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Moriarty's RUMBLINGS FROM THE LAB, Part Deux, RE: SUPERNERDS, 5-25-77, RUN RONNIE RUN, and MORE!!

Published at: May 19, 2000, 12:16 p.m. CST by staff

Hey, all. "Moriarty" here. Sorry for the interruption, but all sorts of things have been keeping me busy. Some of them are related to my Evil Master Plan To Rule The World, and some of them are simply wonderful excuses to procrastinate.

For example, earlier tonight, I was lucky enough to accompany the lovely Lynn Bracken to see Aimee Mann and Michael Penn at the Henry Fonda Theater. Ahhhh… bliss. The show was wonderful, spanning the entire careers of both performers. Special thanks must be given to Segue Zagnut, who couldn't use his tickets. I'm sorry he couldn't be there, but I'm f'ing glad I went. Hell, if I came up with a ticket for tonight's engagement in the same venue, I'd go again. It was that great. The surprise of the evening for me was that neither performer was the opening act. They walked out onstage together, and they simply traded back and forth, playing something of hers, then something of his, then something of hers. It was a delightful way to spend an evening, and the efforts of comedian Patton Oswalt, who opened the show and provided banter between songs, only made the whole experience better. So here I am, recharged and ready to rumble.

I PREFER "GEEK" TO "NERD," ACTUALLY…

Speaking of Patton Oswalt, I had the opportunity recently to see a pilot for a show that Comedy Central has been considering for their lineup. It's called SUPERNERDS, and it's very nearly a great show. There's some complaints I have, and we'll get to those. Let me tell you what works, first.

Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn are the stars of the show, and both of them are painfully funny men who have shone in past comedy projects. Oswalt, for those of you unfamiliar with his work, appeared in MAGNOLIA at the beginning as the dealer in Vegas who ended up dropped into the tree during the forest fire. He did an HBO half-hour special about two years ago that was, very simply, one of the funniest things I've ever seen. His dead perfect impressions of Nick Nolte as Han Solo or of Tom Carvell of the Carvell Ice Cream Store had me crying. More than that, though, there's a nimble sense of incredibly vulgar word play to what Patton does that defies description. He is blisteringly scatological. Posehn, on the other hand, is a visual punchline, a giant guy with a timid manner, black hornrims, and the slightest wisp of blonde hair struggling to hold on against incipient baldness.

The premise of the show is simple. Oswalt works at a comic book store. Poesehn is his friend who always hangs out there. That's it. What this allows them to do is riff endlessly on all the things that the typical geek is obsessed with. They argue over which heroes are stronger, over which comics are better, over which STAR WARS film is the best. They get a lot of this material exactly right, and it's apparent that they really are these guys. I've bumped into Posehn at Golden Apple (an amazing comic book store) on Melrose at least a half-dozen times, and just last night, Patton did an amazing riff on comic books when introducing Aimee Mann's "Ghost World" (inspired by the Daniel Clowes comic) that rendered me helpless with laughter.

The pilot gets a big boost from the presence of Sarah Silverman as a girl who shows up at the comic book store one afternoon. She walks in with a wealth of comic book knowledge at her fingertips, something that makes both Posehn and Oswalt practically rabid to get to know her. Turns out she's a girl who went to grade school with them, where only Oswalt was nice to her. She's always remembered that, and now she has a little crush on him. This infuriates Posehn, and it's obvious why. Silverman is every geek's fantasy girl… smart, funny, sexy, and totally into comics and SF. She's Lynn Bracken, basically, too good to be true. The pilot's main subplot has Oswalt and Posehn turned against one another when a fellow geek shows up with matching Spock and Kirk salt shakers to sell. The two friends end up bidding against each other, desperate to have the whole set.

So what are my problems? Well, the title for one. There is still such a negative connotation to the word "nerd" that I can't see any self-respecting fan tune in. We are not nerds. We are geeks. There's something chic about being a geek these days. The mainstream has picked the word up and uses it to mean anyone who is totally into something, who has a vast amount of knowledge on a subject, and who is good at what they do. Nerds, on the other hand, get beaten up a lot. Maybe even by geeks.

The other thing that's off about the show is the pacing. Yes, it's a pilot, and that's important to keep in mind. There's a lot of exposition and character establishment to be taken care of. Still, there's something about the rhythms between Oswalt and Posehn when they're having their simple, quiet geek conversations that just doesn't work. Maybe it's because they're overexplaining, something geeks never have to do with each other. Maybe it's just the middle ground between the decidedly different comedy stylings of these two performers. Whatever the case, the chemistry only partially gels here.

I'd love to see SUPERGEEKS (catch that name change?) show up on Comedy Central's lineup at some point. There's another show they will be looking at later this summer… ahem, ahem… that would make a perfect companion piece for SUPERGEEKS once it's on the air. I think there's definitely work to be done to get this show ready to air. That's why it's a pilot, though. This is the episode where things are allowed to not work. Director Troy Miller and the rest of the key creative staff has some work ahead of them here, but it's worth it. The show they have already produced has a living, vibrant comic voice, and it would be a shame if it didn't find a home on the air.

STAY, RONNIE, STAY!!

New Line… De Luca… can I ask what you guys are thinking? You have this great script for RUN, RONNIE, RUN: THE RONNIE DOBBS STORY, the MR. SHOW movie, sitting on your desk. You have a great cast. You have the right director. You have everything you need, but you won't pull the trigger.

How much can this thing cost? Let's talk crazy numbers. Let's say it's $20 million. Don't you remember DUMB & DUMBER? It cost nothing, but it earned you a bundle. Comedies are funny like that. You don't need special effects or giant marquee names for the film. You just need to make people laugh.

You're not seriously going to let Troy Miller and Bob Odenkirk and David Cross and the rest of the MR. SHOW writers start shopping this film around to other companies, are you? I thought New Line was the place projects went after other companies lost the balls to make something.

