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Moriarty's RUMBLINGS FROM THE LAB #25 (finally) RE: BATMAN/BRUCE WAYNE, John Travolta, MISSION TO MARS w/pics + more

Hey folks, Harry here with the old man's latest (and I do mean LATE-st)Rumblings from the Lab. However, he's been hard at work at all sort of evil mechinations, but I'll let him go into it... Take it away old fart...

RUMBLINGS FROM THE LAB #25

Hey, Head Geek...

“Moriarty” here.

You’ll have to forgive me. I’m late, I know. I completely cop to it. Still, you have to admit that when I do something, I do it well. I’m not just late; I’m spectacularly late. Even better, I’m chronically late. I haven’t hit my Tuesday target for the RUMBLINGS since the beginning of December.

There’s a damn good reason, though. 2000 is the year when we finally put into effect the first few steps of our Evil Master Plan To Rule The World. These are big projects, and we’ve had to learn how to juggle the ongoing and the immediate. Now that we have, expect things to return to normal. I don’t care how many henchmen I have to kill; the column will be on schedule this coming Tuesday, featuring Part II of my big ‘90s wrap-up. We’ve also got a special in-depth report in the works about one of the most important video releases of the coming year. Toss in some set visits -- both features and some series -- and a couple of exclusive interviews, and you’ve got a good idea what’s in store for you as the year gets underway.

WHICH “BAT” IS GOING TO FLY?

Warner Bros. just finished the first decade of their new BATMAN franchise, and to say it’s been a wild ride would be a staggering understatement. We’ve had four feature films, two directors, three different men behind the mask, two animated shows, three animated features, and a literal mountain of merchandising. After all that sound and fury, there are definite signs of stress showing. Development on BATMAN 5 -- whether it be YEAR ONE or another Schumacher sequel or even a BATMAN BEYOND film -- has been laborious, distinguished by indecision. BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and the animated BEYOND are both wrapping production permanently. The talent behind both brilliant shows is scattering, all pursuing individual projects. On top of all of that, the sting of BATMAN IN RUBBER still hasn’t faded for fans, mainly because there’s been nothing new offered since.

All that is on the verge of changing, though. There’s one shining hope for the franchise, and it is quickly picking up momentum. I’m writing, of course, about BRUCE WAYNE, the proposed Tollin/Robbins series that was created by IRON GIANT screenwriter Tim McCanlies. I’m sure many of you read Knowles’ comments after he read the pilot script. When I asked for a copy of the script, Knowles just laughed and replied, “Get your own, old man.” He loves to lord it over me when he’s got something cool that I don’t.

Irritated, I decided to do just that, and to get the series proposal just to one-up Knowles. I had Henchman Mongo organize a digging crew to expand our network of tunnels so it now runs under the Warner Bros. Burbank lot. I wasn’t prepared for what we found there, though. Those crazy Warner bastards have actually built a full-size Batcave that runs under most of the lot. It’s breathtaking, complete with a seemingly bottomless chasm that the whole thing is built around. It’s here in this dank chamber that Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Jeff Robinov, and reps from the toy companies and DC Comics all get together to discuss the future. It’s here that the debate is raging over whether or not BRUCE WAYNE is going to make it to the small screen. It was here that I gathered the information that I’ve used to come to my own conclusions about the franchise and the direction they’re heading.

First, let me make my position clear. Warner Bros. owes it to the fans, to Warner stockholders, and to their licensing partners to immediately greenlight BRUCE WAYNE for production. Anything less that total support for the show should be seen as a derilection of duty by those making the decisions. Sources inside DC Comics are already calling the proposed series the “finest live-action treatment of the characters ever,” based only on a brief treatment and the actual pilot script. I’d like to second that opinion.

But, wait! I’ve read all the TALK BACKS since word of this show was leaked, I’ve visited fansites around the Internet, I’ve taken the temperature of the newsgroups, and this idea has been greeted with everything from intrigued excitement to reserved suspicion to openly hostile disdain. I’m surprised how knee-jerk some fans have been towards the show, dismissing it as another executive-brain-tumor-inspired attempt to squeeze a bit more filthy lucre from the property. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is the vision of one man, as pure a reinterpretation as the work Frank Miller, Alan Moore, or Jeph Loeb have done with the character.

It was Tim McCanlies, writer/director of DANCER, TX POP. 81 and co-writer of THE IRON GIANT, who started the ball rolling when he asked himself one simple question: how did Bruce Wayne spend the years before he became Batman? It’s a good question, an obvious one, and it allows us to do something that no other exploration of the shattered psyche of Gotham’s damaged son has ever done: it puts the entire focus on Wayne himself.

There’s always the pressure in a Batman story to put him in the suit, to bring out some spectacular villain... in short, to be Batman. That’s only fair. After all, if you spent a major part of your life wrestling with two identities, never able to let your guard down, the personality that is more exciting will gradually become dominant. If you were Bruce Wayne, with the scars he carries around, the allure of being pure vengeance, the power of being The Bat, would easily and eventually win out. Frank Miller captured that brilliantly in his seminal work THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, the decaying effect of all those years in the dark.

YEAR ONE is a great attempt to look at Batman at the other end of his career, but it’s still a Batman story. He’s already starting out. He’s made plans. He has a purpose. That purpose may have been defined in an alley when he was six as he watched his parents die, but it didn’t have a shape or a name until much later. What happened between those two narrative points is something we’ve never seen, and it’s that fertile storytelling opportunity which McCanlies presented to Tollin/Robbins.

The pilot script for the show is fast, smart, lean. It introduces us to a lot of familiar faces -- Jim Gordon, Barbara Gordon, Vicky Vale, Selina Kyle, Harvey Dent -- but it dares to introduce different versions of them, younger people we’ve never met before. These characters are full of life, full of potential. I never realized what a tragedy the entire Batman franchise was, but reading this, you realize that these people are cursed, doomed, trapped in the haunted decaying corpse of Gotham City.

One of the things I really like about the show’s potential is that it’s got an end date. There’s a moment after which the show simply is no more, that iconic moment when Bruce Wayne first puts on that Batsuit. There are a finite number of years for the show, five or six tops. And if you don’t believe that there are at least 132 great stories to tell between Bruce’s 18th birthday and that fateful night, then I pity your paucity of imagination.

Yes, I’ve heard the arguments about the glut of teen shows on Fox and the WB. Put those fears away. This is not just another teen show. The producers of this show are talking about it in strong dramatic terms, taking their cues from the best impulses of shows like BUFFY and THE X-FILES. I have seen the plans for later seasons, and there are things I am now dying to see, places I can’t wait to go with Bruce. It’s an epic journey for young Mr. Wayne. It’s the role of a lifetime for a young actor, and I guarantee it’s going to make a major star out of someone.

