Movie News

Shunderson and Quint see THE GREEN MILE

Published at: Sept. 26, 2006, 6:02 p.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here with a couple of reports in on THE GREEN MILE... This first one by Shunderson isn't so much a review as much as it is coverage of the Directors Guild Of America screening that was held yesterday that also had a Q&A afterwards. As for the review here... That's left up to Quint, that squanching seaman from four fathoms down, here we go...

Today, there was a screening of the Green Mile at the DGA in LA, and after the 4 o'clock screening Frank Darabont himself came up to speak, interviewed by Jeremy Kagan.

I'll touch on the most interesting things Mr. Darabont talked about, first there was a standing ovation for the film and Frank, and then came the questions on the casting, especially Michael Clark "like the drink, not spelled like it, Coffey" Duncan. Who should be nominated for an Oscar for his role as James Coffey. And as has been previously mentioned, Bruce Willis was instrumental in bringing Duncan to the attention of Castle Rock and Frank Darabont. As Duncan and Willis were working on Armageddon, and Bruce was reading the Green Mile at the time.

Spoilers ahead...

Frank said that he then met with Duncan a couple of times before they finally decided on him. Frank also mentioned that there were two moments in the film that had to work, or they could have a "silly" movie on their hands, both involved Duncan. The first scene was when Coffey talks to James Cromwell's wife for the first time, and tells her that he "sees" her tumor. The second scene involves Coffey as he explains why he wants to be executed. Both of the moments were pulled off brilliantly by Duncan, and Frank still says "oh my God" everytime he sees the "glass in my head" speech made by Duncan.

Interestingly enough, when they were shooting the "glass in my head scene" with Duncan, Frank says that they started out with the master shot, very wide. But that Duncan just nailed the scene, so they went right for the close up that is in the movie, and they only shot that scene a couple of times.

In regards to the rehearsals for the movie, on Shawshank, they had two weeks, but that with Green Mile, he didn't feel like they needed much rehearsal.

A question about his working habits with Stephen King was brought up, and Frank said that he wrote the script, sent a copy to Stephen, he read it and said, "Good luck." To which Frank replied, "It's good to be trusted." Frank also had good words to say about Castle Rock and the fact that they didn't interfere at all with the movie.

When asked about the length of the film, which clocks in at 165 minutes, Frank said that after the Scottsdale, AZ test screening, which WB says was the best test screening they ever had, Frank had no problems.

Frank has the highest praise for his crew, especially his DP, David Tattersall, his production designer, Terence Marsh, who after Frank saw that he worked on Lawrence of Arabia, wondered why he would want to work on Shawshank, and his editor Richard Francis-Bruce, who Frank trusts so much that he stopped watching the dallies on Green Mile, and said that Richard would have told him if something was wrong.

Also, shooting, which was done mostly indoors on sets designed by Terence Marsh, all except for the Warden's office, was hard because there were so many people in different areas of the "green mile" set. For instance, when Tom Hanks brings in corn bread for Coffey, it is only a two page scene, but there is coverage of Coffey in his cell, Eduard Delacroix in his cell, and "Billy the Kid" in his cell. And there was a part with David Morse and Tom Hanks in the beginning of the scene that had to be cut.

Plus there were the problems of shooting through prison bars, and keeping the actors eyes visible at all time, or it gets weird, says Frank Darabont, it just creeps you out.

There was a question from the audience, interestingly enough, posed by Fred Savage of "The Wonder Years" fame, he asked about the scenes of movies within his movies. Most notably the scene of Fred Astaire in his famous "cheek to cheek" song and dance and it's use in the Green Mile. Apparently this was created by Frank for the Green Mile. He said that there was a scene in the book in which the old Paul Edgecombe was watching a Richard Widmark movie, in a retirement home, which reminded him of Percy Wetmore. But instead, in the movie, Frank used the Astaire "pure, good moment" to trigger Paul's memory, and later shows the origin of the memory when Coffey sees a movie for the first time.

And to wrap it up, I liked the movie, but it's not perfect.

SHUNDERSON.

And now we go to Quint who squanches like none other...

Hey, there Constant Readers, everybody's favorite crusty seaman and world class squancher here once again, this time with a review of a film that is probably the most anticipated film left in 1999, The Green Mile.

I'll skip the usual intro. stuff as to how I got to see the movie. It's pretty boring this time (while I was dropping some chum markers I got a call on the CB aboard the Orca telling me when and where, etc.) and I know that some picky talkbackers don't like the adventurous storytelling before their reviews. Now, I'm not cutting it short to appease those talkbackers, but like I said before, it was pretty boring.

