or woman, I haven't ruled that out) doing his job, and doing it well. Moriarty, if you are reading this, I suggest you stick to your guns. If a movie deserves a bad, mean, or even cruel review, then do it. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 4:57 a.m. CST

    The Green Mile

    by W. Leach

    So THE GREEN MILE was a big hit in its preview screening, huh? No surprise there. Hopefully Warner Bros. will release the film as is, in its 3-hour length. The book was fantastic (King's best, IMHO), Darabont's script was fantastic (assuming the on-line version is the one he used), and the casting of Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecombe is genius. I'm just glad the film is finally completed (I know Darabont only shot the bookending scenes like a month ago). Can't wait for December! On another note, MISSION TO MARS is probably going to be my first must-see of 2000. De Palma is my favorite director of all time, and a Mars story featuring Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, and Don Cheadle is more than enough to get me into the theater.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 5:03 a.m. CST

    It's Not Selling Out...

    by Moriarty

    ... it's just called basic human decency. God forbid I decide that savaging certain films is like beating up retarded kids... easy but with no return. Almost immediately the fanboys get mad because I'm not going to continue to just blast things at full strength for no good reason. I want to save up my venom for films that truly deserve it. After all, if I rail that loudly about a little film no one is going to see anyway, then how much value does it have when I pull out the big guns for WILD WILD WEST? Also, just to clarify... MINORITY REPORT is not going to happen. It's not a scheduling thing. They're releasing the crew from their contracts. It's over. "Bought by the studios"... sheesh, man, I wish. You think it's cheap keeping all the henchmen in food and torture? "Moriarty" out.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 5:35 a.m. CST

    An Honorable Decision

    by Veidt

    It's entirely possible to express a negative opinion towards a film without getting off on making a personal attack on the filmmakers themselves. It's not about pulling punches. It's about using your position as a writer responsibly. It's called having some class.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Moriarty's closing of the article...

    by emorr know what, you're right about the meaness of reviewing in general. It's the same way in these talkbacks and newsgroups. You can dislike something and argue about it without getting personal. Good show!

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 6:21 a.m. CST

    He's right

    by Yossarian

    I totally agree with Moriarty, I think the films that need the bombasting and bastardizing are the ones that are thrown together with no respect for the Audience. The BIG, EXPENSIVE, OVER-HYPED, POS'(Ah..ah..AH-mageddon-Choo!) that come lumbering out of Hollywood like the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man. The ones that only care to fill a seat, not to deliver (WWW). We should go a little easier on the guys that are busting their hump, 16, 18 hours straight, working with what they've got available and really...trying. Maybe not succeeding, but honestly giving it a go. Why? Because our opinion matters to the people who aren't in it for the almighty dollar. The ones that have the potential to become great storytellers, but may give up because they've been attacked so mercilessly by the public they want to please. I do a lot of charcoal sketching and while I'm pretty good now, I really sucked about 10 years ago. If I had some juvenile delinquent gave my hard work a cursory glance and said, " Dude, you suck, go kill yerself.", I would never have kept at it, continually striving to improve. If someone had been really hateful to George Lucas when he made THX-1138, who knows if he wouldn't have said, "Aw, fuck it. I'm gonna go be a mechanic." And then we would have never had American Graffiti or the SW trilogy. I say bash the crap the conglomerate establishments dishes out with little regard, but go lighter on the guys that are still learning their art. My 2 Sense worth.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 6:57 a.m. CST

    INDY 4? I'd rather see True Lies 2. (hence, theyll both suck)

    by L'Auteur

    The reason why WWW should be shown no mercy but indies should is that they have different intentions. Big dumb studio shit intends to do one thing--have a big opening weekend. Small films, although they want to make money too, more often attempt to be art. Art, even bad art, deserves infinite more respect than corporate shit like THE MUMMY. Next: Im very upset to hear that MINORITY REPORT is cancelled. It sounded cool and it sounded like a good direction for Spielberg. Im sick if his weepy Oscar-hungry shit like AMISTAD and SPR and THE LOST WORLD was his worst film ever. He needs to do something different for a change, and a futuristic, cynical sci-fi sounded like it couldve been it. PLEASE DONT LET HIM WASTE HIS TIME WITH INDY 4!!! That series is only getting worse, people! The original was the greatest action movie ever. The sequel was a noble effort, but part 3 was a blatant rip-off of RAIDERS. The last thing we need is a great artist wasting a year of his life with a Part 4! Someone tell Cameron that the way to follow up a Best Director award is NOT to make a sequel to your worst film ever (true lies).

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Has anyone else (besides me) read The Green Mile?

    by Obscure Homage

    I highly reccommend this book, which I feel is Stephen King's unequivocal best work to date. Moriartys revelation that the film clocks in around three hours filled me with confidence in Darabont and his filmmaking talents. My only fear concerning the project is that several key subplots that were gloriously depicted in the book would be jettisoned for the sake of a more desireable running time. Luckily, that doesn't seem to be the case. The only issue I have left is the role of John Coffey, who is being portrayed by the guy who yelled "come and get papa bear!" in Crapageddon (sorry guys, I still refuse to recognize that film as worthy entertainment. I think the dudes name is Micheal Duncan Clarke, or something along those lines). Anyway, his character didn't do much for me in the latter film, so I'm still worried if he has the range to pull of what is essentially a dramatic and heart wrenching role (anyone who read the novel should know what I mean).