Guys… you made THE CELL. How much money did you spend on that extremely violent and surreal film that has a limited audience right up front? It's not STAR WARS, after all, or THE MATRIX, even if De Luca wishes it was. It's more like SE7EN with special effects and no moral compass. You sunk tens of millions of dollars into this thing, even though you knew up front that the audience that would eventually see it would be limited to a certain age group with certain interests. With RUN, RONNIE, RUN, you have a comedy that is going to play to an incredibly broad audience, something that's cheap with an almost limitless possible return. When a comedy connects, people can't seem to throw money at it fast enough. This is potentially one of those films.

In the end, there's also a prestige to making this film, guys. MR. SHOW has been one of the most consistent and edgy sketch comedy shows on television, and it's only a matter of time before Bob and David are movie stars. Don't miss out on being part of that phenomenon. You'll kick yourself if you do.

A LONG TIME AGO IN A STATE FAR, FAR AWAY…

Speaking of phenomenons and the fear of missing out on them, a funny thing happened after I wrote my recent piece on being Banned from the Ranch. As denizens of the AICN Chat Room know, one of our regular visitors there is a writer/director by the name of Patrick Read Johnson. He's made films like ANGUS, SPACED INVADERS, and BABY'S DAY OUT. At one point, he was set to make DRAGONHEART with Jim Henson's company signed on to help bring the dragon to life opposite Liam Neeson.

But way back when, Johnson was just one of us, a geek with a dream. He lived in Illinois, a million miles from Hollywood, and becoming a working filmmaker seemed to be the impossible dream. One film changed all of that for him, the same film that transformed James Cameron and Frank Darabont and John Singleton and me and Harry Lime and practically every person under 40 I've ever spoken to about film. It was, of course, STAR WARS.

When Johnson read my article, he came looking for me in the chat room. He told me how much the story had moved him, especially after following the links in the story to the other STAR WARS pieces I've written here on the site. He told me that he had a script he wanted to send me, something I might be able to appreciate. Within moments, 5-25-77 appeared in my e-mail inbox. Right away, the title struck a chord. That date has a hint of the mystic about it for those of us who were so profoundly changed by George's little space opera.

I stayed up until well past dawn reading Patrick's script. I didn't mean to. To tell you the truth, I couldn't afford to stay up that late that night. I had things to do in the morning. I had places to be. And as soon as I started reading the script, none of that mattered. Like Cameron Crowe, Patrick has reached into his own past to craft a moving story of someone finding their voice in a field they love. Unlike Crowe, Johnson has laid himself totally bare. He hasn't fictionalized this story at all. Instead, the lead character of the script is the young Patrick Read Johnson. This is as autobiographical as anything you're going to read, and it's surprisingly painful in places. He hasn't prettied up his youth. He presents his family life, warts and all, to show exactly how unlikely it seemed that he would ever end up directing films.

The premise of the film is simple enough. Patrick evidently visited LA in mid-1976, at which point he was lucky enough to visit the Van Nuys warehouse where STAR WARS and ILM had set up shop. He became obsessed with the film, convinced it would be the biggest thing ever. He spent months and months telling his friends about the film, determined to see the first show on the first day the film was open. When that day finally arrived, forces aligned to keep Patrick as far from the theater as possible. The entire film concerns his quest to see STAR WARS, no matter what.

Of course, that's just the surface. Underneath, this is a film about following your dreams, about doing whatever it is that makes you happy, and it is on that level that 5-25-77 achieves greatness. The last 20 pages of this script were read by me though the distortion of tears, and it's because it spoke to me where I live. This is a film that Johnson wants to make independently, and he and his producers are very close to making some supremely cool casting announcements. I hope this is a film that I have the pleasure of sitting in a theater and watching next year. I have a feeling that it could be important to young filmmakers who are still struggling to find their own wings, their own voices. I know that it spoke volumes to me.

WE'RE THE PIRATES?

When I recently wrote about the script for SPROCKETS, the Mike Myers film based on his Dieter character from SNL, I was very careful to talk around the identity of the film's major villain. I figured it was only fair. Yes, it's a joke. The movie concerns the kidnapping of Dieter's monkey, and the ultimate revelation of who did it is very funny, very silly, and not exactly the kind of earth-shattering secret that makes or breaks a movie. Still, he's not revealed as the villain of the piece until almost 2/3 of the way through the script. I thought it was just common courtesy to keep mum on who it was.

It seems that ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY doesn't share that sentiment. Or THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Or, for that matter, Imagine, since someone had to have tipped off these publications as to what role David Hasselhoff would be playing. Yes, it's true… Hasselhoff is the one who stole Dieter's monkey because SPROCKETS is more popular in Germany than BAYWATCH.

I'm shocked when I open a magazine like EW and read a major spoiler like that with no warning whatsoever. What shocks me most about it is how much crap we take here at AICN for "ruining" films, when so frequently it's more traditional outlets that blurt things out. Because we have access to scripts and early screenings, we know full well how careful we have to be about saying certain things. Look at Harry's review of HOLLOW MAN, for example, where he makes every effort to warn readers away from spoiler material, even going so far as to beg you not to discuss it with others if you do read what he wrote. We preface things… we place them in context… we work overtime to make sure we don't misstep… and we still get labeled the bad guys.

Just for the record… I'm an Evil Genius. That does not make me bad.

WANT SOME OTHER OPTIONS BESIDES DINOSAUR OR ROAD TRIP THIS WEEKEND?

I figure by now every self-respecting film geek has already seen GLADIATOR, and anyone who made the mistake… as I did… of suffering through BATTLEFIELD EARTH is probably trying desperately to erase the memory. As the summer movie season continues to gear up with this weekend's big releases, it is possible that some smaller movies will slip right by unnoticed, and I wanted to point out two smaller films that I've seen recently that are still rolling out in arthouses across America, both of which are well worth seeking out.

