The Blue Hornet takes a look at Soderbergh's ERIN BROCKOVICH!
Hey folks, Harry here with a report from the BLUE HORNET on the latest Steven Soderbergh film.... Erin Brokovich. For us film geeks, ol Soderbergh is a modern hero... making films that transcend studio financing (OUT OF SIGHT) to become cool, to finance complete out of left field movies (like THE LIMEY). Soderbergh probably follows the filmmaking model of Orson Welles better than any other modern director. One film for the man, one for me. And the one he makes for the man... he drags kicking and screaming into the world of great film. And here... he gets his claws on Julia Roberts. I can't wait. Julia's film NOTTINGHILL was awesome... and she is becoming more and more willing to allow herself to be REAL in film. Hopefully in this one we will see Julia take her next step. And if nothing else, the Blue Hornet says, "JULIA IS SO FUCKABLE IN THIS MOVIE!" and man... do ya have any doubts? I didn't think so. Watch out for SPOILERS below... like the entire series of events in an opening 'TOUCH OF EVIL-like' shot.
Hey Harry! I am so out of breath cuz I had to get back and tell you about this screening I went to tonight here at the Cinedome in Sacramento. Its called Erin Brockovich and stars Julia Roberts and is directed by Steven Soderbergh. This film was a much needed break in the middle of finals. I was pretty much dragged to this but was so shocked at how good it was. One line you'll never see from the critics is - 'Julia is SO fuckable in this movie!' This is the Julia Roberts I dreamed about after seeing Pretty Woman… the same sexiness, but brass, yet smart and boobs beyond belief! Well, I'll get to that in a bit. About the film…
The movie starts out with Julia in a job interview, completely going on and on about nothing that's about the job. She's dressed in something you would see on your Aunt Mary Beth Parker from Jersey City - hair up and wild, short skirt and tight shirt with extreme clevage. You can tell she's not going to get this job - and she doesn't. Now the next scene was so fucking incredible I have to see it again to see how they filmed the one long continuous shot because of what happens. The scene starts out with her leaning against a wall smoking a cigarette, probably ready to scream cuz she didn't get the job. She then walk to he car, sees that she has a parking ticket, then breaks a nail unlocking the door. During this time you hear about three "fucks" under her breath and she then gets into the car and drives off. The camera follows the car leaving the curb following it as it pulls into the street and down toward an intersection. As she keeps driving through the green light this car comes from no where and smacks her completely into a 360!! It made the whole audience jump in shock. Harry - that's the opening scene and it sets the movie up well. Unbelievable!
We learn that Julia is this twice divorced, white trash, former beauty queen from Kansas named Erin Brockovich. Not giving too much of the movie away, she gets a job at a cheesy law firm where she finds out about a pro-bono case involving a small city, Hinkly, CA, and a big electric company. They have been putting chemicals in the water and the people of the town have been getting terminally sick off of it, against their knowledge. Now Julia plays this part well, cuz you think of her as this trashy loud mouth who just is pissed off at life - but you find out she has a head on her shoulders and sees that something isn't right in this case. She asks to research it more and goes to the town to talk to the people. Throughout this time, she's dealing with single motherhood, a biker she falls in love with next door and uncooperative co-workers. But because of the way she dresses and is, she is able to relate to the people of this town and finds out more information that leads her to a bigger picture. Some of the best scenes of the movie are her conversations with the electric plant's big-wig lawyers and even with the lawyer she works with. He asks her in one scene how she got some confidential information out of the Dept. of Water in the town. She answers, "They're called "boobs." And boy does she have them. These suckers are pumped up to the point of spilling over her shirt. Yum. The other supporting actors I didn't really recognize but play their characters very well. The film is done so real to life, you feel like you're there with them. As with other movies similar to this (and yes I thought of a Civil Action), you know it will end well - the small guy wins over the Goliath company. Well, this movie does end well but doesn't really focus on that. Life goes on for Erin. She continues her work in helping the 'common man.' And its cool to find out that it's a true story. Somewhere in the Barstow area is this beautiful, foul mouthed woman helping out people because she wants to.
I have this theory of a good movie. When you walk out of the theatre and see people standing in groups talking about it, I know it's a good movie and this is what happened tonight. Yes many were talking about Julia's boobs (OK, my friends and I) but many were also talking about how well she did. We're all used to seeing her in these mushy love stories and nothing beyond that. Julia does go beyond that in this movie and shows that she can be just as kick-ass as any other. Harry, you have got to see this movie. I really know you'll enjoy it, not just for the 'titillating' scenes (get it?) but the great story telling and way its shot. I can't wait to see it again in its finished state.
Well I gotta get back to the books - tomorrow's last day of finals - yea, buddy! But first I must crack this cold Bud Light… wishin' you were here!
the Blue Hornet
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Dec. 17, 1999, 4:24 p.m. CST
I completely concur that Notting Hill was a great little romantic movie. I was pleasantly surprised by Hugh Grant, who I never really cared for before. Julia Roberts showed that with the right material, she really shines. I am really looking forward to this one.