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 7:29 a.m. CST


    by ChainLink17

    This boy has a champion... and the film in the works, I hear, is not Neuromancer, but is indeed Snow Crash. This kid will be one of the ones to look out for... his work with 'Come to Daddy' is some of the most haunting works ever done in music videos, and he has not let up, nor has his style descreased in potentcy. If anything, his work is getting (shudder) better, more mature, and more unsettling. This kid knows how special effects can be, and uses them to their fullest advantage. A true modern visual storyteller. Oh yeah, Moriarty, Cryptonomicon kicks serious ass. The ending left me wanting more and offered a great glimpse at things to come in that 'universe'. That's one book I wouldn't mind seeing made into an epic miniseries, but much of Stephenson's wit would be lost... Later

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 8:35 a.m. CST

    who says that even big dumb hollywood films

    by Z

    don't contain or strive to be art? I've seen fantastic visuals and sound work in big dumb hollywood films, great ART. Is the empire state building no less a work of art than the mona lisa? i think people forget that any big budget film is created by a large group of people. WWW did not just spew forth from the directors intestines, many, many people worked on that film. Some of them probably worked very hard and put a lot of personal effort and creativeness into it. Does that mean you shouldn't criticize it? NO. the point is, just because a film comes from the creativity of one person (or ten or 20) does not mean that it is any more or less artistically valid than a film that was created by 100 or 200. My point? Fuck it. If you're going to use your vitriol on majors, use it on independants to. To the person who said they would have given up sketching, your sketches suck go home. There, are you going to give up now? I thought not. Any artist who gives up so easily obviously does not have the fire in the belly that it takes to be an artist. I seriously doubt George Lucas would've just packed his things and went home if some critic had said "THX 1138 really sucks, give up while you're ahead". So Moriarty, fuck em. For every WWW you slam, there's way more people's feelings you are hurting than with a BWP. So, don't be a snob about it. If you see a spade, call it a spade.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Neuromancer vs. Snowcrash

    by Usul

    I'm a huge fan of both Gibson and Stephenson. And I'd love to see either of these books on screen. However, I lean towards Neuromancer if only because of my anticipation to see it brought to life since hearing William Gibson's Comments about Chris Cunningham. If however, Cunningham is indeed working on Snowcrash he had better be working exceptionally hard on coming up with an ending for it. WEAK does not describe waffled conclusion of that book. Also if Neuromancer worked it would be great to see the rest of the sprawl trilogy onscreen as well.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 9:41 a.m. CST

    "...puppy-drowning, hero-bashing, studio-incinerating laser blas

    by Encelladus

    "After all, I'm an Evil Genius, not a Goddamned Mean one..." Um, maybe it's just me, but... WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? Evil is just mean, man! Mean! Evil is as evil does! What's the point of being an Evil Genius, then? With great (evil) power comes great (evil) responsibility? That's it... Moriarty is officially *lame.* Until we see some real, puppy-drowning, hero-bashing, studio-incinerating laser blasts bounced off satellites in orbit, Moriarty may as well be reading books to small children in a public library. No good deed goes unpunished, Professor... same time next week?

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Mars . . . (Pardon this bizarre rant)

    by Lord Shell

    I don't suppose they actually have any SCIENCE FICTION writers working on these movies? Naw, why would they do that? Those pests just get in the way with their facts and real science. After all, they've got plenty of writers who don't know delta v from a v-necked sweater. They can write a scifi movie just as well . . . BETTER even!~~~Sorry, it's just that I'd like just a few science fiction movies to have actual physics in them. (Here endeth the rant.)

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:28 a.m. CST


    by archimedes

    Moriarty, the corpulent, subterranean eunuch masquerading as a film critic, wrote: "Albert Brooks continues to simply spew vile at others upon release of arguably the worst film he's been involved in, THE MUSE" ***** Listen, tubby, you spew BILE, you don't 'spew vile.' And you don't merit any credibility when you lurk in nameless, faceless anonymity and throw pebbles at an Oscar winner who has been honored repeatedly by the National Society of Film Critics (an organization to which you will never belong.) You lambaste Brooks and then take up the banner of Adam Sandler, the Farrelly Brothers, and all their fart and poopy joke brethren?! And THEN defend the plotless tripe that is the 13th warrior?!! You, sir, are a fraud, with remarkably poor taste and judgment. At least Mr. Knowles puts his name and face on his poorly written, horribly misspelled, third-grade-writing-level reviews. You lack even that miniscule amount of courage. Is it lost on you that both Cameron and Scorsese found THE MUSE worthwhile enough to lend their names and faces to it? Now, whose opinion are we going to heed?***** Come out of the closet, you turgid coward, or keep your rumblings to yourself.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Young archimedes...