Anyway, I've been a huge Stephen King fan since I started reading more adult novels back in the kiddie scissors class days. I've read every novel he's published, some more than once. I, like most of you, ate up the Green Mile every month when each 100 page book came out a year or two ago. I just love the spell that King can cast over me when I read his novels. I love his diversity. I can read IT, then pick The Body (Stand By Me), Green Mile, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, or even his darker Bachman books (of which The Long Walk is my favorite). The one thing all his novels have in common, and the reason why it's so easy for him to do different types of novels and short stories, is the incredible way he can realize a character. That's the key to all of his novels. He writes terrific, interesting characters. Since he can right these characters, he doesn't need to depend on the horror formula, or the sci-fi formula or the drama formula to move his story along. And he was in top form in this department with Green Mile, as most of you know.

What most of you might not be so sure of is that Frank Darabont was also in top form realizing King's terrifically flawed and vulnerable characters to script format. And Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb, Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey ("Like the drink, 'sept spelt diffrent"), David Morse as Brutal, etc are all in top form in putting flesh to the characters put forth by King and then by Darabont. The Green Mile is one of those instances where the planets align just perfectly, the stars glow brighter and the world is just a happier place. King wrote a great book. The great book got into the right hands and a great script came forth. The great script got to right actors and just like that, with a little help via a terrific score, you have The Green Mile, which more than lives up to the hype it has already developed.

I'm going to take it that most of you reading this review already know the plotline, have either heard what the movie's about or read the books or even that early draft of the script that was floating around out there. If you don't know what the film's about, then go check out www.imdb.com and do a search on Green Mile. You'll get what you're looking for there.

Tom Hanks-Jesus, this guy's greedy! Tom, honestly, do you really need all those Oscars? Do you? Why do you keep making it so hard for other actors to compete? I mean, honestly! I know you said you needed that row in the garage so they'll reflect the headlights so you don't bump into the wall, but c'mon! Give someone else a chance, will ya'!

Michael Clarke Duncan- Yeah, yeah. That big guy from Armageddon. Know what I say to that? So-the-fuck-what? This movie also stars a man that started his career cross-dressing on TV. Michael Duncan is just magical in this movie. If he hadn't worked out, The Green Mile wouldn't have worked out. He had the burden of being the heart and soul of this movie, granted he was helped out along the way by Tom Hanks and Mr. Jingles... but the point is he effortlessly pulled it off. I never for one moment during the whole 3 hours of this movie thought, "Hey, look. There's Bear in a jail cell." He will forever be John Coffey for me. When Coffey was hurt, you saw the pain in his eyes, you heard it in his voice, you saw it in the tremble of his lip. When he was happy, you could just see the joy pouring out of him. I'm not too terribly big on throwing around phrases like "Oscar-calibre performance" but if the shoe fits...

Those were the big two. I could go on for thousands of words about the rest, but I'll spare ya' that. Suffice it to say that the supporting cast is just as great. Harry Dean Stanton rocks as Old Toot, Bonnie Hunt is great as Edgecomb's wife, Michael Jeter is terrific as Del, a guy that doesn't have the greatest time in the world in this flick. The list goes on: Willem Dafoe, Gary Sinise, James Cromwell... all give career high performances.

All right, I left out one star. Mr. Jingles. It's amazing what this actor can do. I can't wait to see what he does next.

What about the effects? How do the flies look? I know there's been some worries about making the flies (you know what this is if you've read the book and if you haven't, then you will know soon enough) too CGI. I can attest that they do not look fake and do not hinder, only heighten, the film.

I think I've made it abundantly clear that I love this movie. I know some people won't like the 3 hr. running time. Pardon me, but fuck 'em. And shame on them! This is a great movie, with great characters, a great story, great music, and with Quint's world record (in 1999) for the highest number of amazing performances in one single movie. If all you have to not like about this movie is that it makes your butt hurt, then just quit your bitchin'.

In all seriousness, though, if you liked Shawshank Redemption, you'll go ape-shit over Green Mile. I hope all of you Constant Readers enjoy this movie as much as I did. I can't wait to see it again. I love the way this movie made me feel and makes me feel still. If you can get that same experience out of the film, then you'll know exactly what I mean and be spouting off like a madman (or Crusty Seaman for that matter) just like I've been doing in this whole review. Green Mile is case in point why films are made. Every once in a while, you'll get a Green Mile, or a Cuckoo's Nest, or a Shawshank. It makes putting up with Pokemon and the like easier to handle.

