Movie News

Moriarty's Rumblings From The Lab Returns w/ SWE2 title, SCOOBY DOO, Avary's SECONDS, SALTON SEA, Andrew Niccols & more

Published at: April 25, 2000, 3:09 a.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here with the return of the dear ol venerable Professor's RUMBLINGS FROM THE LAB. He has a lot to talk about and a backlog of info for a ton... (term for judging amount of words written) ...of future columns. Right from the get go, there are 2 subjects he brings up in this column... one is the new (NOT CRAIG TITLEY) draft of SCOOBY-DOO which got Warners all moist to start filming. Now I'm not going to bag on that draft, I haven't read it yet (it's en route), all I'm going to ask of the powers that be at Warners... is that the execs in charge of SCOOBY-DOO... just read the Craig Titley draft from the New Line days... There's no re-write needs, no touch ups... It's ready to go. It's dead on the right direction for the franchise. AND THEN THE SECOND ITEM I'D LIKE TO TOUCH UPON... is the George Lucas piece that Moriarty wrote below. I have nothing to add to it. It's exactly as it happened from our side, and as much as I'd have loved to of gone, friendship is always more important. Oh... and also... expect an announcement from Lucasfilm on May 19th, 2000 about the 2nd Film... and possibly Sean Patrick Flannery... we'll see...

RUMBLINGS FROM THE LAB #32 RE: Andrew Niccols, SCOOBY-DOO, SALTON SEA, SECONDS, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, SPIKE & MIKE, & That Damn George Lucas Story!!

Hey, Head Geek…

“Moriarty” here.

Before I do anything else, I want to thank all of you who have written to me during my brief hiatus from this column to urge me back into writing it. I have not tried to stay away from the RUMBLINGS for this long. In fact, I’m running about a week behind what I hoped would be my return date. There’s been a lot going on here lately, though. Harry Lime and I have hatched an experiment that I am particularly proud of, and we are working with a team of talented professionals to unleash the evil on the town in the weeks ahead. I’ve even flirted with having a real personal life, and those fumbling attempts have almost made me happy enough to give up evil entirely. Almost. You see, one of my favorite things in the world is having this weekly outlet, and it’s only been the overwhelming workload here at the Labs that has kept me from having this ready each Tuesday morning for you. Let me share with you just a sample of the love and affection that I’ve been showered with in my mailbox every day for the last few weeks.

And I quote…

“Hey, Mr. Stupid Geinus!!

You think your so smart that you can just not even write your story and we’ll still kiss your ass! Fuck you, dumabass! I don’t care if you didn’t ever write a story agin! You can just shut up and I’ll laugh!”

After a letter like that, how can I resist? So here we are again, deep in the heart of Hollywood, at my typical vampire pre-dawn hours, and I’ve just finished working my way through a major stack of scripts, several of which I’d like to discuss today. Before I do, I owe an apology to Howard Rodman, who wrote the wonderful adaptation of JOE GOULD’S SECRET, a film that I want to urge you all to see again. In my initial review, I somehow forgot to mention the writer, a bitter irony considering what the film is about. Rodman nursed this project for years, and the work he did to bring seemingly unadaptable material to the screen, particularly with such incisive wit, cannot be underestimated. Stanley Tucci may have a distinct signature as a director, a simple uncluttered visual style that marks each of his films with a quiet elegance, but it was Rodman who shaped the picture originally and who gave Ian Holm one of the best roles of his career.

Now, let’s take a look at my reading stack and see what’s good, what’s bad, and what made me hurt the henchmen.

RIVER ROAD

If I had a chance to sit down with any of the writers I’m dealing with today and ask them about the work they’ve done, my first choice would be Andrew Niccols. Remember him? Before M. Night Shyamalan became the anointed one, Niccols was building a reputation as a high concept writer with a brain thanks to GATTACA and (especially) THE TRUMAN SHOW. Both of those movies deal with someone longing to escape a life they are dissatisfied with, a world they’ve been born into unfairly. Way back in RUMBLINGS #21, I made a crack about the announcement of RIVER ROAD, the newest Niccols script, saying it sounded like another trip back to the same well. Now that I’ve read it, there’s no way to avoid the comparisons. Niccols is a man with only one story to tell, and no matter how expertly he tells it, the question must be asked: will the audience care?

This time out, Niccols has named his main character Milar, but it doesn’t really matter what he’s called. He’s Truman. He’s Ethan Hawke in GATTACA. He’s the guy who wants out. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it this time, either. There’s no clever metaphor about assuming the life of another or about growing up under constant scrutiny. Instead, we get a dingy, grimy world in which life is all about a border that separates them from us. Life on this side of the border is hellish, miserable, and filled with the threat of sickness. Life on that side of the border is rumored to be better. That’s really all we’re told. Milar is the new guy in a small town called River Road, a work town that sits right on the river that marks the separation of the two countries. He is determined to make an escape, and that’s why he’s come to town. What he learns upon arriving, though, is that there is no escape. The locals have seen every variation on escape attempts possible, and they know the pitfalls of every single method. You can’t go under, you can’t go over, you can’t go around, and you sure as hell can’t go through. That leaves a life of acceptance… and Milar isn’t able to just give up. He wants out, and he’ll do anything it takes.

And that’s all there is to it. The film just plays out as a long series of escape attempts and planning sessions, and the antagonists are painted in simple blacks and whites. If all of this was in service of some greater idea, some metaphor that really spoke to me, then I could accept the almost minimalist attempts at characterization that Niccols makes. It’s not, though. This is just an empty exercise, the screenplay equivalent of treading water.

It’s a shame, too. One of the best screenplay experiences I’ve ever had was when I read an early draft of THE TRUMAN SHOW. At that point, the film was still set in New York City… or at least, in a fake NYC that was reproduced perfectly on the world’s largest soundstage. It read very much like the eventual release version of the film, but there was one great scene that I’ve never shaken, a scene that Niccols actually shot as a test when he wanted to direct TRUMAN, with Gary Oldman starring as Truman for him.

It took place midway through the film, once Truman has started to put it all together. He’s realizing that the world is fake and that he’s the center of it, and he’s about to crack from the pressure of it all. Desperate for something to prove his theory, he does the unthinkable: he grabs a woman’s baby from her on the street and lifts the defenseless infant over his head. “TELL ME MY NAME!” he bellows at her. She protests between her tears that she doesn’t know his name. He shakes the infant, tells her that he’ll do it, and demands that she say his name. All she does is cry harder, and Truman suddenly realizes what he’s doing, where he is. Horrified by himself, he relaxes, handing the infant back to her. As he turns to walk away, she can’t help herself. She sobs gratefully, “Thank you, Truman.”

The first time I read that, I was convinced Andy Niccols was a major talent. I’m still convinced he can build memorable moments and scenes. I just hope he someday finds the confidence to set out for that new ground he writes of, a place where he might find some new theme to explore.

SECONDS (2NDS)

Roger Avary, you’ve got your work cut out for you. You’ve decided for some mad reason to take a crack at John Frankenheimer’s SECONDS, a great surreal work that stands as a fairly original movie that defies easy category. Having now read your take on the film, I can say that I’m really excited by what you’re doing. It’s bold stuff, marked straight through by the same kind of sadness and desolation that the first film was.

I’ve heard people refer to SECONDS as a horror film… indeed, Avary does it himself within the draft. To me, though, this is horror the way Cronenberg’s THE FLY or VIDEODROME or JACOB’S LADDER or SAFE are horror films. These stand outside the conventions of the genre and try to say something human by using these terrible images. SECONDS deals with the fear of aging, of life passing us by. It’s a fear that we all have to face. I’m nearing one of those landmark ages myself right now, and although I’m young by Evil Genius standards, I’m definitely not a kid anymore. Even at this point, I feel the weight of that. For someone who is at the end of a career, the end of a marriage… the end of a life… the promise of youth and a new start would be irresistible.

I don’t think this is a perfect draft by any means, but it’s an early one still. There’s room for this film to be great and haunting. It’s a great role for a pair of lead actors. The older version of the main character is a man on his way out, and the right star playing those first 40 pages will break your heart. The trick is, of course, finding the younger star who takes his place once he’s joined The Seconds Trust and has been granted this wish. I love the way the character is drawn into this mysterious world, and I love the way his decision is handled. He doesn’t adjust well, but he does adjust. It’s real, and it makes all the little moments along the way into the feature, not the filler.

Avary’s script is about the whole journey… all the lonely moments, the funny ones, the erotic, the perverse and the painful. He captures those little moments of real joy that mark the way to a successful new life, and when the lead character stumbles and makes terrible choices, it’s wrenching. We don’t want to watch this poor bastard be destroyed. We want him to succeed no matter how terrible any of his individual choices are. We want him to succeed because we want to think that if it was us… if we got that second chance… we’d be the ones who used it right. There’s a rich supporting cast here (including a pair of friends to the lead with the none-too-subtle names of Quentin and Mira), and this isn’t going to be a monster budgeted film. Instead, it could be a great little film that packs a major punch. Right now, Mace Neufeld is co producing the film with Jonathon Mostow’s company, and although Gary Fleder was once rumored, there’s no one currently attached to direct. Whoever does sign on has been written a formidable challenge by Avary. I’ll be curious to see what they do with it.

THE SALTON SEA

Here’s one that I’ve been very interested in since Frank Darabont first mentioned it to me a few months ago. Val Kilmer, Adam Goldberg, Peter Sarsgaard and Debra Kara Unger are all attached to star, and Darabont is producing this Tony Gayton script along with Ken Agudo, Butch Robinson, and Eric LaSalle. DJ Caruso, who made his debut with the direct-to-HBO film BLACK CAT RUN, is signed on to helm this. I know that Frank’s a big fan of BLACK CAT RUN, shot from an older script of his, and that he’s excited to have Caruso break into features. It’s going to be a fairly splashy debut, too.

For people who only know Frank from SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and GREEN MILE, this is going to come as quite a shock. This isn’t a warm, inspirational film. This isn’t about a triumph of the huan spirit. This is Jim Thompson country, nasty and dark and funny in the most inappropriate of ways. It’s also a knockout script that has a chance at finally giving Val Kilmer a classic role to play. He’s Danny Flynne in the film… or maybe he’s Tom Van Allen. He’s a talented trumpet player. Or maybe he’s a raging tweaker. He’s an avenging angel, a Judas, a loving husband and a prodigal son. He is haunted by visions of his past, and he is locked in a self-destructive course in the present.

This is a hard one to discuss without ruining it, and part of the fun of the script is that every time you think you’ve got a handle on where you’re going or what’s coming next, the whole thing twists out from under you, dodging this way, twisting that way. The joys of the film are many, with the eccentric character work standing out in particular. The introduction of a plastic-nosed crank dealer named Pooh-Bear is one of my favorite sequences in the movie, involving a plate of scrambled eggs, a vile story about sawing a guy’s head open, miniature cars, four duct-taped pigeons, and a complete recreation of the shooting of JFK.

It’s one long, strange trip of a script, and it makes perfect sense for Val Kilmer to be signed on. For years, he’s threatened to produce an adaptation of THE KILLER INSIDE ME, one of the greatest books of the noir genre, and probably my favorite Jim Thompson novel. That’s a hard piece of material to get right, though, and this script must have spoken to Kilmer from many of the same places. He gets to play as many different faces as when he did THE SAINT, but it’s not in service of some cobbled-together bullshit action movie. Instead, this is a pretty great little story about loss and recovery, about the lengths we will go to when we have to prove to ourselves that we’re not cowards. It’s about wearing a mask for so long that it becomes you. Most of all, it’s about to be a movie that we can all get jazzed to see. Thanks, Frank.

SCOOBY-DOO (James Gunn draft)

Can I confess a bit of bias here before I discuss this latest attempt by Warner Bros. to turn Hanna Barbera’s beloved iconic canine detective into a live action franchise? When I read the Craig Titley draft of this film, the one that was created for Turner Pictures, I suddenly had faith for the first time ever that it could work as a movie. That script, which I reviewed back in RUMBLINGS #12, was funny and sweet and smart and played its humor on a number of levels without ever tipping its hand. I got excited when I read that draft.

Well, a lot’s changed since then. For one thing, Turner Pictures was folded into Warner Bros. I’ve heard about much of the political scuffling that took place behind the scenes with the script, and it’s nothing particularly new. No one at Warner would be involved in developing the project if the Turner draft was used. It was important that if SCOOBY-DOO were to work, it be something that Warner could take credit for. They brought in their own writers. Mike Myers allegedly took a shot at it, although I have yet to actually speak to anyone who’s read that draft. Whatever happened with him, he left the project, and James Gunn was brought in to take a pass at it.

That’s where we are now. Warner Bros. is happy enough with the script that they’re out to directors on it. They’ve shown it to several people, and they’re nearing a decision soon. That implies faith in this draft. They’re pretty sure they’re on the right track now.

They’re wrong.

The worst part of saying this is that some people will dismiss this as more anti-Warner ranting from me or from Harry. That perception kills me. One of the things that makes us pay attention to Warner films is that we both have strong emotional investments in that Warner shield. It’s on the front of some of the greatest goddamn movies that have ever been made, in Hollywood or anywhere. That shield means something, the same way the Fox logo does. The films it has graced are all there, right at the edge of a film geek’s memory, each time the lights go down and that’s the first thing we see. Because of those films that have come before, and because of the ones that work now, there is a standard that is inherent, a level that should be risen to.

Yes… I know… it’s SCOOBY DOO. It’s not Shakespeare. How passionate can we be about this property, right? It indicative of how every property is treated, though. You own a great draft of the script. Yet you continue to develop the material for no apparent reason. The thing you’re finally prepared to make is a pale shadow of something great that you are well within your rights to film.

What’s wrong with James Gunn’s script? It’s simple… tone. He never once finds a tone that will work. He insists on structuring in obvious sex and drug jokes. His world is one in which JERRY SPRINGER is a real show. His world is one in which Daphne and Fred have not only had an active sexual life, but they insist on discussing it, making subtext text at every opportunity.

Titley’s draft was written so that everyone, including kids, could enjoy the film at face value. For adults, the more mature material was right there, but it was clever, gentle, an elbow in the ribs instead of a sharp stick in the eye. Gunn’s draft crosses the line time and time again, proving itself offensive at every opportunity.

Now… I’m going to disclose something here, getting back to that bias I mentioned at the start of this review. I know Craig Titley. I met him after I first reviewed his SCOOBY DOO script. He’s a great guy. That’s not why I’m advocating for the script, though. You see, I also know Scooby Doo. I grew up with him. And if you ask me, there’s no comparison between the two drafts in terms of the most important of elements, the characterization of Scooby Doo himself. Titley gets it right. He loves the character, and it shows. Scooby is the exact Scooby we want to have along. He’s a coward on the surface, but he’s rock solid when it matters. He’s not terribly bright, but he’s sure no fool. Gunn doesn’t understand the first thing about the characters. He insists on debasing all of them, making them shrill, ugly versions of their worst traits.

Children cannot see Gunn’s film. They simply should not be allowed to sit in a theater and see the material that Gunn has written. If children cannot see a film that is called SCOOBY-DOO, it will fail. There’s no two ways about that, Warner. SCOOBY-DOO is an all audiences movie. You have a responsibility to parents. Making a film called SCOOBY-DOO is a promise. If you fill the film with self-referential adult material that is played on a surface level, you risk infuriating your core audience. It’s like making a movie called MICKEY MOUSE that has a hardcore bondage sex scene. It’s inappropriate.

You have not hired a director yet. You have not started shooting yet. You have not passed the point of no return. You have a chance to do this right. Please… take the advice of some meddling kids. After all, it’s SCOOBY-DOO.

THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED

After that last piece, it almost feels redundant to bring up another example of what can happen when a piece of material is developed to death. Here’s a case where desperation and dealmaking have collided to create a bastard project that should never roll forward in its present form. Anne Rice is going to start to get very vocal and very pissy about this film once she actually reads it. If she doesn’t, I will be astonished, since this is the rape of her original material that she was afraid Neil Jordan’s excellent INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE might be.

The current active stage of development on QUEEN OF THE DAMNED got underway late last year when Anne Rice began to make fairly public comments during interviews about how slow Warner Bros. was in creating a sequel to Jordan’s smash hit 1994 film. “Warner Bros. loses the rights next year if they don’t make the films. We’ll get them back, and then we’ll do the films right.” This was her mantra, and it may prove to be her undoing.

You see, studios don’t like paying for things they’re not going to use. It’s considered poor business. People lose their jobs over multi-million dollar options that result in big announcements and nothing else. As a result, Anne Rice’s convenient “heads up” was heeded by Warner, which immediately put a team on it. Right away, drafts of the script were generated, with the order coming from on high that the script must feature material from both THE VAMPIRE LESTAT and QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, the only way to retain the rights to both books. In the end, the story is like a hybrid of both books, and the result is even more cluttered and confused than the self-parody that Rice has lapsed into in her recent work.

In fact, I never thought I’d say that it was possible to disgrace the world she’s created, since I think it’s not-so-softcore gothic porn for the most part. This script manages the task handily. As soapy and as overwrought as Rice’s work can be, it was born from a genuine pain and a genuine attraction to this dark world she’s devised. To her, there is nothing more crushingly romantic than the embrace of Death itself. Lestat is her perfect lover, the dark prince that haunts the first series of books in her Vampire Chronicles. If you look at all the marketing for Jordan’s film, it was obviously meant to be the first film in a series.

So how do you perpetuate that series? Easy… throw out anything we saw in the first one, throw out all the successful collaborators who made the first film work, hack something together under extreme pressure, and then just pray for rain, right?

That seems to be the route taken by Scott Abbott, Michael Petroni, and (in particular) Michael Rymer, who is set to direct this bit of calculated nonsense. Things happen in this film because they happened in the books. There’s not much effort made to make any sense of it as a coherent story that stands alone. If you don’t know who the major players are (or were in the case of the ones who have been significantly altered), you will be positively stumped by the meaning of most of what happens on screen. Things begin and end with bad boy Lestat, who was set to be played by Wes Bentley. He bolted recently, and word is Warner plans to penalize him for skipping the film, forcing him to stay jobless until it finishes shooting. If he’s worried about his SPIDER-MAN availability, he shouldn’t be. They have to have this film finished by November. They have to have it in the can or they lose the rights. I think Wes knew just how much of a no-win situation this film was going to become, and that’s the real reason he skipped out. The script reads like a $140 million film, with staggering crowd scenes, sweeping historical sequences, and massive earth-shattering special effects. There’s no way they’re going to pull off what’s on the page onscreen, and that means that not only is it a bad script… but it’s a bad script they can’t even shoot.

The most ridiculous thing here is the musical sequences. Lestat starts a band, and they become the biggest rock band in the world overnight. There’s a lot of scenes where “Lestat begins to play the most incredible song ever written, music that literally changes the life of every man, woman, and child who hears it, divine sounds that are beyond description. When he sings, he is the best singer ever in the history of the world, and his voice makes everyone in the room have multiple orgasms.” There’s no way to do what is described. It’s the old Lovecraft adaptation problem. If it’s too beautiful to describe, then chances are it’s going to be a little more complex than just Korn. Because that’s what it’s going to be in this film… Korn. They’ve signed on to write the songs. And did I mention that the most beautiful music in the history of the world is supposed to be written by Korn?

True… the film is going to shoot in Melbourne, which is in the middle of a major image battle with Sydney to prove that it, too, can be a center for film production, offering every kind of discount and incentive possible to try to lure QUEEN OF THE DAMNED there. That may stretch their dollar a bit. But in the end, it’s in the imagination that this film is going to fall apart. When Neil Jordan approached similar material the first time out, he managed to make something brilliant and beautiful and ethereal and monstrous of it. His film succeeded because he had real respect for what he was doing, and because he took the time to get it right. When this one fails miserably, make careful note of where the two processes differed.

GOT NOTHING BUT LOVE 4 U

Now… having said all that, I’d like to ask a favor of Warner Bros. While you guys are taking a crack at putting together that great new SUPERMAN DVD, do you think you could let Richard Donner finally dust off the footage that would be required to rebuild SUPERMAN II? I mean, you could pay Marlon Brando off so you could finally use the footage of him. You could rebuild the entire opening sequence with Lois and Clark and her jumping out a window to prove that he’s Superman. You could let Donner reshape the whole Niagra Falls revelation. You could let him make the movie that he wanted to make, that he would have made if he hadn’t had the Salkinds to contend with. You could release it as an “alternative” cut, making the original Lester cut of the film available as well in a letterboxed edition.

Someone anonymously sent me an article by Edward Gross that detailed the original Donner cut of SUPERMAN II. It’s a great piece of research. Click here to read the original story.

Maybe the upcoming SUPERMAN release is going to be a monster hit. I sure hope so. It could only make it more likely we see this restored piece of work, something that could only improve a film that is already greater than the sum of its parts, my personal favorite comic book adaptation movie so far.

SICK AND TWISTED IN LA JOLLA

Just after the beginning of this year, I had an opportunity to spend an afternoon in La Jolla with someone who has had a great deal of influence on the animation rebirth that I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy over the last decade or so. He’s one of those people like Cher or Madonna who can get away with just one name. I know that as I sat with the lovely Lynn Bracken in a restaurant, awaiting his arrival, all I cared about was finally getting to meet Spike.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of animation. I was weaned on Disney like most of you, but I was always rabid for anything that represented the medium, any new sort of animated kick. When I first saw a Spike & Mike Festival of Animation, it was in the ‘70s, and I remember some of the films they showed then. BAMBI VS. GODZILLA was an early trademark piece. Back then, though, it wasn’t a Sick & Twisted fest. It was just a presentation of shorts that might otherwise never be screened.

As the years passed, I kept seeing those names pop up on collections of animation. “Spike & Mike.” To me, that was just this big honking stamp of approval. When the Sick & Twisted festivals got underway, they were ridiculously fun to attend. People got rowdy. They were traveling parties. All sorts of infamous cartoons made appearances in the Spike & Mike lineup. Astute observers will remember “Frog Baseball,” an introduction to the iconic Mike Judge characters, Beavis & Butt-head. Personally, I always thought “Lupo The Butcher” was one of the greatest things in the history of celluloid, but that might just be me.

And through it all, I had no idea who the people behind those names were. I just always made sure I saw the names on animation collections before driving to the Nuart or the Sunset 5 or wherever. I knew that as long as it said “Spike & Mike,” it would have some great stuff in it. I knew that I’d be getting the very best of what was available at any given time. I knew that I’d see some old favorites and a fistful of new stuff, the cutting edge. And year in, year out, that’s exactly what I got.

So when Lynn Bracken returned from her Sundance adventures and reported in on meeting Spike, who had just taken his festival to Park City for the first time, I was overjoyed to learn that she had arranged for me to meet him on his home turf a few short weeks later.

And, yes… I am aware how late I am in reporting this to you. But there are some stories, some experiences, that are worth sharing whether they happened yesterday or three months or six months ago. Sitting in that restaurant and watching Spike walk in is one of them.

I know now that his whole name is Craig “Spike” Decker, but I can’t possibly begin to label this giant ambulatory cartoon as anything so mundane as Craig. Nope. He’s Spike right away. I’m a pretty tall guy, pretty broad framed, but Spike dwarfed me in every dimension. He had on the craziest fur hat I’ve ever seen, a bizarre hybrid of fake weasel and faux jackal, ugly as sin. Big flaps stuck out from the top of the thing like ears. He had on a massive leather jacket even though it was unseasonably warm out. In every way, Spike seemed to be the walking personification of the films he has always brought to people -- larger than life, filled with color, noisy, rowdy.

As soon as he began to tell stories, I sat back and let him go. It was worth it. He’s met everyone in the animation business, and one of his strong suits is the ease with which he can be convinced to talk. Spike’s an enormously entertaining guy in person. He also makes a very persuasive point about his place in the whole history of modern animation, something that has become especially important to establish since the passing of Mike Gribble in August of 1994. Spike and Mike started their partnership at a place called Mellow Manor, a sort of Animal House, a crazed hangout where films were sometimes exhibited. Spike told me about a showing of DEEP THROAT in the ‘70s that was raided by the cops. Spike and Mike just made it out of the house moments before the cops busted in.

Originally, the whole point of Mellow Manor was to book animation to accompany rock bands onstage. Eventually, the animation became the reason for people to show up, and Spike and Mike became real leaders in terms of exhibiting short animation to people. They were responsible for bringing all sorts of artists to their first American exposure. Tim Burton (VINCENT), John Lasseter (TIN TOY), Bill Plympton (NOSE HAIR), Nick Park, Bruno Bazetto, and more… they’ve all had early success with Spike and Mike. That’s something that gets consistently overlooked whenever there’s a Beavis & Butt-head or a South Park… many of these things got their first major release through Spike.

Looks like things are starting to change, respect-wise. Major publications are starting to write about Spike, and he’s going to be going to Cannes this year with his festival. Dear God… Spike on the Croisette… someone better warn the French.

For those of you who haven’t been to a Spike and Mike event in the past, you’ve still got plenty of opportunity. There’s a new Sick & Twisted Fest every summer. It’s more than just a simple collection of cartoons, too. If you’ve ever been to one of these shows, you can attest… it’s a lot of fun. They’re events. If you want a look at what to expect, try clicking here!

BANNED FROM THE RANCH

Have you ever seen the special effects company BANNED FROM THE RANCH mentioned in the closing credits of a film? I know the first time I saw the name, I wondered about the story. I actually got a couple of chances to speak with Van Ling, one of the founding partners of the company, and ask him what it meant several years ago. He told me that several of the ILM effects artists had been at a Lucasfilm party at the Ranch, and some of them had decided to do something in George Lucas’ office. They described it as a prank of some sort, but whatever they were doing, George flipped out when he found them in there, and they were not only fired, but… well, you get the picture.

It’s a great name for a company, and their business card, complete with the logo of a gunslinger who stands poised at the edge of the property, is a hoot. But even having heard the story, I didn’t take the company name too terribly serious. After all, that’s such an extreme phrase.

Then, about the time Harry and I went to the GLADIATOR screening in San Francisco, a series of events transpired that really made me question a couple of things, including the work I’d done here at AICN. At the time, everyone advised us to stay quiet about it, to keep it to ourselves, and I’m glad we sat on the story for a while so I could write about this from a place that’s not just pure wounded emotion, but there are things that I think merit discussion here. After all, this page is not your typical professional concern. The reason I met Harry in the first place… the whole reason Harry and I are friends, in fact… is because of our common bonds as fans. We were fans before we were Internet website writers, and the thing that keeps me interested in doing this, that keeps me searching through film after film after script after script is the hope that I’ll find something new to love, something I can revere the way I do with my favorite films of childhood.

Most of those films that I revere from those early days had something to do with the sure hand of George Lucas. I’ve made no secret about that here on the page. If you remember the piece I wrote after seeing the first teaser trailer for THE PHANTOM MENACE, or the piece I wrote after reading the screenplay for the first time, then you know that I’ve always been direct and honest about my love for the world of STAR WARS. It’s one of those pivotal, defining things for me. It’s a big part of who I am.

In the few years I’ve been working with Harry, I know full well that we’ve ruffled feathers because of what we do here. I’ve heard it both first hand and through friends of friends. I’ve had people send me angry letters. I’ve also met a number of people who I now list as friends. I am prepared for there to be fall out from my actions, although there is never malice involved in what I do. All I can ever do is be honest about what I think and feel and observe, and hope that’s enough.

When we were preparing for the San Francisco trip, Harry called me and asked what I would think of taking a trip to the Ranch. For a long moment, it was like I couldn’t hear anything else he said. My ears got all swimmy and I had to repeat it a few times. “Did you say The Ranch?” He repeated the question and told me that we had been invited.

Immediately, all of those feelings that you think you’ve put away or slowly subjugated as you move from fan to professional came flooding back, and I was fully aware of the power that certain things still have over me. I was seven years old again, and I was going to the place where they make STAR WARS. Harry laughed, obviously high on the same rush of emotion, and told me he’d make the call.

And he did.

And an hour later, they called back.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I picked up the phone. You know that silence that comes over the line before bad news? We’ve all heard it, and it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It’s just automatic tension and stress and… “Hello?” I said. “Harry?”

“Dude… I don’t know what to say. I’ve been talking to the guy for an hour… I’ve been trying to work it out…”

“What?”

“Dude… Moriarty… you can’t go to the Ranch.”

As much as I thought I was winded by the news we were going, this was worse. This is that sick sort of low ache that starts hot and just keeps warming up. I could feel it spread through me as Harry began to talk quickly, explaining about how he had called back and left four names for the Lucasfilm tour. It was to be Harry, Father Geek, Annette Kellerman, and me, the infamous “Moriarty.” (HARRY NOTE: Technically I called with our real names, unfortunately the person that initially called Lucasfilm had called with the site names, which caused this bruhaha) And everyone was approved to visit except me.

It turns out that I am officially Banned From the Ranch.

I felt like a pilgrim standing at the gates to Mecca, watching as everyone else went in past me, around me. We’re all dressed the same, we’d all made the same journey, and I’d been as devout as anyone… but still, I was being denied. I tried to put my best spin on it, telling Harry that at least the others could all still go. I said I’d find something to do in San Francisco, and we’d all hook up after the tour. We were supposed to go straight from the airport to Lucas Valley Road, to the place where all my dreams have lived since I was a boy… but I’d be taking a different shuttle, one that led away, into the city, and I’d have to just hear about it, as I have so many times before.

At first Harry tried to justify going. Not to me, but to himself. He asked me over and over, though, if I was alright with it. “I won’t go. All you have to do is say so, and I won’t go.” Eventually, he got real quiet before announcing to me the same thing he’d been saying for the half-hour prior. “No… I don’t think I can go. I don’t think we’re going. Shit… we’re not going.” He called back and passed along his regrets, but explained that he couldn’t attend with only part of his group. That’s not how things are done at AICN.

And when he asked for an explanation of why I wasn’t able to attend, about what sin had caused me to be cast out, he was told that it all went back to my being the first person to review the script online.

Here’s the kicker, folks… wait for it… I wasn’t the first person to do so. In fact, there had been two full script reviews before mine. Harry’s was one of them.

Now, I don’t mind being punished for something I’ve done when there’s a reason. For example, if Lucasfilm really felt strongly about the fact that we had run spoiler info in our script reviews, and they had a standard policy of banning anyone who had discussed the script before a certain date, then I would have to accept that as the consequence of my actions.

But Harry tried explaining to Lucasfilm that they had their information wrong. He tried to tell them about the other two reviews that ran, both on AICN. Harry even offered to look up the links.

Nope. Lucasfilm had decided.

And that’s their right. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m writing this in an effort to get you to say, “Poor Moriarty.” I know that most people are never even invited to the Ranch. I know that going is a privilege, not something that fans are guaranteed.