    by Meca

    Ahhh archimedes... critic of the critic. How ironic. So noble.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:53 a.m. CST

    moriartiy's ending and Lord Shell, and archemidies

    by Proph JE

    Lord Shell first--- - --- - --- - --- - --- - ---I can't speak for all of the Mars stories, but I can speak for James Cameron stories. First, he has said they are going to be love stories (possibly somewhat along the lines of titanic) and they will all be technically accurate. I am not certain wether they have sci-fi writers on board, but the thruth is, when the science fiction is so close to becoming science fact, does it really matter whether they have one on board? This isn't a blast at sci-fi writers, but the fact is, when it is so close to happening, it is hard to do it as a "true" science fiction. I don't know about disney's films, or the other film, but James Cameron's film will be very accurate science wise. Hell, Bob Zubrin is technical director (or something like that) - --- - --- - --- - --- - --- - --- - --- - ---Concerning your ending Moriarty, I have to agree with the poster above, who said that the large films at art to. Example-- Star Wars Trilogy. I would very much call that art, and it is very large. Yet I wouldn't call it corparate trash. Anyway, I do agree you can blast a film if you honestly think it is junk, but you can do it in a nice way. You are right, you don't need to go after the small time directors themselves, but if their work truely sucks, even if they spent there entire life savings, I would hope you could be honest about it and say it is horrible. - --- - --- - --- - --- - --- - --- - ---And finally, archemidies, actually, it is vile. I know it doesn't make sense, but the idea behind spewing vile means you are being very mean, possibly intentionally. So actually moreiarty was right, and you are wrong

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Moriarty is tubby AND turgid?

    by Fred4sure

    Funny, I always pictured him as rather gaunt with a bit of a limp. Ah, live and learn.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Blair Witch questions - Can anyone advise?

    by r_dimitri22

    1st question) Have y'all noticed that extra Blair Witch footage over on It claims that the extra footage they are offering will not be on the upcoming video/DVD releases (which contain entirely separate new footage). Why would they only give me the opportunity to see these certain new scenes using my RealPlayer at work? This doesn't seem like the path to consumer happiness. Regardless, I can not even make the link to the footage at their site work.*********2nd question) I looked over at Amazon as well as, and I noticed that there is no VHS letterboxed version of Blair Witch available. I seem to remember that the film did not take advantage of the full widescreen proportion when I saw it at the theater, but I became so immersed in the movie that I did not even notice it after a while. I do not want to purchase it for VHS if I am not getting the whole picture. (I really should ante up for the DVD player soon, I know, but for now I have been content with my VCR and purchasing letterboxed versions of films.)******** Can anyone give me more information on either of these items? Thanks.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by Call me Booger

    First time poster. Love the site, Harold. When older comics/actors/writers start sounding off about their younger colleagues it is primarily evidence that these guys are no longer funny. Their "cutting edge" humor has been supplanted by something else. Howard Stern is always playing Steve Allen talking about "cleaning up Hollywood" or something to that effect. It just shows that when a personality's persona has faded, they'll do anything to sound like they're doing something funny, or important, or whatever. Albert Brooks is a complete idiot for taking pot shots at Sandler or Farrelly movies. I've never seen a Brooks movie that made me laugh harder than Happy Gilmore. If you have to resort to talking shit about other people's work when your own creativity has gone sour, then you better get out of the limelight, because you'll end up looking like a complete asshole. Moriarty, I think if you're talking about the film, you should say what's good, what's bad, and what really, really sucks ass. If it really sucks ass, make sure people know it.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 11:59 a.m. CST

    13th Warrior

    by DarthKoshi

    I saw 13th Warrior last weekend, and didn't have tremendously high expectations, but I must say, it kicked serious ass. I really enjoyed it, on about the same level as enjoying Conan or Sword and the Sorceror. I've been waiting to see a review of it here, but there's been scarcely any mention of it since weeks before the release. Banderas was great, the Vikings were cool, the villains were sufficiently fearsome, and the look of the film was wonderful. I enjoyed it for what it was-- a shallow, fun romp-- and plan on getting it on DVD when it comes out. B+

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 12:08 p.m. CST


    by Prankster

    You are aware that THE BEN STILLER SHOW and THE EDGE were the SAME show?!? They just changed the name when Stiller wasn't on it. Anyway, I also applaud Moriarty for his decision--I think it's what he should have been doing anyway, actually. When a movie is clearly trying harder, you give it more credit. Let me say something--I firmly believe that what we get here on the net--yes, the anonymous medium crammed with "sellouts"--is a much purer and better form of criticism than the glib, superior, acidic ranks of mainstream print critics. Newspaper and TV critics are usually much more concerned with writing flip and clever essays on a film, often adopting a patronizing tone, than with honestly summing it up. My local paper, the aforementioned Globe and Mail, generally gives the SAME DAMN RATING--2.5 stars out of 4--to any Hollywood movie that isn't brilliant or a total dog turd. Things are so bad that the general public seems to think that movie critics *HAVE* to be negative, or they're not doing their job--so when Moriarty or Harry write largely positive reviews, they're lambasted for being "sellouts" or having bad taste. But all they're doing is expressing enthusiasm for movies, on a movie website, in a year which they both believe is one of the high points of the decade for film! It's not Harry and Moriarty who are sick, it's the carping critics who can't find it in themselves to be positive about a medium to which they've devoted their life!!! Now, you tell me--which is sadder?

