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Moriarty's Been To THE CELL, And Lived To Tell!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some rumblings from the Lab.

I was going to refrain. I was going to just be quiet and let the sheeple have their weekend to wallow in filth and stupidity. I promised myself. I said, "Yes, self, this is one you should sit out. You hated the screenplay. You have a well-documented aversion to empty eye candy. Just let it be." But after joining Gregor Samsa, John Robie (back from a fairly major heist he just pulled in Monaco), and Harry Lime for an afternoon screening of THE CELL at the lovely Vista theater in Hollywood, I have no choice.

New Line? Shame on you.

Roger Ebert? Double plus extra shame on you.

I have seen many Evil things in my time. George Lucas and his necksack. Bette Midler films. LA cops working "crowd control." But nothing in my arsenal could prepare me for the sheer mind-numbing detestability of the screen debut of music video hack/alien life form Tarzan. I think he works under the one name because he's afraid if he gives his last name out, someone who sat through this abortion might look him up in the phone book, drive to his house, and stomp him like a narc at a biker rally. He certainly deserves it.

We are entering the intense, noisy part of the 2000 Presidential race, and one of the issues that both sides are evidently going to hammer mercilessly is the idea of stronger regulation of Hollywood and marketing. It scares the hell out of me that even the liberals are calling for greater accountability, enforced responsibility. You want to know why it's going to happen? Because of irresponsible, ill-conceived shit like this, that's why. Wanna know something else? In a case like this, they're right.

And, no, I'm not talking about censorship. At least, not external censorship. I'm talking about internal regulation. I'm talking about actually thinking about what the hell we're putting out into the marketplace as a community. Make no mistake... THE CELL has no moral leg to stand on. It is a woefully ignorant movie, full of imagery that exists for no other reason that to titillate and be "cool." Tarzan brings every trick he knows (which actually turns out to be a fairly small number) to the table in his effort to disguise the hollow core of this film, but it doesn't work. What we've got here is a thriller with no thrills, a horror film with no scares, that seems to believe that death is pretty, that murder is a rock video tableau, and that the psychology of serial killers, a subject that qualified professionals spend their whole lives trying to understand, basically boils down to good little kids who do bad things 'cause they just need hugs.

It's hard to know where to begin to discuss this picture and the myriad ways in which it's wrong. I guess let's get the obvious out of the way. Every critic I've read trying to justify this festering bag of vomit falls back on comparisons to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and SE7EN. Even a cursory comparison of this film to those reveals just how significant the flaws here are, though. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS manages to deal with the seductive cat and mouse game between a killer and an FBI agent in a much more powerful way because the mind games played are verbal, truly psychological. When Lecter gets into the mind of Starling, he does real damage with what he finds there, and it's not just random imagery stolen from paintings, either. Ted Tally's adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel gets to the real, beating heart of a person like Starling, and they aren't afraid to hurt her, to make it count. At the end of that film, Demme's cutting of the final suspense set piece is masterful. There's a great fake-out involving the other FBI agents that floored audiences, and Starling manages to face down a monster on her own in a sequence that is still iconic, still imitated. With SE7EN, there was a disturbing beauty to the way Fincher and Khondji shot the tableaus of death that were the centerpieces of the film, but there was also moral heft to them. There was pain and sadness and a loss of life felt. And, again, there's an ending on that film which lifts it out of being any mere genre film and turns it into a meditation on the struggle between that which is right and that which is wrong, a struggle that it feels like we are losing on days like today.

Make no mistake... I am horrified by the jackals I have heard smacking their lips over this film. "It looks cool" is what each conversation seems to boil down to. That's normally an excuse I find rather weak when discussing the merits of a film, but in this case, it's inexcusable. Just making something look cool does not justify putting it on a screen, not when there are such profoundly amoral intentions at work. And, yes, I know that we live in a cynical age, and we've all been hardened by overexposure to certain images, and I know that I play up the whole Evil shtick here on the page, but I do believe that there are things we have to answer for as a culture, and the idea that we derive entertainment from "stepping inside the mind of a serial killer" leads us down some very dark and unhappy paths. There's no answers offered here beyond the pat and the obvious. Carl Stargher is beaten by an abusive father and he's called "faggot," so of course he grows up to kidnap, torture, and murder women before masturbating into their dead bodies. Of course. It all makes so much sense.

If we start to pull at the flimsy construct that passes for a script here, the whole thing unravels quickly... so let's, shall we? Where do we start? Do we discuss the non-attempt at justifying their pseudo-science? Do we discuss how Stargher's methodology has nothing whatsoever to do with the life we see in his flashbacks? Do we discuss the fact that Jennifer Lopez would be indicted for murder at the end of this film and the program would be dismantled because of the way she resolves the Stargher storyline? Or do we just sit back and accept the "mercy killing" we witness because she shore does look purty in her fuck-me pumps when she shows up at the end to talk to Vince Vaughn?

Or should we discuss performances? Lopez seems to be taking speech lessons from Melanie Griffith, her "shmoopy woopy" baby talk voice seeming worse here than ever before. Vaughn has officially turned into Dean Martin, lurching drunkenly through this film like he's got a party to get to. He might as well have his tie undone, a drink in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. It's a ludicrous performance, and his big scene where he hints at a history of abuse in his own past is offensive because it's thrown away, dropped in just to add another level of skank to an already overwhelmingly skanky experience. And then there's D'Onofrio. Oh, how the talented can fall. There are moments in his work here that would be laugh-out-loud funny if they weren't so jaw-droppingly pretentious. I actually don't know who to hate more between him and Lopez. At least D'Onofrio can argue that he did what he was hired to. Lopez actually saved this script from development hell and pushed it into production through sheer force of will. What was she thinking? "Oh, I'll look fabulous," evidently, since that's all the film's about. She drifts through in a haze, in one bizarre outfit after another, never connecting with another actor, never even suggesting something that resembles a recognizable human emotion.

I haven't even gotten into the way Tarzan consistently wastes great character actors like Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dylan Baker, and Pruitt Taylor Vince in roles that could have been played by cardboard cutouts. In recent interviews, Tarzan has talked about how he would prefer to recut THE CELL as a silent film, and his contempt for his actors and the script they're delivering is obvious in the perfunctory, detached way every single exchange of dialogue is shot. He is absolutely without any ability to make us feel something for the people we're watching, and empathy is the only thing that could have drawn me into a film this powerfully, willfully stupid. As a result of his disinterest, we never care about the girl who has been locked into Stargher's underground cell. We never care if she's found. Of course, this being a film that goes for only easy answers and obvious beats, the suspense is undercut by the fact that it's obvious she will be found and saved. It's a given, the absolute death of suspense.

In Roger Ebert's four-star (!!!) review for this film, he references 2001, and he's not the first person I've heard do so. I repeat... shame on you. Kubrick's film was a bracing vision of the way mankind has evolved, the way we struggle with our own base instincts, the way we reach for the heavens, our ambition sometimes exceeding our reach, and the way we will take the step from this stage of evolution to whatever wonders await us next. It is a film about hope and it is a film that encompasses the entire human experience. How dare you compare this empty, sadistic anti-thrill ride to that masterwork? How dare you bring up this perfume commercial for murder, this ode to sickness, and imply that imagery left over from a Nine Inch Nails video somehow puts Tarzan in the same class as Kubrick, or even the other directors you reference like Fincher and PT Anderson and Spike Jonze? Hell, Spike Jonze outdoes THE CELL in one sequence in last year's bracing and brilliant BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. There's that great sequence near the end of the movie where Cameron Diaz chases Catherine Keener through the landscape of Malkovich's subconscious. It's a trip, but it's also sharp, funny, smart stuff that illuminates the way we all keep private corners in our mind, places no one else should visit. In five minutes, Jonze says everything THE CELL seems to be groping about for, and he does it without falling back on imagery from his past music videos, and without using cheap gore effects and silly CGI imagery.