And that leads us around to the reason you may never see this show. Logic would suggest that since the film franchise derailed so spectacularly -- and I don’t care what money B&R earned worldwide; it’s a disaster -- it’s time for someone else to tend things for while. Yes, we all keep hearing about various possibilities for what next film we might see. We heard about Protosevich and his Scarecrow-centric BATMAN 5. We heard about a proposed YEAR ONE film. We heard about a live-action BATMAN BEYOND. All of these indicate forward motion of some sort.

Then again, we also keep hearing about Joel Schumacher’s desire to stay involved with the series. That alone would mandate taking the property away from the feature division. I would imagine that Lorenzo Di Bonaventura must feel like my writing about him and his decisions is personal by now, but it’s not. He just happens to be in the position of making decisions about a high percentage of very cool projects. In this case, I’m confused by him stepping in to deal with anything BATMAN related. I was under the impression Jeff Robinov was the executive in charge of the next film. It would make sense. If you look at the projects each of them is in charge of, you’ll see that Robinov has an affinity for comic book material. I mean, this is the guy who’s pushing LOBO and JONAH HEX through the system. Lorenzo’s only other superhero project is PLASTIC MAN, something he inherited in turnaround. The only reason it’s hot again is because the Wachowskis wrote it.

I’m not naive; I understand how these turf wars evolve between executives. Lorenzo sees it as a threat to hand over this enormously profitible property to the TV division. I’m sure he feels on some level that it would be an admission of failure to let someone else take charge for a while. One of the ideas I’ve heard bandied about is using BRUCE WAYNE to cultivate a new movie star, someone who could be plugged into a YEAR ONE feature when the show ends its run. If that happened, it would make sense that McCanlies and Tollin/Robbins would be the producers in charge of that film. There’s even more control handed over. Terrifying. All of the sudden, Lorenzo sees himself sidelined for the next decade... and that’s if things go well. I think it’s an eventuality he should be prepared for.

Besides, there are ways for a film franchise and a TV franchise to co-exist. Even as Warner Bros. worked to bring SUPERMAN back to the bigscreen, LOIS & CLARK had a fairly successful run. If that show, slight as it was, proved to be a hit for Warner, then greenlighting BRUCE WAYNE should be a no-brainer.

Right now, the fate of this show is in the hands of the licensing partners, the studio, DC Comics... all these disparate interests must be satisfied if any progress is going to be made. I know McCanlies and Tollin/Robbins are working hard to convert everyone to their vision, and I hope there was progress made over the last week or so. If the right people unite, if they get behind this extraordinary opportunity, they can get the show on the air, and they should. The interests of a few key executives cannot be allowed to block something that manages to make so much commercial and creative sense. If it does derail the show, it’s more than disappointing. It’s downright irresponsible.

EYES STILL SHUT

According to British website Popcorn, Warner Bros. has also made the disappointing decision to release EYES WIDE SHUT only in its edited form in North America when the video and the DVD hit stores this spring. They’re still standing behind their asinine “Kubrick wanted it this way” statements from last year. I think it’s a damn shame that they’re not going to allow at least one uncensored version of the film to exist for fans in the US. It’s a disgraceful handling of the Master’s last film. It’s especially disappointing since Kubrick films always find their audience over time. Now, no matter when someone comes to the movie, they’re always going to be seeing something that’s compromised, incomplete. Shame on everyone involved in this choice.

MATRIX ON THE MOVE?

The Peeping Tom, purveyor of all things related to cinematography, dropped by the Labs this week, and as we were talking, he mentioned that Bill Pope was unhappy with being away from his family for the 9 months it took to shoot the original MATRIX. With the film’s sequels shooting back-to-back, there is some pressure from Pope for the productions to be moved Stateside. Now there’s speculation the sequels will shoot in Los Angeles after all. Either way, Pope’s going to finish work on BEDAZZLED before anything happens with the MATRIX follow-ups.

“LADIES MAN” PASSES AWAY

And unfortunately I don’t mean Tim Meadows. No, it’s Marc Davis, one of the Nine Old Men, one of the greatest film artists of all time. He was 86, and his contribution to the medium is without equal.

Father Geek wrote his tribute to Davis on Friday, but I have to pay my own homage to him. His work at Disney is one of the primary influences on my development as an animation fan. He was all over my favorite classic Disney film SLEEPING BEAUTY. That film is a perfect example of why he was called “Disney’s ladies man” by many. Both Briar Rose and Maleficent are astonishing, accomplished characters. So is Tinker Bell, a character with more depth and passion than anything in recent efforts like MULAN or POCAHONTAS. I mean, Tink’s as much the Disney logo now as Mickey Mouse himself. Remember the last shot of ROGER RABBIT? You had Warner’s signature ending -- Porky and his “That’s all folks” stutter -- and you had Tink with her wand. Everyone who was at this year’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon can testify to the enduring charm of the characters he created for SONG OF THE SOUTH, Bre’r Fox and Bre’r Bear.

Then, of course, there’s Cruella De Vil. If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will. I adore every vampy moment of Miss De Vil in 101 DALMATIONS. I find it amazing that Glen Close, overacting with every fiber of her being, isn’t even a patch on the effortless grace and malice of Davis’ creation. When we measure any accomplishment in character animation today -- Hogarth, Kiki, Tarzan -- Davis is the standard to which they must be held.

TESTOSTERRIFIC!!

Another animator who keeps alive the tradition of great character work is John Kricfalusi, creator of the classic REN & STIMPY. It pleases me to no end that the Fox Kid’s Network fall schedule includes a new Spumco show, the long-delayed THE RIPPING FRIENDS. It’s a superhero show with no actual superheroes. Instead, it’s about a bunch of manly men who solve their problems the manly way. They look down on superheroes as girly little cheaters who have to rely on superpowers to get them out of trouble. Superheroes, after all, don’t feel pain, and that’s half the point.

Chris Gore includes a chapter on THE RIPPING FRIENDS in his book THE 50 GREATEST MOVIES NEVER MADE, and it’s one of the few entries in the book where I’m sort of happy it didn’t happen. I’d much rather have a new Spumco series on the air than just one feature film. You should definitely find and read Gore’s description of the idea, or even better, see if you can find copies of Film Threat’s big REN & STIMPY issue from around ‘93 or ‘94. They had some great artwork from the proposed film and further details. The main characters are all modeled after John K.’s heroes like Kirk Douglas, Peter Graves, and Marlon Brando. Every morning, they get up and work out on their pain machines, tormenting screams out of themselves.

One of Spumco’s mainstay characters, Jimmy the Idiot Boy, serves as an assistant to the Ripping Friends, whose name comes about when they get infuriated by their inability to beat the laws of nature. They get so made that they begin to punch the air around themselves. In the process, they find a way to rip the very fabric of time and space, leading to an entire universe of story potential. With John K.’s knack for inspired madness, I can’t imagine this being anything less than a treat.