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Moriarity, small vs big films

    by mjbok

    The thing that always has cracked me up about this site is how Harry and Moriarity play situational ethics. 'For this film this is appropriate, for this film something else is appropriate.' It never made sense to me. Another poster made the wise observation that even big Hollywood pictures have people that expend blood, sweat and tears on a film. A slam on that film is just as personal to a lot of people. Just because that a film is independent does not mean that people have a bigger attachment to a film. Same with spoilers. I remember a ban on spoilers for Eyes Wide Shut (I think), because this was Kubrick's art. Other films regularly had spoilers in articles, but since their names were not Kubrick it was okay to do it ? Makes no sense. And no I'm not going to start my own website if I don't like it, 'cause I have a job and have to work, unlike Harry. Lastly the whole Evil Genius persona. Does anyone else find it laughable. It is nothing against the individual, I just find it to be really silly. But that is just my opinion.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 12:28 p.m. CST

    The death of the Report and other things Phil Dick...

    by The Gline

    First off: I'm wildly unthrilled that MR is being shelved. Phil Dick's novels and shorts have, pound for pound, influenced more of the current SF out there than almost anyone else I can think of. More movies based on good versions of his work would be immensely welcome. I understand there was an indie production of "A Scanner Darkly" -- IF ANYONE KNOWS WHAT CAME OF THIS, EMAIL ME! -- and he had written his own script for "Ubik" at one point (hard to find, but well worth it). His books are hard to film because they're so darn cerebral and ODD -- but if you do it right, they can be incredibly rewarding experiences. Actually, my current unsung favorite is "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said", a story about an obnoxious and very famous TV show host (maybe Eric Bogosian, doing a "Talk Radio" type of performance?) who wakes up one morning to find out that nobody in the world remembers who he is anymore. It's one of the loneliest, most heartbreaking books I've ever read -- and while it doesn't have a plot-conclusive ending, it has an emotionally conclusive one that would be wonderful on the big screen. I'm also wondering if "The World Jones Made" would be adaptable -- it's a very simply, almost fable-like story that would be very easily adapted to the screen, and it has one of the most haunting endings ever. Or... if you want to go epic, "The Man in the High Castle", a story about an America where the Allies LOST WWII, with the U.S. divided between the Japanese and the Germans. The hardest of all would probably be "Valis" -- a thinly-fictionalized story of a series of bizarre incidents in Dick's life that convinced him that a superintelligent entity was trying to contact him. Very hard to film, but if done right, an absolute mind-roaster. Another one that would be tough to do but magnificent to see -- and maybe not so difficult in this post-MATRIX era! -- would be "The Divine Invasion", which is best summed: "What if God were alive and in exile on a distant planet? And what if He wanted to come back?" Of course, there's a hell of a lot more to it than that... as with all of his books.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Blurring the line

    by DAS BOOB

    First of all thank-you for pointing out Cunningham's new video for Bjork, I can't stop watching(cgi is fuckin immaculate).Secondly, expect Spielberg to move on to Memoirs of a Geisha. Moriarity, I'd rather you be a mean,evil,opiniated genius...then a kid gloves pussy like Harry.Stay with tough love,and let Harry do the ass-kissing.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 12:52 p.m. CST

    To Man Alive

    by Proph JE

    Okay, I can tell you about 3 of the four mars films. 2 are being done by James Cameron. One of the films will be on Imax, with the other being a mini-series. Both are love stories about the first mission to mars. They will both be technically acurate, and probably the best of the 4 Mars films coming. They have Bob Zubrian helping out a lot, and he was the guy who rewrote the book on mars travel. However, they will not discover any alien or pre-alien life forms. This ius suppose to be an attempt of a documentary of an event yet to happen. The Disney film is going to be about the secound mission to mars, and it job is to discover what happen to the first one. I have heard a few bad things about this. Finally, there is a 4th project on the horizon that Moriarty eluded to, but I honestly don't know much about it. Hope this helps. BUt watch the Cameron movies. They will be good!!!!

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Bjork, and Mckean

    by Mathius Rust

    1999-09-02 03:53:08 Moriarty's right about Chris Cunningham's new Bjork video. Stark and beautiful, it was on MTV's AMP last sunday night (2 a.m.) and most likly be on gain this sunday night. Does anyone know where to find Dave Mckean's new video or where to see it?

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 1:28 p.m. CST

    when did rebecca geyheart do a nude scene?

    by appaz

    speaking of the hot rebecca geyheart, when did she do a nude scene? i saw a picture from a movie at - just curious. thanks.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 1:38 p.m. CST

    McKean's video

    by Bryan

    The Dave McKean directed video "The Ballad of Buckethead" premiered on 120 Minutes last week. I'm not sure whether they will play it again or not, but it's worth taping the show and fast forwarding. It is available online at, but unless you have a superbadass connection it might be disappointing. Or maybe it's just my modem, but when I tried watching it you couldn't make it out at all, and the music was distorted to the point of psychedelia.------If all else fails, there is going to be a special set available at comic book stores which contains Buckethead's new album _Monsters and Robots_, the video, and a comic book about Buckethead with a 16 page story by McKean. I'm not sure how available this set will be, so good luck.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 2:21 p.m. CST

    shoe shine boys

    by jimmy8

    It rocks! One of the best indie movies I have seen in a long time! R.J. Knoll plays the part soo.. good! Glad to see it is getting some recognition...If Tarantino see's the's gotta be good! Peace, JimmyP