I mean... I'm stumped. "Visionary"?! Last year, when I reviewed FIGHT CLUB on this page, Roger actually wrote me a simple e-mail in which he said, "Moriarty, you fell for it. FIGHT CLUB is a macho wheezy porn trick. RE" That was it. He dismissed a film of exceptional moral complexity because he couldn't see beyond the black humor and the visceral impact of the imagery, and then he turns around and embraces this... filth... because it's pretty. It's disconcerting for me, because I grew up like many of you did, watching Roger on TV, amazed by the passion that he and Gene brought to their discussions of film each week. Now it seems that he's rejecting the challenging and embracing the simple in a way that is distressing. When a movie like this opens with "TWO THUMBS UP!!" across the top of the ad, he's managed to put it on the map, open it up to debate. People will go this weekend, and they will have to carry this around with them as a result. They walk away with nothing new added to the general noise of the serial killer genre aside from a certain way of presenting the sadism on camera. When Carl Stargher begins to chatter happily as he pulls out Vince Vaughn's intestines while dressed like Gary Oldman in DRACULA, I had no other response than to collapse into helpless laughter. It was that or throw my drink at the screen. The train has hopped the tracks by this point, and there's nothing Tarzan could do to salvage it. It's not like he cares or even understands, though. To him, it's not about making sense. It's about the image. There are countless shots in this film that simply exist as a sort of desperate "Aren't I clever?!" cry to the cheap seats. Helicopters land in slow-motion as heat patterns ripple the screen. We're treated to a Wikki Wachee snuff show at one point. Clues are hammered home with all the subtlety of a fart in church.

And then there's that plot hole. Oh, I know... there's at least one metric assload of plot holes in the film, but there's one in particular that renders discussion of all the others moot. The second time Lopez is dropped into Stargher's dreams, there's a glitch. She thinks she's still in the lab, and she gets up to go flip a circuit breaker. That's when she realizes that she's actually already in Stargher's dreams, where he has somehow perfectly reproduced a room that he has never seen, that he has only occupied while in a coma, eyes closed. It's such a profoundly bone-headed move, so easy to catch and correct that it should have been done at the first production meeting, that I gave up. Any interest I had in cutting anyone involved any slack whatsoever simply evaporated.

THE CELL is not a dangerous film. It's not smart enough to be dangerous. But it's dangerous filmmaking, and that's because of the reckless abandon with which Tarzan approaches the film. He justifies all the attacks on Hollywood. I think it's ironic that films like NATURAL BORN KILLERS and FIGHT CLUB are mentioned as being irresponsible, when both of them contain more genuine emotional and moral complexity in any ten minutes than this film does in its whole running time. They're films about something, films that strive to find hope amidst the darkness, that ache to make sense of a world that sometimes doesn't. They are ultimately responsible because of the intelligence behind them. THE CELL is a film that feels like it was made by a robot, programmed only to ape old paintings and try to reproduce them with actors inserted. It is empty, it is ugly, and it is a complete failure of the studio system on every level. All I could think while watching the climax is that I could use a shower as forceful as the one administered in Stargher's cell to wash away the slimy film left behind by such a shallow, insipid experience. I am truly sorry I gave up my time, my money, and my brain cells to this one, and I will not forget the trangression. Tarzan, you and I ain't friends. And if you are one of the hollow men who finds enjoyment or kicks in this film, then you and I ain't friends either.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:53 a.m. CST

    I'm first, suckas!

    by MrT

    The T lays da smackdown on all y'all foos!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:08 a.m. CST

    is "RE" really losing his mind?

    by BlueBomm

    I don't get it... help me out... Roger Ebert is slipping away from us. Roger, buddy, come on back, huh? 4 stars for the cell... thumbs up for Nutty Professor 2... honestly, I gotta tell ya, the warning signs have been brewing. 3 stars for The Haunting because he "likey the house!" well, anyway, let's get an intervention going. let him see the classics again... I dunno, maybe it's the summers that do him in. not every human is built to withstand the insane amounts of shit out there. so, Rodge, take a valium, chill out, and start over again for fall. we're all pulling for you. let's think back to those beautiful, cynical, yet hope-filled words: "I HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED THIS MOVIE!"

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:15 a.m. CST

    don't cry for the crow

    by Two-Shay

    First Ebert misjudges Fight Club, but Moriarty doesn't; now Moriarty misjudges the cell, but Ebert doesn't! Mr.T - your humor astounds me

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:24 a.m. CST

    I love Roger Ebert, and always will

    by fray

    Perhaps you're right: Roger Ebert should write reviews to make AICN talkbackers happy. Oh wait - that's a horrible idea, not to mention impossible... We can't agree on anything - ever. Ebert may not be the most cerebral of movie critics, but the guy loves movies. He loves 'em, and he KNOWS them like none other. He said he liked the film and he told you why - So you disagree? Don't crucify him! I mean, he's doing his job... and isn't compromising his integrity by doing so. And before you all put the last nail in Tarsem's (Or "Tarzan", I guess: what the hell??) coffin, remember that Fincher's first was Alien3, widely regarded as the worst in the series. And if you're talking about video directors to movie directors, Spike Jonze seems to have pulled it off. In conclusion, give the E. man a break. He's the people's critic, and he's right much more often than he's wrong. And P.S, Please, for crying out loud: see the movie before you say anything about it or its director...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:41 a.m. CST

    So--what you're saying is--you didn't like it. Right?

    by CK Dexter Haven

    Don't sugar-coat it chief! Come out and give us your unvarnished opinion next time. Seriously, though, it's not cool to kick Ebert around because he has a different opinion than you do about the movie. Even if you think it's a bubbling cesspool of rancid fecal matter, that doesn't mean that no other intelligent, discerning person could possibly find anything of value in it. So chill on the Ebe-man. And another thing--I'm seriously hoping Gore and Leiberman shut up about Hollywood. If their saber-rattling means AICNer's are now gonna start bitching about movies on the "restrain yourselves or the gubmint's gonna come get us all" ground, then it's going to seem like an eternity until the election.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:45 a.m. CST


    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    You know when those bitchy queens wave their Vox Martinis in the air and say "HONEY DON't GOT THERE...I DO NOT NEED TO GO THERE.." La LA LA...Well THE CELL TAKES YOU THERE AND DUMPS YOU OFF....I just came back from my 2nd screening of the CELL and you know what I THOUGHT? DEE-motherfucking-GUSTING! Did I need to see those hooks on his skin stretched out like it was taffy? Did I need to see poor Tara flail, scream and cry while she was drowning? ( thoughts of those poor people in the submarine at the bottom of the sea swimmed into my mind..) Did I need to see a woman being stalked in a underground parking structure only to run over and dog or at least she thought she did and being attacked and thrown around like a rag doll? Disturbed? YES? Filmakers can create visual effects and make them creative like THE MATRIX but when it's creative and sick and disturbing is another thing and to read Eberts review calling this the best movie of the year..HONEY WHAT CRACK IS SHE SMOKING thats what I want to know? Was I entertained? uh yes... But I honestly think filmakers like Tarsem are trying to push the limits because well in this day and age we have seen it all.. but it does not necessarly mean that we have to go THERE! Would I pay hard earned money for THE CELL? FUCK NO... Thats why I snuck in to see it again for the 2nd time.. I love seeing Audience members Squirm and get Tortured! BRING IT ON!!!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:47 a.m. CST


    by Robertblood

    Fight club rules. so does Ebert. The great thing about him is that whether or not he liked a film, you can always tell if you're going to like it yourself after his review. Take his critique of 'X-Men'. He thumbed it down, but you could totally tell that the film had the comic book elements that fans have been waiting for.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Hey Ass Monkey, It wasn't that bad!!

    by TheBruce

    For Christ's sakes, let the people who arn't cinema greats (aka: work in a viedo store) have a chance to see a movie with an open mind........ You didn't review a movie, you attacked it and some of the people who enjoyed it.......I'm not saying it was the best movie of the year or anything, but I have never watched a film before they *felt* so close to a dream. The kind of nightmares you have where your all freaked out and you don't know why. This movie did that very well. Get off you fucking high horse Moranity. Belive it or not, not everyone is as superficial and shallow as you must be to have such a strong hatered for this movie to write such a moronic article. Go back and read it all again and you'll see what an ass you made out of yourself.....Hell even *IF* it was nothing more then pretty scenery, why do you have to have a reason for the making of the Cell. If nothing else, it was entertaining. You can't even say there is some deep meaning or good to be learned out of most of the teen/horror/slasher movies that have come out the last few years. At least the Cell is rated R, where many of the "most dangerous"-as you call them-movies are rated PG-13. If you hated it so bad then you should just keep you fat pie-hole shut and stop ruining a good movie for everybody else....I never wanted to be you damn friend anyway.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:54 a.m. CST

    P.s.......It's only a's only a's only a mov

    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    Remind yourself.....

