Movie News

Reviews from THE PATRIOT test screening in California last night

Published at: April 19, 2000, 2:30 p.m. CST

Well here's the 1st of the reviews from the PATRIOT test screening last night to cross Father Geek's (that's Geek Paterfamilias' for the more educated among you) desk this morning, I'm sure they'll be several others...

Harry(and everyone else I sent this to, because Harry is in Orange county, or at least Southern California right now)-

MadMan, here with a quick review of the Patriot TEST screening last night in Orange County, California. I was going to ask you (Harry) for your opinion last night, but by the time I had wiped the tears from my eyes and turned around; you had vanished. You move pretty damn fast for a big man.

Without giving too much away.."This movie rocked!!!!!!!". If I were to write this review last night following the film, that phrase would have been the only thing escaping my mouth. That phrase...and alot of drool. Its been a long time since a film has been able to draw me into it so deeply. Sure, I felt like I was following a rockband and making freinds with its lead guitarist in Cameron Crowe's "Untitled"(Stillwater) and I'm pretty sure I could feel bullets grazing some very neccessary body parts while I watched "Saving Private Ryan". But nothing, NOTHING!! could have prepared me for what happened last night. I lived the entire course of a war last night. I don't know if I fought along side Benjamin (Mel) or If I was Benjamin himself, hell I could have been Gabriel (Benjamin's oldest son); all I know is that I lived it.

Few times in a film do you get a chance to see so many character's develop before your eyes. You actually see them grow in this film, you see the war in their faces, when they change you belive the change and know why they do the things they do. Mel Gibson's performance will inspire the next generation of actors to follow in his steps. Not just give them a push . But this performance will be the spark that changes their lives forever and sets them of on their pursuit of stardom.

With every word I write the chance my mind betraying me and giving away too much grows closer. I will end this review by saying one last thing.

This film is not a contender for a Best Picture award. This Film is the winner!! It damn well better be!!!! I have seen many great movies this year and hope to see many many more, but the level of quality in this film cannot be outdone this year. Chances are that it will not be outdone for years to come. I hope they don't cut a frame a this film, not a second should be shaved. On June 30th go see this film. Call in sick to work, stop by 7-11 and fill your pockets with snacks then make your way to the first showing of this movie that your local theater has avalible!!! Then make sure you go see Cameron Crow's "Untitled"!!! It is a great movie and deserves not to be lost in the wide shadow of the Patriot.

P.S- Harry, I was told last night that there will be another screening of "Untitled" in Orange County on Thursday night.

-MadMan

Father Geek back with another look at last night's flick...

*********************************

Sith Bitch here, with a new report about The Patriot screening in Southern California.

First of all, there must have been enough people to fill up 2 theatres for this screening (I think they actually had 2 theatres running the show). I arrived about an hour early (6pm) and I was still hundreds of spaces behind the front of the line. Everyone and their Grandma wanted to see this show.

The best part about waiting in that long-ass line was glimpsing at this rather large red-headed fellow at the front doors. At first, I thought 'Hell no!' Sure enough, my eyes did not deceive me. There he was, larger than life- Harry Knowles, standing casually at the front of the doors with about 4 or 5 people around him. I can't believe how much this guy gets around for a sneak peek!

The movie was relatively finished, or at least it looked finished. The battle scenes are really violent (Braveheart Style, but with guns added to the blade weapons). The scenery looks authentic and at time you really think you are sitting off to the side of the battlefield in that era. Near the end, the movie does get a little "Hollywood" with the Twist scenarios. One of the lamest scenes is the Mel Gibson "ducking at the last minute" scene which you will all find to resemble a sequence from a John Woo movie.

There were many scenes that were uplifting in the movie. I swear I almost cried my Sith Bitch eyes out when Mel Gibson had a close moment with one of his daughters. To fight back the tears I had to think about Harry standing up at the front of the line while I fought the crowds at the back.

That is my 2 cents.