Sophia Coppola has taken more than her fair share of shit from film fans over the years as a result of stepping into GODFATHER III at the last moment to replace an ailing Winona Ryder. Personally, I've always thought that the attacks on her were much ado about nothing. She's not great in the film, but she also doesn't kill it the way people claimed. She's an awkward, uncomfortable girl who is playing an awkward, uncomfortable girl. Works for me.

When it was announced that she would be directing her first film, an adaptation of the novel THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, many people I talked to started making jokes again. I heard people insinuate that without her father or her husband (Spike Jonze, for those who don't know), she would never be able to pull off a film. I knew that was hogwash, having seen LICK THE STAR, a delicate, memorable short film she made a few years back.

About a month or so ago, I picked up the soundtrack to the film, written and performed by French pop band AIR. It was hypnotic, and I played it over and over while working. So when I walked into the theater to see the actual film, I was already in love with certain elements of the movie. I just wanted the film to be interesting, a nice debut. Instead, I found myself genuinely impressed by Sophia's work. She has revealed herself to be a filmmaker of uncommon sensitivity and perception, and THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is not just good… it's great.

The story of four sisters who leave a profound mark on the boys in their neighborhood, VIRGIN SUICIDES is a film that is filled to the top with longing for something that is lost. Just what that something is remains up to the viewer to interpret, and that's one of the strengths of the picture. Sophia never spoonfeeds any easy answers about who these girls are or why they do what they do (and the title itself serves as a spoiler of sorts, so don't yell at me), and as a result, we connect with the film's faceless narrator. We are left with our own questions, our own complicated reactions to what we see. Coppola is assisted ably by her cast, with Josh Hartnett, the delicious Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, and especially James Woods doing great, quirky work.

The film's strongest asset, though, is the way Coppola seems to be able to dredge up memory and place it directly onscreen, all the texture intact. She uses music to maximum effect, but she also has the most eccentric eye for what details to include. Overall, this is a wonderful, haunting little film that promises great things from her in the future. I, for one, am ready and willing to follow wherever her muse takes her.

The other film I'd urge you to find before it's gone is HUMAN TRAFFIC, an import from England that I've heard compared over and over to TRAINSPOTTING. That hardly seems fair, since HUMAN TRAFFIC has nothing more on its mind than entertaining you. It's nowhere near as accomplished or as powerful as Danny Boyle's seminal film, but it has an undeniable energy and charm that I found infectious. Set against the backdrop of the English rave scene, this is the story of four friends who simply want to dance and drink and do Ecstasy and fuck all weekend long. First time director Justin Kerrigan has a wicked sense of wit, and he manages to capture the joy that these kids are chasing in a purely visceral way. It's the kind of film that you won't remember two weeks after you've seen it, but while you're watching it, it never stops entertaining. Personally, I'd rather see an inconsequential film like this than sit through another empty popcorn film like BATTLEFIELD EARTH or DINOSAUR. At least with this film, I meet people who I enjoyed meeting, and there's all that great music. It should be interesting to see what else Kerrigan has up his sleeve as a filmmaker. Here's hoping he approaches his next film with this rollicking sense of fun fully intact.

And now I have to run. I know, I promised I would talk about the worst film I've seen in recent memory… and I still will. Just not today. I'll also bring you reviews of NOVOCAINE, the new Coen Bros. Barber script, and a fistful of other scripts in a fairly major script review round-up. First, though, there are some major experiments that demand my attention this weekend. For example, I'm furious that Harry has seen SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE already. I just spoke with John Robie, cat burglar extraordinaire, and we're planning a spy mission to see the film for ourselves this weekend. Watch out, Lion's Gate… we're coming for you. Until then…

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback

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  • May 19, 2000, 12:41 p.m. CST

    5-25-77

    by X-P.A.

    Star Wars is an important film in a lot of thirty-something lives. I recall reading something about this script a long, long time ago. Anyone else recall this?

  • May 19, 2000, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Supernerds = Clerks ripoff

    by jay g

    If you've ever seen Clerks, then that should have hit your mind immediately.

  • I have not seen Gladiator! This is MY weekend to see it. My family and I swore we'd see it together, and I've held everyone back because of college(bastards, they KNEW I wanted to go to that movie and actually ENJOY a few hours of these past three weeks). I will NOT let the cold threatening to clog my synuses stop me, this MY weekend DAMMIT!

  • May 19, 2000, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Nerd Alert!

    by American Somoan

  • May 19, 2000, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Moriarty's right about spoilers in major publications...

    by Prankster

    EW, in particular, is very bad at this--their summer preview issues and reviews often give away VAST chunks of a movie's plot. I remember they revealed a huge twist concerning The Talented Mr. Ripley last year, and their article about The Matrix (the week it came out) touched on a LOT of unneccessarily specific plot stuff. They seem to have the attitude that if you don't run to see something opening weekend, it's okay to ruin it for you. "Everyone who's everyone" has already seen the movie. Ironically, their online features are much more sensitive to spoilers--apperantly having learned their lesson from this site. I'd noticed that websites like AICN are really a lot more tactful than the general press at keeping secrets, and I tip my glass to you for doing so.

  • May 19, 2000, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Sofia, NOT Sophia

    by Lord Bullingdon

    If I'm not mistaken.

  • May 19, 2000, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Sproket's villain theory

    by Ambrose Chappell

    Could it be that Dr. Evil kidnapped the monkey? That would be a pretty funny crossover. Anyway, that's my conspiracy theory and my two cents.

  • May 19, 2000, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Evil

    by Tripper

    And just a quote for you Moriarity, "That's not evil, that's inconsiderate. There's a difference" - Evil Dick

  • May 19, 2000, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Nerds

    by ClOWNE

    I saw the stage show for Supernerds about a year ago. They did a couple of episodes and it was very funny. Patton has always been the bomb, and Brian is more than just a sight gag. If you'll recall, he's one of the writer/performers on Mr. Show. In fact I'm pretty sure it was he who wrote one of the funniest scetches I've ever seen. The one where the metal band visits the dying kid in the hospital. Brilliant.