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Moriarty vs. Roger!

    by BlueBomm

    here's the difference between The Cell and all those teen slasher movies (which Moriarty didn't say he found dangerous...): The Cell makes the significant blunder of taking itself seriously. no, I mean, REALLY seriously. a lot like What Dreams May Come. in fact, I ended up thinking of this as WDMC's angry twin. both were undeniably well-intentioned, both have some undeniable visceral beauty to them, but both are basically lacking a soul. but they try-- lord, do they try. The Cell wants so bad to carry a hefty emotional punch. slasher movies are called slasher movies for a reason. they're there to slash, and they know it. the irresponsibility Moriarty was talking about wasn't intended that way, it's just the result of an eager young director biting off more than he can chew and trying to break molds at the same time. so, instead of rushing to Roger Ebert's side (he'll survive some lambasting... chill...), maybe you should all think a little about what Moriarty's trying to do. ouch, this high horse is chafing my saddle sores... later...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:19 a.m. CST

    The list

    by sub-moxy

    If anyone else has memories of recent or semi-recent reviews Ebert has given that wer totally fucked, please point them out. I'm just very curious. A few that come to mind are: (good movies Ebert said sucked) BOTTLE ROCKET only got one fucking star!!!!! RUSHMORE got two cause he said Max turned evil!!!!! FIGHT CLUB as we are all aware (though he did pick it as his video pick of the week when the DVD came out), X-MEN cause he said why didn't Storm just use her lightning to threaten humanity (of course contradicting EVERYTHING) and many others I'm sure. Far more numerous are horrible movies getting great reviews like SCARY MOVIE, THE KLUMPS, FINAL DESTINATION (worst movie I've possibly ever seen), TITAN AE, DINOSAUR, HAUNTING, BLESS THE CHILD (no, no, that's a joke, no one on earth gave that a decent review), of course THE CELL and billions more I'm sure. Then there are many I agree with like his very positive reviews of Hayou Miyazaki's films which are all brilliant, PT Anderson stuff, HIGH FIDELITY, AMERICAN PSYCHO (thumbs up, though reluctantly, but that'll do) and others. So he's not totally insane. Just very disturbed. Of course, these are just my opinions on taste, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, and Tarsem is really out of any goddamn ideas for a debut, since there were clips from NIN's "Perfect Drug" video. Not the actual ones, but re-shot ones that were IDENTICAL, like the shots of vultures and such. Now, I don't even know if he did that video, but if he didn't, he's not only out of ideas, he never had any. EBERT, you suck. TARSEM, you suck way more. I, don't suck, cause I snuck in to this so it cost nothing except the price of Cecil B. Demented, which wasn't that bad.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Let's Add Fuel To The Fire

    by drew mcweeny

    Okay... so I'm being taken to task for bringing up Roger in specific. Let me add another reason I did so. Roger was always one of the most vocal critics of slasher movies in general, the first major critic I saw who drew a direct correlation between the rhythms of pornography and the rhythms of a slasher movie. It's bad plot, bad plot, bad plot, MURDER/SEX SCENE, bad plot, bad plot, bad plot, MURDER/SEX SCENE. In both cases, we sit through filler to get to the reason the movie exists. He called such entertainment sick and irresponsible. Remember... he's also the same critic who wrote a now infamous article for READER'S DIGEST in which he said that NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD should never have been released because of the terrible effect it would have on society. That's why I find his embracing of this dogshit to be contradictory and upsetting.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Whoa whoa, hold the phone here...

    by sub-moxy

    Ebert and Roeper gave Kings Of Comedy a good review? No, no, you must be joking. I don't get the show til midnight on Sunday, so I won't know til then, but fucking hell you better be kidding. Oh and while I'm on the topic, I can be hilarious too! Just like Cedric the Entertainer! Here's one I just made up: "When a white man rides a train, he's riding a "locmotive", but when a black person rides a train, he's got some LOCO-MOTIVES to be ridin' with all them crackers!" Boo yah! Racism equals "funniest men on the planet" it seems.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Y'all don't listen to the chunky, evil foo!

    by MrT

    The brother is talkin' crazy. But if you wanna see a real jibber-jabba movie, you best be lookin' for a copy of FREAKED, suckas! The T gives his fans the helluva perfo'mance of a lifetime as a man in a funky dress. But don't be thinkin' jus' cuz I be wearin' a dress in the movie dat I got sugar in my slacks. Durin' the makin' of dat pic, I done hired over one hun'ned prostitutes to make sure I ain't forgot my manhood. Okay, so mebbe some o' dem were crazy transsexual immigrants from El Salvador...that don't mean nuthin', 'less you want the T to bus' you upside yo' head! And you best be forgettin' 'bout those mildly retarded sheep I done flew in from Paraguay, too, suckas. The important thing y'all 'member is dat dis foo' said SCARY MOVIE's the best spoof since BLAZING SADDLES. Honky, you better be hungry cuz you gon' be eatin' a knuckle sandwich fo' dat one!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:41 a.m. CST

    His name is Tarsem, McWeeny

    by juniper

    So his movie repulsed you, why the fuck you have to make fun of his name all through your review? Isn't that the same kind of elementary school shit you had to deal with having the last name McWeeny? Or even the same shit Harry puts up with being obese? Kind of retarded to make fun of an accomplished directors name just because you didn't like his movie.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 6:41 a.m. CST

    come on Moriarty

    by Roli

    The Cell ! is a visual ride ! and it looks cool ! way bettern than other movies this summer ! i want to read your review of Hollow Man or do you think Hollow Man was better than THe Cell? and hey this GUY is not named Tarzan!!! This director has some potential... and this is his first movie... so come on you suck you taking everything too serious

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Please do this to Six String Samuri.

    by squonk

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. Six String Samuri really, really was bad. Ask yourselves people, would you let a guy named "robogeek" be your technical advisor? Hmmm? Oh yeah,The Cell was really, really bad too. Did any body see "SSSSSSS" with Dirk Benedict? That movie was twisted and took itself too seriously. I was reminded of that film, while watching Cell more than any Kubrick movie. Just irresponsible dumbness. And I liked Fight Club ans Se7en. Was the sixth senth a sequel to the fifth element? Hmmm......

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:17 a.m. CST

    I liked it

    by Honky Avenger

    It's not gonna win any Oscars (of course winning Oscars doesn't mean a movie was worth a damn) and it'll be a total flop at the box office. And, no, Jennifer Lopez can't act. But at least it was different from the rest of the garbage we've been seeing this summer. I enjoyed it more than Hollow Man and What Lies Beneath put together, simply because I did not know what was going to happen in the next scene every time. If you go in with the attitude that you're going to hate it, like Moriarty did, you definitely will. But if you're willing to enjoy something not because it's a brilliant, world-changing movie but because it reminds you that not every movie follows the same formulas we've been seeing all summer, you might enjoy yourself. See it quick, though -- it won't be here long.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Only one more month till I can FINALLY make fun of Battlefield E

    by Pippin's Diamond

    Here's the thing - It'll be months from now till I get to see The Cell. I don't really care, but the main reason I remain somewhat interested in going to see this movie is Howard Shore's score. For the love of Gary Oldman's Dracula armor, could someone please comment on it? Is it good? Is it OK? Does it suck and/or blow? The fact that it hasn't been brought up not even once is not necessarily a bad sign, but it ain't exactly reassuring, either. I keep hoping this is all a dream and I'm gunna wake up to find out Peter Jackson went with Trevor Jones. :-P

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:44 a.m. CST

    You go Moriarty!

    by straightedge

    i agree completely with moriarty's review. it's because of shit like this that all violent films are being targeted as dangerous filth. but if the eventual restrictions placed on hollywood and the media in general don't ban very violent films in general but require filmmakers to think about what they're putting on film, about taking a stand on violence and not just portraying it like it's no big deal to see someone's intestines pulled out, then the rules might be for the better. but then again, the US senate might as well screw this up. -straightedge