Till next time, Constant Readers, this is Quint. Over and out.

-Quint

aicnquint@hotmail.com

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 5, 1999, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Can't wait...

    by Gag Halfrunt

    Shawshank is quite simply one of the finest movies ever made...Darabont's follow-up will have a lot to live up to, but it's looking good...can it beat Shawshank though? Is it as good, or even better? Does anybody whose seen The Green Mile care to tell us?

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Green Mile

    by Emily Jane

    This was a very strong film, but I think a lot of credit should go to the supporting cast, rather than only Hanks. His is the face on all the posters, but the work of Doug Hutchinson, Michael Jeter, MCD, and David Morse that really give this film a lot of its soul. And as for the 3 hour running time- in my screening, there was quite a lot of fidgeting during the Mr. Jingles bits. Not every line of a book need to be translated on to film for a adaptation to be successful and true to both the book and the director's vision. Overall, though, a great picture.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a winner can't wait!

    by sinople

    can't wait for my mini butt numb a thon next week! This will be almost as cool as the William Castle film fest at The Hollywood w/ the gimmicks!

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 11:22 a.m. CST

    "Like the drink, sept spelled diffrent."

    by Rhames111

    Is this going to be this years "Life is like a box of chocolahts,...". Everytime someone mentions John Coffey, they have the need to quote the character. The book is perfect, and hopefully the movie will be also.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Answer to Hag's Question

    by Quint

    I love both Shawshank and Green Mile pretty much equally. They are very different films, though. At least as different as 2 Stephen King prison novel adaptations can be. :) Green Mile has elements of the supernatural in it, whereas Shawshank was a more traditional film. Both are brilliant character studies... If I had to pick my favorite character between the 2 films, I'd go with John Coffey. If I could watch either one right this very second... I'd probably pick Green Mile again, but that's probably just because it's still new to me. I've seen Shawshank countless times. I've only seen Green Mile once. So, the answer is Green Mile is either right on par with Shawshank or slightly above, in my view, of course. Oh, and I agree with one of the above posters who said that Hanks wasn't the only driving force behind the film. I really wanted to go into more David Morse and Jeter, etc., but I thought the review was running a little long and like it or not, most people want to read more about Tom Hanks than David Morse. But, I'll take this talkback space to declare that the movie wouldn't have been as good without any of the supporting cast members that had any amount of screentime in the movie. -Q

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 4:17 p.m. CST

    saw the film on Wednesday..

    by BlueHarlequin

    four words.. Frank Darabont is God.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this one...

    by All Thumbs

    The more I read about this film (even the so-so reviews), the more I want to see it. All I have to do is make it through finals week, then I'm home free to Xmas shop and take in all the wonderful holiday movies (and rentals)! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas when there's a bunch of great films floating around the theatres.***So far, on the Best Actor Oscar probablies list is: Malkovich (my pick for winner), Spacey (if the Academy gets their collective head out of their collective ass this year and starts nominating films like American Beauty), Hanks...and who else? (Also, did anyone ever find it strange that one year when Four Weddings and a Funeral was nominated for Best Picture? What was up with that? Sorry for the off-post, but it just popped into my head as an example of the strange things the Academy does.)

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Oscar

    by Hotspur

    you ask "who else?" All Thumbs. I'll tell you. It will hopefully be Jim Carrey but no matter how great he might be the winner will be: ...Richard Farnsworth for "The Straight Story". And o yeah unfortunately John Malkovich won't be nominated. So the nominees are: Jim Carrey, Kirk Douglas, Richard Farnsworth, Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey. And you can bet on that!

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Oh man...

    by All Thumbs

    It's official, I'm trolling...anyways...I can't believe I left out Jim Carrey! Though...Farnsworth is a good possibility...I think it will be Spacey who is left out, though I hope not, OR Douglas because there hasn't been enough "hype" yet and those persons at the Academy seem to be all about hyped movies and roles lately. Heather Donahue for Best Actress!!! (just kiddin'!)