  • May 19, 2000, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Okay, nevermind...i'm a maroon...

    by Ambrose Chappell

    Just reread the bit about Sprockets...sigh...yes, I'm stupid...stupid, stupid, stupid, Rubber Soul! But, ya know...I think my way would have been funny too. Back to my nowhere land and my nowhere plans...

  • May 19, 2000, 2 p.m. CST

    Who the hell is Lynn Bracken?!?

    by marla singer

    Just in case the earlier message slipped by you... I want to know.

  • May 19, 2000, 2:09 p.m. CST

    THE VIRGIN SUICIDES

    by mrbeaks

    The eerie, somewhat etherial atmosphere that lends Ms. Coppola's film its strangely seductive power has proven unshakable for me in the weeks since I've seen it. A great deal of that credit is due to Air's wonderful score, but, as Moriarty noted, it's also in the suburban minutiae upon which Coppola dwells. She seems to capture all of the right images. THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, despite its storytelling lapses (there is little approaching a cohesive narrative here,) is transporting cinema. It appears the filmmaking gene is dominant over the, *ahem,* acting gene in the Coppola family.

  • May 19, 2000, 2:19 p.m. CST

    ooman traffic

    by Piestar

    How can you cimpare Trainspotting to the joy of HUMAN TRAFFIC. trainspotting reveals a slimey world of paranoia and babies crawling along the ceiling. Human Traffic is just about a group of restless youths out on the razz like you or me in a freshingly realistic setting.

  • May 19, 2000, 2:37 p.m. CST

    The Notorious Lynn

    by Piestar

    Lynn Bracken is some tag along that write for this page sometimes .In LA I think. You are clearly not of the fanboy fraternity. I rolled a 6 and you have been banished to the world of cool and uninformdom.

  • May 19, 2000, 2:39 p.m. CST

    oops

    by Piestar

    compare. I'll shut up now.

  • May 19, 2000, 3:13 p.m. CST

    whoop yeah

    by Piestar

    I mean like, y'no. sha, those english are like, sha, totally weird maaan. USA USA, UAS eer? SUA? mmm?

  • May 19, 2000, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Does anyone ever stop think that we're taking this Star Wars thi

    by mephisto666

    Flame me fanboys, I don't burn easy, but seriously, are we making too much of what is really a simple trilogy of films with charm and good special effects? Sure, give me your hero with a thousand faces stuff, but other films have done it too, surely? I mean, isn't it sad that a film could have this much of an impact on your life that you would write, or see, a film about GOING to see it? I love Star Wars, but it's not my life. Are we seriously saying that the opening of this film is the event that defined a generation; more than Watergate, Vietnam, etc... Just a thought...

  • May 19, 2000, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Supernerds(geeks) and Sprockets Spoilers

    by All Thumbs

    I have to admit that when reading the first part of Moriarty's description for this show I thought of "Clerks." At the end of the description, though, I decided it was more of a "Clerks" meets "Mr.Show" meets MTV's wonderfully underrated and now cancelled "Downtown" animated series. "Downtown" had a great share of geeks and misfits that hung around in comic book and collectables stores that talked like geeks and their friends really talk. That show is an example of MTV's stupidity when it comes to which series they keep. Also, I agree that the name should be Supergeeks and not include nerds because there is a BIG difference. I think it has to do with geeks being more interesting than nerds, but that's just my opinion.***When I read EW's spoiler for "Sprockets," I was so pissed. They could have just said that Hasslehoff would make an appearance. They could have said nothing at all, but NOOOOO...this is why I won't be updating my subscription when the time comes and am currently looking for another good movie mag to subscribe to. AICN does get a lot of flack for posting Spoilers and, for the most part, does a good job warning us about them. There are people who like to read spoilers and they shouldn't be left out because for them, going to the movie with spoilers is the same experience for those of us who like to go without spoilers. Me, I fall into the second group and don't read spoilers unless I think I'll never see the film or just don't care about it in the first place. I would like to see more spoiler-free reviews on this site, though. Thanks!

  • May 19, 2000, 4:24 p.m. CST

    RUN RONNIE RUN

    by deluca

    I obviously agree with Moriarty on RUN RONNIE RUN since we bought it in the first place, but I'm getting a little resistance from the level above me. Any fans of this script should start a letter campaign and address all advocacy to NEW LINE CEO BOB SHAYE. Couldn't hurt.

  • May 19, 2000, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Baby's Day Out

    by Moonwatcher1

    For the record. I didn't WRITE Baby's Day Out. John Hughes gets credit for that. Patrick Read Johnson

  • May 19, 2000, 4:27 p.m. CST

    EW sucks, and where can a guy like me download the software to b

    by agentcooper

    I guess my Subject line pretty much says it all. Well, let me expand on the Entertainment Weekly thing. I had to cancel my subscription to this magazine because several things started really bothering me about it: A) After using Star Wars on their cover several times in the year preceeding the movie, as well as having a regular column called "Star Wars Watch" in order to sell more magazines, they regularly insult the film in articles totally unrelated to Episode I. I'm not talking reviews of the film, that's something else entirely, I'm talking articles ranging from music stories to video game reviews, they will manage to sneak in some derogatory comment about a movie I dearly love. 2) Their writers are lazy. Instead of taking the time to actually craft a well written column, they frequently employ sarcasm as a shorthand for "Hip." They do stuff like this all the time: "Hasselhoff is, uh, talented." Or, "Brittney appears to have been, um, enhanced." All of their writers have this annoying little habit. It's worse than Harry's ellipses... ... ... and it drives me crazy. 3) Their television reviewers don't seem to watch the shows they review on a consistent basis. I once read a review of "ER" in which the critic complained that the character of Dr. Morganstern (William H. Macy) had disappeared from the show without a trace. His exit from the show was actually a MAJOR story arc, which involved a botched operation and Dr. Benton's agony over whether or not to rat on his mentor. This is the type of lazy journalism I am no longer willing to support. That magazine just plain sucks...Now, where can I get that CHAT software?