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Of course it looks like "Dracula"...

    by pulpculture

    "The Cell" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" have a similar look because they have the same costume designer. Nobody is "swiping" anything.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Moriarty? Shame on You!

    by TheProjectionist

    Shame on you Moriarty for even think of throwing your drink at the screen! What's the matter with you?!?! It isn't the movie theater's fault that some movies are bad. Think of the people that watch the show after you see it. They would have to watch the film with a big coke stain on the screen. Please, never throw anything at movie screens! Shame on you for thinking that!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 8:26 a.m. CST

    but didn't you like armagadon?

    by Darth Satan

    and six string samuri was a horrible movie. To be honest i thought seven was a horrible movie it was so lame, lots of flashlights, and darkness all the time. i'm going to give this movie a chance, and check it out monday. movies should not be any kind of moral indicator. if you want to make movies with sex/murder then so be it. i may not watch it, but if you got the audience then go for it.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Jaded son-of-a-bitch, thy name is Moriarty....***Spoilers abound

    by XTheCrovvX

    This doesnt sound like the Moriarty i know...the Moriarty i know usually reviews things by what he thought, his personal experience with the film itself....what this new, evil Moriarty seems to be saying is that "I want to hate this film, so i'm going to have to dig up every excuse i can to do so..." Keep in mind, this is the same "Mr. Hyde" Moriarty who cries that "Unbreakable" will be an undeniable failure....riiiiiight.... First off, one of the things he says is that "Its a horror film with no horror, a thriller with no thrill"...i object to this by saying first off, its not supposed to be a horror flick...what drugs were you shooting up to make you think it would be?? ...oh!!! now i get it...youre one of those people who believes that gore+lots of screaming to accompany it=horror flick....WRONG!....the plot is simple, and its supposed to be....Vince D'Onofrio falls into coma, one of his victims is still out there...we gotta find do we do that when he's comatose? ::snaps fingers:: we go inside his mind....and obviously Moriarty also missed little things that pretty much explains why the "rock video imagery" is the way it is...look around Starghers apartment, what do you see....sick images and photographs, dolls strewn around, dismembered and disfigured...and come on....anybody who's got an imagination enough to hang themselves from the ceiling above a bleached "doll corpse" from 7 steel rings pierced into his back has imagination enough to create the "nice World of Wonder" we see through Catherine's eyes....see, Moriarty lost the ability to get into the story the second he started thinking about it in the same "Silence of the Lambs"/"Se7en" light, and expecting that greatness for every serial killer/criminal film ever made...he started LOOKING for mistakes to form his bad review, rather than letting them happen as he watched and all of a sudden saying "Wait...they fuced that up! Strike one!" like a regular moviegoer...thats the problem with being a professional reviewer, methinks...once you start getting paid to do it, it becomes A JOB, not a joy, as it should when youre now FORCED to check out things you wouldnt go near with a 20 foot pole, the bitterness begins....look throughout his review...he looks and draws comparisons the best he can, while almost totally avoiding having to explain the movie in sentenced i like is how he says "these images are there for no other reason but to titillate and look cool"...Moriarty, youve been at this longer than i many good movies or good scenes were written they way they were because some guy said "Goddamn, that would look badass on screen..."...remember the ceiling scene in the first Mission Impossible? Do you REALLY think that was necessary to the story?(well, in that case it was necessary to wake up the audience, but i digress) What did they do there, that couldnt just be done with a simple "sneak in and get on the computer" sequence? but no, because they wanted something cool to put in there, they wrote in the ceiling, if youre going to say that about this film, apply that theory to every "cool" movie youve seen in your how reviews would change.... if you took out the trademark Woo gunplay, and the face swapping in Face/Off because "Its just trying to be cool", not much left is there? Now i know some of you are wondering "So what DID I think of this movie?" i dont compare it to Silence of the Lambs or Seven like a lot of idiots stupidly have...actually, only partially, i drew a Face/Off comparison in that the criminal's been caught, he's in a coma, but somethings going to happen, and somehow, we need to find out where its going to face/off, a the cell, a woman who will, i will agree that yes, a bomb is a far more desperate situation than some woman trapped in water...but then, think about who's in charge of this thing...Vince Vaughns character...he's seen, LITERALLY seen what happens when the good guys allow bad shit to happen to one person, and he's not taking that shit again from Stargher...his cohorts really dont give a shit, so they're just pawns for him to use to catch him...for him, that one woman is his chance to make up a little for that "one that got away"...Jennifer Lopez, Moriarty whines about her having a "Schmoopy" voice the whole answer: sorta...but look at it, idiot....she's a social worker...and in both situations when she's going inside minds, she's essentially trying to contact children...Edward(who is a child), and the boy Stargher, who she is trying to reach..reach that boy, and the rest will follow, she believes...and indeed, that boy, once he trusted her, led her to what she and Vince wanted...the location of the girl....but thats still not enough for her...she's experienced the boy Stargher's past...and after having seen that, she wouldnt be able to sleep again unless she did SOMETHING to help her...once again, as far as the review goes, Moriarty "skipped a groove again". The reason why she's not arrested for murder, as far as we know, is that theres no proof she's responsible for his death...the bastard had the breach in his brain..., she comes out of him, thats it, he's dead..and quite frankly, i dont think the FBI could care less, the son-of-a-bitch was sick as hell...only Catherine got to see what was really going on in there....which is why she went back to "save him"...and in the end, yes, the only way to stop it was to destroy Stargher the, why Moriarty is trying to now moralize "entertainment value" is beyond me...and why he brings up Natural Born Killers is beyond me...these two films are night and day. Now, seeing as my time is limited, i'l have to skip a bit more of what i wanted to say for any feedback i might recieve from other talkbackers on what i wrote...but i HAVE to go into the cream center of this film, which is the far as im concerned, Moriarty took the same argument that a lot of reviewers(including that fat hypocritical bastard, Roger Ebert) took with Stigmata.."it's filmed like a music video", i have no problems with that...but while i DO agree i was the first person to point out "Hey, there's that vulture from The Perfect Drug video!", i see this as more the dark cousin of "What Dreams May Come"...this is our window into an imagination darker than we can envision...whether you like it or not....thats what Catherine is experiencing...thats what we are forced to see.....and thats what you have to two minds would have the same world to travel through...Being John Malkovich gave us one world, what his mind might be like...why should THAT be the standard for the mind of a serial killer, or a comatose frightened boy? I dont draw directorial comparisons like Moriarty did, because i wasnt really looking for them like he, this isnt a master, TARSEM isnt Kubrick, Fincher, or any of the other "trippy" directors, nor do i compare any of them...what we have here is a simple film...simple story, with a unique imagination to take us through it...and i liked it that way...i didnt see it as "the piece of crap i was forced to see", or as "the horror film of the summer", or "the work of a master"....its kinda like watching the painting "The Scream" spread apart over an hour and 40 minutes, with a good imaginative mind to fill in the blanks...what more lies in between the lines of a simple, "been there, done that" painting? if we found a way to walk into paintings, and see them played out in real time, what would they be like....thats whats youre faced with here...NOT what Roger Ebert thought, or whatever music video this reminds you of....and i'm prepared to pick up my crossbow, and go at it with people who saw this movie in any different a light than how it's supposed to be...Revolution is my name...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 9:11 a.m. CST

    how sad!

    by Mioch Must DIE!