Sith Bitch out!

Readers Talkback

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  • April 19, 2000, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Yup Yup

    by JackieJokeman

    Sounds cool Yup yup...The Yup Yup Bandit

  • April 19, 2000, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Heath Ledger -super hottie

    by fangrrl

    And not a bad actor either.

  • April 19, 2000, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Sounds good, but it sounds to me like it could still use a littl

    by skittlebrau

    ...Cow Bell!

  • April 19, 2000, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Here's a third Best Pic Nominee

    by MR FURLEY

    Hey ive heard that Jeanot Schwarzc's "Three's Company" is getting great buzz. Add this, along with Patriot and untitled to the Best Pic list. I heard that Keene Curtis' performance as "the rev. Snow" had Roger Ebert in tears. Long Live Richard Kline

  • April 19, 2000, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Patriot Trailer

    by Monster Rain

    Can anyone tell me the music used in the trailer? It's been torturing me as to where I've heard it before. Thanks!

  • April 19, 2000, 3:47 p.m. CST

    amazing!

    by moxon

    I had a good felling about this movie and now I think it could be great but I dont know if it will be quite as good as madman says. But I we can hope cant we.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Well, then somebody better kick the marketing dept. in the arse.

    by superninja

    That trailer is shite. Some nice action sequences, but practially every line uttered is over-the-top and lame! "I will kill you before this war is over". OOooooh, scary. "I'll take that as a compliment." Now, I'm not a BIG continuity freak, but DID THEY EVEN TALK LIKE THAT BACK THEN? What's next, "I'm rubber, you're glue"?! Last of the Mohicans seemed to get it right without seeming like a period flick...go figure.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:18 p.m. CST

    superninja

    by mrbeaks

    At least they cut out the scene where Mel heckles the Brits with "Nah-nee, Nah-nee, boo-boo; stick your head in doo-doo." I'm no stickler, either, but that was stretching things a little too far.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:30 p.m. CST

    trailer music and more

    by mr_noodle

    The music used for the trailer isn't John Williams. It's a chunk of the score (by Craig Armstrong) for a film called "Plunkett And MacLeane" that came out last year with Liv Tyler. Personally, I'm thinking that the Patriot is going to be kind of an overblown ham-fest, but who knows what Devlin and Emmerich will pull out of their collective arses. Perhaps they'll surprise, but until I see the film, I'm taking this ecstatic review with a grain of salt. http://www.almostcool.org

  • April 19, 2000, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Braveheart 2?

    by superhero

    C'mon! Am I the only one that thinks this looks like a re-hash of Braveheart? It looks like a decent film but remember: These are the clowns that made Godzilla and Independence Day. Two of the WORST films I can remember seeing.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Remember kids one year ago on this site a little film called "Bl

    by gilmour

    My point is let's not get swept into the hype too much.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:51 p.m. CST

    This guy is a plant

    by fear of a ted

    I bet this guy is a gofer for the studios who sent him in to give a good review.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Studio Plant? Where???

    by mrbeaks

    That's a mighty bold statement, Mr. Ted.J.Bramble@Disney.com.

  • April 19, 2000, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Harry, where's your review?

    by canman11

    And while your at it, tell Moriarty to write one too.

  • April 19, 2000, 5 p.m. CST

    RE: Mbreaks last comment....

    by SCOTT1458

    BLAWAHAHAHAHAHAHA Think the dude could have at least used a different address?

  • April 19, 2000, 5:38 p.m. CST

    sure, ted may work for disney, but i think he's got a point

    by tommy five-tone

    i'm a weak-willed bastard, because i gotta admit that i was to dismiss this one as 'devlin/emmerich make sad, misguided stab at credibility' (after all, the first trailer was rather lame) but the recent good press that has been getting from various web pundits has got me kinda excited about it. but there's no denying that this review reeked of plantitude. "it rocked!!!"??? it's plantastic! it's planterrific! it's plantalicious! and so on. OK, i'm done.