STILL NAKED, STILL TRUCKING

I’ve mentioned Naked Trucker in this column before, and it’s because the show renders me helpless from laughter each time I see it. There’s another chance for you to see what I’m talking about this coming Thursday, the 20th, when Naked Trucker plays a free show at LunaPark. This is going to be a glimpse of what you can expect if Imagine greenlights a series based on Naked Trucker (Dave “Gruber” Allen) and Gerald “T-Bone” Timmons (Dave Koechner). If you do show up, keep your eyes open for the older man in the immaculately tailored suit with the mutant henchmen in tow.

You might also keep your eyes open for Allen in his regular recurring role on the just-returned FREAKS & GEEKS. Last week’s episode also saw Koechner appear, as well as Joel Hodgson (MST3K) and Jason Schwartzman (RUSHMORE). The show continues to get more confident, more polished. With guest talent like that and the show’s gifted young regulars, it deserves your attention, especially as it struggles for ratings. Its new Monday slot does seem to be an improvement, so check it out and see what all the fuss has been about.

HOW FAR CAN YOU BEND REALITY BEFORE IT BREAKS?

By now, the news about Joe Berlinger’s hiring as the director of THE BLAIR WITCH SEQUEL has been reported pretty much everywhere. I think it’s a fascinating choice. I’m a giant fan of his work on PARADISE LOST: THE CHILD MURDERS AT ROBIN HOOD HILLS, and think he just might have the chops to make this second film feel even more real than the first one. The thing that makes me really curious is reading the casting breakdowns that have popped up on the Net courtesy of Dark Horizons and other sites. They seem to imply that the characters in this new film are not just aware of the Blair Witch mythos, but also the first movie itself. The characters seem to represent the basic breakdown of fans over the film -- someone who believes it, someone who thinks it was all hype, someone who thinks it was a great clever fake. It’s always risky to go this postmodern with a sequel, but if Berlinger pulls it off, he could create something that genuinely rewards a second trip to the well. Here’s hoping.

SODERBERGH? CLOONEY? COOL, BABY

Just so Lorenzo doesn’t think I can only say bad things about Warner Bros., let me officially proclaim that I am giddy at the thought of Soderbergh and Clooney remaking OCEAN’S 11. I have no idea who booted Brett Ratner from the film or why, and I don’t care. With Soderbergh in the driver’s seat, this is going to be one film that oozes cool, that just can’t help how cool it is. I’m sure he’ll put together a killer supporting cast. Personally, I think the real winner in this story is Ted Griffin, the writer of the film, whose only credit so far is BEST LAID PLANS. If he pulls this off, he’s going to be on the A-list overnight. Now I just have to figure out how to justify spending three months in Vegas while they shoot...

HEY, BRUCE, WANT A TIC-TAC?

Bruce Willis seems to have really embraced the fantastic recently. ARMAGEDDON, THE SIXTH SENSE, next summer’s THE KID, UNBREAKABLE... these are fantasy films, high-concept, not really the kind of thing Willis has been traditionally known for. Now he’s attached to BEAUTY for Fox, in which he’s going to play an archaeologist in New York who awakens Sleeping Beauty with a kiss. Sounds like a riff on SPLASH, but Bruce might be able to bring some life to it. It really depends on who his co-star is. The film is set to be directed by Michael Pressman. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I couldn’t place the name when I read it. I knew it was someone whose work I’d seen, but I couldn’t come up with anything until I hit the IMDb. Once I saw a filmography that includes TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY, DOCTOR DETROIT, SOME KIND OF HERO, THE BAD NEWS BEARS IN BREAKING TRAINING and -- I’m not kidding about this -- my personal fave of his films, THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE, I realized I have no idea what to expect. I mean, this guy’s done it all, and he doesn’t really seem to leave any big fingerprints on his films. He’s also one of the producers and directors of CHICAGO HOPE, which would explain how he ended up as a producer on David E. Kelley’s LAKE PLACID this year.

NEW RELEASES, QUICK IMPRESSIONS

There’s two Oscar contenders that rolled out wide this weekend, both of which I had a chance to screen last week. First was Scott Elliott’s A MAP OF THE WORLD. I thought the acting was uniformly strong, with Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore making particularly vivid impressions. David Strathairn has played the long-suffering husband enough times now to patent the act, but he’s always grounded and real, so I can’t fault him. Elliott does a great job of painting the details of daily life in this film which centers on those moments when life takes you in unexpected directions. There are moments when the film veers too far into the melodramatic, but not many. Overall, this is a decent smaller picture that you’ll enjoy at home just as much as in the theater, so don’t fret if you don’t catch it immediately.

On the other hand, turn the computer off immediately and run to the nearest theater playing TOPSY TURVY if you haven’t seen it yet. I never thought I’d hear myself proclaim a Mike Leigh film as “wildly entertaining,” but it is. I also never expected that I’d be singing the praises of a period biopic about Gilbert & Sullivan, but I am. The film features an amazing cast that is fronted by the always-great Jim Broadbent, given his finest role to date here as W.M. Gilbert, the author of the librettos for the light operas for which G&S were famous. The film is an unabashed love letter to the process of creating art through performance, and as someone with a fair amount of stage background, I found the rehearsal and staging sequences to be dizzying, immediate, and real. I am astonished at Leigh’s work here, and believe it to be a career high for the filmmaker. You owe it to yourself to see this film on the largest screen possible. Take as many friends as you can. This is a film to be savored, shared, and seen over and over. I’ll be going back myself as soon as I can spare a moment.

PEE WEE WON’T “JACK” AFTER ALL

I have to admit, I’m relieved the Hollywood Reporter wrote that Paul Reubens has dropped out of the syndicated TV gameshow version of YOU DON’T KNOW JACK. The trade reports that Reubens had scheduling problems since he’s about to start a major supporing role in Ted Demme’s cops-and-cocaine epic BLOW. Reubens will be co-starring with Johnny Depp in the film, even as he finishes up the screenplay for the third Pee Wee Herman movie. Both of these projects sound infinitely more interesting than just another gameshow, a trend that’s already grown irritating. How about mixing genres? Can’t we throw some animal attacks into these game shows? At least then they’d be genuinely suspenseful.

TRAVOLTA: STEINBECK, TRAVEL, AND THAT DAMN TRAILER

In the past week, John Travolta has been announced in association with two upcoming films of interest. One is STEINBECK’S POINT OF VIEW. I can’t stress enough how powerful this script is. If this film is even half as good, it will destroy audiences. It’s like FIELD OF DREAMS or THE SIXTH SENSE, a smart emotional drama with some metaphysical implications. Travolta’s perfect for the lead, and it might be the best role he’s had since Chili Palmer. He’s also attached to Sony’s THE TRAVEL AGENT, which Andrew Davis is set to direct from a script by Michael Goldenberg and Nicolas Kazan. The film’s a time travel drama about a team of people who are sent into the future to try and give America an advantage, even though they’re only capable of short six month jumps.