    I find it sad to see Moriarty getting his own back at Ebert. Very childish

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 9:30 a.m. CST

    why i'm starting to dislike moriarty as a reviewer...

    by regulator

    I'm noticing Moriarty has a bad habit of, when he hates a movie, telling everyone that remotely liked it that they are an asshole. Shame on him for thinking his opinion is what makes or breaks a film. Now, i'm not with Ebert in saying this is a masterpiece. I also didn't hate it either. We all have different tastes in movies. Hell, my top five for the year so far is X-men, Patriot, Shanghai Noon, Dinosuar, and Coyote Ugly. Now, I know many that hate those last two. That's fine. It's their opinion. I also happened to be bored to death by Erin Brockovich, which most are saying is a great film. Hey, it's our own opinion. To think that your opinion on a movie is the only important one, and that anyone that disagrees is an idiot, well, that's just being arrogant.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 9:50 a.m. CST

    !!!!!!!!WHAT IT ALL MEANS TO A CHILD!!!!!!!

    by JamesPrater

    Time and time again I come back to Aint it Cool news. I wait for stuff that only Harry can deliver despite being blown off by him via email..........but that's besides the point. My point is this, yet again Moriarty posts a review that is based on subjective opinion. Not only do his words sting like alcohol in a wound but he bashes Tarsem's work with reckless abandon. Movie reviews are always personal, they are never objective but rather based on what we liked or did not and what we would change or would not. I found The Cell to be riveting, hauntingly beautiful and yet disturbing to no end. As a child myself I was confined to one area for 4 years of my life. I was deemed "unfit for society" by those in authority in the cult my parents lived in. In relationship to The Cell, the scenes where they show D'Onfrio's character's father beating him gave me chills. The whole topic of children and them being products of their childhood envoirnment weighed heavy upon my heart. I think Tarsem struck gold in this category. Yes the film is somewhat typical with the whole "Serial Killer" end. But I believe there is a real healing message in between the lines. The last scenes where Lopez [as The Virgin Mary] is holding that child, providing healing for him was so powerful for me, especially juxtaposed(sp?) against Vaughn's character rescuing the girl. There is a connection between them both because both D'Onfrio's character and the trapped girl are being rescued. Of course I may be looking far to deep into this as I'm sure I'll be accused of. It am upset however when I read reviews such as this that are so disrespectful to the filmmaker's passion and hardwork. There are plenty of films that I do not like but as artists we MUST respect eachother as such no matter whether we like the work or not. What is also interesting is that Harry has rules posted about what you can and cannot say in TalkBack and yet this review is as blatantly rude and foul-mouthed as they come. So in closing I can and will say that as an abused child myself The Cell had a deeper meaning for me and it worked. But that's only my opinion. It's a pity Moriarty can't just speak his mind without coming off as an elitist(sp?) jerk.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Pretty pictures...of bleached bodies covered in bugs. Eeesh.

    by Veidt

    The Cell is a real piece of tripe, that's for sure. I wouldn't call it dangerous per se - only dangerously stupid. There's not a single thought in this entire movie. The characters are all given surface-level back stories to explain their motivations - Lopez's brother was in a coma and died, that's why she (of course) wants to help these people; Vaughn was an attorney until a bad man got off on a (yawn) technicality that's why he wants to be on the other side the justice system; and of course, the killer had an abusive dad that's why he, uh, needs to build an elaborate cell to drown his victims and also must hang over his latest kill from his own flesh via steel rings and hooks and masturbate while watching the video playback of her death throes - AND why he also has to bathe his victims in bleach post-mortem. Umm, sure. And then we have the whole matter of (groan) "let's reach his inner child". As this was a New Line film, I assume they were fully aware that this was already done nearly to the letter almost ten years ago in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare where psychologist Lisa Zane goes into Freddy's subconscious and encounters Freddy at various stages of his development. We see him as a child tormented by classmates and he even has - surprise! - the obligatory abusive father figure. And this sequence from Freddy's Dead was so mind-blowing it was in 3-D!!! Take that, Tarsem! But all kidding aside, The Cell is a very hollow, facile movie that plays to an audience that believes if a film looks as stylized as The Cell does than it must be art. I can't believe Ebert gushed over this movie the way he did - it really IS shameful. This is a movie that not only wallows in its own ugliness but it tries to excuse itself as a feature-length film about beautifully photographed corpses by tacking on a cheap "redemptive" angle. What a crock.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:10 a.m. CST


    by Uncapie

    That's bascially what this movie is. Kelly rocks as an actor! They should have just made this a sequel to the film. I'm sure Dennis Quaid could use the work.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Holy shit! Moriarty nailed it!

    by Twig

    I hate to agree with him, but virtually everything he said here was dead-on. I didn't hate it nearly as strongly as he did(my most intese hatred still rests with Hollow Man), but his description of it as "empty eye candy" is exactly true. Yes, unfortunately, a lot of people are alrady drooling over this one, which is sad, cause it really has nothing but visuals, and not enough to make us forget what a generic, borig story is taking place.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:38 a.m. CST

    I'll have to re-write my review. Moriarity agrees with me, but s

    by The Grin

    It's not about making sense. It's about the image. You are so right. And that plot hole is embarrassingly huge. And shame on D'Onofrino!! He was doing a monotone pscyho-Malkovich impression all the way through. WHY WHY WHY must all of this technological know-how go to the service of dark, cruel imagery? When will someone use it to tell a STORY? Or show us some place we WANT to go, instead of someplace we can't wait to escape? It's sad, really. People once ran to the Roman Collosseum to see butchery before their eyes. Granted, this is not "real", but it feeds the same appetite. We are not so advanced a culture. We're as base as wild dogs. God help us. The Grin

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Moriarty should have listened to his instincts and shut up.

    by flave

    This is not the type of movie you can easily recommend or not recommend; it strikes a deeply personal chord. If you're fairly open-minded and disturbing scenes on celluloid don't bother you (and clearly, poor little Moriarty's brain can't handle it), you should be able to get past the wall of strangeness that this movie evokes and appreciate it for what it is -- a brilliant piece of cinematic art. It captivated me like no other movie of recent memory and I think it is one of the most original and visually stunning movies I have ever seen. It is sure to be compared to The Silence Of The Lambs and although superficially similar, the two are extremely different. Whereas Lambs takes place in a dark and gray gritty reality, The Cell takes place in a bright and vividly colourful surreality. The plot may be a bit thin, but if you enjoy the 'cinema' aspect of the movie-going experience, then you will love The Cell. If you're one of those who decries the lack of originality in today's movies, do yourself a favour -- ignore Boriarty and go see this movie. Director Tarsem's freshman effort is truly outstanding; can't wait for his next.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Tarsem Singh WILL make a name for himself in the future.

    by EL Duderino

    Now, if many of you recall, the script had always been bad for THE CELL. I still haven't read a positive review of the script. Can you guess what other film had a very promising director yet a piss poor script that was STILL being written during filming? Alien 3 of course. Considering what Tarsem had to work with, he did a very good job. BTW, the child abuse and the "eat your dinner"'s (ewwww) wasn't the main reason why D'Onofrio (I'm bad with character names, so I'll just use the actors) was drowning so many of those women. Besides being mentally ill, that story about the wounded bird and the sink really describes why he did what he did. I really did have a good time with this film, I wasn't expecting a good film, which usually pays off in the end. BOTTOM LINE: This film is a Science-FICTION!! Aint no way this will win an oscar (other than costumes and set design), but it's an enertaining film at least, with some pretty hefty holes (At times ANACONDA sized). And yes, just see it to see Lopez' ass while she's smokin a doobie.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Huge Gaping Plot Hole

    by Waverly Huff

    Vince is supposed to be a master FBI man, right? When they discover this fantastic contraption in the villain's home relatively early in the film, the camera lingers over what is obviously a company logo. Only much later in the film, when a dream trip also contains that logo, does good old Vince decide to revisit the contraption and wipe the dirt off the face plate. Ah! There's the logo and the name of the company that made the thing. And guess how many they've made just like that? One! And they have the address of the people who bought it. Good detective work, my butt! If they had looked carefully at the thing when they first found it the movie would have only been about 30 minutes long. Which would have been a vast improvement.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:48 a.m. CST

    The Only Thing More Idiotic Than The Film Itself.....

    by mrbeaks

    ..... are the reviews and talk backs I've read defending this monumentally vacant piece of filmmaking. Thank Kubrick, I spent my Saturday enjoying a Godard double feature (CONTEMPT & BREATHLESS ) at the Film Forum, than enduring Tarsem's nonsense again. I do, however, wish Moriarty would refrain from wishing physical harm on filmmakers whose work repulses him. There's being passionate, and, then, there's being maniacal.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:55 a.m. CST

    And Who's A Bigger Idiot *Than* Me?

    by mrbeaks

    Can't even make proper usage of "than/then." Never mind.....