But we are fans. We speak for a huge number of fans. We are, for whatever reason, representative of fans at this particular point. Harry and I and the others who put this page together… we’re you guys, but with a platform. And when Lucasfilm plays games with fan, a la all the recent sound and fury regarding THE PHANTOM MENACE on DVD, feelings get hurt and people get angry and a little bit of that special pure childlike sense of wonder dies. You’re reminded that this is a business, that this is not something that was created out of the goodness of someone’s heart. This is a franchise. This is something that is a corporate asset. We the fans do not enter into the decisions that are made regarding STAR WARS. Our money does. Lucasfilm decided to ban me from the Ranch because they wanted to send a message about what level of fandom is appropriate. Harry is someone it makes sense to have to the Ranch. If there’s a way to win Harry over, then Lucasfilm would be foolish not to try. They don’t need to worry about me, so they just banned me to be done with it.

And that’s the message here. If Lucasfilm doesn’t have to contend with you, they won’t. And when they do, they will do it in the most painless (for them) manner possible. The fans have truly been shut out. EPISODE II development continues apace, and you can bet that no matter what you’ve kicked and screamed about, and no matter how many other people have kicked and screamed about the same thing, and no matter how rational you think your points and protests are, none of it matters. Lucasfilm will do what Lucasfilm wants, and that’s all there is to it.

As Harry and I enjoyed our visit to the Metreon and to San Francisco, there was always this thing nagging at me, in the back of my head. Some of the guys who were with us on the trip and who we had dinner with joked that I should be proud to be banned. After all, they hated EPISODE I, so what does it matter?

That’s just the thing, though. I don’t hate EPISODE I. In fact, despite the fact that I have problems with certain elements of the film, I have actually come to like it quite a bit more than I did upon first viewing, and even then, I felt it was a solid fantasy film that deserved real consideration. As I have watched it over and over these last six months, wearing my way through tapes, I find much to love in the film. It belongs to the same universe that so enthralled me as a boy, and any chance to visit there leaves me better.

At the end of our time in San Francisco, Harry and I found ourselves in the great FAO Schwartz toystore there, roaming from floor to floor. There was a melancholy between us. We had talked around the STAR WARS thing all weekend, never actually talking about it. As we were riding the last escalator up inside the store, we happened to look up.

The entire ceiling of FAO Schwartz was dressed like the underside of the Millennium Falcon.

It was really beautiful, and as I stepped off the escalator, I could hear music… the STAR WARS theme, that familiar John Williams strain. The irony was just terrible. As I walked out onto the top floor, I saw two kids run by with TIE Fighters in their hands. I followed them around to where half the floor had been given over to a massive STAR WARS display.

A full-sized AT-AT was breaking through from the roof, its front legs holding it up, its cannons firing constantly. On monitors all around the floor, A NEW HOPE was playing. There were toys there I’d never seen anywhere else, FAO exclusives. I stopped by one of the monitors, losing track of Knowles, of the store around me.

Onscreen, Ben Kenobi stood opposite Darth Vader, lightsabers extended. Old familiar dialogue skipped across my ears, barely registering at this point. It was just the little details I saw. Luke’s face when he caught sight of these two circling one another. That little smile that Kenobi gives before he surrenders himself to Vader’s attack. Vader’s foot probing for some clue as to Kenobi’s disappearance.

And standing there, watching those images, I couldn’t have hated George Lucas if he had actually assaulted me himself. I just don’t have the heart. I have invested too much of myself in these worlds. I have spent too much time on these adventures. They are part of the very fabric of who I am, and I can’t change that at this late date no matter what.

Knowles let me know that we were running late, and he and I left the store. I noticed that he had a bag with him, and I realized I had no idea where he had gone while we were inside. We got to the hotel, checked out, and just barely had time to hop our transport to the airport. En route, Harry gave me the FAO bag. “Don’t open it yet, though,” he told me.

I wouldn’t have had time to disobey him even if I’d wanted to. The entire experience of getting onto the plane was a nightmare, with flights being cancelled and rearranged and rerouted. I found my way onto my flight before collapsing. It was only then that I remembered the bag.

I found a simple white box inside, heavy, with the unmistakable SW logo on the outside. I broke the single piece of tape and removed from the box a large, beautiful snowglobe. Inside, a small snowspeeder circled an AT-AT while a music box version of “The Imperial March” played. I shook it up and watched the fake snow cascade around the AT-AT, a smile springing to my face unbidden.

Inside, Harry had scrawled a quick note and tucked it where I’d find it.

“It’s the art, not the artist.”

That snowglobe sits on my desk now, and I find myself picking it up frequently. There’s a PHANTOM MENACE calendar hanging off to the right. There’s a Destroyer Droid perched on top of my monitor. I am surrounded every day by something that puts money in George Lucas’ pocket. And I don’t care that I am Banned From the Ranch. If anything, it gives me permission to continue to cover these films without fear of retribution. The worst has happened. None of it will color anything I write here, because Harry’s right.

It’s the art… not the artist.

It’s just a shame that’s the way it has to be.

And with that, I have to run. There’s a million more things to do at the Labs, and now that we’re back on schedule, I’ll be bringing you more information about the Forrest J. Ackerman trial, and I’ll be wading through even more of this crazy reading stack to bring you looks at films both near and far from release. In the meantime, I’m going to sit here and enjoy this function of WinAmp that I just found. Why didn’t someone tell me what the hell “visualization” did? This and Rhino’s exceptional new HOLLYWOOD JAZZ & SWING collection should be more than enough to keep me busy till we talk next. Until then…

“Moriarty” out.

Readers Talkback

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  • April 25, 2000, 3:17 a.m. CST

    SW

    by Adam Mantioba

    Bravo on the speech about Star Wars, a very interesting read. The impossible hatred of Lucas is something I've always found fascinating in SW geek culture. The Seventh Tower? Hmm.

  • April 25, 2000, 3:35 a.m. CST

    The Ranch

    by spenworks

    Dude, I've been there (a couple of times) No big deal. Pretty good restaurant, though. Re: Banned on the ranch. The reason they thought they could get away with it was because this guy named "Spaz" did pretty much the same thing. At a Christmas party Spaz snuck with a friend into George's inner sanctum, and drank his wine and smoked his cigars. But he didn't realize that he'd tripped all sort of alarms. The only reason he wasn't fired was the same reason he had the guts to do it in the first place. He was a hero at ILM, because he came up with the software that gave the dinosaurs in JP realistic looking skin (you know, moving over bones, and such) He kept his job by the skin of his teeth. Or so the story goes...

  • April 25, 2000, 3:36 a.m. CST

    Damn man...

    by brush420

    Stories like this are why I hate Lucas. Not Jar Jar, not Ewoks or any of that crap. Its the absolute arrogance he has concerning OUR world. He may have made it but it sure doesn't seem like he EVER loved it. Fuck him. I have enough hate towards him for both of us. But your right, don't hate Star Wars because Lukas has about as much class as Jabba. You can hate everything about L Ron Hubbard though, that guys a fruit :)

  • April 25, 2000, 3:38 a.m. CST

    spelling

    by brush420

    If I had written Lucas a couple of more times I might have gone through ALL the different spellings. I need a spell check program

  • April 25, 2000, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Preach On!

    by Wolvie6

    Harry is right ,it is the art, not the artist. Sucks about being banned but you can really rip him a new one if the next one sucks. I feel what is coming is going to be VERY exciting and it will be hard to find fault with it unlike Phantom Menace. The Seventh Tower? Is that just a working script name or is it set in stone? Perhaps its being used much like Blue Harvest was. Hmmmm.

  • April 25, 2000, 3:44 a.m. CST

    great

    by psycoticloonie

    its about time someone said it, hating george is not doing any good. thanks, moriarty,its good to know that someone out there remembers what the films are, not the man>

  • April 25, 2000, 3:48 a.m. CST

    it's true, it's true

    by WHATtheFERCH

    I didn't like SWE1 at first, but after the 2nd time it got a little bit better. But then I started working at a video store a little bit before the time SWE1 came out, and now i get stuck on the TV set. I almost got damn near fired. So I guess that just grows on you. And the Seventh Tower??? What's that about ... i'll admit... i didn't like The Phantom Menace when that title was announced ... but i like this one a whole lot more.

  • April 25, 2000, 3:50 a.m. CST

    This just proves what I've said all along...

    by BobBarker

    Moriarty fucking rules. Now, see kids, this is what I mean when I say that Moriarty is a good writer and Harry is not. "But Harry is stream of consciousness!" Doesn't matter. Excellent piece Mo. (even if I loathe Episode 1) I'd love to read one of your screenplays sometime. Or even better, to see it projected, in a darkened room.

  • April 25, 2000, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Have faith in the Force

    by Mole Harris

    Anyone, even the Great Lucas, can be corrupted by their money, and I personally think that considering how much money Lucas has, he has fucked us all a lot less than most of our movie icons have. I, too, love The Phantom Menace, even with much not to like. The story is still there, and with an epic like this I can ignore small details that might annoy me. I applaud you guys at AICN and other fans who can keep things in perspective and not shit their pants because they want the DVD RIGHT NOW or because they hate Jar Jar.

  • April 25, 2000, 4:17 a.m. CST

    title?!?

    by SimpsonsQuoteMan

    where the funk did this title come from? i never heard of it! i agree with that cat who said people go around talking about a certain piece of info like its common knowledge or something -- these people are self-serving pricks who, when you say "i haven't heard that", they can innocently say "oh, you haven't heard? i've known THAT for ages!" heres a simps quote for yas: "ah! this should sustain me for the doctor who marathon!"

  • April 25, 2000, 4:31 a.m. CST

    wow

    by fatdan

    If LucasFilm was pissed before they're certainly going to be fuming when they realize this little personal experience from Moriarty is better written then Episode 1. Brother, I'm almost in tears.

  • April 25, 2000, 5:09 a.m. CST

    Sorry but...

    by Giga-Nerd

    I was just over at the Force.Net, and they are reporting that "The Seventh Tower" is the name of a new series of books being released by the Lucas company, but has nothing to do with Star Wars.

  • April 25, 2000, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Please don't let yourself hate anyone over a film.

    by DarthZachToo

    Lucas created some films that give lots of people joy and the very least some fun. To hate Lucas over a FILM, repeat a FILM, would be insanely immature. I applaud Moriarity for not letting the hate take hold. With a world full of hate, murder, poverty, suffereing, there's no room for more crap over a movie. In the end, Moriarity took a chance with Lucasfilm. He gets what he gets.

  • April 25, 2000, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Crossed facts

    by Kane

    http://www.theseventhtower.com

  • April 25, 2000, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Could Harry be any dumber? Seriously?

    by Longbaugh

    Moriarty, I feel for you, man. Harry just might be the dimmest bulb on the planet. When requesting entry to the RANCH, Harry simply could have referred to you by your given name and NOT with your AICN alias. How stupid IS this guy? Myself being someone who has been critical of LUCASFILM on the internet over the past few years, I had NO PROBLEM getting into the Ranch last year when using my real name and having a pal posting a film there. Couldn't he have just referred to you as Mongo or perhaps a personal friend (before or after the fact) and gotten you in? If I were you, I'd kick his ass. I realize this might take years (to kick the ENTIRE ass) but it's fucking worth it.

  • April 25, 2000, 5:42 a.m. CST

    ALSO...

    by Longbaugh

    You missed the cool firetrucks with the X-Wings on them. Such a pity...

  • April 25, 2000, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, you are incredible.

    by Loki Trickster

    That was one of the most heartbreakingly honest and commendable things I've ever seen on this site. I'd say more (and others probably will), but I can't think of anything else to say but "Most impressive." -Loki

  • April 25, 2000, 6:11 a.m. CST

    It's ok to hate Lucas

    by CASE

    It's not like I want to see him dead...I just think he shouldn't have ruined a perfectly good franchise. "The Phantom Menace" was to the Trilogy, what "Highlander 2" was to "Highlander. If I could take over Lucas' body for a day, I'd pull a Kubrick and try to destroy all the negatives to TPM and order a recall for all the VHS copies across America. Whoa, calm down CASE. I think it's perfectly natural to resent an artist who was once great, but now is shit. Sure, it's his property and if he wants to have Jar Jar save the day in the next two episodes, that is his right. That doesn't mean all his peers and millions of fans have to swallow his garbage and say, "It's actually not that bad!" TPM was a steaming pile! I didn't have to "warm up" to the originals! "Well, I didn't really like Star Wars the first time I saw it, but after a year or so later I realized it was really great!" Huh? Tough luck Moriarty. Fuck the Ranch!

  • April 25, 2000, 6:52 a.m. CST

    *sigh*

    by VanMan

    Moriarty, you have been my favorite "character" on AICN for a few years nows (where DID Hallenbeck go?) and your Rumblings today spurred me to write. What a sad day indeed when someone who has, for all intents and purposes, discovered that the facade they have dedicated a lifetime of devotion to is run by an old man who feels the need to exercise an Imperial authority over the fantasy, deciding who may enter further, and who may not. Your predicament is very much like Dorothy, wanting very much to believe in the Wizard, but having Toto rip open the curtain to find a has-been who manipulates to feel important. George is important (at least in the minds of millions of "children" worldwide), but he should remember from whence he came. The fact that something so petty as an honest review of his work would be reason enough to have you banned from The Ranch only proves that George has grown past the fantasy world of Star Wars and into the real world of rejection, anger and jealousy. I t seems to me like George has grown past Star Wars and has forgotten the lessons it strives to teach us (in the guise of entertainment). Remaining an optimist (in a pessimistic world), maybe, just maybe, George is reading this article. Maybe he is pissed, skimming through your Rumblings, and maybe, just maybe, he glimpses at himself through the mirror of your eyes. And maybe, he will realize what a lot of us have known since The Phantom Menace dripped onscreen before our eyes. If not, then I think I will have to divorce myself from the world of Star Wars. I feel like one of the Lost Boys, realizing that Peter (George) has grown up and isn't any fun anymore...*sigh*

  • April 25, 2000, 6:55 a.m. CST

    The Ranch

    by Brundlefly

    I really fucking feel for you Moriarty, but what else should you expect from a evil corporate behemoth like Lucas? He may have caught lightning in a bottle with the first trilogy but I seriously doubt he can rescue the franchise from the 'hand over fist' grab for cash which it currently has become.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Johnny Depp could play Shaggy! As long as he doesn't do another

    by Dirtfish

    Who can they possibly get to play Daphne in Scooby Doo? I mean I don't think that there is an actress beautiful enough to play the teen sex-pot that was Dangerprone Daphne!

  • April 25, 2000, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Moriarty being banned from the Ranch

    by emorr

    It seems to be almost like they made an example of Moriarty. And that Lucasfilm is trying to be like a behemoth of immovable beauracracy (sp?). I suppose in today's world, if someone can stick it to you, whether they make money or not, they will. Good intent seems to have disappeared over the years.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:33 a.m. CST

    This was an excellent Rumblings - what a brilliant story, you co

    by brokentusk

    That last story was excellent - I was always wondering abuot the name of that special effects company (BFTR). Star Wars Episode II: The Seventh Tower? I wonder if that IS the title. Quite cool sounding...

  • April 25, 2000, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Lucasfilm will do what Lucasfilm wants, and that

    by Freaky Sneek

    Well, I for one am sick of looking at his chubby little holier-than-thou-cheeks and having to listen to his justifications as to why he fucks over american fans. Here's an open letter to you George, GO FUCK YOURSELF! When you broke Moriarity's heart, mine and a thousand others broke as well. I invested in all the behind the scenes books, I bought the bootleg videos, I dreamed of one day standing on that front porch with Doug Chiang and Ian McCaig looking at their most recent sketches and talking about where the ideas sprang from. This story has ruined that dream for me. You are a chubby little bastard and I hope to GOD that someone has the good fortune of unseating you as the Lord-High Protector of SCI-FI dreams.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Concerning Superman II...

    by Phantom Cruiser

    ...I knew that Richard Donner directed a good portion of it before it was taken over by Richard Lester, but has anyone ever noticed the obvious differences in the last part of the movie, during the fight scenes with Zod,Non, and Ursa in Metropolis, and at the Fortress of Solitude, particularly with Lois? It just seems like every other scene with her looks like at one point stunning (probably directed by Donner), and at another like she just woke up,ran her fingers through her hair, had not real time to do her makeup, and just walked on the set (probably directed by Lester).Granted this film was directed by two people, but could the continuity people have been more asleep on the job?