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Farnsworth is a Lock--here's why

    by Jed

    I loved American Beauty, I read the leaked draft of the green mile a year ago (I'm not a king reader so I had no idea what it was) and the ending made me weep. The End All Be All of my Existence is the theatrical release of Magnolia. But Richard Farnsworth will win best actor this year. His age and pedigree in the hollywood community assure it. He's also not a 20-million-dollar-a-picture actor, which a lot of academy members who can barely pay their rents tend to resent. All that aside, it was just an incredible performance.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Beware this man:

    by L'Auteur

    He is posing as LaneMyers. He has cracked the user ID system and spilled the know-how on the Spiderman posts. He is armed and considered extremely dangerous. This message wil self-destruct.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 8 p.m. CST

    bad reviews for Green Mile

    by dragonard

    I found Green Mile to be a bloated, pretentious, tedious New Age bore that made "Shawshank Redemption" look like a masterpiece by comparison. Reviews from the significant critics (as opposed to the rent-a-quote gang featured in ads so far) are beginning to come out. Richard Corliss in Time just came out with a pan (" it feels like a life sentence") and I am reliably informed that Newsweek will be even more scathing this week. Expect most of the remaining top critic reviews to be less than raves, with more pans to come in. Also, my guess is that the film will not satisfy audiences after the first exposure, and word of mouth will lead to a fast fade and decrease of Oscar talk (apart from what the mixed reviews do). This still could be a best film nominee, but it is teetering.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 8 p.m. CST

    bad reviews for Green Mile

    by dragonard

    I found Green Mile to be a bloated, pretentious, tedious New Age bore that made "Shawshank Redemption" look like a masterpiece by comparison. Reviews from the significant critics (as opposed to the rent-a-quote gang featured in ads so far) are beginning to come out. Richard Corliss in Time just came out with a pan (" it feels like a life sentence") and I am reliably informed that Newsweek will be even more scathing this week. Expect most of the remaining top critic reviews to be less than raves, with more pans to come in. Also, my guess is that the film will not satisfy audiences after the first exposure, and word of mouth will lead to a fast fade and decrease of Oscar talk (apart from what the mixed reviews do). This still could be a best film nominee, but it is teetering.

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 10 p.m. CST

    dragonard

    by Loki Trickster

    Well, the "significant critics" may pan the movie, but if you log onto www.rotten-tomatoes.com, a site that rates how a movie has been graded by critics, it's got a hundred percent...not one negative review (as of Sunday, 9pm)...granted, most of the reviews are from AICN and Dark Horizon, not the significant critics who decide what is really good or not (rather than us viewers)...but that's what the majority of us are, so every indication seems to point that us peons are going to love the film...we'll leave the complaining for the others. -Loki

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Most of you here are hypocrites

    by Lazarus Long

    I'll have to side with the critics of Time, Newsweek, and Variety over whoever they're including in that 100%. Who's in there, Joe Bob Briggs? All of you here rant about how "Shakespeare In Love" and "The English Patient" were unworthy of a best picture award, and you rip on all things formula and Hollywood, yet I see so many ready to take a long hard one in the ass for Castle Rock, Tom "Captain America" Hanks and the rest of these good ol' boys. Must I mention that the above two films mentioned were exceptional source material, TEP's Booker-Prize winning novel, and a script co-written by Tom "Brazil" Stoppard. Both films did not insult the intelligence of the viewer and were not out strictly to entertain, but did anyway. "Shakespeare", despite what fanboys may say, was a very, very funny film. You should be thankful that independent films (yes, independent! no big stars!) are even able to win Oscars. Yet "The Green Mile", which looks like it is going to have every big-movie cliche in the book is getting all this support. Stop criticizing the studio system and then bowing down to it. Tom Hanks is not an artist. Darabont is shaping up to be the new Frank Capra, which isn't exactly an insult, but it ain't Howard Hawks or Welles either. Don't believe the hype! American Beauty and Malkovich and Fight Club are ORIGINAL visions that show there is life left in the medium. Shawshank and Green Mile, while both examples of good filmmaking, only show that they can be made like they used to. Wouldn't you rather make one like they've never been able to before?

  • Dec. 5, 1999, 11:59 p.m. CST

    RE: Lazarus

    by mrbeaks

    I agree completely with your praise of SIL and TEP; however, calling anyone the next Capra would be high praise, indeed. It ain't Hawks? Even though he did direct one of my favorite films (HIS GIRL FRIDAY,) I wouldn't put him in the master class with Welles. Leave that for the likes of Hitchcock, Ford, Kurosawa, and Ray. There are others, but I just can't elevate Hawks. He made RIO BRAVO, after all.

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 12:11 a.m. CST

    The Big "E"

    by Prosmooth

    Ne1 hear what kind of a review Ebert gave it this weekend on his show?

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Great flick but it was almost the same

    by AustinDaze

    as the swawshank redemtion. Does anyone else agree that they are almost identical cookie cuts of one another?