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, you have disappointed me with your silly over-the-top

    by candyman_boo

    Moriarty has gone too far this time. Reading his article was one of my worst experiences in life. Man, you have gone too far this time. Your views are plainly biased and smell of intense envy and prejudism. Don't call Mr. Tarsem TARZAN..that is soo wrong! Listen pal, lets face it you don't have the stomach to make a movie like this guy has made even if you spend your whole lifetime trying. Do what you do best, just REVIEW a movie and try not to insult or hurt any one else or influence anyone else's opinions. McWeeny,QUIT while you're ahead! Its getting really ugly now and you have a LOT of 'fans' from now on!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:06 a.m. CST

    This looks cool

    by Mutant X

    Had to say it.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:07 a.m. CST

    "Internal regulation" = censorship

    by jmachinder

    Moriarty, you've gone too far. So you didn't like The Cell and disagree with Ebert, fine. That's one thing. It's another to stand up for censorship. You say "even liberals are calling for...enforced responsibility....In a case like this, they're right." You also state "THE CELL has no moral leg to stand on." You're really blowing this rather weak movie all out of proportion. You're calling for "internal regulation." Huh? How will that be achieved? Who will do this "internal regulation"--studios, producers, artists? Self-censorship to stave off threatened real censorship isn't much better than the government itself saying yes or no to scripts. I'd rather have people make movies they either believe in or feel will entertain, and then I can decide what to think about them. In other words, I'll take care of my own morality, thank you very much (like any censor, Moriarty knows HE can handle the bad messages, but fears others can't). "Self-censorship" doesn't make for a better society, it just takes me out of the driver's seat. There are two problems with Moriarty's argument. First, bad art doesn't equal bad morality, but Moriarty seems to confuse the two in his review. Films like Birth Of A Nation or Triumph Of The Will are classics of cinema, even though they support evil ideas. And episodes of Davey And Goliath generally have positive moral messages, but are hardly great works of art. Second, so the film has a message you don't like. Tough luck. There are lots of bad ideas out there--respect for freedom and the individual demands we allow the ideas out and let the people decide. I regularly read editorials I don't like and my first impulse is not to call the newspaper and tell them to practice more "internal regulation." There are plenty of ways to read films as being immoral, regardless of their quality. If you're a Republican, you might think The American President or Primary Colors are nasty propaganda. If you oppose abortion, you might think the most evil film ever made was Cider House Rules. And as Joe Bob Briggs once noted, one of the most immoral films ever was Thelma and Louise, because if you watch any slasher film, at least it's assumed killing one teenager after another is wrong, but the message of T&L is it's a glorious thing for a woman to murder a man, and society just doesn't understand. Moriarty calls The Cell "profoundly amoral" and then explains how the films about sick murderers that HE likes--Silence Of The Lambs, Natural Born Killers and Se7en--are morally superior. By chance I happen to think these three films are overrated crap, but that's an aesthetic judgment. Morally, it seems to me they exist on the same plane as The Cell. If I wanted to pull a Moriarty and judge these films based on how much I liked them, I could say SOTL makes cannibalism charming, that NBK is nothing but a multimedia circus where the two most charming people in it (both with simplistically horrible childhoods) go on a killing spree and get away with it, and that Se7en (with its brain-dead "gee I'm angry, my wife is dead" ending) makes murder look cool. (If you think these films were well done, that only makes them worse, since their message becomes more effective.) And is the message of The Cell, which Moriarty calls "empty," "sadistic," a "perfume commercial for murder" and "an ode to sickness," so evil? The filmmaking may be muddled, but the ostensible point is about caring--not just that serial killers need to be caught and their victims saved (obviously), but that cruel parenting can screw up kids. (Not that it has to, as Vince Vaughn explains.) Perhaps not the most original message, but one I agree with. You object to the "mercy killing" when Jennifer Lopez puts sick Vincent D'Onofrio out of his misery--maybe you're right, maybe it is immoral, but maybe so is capital punishment, or hunting; I think there's room for disagreement here beyond denunciation. Moriarty feels The Cell "justifies all the attacks on Hollywood." Yet how many films would never have seen the light of day if we had the very self-censorship that Moriarty lauds. You see, Moriarty, I fear not everyone may share your taste. Look at Ebert, who called Fight Club "macho wheezy porn." How many other films might have been stopped if filmmakers were constantly looking over their shoulder: Bonnie and Clyde, Carnal Knowledge, A Clockwork Orange, Robocop, Dirty Harry, Terminator, Bullet In The Head, Die Hard, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Saving Private Ryan, There's Something About Mary, Happiness, Boys Don't Cry? The list is endless. Not everyone's internal regulator matches up. Moriarty claims "there are things we have to answer for as a culture." Here we agree. The most shameful cultures of the 20th century were the ones that fought as hard as they could to make sure all the messages in their art were pure and positive, not degenerate. Moriarty implies movies like The Cell give censorship a good name. (Sort of like how people used to complain that the Velvet Underground were so repulsive they made it hard to fight for freedom of speech--nowadays their music is recognized as the best stuff from that era.) Intimating censorship isn't such a bad thing is probably not the greatest idea in today's atmosphere, where politicians are falling all over themselves to denounce Hollywood. Joe Lieberman has called, continually, for governmental action to put movies and TV on a leash. The answer is to stand up to these bullies, telling 'em loud and clear to keep their hands off our freedom, not to say "you've got a good idea, it just has to be done right." Moriarty, double plus extra shame on you.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Frank B.

    Personally,I find it hard to take a website seriously that heartily recommended Viva Rock Vegas.I'm going to see The Cell

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:12 a.m. CST

    The movie was good go see it

    by AnamorphicRulez!

    This guy doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. The plot hole he's talking about is not really a plot hole if the idiot would of paid attention to the movie. I'm not gonna go into it because I'm not here to explain to dummies who don't pay attention to movies. Yes there may be some other plot holes but the one he's talking about is not really a plot hole.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:12 a.m. CST

    This kind of shit is why AICN is not a respected site.

    by bigdaddymuffla

    So you didn't like The Cell? fine. It's your problem that you are too boneheaded to see past the visuals and into a complex and intelligent film, Moriarty. And to see some immature, whiny geek like you trash the world's greatest film critic is truly sickening. How can someone from a site that is the laughing stock of the film world make fun of a genius like Roger? Do you think that you are "better" than him? If you don't like a certain film, fine, you can express your opinion, but it is truly shameful for you to trash those who made it, and those who like it. Oh, and your rascist mangling of an Indian name almost makes me vomit. Fuck you, Moriary, fuck you. Oh and fuck Harry too.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by MADMIKE

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Moronity is jealous of these Indians

    by JMS Power!!

    Moronity, this review sucks. This is jealousy. You may have liked Sixth Sense, but once M. Night Shamaylan became a huge success the jealousyyyyyyy has kicked in. First you declare that "Unbreakable" will be a failure, now you trash Tarsem's movie and call him "Tarzan". You are a jealous bitch, Moronity. You obviously read Ebert's review where he says that these Indians have good vision and got very pissed off. Don't get me wrong, Ebert sucks too. I want BOTH of you to go direct some movies so all of us at AICN can trash your asses all night and day.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:35 a.m. CST


    by B Wayne

    Holy Shit!! Moriarty's just another fan boy who thinks his opinion is the only one that matters. Moriarty's comments:"If like this movie than you're a stupidhead because it made me angry and I hate Tarzan." Tarzan's comments back: " Me Tarzan. Me like my movie. Why you not like my movie. It only movie. Don't get too angry cuz you don't like movie, numbnuts."