Dec. 17, 1999, 4:25 p.m. CST
Yes it's true. We didn't here too much about the LIMEY on this site, which is suprising since OUT OF SIGHT was voted "Coolest of the Year" last year by AICNers. Like OOS, The Limey is a small but enormously satisfying movie. Erin B looks like yet another winner for SS who takes the crown from Tarantino as master of the non-linear. This is the director Julia has needed to work with - at least we can be sure that every *#$@ing scene she's in won't end with her idiotic, toothy grin.
Dec. 17, 1999, 4:27 p.m. CST
Julia Roberts puzzles me. She's very attractive (and I'm sure this will bedebated ad nauseum here) but the roles she plays, she really hasn't shown "sexy" save for Pretty Woman, and even then the director tended to tone it down. Now when I say sexy, I am making a distinction from attractive, or pretty. She's always "pretty," but not sexy like Ellen Barkin in Sea of Love. Sexy is a way to present yourself, and the dumb romantic comedies Roberts has made herself in do not have that. Let's hope that this role changes that for her and that she decides she likes it and keeps going for more roles like this. It sounds interesting, at the very least.
Dec. 17, 1999, 4:34 p.m. CST
...maybe now we can discuss The Limey (SPOILERS ahead). Harry didn't review it, right? I liked the film very much. The chronological style was jarring at first but very cool once I got the hang of it. I need help with one of the plot points. I only saw it once, and that was a while back, so please bear with me if I make a mistake. The guy that was hired to kill Terence Stamp's character was stopped by the feds just as he was about to pull the trigger. I had the impression that the authorities shot the guy and certainly would have arrested him if he wasn't dead. So how did he end up back at his pool hall apparently uninjured and free of any legal trouble? (END SPOILERS) Can anyone enlighten me? I probably missed something obvious.
Dec. 17, 1999, 5:20 p.m. CST
***shpoilers***I don't think they shot him, just tackled him - the hand-held camera thing was gong wild, all to put you in the moment. But the feds didn't arrest the stupid hit-guy because they were doing under-cover survelance. In fact, they seemed pretty aware that The Limey was the one who took out the wearhouse guys, were actually happy about it, and turned him loose hoping he would do the same to Fonda, saving them a lot of time and hastle with the legal system.
Dec. 17, 1999, 5:59 p.m. CST
by Lazarus Long
Okay, this is the question I'm posing: Is Soderbergh the director of the decade? I've thought about the amount of films he has done (probably a filme every year and a half), the wide range of topic and style, and the refusal to fit into a neat little studio package. The only argument I can make is maybe for Joel Coen, but they've only released 4 films in the 90's. Soderbergh's done Kafka, King of the Hill, The Underneath, Grey's Anatomy, Schizopolis, Out of Sight, and The Limey. Add in the screenplay for Nightwatch, a segment on cable's Fallen Angels, this new film in the can (but will be considered a 2000 release) and Damn! this guy's been busy. And although it came out 1989, Sex, Lies, and Videotape only set the stage for Independent Film in the 1990's. His films are endlessly inventive (Schizopolis is the most FUCKED UP film I think I've ever seen, and if he didn't finance it himself, it would never have seen the light of day), and he's a fantastic writer. His visual style seems to evolve and mutate with every film, yet still bears the imprint of a man sure of what he wants to do. I guess Spike Lee has done a lot of films (most of which I greatly admire) but I think his range is smaller. Alan Parker comes to mind as someone who's done many different things over his career, but he has definitely had his missteps this decade. I'll leave it to everyone else to discuss...
Dec. 17, 1999, 6:04 p.m. CST
Thanks. The turning him loose part had occurred to me, and I definitely agree with it. Why would the feds waste their time with that hood? And you're right that he could lead them to the bigger fish. After all, they turned loose Terence Stamp's character. I guess the scene was rather frenetic, and that's probably why I was confused. I heard a gunshot go off, knew that the assassin had been on the verge of firing, saw that the assassin was going to the ground, and assumed that the feds had shot him before he could shoot Terence and Lesley Ann. At the time, shooting him made a lot more sense to me than tackling him. I suspect the bad guy's gun went off as he went to the ground. I need to watch it again.
Dec. 17, 1999, 6:05 p.m. CST
Dec. 17, 1999, 6:07 p.m. CST
I nominate Terence Stamp's Wilson for coolest movie character of the year.
Dec. 17, 1999, 6:27 p.m. CST
by All Thumbs
Could someone give me a rundown of what this movie is about sans spoilers? Thanks.
Dec. 18, 1999, 12:11 a.m. CST
by Herman Snerd
With "Out of Sight", "The Limey" and likely also with this film, Soderberg proves that he is a worthy succesor to the style of films that Tarantino was brining to light in the mid 90's but just hasn't followed through on. Jackie Brown was very good, however it seemed a step back for Tarantino after "Dogs" and "Pulp". Hope he redeems himself with the WWII film, sounds interesting. Soderbergs' other films are also great.."Sex, Lies and Videotape", "Kafka", "King of the Hill" and "The Underneath".