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Thomas Newman

    by mr_ripley

    I am glad someone mentioned the score to this film. That is one of the elements of this film that I am most looking forward to. Thomas Newman is (in my humble opinion) the best film composer working. His music for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION gave that film its soul. His work on LITTLE WOMEN actually made me sad that Claire Danes had died (which is quite an accomplishment). His latest work is featured in the two Oscar forerunners, AMERICAN BEAUTY and THE GREEN MILE. Forget Williams. Hail NEWMAN!

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Oscar predictions...

    by gilmour

    You guys are forgetting Denzel washington looks like a lock for "the Hurricane" and I think Bob hoskins deserves one for "Felicia's Journey"

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 1:45 a.m. CST

    lazarus

    by leopold

    Come on now. American Beauty? The Fight Club? Original? Ech. I enjoyed them, but come on. Three stars, both of them. American Beauty was a triumph of contentless form. It was beautiful, yes, but it was also packed full of stereotypes and lame anti-suburban rhetoric. The Fight Club was a triumph of music-video-violence satire. It was also neat, but full of simplistic psychology and motivationless angst. I think 1998 was the year that subtlety, restraint and a refined sensibility in American film went out the window. But that's not my point. In the midst of all of this, we have the national consciousness proclaiming what is and is not wonderful in movies. I haven't read anything but good reviews of TGM. But I don't care. I'm young, but I've been alive long enough and learned enough now to realize how bound popular critics are to fashionable trends. I watched in the past five years as critics turned on the sensibilities they once called "important." So forget independent film for a minute--that's was trend also, wasn't it? The point of film is not to make what has not been made before. You can't remake something. That's foolish. It's never the same. The context changes, always. So why force yourself into making an empty work of art? Then movies like the above, trying so hard to be iconoclastic, just sound naive and adolescent to one who really appreciates things like depth of character and narrative technique. They just end up dating themselves. Not to mention the fact that the only thing driving such motives is a fundamental meanness toward one's audience. "Shakespeare in Love" was bad because it was shallow, heartless and unfocused. And, very, very funny, it was also aimed right at those same masses who lapped it up--just like they do Tom "Captain America" Hanks. "Shawshank" started small, made almost no money, earned its following on video and is just now being recognized for what it is: a classic of realist filmmaking. It is honest, unprentious and careful. And sentimental, yes. But I don't recall sentimentality being a trend. Generalizations, apparently, are.

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Well...

    by Gag Halfrunt

    Not much of a comment, more an observation...and a question...Shawshank is now considered an absolute classic (judginf by comments here and the public concensus in general). And rightly so...what other 90's films could we describe as classic? Just wondering...

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Shawshank... "realist" filmmaking??

    by acamp

    Shawshank is "realist" filmmaking?? You're kidding, right? And SIL is unfocused and heartless??? *sigh* It's amazing how differently people can see things sometimes. I love Shawshank, but I would never, ever call it realist filmmaking. More than anything, it feels like one of Spielberg's slicker efforts. Not that there's anything wrong with that... It feels as if it were made by a movie geek who grew up with only a Hollywood notion of prison life. And I must defend SIL: that was one of the finest screenplays produced this decade. And not just because it had a bunch of thee's and thou's and corsets. For once I thought Hollywood did the right thing by giving the oscar to SIL, rather than to Spielberg's excellent - but IMHO overrated - SPR.

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 11:30 a.m. CST

    To whom it may concern

    by mitsurugi777

    I'm sorry leopold and cuthbert51 if you didn't get the point of Fight Club; you missed one awesome movie. And Braveheart was the worst movie to win best picture in thirty years? Although i believe Dead Man Walking was the best movie that year, Braveheart was a close second. I still can't believe Silence of the Lambs, the Unforgiven or English Patient won. As far as saying the Jesus story was fiction, dude just look at all the evidence and facts. Out!!!!

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Sorry to disappoint ya, but...

    by DisneyLover

    I saw an advance screening of this over-produced piece of crap at my school (I won't say which one, but think Felicity), and I've never been so tested in my life. First of all, the length is DISGUSTING!!! It could have been about an hour shorter, if they really tried to cut out the fluff that kept this movie from achieving it's highest points. I am the most die-hard Shawshank Redemption fan you'll ever meet. Let me get that out of the way right now. I have the following things to say: Tom Hanks was very good (not great), he was certainly not Oscar-worthy; Patricia Clarkson is better than Jesus; Michael Jeter is welcome in any movie; and the mouse-OOH!- loved it; other than that this movie fell flat on its ass and was embarrassment to the Steven King family of movies (my favorites of which being Carrie and Misery). But you can totally tell that The Green Mile is a book with pictures, and there's a big difference between seeing a movie and just watching a book. A movie has real action and stellar performances, while a movie w/ pictures is long, draggy, and pretentious. the very nature of the story IS literary, so maybe filmifying TGM wasn't the best idea ever. You can take the girl out of the farm...