  • April 19, 2000, 5:39 p.m. CST

    sure, ted may work for disney, but i think he's got a point (ver

    by tommy five-tone

    i'm a weak-willed bastard, because i gotta admit that i was ready to dismiss this one as 'devlin/emmerich make sad, misguided stab at credibility' (after all, the first trailer was rather lame) but the recent good press that has been getting from various web pundits has got me kinda excited about it. but there's no denying that this review reeked of plantitude. "it rocked!!!"??? it's plantastic! it's planterrific! it's plantalicious! and so on. OK, i'm done.

  • April 19, 2000, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Sleepy summer...sippin' lemonade and sitting on the porch.

    by Johnny Drywall

    MToppi, which semi-sleepers are you referring to? Mission Impossible 2? Dinosaur? Gladiator? U-571? Perfect Storm? Titan AE? Nutty Professor II? Me, Myself and Irene? The Hollow Man? or Gone in 60 Seconds? Now, I may be a little slow, but I'm figuring that's about $1,000,000,000 NOT including The Patriot or X-Men. Be Vigilant.

  • April 19, 2000, 5:53 p.m. CST

    The next AICN reviewer who says that the film they're reviewing

    by JavaDevilYouArey

    How often do we have to hear someone at this site say "This movie rocks! Mark my words, it's worthy of a Best Picture nomination!" What about the other films AICN reviewers have touted as "Best Picture" material? The Prince Of Egypt? The Mighty? Just shut the hell up already. Almost everytime someone here says this, they're laughably off the mark. Simply give us the review and stop the idiotic overhyping.

  • April 19, 2000, 5:54 p.m. CST

    I'm getting bad vibes offa this one...

    by Dave_F

    Maybe not quite as bad as the 'crap' vibes emanating from the "Shaft" remake, but pretty bad. Now I think Mel Gibson is a legitimately cool action hero-type, but Jesus, haven't we seen this guy turn boo-hoo angst into righteous fury a few too many times now? Haven't we seen the evil mustache-twirling Brits a few too many times now (most recent example was in "The Messenger" which I had the misfortune to rent last night)? Sorry, but this "it's dreamy!" review isn't very compelling at all. Gonna have to be a lot more critical praise to convince me this one is worth money.

  • April 19, 2000, 5:59 p.m. CST

    This could be... no, this is definately a fake review.

    by EL Duderino

    Best Picture of the year? Need I say any more? Chances are good that this guy could be B.S.'ing, so I'm waiting for other reviews. However, most of the reviews I have seen HAVE been positive, but not best pic positive. My word: Don't take this too seriously. Take it as seriously as when Will Smith said the MIB2 script was "brilliant." BTW, didn't Will vow to never do any sequels? WWW really screwed him over huh?

  • April 19, 2000, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Man that sucks there's another one my list

    by Atrayu

    Cant think...gladiator...exited...x-men...gonna be good...too many...perfect storm...hollow man...too much adreneline...mission impossible...too many...ridley scott...john woo...now patriot...too much...must sleep now ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz ggrrhgh ahhhh huh? Hey When does Snatch'd come out. God I love Guy Ritchie!!!

  • April 19, 2000, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Easy Big Fella...

    by McCauley1

    Seriously, I'm sure the movie is damn fine, but aren't we getting a bit ahead of ourselves by proclaiming it not only a CONTENDER for Best Picture, but the winner? I happen to really like Mel, and I suppose Heath Ledger can be tolerated, and the trailer really is spectacular, but three words should really keep everyone in check here: Devlin and Emmerich. Seriously.