  • May 19, 2000, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Run Ronnie Run Script

    by crackodile

    Does anyone know how I can get the Run Ronnie Run script? I'm a big Mr. Show fan, and I think it sucks that this film might not get made (I'm only assuming that it's brilliant - which I think is a fair assumption considering Bob Odenkirk and David Cross's previous work). I'm all for writing the people at New Line to try and convince them to make it, but it would be nice to know what I'm talking about (of course I just want to read it for my own amusement too). If anyone can help me, drop me a line. If it makes a difference, you should know that I suffer from imminent death syndrome (IDS puts us all in an akward position)...

  • May 19, 2000, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Baby's Day Out

    by Moonwatcher1

    In response to Mephisto's post. I'd actually AGREE with you if 5-25-77 were ABOUT STAR WARS. It's not. Star Wars is merely a touchstone in 5-25-77. It is not the POINT of the film. The main character's problem is not really whether he'll get to see Star Wars or not. It's whether or not he can leave the safety and comfort of his childhood and risk losing all he's ever known for a goal no one believes he can achieve. It's not that the main character thinks Star Wars is the greatest movie ever made... It's that the mythic journey at the center of Star Wars resonates deeply with the main character's own conflict. The story could just as easily have revolved around any major cultural or historical event. I have often mourned the fact that my particular slice of the 70's generation had so little trouble to deal with. We got off easy, and 5-25-77 makes a point of that, too. Had I been a few years older, and it would have been Vietnam or Watergate... But, for better or for worse, for those of us on the cusp of adulthood in 1977, Star Wars was THE event. That having been said. Don't think I'm the world's biggest Star Wars fan. I'm not. And any reading of the script will show that there were other films that meant as much or more to me than George Lucas' epic. Star Wars is not the best film ever made. Not by a long shot. George would say so himself. But it was, back in 1977, a major cultural phenomenon. It brought Science Fiction, which had been, until that time, a genre for geeks and outsiders, to the forefront of the American cultural stage. It didn't matter that, in truth, it was not really a science fiction film at all. What mattered, at least to this writer, was that it suddenly made popular the kind of hopeful, imaginative thinking that the the higher-ups in the high school food chain, ever in need of their feigned apathy, usually persecuted with intense cruelty. Some of you may have been the targets of such behavior. Others among you may still feel the need to hide your battered feelings of hope and wonder behind cynical attacks. Until you've actually read the script, it's very easy to misundertand this projects intentions. I'm confident that many minds will be changed when the film is completed and finished product can speak for itself. Till then-- Best wishes, Patrick Read Johnson

  • May 19, 2000, 5:14 p.m. CST

    5-25-77

    by Grond

    Funny, when I saw this number, I instantly thought "Star Wars" I remember that day vividly. When I was a kid, I'd put important dates on my wall calendar like birthdays, and I'd always mark 5-25 and silently celebrate Star Wars' birthday. I wonder how many others of you instantly recognized that date?

  • May 19, 2000, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Entertainment "Weakly"

    by Shrevie

    Several weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly's "Hot Sheet" which is purported (sp?) to be "what the country is talking about this week", listed ER's episode wherein Kelly Martin's character Lucy ...DIES! This, a full TWO WEEKS before the episode of her actual death aired. This was possibly my worst spoiler experience since The Crying Game was ruined three times over before seeing it (two of them by Letterman and Siskel). Now, besides the incredible insensitivity to it's readers (ER fans or no), how can this item be what "the country is talking about" if NOBODY KNEW ABOUT IT?! That was the last time I picked up the magazine, and strangely enough, the last time I watched ER. ...Something's gotta be done about these assholes. p.s. Good one, Mr. Johnson.

  • May 19, 2000, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Apologies to Anamorph- but I stand by my other comments...

    by mephisto666

    Fair enough. I accept I haven't seen the film yet, so it was unfair of me to suggest that the film was just about the Star Wars phenomenon. I misinterpreted the premise of the film. Sincerest apologies. However, I stand by my other comments. Though it's not your fault, or possibly your intention, I feel a lot of your audience are going to be there because your film involves Star Wars, even if only in a periphery sense. I do think there is a great deal of obsession about Star Wars, and I don't think that's a good thing. Star Wars news is overshadowing news about upcoming talent etc. Take this site the other day. This site gave space to, and people got very excited about, what was essentially a blurry photo of a piece of plywood! Now come on people, this is too much. There were more posts about it than the new talent at Cannes. Sorry to get serious on everyone, but it's a valid point...

  • May 19, 2000, 7 p.m. CST

    Good one, Mr. Mephisto.

    by Shrevie

    ("The Professor's got a good point too, Skipper!")

  • May 19, 2000, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Best wishes

    by LiquidNitrate

    Glad to see your heart's still in the right place PRJ. I hope Gary Kurtz has been more of a help than Dawn Steel, JH, and Mr. Cohen.

  • May 19, 2000, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Supernerds? hmmm... Supergeeks sounds better

    by Mr. Sartre

    "Supergeeks" is cooler sounding. Actually, I was wodnering if the title "Fanboys" would work and was less derogatory than "Supernerds". Is there some sort of difference between fanboys and geeks? If there is, can anyone please let me know? Yeah, I thought "Clerks" too when I read about it. More like "Clerks" except set in a comic books store with Brody from "Mallrats" as the shopkeep. Sounds promising. I do agree that it's become, to a certain extent, cool to be a geek or at least make movies about geeks. "Clerks", "High Fidelity", etc. On a complete tangent, I noticed some people in the theater I was in saying "Empire Records" was better than "High Fidelity". Needless to say, I slapped them then poured artificial popcorn butter down they're throats till they exploded. *shivers* I couldn't stand "Empire Records" (damn beautiful people everywhere... working in a bloody record store no less). My apologies for tangents. Must be off. Take care. Mr. Sartre, wondering who would win in a fight: Namor the Submariner or Aquaman (w/ that funky hook hand)...