Dec. 18, 1999, 12:19 a.m. CST
In another talkback, i was totally sarcsatic and ranted about how much i loved Julia Roberts, thinking that nobody would mind the sarcasm since there has NEVER been a news story on her here. Well, now there is and everyone is raving over NOTTING HILL, a movie i also sarcastically bashed. This is how I feel about NOTTING HILL: great idea, interesting (but shallow) ideas about fame, BUT bad casting (getting two stars was a mistake...if Hugh's character were played by a total nobody, it wouldve been more believable...if Hugh had been played by Tom Cruise and Julia had been played by a total nobody, that would have been brilliant) and typical romantic-comedy predictability. I did enjoy how Julia admitted shes not a great actress and someday the rest of the world will realize that. However, the scene where they discuss breasts should have been Julia's one and only nude scene. If the director handled in maturally, it couldve been a bold statement by him and Julia. She shouldve showed her tits right there and never again. It wouldve been one of those EXTREMELY rare nude scenes that actually serves an artistic purpose. Her saying boobs are nothing but still covering them was hypocritical (no woman ive ever met is self-concious after sex).
Dec. 18, 1999, 1:40 a.m. CST
...Steven Soderburgh is getting some of the credit he deserves. I mean, the guy practically invented the American independant movie as we now know it. This doesn't mean I hold him responsible for every self-indulgent talk fest of the last ten years but they all spring, more or less,from SEX,LIES AND VIDEOTAPE. I'm also very impressed by the positive nature of this talk back. I'm new to this site and I've been reluctant to take part in discussions which quickly devolve into name calling and the belching out of smug, half-assed opinions. Anyway, this page has been a pleasure to read so..thanks!
Dec. 18, 1999, 1:52 p.m. CST
Now I'll end up seeing a Julia Roberts movie in a theater. There goes my streak. And for the record: Soderbergh may have kick-started the '90s indie boom, but John Sayles is the father of the modern American indie- and the director of the decade. Or maybe it's Mike Leigh. And Julia Roberts isn't the least bit fuckable, no way, no how. She's only slightly more luscious than Penelope Ann Nonentity, and slightly less than Mary Louise Parker.
Dec. 18, 1999, 2:23 p.m. CST
Now I remember why you people get laid so infrequently. You look at one of the most successful actresses of our generation, who is the highest paid actress in Hollywood, and all you can say is 'she is SO fuckable' and 'she should have showed her tits'. I feel so sorry for your mothers, and daughters, and sisters for having to put up with such juvenile behavior. Julia Roberts has built her career on self-respect and modesty, even while playing a hooker. No wonder you film-geeks never get laid; too much time drooling over comic drawings of women with huge breasts, or masturbating to old Wonder Woman episodes. Even you, Harry, would stoop so low as to catagorize actresses as 'fuckable' or not. May your penis shrivel up into the size of a cocktail weiner. Oh, too late!
Dec. 21, 1999, 2:10 p.m. CST
ooof. college. KSamp.
Dec. 26, 1999, 2:25 p.m. CST
As a resident of the town that the movie Erin Brokovich was filmed in and the town that the toxic waste cover up took place in (Hinkley, Calif.) I was delighted to see that it reiceved favorable reviews. I wish you had treated the movie and it's star with a little more respect however. The subject matter is not fiction and Ms.Roberts is a real person not a blow-up porno doll. I have yet to meet anyone in this area who does not suffer from some effects of this dumping.
Jan. 4, 2000, 10:18 p.m. CST
0WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING SO GOD DAMN DISRESPECTFUL TO JULIS ROBERTS! You punk ass peice of shit! This is Erin Brockavich, not pretty women! She's not playing a hooker so don't talk of her as if she was one. No I'm not saying you can't say she's pretty or even has a noce body but come on. Do you have to be so degrating about it! Can't you focus on the fact that she's an amazing actress and that the movie was an nice and serious story. I mean it's not a porno!
Jan. 13, 2000, 10:41 a.m. CST
How would you like it, if someone you've never met, or even heard of, said that to you, on the basis of a movie? I know, because you're a guy, you'd be flattered. Jules is a wonderful person, and doesn't deserve to be treted like a sex toy, that is there at the push of a button. Now why don't you go masturbate with something else. lisa R.
Feb. 6, 2000, 12:10 a.m. CST
I have yet to see Erin B. But I understand that it is a wonderfully portrayed and it symbolizes Julia's stronghold on her role of the greatest actress. But I can't believe my fellow males treating her like a peice of meat. Like any of you have enough self dignity to think before you speak. I am only 16 yet have a great deal to say. Shame on you. She is a goddess!
March 15, 2000, 12:22 p.m. CST
Great Site! Thought you might be interested to know there is an interview with Julia Roberts in streaming video talking about her new movie Erin Brockovich. Check it out at http://www.MoviePlace.com Link to us. Rhonda
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