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Moriarity, you are truly an idiot!

    by FluffyMetalFun

    I read your review and within the first couple of sentences realized you had your mind made up about this movie before you laid eyes upon the first frame. The Cell, while not the best movie I have seen this year does have something to offer people with no pre-concieved notions going in. As far as your complaints of just being a visual showcase, I believe this is your failure to wrap your narrow mind around what Carl's subconsience might manifest itself as visually. Our subconcience is full of intense images from art and actual life-experiences. Having clear memories of some of my dreams I believe that the imagery served that realm very well. Most dreams seem to be unrelated and arbitrary images and situations that usually have some fragments of reality. I can forgive these shortcomings in your review because you have proven time and again that you are a childish jackass (anyone remember the oscar list?) and I don't expect any more from you. Where you made your biggest miscalculation was inferring that the people that were able to get something from the movie were intellectually inferior to the people that really 'got it' and understood that it was no more than an excuse for tying a bunch of cool CGI and visual tricks together. You are what I hate worst in reviewers today. In your eyes there is no room for differing interperatations by people with different life experiences than yourself. You are a hack reviewer and your bittereness for an industry that has left you behind is evident in your angst-ridden diarrhea you spew in this review.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Moriarty's right about two things: 1) The script is terrible a

    by Hero For Hire

    It's true that only D'Onofrio gets a shot at any actual emoting, everyone else just shambles through it in the exact way Moriarty described. And becasue the script is paced badly, nearly a half-hour is wasted before the real meat of the story begins. [[[[[Bottom line: unless you're a special FX lover who really doesn't mind sitting through a weak plot and bad acting, don't spend your money here.]]]]] *******************************************But Sweet Christmas Mori... You made two very BIG MISTAKES when reviewing this film. 1) You assumed that everyone else has the exact same movie tastes as you. You mention Fight Club, Se7en, Natural Born Killers and Silence of the lambs, assuming we all liked or disliked them in the saem way you did. Just review the film at hand, dude. 2) DON'T GET POLITICAL! We don't care about your opinions on the election, we don't want to blacklist any directors on your say-so, we don't need a Jihad against Ebert and you DEFINATELY, ABSOLUTELY do not need you promoting "self-restraint" or "internal regulation", two insidious metaphors for censorship. Isn't that what the MPAA does? Looks like you mostly hated the movie because you disagreed with it's politics, with it's supposed "agenda". You should've either mentioned for disclosure in one part, and still reviewed the movie properly, as a construction of actors and writers and camerawork, or better yet, avoided reviewing it completely. If I want the politcs of every movie explained to me, I'll read the Village Voice. ***************************************I'm really puzzled here, Doctor. Could you possibly have hated this film enough to break these important reviewing rules, or are you just striking an offensive pose for us to marvel at? Next time, work it out in public.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:44 a.m. CST


    by forrest

    I have never respected Moriarty more than after I read this review. Good points man... P.S. Ebert has definitely become a complete asshole.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:49 a.m. CST


    by wasp

    dunno if my password is right

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Nice review ..... NOT!!!!

    by BLuGLo

    Ya know, I have yet to see the Cell, but your review actually made me want to see it more. It is one thing to hammer a movie based on what you don't like, but to hammer other critics is crap. You blast more keyboard Diarrhea towards Roger Eberts review than you do towards the film itself. And since you have shown all of Ebert's main arguments, you end up accomplishing exactly what you didn't want to do, entice many people to go and see a film you apparently detest. I don't always agree with Ebert, that is the nature of the movie going experience. But there is no doubting his resume. So he didn't get Fight Club; that was his personal movie experience. Have you never seen a movie a second time and suddenly realized the poor judgement you had the first time? Sometimes the frame of mind walking into a film can determine exactly how you feel about that movie. Get a life Moriarty! In the future if you want to review a film, then do so, but accept the fact that others may not sure your opinion, and don't hack them for it.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Moriarty is full of shit...

    by Jackass

    I saw this movie Friday night and thought it was fantastic. It wasn't anything I haven't seen before but I still thought it was entertaining. As for Lopez's character being charged for How do they know she killed him? She didn't necessarily say that she killed him in his mind. So, don't judge something you didn't see or hear. As for psuedo-science explanations, who the hell cares? It's fiction, dumbass, and you have to abide by the authors's rules. Real life ideas and problems don't apply. Oh yeah, IT LOOKED COOL, and 2001 is a piece of crap, as is Silence of the Lambs. Why SL won all those Oscars is beyond me. I can see Hopkins getting one but the rest?

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Jack's Colon

    by Jack D. Ripper

    What about Spike Jonze? I'd say that he has carried over from the world of music videos into the medium of film quite well. Fincher still rocks the house, but give Spike some credit to, eh? But aside from Jonze and Fincher all these other music video turned film directors couldn't direct traffic. Who got Pasolini? Peace out.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Buy and Cell

    by The Gline

    I hated The Cell when I saw it in sneaks a day before it opened, and roundly condemned it to my friends as being empty and flashy. They went and saw it anyway, and at least one of them was daring enough to admit he liked it. But the more I talked to him about it, the more I realized what he liked about the movie had little to do with what was in the movie itself and everything to do with what he was seeing in the film. In short, he was projecting his own expectations onto the film. ... ... "Perfume commercial for murder" is a good way to sum it up: it's a dazzling piece of nothing much at all. OTOH, I get the feeling that audiences are going to shun it once the word gets out, and whatever impact it's going to have is going to be minimal at best. SE7EN packed a wallop because it made you THINK about the implications of what was being presented. This only makes you think about where the nearest fire exit is.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:58 a.m. CST


    by Einhander

    Well, I guess I did pick this weekend's winner with 'Original Kings of Comedy'. I would remind our overheated critic to take a chill pill, people are entitled to their opinions. Yes, RE was wrong about Fight Club, but he's been wrong about alot of things... he also gave Usual Suspects 1.5 stars, and he gave Gladiator 2. I still think he's one of the great critics, able to enjoy films that Pauline Kael wouldn't touch with one finger. And as for the attacks on hollywood, this won't draw any attention unless it actually makes alot of money, and I doubt it will clear 100 million.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Howard SHORE's score

    by wasp

    As anyone who pays the slightest attention to the LotR trilogy knows, Howard Shore is doing the score. Why so many people have practically ignored this, heck, I don't know, but I am a bit over obsessed with finding movies that feature the gaffer or some such crew person who will be working on LotR. To answer Pippin Diamond's question, the main reason I went to see this movie was to hear Shore's score. and I think it was pretty darn unconventional mix of Western orchestration with the music of the east, written in a manifesto style that flies forward almost chaotically while becoming subdued and moody at other times. The opening theme is really different, with strings rising crescendoing into half a minute of dischord before suddenly silencing. Truth be told, though, probably only those who decide to note the score before hand will really notice it as it is more "mood" music than anything. Of the movies I've seen with scores by Shore...Naked Lunch, Analyze This, Silence of the Lambs, eXistenZ, and The Cell...I'd say I like his score for Existenz the best, though SotL certainly has its moments.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Give Moriarty a break, guys. This is his opinion, and reviews a

    by Lenny Nero

    Now, I realize Moriarty doesn't need me defending him, but I must take a stand. You don't have to agree with him. Hell, I don't agree with him. I'm with RE on this; I think it's a visionary masterpiece, just as Dark City and What Dreams May Come were (and don't flame me for liking those movies). Moriarty has taken quite a view of hatred with this movie, and I think he goes a bit too far trying to express his level of disgust, and trying, in some ways, to insult Ebert. But it is also very well-written; I'd like to see some of you guys approach the level of experience and insight that Moriarty reaches with his years of film study under his belt. Moriarty can be a grouch, but he knows what the hell he's talking about. He is one of the better reviewers I read on a common basis, and a good amount of the time, he's better than Harry (but who could dislike Harry's ramblings about things that make no sense? They give me sort of an ecstatic whenever I read them). So, in other words, you read the review, you listened to him, you have your own opinion, but lay off, alright? Lenny Nero has spoken.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Fincher the only good director to come from music videos??!

    by Stefen

    What about Spike Jonze?......I think he did a pretty fucking good job with being john malkovich

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:32 p.m. CST

    I tend to be wary of people with one name.

    by user id indeed!

    Especially names that sound like they belong on a South American tree-dwelling monkey. Ah well, I'll fork up mine moolah. What the heck. I haven't seen eviscerated horse cross-sections on screen in a long while... since "The First Wives Club", I believe. This has been a Moment w/User! After mush consideration, I'm changing my name to simply "User", because it's more foreboding and mysterious, don't you think?