  • April 19, 2000, 6:56 p.m. CST

    STUDIO PLANT! harry, pull the plug on the ads

    by kpoarse

    is this not the most obvious advertisement you've seen since godzilla and armageddon? crock, crock, and more crock. the trailer blows ("i'll kill you before the end of this war" hey, guess who'll die a gruesome and oh so vengeful death?) devlin and his partner have flung more abortions out onto movie screens at a rate not seen since bruckheimer and dead fat guy with cock implants and a taste for a bit of the nose candy. if you're a sucker for contrived emotion (independence day) and big patriotic speeches (independence day) then buy your advance tickets now. those two half-wits never had an original idea between them. they'll rip off every patriotic, gut-wrenching violent, sappy "gee pa, i wants to fight for my country" theme every put on film. and you'll all love it. sad.

  • April 19, 2000, 7:36 p.m. CST

    mel gibson kicks ass

    by yt

    If there's any question in your mind, rent Road Warrior and Mad Max!

  • April 19, 2000, 7:41 p.m. CST

    If I'm a plant I'd better see some damn money coming my way!!!

    by Backlot

    MadMan here, And I am standing by my review. I seen many many movies and I hit screenings all the time, but up until now a film hasn't moved me enough to warrant a review. This one has, (Crowe's movie almost did, but a bunch of you beat me to it) I am not a studio plant, nor do I work with/or for any company associated with this film. It was in talking with Harry before the film started last night that I decided to write the review (good or bad). The conversation originated with the fact that Harry asked me to send in a review for "UNTITLED" because he felt the film could still use a push, even if it has been reviewed a few times on here already. After the film, writing a review for "UNTITLED" was the furthest thing from my mind. "Patriot" reminded me of all the reasons I got into this business to begin with. And it has been on my mind all day long, I can't shake it. I'm not sue if Harry shares my thoughts on the film or not--like I said, he was gone in a flash--. But I do find it sad that a group of people can work so hard to make A film and the moment that someone sees there work and loves it, all the nay-sayers come out to knock the hell out of reviewers intergrity...Nice. If you see the film and feel differently, so be it. But I gave my honest review and You are all more than entitled to do the same once you see the film, but don't get all in a huff when you have yet to see anything but a trailer (which I too think is crappy--they need to stop treating it like braveheart). By the way-- I thought braveheart was good, but this movie pissed all over it. Infact the only film I can now think of that I have ever felt this way about is "Forrest gump". I'm sure you will all keep bitching and crying anyway. But I stand by my review. -MadMan

  • April 19, 2000, 7:59 p.m. CST

    COOL THE PARANOIA

    by RoadWarrior

    I heard great things about this movie while it was shooting, I think there's every reason to believe it's as great as people are saying. And cool it with the paronoia guys, some movies are just that great, which is why we go to the movies in the first place. Every time a reviewer digs a film the way I dug Jaws when I was a kid, or a lot of people dug Star Wars doesn't automatically make 'em a spy for some studio. So quit with the Big Brother shit and just sit back and enjoy the feeling of anticipating what really might be one hell of a movie...

  • April 19, 2000, 9:09 p.m. CST

    THE PATRIOT, I WAS THERE TOO

    by slugline

    Okay, The Patriot, despite my hopes that it would really suck, didn't. I was expecting the standard Roland Emmerich "this reminds me of about ten other movies" feeling, but instead I got the "this reminds me of Last Of The Mohicans and Braveheart, but it still managed to kick a little ass, and make me go a little misty a few times. It's not meaty enough for many repeat viewings, but what is there is pretty fun. And damn, Harry is a big man...

  • April 19, 2000, 9:46 p.m. CST

    by Johnny Drywall

    ...then rent "Lethal Weapon 4: More Of The Same" and "The Man Without A Face"...I like Mel too but just because he's made some good movies doesn't mean he'll be able to pull a rabbit out of Roland Emmerich.

  • April 19, 2000, 9:55 p.m. CST

    I can't wait to see this film!!

    by viola145

    Thank you for the review, madman! I have been wanting to see this film ever since I heard about it. And knowing that Mel was in it, made me know that it was going to be great, and from all that I have heard, it certainly is! It sounds so wonderful! I have only seen the trailer, but I will tell you all that it truly moved me. The music, the images, everything. I really loved it and I wish June 30th was already here!!! That is the date I have circled on my calendar and gosh, reading this review -- as awesome as it is -- has just made me all the more impatient to see it for real!!