  • May 19, 2000, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Supergeeks?

    by Jred

    Okay, you really, really don't get the whole self respect thing do you? If you like StarTrek a little too much you are a Trekkie, not a Trekker. You happen to be a Nerd, and because you can't respect yourself for what you are, you feel that if only you can dynamically change your descriptive personal genre tag, then maybe you can have a life. Look around you friend, the only way anyone on this earth ever really found a balanced sense of self is from embracing your self and not worrying what others call you. (ever hear of Black is beautiful?) You think someone who thinks your socially inept and concerned with "kids" stuff like comics, cares what you call yourself. When you care, he owns you. I love comic books, maybe I also love having a band, or working in animation, or doing things that are now considered cool by "normal" people, but I could care less what they think. The reason people called you a nerd when you were little is the same reason they called you a geek. It was to belittle you. Now Geek is in and you think there is some distinction? I guess when you crave acceptance, you will take any scraps you can. It sounds like you really liked the show, except for your little name/insecurity problem. Too bad you have that, otherwise you seemed to like the show. As for me, I call myself a nerd, and if you every worry about needing to feel big an beat up one, feel free to remember this; I have enjoyed showing quite a few hockey players, intellect does not negate muscle mass.

  • May 19, 2000, 7:47 p.m. CST

    THE VIRGIN SUICIDES ROCKS!

    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    Last night I saw the virgin suicides and I was blown away, I too love the soundtrack and loved how Sofia incorporated the music into the dreamy aspects of the film, Kristin Dunst was eye candy and the cinematography was awesome! This morning I went to see DINO_BORE, god that was torture! Not as bad as Battlefield but pretty boring and bland.... I saw a sneak of Groove the other day, have't seen Human Traffic yet, it hasn't opened in San Diego but I must say Keep your eyes and ears out for Groove, a slamming and jamming flick that will be a classic for years to come! Groove was definately in the heart and mind, the visuals were ass-kicking and the music pumped the soul! Go see VIRGIN SUICIDES you will dig it! VERY IMPRESSED!!!

  • May 19, 2000, 8:40 p.m. CST

    5-25-77 is damn good!!

    by Flmlvr

    I am a huge fan of Angus. I love it. It touches the teen film geek in me...So I was really looking foward to 5-25-77 when I came across the script. Not ever in a galaxy far far away did I think that it was going to equal my love for Angus...I was right...it didn't equal it...it exceeded it. This script worked on so many levels for me, as I'm sure it will you. First of course is the whole star wars/ film geek relation, that's a given. Then there is the fact that it's a great throwback to the "Coming Of Age Films With Heart" we don't see anymore. Then there's what the story is really about....a journey. In the script it's the journey of Patrick and his longing to make films...but anyone who has ever had a dream will relate to it, whether or not that dream was film. Like Moriarty, the last twenty or so pages really got to me...but it was the last Five Words that got me the most. That is the moment when it hits you...that this kid's dream, Patrick, came true...all because he had heart. I couldn't have read this script at a better time. It was, pardon the lame saying, as if the stars had alligned. I am about to take a very similar journey in about two months. I will be leaving my secure little nest, into a big unsecure world...where anything can happen...especially me dream.

  • May 19, 2000, 9:50 p.m. CST

    5-25-77

    by SBCFanatic

    from what I hear about this movie is pretty damn good! and from the resume of the writer I'm sure it will be I can't wait to see it. Heck I'm interested in being in it!

  • May 20, 2000, 12:52 a.m. CST

    You been fuckin' Travis?

    by faesforce

    First of all, Sarah Silverman is a goddess who I totally want to smell. Brian Posehn (or however the hell you spell it) is cool cuz he wrote for mr. show. The Golden Apple is not all that fucking great (talk about overpriced back issues - Jesus!) And Aimee Mann, although shes pretty goddamn hot, can kiss my ass. Unless she is a TRUE Dan Clowes fan. I'm strangely attracted to Enid. And wait a minit - David Cross is in "Ghost World"...creepy... Mmmm drunk.

  • May 20, 2000, 1:54 a.m. CST

    It goes deeper than "Clerks"

    by Revelare

    The concept of "Supernerds/geeks" is *practically* lifted from the Askewniverse. If you're a fan of Kevin Smith, and have read the "Clerks" comics, then you more than likely know of Steve Dave and his young ward, Walt. To describe them: They are "Clerks" set in a comic shop, with different personalities. (Given that Walt is a kiss-ass.)

  • May 20, 2000, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Moriarty....HOW DARE YOU leave out Small Time Crooks??? Have

    by lickerish

    Granted some of the dialogue was sort of forced, but Small Time Crooks was a blast !!!! one of Woody's most fun of recent. Ignore BE, sure we all know how bad it is, only no press is bad press,especially when you influence a pack of geeks who say things like ". you know...blah,blah,blah,I'll still see it.." There were teens as well as geriatrics in the audience with me...and many, many honest laughs, totally unlike the other DW comedy which bears no mention, other than that Amy Smart is one chick I would consider turning for. And Yes, the Virgin Suicides is an elegant beautiful film..Sofia Coppolla has the most sympathetic camera i've ever seen, she's totally inside a teenage girls mind/room...shes been there, young, privileged, cursed..remember her co-write with Father Francis on New York Stories. Of course Scorcese and Nolte stole that show.