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Ignore the critics

    by Peejay

    Frankly I cannot believe that people would base there willingness to see a movie upon what a critic would say. Who CARES what so called "important" critics think? I mean really, who gives a damn. Action movies are usually more fun when critics hate them. Everyone needs to start making up there own minds. There is so much hype over this film that it will of course bring out those who want to trash it for no other reason than to get a rise out of people.

  • If you want to see the Green Mile, save yourself 10$ and rent the Amazing Stories episode 'Life On Death Row' from 1985. Patrick Swayze was 100 times better as the innocent death row inmate with the power to heal, and his execution and ressurection scenes were a lot more powerful. If it makes you Stephen King fans feel better, this episode was directed by the same guy who did Sleepwalkers and The Stand...

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Best Pictures

    by BadAshe

    I have been reading all of the posts and I have been amazed that it hasn't completely fallen into the typical type of debates that go on here. Cuthbert: I agree with you on Fight Club. Entertaining, but that was about all. Now I do have to contend with your Unforgiven view. First off, Gene Hackman more than earned that award for Best Supporting. He was vicious as Little Bill. Any other actor in that role wouldn't have been able to mix that level of charm and hidden wickedness so perfectly. His last line was pure greatness. "I don't deserve to die like this..." Now granted, I am an Eastwood fan. Hell, I've even had his beer. That movie, for me anyway, had more emotional impact, than any other movie I have seen in a while (unless revulsion counts). Now, back to the Academy. The single biggest insults as far as acting go were not nominating Depp or Pacino for Donnie Brasco and nominating no one from L.A. Confidential. Is it just me, or was I the only one that wanted Cromwell to look down at Pearce at the end in the motel and say, "That'll do pig." It works on so many levels!!!!

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 3:50 p.m. CST

    "What fools these mortal be"

    by Lazarus Long

    Shakespeare in Love is shallow and heartless? Interesting. You know, I think using the text of "Romeo and Juliet" and juxtapositioning it with a fictional depiction our greatest writer in his own love affair is perhaps a slightly greater achievement than adapting the Green Mile. Great adaptions, like "L.A. Confidential" happen when the screenwriter is able to spot "filler" that may be good for a book, but not in a film. I'd have more respect for Darabont if he'd pared the 10-volume serial down to a 2 hour film. I think the backlash towards Fight Club & American Beauty stems from people who resent the fact that they are being told they are living meaningless lives controlled by the stifling of suburbia, consumerism, whatever. When people argue that the films aren't really saying much, they're right: It should be obvious what our culture has turned into, and it's a shame that that simple observation is lost on the masses. And maybe it does take a couple films to address the 20-35. and the 35-50 age group and say "Open up your fucking eyes!" I would have to say that while Fight Club may be over the top, Fincher is a visionary, and to say the film isn't well made shows a lack of imagination, knowledge about the filmmaking process, etc. Europeans who aren't so defensive about being a part of this culture's vacuum are giving the film high praise (see the awesome review/interview in Film Comment). Again, Darabont is a good filmmaker, BUT HE DOES NOTHING NEW. One more think about Shakespeare in Love: it's rare that a film balances high-brow and low-brow humor so well so as not to insult our intelligence, but also not be too stiff and dry. Sad that more can't acknowledge that achievement.

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Do more research

    by mitsurugi777

    Hey Cuthbert51 have you read any apologetic books? If we don't agree on what is a good movie that's okay but when it comes to religion it is my duty to defend my beliefs. Just to give you one example, Josephus one of the most famous Jewish historians, wrote in the book of antiquities that there was a man named Jesus that did many miracles and his followers called themselves Christians. Even though Josephus did not believe he was the son of God, and he believed Jesus was working magic, he at least acknowledged his existence and his supernatural acts. That is just one example of thousands that can be found if researched. I know crap on TBN rarely talk about these kind of things, instead rely on hokey sets and lame preaching. But i encourage any reading this post that has any doubts, to go research these things for yourselvesl

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Never judge a film by its cover...age.