  • April 19, 2000, 10:31 p.m. CST

    don't know if Madman is a plant, but Voila145 sure as hell is

    by devil0509

    That being said, I'm hoping this flick will be good. Not too many Revolutionary War flicks that come down the pipe, but that era of history certainly could be tapped in to effectively. I'm all hyped up for Gladiator, so I'll keep cool on this one until I see a review from the Fat One himself. BTW, a few subjects from that general era I'd love to see done: CS Forester's Hornblower done RIGHT (I love Peck, but Captain Hornblower gutted three Forester books and fucked 'em all up...just do Beat to Quarters and leave it at that), the battle of Waterloo, and maybe Trafalgar.

  • April 19, 2000, 10:56 p.m. CST

    no matter how good it is..

    by mmm_free_wig

    ..I still hope The Partiot, The Perfect Storm and Rocky & Bullwinkle, combined with the impact if Me Myself and Irene being released a week earlier, and having great staying power, make them all bomb, and they burn each other out just in time for X-men to get a clear shot at box office supremicy, and become the meg hit like it deserves. That'll teach Sony and Warner Bros. for thinking they could go up against x-men. (and i am aware of all the crazy logic iv'e used here, so don't bother pointing any of it out)

  • April 19, 2000, 11:48 p.m. CST

    MadMan+Forrest Gump

    by houndog

    You like Forrest Gump? Dude you're not a studio plant, you're just a freakin' idiot.

  • April 19, 2000, 11:57 p.m. CST

    whatever...

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    Well, why don't you enlighten us with your favorite films, Mr, ahem, houndog?

  • April 20, 2000, 2:52 a.m. CST

    All join with me now and sing along . . .

    by ol' painless

    shill shilly shill, shill shilly shill, shill-shill sheroo, pay me mon-ee, and I'll shill this shit for you (sung along to the chimney sweep tune). Oh!! And one more thing!! People who use too many exclamation marks BLOOOOOOOOW CHUNKS!!!!!!!!!!

  • April 20, 2000, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Patriot trailer music

    by ratso

    The same cue was used on the Romeo Must Die trailer, then Mission to Mars... so much for originality. Oh, and don't ya love that guy who expects X-Men to wipe out Perfect Storm, Patriot and Jim Carey? Can you say "delusional?"

  • April 23, 2000, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Obscure Stuff

    by Sceleratos

    IS this Heath Ledger guy From The PAtriot the same guy who was in that Fox Series "ROAR"? Sort of a BRaveheart rip off...Funny that some would say that The Patriot is too (probably because of the MEL factor...and most great struggles against opressive Empires(Like Ghandi, The afore mentioned Braveheart, and OUR Revolutionary war) were fought against the Brits. It's cool that they used the Music from Plunkett and Mclean...J. LEE Millar and Robert Carlye back together again!! Cool flick!

  • April 24, 2000, 4:41 a.m. CST

    Mel "ducked"?

    by floob

    I was kinda hoping he would've done "The Curly Shuffle" to avoid injury -- sorry, my mind's too preoccupied with Mel's first TV project, "The Three Stooges"! Nyuk, nyuk.

  • April 24, 2000, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Braveheart all over again...BORING!!!

    by Doug Exeter

    I am probably the only person in the world who doesn't care at all about this movie. All it looks like is an american "Braveheart." Boring!!! I'll think that I'll pass and wait for "Million Dollar Hotel." And what is it with the action directors wanting to be serious now. First it was James Cameron with "Titanic", now it's Michael Bay with "Pearl Harbor" and Roland Emmerich with "The Patriot." Oh well, not every year can be a banner Hollywood year.