  • May 20, 2000, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Is it simply to be 'one of the guys', to know you belong to som

    by Malchizedik

    If for no other reason than that...does it ever feel lacking that you dwell in another man's created world ? Even if it is by choice, I enjoy the films, but reading Moriarty's 2nd reference to emitting tears at the reading of ...yet another...Star Wars satellite, and then Montag666 hit the nail on the head, in a very civil manner. It's just that there are SO MANY of YOU GUYS...all of you clamboring for the toys and pepsi game pieces, posting and personnally 'editing' other's posts on Force.net threads,, and getting pissed at the incredible R.A.(Drizzt DoUrden) Salvatore for killing off a character in his , probably well written, novel. I worked at a cheddar's restaurant as a waiter for 3 weeks alongside a guy who was going as Obi-Wan Kenobi for Halloween, and creating his own light sabre out of flourescent bulbs...I'm glad he decided to be industrious but he was making a prop from a film that a billion other guys were making/dreaming/wanking about...Of course Princess Lea if Ultra Sexy in the metallic bikini, and buns, but please, please explain how it is you can feel ' as part' of this 'phenomenon'.?? Do you ever get introspective and consider that maybe you've been making an ass of yourself? Making someone else rich? I know this guy who barely has a job doing construction work installing air conditioning (my girlfriend's sister's boyfriend) he calls himself a 'vidiot' because he 'loves' video games not even realizing the defintion to be someone raised on massive television, and collects Star Wars toys, drinks much beer and is the most jealous prick to beautiful sister. I just don't get it. Do you enjoy being Target Audience #THX-118? Bullseye Demographic table 5-7-77? tsch...

  • May 20, 2000, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Moriarty....HOW DARE YOU leave out Small Time Crooks??? Have

    by lickerish

    Granted some of the dialogue was sort of forced, but Small Time Crooks was a blast !!!! one of Woody's most fun of recent. Ignore BE, sure we all know how bad it is, only no press is bad press,especially when you influence a pack of geeks who say things like ". you know...blah,blah,blah,I'll still see it.." There were teens as well as geriatrics in the audience with me...and many, many honest laughs, totally unlike the other DW comedy which bears no mention, other than that Amy Smart is one chick I would consider turning for. And Yes, the Virgin Suicides is an elegant beautiful film..Sofia Coppolla has the most sympathetic camera i've ever seen, she's totally inside a teenage girls mind/room...shes been there, young, privileged, cursed..remember her co-write with Father Francis on New York Stories. Of course Scorcese and Nolte stole that show.

  • May 20, 2000, 5:04 a.m. CST

    this is all great Moriarty

    by Hotspur

    but I'm still waiting for you to finish your 90s thing.

  • May 20, 2000, 6:56 a.m. CST

    GOSH, I CAN'T WAIT...

    by 5-25-77 FANATIC

    ...to see this movie! Believe you me, the life of Patrick Johnson is SO MONUMENTAL and SO TANTALIZING and SO ENTHRALLING and SO DARN INTERESTING that everyone ought to spend at least 2 hours of their lives (well, 2 and 1/2 hours based on the script I read)basking in the glow of a nominallly sucessful filmmaker's tumultuous (yet joyous) efforts to not only get laid (by the small town yellow plague) but to also see STAR WARS the day it opens. The last twenty minutes are guaranteed to make every fanboy cry...for they relate, in unsparing honesty, how small-town nobodies can make (bad) studio films and eventually fail, to the point that they have to move back to the sticks and pretend that they are still relevent. Which begs the bigger question...how can an audience be moved by the story of a guy that is, at the end of the day, a failure in every respect? Normally, I'd say, "I'll guess we'll see", but, chances are, we'll never see this film. Even the folks that greenlit ARMAGEDDON wouldn't touch this.

  • May 20, 2000, 11:30 a.m. CST

    nerds vs. geeks

    by Palmer Eldritch

    nerd = obsessive StarTrek fan with deep an abiding interest in trig and computers and a healthy financial future working for Microsoft before setting up dotcom firm ---------------------------------------------- Geek = obsessive StarWars fan with poor personal hygeine and an AOL account and a future working at K Mart.

  • May 20, 2000, 11:39 a.m. CST

    PETITION!

    by monodreme

    A permanent page of ALL the Harry GIFs - NOW!

  • May 20, 2000, 12:07 p.m. CST

    What the fuck? Why haven't more people commented on this?

    by Gumpas Lev

    To quote Moriarty himself a paragraph before he ruined Sprockets for me: "Still, he's not revealed as the villain of the piece until almost 2/3 of the way through the script. I thought it was just common courtesy to keep mum on who it was." And of course, Moriarty reveals the secret himself just a paragraph later. I'm not a reader of EW or the Hollywood Reporter so I had no idea about this. And now I can't erase it from my mind. Maybe it won't totally RUIN the movie, but either way, it's a dirty trick. What ever happened to spoiler warnings?? How can you try to put yourselves above mainstream magazines when you do the EXACT same things as them? Damn it!

  • May 20, 2000, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Yadda Yadda Yadda (and Human Traffic Too)

    by Anton_Sirius

    1) Moriarty should be smacked upside the head for not giving a spoiler warning. All I'd seen in the press (since EW makes me gag) was that Hasselhoff was signed for the film, not the role he was playing. So, thanks Old Man. 2) I don't think Human Traffic is fluff at all. It's about damn time someone made a movie about kids taking drugs and having a GOOD TIME. Not every trip ends in an OD or a liquor store robbery. Human Traffic is the good LSD story the Prophet Bill Hicks so desperately wanted to hear on the news some day. 3) Supernerds sounds a lot more like Free Enterprise than Clerks to me. But that's picking the nit pretty fine. 4) As for 5-25-77... um, no. No matter how hard the Lucasites want it to be, the release of Star Wars is not a cultural touchstone on the level of, say, JFK's assassination, or even Belushi's OD. If you asked most people the question "Where were you when Star Wars premiered" the answer would be "Sitting on my ass at home, I guess. When did it come out? '78?" Yes, Star Wars was a cultural phenomenon, but to try and give it more resonance than that is just a tad pathetic. I, too, saw Star Wars that summer umpteen times; I, too, carted around my figures in that Darth Vader head carrying case. You know what? I don't anymore. I grew up. I love the first two movies, hate the third, and am indifferent to TPM. My life has not been measurably altered, as far as I can tell, by my viewing of the series. To even think that Star Wars is in the same league of world-changing events as Watergate just goes to show how shallow the 'Star Wars' generation really is, and how the biggest generation gap of all happened in the mid-70s. Seinfeld is as important, culturally, as the Holy Series, but you don't see many people dressed up as Newman for Hallowe'en, do you? Wonder why that is? 5) Namor would kick Aquaman's ass, hands down.