  • April 25, 2000, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Naysayers Take Note

    by Justin Sane

    ...What sets AICN apart and makes it great are the real feelings expressed here. Other sites may have the sterile and completely correct all-the-time scoops, but AICN has HEART. Moriarty's Ranch story is perhaps the most moving I've ever read here... if it doesn't break the heart of anyone who's ever loved something their entire lives, then you need to get your pulse checked. Stiff upper lip, Moriarty, old chap. Hope you had a lot of fun at the Metreon... and too bad I missed meeting you, Harry and the Toddster (I was late)... maybe next time.

  • April 25, 2000, 8:04 a.m. CST

    what's the big deal with giving away story info?

    by 9970

    Why should Lucas care whether or not the public gets the story details over the internet? The Two Towers will be much bigger than the Seventh Tower, and the fans already know that story.

  • April 25, 2000, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Hats off to Moriaty

    by Oliver Platt

    That was hands down, the most emotinal, most well-writen story I've ver read on AICN. Thanks, Moriaty.

  • April 25, 2000, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Wow the banned from the ranch story is only like five years old!

    by Mr Logic

    Anyone who reads Cinefex knows all about that one. It was Steve Williams and Mark Dieippe I believe

  • April 25, 2000, 8:37 a.m. CST

    James Gunn

    by Monster Rain

    Is this the same Gunn who wrote "Tromeo & Juliet"? If so, I can say with much authority that this guy always goes for the obvious punchline. His script for "Tromeo" was riddled with so many overt sex and poo-poo jokes, I initially thought Mr. Gunn must be in the third grade. The guy is about as subtle as a sledgehammer and as funny as a schoolbus accident. If it is the same guy, how he got the Scooby script is beyond me. He probably saw the title and was like, "Scooby-DOO? Doo? Hey, that's right up my alley!"

  • April 25, 2000, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Look, fuckheads, we owe Lucas, not the other way around

    by Orpheus

    I hate this "Everyone owes me" society. It's nasuating. Why was Moraity's story so "heartbreaking"? I've read more moving sentiments on the back of a Doritos bag. So he got "banned from the ranch." Sounds like a bad episode of Bonanza. Moriaty, did Lucas FORCE you to buy all those toys and watch all his movies over and over again? I think not. Why does he owe you something? Why does he owe the fans anything? He's a filmaker. He's already given us our reward in the films and the toys. I for one actually enjoy the films and the toys. But not people like Moriaty. They apparently see them as downpayments for future trips to Lucas' house. What the living fuck. Why should I care if he's banned? He sure as hell doesn't represent me. That's a joke. First off, why should he get to go period? Hell, if anybody should get to go, it should be me, but I'm not here complaining about it. And yeah, I read Moriaty's bullshit Episode One review. He doesn't even know what Star Wars is about, that's for damn sure. FUCK YOU MORIATY. Quit fucking whining.

  • April 25, 2000, 8:50 a.m. CST

    No one should have went to the RANCH!

    by TheGooch

    George Pukeass (which he will now forever be known) and the PukeassFilms people should have been hardlined by Harry and company that if they weren't able to bring who they want to the Ranch, then none would go, and the whole story would be put on the site. The audacity and pure bureacratic, big-business mentality of the dark forces of PukassFilms is simply incorrigable. Pukeass should be embarassed, but since he's so out-of-touch with his fans, the movie-going public and what-not, it probably doesn't matter. Since StarWarts, Pukeass has been the Boy-in-the-Bubble. Episode 1: The Phantom Direction & Script is pure derivative crap that anyone who is above 13 years old should be insulted by. I've seen Charlie Chan movies that are more respectful to ethnicity, better written and better plotted. Every StarWarts fan should be outraged by the antics of PukeassFilms behavior. To their ridiculous rules about FanSites to this situation regarding the "Ranch" Shangri-La: Pukeass and PukeassFilms only cares about the bottom line of profit and ego. The have betrayed their every fan and furthermore, have betrayed their own dream. Hear me, fellow StarWars fans, for I have spoken. -The Gooch

  • April 25, 2000, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I enjoy the "Rumblings", but...

    by Monster Rain

    Moriarty is so friggin' calculated it's annoying! The way he just dropped that Episode II title just made me think of an oily shyster at a cocktail party crowing about his "insider" status. That may or may not be the actual title (I have my doubts), but it's indicative of the "Player" mentality that has been going on a lot on this site, and it makes me want to puke. Hey, if you want to keep AICN as a bastion of fringe Hollywood, cool. If you guys just want to be star-fuckers, that's fine too. Just have the sack to admit it, and we'll move on.

  • April 25, 2000, 9:17 a.m. CST

    WILL SOMEBODY PUT THE FRIGGIN' POSTS IN ORDER?

    by Monster Rain

    Damn, that's annoying.

  • April 25, 2000, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Best Rumblings *Ever*!

    by mrbeaks

    Sure you repeatedly added a superfluous "s" to Andrew Niccol's name, but only an anal, wanna-be writer who has nothing better to do, but nitpick other people's otherwise well-written pieces would ever point that out. Hopefully, this Rumbling will make it back to Lucas, and your unjust banning will be lifted; however, in the meantime, to assuage your pain, I'll gladly pay for you to stay one night at the most magical ranch of them all..... the Mustang Ranch!

  • April 25, 2000, 9:44 a.m. CST

    A letter to Orpheus

    by peter parker

    Orpheus, Shut up you insensitive dumbass. I love how you state that you hate the "everyone owes me" type of person. Then at the end of your ramblings, you say "if anyone should be able to go, it should be me." Now, isn't that the kettle calling the pot black? Yes my friend it is. Also notice that not once did moriarty complain about buying SW merchandise, he actually embraces it. Remember what his final conclusion was to this story, "it's the art, not the artist" This just shows that Moriarty is the bigger man. Even after he got banned from the ranch (any fanboy's biggest nightmare) he still isn't mad at lucas because he created a world which turns any fan of any age into that little child who giggled with excitement the first time they saw SW. Read the article again you friggin jerkoff. -your friendly neighborhood...

  • April 25, 2000, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, it's just business, not personal...

    by agentcooper

    ...I know it's hard not to be disappointed at being denied access to the dream factory. However, all this anger at Lucas himself is misplaced. There is no reason to believe he knows who you are or what you did to be "banned." Most likely, the decision was made by someone else at the company, communicated to an underling, and then on to Harry. That's the way things work in the corporate world, and yes, LFL is a corporation. The boss (Lucas) would not be contacted to approve each and every person who visits the lot. Just look at the number of people on this talkback who claim to have visited the Ranch. If Lucas had to approve everyone, he'd never have time for directing/writing/producing. Here's what probably happened: Someone at Lucasfilm read your review of the script here on the site. They recognized the review as a breach of security and a violation of their secrecy policy. LFL does not extend privledges to authors of work that violate their code of secrecy, so your name went on some kind of list. They didn't see Harry's review, and therefore his name did not go on the blacklist. (Expect to see some angry critics in 2002 when LFL implements their advanced screening ban on critics who broke their promise and reveiwed TPM before its release date). In a corporate atmosphere, once a decision has been made, it is very rarely reversed. There are egos and rules involved. I would think that a lot of people at LFL admire the work you do on this site. You are obviously a gifted writer with a love of film. However, you broke a rule and got caught. Harry didn't get caught...I know it hurts. I got thrown out of Amblin a few years ago. I got seperated from a friend who was getting a private tour and ended up wandering around where I shouldn't have been. They took my picture and everything, told me I would be arrested if I ever came back. I never wanted to see a Spielberg movie again, until I realized that the security force was just enforcing their rules, and that I had broken them, even if I had no intent of malice...All that being said, your story did touch on all the things we fans love about Star Wars, and Harry's gift to you seemed to bring a pleasant end to a bittersweet experience. It's nice to have good friends...

  • April 25, 2000, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Boo Hoo

    by Lars2000

    Moriarty, what have you ever done for George Lucas that you feel slighted by not being invited to the ranch? Oh yeah, you leaked information he didn't want to be general knowledge about his films. Lucas wants to make great Star Wars films, he doesn't want people leaking information about the them before they are released. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading leaked info, but don't be surprised if Lucas is pissed at you for doing it.

  • April 25, 2000, 10:15 a.m. CST

    can't have it both ways, moriarty

    by fangrrl

    considering the bad mojos that flick got from this site, you can't be surprised at the fallout. Once I saw Ep. 1 I couldn't believe what sour grapes its harshest critics were. I loved it and think its great, transporting power transcends its minor flaws.

  • April 25, 2000, 10:20 a.m. CST

    WOW...

    by George McFly

    I've been reading this site for years...way back when it was that graphic-less black links on gray background (I think that's what it was, anyway =) and this has to be one of the best written and moving pieces of prose I've ever read on this site. I remember few details about my childhood, but I do remember myself as a wide-eyed, apeshit 7-year old leaving the Eastwood Theater in Indianapolis completely agog at the spectacle I had just seen on the screen. I was a fan. For life. Moriarty's article broke my heart and actually left me with tears in my eyes by the time I got to the end of it. And Harry, your note...that simple quote really does describe the entire Star Wars universe. I know I'm not the only fan to feel completely shit on by George Lucas as of late, but as Moriarty says, Lucasfilm does what Lucasfilm wants, and to hell with anyone else. Moriarty, your words conveyed more emotion and heart than just about anything I've ever read on the net. And it's a shame that Lucasfilm probably doesn't realize that allowing the full AICN crew into the ranch would have been one of the best PR things they could have done. And hey, if anyone from Lucasfilm is reading this, go ahead and ban ol' George McFly of AICN from the ranch. I could care less. McFly<--

  • April 25, 2000, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Thats so sad

    by Panthra

    I've watched End Of Days twice and Arnold hasn't even invited me to his house for tea. How dare he! I made him who he is today. I am owed!

  • April 25, 2000, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Seventh Tower is NOT the title!

    by Batutta

    The genius who put up http://www.theseventhtower.com should be commended for uncovering this. The Seventh Tower is a new series of fantasy books being published by guess who? Lucas Books. And they have nothing to do with Star Wars. Looks like another Blue Harvest .

  • April 25, 2000, 10:51 a.m. CST

    caught with your hand in the cookie jar then cry about getting s

    by Fatal Discharge

    Moriarty obviously loves SW but getting penalized for your past indiscretions is something you should have thought about when you first broke Lucas' rules. Hollywood's icons and stars are human too (at least most of them) and don't appreciate having their work subverted and crapped on in a public forum like AICN. So what if you were the 3rd one to review a stolen script, the point is you did...period! Personally, script reviews are one thing I never understand the popularity of and only skim to know the general synopsis of the plot and if it is good or bad - I don't want to know specific plot details. If AICN wants to remain in touch with the fanbase, they should try less to be liked by all the industry folk and continue to write what we're all thinking (hurt feelings be damned).

  • April 25, 2000, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Scooby Doo! I hereby nominate yoooooou!

    by keeper

    For the worst movie idea put forward in the past year. I'm not harboring any nostalgia here - I watched Scooby but it wasn't like some transcendental experience that changed my life forever! It's just a cartoon and it ought to stay that way. Moving on... I sympathise with Moriarty. He's a great guy and doesn't deserve that sort of shabby treatment, but I have to agree with Orpheus on one point. I simply cannot understand all you people that get suckered into purchasing merchandise by the bushel and then BITCH! BITCH! BITCH! as if Lucas somehow forced you at gunpoint to shove greenbacks down his bulging pockets! Even if I wasn't something of a penny pincher I marvel at how much good money gets spent on pure, unadulterated CRAP. Moriarty has a sound reason to complaint due to this latest injustice, and I'm not defending Lucas here, but if you really want to make him take notice of your pain at the turn SW's taking don't post your grief indiscriminately over the internet over and over again where no one can hear you scream, just have some level of restraint, curve your Pavlovian impulses, and save those bucks for something worth buying other than that so called "limited" edition Star Wars garbage. TPM videos are selling out like hot cakes and I bet that more than a few of those are lying warm in the bosom of some of you chumps. Jeeeeezus, at lest prostitutes get paid for getting srewed up the ass not the other way around!!! I hear that there was an overflow of Jar Jar merchandize, and that TPM novels were grossly undersold in the UK so it seems that at least some people have gotten wise.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Scooby material is still for the younger set

    by Terry_1978

    I've been watching every scooby-doo show (including every goofy spin-off they did) for years, and think someone who is real familiar with the premise should be writing the screenplay. I haven't read Gunn's take, but if it garners a PG-13 rating, Warner Bros. is gonna lose quite a bit of money due to parents not allowing their kids to see it. I am the last person who is into "kid-friendly" movies, but scooby-doo has always been a cult classic with older people, and popular with kids.....(all that merchandising, remember?) The script shouldn't be flat out adult material, but just be a little campy and satirical concerning the cliches from the old tv show. A PG rating would be cool enough.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:16 a.m. CST

    RE: stormbringer

    by mrbeaks

    Re-read the posts and see that it was Longbaugh, not I, who rather misguidedly blamed Harry for identifying the AICN group by their "spy" names.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:35 a.m. CST

    "Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber..."

    by KingMenthol

    You go and do something like this and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!!!" Wow, man, what a great piece. From top to bottom. The last part is the kind of story we all want to read. Is this fact? EPISODE II: THE SEVENTH TOWER? Over the ages it has been true: The art, not the artist. You could just go down the list of revered icons of pop culture and just how much of dick they were. But we love their work, and their work is what's important. Again, fantastic article. I couldn't... er... put it down.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:40 a.m. CST

    korn

    by JohnMurdoch

    korn isnt as bad as most people think. i mean i am not saying that they are the greatest band ever and can cause orgasms with their music. but they had a little preview of the music on this mtv thing Korn Diary, and to tell you the truth it sounded really cool. Not like Korn, persay, but like a really epic gothic rock type deal. Jon Davis, the singer, is writing and performing the songs, and he will be conducting a 100-piece orchestra along with the music. So all i am saying is although the movie may turn out like shit, don't bag on Jon Davis and Korn because if you listen to their stuff that isnt played on the radio, you recognize a talent that has just not been fully realized yet. btw you fuckin rule moriarty

  • April 25, 2000, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The Biggest Irony of all... LUCAS was at the screening...

    by henson

    The Biggest Irony of all... LUCAS was at the screening... well at least a few feet away taking his family to another movie... coincidence??? yes, but cool. Oh and moriarty... you missed the opportunity to use this tagline on your story... May the FAO SCHWARTZ be with you...