For me, though, the real Travolta news as of late is that amazing, laugh-out-loud, can-you-believe-you-just-saw-that?! trailer for BATTLEFIELD EARTH. Dear sweet God, someone save me a seat for opening day. I saw this thing three times over one weekend, and I hyperventilated all three times. Travolta makes his FACE/OFF work seem subtle in his few seconds onscreen here, and that amazing conehead/dreadlock look just rules. If this isn’t the funniest film released in the year 2000, I will be stunned. As it is, I have to see it, so I guess the trailer did its job, even if it wasn’t quite the way Warner Bros. planned.

DE PALMA AND KUBRICK, SITTIN’ IN A TREE...

Well, it looks like Brian De Palma has finally gotten over his infatuation with Alfred Hitchcock. He’s set his sights even higher. Now he wants to be Stanley Kubrick. You know what I say? Let him.

I love De Palma. I can’t help myself. In fact, I don’t want to help myself. The guy has been post-modern longer than there’s been a name for it. He’s so reflexively referential that I don’t consider it a fault in him anymore than I do in Tarantino. I love the ride that De Palma takes us on as viewers. His best films -- BLOW OUT, SISTERS, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, CARLITO’S WAY -- don’t just entertain us, they try to engulf us, overwhelm us with major set pieces and iconic imagery.

I haven’t heard much about MISSION TO MARS while it’s been in production, but I got a letter from a new spy the other day, and I thought I’d close the RUMBLINGS out with it this week. We may see more photos from “Buzz” later in the week. For now, enjoy these three images which you’re not going to find at the official site or anywhere else on the Web.

“Moriarty........if you want to use this letter, you should call me BUZZ LIGHTFINGERS. I’m working on M2M, somewhere in the process between ILM and Disney. If I tell you where, it would narrow things down and get my ass FIRED! Let me just tell you, I see everything for some of these films, like for this one. There’s some great stuff that we’re getting in now from ILM that would just make your eyes pop out of your head. They’re putting a few things on their Disney ‘site, but it’s not the really good stuff. I’m sending you a couple of really cool pictures here. One is a major space station from the film, another is a Martian landscape, and the last one is an image that they might be using for the poster. What’s behind those big doors that are opening? I’ll try and send you some pictures later this week to answer that.”







And I think that about wraps things up, Knowles. It feels good to almost have this column back on track. Thanks to all the patient readers and even the impatient ones who have e-mailed me repeatedly. We’ve got a lot of good stuff ahead this year, and even this week. Until then...

“Moriarty” out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 17, 2000, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Hello sir

    by reni

    Good Morning Moriarty, glad to see you back again. Firstly the Travolta Scientology thing looks as bad as it sounds. Secondly Mission to Mars effects work looks nice in a respectful to it's surroundings sort of way. Both however look a little pointless. Thirdly any update of Sherlock Holmes and The Vengeance of Dracula..?

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Great Texas Dynamite Chase

    by reni

    Who was the playmate, also in Man who fell to Earth, that starred in this? She died not longer after it came out. She was lovely.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Hmm....

    by Celluloid Monkey

    IMDB doesn't show any actress being in both of these films. There was an actress though in "The Man Who Fell To Earth" named Candy Clark, and a character named Candy Morgan in "The Great Texas Dynamite Chase", you might be getting those two confused.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Two Feet Under!

    by Celluloid Monkey

    Only two feet under?!? Blech.... what if it rains hard? You'll be able to see the top of his coffin.....

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 9:09 a.m. CST

    No more Dini, Timm, Burnette, and team? NOOOOOO!

    by Drath

    Please no, this can't be the reality of it! Am I still asleep? Oh lord, don't let that happen, they're the best DC adaptors ever! I'm all for "Bruce Wayne," but I can't bare the thought of WB allowing the animation team to disperse. What about NEW GODS? What about a kick ass JLA show? Hell, what about BATMAN BEYOND, I thought that show was still doing fine?!! Permanently done? Fuck, this cannot happen, WB, do NOT let this happen. When X-MEN comes out, you'll wish you'd green lighted a JLA show! This IS NOT RIGHT!!!! Moriarty, is there a chance this can be stopped? Is the "Bruce Wayne" show's success the ONLY chance? This is just the last straw. Warner Bros. is crippled by an executive that really doesn't have any faith in animation(I recall one of them telling EW they don't like this "animation for adults nonsense.") How out of touch can they be?!!!

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Excuse me?

    by epitone

    Moriarty writes: "Well, it looks like Brian De Palma has finally gotten over his infatuation with Alfred Hitchcock. He

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 10:45 a.m. CST

    I'll Reserve Judgment On M2M, Moriarty, But.....

    by mrbeaks

    .....I'm surprised to see you omitted THE FURY from your brief grouping of DePalma's best work. For my rather insubstantial money, THE FURY includes DePalma's best use of split-screening, Amy Irving looking to die for in a bikini (back then, that was something to see,) and *the greatest* dispatching of a villain (Cassavettes go boom) in film history. I hope to find DePalma returning to form after the awful SNAKE EYES, but the preview is not encouraging. And, no, I'm not making reference of the overt Kubrick homage, I'm thinking more of the ridiculously stilted dialogue Don Cheadle delivers in the opening moments of the trailer. If this is going to be a camp fest, that's fine, but I'd rather Disney advertise it as such so as not to get my hopes up (then again, camp=b.o. death, but this is about pleasing me, damn it!) Oh, and if the Wachowski's so much as even consider filming the next two MATRIX flicks without Bill Pope, they might as well just scrap the franchise right now. His work as DP on that movie was nothing short of miraculous. I don't believe he can be replaced.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 10:50 a.m. CST

    DePalma is vastly overrated

    by Stephen Dedalus

    I may be one of the few people in the world who has the guts to say this, but Brian DePalma is a grossly overrated filmmaker. His movies rip off much more original films without giving them any credit- in the same way that MISSION TO MARS is a rip off of 2001, BLOW OUT was a rip off of Antonioni's BLOW UP, SCARFACE was a rip off of everything that Pacino and Coppola had made up to that point, and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was a plotless, overblown mess. THE UNTOUCHABLES was a fine work, but I think of it as the only shining moment in a dull career. I guess I just don't appreciate the guy.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:13 a.m. CST

    EWS will be released uncut on Canadian DVD

    by mthiel

    I read on DVDTalk.com that Eyes Wide Shut will be released in an unaltered version on Canuck DVD, a Canadian dealer. I believe it may be region 1. Here's the link: http://talk.dvdtalk.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/007557.html

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Glad to see that I was not the only one who was laughing at the

    by Stephen Dedalus

    John Travolta looked like a crossbreed between Sylvester Stallone and Coolio in that alien get-up. I think he's taken this whole Scientology thing a tad too far-- I remember that the funniest part of BOWFINGER was when Steve Matrin saterized them with "MindHead," or whatever it was called.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Formatting this page

    by Hjermsted

    Unfortunately I am stuck using a 13" computer monitor at 640x480 rez. I imagine the majority of computer users out there in cyberland are in a similar boat. It's a royal pain in the ass to have to scroll left and right to read an article. Including wide pictures at the end of your article caused the text to run wide as well. When you post pictures, please use smaller "thumbnails" of the images that can be clicked on to show the full-size rendition. Also, your apostrophes and quotation marks are translating into screen garbage. Someone needs to edit these articles for structure before posting them.