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 2:27 p.m. CST

    The Green Mile

    by jesusquintana

    To start off I have to say that The Shawshank Redemption is by far the best movie I have seen (The Godfather and Pulp Fiction are close seconds). I have been waiting for The Green Mile for nearly two years now, ever since Frank Darabont received rights for the book. I loved the book which is one of King's best, and Darabont's script (at least the version on the web) is brilliant, in that it stays true to the novel. I can't wait until December 17th. Tom Hanks is a sure thing and the supporting cast is going to kick ass. The solid audience response is just further proof that Darabont and King have teamed up once again to bring us another amazing film.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Green Mile Screening

    by Flmlvr

    It's seems as if all my friends have been getting on damn screening lists lately except for me. A while back one friend got to see "End Of Days", another one just got on the list for a Sept. 24th screening of Scr3am 3, and alas one of my friends got to see the Green Mile screening last night. Now she hasn't read the book so she was no help in that aspect, but she, like everyone else, loves Shawshank Redemption. Needless to say, she thought the film was phenomonal, and that it didn't even seem like three hours....just thought yu'd want to know the word from Scottsdale..... Filmlover

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Never mind POINT BLANK

    by Jack the Lad

    Is it just me, or does THE LIMEY sound an awful lot like GET CARTER - in which Michael Caine plays a gangster who goes to Liverpool to find out how his brother died and kills or maims virtually everybody he meets? I know Stallone is involved with an official remake. Does anybody know the status of this project? I heard they were going to sanitize the story, in which case I'll be rooting for it to get cancelled.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 3:54 p.m. CST


    by WahchoG7

    hI GUYS, Wondered about the above title. It was from a bunch of first timers in Az and got glowing reviews on the fest circuit last year. What happened to it? Thanks RS

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 4:50 p.m. CST

    indies and such (one more word . . . )

    by leopold

    You know I used to agree with one of the posters above who said that we should give indie films some kind of leeway with their bumblings and their fumblings because their motives are purer. In that spirit I praised "Happiness" and "Buffalo 66" (which wasn't bad--pretty good, actually) and walked around repeating dialogue from "Clerks." Then I started to realize how many "independant" artists simply tote that label as some sort of shield that guarantees their "seriousness" as artists and, therefore, can play cultural martyrs when they make a shitty film. It's much easier to make reactionary, iconoclastic art (Serrano?) and then sit back in the comfortable wash of your own alternativeness, knowing that you only need vindication from your own private posse-subculture, than it is to push yourself into a crowd of millions and make enough noise to turn some heads. The great ones do it. Beauty and a razor's edge and all that.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 5:34 p.m. CST


    by Droz

    I'm not sure about your first question, but Blair Witch was shot in full frame... sorry, no widescreen exists. Shoe Shine Boys has been discussed on the Howard Stern Show awhile ago. I saw Hank talking about it about 6-8 months ago on E!

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 6:18 p.m. CST

    the sky was the colour of television

    by jbreen

    Aaarrggh - pesky computer totally wiped out my comment before I posted the damn thing! So, now it is lost forever to the harsh realm of the cyberspace void, you will just have to trust me that it was a pearler... Or not as the case may be. So, in the immortal words of Dolly Parton, here I go again. I've lost count of how many MTV-hack-video-with mutant baby/insect/bodily-fluids-using-blur-to-focus-and-other-crap-cutting-effects videos clips I have seen that fail to be any more disturbing than Elvira or Uncle Deadly. Chris Cunningham, though, really does deliver. Aphex Twin's 'Come to Daddy' (yoiks) and 'Windowlicker', Madonna's 'Frozen', the Bjork one and that Placebo one are beautifully nuts. Maybe not 'scary' but certainly more disturbing than a cabbage and prune soup with a pint of stout. (Haven't seen the Squarepusher one or any others). Now it appears that there is some debate as to what flick he is directing, so... According to '' - the official movie site put up around June this year - CC is the director. They reprint an article from 'Wired' in which CC states what a fan he is and how he has already storyboarded the film. Gibson is quoted as saying CC is 'a genius - he's just the man for the job'. Coming Attractions has listed 'Snow Crash' as a dead project and the director who was slated is someone I've not come across. So, if anyone has additional new info about CC and these projects - I would love to see something by Stephenson make it to the screen; what about 'The Diamond Age'? - post and provide some sources! As for the earlier vile/bile debate, well, I'm going to be Mr Pedantic and suggest 'bile' is correct. To spew is to vomit and bile is, in my vast 4 in the morning experience, what often comes up, hence the match of the two words. The phrase means, I guess, that the commentator is making a comment so mean that it is, metaphorically, akin to bringing up something nasty and acidic straight from the gut. But who cares, really, if Moriarty uses a wrong word here and there? He is, after all, an evil genius and maybe an evil genius really can spew 'vile'! Someone give him ten pizzas and something that is 'whayffer theeen' and let's stand back....