  • April 25, 2000, 11:48 a.m. CST

    He was probably worried you'd show up dressed as a wookie.

    by yt

    Or maybe Harry was only allowed to bring two guests.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Sean Patrick Flannery

    by Francie

    I would just like to point out that I anticipated his involvement weeks ago while you fanboys were all still hoping and praying for the over-valued Leo.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:56 a.m. CST

    I've heard enough

    by darthsyphilis

    Maybe it's just me. or does anyone else feel like nobody was ever really going to the Ranch? Maybe it's the skeptic in me, or else an unwillingness to buy everything that AICN says (they've been very wrong about stuff int the past), but I get the distinct feeling that this was one of those "Hey, I'm Harry Knowles "one of the most influential people in Hollywood and I'll use my cred as a journalist/mover & shaker to get us into the ranch. I get the feeling the deal was never really done in the first place. Lucasfilm doesn't give tours and they have NO REASON AT ALL to want to "win" Harry's favor (really Moriarity, that's a serious stretch). And before the AICN faithful unload the floodgate of colorful-yet-grammatically challenged talkbacks and declare me a "Lucas ass-kiss (I'm actually expecting worse. Please don't let me down, kids!) a few more thoughts on the Harry/Moriarity lovefest of injustice and damnable behavior by one Mr. George Lucas and his blindly following minions. I take offense at the self-righteous tone of AICN when it comes to their verbal thrashings of the George. So Lucas doesn't like you, Moriarity. I don't like you either. Or you, Harry. You guys are, plane and simple, children. You aren't adults. The AICN site was built on the idea that, "Hey, if you people steal the creative work of others and send it to me, I'll put it on the Internet and we'll all me popular, we'll all be COOL, cause we'll be rebels." Dishonesty is what the site is built on. Screw your employers "confidentiality agreements." It's just your name on a sheet of paper, and really, what is one's good name worth. It ain't nearly as cool as having my phony name on the Internet so Harry will like me and people will like Harry. I'll steall this piece of art and mail it to Harry, after all, the film will rake in the money, and I'm underpaid and it's not REALLY stealing. Heck, might as well intrude electronically on someone's personal computer and send that to Harry, too. Poor sap, so in a rush to spoil the surprise, so he'll be cool and have more friends and fans, he won't even consider teh legality or even the ethical ramifications of it, or anything else he does. So really, Moriarity and Harry, how dare the two of you attack Lucas and his integrity. Harry, didn't you flat out call Lucas a liar over not coming clean with the "900% fuzzy footage and need to reshoot the whole movie or some such nonsense" or do you want to pin that on someone else. Normally you pin stuff like that on your dad. Lucas, an artist, made a deal while making Star Wars that every other artist would kill for, and everyone in the "business" laments. When given the opportunity to take an extra check for Star Wars, George stood by his creation. He took ownership of his story and his characters, control of his creation. When he could have used the cash, he valued his art first. Nobody knew what his creation would become. So he licenses the Hell out of it. So what. It's his call, NOT FOX corporate, not a committee of studio pricks, not fanboys. Yeah I'm a huge Star Wars/Lucas fan, not ashamed at all. I buy some of the stuff. Why do I buy it? A little thing called FREE WILL. I like some of the stuff, I choose to own it. Some of it I don't like and thus I don't own. Nobody was ever forced at gunpoint to see any of Lucas's films, buy any of his products or support his endeavors in any way. You all have free will. Lucas makes his own art. HIS art. Any other filmaker in the world would love to have the freedom to tell their stories that Lucas can, on his own terms, on whatever scale he desires, and still be seen and adored by millions. But no one else has that ability. They all have to crawl on their knees to studios for financing. Lucas had to do that on Empire because Gary Kurtz let the budget (intially paid for by Lucas) spiral out of control and Lucas had to go begging to Fox for help (That's the reason Kurtz and Lucas don't collaborate anymore, and that's the reason McCallum is on board, to keep the stuff running.) So yeah Lucas has a right to dislike you. Posting stolen production art, reviewing stolen scripts, posting photos gotten by betraying one's word (what's your name worth anyway). You guys neeed to think about the twisted world you live in. You aren't journalists. You are too easily duped and too readily believe what anyone will tell you (especially yourselves). Godzilla was great, Godzilla sucked, Meesa luvved Jar Jar, I could do without Jar Jar but I'm sure Lucas must have a reason for putting him their. A regular Woodman and Epstein you guys are. I suggest you think about the things you do. Those you betray. The lies and untruths you profit from. Sad folks, sad indeed. That said, I'm sure the AICN ass-kisses are hankerin' for a fight. Bring 'em on boyos. I'll take you all.

  • April 25, 2000, noon CST

    A few Scooby snacks

    by KingMenthol

    This kind of production sounds iffy. After checking out EW's pic of Rocky & Bullwinkle (Rocky's tying up the three villains), I'm reminded of Roger Rabbit. Not good, in my mind. Is that what we'll get with Scooby-Doo? I shake my head at that notion. As to what slinky actress to play Dangerprone Daphne? Simple: Jennifer Lovejugs Hewitt. Another thought about Lucasfilm: Why simply Moriarty? Harry's the site-guru. Why wasn't the personnel of the entire site banned? I'm in agreement that it is a simple matter of a websurfing blacklist. Some guy saw his script review and wrote the name down.

  • April 25, 2000, 12:30 p.m. CST

    so so lovely

    by Dash Reindeer

    My gosh. The only other thing to ever bring tears to my eyes was the EP1 trailer. Lets all hug.

  • April 25, 2000, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Moriarty, I don't sympathize

    by moviet00l

    Put my voice with those who say "get over it." What kind of reaction do you expect from those whose work you steal and distribute to the masses before the creators are ready? If you're going to review scripts and spoil secrets, don't expect the moviemakers to love you for it. Expect to be despised, and be proud of it. Otherwise, shut up.

  • April 25, 2000, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Scooby dooby dooooooo

    by Morph444

    Tom Green is Shaggy!! That would be perfect!

  • April 25, 2000, 12:57 p.m. CST

    You know, it's us who are to blame for Lucasfilm's acts

    by darius25

    Lucas can dissapoint all the fans but we still make Ep. 1 the 3rd highest grossing domestic film of all time!! $430+ mil???? Then he decides NOT to release the film on DVD, Video sales Skyrocket!!!!! What the fuck ?? Seriously, it is us the fans who have to make Lucas lose all of his MASSIVE, INFLATED, OVERSIZED PIECE OF SHIT ego. Ep. 2 hasn't even begun production yet and the fanboys are slobbering all over the place. Stories (like Moriarty's) makes me hate Lucasfilm even more.

  • April 25, 2000, 1:02 p.m. CST

    re: Agent Cooper, Criticism/Defense of Harry

    by Lazarus Long

    Apparently no one bothered to read the longer-than-soundbite message by Agent Cooper, which raised some points that the reactionary losers here are too angry to realize: That Lucas most likely HAD NOTHING to do with singling out Moriarty from the AICN crew and banning him. Lucas may had made a decision regarding people who break guidelines and their future limited access, but the blame rests on any number of things. How about bad luck? How about bad researching by some LucasFilm computer geek who scans sites for leakage. The idea that Lucas wants to keep on Harry's good side is a foolish notion. Lucas unafraid to take on theatre owners, film critics, and pretty much the whole industry, but bowing to Harry's influence? I doubt it. *** What bothers me about Harry's attitude during this whole thing, is that, while choosing not to leave his friend behind, he failed to, in Moriarty's and Lucas' words "honor what they fight for." Harry and Moriarty are friends because they share a love of film, and an interest in sharing information with the geek world. By NOT going to the Ranch, Harry basically fucked over all of his readers on what probably would have been one of the most read articles on the site. Moriarty obviously fails to point this out. He should have told Harry to go along and find out stuff to come back and tell him, as well as the rest of us. *** Has anyone noticed that since this incident occurred, Harry now refers to the Phantom Menace negatively in other articles? I've seen numerous jokes about the low level of the film's quality, which is funny considering how much Harry liked it when it came out (go see for yourself). Most people are liking it more on repeated viewings; Harry is obviously letting his feelings and taste be influenced by something that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FILM, and surely wasn't personal to begin with. Moriarty's article was still well-written, and I empathize with his feelings and situation. He at least harbours no ill-will. Harry is the one who can't LET IT GO.

  • April 25, 2000, 1:09 p.m. CST

    bravo, moriarty

    by babydave

    very well-written and enlightening piece. every so often i need a reality check such as this.

  • April 25, 2000, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I am deeply moved

    by dakla

    Oh god (snif) that was sooooo heartrending (snif) (sob). I haven't been that moved since the ending of ARMAGGEDON. No, wait, STEPMOM also made me cry a lot (sobbb). Actually (sob), RETURN TO ME left me a blubbering mess too. But this was right up there (snif). Definitely. Not being able to go to The Ranch (bawlll). God, how heartbreaking (snif) (sob). This article was definitely as powerful as Steven Seagal's speech at the end of ON DEADLY GROUND. Oh god, I think I'm going to cry again....

  • April 25, 2000, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I remember

    by DesignBoy

    Wow. I just wanted to say thanks for a great rumbling regarding Star Wars. It really is about the art, not the artist. It seemed weird to me all along that so much hype for Episode I revolved around George Lucas. As a kid growing up watching Star Wars with a passion I certaily don't remember caring at all about George Lucas, rather the real magic for me was in Han, Luke, Leia and all the rest. Your words made me remember the time my Grandad took me to K-Mart, and we found an R2-D2 figure in the bargin bin. Thanks for reminding me that George Lucas can try and control allhe wants, but he can't touch the magic that we the fans put in.

  • April 25, 2000, 1:41 p.m. CST

    It's the art, not the artist.

    by knox21

    The ART can never be seperated from the ARTIST, nor should it ever be. The art is a byproduct of the artist, his/her creativity, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, views, ect. The ART is filtered through their very life, it is formed by everything that makes them tick, the good, bad, and the ugly. ART is not created in a Vacuum. The only reason Harry feels this way is because he has to. His whole life is movies. They are his religion, crack, sex, you name it. Thus to loose faith in them (and their creators) Would go a long way towards invalidating what, until this point, has given his life meaning. The "seperate the artist from the art", statement is a form of "protective denial". Harry can tell himself that Even though George was acting like a vindictive child, that that has no baring on his art so I can still enjoy the Star Wars flicks. This is why even after Lucas does this pretty shitty thing Harry STILL turned right around and put money into his hand at the FAO Schwartz. I see this mentallity in fanboys all the time. They'll meet their favorite comic artist or Star Trek actor and said person will treat them like shit. Do they have enough respect for themselves to go, "What a dick, I'm not buying his book, seeing her movies, ect. anymore? Nope. If they'd gotten that kind of treatment at a resturaunt,they'd demand to see the manager or at the very least never eat there again. I'm not saying that Harry or anyone should never watch Star Wars again but, if they hadn't deified Lucas from the beginning by, they would've seen this coming and been less hurt by it. Every interview I've ever seen or read with Lucas tells it all. He never gives any credit to ANYONE else invoved in the making of the Star Wars movies except himself. I've never once heard him say anything remotely like,"Star Wars wouldn't have been the same without Mark Hammil, or, Harrison Ford, or, the effects crews or anybody. Spielberg constantly credits the other people involved wih the productions of his films. Lucas, never. Don't believe me? just rewatch the 60 Minutes piece that he did to promote PM. He's STILL pissed off, years later, about 2 minutes being cut out of American Graffiti! Lucas is the classic textbook egomainiac. It was there in every frame of Phamtom Menace. Only a raging ego could've created such a colossol piece of shit and think that it measured up to the earlier movies. Phantom Menace was technically bloated and emoitionally lifeless, much like Lucas himself. You're wrong Harry, the ART can never be seperated from the ARTIST.

  • April 25, 2000, 1:45 p.m. CST

    WOW!

    by smak

    This site is so bad now it's ridulous. This used to be a site about fanboys getting cool news and posting it up. Now it's just a bunch of Hollywood wannabees (I was talking to Frank Darabont the other day and....) We need a log of every rumor posted by everybody on this site, so we can keep a scorecard. Moriarty - 1 correct out of 400 posts 0.25% right You are not banned from the ranch Moriarty, you're just a nobody like the rest of us. Episode II:The Seventh Tower. If that was supposed to be serious, what a dumbass. TFN took about 8 seconds to debunk that one. -smak-

  • April 25, 2000, 2:02 p.m. CST

    GIMME A BREAK

    by TRIGGER95

    Moriarty shoots himself in the foot by referring to his review of the Phantom Menace script. In this review, he crucifies reporter Jeffrey Wells, who predicted that the movie would suck because of the kiddie story line and the jar-jar binks character-- two predictions that proved to be 100% correct. Furthermore, Moriarty goes on to say that the Phantom Menace script "rocks" and that the character of Jar-Jar Binks totally works. The Phantom Menace was one of the biggest disappointments of the decade and it all came down to one simple thing: the script. A script that Moriarty and Harry both praised out of either a) blind-faith to the Lucas Empire, or b) plain stupidity. I'm pretty sure it's A, but I might change my mind if Harry keeps posting obviously bogus scoops without even an attempt at fact-checking, and if Moriarty keeps pissing on some pretty talented WORKING writers without a moment's hesitation.

  • April 25, 2000, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Scholastic Books

    by BatTat

    Wonderful rambling, Moriarty, but the "Seventh Tower" is a series of books being published jointly by Lucas Books and Scholastic. Much as I would love to see you get a little revenge by being the first to post the next movie title, that ain't it.

  • April 25, 2000, 2:26 p.m. CST

    The Seventh Tower

    by Yor

    This is very obviously not the title of EP2, as the website makes abundantly clear. It's a book, published this June by LucasBooks. What's with dropping a title like that?

  • April 25, 2000, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Who is this nutcase?

    by George Luca$

    I can assure you that NONE of the events in this public display of idiocy ever took place. Furthermore, EPISODE II has about as much of a chance of being entitled THE SEVENTH TOWER as it does BLUE HARVEST, if you catch my drift.

  • April 25, 2000, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Lucas doesn't owe anyone anything

    by Fo

    Lucas wants to make this movie his way, and he wants the story to be a secret until it comes out. What's the big deal with that? So he's mad at someone who ruined what he was trying to do. He can do that, and I don't blame him one bit. It bugs me that the fans, all of this, they demand so much, they want everything, but when they don't get it, they cry foul. It's like the DVD. It's going to come out eventually, so don't worry about it. It will be out, and chances are it will be cool. This is Lucas's story, his company, his life. He's doing this as much (probably more) for himself as he is for any of the fans out there. I say let him do it the way he wants, he's done things pretty well up until now. It's when fans start making demands and then when their demands aren't meant and they get all upset, well, they maybe should look at themselves and realize that 1) it's just a movie and 2) no matter what you do or say, the movie will be released in a couple of years, the DVD will come out eventually, and in the end, none of this will matter. Look at what Lucas has to deal with. Fans lining up months ahead of time. Fans threatening to kill themselves if they don't get a part. I'm all for being critical and voicing opinions, that's a great way to make things better. But people have to realize that there will be backlash from all these tipsters and rumor mongers out there. Sure, I like these sites as much as the next guy, but I ruined Episode I before I saw it because I knew the entire story before it was told to me the way it should be told to everyone, on the big screen and not on some website.

  • April 25, 2000, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Moronarty, a lame weenie

    by Z

    A TRUE friend would have said, "ya'll go and have a good time, tell me all about it and bring me memorabilia". But not Moronarty. He simpered and sniffled and nobody went. What a spineless scrub. And then he justifies it by saying "that's the way things work here at AICN". What a riot. You mean one person fucks over all his friends by his selfishness? Is that how things work? I enjoy reading the news and rumors on AICN, and appreciate that ya'll take the time to write this stuff, but PLEASE listen to yourself and examine your actions. Don't blame Lucas or Lucasfilm for what is essentially your own fucking fault. And don't be such a putz. The honorable thing would have been to insist your friends go, and ya didn't.

  • April 25, 2000, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Color me insensitive, but what is the big deal?

    by Niiiice

    I didn't really get this article. Why are you turning Lucas into some kind of god? You're idolizing his creations and making this whole "ordeal" sound like you've just been denied entrance into heaven and are condemned to spend the rest of eternity wandering around in purgatory. A little bit too melodramatic for me, but maybe I just don't understand. Lucas is just a man, and half of his amazing creations aren't even his own, they're "borrowed" from mythology, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round, and Kurosawa. I truly did feel sorrow and pity after reading it, but not because someone was so unfairly denied entrance to the most sacred "Ranch", it was pity of the dependence you've invested into this man. Surrounding yourself with things that put money into Lucas' pockets? Why? Movies are a form of escapism. Do you think maybe you're taking it a little too far?