    by Akdov Telmig

    Those who base any kind of determination upon the opinions of others, should never be mistaken as an individual. What follows are a couple of quick statements that, I hope, will fill some holes in this discussion. Film Quality: It would be in error to compare this film to Shawshank. Even though both films have the same origin, in both print and screen form, they are wholey original and unique experiences. Personally, I liked Green Mile for its strong narrative and inspired cast, and Shawshank for its episodic nature and glorious Freeman monologues. If posed with a hypothetical about having to choose one for a favorite, I would question the neccessity for an answer to such a worthless querry, and would advise the presenter of the quiz to find a more constructive way of quenching curiosity and their need for attention. Oscar: Tom Hanks' performance in this picture in on par with that of Apollo 13. A nomination, perhaps, but no win. Michael Clark Duncan has a very good chance to win in the supporting actor category, and should be grouped with hopefuls Hailey Joel Osment(sixth sense), John Malkovich(Being himself), Tom Cruise(magnolia), and Chris Cooper(American beauty). Predicting the noms for The Greatest Farce on Earth, is not a strenuous effort. Giving props: One performance from Green Mile that most reviews and talkbacks seem to be forgetting is that of Doug Hutchinson and his portrayal of Percy Whetmore. He epitomizes evil. I thought he was one of the stronger members of the supporting cast. Stephen King: An idea isn't stolen if it is built on and improved in the drastic way in which Green Mile did with that 30 minute Amazing Stories episode. I found the Swayze starrer to be even more melodramatic and sophmorically cliche than some mainstream critics are proporting Green Mile to be. The Story of Christ, retold?: Darabont, in a recent review, acknowledges the parallels to the TRUE story of Christ(no one can invalidate the HISTORICAL account of Jesus), and how it inspired the Green Mile series of books and the film from the very beginning. This is the second studio film to do so this year, The Matrix, being the first.

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Beuler? Beuller? Beuller? Dafoe?

    by KidSampson

    I read this script a few weeks ago and have pretty much all the character-to-actor connections pegged. I hadn't heard about Willem Dafoe's involvement until I read this report, though. Can anyone cofirm whether or not he is indeed in "The Green Mile" and, if so, who he plays? Thanks. KSamp.

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Answers...

    by ratso

    No, Dafoe is definately NOT in The Green Mile. Yes, the "smart" critics are having at it. No, it won't matter. Patrick Swayze? You want me to watch Patrick Swayze?!!!! Who do you THINK should be on the poster? It's beautiful!!! This is the shortest 3 hours you'll ever spend in a movie theatre...

  • Dec. 6, 1999, 10:25 p.m. CST

    the green mile is only o.k.

    by Dr. Thesis

    I'm sorry to say this, but please don't believe the hype you're hearing about The Green Mile. I saw it at a sneak preview at Penn State a few weeks ago, and while it may be a very good movie, it is not near Oscar worthy. I agree with the premis of the earlier respondants - the acting is stellar, the cast is amazing, and the story is quite good. The biggest problem with this movie is the pacing. It runs way too long for the story it was trying to tell. They really let alot of elements from subplots in the middle of the movie drag out the films length, and I really feel that it distracted from the final product. My own personal take on this is that they had a few too many stars in the film that demanded their own camera time. I was a bit dissapointed overall, especially considering the director's previous work - the masterpiece Shawshank Redemption. Now don't get me wrong, I still like the movie and think it's worthy of renting, and probably even going to the movies to see it, but this is no Oscar movie.

  • Dec. 7, 1999, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Dafoe Vs. Saddler

    by Quint

    Sorry about that. I had Saddler pictured when I was writing the review, but for some reason I typed Willem Dafoe. Let the record show that the crusty seaman fucked up and William Saddler plays the father of the 2 blond girls. -Q

  • Dec. 7, 1999, 10:18 a.m. CST

    cuthbert is a lame ass

    by BladeRunner7

    how can you say braveheart and unforgiven are bad movies??!!?!? i know that people are entitled to their opinion, but come on!! braveheart was one of the best films of all time, and unforgiven is by far the best western ever made. you suck. and i expect this movie to be not as good as shawshank, but i am hoping it will be a worthy successor. and what is with the stephen king is plagiariazer thing? no he isnt. just because some of his subject matter may not be original, that does not make him a fake. and how many authors have such a diversity as king; he goes from IT to the body to misery to whatever the hell else he has done; ALL DIFFFERENT!!!!