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 6:18 p.m. CST

    the sky was the colour of television

    by jbreen

    Aaarrggh - pesky computer totally wiped out my comment before I posted the damn thing! So, now it is lost forever to the harsh realm of the cyberspace void, you will just have to trust me that it was a pearler... Or not as the case may be. So, in the immortal words of Dolly Parton, here I go again. I've lost count of how many MTV-hack-video-with mutant baby/insect/bodily-fluids-using-blur-to-focus-and-other-crap-cutting-effects videos clips I have seen that fail to be any more disturbing than Elvira or Uncle Deadly. Chris Cunningham, though, really does deliver. Aphex Twin's 'Come to Daddy' (yoiks) and 'Windowlicker', Madonna's 'Frozen', the Bjork one and that Placebo one are beautifully nuts. Maybe not 'scary' but certainly more disturbing than a cabbage and prune soup with a pint of stout. (Haven't seen the Squarepusher one or any others). Now it appears that there is some debate as to what flick he is directing, so... According to '' - the official movie site put up around June this year - CC is the director. They reprint an article from 'Wired' in which CC states what a fan he is and how he has already storyboarded the film. Gibson is quoted as saying CC is 'a genius - he's just the man for the job'. Coming Attractions has listed 'Snow Crash' as a dead project and the director who was slated is someone I've not come across. So, if anyone has additional new info about CC and these projects - I would love to see something by Stephenson make it to the screen; what about 'The Diamond Age'? - post and provide some sources! As for the earlier vile/bile debate, well, I'm going to be Mr Pedantic and suggest 'bile' is correct. To spew is to vomit and bile is, in my vast 4 in the morning experience, what often comes up, hence the match of the two words. The phrase means, I guess, that the commentator is making a comment so mean that it is, metaphorically, akin to bringing up something nasty and acidic straight from the gut. But who cares, really, if Moriarty uses a wrong word here and there? He is, after all, an evil genius and maybe an evil genius really can spew 'vile'! Someone give him ten pizzas and something that is 'whayffer theeen' and let's stand back....

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by jbreen

    'Cos I was bought up proper-like let me apologise for the double-posting of my previous long post. I will now take the offending IBM PC out to a disused car lot and none-too-kindly kick the living crap out of it until I recieve assurances that no such thing as waiting five minutes to post a message and then coughing up a complete lie of an error message will ever happen again. What's that flashing light? Don't even think about blue-screening on me, you complete bas

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Where was the Green Mile Screening?

    by DarthJoe

    What theater in Scottsdale was the Green Mile Screening at? Does anyone know?

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Moriarty Report

    by SegueZagnut

    I congratulate Moriarty on his decision to 'upscale' his reviews. I think he makes it clear that bad FILMS will be shredded for the filth that they are. Gone will be the kind of personal attacks that humiliate or degrade a person... not the work. It is simple and professional. The difference between websites that will grow with the web and those that will stay stagnant is maturity. Thank You Moriarty for helping AICN grow.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Shoeshine Boys

    by Martini

    I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of the movie's first premieres in Hollywood and I thought it was great! This movie definitely needs to be seen!

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Shoeshine Boys

    by Persnaps

    I have heard so much about this movie on the Stern show and I'm so excited that I am FINALLY going to get to see it! This movie needs a nationwide release and SOON!!!!!!

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Cryptonomicon, Not Snowcrash

    by sunriseman

    Actually, he was talking about Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, not Snowcrash. Which I slogged through a couple months ago. Nice World War II story, puny ideas about our near future. If it's a choice between Neuromancer and that, the choice is clear!

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 9:05 p.m. CST

    To thine own self be true.

    by Stefka

    You gotta be honest in your reviews. I feel that it is in the de facto mission statment of this site. If that involved being "god damn mean" then so be it. Are you writing for the film makers or the fans?

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 9:29 p.m. CST

    This aint kindergarden


    Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick kids. Why the hell would anyone be lenient on a bad movie. Independent films are different than big budget films, but a bad film is a bad film. Instead of giving them ** stars should we give them an E+ for effort. You do not have to attack the makers of the film (wether it be indy or Hollywood) but you can attack the movie based on the fact that it is poorly written/directed/acted/shot/edited/produced/or even fucking catered if that floats your boat. Why the hell is AICN going so soft all the sudden. On a totally different note if anyone has the chance to see The Underground Comedy Movie do so. That movie was as funny as a Teletubbies porno.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Neuromancer Movie: Better never than late

    by Captain Harlock

    A film of Gibson's NEUROMANCER? <YAWN> ...that is so late-eighties. Somebody should clue Chris Cunningham in to the fact that the whole Cyberpunk thing is about as hip as the Charleston... JOHNNY MNEMONIC, anyone?

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Thank you, and Congratulations

    by Chasuk

    Moriarty, I take my hat off to you. Thank you for your integrity. Fuck all of the sub-humans who don't understand that it is possible to give an unfavorable review without being vicious. Bile is easy and entertaining, but the job of the critic is not to entertain, but to inform. Give me the information about a movie in a literate and a concise manner, and _I_ will decide whether I am likley to enjoy the movie. Bile just interferes with the process. I don't know if many non-UK readers are familiar with Barry Norman, but that man was a genius. He could give 500 reasons for disliking a movie, and not one of them would display any prejudice.Sadly, I understand that Barry has retired. Moriarty, congratulations for heeding your conscience.

  • Sept. 2, 1999, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Shoe Shine Boys


    I'm a film student from UCLA who got the priviledge of an advance viewing of "Shoe Shine Boys." Original,powerful,awesome,disturbing,unforgetable! Who's the sexy red-head with the big lips? Looks like a high class porn star? Can't wait for this film to rock/shock the world/want to see it again!