  • found her in the cast listings - no mention of her in Man who fell to Earth, although she did play Bernie Casey's wife... what a way to spend a monday when I should be working...

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:46 a.m. CST

    to reni

    by Dr Phibes

    The playmate you asked about I believe was Claudia Jennings. She was more than just a playmate, but Playboy's Playmate of the year and starred in several B-movies during the seventies before she was killed in a car wreck.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:54 a.m. CST

    salute to Claudia Jennings and salute to Dr Phibes...

    by reni

    Thanks for the info Dr Phibes.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Get your ass to "Mission to Mars!"

    by Powerslave

    Maybe they can look for that NASA remote-contol car that crashed and burned on the red planet; or will they be too busy mining Tribinium to care?

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I don't care if it's a ripoff of Kubrick. M2M looks cool!

    by Cassius the Evil

    Well. I think the title is pretty damn self-explanatory.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Topsy-Turvy!!!!

    by smilin'jackruby

    No, shit. Great fucking movie. Everybody should see it. One of the absolute best of the year.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Bruce Wayne, Blair Witch, EWS, Willis, Bad-tlefield URK!, and M2

    by Nordling

    I am so looking forward to the Bruce Wayne series (or miniseries, which I bet it'll turn out to be). I barely watch TV anymore anyway, except for The Simpsons. Gimme a reason. that sounds like a good one. But the actor would have to be EXTREMELY athletic.***The more I think about it, the more I look forward to a Blair witch sequel. It will take some amount of skill to sustain that sense of freboding and fear that the first one had.***Say this with me. I WILL NOT BUT EYES WIDE SHUT IF IT IS CENSORED. FUCKING PERIOD! National boycott, anyone? The movie didn't do that well at the box office for the Moron Bros. to fuck with the fans on this. That has to be one of the most frustrating studios in Hollywood. They have so much potential, with all the license they have, and they continuously fuck it up. Oh, to be head for a week - I'd greenlight so many cool projects your head would spin. Who gives a fuck if it don't play to the sticks? Make art, motherfuckers...*** Bruce Willis has jumped up several ranks for me lately, but to tell you the truth he never was that low, having been in the second greatest action film of all time, Die Hard (if you have to ask what the first is, get thee to John Woo!). Unbreakable is quie a cool premise - POSSIBLE SPOILER it's a riff on superheroes, much in the same way Sixth Sense was a riff on ghosts...***Travolta wins the Golden Pig award for worst ham in a trailer. That laugh...oh man. I'll be there, but definitely not for the reasons the filmmakers intend. I laughed all the way to the end after I heard that Bwa-ha-ha!!!*** Mission to Mars looks cool enough to me, but 2001 it ain't... the only great DePalma movie is Blow Out, where he actually diffused his influences enough to make a genuine masterpiece. Okay, I'm done.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Mars, onward to Mars!

    by KingComic

    Hey, so Mission to Mars looks like 2001, it also looks really great! 2001 was one of the best films ever made and the fact that we might get a film even 90 percent of that (since I am sure Depalma stole that much good stuff) well hell, I am looking forward to that.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 12:55 p.m. CST

    That book about movies that never got made

    by Samthelion

    I got that book, starting reading it, and returned it within an hour. It was very poorly written by a fanboy who REALLY REALLY wanted to see them make the Alien and Predator movie (but he only devoted a paragraph to the brilliant unproduced David Lynch scripts.) The throwoff, when I headed back to the bookstore to trade it in for the American Beauty Shooting Script, was his article about the oft-talked about Scorsese dream project "Dino". Dude says that Scorsese left this to do Bringing Out The Dead and then (I'm paraphrasing) "We could have seen this great movie but instead he left to do another Nic Cage movie." And, huh! The Nic Cage movie turned out to be one of the best films of the year. Sorry, Dude.

  • Sure, we don't know EVERYTHING that post Crisis Brucey was involved in prior to hittin' 27, th' age he's credited as bein' in Batman Year One when he first dons th' Batsuit; but we DO know some things. 1) Bruce attended some big-name schools in th' US and in Europe. (or was that pre-Crisis?! Damn.) 2) Bruce studied under badass Detective Henri Ducard in Paris. 3) Bruce learned martial arts from several Eastern masters (one later moved to Paris). This of course, allows WB to cast th' obligatory young Asian unrequited-but- hot an' heavy love interest. Hopefully, they'll avoid th' Tamilyn Tomitas and Ming Na-Wens and scoot right up into Sung Hi-Lee/ Alley Baggett territory. Woo! Make her "Lady Shiva" and y'have one helluva continuity discrepancy that fans'll love. (This chick could clean anybody's clock buck nekkid, even Bruce!) 4) Bruce learned his Houdini-like escape techniques from then-living stage-magician (and bonafide warlock) Zatara. Bruce gains th' affections of Zatara's hot young daughter Zatanna. She of th' fishnet wearin', JLA magic-wieldin' fame should be played by someone exotic. Patricia Ford..or heck...Claire Forlani. If WB will use th' trite babe-of-the-week formula, they should stick to th' books and avoid th' same old Selina Kyle, Vicki Vale, Julie Madison, Pamela Isley crap everyone else'd resort to comfinin' their stories to. Plus, will Alfred figure heavily in th' stories?! In one late 80's annual, it is revealed that Alfred was set t'quit bein' th' Wayne butler due to his desire to become th' next great stage actor in his native Britain; but young Bruce persuades him otherwise. What about Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Bruce's surrogate mother?! Yeah, I wanna see hardcore detective thrills, an unwieldy but confident daredevil Bruce (remember how great Sean Patrick Flanery was as young Indy?!), and sexy, sexy ladies like th' rest of ya. But would it hurt if they mined th' fruits o' Batman's 4-color background?!

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Actually, the WORST thing in that (otherwise interesting) "Missi

    by Alexandra DuPont

    ...that young, jock-looking fellow (Jerry O'Connell?) saying, "YEAH!" He looked like he'd just scored a fall in a Greco-Roman wrestling match. While I'll agree with Moriarty that DePalma has a true gift for the well-structured set piece, he looks to be as ham-fistedly two-dimensional with actors as he ever was. (Witness the spectacle of Sean Penn's scenery chew in "Casualties of War" as Michael J. Fox appends the words "Hey, man" to every line he speaks in that film.)