  • Dec. 7, 1999, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Darabont vs. other directors, etc.

    by The Gline

    One of the comments posted on Talk Back ran to the effect that while Darabont had done a workmanlike job of directing "Green Mile", he hadn't done anything really remarkable with it. My answer: It is not a director's obligation to always make a film that explodes off the screen and throttles you with the sheer mind-mangling power of its vision, or somesuch. Sometimes that's needed and sometimes the director needs to just put his stylistic urges on hold, stand out of the way, and tell a good story. I like a stylistic tour-de-force as much as the next guy, but it isn't always what suits the material. To go over the top with "Green Mile" sounds like a big mistake. But... it does sound like somewhere along the way they needed to frankly discard the maze of subplots and tell the core story without distraction in a trimmer package. As someone who's tried to write his own movies, I know how tough this is: it's like packing the trunk you're taking with you on vacation, and you wind up throwing in everything you were trying to get away from. You find it very hard to let go of stuff you're attached to. The trick to that is to simply wait a bit, come back to the story, and find out you're not in love with some of the pieces anymore, and can then do a more workmanlike job of throwing things out and simplifying. But with today's we-need-this-in-five-weeks production schedules, how many screenwriters have the time to do something like that? None, evidently.

  • Dec. 7, 1999, 5:55 p.m. CST

    late reply (lazarus)

    by leopold

    Well, realist in execution if not in intention. As "On the Waterfront" was--another spiritual story. Okay, pin me down. The Fight Club was a better movie than American Beauty. I actually liked it--especially the ending: "starting from ground zero." I think Fincher has great potential in him. I personally think he's going to be one of the greats in the next century. But you know, I was trying to make a point. Anyway. But the fact that I would dislike a movie because it revealed the fears about my own shallow life? Assuming that I am a part of the consumer materialist worlds that FC and AB depict, of course. Well, first of all, let's forget the fact that FC was trying to undermine its own critique of consumerist culture. And then, before you call AB original maybe you should go back and read every piece of Victorian literature produced by her majesty's late late empire between 1875-1900. Then come back and call AB original. Then maybe take a stroll with David Lynch. Then come back and call AB original. Read John Cheever. Even Gen. X., for God's sake, that self-pity is in there, too. It's the same upper-middle-class self-flagellation that is the hallmark of a dominating and overfed social group. I thought SIL was shallow and heartless because it could decide whether it was a satire or a serious love story. It seemed like a one-trick pony combined with "Forces of Nature" to me. But it certainly wasn't Romeo and Juliet. But for a culture to produce movies that say nothing except a critique of itself . . . I can't abide that. It's shallow and self-centered. The funniest part is that the primary audience of these two movies were the exact people that the movies were criticizing. Which Fincher seemed to realize. AB didn't. So . . . a fundamental meanness. Whose light are we casting into whose darkness here? I guess I'm beyond salvation.

  • Dec. 8, 1999, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Most overrated movie..

    by Wyr

    Well, far and away the most over-rated movie I know of is Titanic. It was decent, but a 4 star masterpiece? The best movie of the decade? Please! Titanic did deserve many of it's oscars, but what do you expect from a $200 million production? I can't believe people believe Titanic is better then LA Confidential, Good Will Hunting and As Good as it Gets..

  • Dec. 8, 1999, 10:30 a.m. CST

    RANDOM HEARTS

    by NORRIS BJH

    LIVING IN ENGLAND WE ARE A BIT BEHIND THE TIMES WHEN IT COMES TO RELEASE DATES, BUT THIS WAS A POOR FILM. IM ALL FOR ACTORS TRYING TO EXPAND THEIR RANGE. HARRISON FORD SHOULD STICK TO WHAT HE DOES BEST AND WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO SEE HIM IN ACTION MOVIES!!!! I.E. THE FUGITIVE. PLEASE HARRISON FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST STOP MAKING THESE LONG DRAWN OUT MOVIES, WITH DIRECTORS WHO ARE PAST THEIR PRIME.

  • Dec. 8, 1999, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Green mile

    by fdroth

    Really enjoyed Green Mile -- but trying to make sense out of the fact that the warden does not appear at the dramatic execution of John Coffey: 1) As warden, he must be at all executions; and 2) Coffey saved his wife's life! Doesn't make sense in movie. Was James Cromwell written out because he was not available for these scenes??????

  • Dec. 8, 1999, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Green Mile mistake?

    by fdroth

    Really enjoyed Green Mile -- but trying to make sense out of the fact that the warden does not appear at the dramatic execution of John Coffey: 1) As warden, he must be at all executions; and 2) Coffey saved his wife's life! Doesn't make sense in movie. Was James Cromwell written out because he was not available for these scenes??????

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