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 2:33 a.m. CST

    A Little Off The Subject

    by Alex De Large

    I don't want to stray too far from the topics at hand, but I just wanted to see if I was the only one who hasn't recieved tickets to AMERICAN BEAUTY yet. It's been quite a while. I am really sorry to hear about the death of MR...Cruise and Damon would have been a fantastic pairing. Ohwell, maybe some other day. Keep up the good work Moriarty! It's always a pleasure to read every bit (yes, there are some of us) of your rumblings. Thanks!-Alex

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Morarity, thank you for mentioning the passing of Norman Wexler,

    by spike lee

    being on CNN's Entertainment Weekly Thursday night. Harry, you need to practice shelf management.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 8:19 a.m. CST


    by nightmonk

    Stephenson is a hack. Gibson can write, a trait lacked by so many scifi authors today. Narrative structure is one of his talents as well as mood and atmoshpere. Sci Fi needs better writers and fewer anoracks. Less Star Wars and Star Drek and more Ballard/Gibson/Attansio

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Intelligent Comedy -vs- Crap

    by cooper2000

    Here's my opinion on the Brooks/Sandler. I love Brooks early stuff.He cracks me up but his latest movie wasnt as funny as Id hoped. But any movie Brooks does is more clever than the crap Sandler does. People go and see crap like Big Daddy but they dont go see good movies like "Election" or "Go" or "Dick". I think thats what his point is. Hes just picking those names as examples. People always complain about quality but the lack of quality but then patronize crap.Sandler is the king of Crap.Brooks movies like Lost in America and Modern Romance are classics. Regarding Stiller, I think hes a real talent. I loved his show and I loved the Edge. I dont think people got it though. Too Intelligent!

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Sixth Sense

    by C-

    Loved it. Thot it was boring and slow in some parts. I got scared sometimes (I freaked out on Jurassic Park, so most anything scares me).Didn't catch on. Spent the rest of the night (lost sleep even) thinking about the movie, and how the ending related. great work! I think the bucks are coming in from all of us who want to see it again now that we know the ending!

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by nordak

    This movie blows QT away. The characters have dimension. There is sweat and dirt in its pores. It is referential without being derivative. Dig it.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Shoe Shine Boys

    by GVS

    I had the opportunity to see this film and was suprised at how good it was. Moriarty is right when he says that this film needs to be seen and should be picked up soon. The writing and acting are excellent, writer/director Mikki Willis and Actor R.J. Knoll are talents just waiting to be discovered.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 4:42 p.m. CST

    stupid shit will always be funny

    by Z

    always has been, always will be. Think about it. You fart, your girldfriend/boyfriend farts. It's a fact of life. No matter how cool you may think you are, if the guy/girl in the stall next to you rips a big one, it's hard to surpress a chuckle. That's not to say that farts are the only thing comedy can be. But fuckin A, neither is witticisms like "i've seen the future and it's a bald man from new york" (or however the quote goes). Comedy is about taking the ordinary aspects of life and surprising/shocking us with how ridiculous those aspects really are. Someone mentioned Sandler and his pissing on the wall antics. Now, I like Sandler, I don't think he's the funniest guy on two feet, but his stuff usually makes me laugh. Think about it. How many of you guys out there have ever peed on a wall (or in an alley on a wall?). Probably a pretty large percentage. The action is, kind of strange, passing your bodily fluids in a public, undesignated place. The act is made even more outrageous when someone watches you and objects. Sandler fires back with "do you mind?" or something to that extent. He's basically saying, "hey the WORLD is my toilet" something pretty shocking and weird, some might even laugh at the notion (especially when considering he's passing his antisocial practices on to an impressionable kid). Now I'm sure pretty much everyone got that joke without me having to explain it. But, a guy and a kid taking a leak against the wall is just as much a part of life as anything else. Point is, Woody Allen, or Albert Brooks comedy is no more or no less valid than the Farrelly Bros or Adam Sandler. They all point the finger at some of the stupid shit that we humans, Americans in particular, do. That, is comedy's job. Yeah it's great when comedy can show you social insight or meaningful relationships. But, it's just as great when it reminds us of the crude, monkey bastards that we all are.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Minority Report's Death?

    by Efihp

    Perhaps Moriarty is jumping the gun on Minority Report's demise. I just read that The Hollywood Reporter claims that Cate Blanchett may be co-starring in it.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 6:15 p.m. CST


    by DAS BOOB

    Here's a link to Chris Cunningham's video for Leftfield's, "Afrika Shox"...... the video only shows once every half hour so keep posted to showtimes.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 6:46 p.m. CST




  • Sept. 3, 1999, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Bjork Video

    by selinakyle

    Okay. You guys may hate me after I say this. You may want to come after me for even saying this, but I did really enjoy Chris Cunningham's work on several of the other videos he has worked on. Now - here is the part you execute me for. I hated the Bjork video. A friend and I even fought about it. While I found the rest of Cunningham's work great, this video is on my top ten list of most hated videos of all time. Okay - I said it. I had to get it off my chest. I feel better now. Please don't throw the tomatoes at me too fast - they hurt upon impact.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Minority Report , Indy 4, Breakfast of Champions

    by Vogue

    It was just reported that Cate Blanchett may sign to co-star in Minority Report, so I think the movie is far from dead and Moriarty is getting some bad info. Also, producer Ric McCallum is quoted as saying that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford have both cleared their schedules to shoot Indy 4 for a 2005 release. Strider 2000, Breakfast of Champions is scheduled for release at the end of Sept. or October from Buena Vista (either Touchstone or Hollywood Pictures). I believe you can download the trailer at Dark Horizons.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 8:41 p.m. CST

    The Mars projects

    by keeper

    I just hope one of these pulls away from the pack and presents a vision that isn't refracted by the current lackadaisical attitude toward space exploration. A Mars mission would present enough drama and excitement without bringing in some unnecessary element like an astronaut romance or some other melodramatic gimmick, but who knows? If anyone thinks they have a good vibe on any one of the 3 Mars feature motion picture projects, I would like to hear why. I need the encouragement at this point.