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 1:31 p.m. CST

    B:E

    by The Kid

    And they've already greenlighted a sequel. ::snickers:: It's nice to finally have the Rumblings back on a schedule, hopefully.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 2:45 p.m. CST

    M2M looks very, very cool

    by Obi-Wankstain

    It may well be a rip off of 2001, and knowing Depalma it probably will be, but it still looks very cool to me, can't wait. As for the news regarding Mr. Shitmaker still interested in the Batman franchise: STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM IT YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!!!!

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 2:50 p.m. CST

    looking good

    by Giancarlo

    Mission to Mars is looking great. I just saw the trailer and any movie that has Gary Sinise is worth watching. The Travolta flick Battlefield Earth is also looking tasty, will get to see Barry Salt & Pepper again quoting from the bible and kicking some alien booty.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 3:43 p.m. CST

    We missed ya Moriarty...

    by All Thumbs

    But Kubrick a step UP from ol' Alfred? What evil weed have you been smoking? I don't need to repeat the poster above on the amount of "great" films Hitchcock has had in comparison to Kubrick (though amount isn't what matters, is it...it's the quality...and all Hitchcock's movies have, IMO, better quality than Kubrick or have inspired Kubrick's quality). Kubrick is one of the greatest of all time, probably a step behind Hitchcock, but in no way a step up. Sorry, had to rant.***Speaking of step ups, I saw the M2M trailer and it was about two steps up from the Supernova trailer. The trailer I saw started out really crappy...I remember rolling my eyes and thinking, "Oh no, another fantasy/Sci-fi piecer"...then it got good when it finally revealed there was more to the movie than people floating in space with terrible consequences and such, so it wasn't that bad after all.***And speaking of Kubrick, looks like I'm going to have to treck up to the land moose and Eh-sayers to buy a copy of EWS (on VHS...still don't understand the region thing)***So much to read, so much to comment on...sorry, those with short attention spans...Hey, Moriarty, does this mean you're going to try to be back here at least once a week? We need your little Rumblings to bring life to those newsless days at AICN.***Lastly, "Peeping Tom, purveyor of all things related to cinematography." Now THERE'S a man who knows his movies.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 4 p.m. CST

    Rip-off, Schmip-off

    by The Cars

    MISSION TO MARS looks great! De Palma doesn't rip anybody off. He is in dialogue with other filmmakers, dead or alive. Godard said that the best way to critique a film is to make another film. There you have part of what makes up De Palma's cinema. He uses Hitchcock as a sort of film grammar handbook, but he also trancends and parodies Hitchcock and other filmmakers. The results are often subtly satiric. De Palma also tends to take what other filmmakers have done in the past and up the ante, outdoing them while looking back at their work at the same time. De Palma has always been a freewheeling artist who respects other filmmakers, yet at the same time holds nothing sacred -- it's all just celluloid. It's a science, and he has built unashamedly upon the ongoing history of cinema while never losing his sense of awe nor his sense of humor.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 4:15 p.m. CST

    DePalma

    by Cineman

    Sure Snake Eyes sucked, I think thats pretty unanimous but DePalma still is talented. He gave it his best shot with Mission Impossible. I'd like to see someone do a better job with that script. Even his worst films have scenes that showcase that (Snake Eyes opening). M2M will be DePalma in top form and with a cast like Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, and Gary Sinise it'll be even better. He doesn't rip off other directors any more than most directors do.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Batman

    by Crimson Dynamo

    What good is a Batman series without the suit??????

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Gotta defend the Warrior

    by Nordling

    Kubrick was great, but Hitchcock was the MASTER. Between him and Orson Welles, they defined modern cinema. I'm not slighting Stan the Man, but comparing the two is literally, apples and ambrosia.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:09 p.m. CST

    mission to mars = mission to mars

    by alek

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:11 p.m. CST

    No Batman Beyond?

    by Bryan

    I have read Bruce Timm saying that whatever he does next "it won't have pointy ears," but I figured they were still doing Batman Beyond for a while. I mean, it's doing well, they've still got the straight to video movie coming, and weren't they planning another season? Are you sure about this, Moriarty? I mean maybe it will be for the best if this week's episode, "Terry's Friend Date's a Robot" (!) is an indication of where the show is going, but I highly doubt that.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Hardening of the Moriarteries

    by bswise

    Welcome back, O Morirarterius. If only O Girthful One could write even half as good as you. And you don't have your own site... why? Stoked About: 1) OCEAN'S 11 - w/ Soderbergh at the helm, this will be, if anything, veddy veddy cool. 2) M2M I like DePalma too, just not the hack (MI, SE) DePalma and the hack-up-my-(ex)wife-playing-a-prostitute-while-picking-the-bones-of-every-dead-great-director-DePalma - but hey, Kubrick IS dead and it's a Mission to Mars, man! 3) BLAIR WITCH PROJECT - Yadda, yadda, yadda, this turned out to be a film series, not for gore-meisters, but for thinking people after all... AND NOW A'HM PISSED ABOUT: EYES WIDE SHUT - I still haven't seen it and I may never see it. How can anyone see it if even a second was censcored?! Don't tell me what I can and can't see, Dubya-B.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Lord of the Sith is alive and well on Mars

    by Rubba

    Everytime I see the trailer for Mission To Mars I'm always grabbed by the breathing as they enter the white room it's not for any reason intended, and if it is intended what the hell does that mean then. I didn't know Darth Vader set up shop on the red planet.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:33 p.m. CST

    mission to mars = mission to mars

    by alek

    I keep finding myself defending this movie and i haven't even seen it yet. But I guess the thing is, someone watches the trailer, sees a centrifuge and cries "2001 rip-off!" And so here I am. Well, a centrifuge is, as many people know, a way of creating artificial gravity in space and is not the intellectial property of the late great Stanley Kubrick or MGM. By the way, why is it that Kubrick went to such lengths to build and film the centrifuge sequences and then somehow displayed the astronauts walking around with such ease in a supposedly magical gravity environment of the landing bay and the cockpit of the Odyssey where both were separate of the centrifuge? Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a big fan of DePalma. And why shouldn't I be? He was post-modern before Kevin Williamson made it hip. But whereas Tarantino, Williamson, and Kevin Smith may do it in their dialogue - the only way they how - DePalma is a true film-maker. He does it visually. I really can't see anything that would lead me to think the film is trying to rip off 2001. The suits are your usual bulky nasa suits with maybe a little more pizazz to make them look futuristic. The same with the vehicles. Infact, I read that the production got heaps of help and advice from Nasa. And from looking at the stuff I've seen, you can really tell. I wouldn't be surprised if all the sets were based on real Nasa designs for future spacecrafts. There is a monolith-like image that appears in the trailer which looks like a doorway of some type. If so, it's a very clever reference to 2001. But not a rip off.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:58 p.m. CST

    De Palma is style

    by Tinting

    I think that De Palma is one of the only american filmaker of which I could recognise the style by looking at just a one minute clip of any of his films. That's how much he has a unique style of filmaking. He may not always choose the best screenplay to work with, but he always make the best possible film out of them. By the way. If Mission to Mars is a rippoff of 2001, that can not be De Palma's fault, since the screenplay was already written when he came onboard...