  • April 25, 2000, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Yes Moriarty, being banned sucks.

    by Jobriga2

    I should know, having apparently been banned from this site, as I found out this morning while trying to compliment Harry on a nice Flintstones review. I thought this Rumblings was the best yet, but if you want to truly claim you're "one of us, but with a platform," you may not want to ban the hell out of anyone who disagrees. (P.S. I have yet to hear an explanation of WHY exactly I was banned - I assure you it wasn't profanity or vulgarity.)

  • April 25, 2000, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Lucas Owes me $82 *And* A New Snow Blower, But That's Another St

    by mrbeaks

    1) Agentcooper's astute post, as Lazarus noted, puts this all in the proper perspective. Lucas is far too busy a man to moniter who is permitted to enter the Ranch. 2) Moriarty was not whiney in the least; merely disappointed. 3) Who's more jealous: one who covers the industry for a widely read web site, or one who snipes pettily under the cover of anonymity? True, Moriarty may still make use of his pseudonym, but his true identity is probably well known amongst filmmakers, publicists, and the like.

  • April 25, 2000, 3:43 p.m. CST

    No offense, but I am getting FUCKING SICK AND TIRED of these PRO

    by Niiiice

    Okay, I've almost never criticized the way AICN has been run, but now it's just starting to abuse its power. "It's the art, not the artist"? Give me a break! What is up with using this web site as a tool for promoting political views? How does this have anything to do with Lucas, who I assume is the "artist" mentioned in Harry's poetic refrain? Anyone remember the "Beyond the Mat" controversy? We get these unabashedly biased "reports" of the evil corporate conglomerates that are the TV networks conspiring to beat down the little guy, the small-time independent filmmaker. What did Harry say? Oh yeah, something about championing the little guy. And guess what? These tactics worked! The USA network was flooded with hundreds of emails from AICN's hordes of mindless groupies who didn't care to find out both sides of the issue. This kind of behavior by AICN is shameful and immature, it almost resembles Union behavior. And now, an article that caters to half of AICN, giving people another reason to hate George Lucas! Now those of you who are familiar with me on this site know that I freaking loathed The Phantom Menace, but what the hell is up with this secondary-source picture painting of Lucasfilm? Can anyone remember a time last year around October, when Father Geek posted the rules of talkback? It's about film. Not the personal lives of the actors, or the characteristics or sexual preferences of the directors. What now?

  • April 25, 2000, 4:15 p.m. CST

    knox21-

    by KingMenthol

    Art can indeed be separated from the artist, which doesn't mean it should be, but that's a subjective matter. Were we to not separate art from artist, where would we, the pop consumer, stand on icons like Pablo Picasso (a drunken, violent asshole), Charlie Parker (a fat, drunk, smack junkie with a penchant for fucking and beating prostitutes), Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi, etc. etc. etc. Essentially, when you cannot divide the two, the value of both remains equal. Thus it follows that because George Lucas may be an egomaniacal Monty Burns moneygrubber, that his films are without any artistic merit and are made to simply make money. That is simply not so. Why would a man with more money than God want to spend $130 mil just to make more? What does Lucas need with more? The artist's attitudes, ideals, ethics, whatever, many times have nothing to do with their creations. In this respect, Harry's wisdom rings very true.

  • April 25, 2000, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Once upon a time, there were people who believed in the magic of

    by Mully4Ever

    so they imagined fantastic worlds, fearsome monsters, and gallant heroes. Then taxes, sophists, and the black oil of negativity attacked the dreamers. As long as one man dreams and smiles at what is not there, darkness will never prevail. (Whew) I like this web site and the people on it. Why the personal attacks? Have the attackers stopped dreaming?

  • April 25, 2000, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Forrest J Ackerman?

    by 60091

    What's the deal? Is the guy in trouble? What happened?

  • April 25, 2000, 4:58 p.m. CST

    laugh at it

    by Funk4America

    It doesn't matter. And they're probably concerned about the spy tunnels and secret cameras you're always joking about. As for the art not the artist I don't know how seriously you ought to take your percection of george as a jerk because he wouldn't let a notorious film spy such as yourself onto his workspace, while in the midst of production of the STAR WARS sixlogy. You probably didn't get invited because you ARE a security risk, didn't that ever cross your mind? your profession is obtaining early drafts and scripts and other things that a film company may not want released. If you wanted to be repaid for being a fan forget it, you've seperated yourself from fandom by reporting on it. As for being treated unfairly, just don't take it so seriously, buck up lil camper, laugh at it, you are that much of stealth spy.In the bay area theres a rotund lady that thought she should have her butt kissed by lucasfilm the hat lady I forget her name, anyway she was slighted I guess in some way and now she bashes lucasfilm at all opportunity and it's very ugly but to me it's kind of funny and I'm glad that lucasfilm doesn't give a shit and will bann, and not capitulate to fans jeers or cheers without apology, one of the reasons I like jar jar, because he pisses people off and no one can make it stop pleases me greatly and I don't know why. I know your feelings are hurt and I don't think that's funny but get real you pose a threat to lucasfilm so at least enjoy that, and if you still like the movie be a fan, It's your job to write about it, ain't that cool enough for you, sheesh what do you want?

  • April 25, 2000, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Title Correction....

    by Spell Checker

    Moriarty, I'm disappointed. We've all waited DECADES, and now here you are getting the title of one of the most monumental films of all time wrong! How many hours did we all toil away playing our Atari 2600s to death waiting, waiting, hoping... for the day we saw all this up on the silver screen?! And you got it all wrong. Sheesh. The title isn't 'River Road', it's 'River Raid'! Sheesh. Everybody knows that! Even I knew that! Now about that Episode II title...

  • April 25, 2000, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Peter Gunn: Wasn't that one of Choda Boy's weapons?

    by BurninBullwinkle

    As one of the biggest Scooby fans out there, I can say this sounds horrible. Scooby Doo is not something to pull a "Brady Bunch" on. I do not wand to hear explicit discussions of Dahne and Fred's sex life (as if Fred wasn't gay... puh-shaw.) I do not want to see Shaggy talking about having a pot addiction. If you want to do this movie right, do it seriously (Why aren't the Zombie Island people on board?). If they insist on doing parody, make 'em watch Galaxy Quest and show them the Johnny Bravo meets Scooby Doo short a few dozen times... surely seven of the funniest minutes you could ever spend. "Ka-puh. Ka-puh. Hop in buddy." - Speed Buggy. Anyway, Scooby was my favorite show growing up nad I don't want to see him bastardized into a cheap fart joke that could easily have been worthwile entertainment. Bring on Shaggy's appitite, Freddy's ascot, Velma's glasses, Scooby's lisp and, of course, Daphne's hot bod. But don't bring on what wasn't there to begin with. Oh, BTW. Jaime Kennedy IS Shaggy. I'd suggest Rachel Leigh Cook for Daphne, but she's already Josie. I wonder if Triumph could pull off Scooby's accent?

  • April 25, 2000, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Welcome Back, Professor...

    by Lizzybeth

    ... You've been missed. Now (whiny voice kicks in) when are we gettin g the rest of the 90's list? And how about some Buffy The Vampire Slayer commentary as the season comes to a close, as someone who shares the Buffy love I'd like to hear what you thought of this go-round. (stops whining) Alright.. carry on..

  • April 25, 2000, 5:17 p.m. CST

    That's it, I'm starting a Moriarty Fan Club...

    by All Thumbs

    And I call president! Anyways, this has been one of the best rumblings ever and there is so much to comment on, but I don't have the time. I do want to say to the people who tell Moriarty to stop bitching: He's not bitching. Read the article again. He's relating a story and in no way bashes Lucas or says he's sorry he bought the SW products. He loves Star Wars ans that's why it hurts more when some big mistake like what happened happens. And to the guy who is bitching about AICN in general: Why are you here then?

  • April 25, 2000, 5:24 p.m. CST

    laugh at it

    by Funk4America

    It doesn't matter. And they're probably concerned about the spy tunnels and secret cameras you're always joking about. As for the art not the artist I don't know how seriously you ought to take your percection of george as a jerk because he wouldn't let a notorious film spy such as yourself onto his workspace, while in the midst of production of the STAR WARS sixlogy. You probably didn't get invited because you ARE a security risk, didn't that ever cross your mind? your profession is obtaining early drafts and scripts and other things that a film company may not want released. If you wanted to be repaid for being a fan forget it, you've seperated yourself from fandom by reporting on it. As for being treated unfairly, just don't take it so seriously, buck up lil camper, laugh at it, you are that much of stealth spy.In the bay area theres a rotund lady that thought she should have her butt kissed by lucasfilm the hat lady I forget her name, anyway she was slighted I guess in some way and now she bashes lucasfilm at all opportunity and it's very ugly but to me it's kind of funny and I'm glad that lucasfilm doesn't give a shit and will bann, and not capitulate to fans jeers or cheers without apology, one of the reasons I like jar jar, because he pisses people off and no one can make it stop pleases me greatly and I don't know why. I know your feelings are hurt and I don't think that's funny but get real you pose a threat to lucasfilm so at least enjoy that, and if you still like the movie be a fan, It's your job to write about it, ain't that cool enough for you, sheesh what do you want?

  • April 25, 2000, 5:26 p.m. CST

    You People Are a Bunch of Fucking Idiots

    by Shaft9876

    If you live in a small, pathetic little fantasy world and that world comes crashing down around you, Lucas isn't to blame- you are. You're like fucking stalkers. Fucking John Hinckley. Next week on AICN: "Star Wars fan shoots President to Impress Lucas"

  • April 25, 2000, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Sean Patrick Flanery IS 34 YEARS OLD DAMMIT......HE IS NOT GOING

    by Hell's Cigarette

    Flanery is a good actor, but he is an old man. Do we need to see a 34 year-old making out with Natalie Portman. That may satisfy the older fanboys out there who are twisted pervs, but I for one don't want to see it. Flanery was cast as a younger Indy (approx. 16-20) when he himself was around 30, so who knows what Lucas is thinking. He may as well cast Walken as Anakin.

  • April 25, 2000, 5:46 p.m. CST

    It's Andrew NICCOL, not Niccols

    by Samthelion

    And Gattaca may just be the most underrated film of the 1990s

  • April 25, 2000, 5:50 p.m. CST

    My first entry...

    by Lunasola

    I think the issue is hoping that the world of a creator will mirror the world on screen. DOn't worry too much about being banned. YOu probably would have just ended up vaguely disappointed. As to who can play Daphne...well, I can. AND I can play Mary Jane in Spiderman. Hell, I could corner the cartoon girl market. There you have it. You people shouldn't yell at someone like Moriarty for being upset. He's being honest about his feelings, and should be lauded for that. (Unless of course his feelings really were wrong.) That's all.

  • April 25, 2000, 6:56 p.m. CST

    great story

    by wato

    Moriarty, I could taste the irony in that story. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up when I read it. Just remember, Karma is real and as bad as that was to take life will make it up to you on the other end of the scale.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:12 p.m. CST

    After reading all these talkbacks...

    by Kikstad

    ...I'm amazed at the amount of emotion that you kind folks expend on what amounts to nothing more than leisure entertainment. Cries of "betrayal." Cursing the gods upon hearing a new rumor that doesn't meet our approval. Insulting our fellow human beings because, heaven forbid, they have an opinion contrary to our own. So here's something to think about -- while we're comparing Lucas to the AntiChrist, while we're crying in our beermugs about the delay in releasing the Saga on DVD, while we're spitting out venom for the thousandth time about the hated JarJar Binks, remember that there are people on this planet trying to live their lives one day at a time, struggling to make ends meet, trying to deal with health crises and family problems and other bigger issues that make all our fanboy debates seem as trivial as a speck of dust. What I'm trying to say is -- let's not forget why we love movies. Let's lighten up and look at things in perspective. Peace out. -- Nick

  • April 25, 2000, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Blah

    by Darth Wevie

    Respect dude! There is more to be told that can be spoken of now, but there are some of us in the UK who are doing our best to confirm certain things. There is no point saying stuff now as it may turn out to be bullshit. Anyway, very nice piece and all the best for the way you put it across.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:19 p.m. CST

    The real Episode2 title?.

    by Horus

    Waaaay back , Empire Magazine {I think}reported with some disbelief, that Episode1 was Going to be called *Phantom Menace*No one at the time thought that was for real!They also mentioned {and I dont know where they got this from}that George was going to call Episode2 *The Fangs of Fear!* and Episode3, was to be titled *The Temple{or tower} of Mace Windu*.This was before anyone had a clue who the f**k ,Mace windu was.Now..these titles sound lame, but theyre painfully close, to the cheesy pulp titles that Lucas seems to be into these days.Have you seen the names added to the recently released Young Indiana Jones stories!!{*Indiana Jones and the plums of terror!*would fit in.}Plus both,The Phantom Menace and Fangs of fear, were {As far as I recall} titles for old Flash Gorden episodes}....so it could well be *Star wars Episode2 THE FANGS OF FEAR*It does sound worringly plausable.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:21 p.m. CST

    The real Episode2 title?.

    by Horus

    Waaaay back , Empire Magazine {I think}reported with some disbelief, that Episode1 was Going to be called *Phantom Menace*No one at the time thought that was for real!They also mentioned {and I dont know where they got this from}that George was going to call Episode2 *The Fangs of Fear!* and Episode3, was to be titled *The Temple{or tower} of Mace Windu*.This was before anyone had a clue who the f**k ,Mace windu was.Now..these titles sound lame, but theyre painfully close, to the cheesy pulp titles that Lucas seems to be into these days.Have you seen the names added to the recently released Young Indiana Jones stories!!{*Indiana Jones and the plums of terror!*would fit in.}Plus both,The Phantom Menace and Fangs of fear, were {As far as I recall} titles for old Flash Gorden episodes}....so it could well be *Star wars Episode2 THE FANGS OF FEAR*It does sound worringly plausable.

  • April 25, 2000, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Used to have much respect for you, Moriarty...

    by Toe Jam

    But after that post, I lost a little bit of it. You know, up until recently I was on the "anti-Lucas" wagon, but now I've changed my mind. Lucas "made" a product and sold it to you, the collective audience. YOU invested YOUR OWN emotional stake in the movies, and now you so-called "fans" bitch and whine when Lucas doesn't make every single fucking concession to you guys. Think about it, if Star Wars weren't the cultural event that it were, no one would be bitching about how Lucas decided to hold out on a DVD version and all the other things you whine about. If you didn't have so much nostalgic sentiment put into the Star Wars universe, you wouldn't give a rat's ass...you would realize that Lucas is following standard Hollywood procedure. Come to think of it, Lucas has been done infinitely more for us fans than any other Hollywood figure. He provides conventions (sometimes free), free newsletters and whatnot, and visits to the Skywalker Ranch, among many other things. Moriarty, I'm not sure if you're bitching about the decision to ban you from the ranch, or if you are just relating your experience. If it's the former, you have no right to. If it's the latter, I commend you. It's a shame because zero tolerance policies sometimes don't work for the best, but I'm sure Lucas has his reasons. In fact, he doesn't even need to justify them to us. Greedy fuck or not, Lucas has been more than giving.