  • Sept. 3, 1999, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Three hours is a good thing?

    by etnabob

    Now I haven't seen The Green Mile so I don't know if a length of 3 hours is justified, but I have read the book(s) and I'm just not sure if there's 3 hours of story there. But I'll try to keep an open mind since I like Stephen King. It's just that if I sit there for that long, it better not just be "pretty good", it better be one of those movies that makes you feel as if your world has changed a little bit. Now that I'm whining, I might as well say I'm not psyched at looking at Tom Hanks for 3 hours either, already did that in "Gump", "Apollo 13" and "Saving Private Ryan" and I'm still convinced this guy's not an actor, just some class clown who got lucky.

  • Sept. 4, 1999, 7:27 a.m. CST

    An Idle Mind is the Devil's Worksho

    by bankee

    Moriarty is so right about Shoe Shine Boys. I saw it at the Egyptian theatre about 5 or 6 months ago and I liked it so much I stayed for the second screening. This movie is the kind you get more from after each viewing. This movie works on so many levels. Hurry up and get this movie out, I'm ready for another fix.

  • Sept. 4, 1999, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by Alessan

    To the guy who wants more Phillip K. Dick movies: well yeah, sure. More power to him. Bur bear in mind that he's already had two excellent movies made, which is two more than any of his rebel peers. How come Silverberg can't get any movies made? How about Niven & co.? LeGuin? And what's with my favorite - The Man himself, Roger Zelazny? No, Damnation Alley does NOT count. I'm talking about Creatures of Light and Darkness, for example. Now that would blow Hollywood's mind, wouldn't it? It seems that you have to be Dick, Heinlein or Clarke to have your books transformed into big budget films. There are other writers out there - dead and alive - who are just as good, and deserve a chance.

  • Sept. 6, 1999, 10:22 p.m. CST

    sci fi's and whispers

    by jbreen

    Well, I don't know about Stephenson being a hack. The Big Guy writes in a fashion reminiscent of Pynchon and John Barth - big, sweeping narratives with a hint of nineteenth century in their picaresque concerns. I guess this makes him not to everyone's liking, but his skills in putting together descriptive passages, his broad humour, his ability to pull together diverse genre styles - well, he is technically too proficient to call a hack. And there is too much going on in the ebb and flow of his novels to suggest his work is hack-ish or stupid. I am surprised that someone who appreciates A.A. Attanasio would suggest that. Having said that - I sure as Hell agree that it is odd that we're not getting a great deal of class sf films when there are so many terrific works in that genre. Even Gibson (I don't think 'Neuromancer' being 'of a time' means that it won't work as a film. If I worried about that I wouldn't watch or read 'The Time Machine'! And who knows how Gibson and Cunningham will treat it now? Gibson's recent work has been more quiet and gritty; less concerned with the sleekness of the cyberworld, but more interested in it's underbelly and maybe 'Neuromancer: The Film' will reflect that. His X-Files episode was damn fine and his contribution to Mnemonic was diluted - so I'm more than happy to wait and see.) Same can be said about fantasy really - with the exception of LOTR there are few written works of quality transferred to celluloid. Why not George R.R. Martin or John Crowley or Sheri Tepper or...well, quite a few people, actually. And sf and fantasy for kids - what do they get - Mugrats and such. Fine as far as it goes, but it sure would be nice to see the Earthsea series or Phil Pullman's stuff bought to the screen; Wizards of Oz for the new millenium. Now that would be something.

  • Sept. 7, 1999, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Shoe Shine Boys

    by Cinderella

    I love this film! I too was lucky enough to catch its premier. It's movies like this that make me devoted to indies. Grab your cohorts and support the cutting-edge!

  • Sept. 8, 1999, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Shoe Shine Boys

    by Crickle77

    I think that the movie Shoe Shine Boys is an excellent film and it should deffinatly be brought into theaters nationwide! I love the cast and think that the plot was hilarious! And once again... PUT THIS MOVIE ON THE BIG SCREEN SO THAT ALL MY FRIENDS(and yours too)CAN SEE IT! Peace, Crickle

  • Sept. 13, 1999, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Edward Ford Reference in Limey - Where?

    by Taoboy

    Having seen The Limey twice and read Lem Dobbs' script "Edward Ford" I feel woefully inadequate for having missed the reference to same that you made in your review. What was it? Thanks in advance.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by Sophie

    As a boomer who loves films, I've seen some great ones over the years (and a few duds,of course). Lemme tellya, SHOE SHINE BOYS is one of my faves! It's a zany and refreshing indie--kept me guessing 'til the end ! Frequently BIG BUDGET = BIG BOMB so it was great to see such a fun and different movie.... I don't know what else these people have done, but they deserve a chance to show their stuff--imagine what they could do with a bigger wallet !!!

  • Sept. 3, 2006, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Mercy! I do believe that Moriarty has the vapors!

    by Wolfpack