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Entertaining as always...

    by Spectre-Inc

    Battlefield Earth... I have a beef with this picture, but other then that I hope it does well because I have alot of friends who were involved with it... Soderbergh and Clooney again, cool, I heard this one a few weeks ago and I was happy as heck because I enjoyed Out Of Sight, very slick film... and those "pic's" from Mission To Mars are cool, the red sand surface (Mars) was shot in Vancouver on the banks of the Fraser River... They painted all the sand red to simulate the Mars surface and then they CGI'd the rest, I've been dying to see how it would look... I'm impressed... they also built this MASSIVE space craft on a 43,000 sq.' stage, wait till you see that, it's very impressive to the least... Man, I hope 2000 is a good year for film.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Do NOT SEE Topsy-Turvy

    by Duty

    Realy!!! It's 2 hours 45 min. of the second worst movie I have ever see. Almost as bad as Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lindon". if you like The Masters 4 hour piece of trash then you'll love the pointless rambleings of Topsy-Turvy. Now dont get me wrong I do call Stanley Kubrick The Master, He was. And I love his other movies. But Barry Lindon suckes so god-damb hard Im still pissed off that I sat throught it all, Same with Topsy-Turvy. I realy expected a great movie, And got seriously let down. Once more Do Not See "Topsy-Turvy"!!!! You want a good long movie go see Magnolia.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Pee Wee Herman and Johnny Depp! Yes!!!

    by twindaggerturkey

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 8:54 p.m. CST

    AAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!

    by BurninBullwinkle

    THOSE GODDAMN WB SONS OF BITCHES! MOTHER SHIT! FUCK! ONE DAY I JUST KICK THIS PIECE OF SHIT! For the love of all that is holy! Kids WB owes their existence to the New Batman/Superman Adventures, and Batman Beyond is outperforming everything on Saturday Morning that doesn't have Pikachu in it! Ya know when Pokemon cools down, the Warners execs are gonna look at each other and say "OH SHIT!" when their perenial non-flavor-of-the-month quality programing is gone. I'm trying to record all the episodes of the three series because I finally get the WB network (before I had to rely on tapes from friends) and this comes out. I thought they were supposed to put Batman Beyond on hiatus and bring back Batman/Superman Adventures for 2002? This sucks. I'm gonna cry. The live action films all sucked. Including Burton's. What of the Batman Beyond movie? And, I suppose this means we'll never see that Bane/Joker movie that got put on hold because Batman Beyond blew up so big. Even the throw-away episodes like Terry's Friend Dates a Robot (which was fucking hilarious by the way) are better quality than the "great" episodes of the horrendus X-Men and Spider Man cartoons. At their worst, it was great television. At their best, they were the greatest animated series of all time. I think I'll go home and watch Mask of the Phantasm, a film with more emotion and plot all but a few films, and try to console myself. The Flaming Moose out.

  • What manner of sacrifice might one offer for yee to fix this ***GOD FORSAKEN*** forum? Not that my index finger is not in need of its daily excercise but this scrolling back n' forth is teething on the mortals' collective nerves. As for the ongoing discussion of Hitchcock and Kubrick, I fall in on the argument that Hitchcock did indeed make more great movies but that few of them reached the depths Kubrick consistantly achieved. I also believe though that there are plenty of valid arguments that can be made for both and that just speaks volumes of just how great both were. It's like comparing Wagner and Verdi or Beethoven and Mozart. Anyway, it's not long before this whole talkback turns into a bout of gratuitous posturing (someone, somewhere is taking a gander at this talkback and beginning to thump his chest at the audacity of people having an independent thought). I just wanted to get a word in before the debate turned sour.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Batman belongs to AOL now!

    by ChodaRagu

    Who knows what is going to happen to this franchise now. The professor can speculate all he wants, but in the end, it is what direction the new executive board will wish to follow. In the comming months, there will probably be a MAJOR shake-up of executives at Warner Bros. (I think the 2 former CEO's at Warner's saw this merger comming and is why they quit a few months ago.) I have worked for a large company that has been involved in a MAJOR MERGER like this and it shook both companies to the core with the personel changes at ALL LEVELS!

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Mission to Mars part 2: THE IRON GIANT goes Home

    by Todd

    There is a entire backstory to THE IRON GIANT that is just begging to be written. I always supposed that THE IRON GIANT came from some dead civilazation that exsisted on Mars Billions of years ago, and because of some Mars version of the Y2K bug THE GIANT was unintentionally launched to earth. I have not seen Mission to Mars yet. I am assuming it is not about THE IRON GAINTs home world, but if it is and i unknowingly gave away a plot point, I am sorry.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Kubrick/Hitchcock/DePalma/F.Gary Gray

    by Lazarus Long

    Just kidding, I'm not writing about F. Gary Gray. HOWEVER, let me add my two cents on descussion of the two masters...both men were very meticulous and exerted complete creative control. Hitchcock was obviously more prolific, but perhaps it was easier back then to do a film a year, or every year and a half. If you look at Stanley's earlier days, he had a decent rate of output. The difference between the two is that Kubrick was operating on a very mental and subconscious level, whereas Hitchcock was going for the visceral and emotional approach. He played the audience like a Liberace played the piano. Having said that, something like Vertigo shows that he could put together something just as "deep" and refelctive as Kubrick. Vertigo lets us in on some of Hitchcock's own obsessions and hangups, and there is so much to analyze here it is on the level of anything in Stanley's cataloge. Although the Shining was a horror film, it was the opposite of Psycho. Hitchcock was attempting to break convention and push buttons that hadn't been pushed before. The Shining has its detractors, but I find it a very psychologically terrifying film. But there isn't much of an emotional thrust. The compositions are alienating and forces the viewer to process the horror in a different way. DePalma, although championed by the likes of Pauline Kael, is a hack in my mind. I like several of his films, but his homages are over the line. The baby carriage scene in Untouchables is insulting to anyone who has seen Battleship Potemkin, and diappointing to anyone who has seen real gangster films from the old days. I won't begrudge him copping Hitchcock because it's hard not to; Body Double was interesting. Blow Out was a good variation on the theme...but looking over his filmography, I'm afraid it's not very impressive. The guy was once quoted as saying he thought directing was like painting by numbers, and that he just knew what kind of color to put in a scene. That's a pretty pathetic way to view the art of filmmaking, especially when your palette consists of colors created by other people. He has visual skills, but isn't much of a "Master". I don't cream in my jeans when I hear of a new project, as I do with Scorsese. It's clear to me that with M2M, he's become a hired gun like Coppola, who may do quality work (The Rainmaker) but seem to have lost their vision.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Mozart and Beethoven

    by All Thumbs

    Hitchcock and Kubrick...that has a nice ring to it, don't ya think? There are so many great directors out there in film's past, it is as hard to just pick one as the true "Master" as it is for Harry to pick his favorite potato chip out of a bag of Lay's. (I've been hanging around you guys too much when I start making Harry analogies.) I think the guy who started it all is and will always be D.W. Griffith and everyone else is a giant lump of seconds.