  • May 20, 2000, 5:20 p.m. CST

    RE:5-25-77 Fanatic...SHUT UP

    by Flmlvr

    Shut Up! You are the same loser (Longbow or something like that) who was airing out your vendetta on the last 5-25 board. I mean come on...even if the films were good or bad...who cares? I mean at least he went out and did it. Actually made films, and even after all the shit he has been through...is actually gonna go make some more. Why do you have to shit on that? Are you jealous...or just a pissed little peon on the industry who's dream has yet to come true...who will be fetching someone's coffee for eternity. That would be my guess. So shut up about you obvious dis-liking for Patrick and his work...who cares. All I care about is if the end product is good. And you know...I really dug 5-25..so I bet the end product will be damn good. I will so enjoy it the day it hits theatres and you are the guy who sells me my popcorn at the snackbar...cause with that attitude of yours...that's where you're headed. Oh and by the way..grow some balls and put a real email address on your fake TB name.

  • May 20, 2000, 7:14 p.m. CST

    5-25-77Fanatic

    by PRJ

    Let's assume for a moment that Fanatic is absolutely right about everything he's posted under his various names. Let's assume that I'm a marginally successful film maker who made three mediocre studio pictures. (Not hard to do these days) Let's even assume that I'm no longer relevant in the eyes of most of Hollywood. (Not necessarily something to be ashamed of, though, AMAZINGLY, I still get work!) That still leaves me with 3 feature films, 20+ purchased screenplays, and 3 more scripts I'm currently being payed to write. Even if none of my future projects ever see fruition. Even if I never work in Hollywood again... I did one thing that Fanatic (whom I know personally, so you can trust me on this) has never done. I got in. What happened once I was through the door... is a story fraught with horrors, mistakes, and pitfalls... some of my own creation... Some not. If Fanatic were ever to deal with the same obstacles I faced... who knows... Perhaps he'd fare much better than me. It's completely possible that if Fanatic ever got his chance, he'd be the best film maker that ever lived. But, given his obsession with spending more time attacking others than actually creating anything worth taking notice of-- good OR bad-- my guess is we'll never see him fulfill his great destiny. If you folks ever met the man behind the myriad of e-mail addresses he uses to cover his tracks, you'd marvel at the waste of creativity his life has turned out to be. He's really a brilliant guy. Funny. Even a talented writer. But instead of steeling him for the long road we all must take to get where we dream of going, rejection has embittered him to the point where ANYONE's success is something far too painful for him to bear-- (Go ahead, Fanatic-- Insert-- "Not half as painful to bear as a screening of Baby's Day Out!) I'm an easy target. My films have garnered MIXED reviews at best. And I'm the kind of target this sad little guy hates more than anything. Because despite my shortcomings, I still take pride in doing the best I can with the scripts I'm given...the resources and time at my disposal... and the creative controls imposed on what I've WANTED to do by those who thought they knew better what SHOULD be done. I'd like to thank those that have shown support in here. But please don't be too concerned. All this ranting and raving by Fanatic won't hurt me in the least. Because I know that Fanatic doesn't understand yet the kind of heart it takes to keep going in this business. He doesn't understand because he's never had to put his OWN heart on the line. My successes are not measured in big boxoffice or great reviews or in being on the cover of this or that magazine. My successes are the small personal triumphs I occasionally experience each time I TRY MY BEST and hopefully take one more baby step toward significance-- So come on, Fanatic. Take that first step. Throw off your bitterness and TRY. Succeed or fail... But try! You'll find it works wonders for your outlook on life. And do yourself a favor. IDENTIFY yourself. Be brave enough to show the world who's responsible for these piercing daggers of truth you post. If they're really the straight scoop, you should be proud of them. There's no reason to be afraid of me, is there? After all... According to you. I'm irrelevant. -- Patrick Read Johnson

  • May 20, 2000, 11:09 p.m. CST

    KUDOS, MR. REED JOHNSON!

    by Longbaugh

    I never knew one could be pompous and humble at the same time! Bravo, sir!

  • May 21, 2000, 2:49 a.m. CST

    props to prj

    by Z

    for answering like he did, effectively laying his nuts on the table. But the wanker Moronarty. i can't belive you went on chat and whined some more about your *sniff sniff* banning from the ranch. Get over it. P.S. please don't mention spoilers and then puff yourself up by saying you give spoiler warnings when you don't. Not all of us read EW.

  • May 22, 2000, 1:27 p.m. CST

    RUN RONNIE RUN

    by goon

    IF THIS SCRIPT ISN'T MADE INTO A MOVIE, THEN I'VE LOST ALL FAITH. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT ADAM SANDLER GETS 20 MILLION A MOVIE AND ALL HE HAS TO DO IS TALK LIKE A STUPID BABY AND PEOPLE LAUGH? I JUST DON'T GET IT. BOB ODENKIRK AND DAVID CROSS ARE PRIME EXAMPLES OF TALENT THAT DOESN'T GET THE RECOGNITION THAT THEY DESERVE. "HOW COULD GOD LET THIS HAPPEN?"

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