  • April 25, 2000, 8:17 p.m. CST

    SCOOBY DOO!

    by gypsy

    I've read both the Titley and Gunn SCOOBY drafts and I honestly believe alot of excess money has been spent on this project for no reason. The Titley draft, which they've had from the beginning, sticks to the SCOOBY basics (scary, campy, funny ...you know what I mean)and yet is updated enough to keep the older fans happy and bring in new ones. You can tell a true fan wrote it! ...BTW, re: Tom Green - Cool idea...

  • April 25, 2000, 8:27 p.m. CST

    by talbuckin

    Well, the art is the product of an artist so I think it

  • April 25, 2000, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Seventh Tower

    by Future FilmMaker

    You people are probly right about this being a book not about starwars because it doesn't sound like a starwars name For example Phantum Menace The new hope empire strikes back Return of the jedi and the seveth Tower come on it sounds like a D and D noval (nothing wrong with them)and i hope that is not the title

  • April 25, 2000, 9:26 p.m. CST

    The Seventh Tower is not the title of Episode 2...

    by Lobanhaki

    But that of a new series of YA books that Lucas Books is putting out.

  • April 25, 2000, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Lucas

    by theTemplar

    Why the hell shouldn't Lucas shut people the hell out? Why should he correct his stuff to reflect what the fans say? He should not sell out HIS vision for what we whinning talkbackers want. It's like in the music biz. Once you write your music to please people you've sold out. Better to attract a loyal fan base that wants to hear the music you write and play. This is why the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, and the Descendants are remembered with reverance and continue to inspire today's young musicians and why the mere mention of new kids on the cock will rightfully get you a beating. The former did what they wanted to do and to varying degrees of success maintained a fan base (not to mention one which wants to see sometimes overpriced tours these days), and why shit that was built to spec for some market is either forgotten or inspires gagging (listen up latest crop of boy bands - your doomed!). One of the reasons why the rest of us like SW is because Lucas does not play to the critics and hopefully will not pander to the anti-Jar Jar fanbase. As for Harry's importance, if Harry was so important those EP2 picks from a few months ago wouldn't have mysteriously disappeared from the web site without a word - despite the questions from talk backers. Let your ego deflate a bit guys - you aren't all that. Frankly, I'd ban you guys too. Seventh Tower? I'm intrigues already.

  • April 25, 2000, 9:41 p.m. CST

    C'mon Guys...

    by pullthestrings

    Everyone in and around the "loop" knows the title is "Star Wars Episode II: Jedi Betrayal".... Don't ask, don't tell, huh?

  • April 25, 2000, 10:10 p.m. CST

    We would have world peace if only we would all join hands and si

    by Lobanhaki

    In the words of Dr. Evil,"Riiiiight." Troubles is, that's not the way things work. We keep this world going not by doing one thing or another, but by living our lives on the variety of levels we do. This is a complex and chaotic world, and what we see from afar is never the full truth. But there is no chance that anybody is going to positively influence George Lucas by us all banding together and putting him in his place. Especially if he isn't in need of humbling to begin with. The only person that anybody can truly humble is that person themself. When it's Anyone else it is just humiliation, and a wrong against that person. This is my view on the subject. It is also my opinion that a person who is willing to censure George Lucas over a disappointing film is also a person who is somewhat arrogant. If Lucas believes the same thing as his detractors then his film is an albatross around his neck. If Lucas believes his film is a masterpiece above any parallel, his arrogance will carry with it consequences. If Lucas believes he's doing his best, and if Lucas has good reasons for what he's doing with the series, then he has every right to ignore his detractors as he sees fit. In any case described above, we don't enter far into the equation. The average fan, or reformed fan, is simply not a part of Lucas's everyday life. Lucas has friends, has people who he works with, has a family, maybe even a ladyfriend. The point is there are people who are more in Lucas's life than the dollars and cents, or the passing comments given out. Let's face it: There are 280 million people in this country, and there is not one of us who knows the lives and thoughts of any significant fraction of that. Even if that person is a celebrity, a visionary, a legendary director. At least Lucas seems to recognize the limits of his knowledge.

  • April 25, 2000, 10:37 p.m. CST

    You people fucking baffle me...

    by BobBarker

    How can you criticize something you OBVIOUSLY haven't read? He never says "Boo hoo, feel sorry for me." He says that his first reaction was one of obvious disappointment and anger, because this guy whose movies he loved had unfairly turned him away while offering to let others in...but then he realized it didn't matter, etc etc...this has got to be the most base, moronic group of jackals I have ever come across. I'd love to see some examples of your prose, assholes. If your talkback posts are any indication, it'd be pretty piss poor. The fact that half of you write your posts in one long run on sentence without any punctuation at all exhibits that pretty clearly. He told the story of what happened absolutely truthfully, and he holds no grudges. Stifle.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:08 p.m. CST

    That was probably the most blatantly manipulative story that I'v

    by JackBurton

    Moriarty's whole "I really do love Star Wars, let me on The Ranch please next time Mr Lucas" spiel was both hugely transparent as well as being incredibly, and I believe deliberately manipulative in content and execution. Now I don't dislike Moriarty, or Harry for that matter (Hell I don't even know them), and I usually find Moriarty's additions to the site to be one of it's greatest attributes, even if he is pretty longwinded at times (and personally I've never been into this whole 'give us your life story as part of everything you write' thing, but thats just me), but this piece just smacked of not only blatant "woe is me" manipulation, but also of elitism (sorry Moriarty but you and Harry don't speak for me, or for 'the fans' at large, we're all plenty capable of doing that ourselves, you're entitled to your own opinions, as are we all, but just don't preach that those opinions are representative of mine, because you don't even know me, so how can you possibly think you speak for me, or anyone else for that matter? Sure some of us may well agree with a lot of what you say, but thats not the same as 'speaking for us' under the assumption that we will agree with everything that you think or say, it just don't work like that I'm afraid). All in all a rather disappointing piece, but Kudos to Harry for standing by Moriarty, as any real friend well should have. Oh and to all those saying that Lucas is to blame, if I was making a film and information that I didn't want released leaked out I'd hardly be embracing those that had had a hand in doing so either. I'm not a big Lucas devotee (although I enjoy many of his films, I wasn't big on Episode One myself and found it, while watchable, supremely flawed) this is a decision that I think he was more than entitled to make. Anyway end of rant, move along, move along.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Here's where you lost me, Darth Syphillis

    by Whitey

    First, let me just start by saying this isn't meant to be a flame posting. I actually found your post one of the more articulate and thoughtful ones on here. But that doesn't mean I agree with you wholeheartedly. I respect what you said so I hope you respect my reaction to it, too. I think where you made me sort of turn against you was when you made these moral judgments about Moriarty, whose columns I don't really care for, frankly, for many reasons so don't look at me as some kiss-ass defender. When you start calling people's values, honor, and integrity into question -- while hiding behind a codename and an anonymous email account from hot mail yourself -- you get into a "let he who casts the first stone" dilemma. I don't know a THING about you, you hide behind a secret identity just like Moriarty does, you could be preaching "honor" and "honesty" here and be cheating on your wife, fudging your taxes, or harbor prejudice in your heart. I just hate when people in Talk Back start making moral arguments because who are they to judge? You rage against the apparent inherent dishonesty of reviewing a script (ever hear of script analysts or story departments at studios? they do the same thing) and yet reveal how Gary Kurtz was not allowed to participate in the remaining SW films, a revelation obviously made to you in confidence which you have now shared with the world via the internet. Why is Moriarty's criticizing of Lucas any worse than your own slamming of Gary Kurtz? All these talk backers ranting about why we don't just focus on the real world and on issues of war and starvation miss the point of films and sites like this. They are an ESCAPE from all that heinous shit. How do you know which of us is in chemo now or has HIV or whose father just died or who is stuck in a crappy job just to help their family out? The often poignant messages you guys try to make in your postings are undercut and devalued once you start moralizing and judging the rest of us. If you despise the dishonesty of these web sites and of script reviewers so much then WHY ARE YOU HERE in the first place? You're here for the same reasons we are and you're no better than the rest of us, dumb web handle and all. Peace.

  • April 25, 2000, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Right on, agentcooper

    by Wonders

    I think agentcooper got it right. I don't think Moriarty should take it personnaly, although it is very frustrating. George didn't go down the list himself, I'm sure! I find it funny to see people treat George like the Anti-Christ. Even banned talkbackers on AICN are pissed off, so any organization could be criticized at one point. By the way, Banned from the Ranch has shared FX credits on some movies with ILM, so I don't think there's still a riff.

  • April 26, 2000, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Re: Disturbed

    by Lazarus Long

    I think a lot of people DID read Moriarty's article carefully, but sometimes one can read between the lines and get something else out of it. I feel a lot of the heat and criticism that's coming Moriarty's way should really be directed at Harry. So what if Moriarty was singled out unfairly? You guys are running an internet news service for fans and "geeks" as you call yourself. Harry may be Moriarty's friend and didn't want to leave him behind, but he basically put that ahead of all his other "friends" on this website. We have all been robbed of a most likely captivating look inside The Ranch. Who knows what the actual discussion was between Moriarty & Harry, but if Moriarty had any journalistic integrity he would have demanded that Harry & Co. continue without him in the best interest of AICN. Harry shouldn't have let his feelings come before the site. You are messing with material that is not supposed to be public knowledge every time you post an article up there. Stop thinking your access is a fucking privilege, and accept the fact that there may be consequences on certain occasions, ones that you won't have any control over! In the words of Mr. White, "You're supposed to act like a fucking professional." Suck it up and go in there. But no. Harry decides to stay behind and comfort his wounded friend. Give me a fucking break. You guys are the polar opposites of Woodward and Bernstein, who probably would have done anything to get their story. "Oh, let me buy you this little Star Wars gift to ease your suffering." What sounded a little sentimental on the first reading now comes off a little sad. Harry and Moriarty have turned out to be not studio shills, but a couple of whiners who took their jobs a little too personally. And now Harry takes potshots at Lucas and the Phantom Menace (an about face from his previous position on the film), because he can't get over the goddamned thing already. It's Harry's fault that all these bitchy TalkBackers are spewing epithets at Lucas personally, when ol' George has probably never heard of Moriarty. Blame anonymous assistance, not the man who is busy creating our dreams. Everyone, TalkBackers and AICN staff needs to grow up and listen to the bullshit that is coming from their mouths & keyboards...

  • April 26, 2000, 12:21 a.m. CST

    repost: Re: Disturbed/Attention AICN staff:

    by Lazarus Long

    (I'm sending this in again, I don't like having my post randomly stuck in this mess) *** I think a lot of people DID read Moriarty's article carefully, but sometimes one can read between the lines and get something else out of it. I feel a lot of the heat and criticism that's coming Moriarty's way should really be directed at Harry. So what if Moriarty was singled out unfairly? You guys are running an internet news service for fans and "geeks" as you call yourself. Harry may be Moriarty's friend and didn't want to leave him behind, but he basically put that ahead of all his other "friends" on this website. We have all been robbed of a most likely captivating look inside The Ranch. Who knows what the actual discussion was between Moriarty & Harry, but if Moriarty had any journalistic integrity he would have demanded that Harry & Co. continue without him in the best interest of AICN. Harry shouldn't have let his feelings come before the site. You are messing with material that is not supposed to be public knowledge every time you post an article up there. Stop thinking your access is a fucking privilege, and accept the fact that there may be consequences on certain occasions, ones that you won't have any control over! In the words of Mr. White, "You're supposed to act like a fucking professional." Suck it up and go in there. But no. Harry decides to stay behind and comfort his wounded friend. Give me a fucking break. You guys are the polar opposites of Woodward and Bernstein, who probably would have done anything to get their story. "Oh, let me buy you this little Star Wars gift to ease your suffering." What sounded a little sentimental on the first reading now comes off a little sad. Harry and Moriarty have turned out to be not studio shills, but a couple of whiners who took their jobs a little too personally. And now Harry takes potshots at Lucas and the Phantom Menace (an about face from his previous position on the film), because he can't get over the goddamned thing already. It's Harry's fault that all these bitchy TalkBackers are spewing epithets at Lucas personally, when ol' George has probably never heard of Moriarty. Blame anonymous assistance, not the man who is busy creating our dreams. Everyone, TalkBackers and AICN staff needs to grow up and listen to the bullshit that is coming from their mouths & keyboards...

  • April 26, 2000, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Concerning criticism of AICN...

    by Kubrick

    AICN may have heart but to me, it's gone weak. It's not terrible and I like Moriarty and the gang but compared to the writings and insight into Hollywood by other internet columnists and news sites, AICN comes up short. But it makes sense since most of AICN's population is made up on fanboys and fangirls. No real Hollywood insider like say the late Edward Margulies of MrShowbiz who wrote a story on his column about what the original producer of Willy Wonka (coincidently his father) thinks about the upcoming remake. Plus, notice how Salon.com's story about how Harry was involved with the Internet hype of the Blair Witch Project has dissapeared both from his site and Salon.com's site. Methinks, something fishy going on. Plus, Moriarty dissapointed me since he didn't have any news or info on David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, a TV series he made for ABC which was yanked off the network schedule and was to have premiered in the fall of 1999. Margulies told the story of the show and what it was about and how there was a grassroots campaign and a petition to get it shown on some other network. This is the kind of stuff AICN used to do and to have a corporate Disney-owned stuff like MrShowbiz come up with this kind of news is a shock. Plus, Margulies' report on how the media was nuts by asking critics what they thought after screenings of Fight Club because "like they're influential ? Like the fanboys dosed to see the latest serving of Finchervision could possibly care what anybody has to say? Now, there's a brain-dead trend. Reviews of reviewers before they've written their reviews! If somebody told me that this and not Fight Club (which however popular is just a movie), is the end of the world as we not it, I'd have to agree." Cruel words ? Yes, but all too true...with all his talks of how important Fight Club was and what meaning there was in it Harry and Moriarty were just playing into the hands of Hollywood (To most people, they just wanted to own a piece of it knowing it would make money with it's intended audience and that Brad Pitt's claim that Fight Club featured his best work was a call to the Academy and not modesty, for sure. Instead, Margulies wanted to own a piece of the Pokemon movie, cause that's a sure thing). Similarly so, Jeff Wells earlier predicted on MrShowiz that the new Star Wars films would dissapoint and both Moriarty and Harry said he was wrong and Moriarty said with his reading of the Episode 1 script that this movie would deliever. Yet by the time Menace was released, Harry admitted fans were getting rilled up over a movie that was good but not great. Moriarty himself after fanning over how good the script had a review of the movie that was less enthusiastic. Later at reel.com, Wells announced many of the famous films we love shot in 70 mm such as Patton are being destroyed by age and decay and need to be restored for future generations to enjoy. Anybody who loves seeing films in a big old movie theatre like me is concerned about this for sure. While, another site this one dedicated to Sam Peckinpah told us of a film festival dedicated to the late under-rated little known filmmaker who had his films screened and even an essay on his films by Michael Sragow, Harry Knowles (!), even a interview with Pauline Kael on her thoughts about him. All this important stuff about the movies and Hollywood and not one of it was reported by AICN. Or what about cinemaythem.com's stories observations about cinema (nice tribute to the late Margulies and good observation on how film reviews aren't much important in this age because most films are critic review-proof, to quote Jeanelle, "I don't think I can single handly stop the James Bond franchise and Sleepy Hollow's gonna make money even if Burton is responsible for Mars Attacks") or Sarah Bunting's funny smart observations on popcorn.co.uk and on her site, tomatonation...loved the jab against Vanity Fair, to me the hollywood issues are less than good but I did like the picture of the cast and crew of American Graffiti reunited featured in the issue...very cool. Even Entertainment Weekly surpassed AICN by having a brief review of the new kubrickfilms.com site launched by WB that'll feature interviews with the people who made the films (those who are stil alive) and unseen footage from Kubrick's movies. Plus, Esquire had that mini note in it's September about a site about Hitchcock's films titled Hitchcock100.com to celebrate his 100th birthday and his contribution to cinema. Now, I still like this site and think it's one of the best independent owned and operated sites about movie news but to me it's good but not great.