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:36 p.m. CST

    NOT ILM shots

    by WookiePorn

    My mate sez those shots are definately not ILM's. Tippett and Dream Quest are doing shots too, probably theirs, or some concept art. That rover is the real rover from the movie. I saw it at the LA auto show, IT ROCKS! WP

  • Jan. 17, 2000, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Hey Todd, what's the back story on the Iron Giant in Fight Club

    by Superman#1

    There's gotta be something!

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Music for M2M

    by Peyton Westlake

    No one's mentioned that the music for MISSION TO MARS is going to be composed by none other than that Italian pimp/player/god Ennio Morricone. Maybe. We'll see, 'cause while saw his name on the credits, the studio might just pull a WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and toss it aside at the last minute. Here's hoping that they don't, and that the score goes up there with previous DePalma/Morricone collaborations THE UNTOUCHABLES and CASUALTIES OF WAR.

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Steven Soderbergh

    by PipsOrcle

    Oh hell yea! Man, the dude is sooo cool! Erik Brockovich is going to be sooo damn cool, just like the Limey and Out of Sight!

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 1:23 a.m. CST

    M2M; Bruce Wayne, Blair Witch

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    M2M looks great. Some here have said that it's a 2001 rip-off--I say, GOOD! But only if they ripped off things like an excellent script, good acting, fab SFX and brains--you know, all the things that go into a good, intelligent, ADULT science fiction film? How many of those have ever been made? I can count them on one hand--2001, A SPACE ODDYSSEY. That's it. All others are good sci-fi (WRATH OF KHAN; UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, ALIEN and ALIENS) or fanstasy with a Sci-fi veneer (all of the STAR WARS). It's about time a decent science fiction film was made since there are so very few of them.************BRUCE WAYNE sounds like a fantastic, deeply engrossing examination of the roots of the man behind the mask. Done right, this could be right up there with with the late, great HOMICIDE or ye olde HILL STREET BLUES. I'd feel better about it if it were on cable like THE SOPRANOS; that way it'd be safe from the whole must-get-ratings-and-sell-ad-time crap. Either way let's pray it gets made, since it may be the only way to fully erase the memory of the horror that was the last two bat-catasrophes. Oh, and by the way--Schumacher should be abducted by aliens and anal-probed for all eternity.************THE BLAIR WITCH SEQUEL--as I said before, I STILL think this comes under the heading of really bad ideas, but if it has to be done, what Moriarty described above sounds like the only way to go. Keep the things that made the origional great; get a good director and writers to prevent things from spiraling out of control into unintentional self-parody. Nothing would sadden me more then to see this little horror masterpiece devolve into the sort of. . .film lobotomy that was it's opposite number last year, THE HAUNTING. Good *God,* may it never suffer that fate. My fingers (and toes) are crossed.

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 1:29 a.m. CST

    What happened to the best films of the 90's?

    by Jaymin Pepper

    Or more to the point, why are so many multi-part articles started on this site that go no further than part one?

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 1:52 a.m. CST

    VINCE VAUGHN AS DINO'S OCEANS 11 CHARACTER!!! PLEASE!!

    by hodgepodge

    a role he was genetically engineered to play!

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Some rumblins FROM ME DAMNIT

    by MAlkovich

    1)Bruce wayne happen, for reasons already discussed it would be amazing. 2) please god no oceans 11 remake the reason it was so good was cause of the actors not the damn movie, there interaction there friendship, makin this movie is just stupid and there is no point to it.3) mission to mars seems a little 2001 like but it still can be dope 4) I just wanna say right now that i called "battlefield Earth" becoming #1 boxoffice grosser. If those idiot scientologist get all there minions to buy hundreds of tickets like they buy those books then an easy 700 mil is in store for it...How did this movie get made?????

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Ocean's 11

    by Mahoney

    Wow, I swear to you I just about wet my pants when I saw what I saw about Soderbergh and Clooney redoing Ocean's 11. While nothing can compare to the absolute coolness of the Pack, Soderbergh and Clooney come pretty damn close. In fact, they might as well use the whole cast from Out of Sight to film Ocean's 11. Sweet!

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 11:28 a.m. CST

    The Blair Witch 2 and Battlefield Earth

    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    I cannot wait for Blair Witch 2, don't worry kids, they won't fuck up on this one ( I know, I called up La Toya last night ) as for Battlefield Earth, it's about time we had another Howard the Duck...Bad movies will love, try to keep a straight face looking at Travolta... conversation between his agent and him: John: Do you think I should really do this movie? agent: You should do it you FAT PIG! The Make up and dreads will hide your triple chins and big belly!!!

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 5:59 p.m. CST

    The ultimate rant session

    by Solidus420

    First off, why would you want Tim Meadows to die? He's funny! And no not as th Ladies Man, but in other roles. No Batman Beyond. Might i paraphrase Planet of the Apes with, "You maniacs! You ruined it, you finally ruined it! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!!!!!" I didn't pay attention to the rest but BRING BACK BATMAN BEYOND, OR EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE GROUP WHO DECIDED TO CANCEL THE SHOW SHALL DIE!

  • Jan. 18, 2000, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Bruce Wayne doomed?

    by Fabio2

    It looks that way, as the head of Warner Bros. Film Division Lorenzo Di Boneventura is against the show going ahead, and basically what he says goes. He wants to proceed with another film (most likely Year One), and doesn't want the TV division horning in, which I think is fair enough. Now, I'm not saying the BW show isn't good or anything. As I haven't read the pilot script or the series bible, I'm not in a position to say whether it's good, bad, faithful or anything else. But I can comment on the show's basic premise, and it just sounds too iffy to me. The average viewer (who doesn't read comics btw) is interested in seeing Batman (ie. in costume), and I feel would get bored pretty quickly with some kid who never puts the suit on. Am I wrong? Maybe, I don't have as much info as Harry and Moriarty do in regards to this film, but... either way, the show looks doomed.

  • I didn't consider this until just a few seconds ago. Without the superhero element involved in a long-running serious such as Bruce Wayne, when he finally DOES don the cowl, is anyone going to care? My point is, if we become intrigued with all of these characters as NORMAL people, is it going to seem hokey, and frankly, unbelievable for a grown man to dress up as a giant bat? I would like your opinions.