  • April 26, 2000, 1:15 a.m. CST

    For all the critics.....

    by King Tycho

    JAR JAR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • April 26, 2000, 2:12 a.m. CST

    That Makes Me So MAD!!!

    by Cowblaster

    Moriarty, I have no idea who you are, but I will not rest until you are within the confines of The Ranch. This is like telling the crippled boy that he's not allowed to go to Disney World, even if it's his dying wish because "well, he's just unsightly." So what if you had that article? From what it sounds like, you DESERVE to be there. I hope George reads your article and changes his mind. If not, I'll convince him when I'm rich and famous. I think I'll write a letter to Lucasfilms and protest your being banned, and I sugest others to do the same. If anyone wants something so badly, it should never be denied to them, no matter what their sins.

  • April 26, 2000, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Self Important Pompous Crap

    by Buttle

    Okay, let's all calm down & think a little rationally shall we? Moriarty has in the past composed some amusing, intelligent & well observed news reports, but this time he's simply exhibiting & compounding the one factor thaty has been plaguing this sight for some time. Once upon a time Ain't It Cool News was anarchic & exciting to be a part of, but ever since Harry & Pals caught the eye of the media (and Mr Knowles has had his spurious bit parts in movies) the site has become so pompous & full of it's own importance. Let's face it, how many changes have been made to a movie because of what has been said here? These people are dealing with millions of dollars a year & right or wrong the projects are solely in the hands of the people involved. Sure they take popular opinion into account (which sometimes can lead to the problems with a movies concept being watered down for the consumption of a specific market demographic) but make no mistake, the power of Harry is vastly over-rated, and I believe he's losing his fan-boy geek-ness which was the essence of the site in favour of his misplaced believe in his position in the movie industry. Unfortunately this is also starting to be applied to his spies. Why should we feel remorse & pity for Moriarty because he wasn't allowed onto "The Ranch". He's not a player, he doesn't work in the industry, all he did was what we have all admired him for. He got hold of and reviewed the script for Episode 1 honestly with his own opinion, before it was part of general knowledge. Brilliant! Anarchy! Smash the system etc. But now the anarchist is weeping and wailing because he's not allowed to go to the house of the guy he stole from (figuritively speaking) Grow up for god sake. What does the man owe you? Nothing. And then Moriarty oh so surreptiously slips the "Title" of Episode 2 into his article, in a way that says "I am a player. I am in the industry. This is no big deal to me but the lowly readers will shit themselves"... And it's not the right title. Did nobody spot the earlier talk back. Did nobody go to WWW.SEVENTHTOWER.COM and see the web site for the new range of Novels published by Lucasfilm? Did nobody hear the peels of laughter coming from "The Ranch", when whoever leaked this piece of "information" saw his joke in print in such a priceless manner? PLease be aware. We are losing sight & we are losin this site. Harry & Moriarty & all are becoming what they once rallied against. Pompous, Self Opinionated & Smug. And we are bearing the brunt.

  • April 26, 2000, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Self Important Pompous Crap

    by Buttle

    Okay, let's all calm down & think a little rationally shall we? Moriarty has in the past composed some amusing, intelligent & well observed news reports, but this time he's simply exhibiting & compounding the one factor thaty has been plaguing this sight for some time. Once upon a time Ain't It Cool News was anarchic & exciting to be a part of, but ever since Harry & Pals caught the eye of the media (and Mr Knowles has had his spurious bit parts in movies) the site has become so pompous & full of it's own importance. Let's face it, how many changes have been made to a movie because of what has been said here? These people are dealing with millions of dollars a year & right or wrong the projects are solely in the hands of the people involved. Sure they take popular opinion into account (which sometimes can lead to the problems with a movies concept being watered down for the consumption of a specific market demographic) but make no mistake, the power of Harry is vastly over-rated, and I believe he's losing his fan-boy geek-ness which was the essence of the site in favour of his misplaced believe in his position in the movie industry. Unfortunately this is also starting to be applied to his spies. Why should we feel remorse & pity for Moriarty because he wasn't allowed onto "The Ranch". He's not a player, he doesn't work in the industry, all he did was what we have all admired him for. He got hold of and reviewed the script for Episode 1 honestly with his own opinion, before it was part of general knowledge. Brilliant! Anarchy! Smash the system etc. But now the anarchist is weeping and wailing because he's not allowed to go to the house of the guy he stole from (figuritively speaking) Grow up for god sake. What does the man owe you? Nothing. And then Moriarty oh so surreptiously slips the "Title" of Episode 2 into his article, in a way that says "I am a player. I am in the industry. This is no big deal to me but the lowly readers will shit themselves"... And it's not the right title. Did nobody spot the earlier talk back. Did nobody go to WWW.SEVENTHTOWER.COM and see the web site for the new range of Novels published by Lucasfilm? Did nobody hear the peels of laughter coming from "The Ranch", when whoever leaked this piece of "information" saw his joke in print in such a priceless manner? PLease be aware. We are losing sight & we are losin this site. Harry & Moriarty & all are becoming what they once rallied against. Pompous, Self Opinionated & Smug. And we are bearing the brunt.

  • April 26, 2000, 9:27 a.m. CST

    They were no longer little girls... they were little women.

    by Ah ha!

  • April 26, 2000, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Nice Catch for Lazarus

    by Orpheus

    Indeed, I remember Harry's positive Episode One review. I especially remember the part about Jar Jar. "MESA LUVED HIM!" I tell ya, that was at the height of the Anti-TPM tidal wave we all rode this summer. It bought me a whole world of respect for Harry. That took balls. But then he starts making all these perjorative comments, and now we get Moriaty's sob story. Of course, Harry wasn't the first guy to pander to the crowd. I seem to remember TIME magazine giving the script an excellent review one month, then saying it sucked the next. Interesting. BTW, when I said "I" should be allowed to go to the Ranch, I meant "I" as generic fanboy. At least before someone like Moriaty. But that's not to say Lucas "owes me" a trip. No way. I love that man. And as for him not giving other people credit for the success of SW ... that is one misinformed statement. Egomaniac? Right. He creates the greatest film series of all times, and earns more money than God. Then in interview after interview, he just looks at the ground when someone asks him about it, saying "They're just dumb movies." If that isn't humility ... Can you imagine if any of the Lucas detractors here today were as famous and powerful as he was? They would be having monuments built in their honor. They would declare themselves deities, and demand that a virgin be sacrificed to them once a month (probably one of their former talkback companions). Lucas is a great, kind, giving man. "It's the art, not the artist." No, it's both. One reflects the other. Well, actually, there are two aspects of art. The local, which the artist gives us from his personal life, and the universal, which we get from a little thing called inspiration. You can't seperate the two, as much as you may want to. And Seventh Towers? Give me a break.

  • April 26, 2000, 2 p.m. CST

    Divide and conquer

    by WildRose

    This is the way I see it: This whole notion of "Moriarty" being banned because of some previous spying activities is ridiculous; if anybody is going to be banned due to his past indiscretions, it would be Harry, the sneaky little instigator himself *and* owner of this site! Therefore, I believe the person who kept Harry on the phone for half-an-hour was just playin' with the boys, as I said in the subject header--trying to Divide and Conquer. It must have gave the bastard a great deal of amusement, and I'm sooo glad the guys didn't give him the satisfaction of Harry showing up sans "Moriarty". Not this time anyways. I believe Harry will visit the Ranch one of these days; only it will be under different circumstances. The whole snow-globe incident was related to us to illustrate just how strong the friendship between Harry and "Moriarty" is, IMO, and not to gain any sympathy. And to all the critics out there--Give "Moriarty" some credit, will ya? He's an accomplished writer, has been working in the film industry for years, and hob-nobs with Academy Award-winning producers, fer cryin' out loud! He may come off sounding like "just a fan-boy" sometimes, but that's what makes him human! For a fairly young guy, he's already at a point in his career many of us only dream about!

  • April 26, 2000, 2:13 p.m. CST

    My experiences with Lucasfilm

    by AL BUNDY

    Moriarty, Sorry to hear about your experiences, but hey, tough. If you and Harry had gone I might be too envious to have ever looked at this site again. Personally, I had some experiences with Lucasfilm about 6 years ago. I rang them just as an ordinary Joe asking about Young Indy Info. Let me state now that they could not have been more helpful. Lynne Hale, PR Director I believe, actually rang me back twice to make sure that I had enough info and of the type I was after. Let me make it clear that they stood to gain nothing financially or commercially from me. I was both touched and impressed by the caring they showed to me as a fan. I guess though as it was 94 or 95 they probably weren't so busy as TPM wouldn't have properly geared up by then. Just my two cents, Al

  • April 26, 2000, 5:38 p.m. CST

    KingMenthol

    by knox21

    Thank you for totally missing the point of my last post and proving my point in the process. The other artist you mentioned all back me up. They were all plagued with emotional scars and painful upbringings. This translates clearly to all their work. Their lives become the fuel that feeds the creative fire. The art and the artist are one and the same. If John Lennon's mother hadn't abbandoned him as a boy would his work have been the same? No. Lennon often cited this event as being important in fueling his creative energy. Mcartney led a much more normal life and as a result his songs were more upbeat and whimsical. The idea that you can take Lennon the artist (or any artist for that matter) and put him in one corner and put Lennons albums in another corner, and "never the two shall meet" is ludichrist. The idea that an artist can create something and not have it effected by his attitudes, ethics, or ideas is even dumber still. They have a word for creation without attitude, ethics, or ideas- advertising. One (the work) was born of the other (the artist). Without the artist (all his attitudes ethics and ideas) there would be no art! I could go on with numerous examples based JUST on the artists you mentioned but, this would go on too long and you'd still blind yourself to what I'm saying. Because, like Harry, you're WAY to wrapped up in this stuff and you won't let anything jeopardize your enjoyment. I'd suggest you go back and reread my last post a little more closely, I never said anything about Lucas making money. I have nothing against capitalism and never judge an artists work on their paycheck. What I did say was that Harry should've had more respect for himself and not turn right around and "reward" the guy who just dicked him. Whether or not Lucas made that choice or not is moot. Lucas is responsible for all the policies that govern the Ranch, including the people HE chooses to represent his company. Again I cite the 60 Minutes interview where he bragged about the extent of his control over the day-to-day operations at the Ranch. I work for a VERY big company and they monitor everything, especially visitors. When someone comes to visit they've got to get clearance and the company wants to know their purpose for visiting and for how long. Do you really think that some lacky took it upon themselves to pick out Moriarity on their own? Not if they want to keep their job they didn't.

  • April 26, 2000, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Hey.....

    by Lunasola

    How come my last entry didn't get on? Don't tell me you guys are actually selective...if so, I fear the person selecting what gets posted. I hope, for your sakes, it was a glitch. I was only saying nice things about you all, after all.

  • April 26, 2000, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Whitey, here's my point

    by darthsyphilis

    I've got no problem with thoughful honest criticism. Why I may come across as a pompous ass, I'll be the first to tell you I've done some damn stupid things that I've paid dearly for. But here's the the thing, I'll be the first to own up to my mistakes. And that's what irritated me about Moriarity story. Deep down, these guys know exactly what it is they do. Some of the "cool news" they get is by means completely on the up-and-up. But the revel in the stuff the get by less-than-honest-means. They eat it up; read enough of the posts and that fact is evident. A lot of the identity of the site is based on the "coolness" of having something you shouldn't. If they can get by knowing there is undeniably a dependence on dishonesty on their parts and the dishonesty of others, more power to 'em. But the instant they get busted, or someone knocks the egos down a notch or two, well Hell, let's vilify the other guy. They got pissy when they had to pull the Vanity Fair Episode 1 photos (so what if they broke international copyright laws and violated the artists rights, it's that money-grubbin' Lucas and his evil Empire {I'm well aware that that's not the exact quote but that the "I'm the victim" attitude that seems to show up far too often}) Look at the way they've handle the Ep. 1 DVD situation. So Lucas says it will be done, but not until he can do it right. Typically, shouts of "Lucas the money-grubbing tyrant erupt from the site" God forbid the man want to take the time to do things right and put out a really great product that the fans will enjoy and be forth the cash they pony up for it. We want what we want when we want it and NOW because we bought the toys that built Lucas's Empire. Honestly, if that's the way it should be, I'd say he owes my parents a helluva lot more for the stuff they bought me as a 6-year old in '77 than he owes me. Next, the Gary Kurtz thing. That was for Harry. Harry loves to talk about how great Star Wars is/could be because of Kurtz. Yeah, Kurtz was producer on Lucas's best films and yes can claim credit for being a part of them. But when Harry broke the news on the "fuzzy footage" he let loose on Lucas. In an "all caps"-laden tirade, Harry proceeded to rake Lucas's honesty and integrity over the coals. George had better do something about this NOW! He better come clean with the TRUTH on the fuzzy footage, before things get worse than the already are! Harry continued with a "That's why Gary Kurtz got fired! He was the ONLY person brave enough to tell Lucas "No!" and stand up to him." George having to crawl to Fox for "Empire" cash because the film went over budget ain't no insider secret. Check out the Lucas biography by Pollack (or something like that) and it's nifty list of sources, it's common knowledge to lots of Star Wars geeks. And by the way, did Harry EVER apologize on this site to Lucas for calling him a liar? I never saw it. Maybe he did. Did Harry EVER fess up to his mistake? And that's what it's all about. Live the life you choose, do what ever you want, as long as nobody gets hurt, and you stand ready to own up to your mistakes. Moriarity almost did in his story. He started out "understanding Lucasfilms position" but then launches into "well I wasn't the FIRST or even SECOND to review the script (and we're bright enough to guess that Lucas didn't personally single out Moriarity. I doubt George even knew they were "supposed to be coming). Harry did before me and HE gets to go. That's what isn't fair! Blah blah blah. And in some nice writing, by the end, he has managed to paint himself and Harry the heroes. Willing to forgive the artist for the sake of the art. It's a good piece of storytelling that seeks to paint a picture of a terrible wrong being committed against the purest of heart, who repay this great injustice, by turning the other cheek and offering divine forgiveness the villian. "It's the art, not the artist" Sheesh. How blatantly manipulative can one get? And Harry's "This is the story from our side." What surely he doesn't expect Lucasfilm to send out a press release with "their side of the story". Don't think I'll be seeing that on starwars.com anytime soon, no sir. Face it, the guys got busted and would rather paint themselves the victims than own up to the fact that someone doesn't want 'em hanging around cause of who they are. Join the club, we've all got that problem in someway. I'm a pompus, prattling ass and have a long list of people who hate me because of it, but that's nobody's fault or problem but my own.

  • April 27, 2000, 4:47 p.m. CST

    AICN not the best place for SW news

    by JackieJokeman

    Its not the worst but its far from the best.

  • May 11, 2005, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Helloooooo year 2000!

    by Flim_

    Hey, the world DIDN'T end!

  • May 11, 2005, 10:56 p.m. CST

    wow

    by whatyoufear

    this topic is OLD OLD OLD

  • May 30, 2005, 9:15 a.m. CST

    You deserved it

    by Wydok

    Don&#39;t whine McWeener. You deserved it. Don&#39;t fuck with the Lucas, man!

  • Aug. 15, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Back in the day when we couldn't do paragraph breaks

    by jim

    And yeah, Queen of the Damned was as bad as Mori thought it would be.

  • Aug. 15, 2008, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Interesting story!

    by Aeghast

    Too bad for you, Moriarty, I know. And my comment's 8 years old!