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:38 p.m. CST

    I 100% disagree

    by darkpriest

    I usually agree with the "Doctor" on his reviews, but on this one I completely disagree. So much so that I had to post about what I feel is an incredible film. What really troubles me is the tone of the review. Reading the review makes me think Moriarty is saying the movie shouldn't have been made because of its subject matter. Just because someone is offended doesn't mean censorship is in order. The movie is disturbing. No question. It leaves images in your mind to think over or be used for food in nightmares. And thats what I love about it. I love when a movie gets under my skin and really bothers me in that way. When a movie makes me think about what "evil" is. SeVen did it, Silence of the Lambs did it and even 8mm did it. That is why I believe people seem to reference these other films. If your deciding on Moriarty's review about this film, please don't. See it for yourself and then decide.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:44 p.m. CST


    by Dubious


  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Back once again...

    by XTheCrovvX

    OK, first off...just to put in my two cents about the top 5's of the summer...Dinosaur was kind of a spring flick, so i'll leave that out, but i did enjoy 5 no particular order..X-Men, Gladiator, Scary Movie, The Patriot, the middle, you got the "coulda been better, coulda been worse flicks" like Hollow Man, MI2, Nutty Professor 2, and Me Myself and Irene.....and then you got the bottom-feeding worthless parasitic bullshit viruses of movies...this is the hell where Battlefield Earth, Gone in 60 Seconds, and What Lies Beneath will fester for eternity in my eyes....where's The Cell? it's in the itsy bitsy tiny hole in between the best, and the "coulda been better/worse", to put it simply, Ebert bites.....and at the top of the LONG list of reasons why, is asskissing...Ebert sat on his little chair(which has to be SO stressed after all these years) and bashed Fight Club to hell...not for any intelligent reasons but for being "nothing more than fascist trash", or something to that effect...then Bill "my god, he's actually human!" Clinton comes on the show, states that he liked Fight Club(good for you, Bill), and Ebert trades up his attacks for the biggest Uncle Tom smile and dance routine...not to mention him fucking up royally in the review department...he hated X-Men, gave this flick 4 stars, of which is sure as hell aint worthy of(how do you put 2.75 in star numbers??), bashed GLADIATOR of all movies, and even the flicks that he actually rated right, he gave bullshit formulaic fuck Ebert, may Siskel rise from his grave and slap that tubby, this one goes out to Maxwell demon...who actually kinda has a point about the film...what all the images Catherine sees in his mind which, i dont truly have an answer...the only thing close i can come up with is that all this is coming out of his subconscious self...all the random shit you pass in your life somehow ends up in there...and while Stargher probably has no clue where it came from himself, it is there....thats how the mind goes, i still wondering where the fuck that "Mrs. Man" figure that brought Catherine into the "curtain room" came from...either way, how many people can say they know what every single thing they see in their dreams mean? Next, to Jackass...of course Stargher's dead...he died in the dream because Catherine drowned far as i could tell, he had himself a nice peaceful seizure because of what happened in his dream, and thats how he for the rest of your talkback, i cant really strike back at you for hating two of my favorite films, thats your opinion(hell, i know people who hated The Matrix)...but as for a fictional film NOT abiding by reality, thats kind of a two sided statement when referring to this, i want to adress Moriarty on this whole morality of films he basically says how certain films glorify death in certain ways, and attacks The Cell for making murder right..and that we should have to answer for liking something that makes that statement...bullshit....i can pretty much say that for a LOT of films...Silence of the Lambs made cannibalism look cool....American Beauty made sex with a minor look like romance...Pulp Fiction is a walking, talking advertisement for self-destruction...and this film supposedly makes the argument that we should feel sorry for mass murderers...but you see what i mean? to say those things would mean that i missed the point of every single one of those films....Silence of the Lambs was Clarice Starling's story, and no, Hannibal Lecter isnt a good person...he's locked in a cage for a reason, ya know....American Beauty was a lot of things...and while sex with a minor wasnt the most wholesome thing to include, the film as a whole made you evaluate your life, didnt it? Pulp Fiction was a collection of dark stories, done wonderfully, and done in keeping with the title....The Cell wasnt about making us feel sorry for Stargher...he did some heinous shit, and for that he should pay...even Stargher himself knew that...but the way i saw it, there were two sides to it...there was the boy Stargher, who, pretty much like any child, pre-parental involvement, is an innocent...then there's Stargher the man, who is one sick puppy...but even then, deep down, there's this knowledge that he knows damn well this isnt right, and he's begging for somebody to put him down...and deep down, that innocent child knows it too...which is why the two are separate...Stargher's become his own monster..and in the end, it comes down to having to destroy them both....despite having seen the cause of the monster's creation, in the form of his bastard father....and yes, in those scenes, i felt for him...but then, at the same time, you know that Stargher's still a killer..and when you see the grown up Stargher as the monster he envisions himself as, you know he's gotta die, even when it means destroying the innocence...which makes Catherine's role as a nun during those scenes more symbolic...its not making you feel sorry for him...its Tarsem's way of saying, "Pity, but never forgive..."...i guess thats all i need to comment on for now...Revolution is still my name...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 12:50 p.m. CST

    You're joking about the irresponsible part, right?

    by moovees

    This is pathetic. You talk about being concerned about the government censoring our movies, and then you call a film IRRESPONSIBLE??? This is a complete contradiction and entirely moronic. Take one side or other, because you can't have it both ways... sheesh.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:02 p.m. CST


    by darius25

    And I am not saying this because I am Indian. It had everything one expects to see - decent acting, ok (if not great) story, some thrills, some suspense, not too much of a length, clever editing. On top of this, the movie had FANTASTIC visuals. When we go see a movie like this, yes we do go for the visuals. THEY ARE THE MAIN ATTRACTION. See the somewhat success of Hollow Man for example. The people wanted to see an invisible man - thats it. But HM was a piece of shit - why ? Because it was boring, there was never really a story. Nothing really happened. In this movie, atleast something happened. There was atleast something resembling a story. No, it was NOT as good as Silence or Seven. I don't think it wanted to be as good as those movies. It was just another spin on the serial killer genre, with some great visuals added in. Thats what the director wanted to provide the audience with and he succeeded. What else did you guys need ? They provided some backstory, there was an adequate setup to the plot, and the climax was not too bad. It was atleast somewhat satisfying. I must say that this movie does not deserve the 4-star rating but still, you will get your money's worth. It was better than many movies this summer including Hollow Man, TPS, Scary Movie, Big Momma, MMI, BE, etc...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:04 p.m. CST

    ____My Opinion___________________

    by looking-for-love

    First of all, I love this movie. I could never get enough of visuals, and this time is some some cool stuff like I've never seen before._________________When I went into this movie, I know what i was expecting. A movie directed by a music video-commercial (therefore high and intense on visuals). Tarsem said before this movie, that this movie was going to be made his way, or the highway. I applaud him.___________________As for Moriarty, he is one unhappy fellow. Too bad he hasn't gotten a job in Hollywood (a real job, not a grip or helping out with the catering on sets). By this review, you can tell he has a lot of angst within him. hang in there man.__________________________ If it were up to people like Moriarty, they would still be showing 2001 at the local cineplex 24/7._________________Tarsem in, in my book, a genius. Of course we've seen this imagery in music videos. Question: did Tarsem direct a music video?____________I think it's very low (AN YOU LOOSE YOUR CREDIBILITY) when you attack a person who made a movie, for the simple fact that the movie doesn't suit your personal taste.________________ In the end, IT'S ONLY A MOVIE, and Tarsem is making the big $$$, and Moriarty is trying to get notice just by hanging around Harry.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:15 p.m. CST

    To looking for love...

    by XTheCrovvX

    Tarsem directed REM's Losing My Religion video...i dont know of any others he might have done...BUT, before people start getting the idea in their heads, NO he didnt direct NIN's The Perfect Drug...that was a guy named Mark Romanek...i know, because the avi file of the thing is sitting in my files as we speak...i still think Tarsem owes Romanek and Trent a few thousand bucks for stealing their vulture shot, though...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Oh and By The Way-

    by Jack D. Ripper


  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Last bit before i go take a breather...

    by XTheCrovvX

    JUst for the curious, the movie is number 1 this weekend...made 17 million, which, by box office standards, isnt too shabby...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:33 p.m. CST

    So it had awesome visuals...that's bad?

    by Fatal Discharge

    I'm so sick of people damning movies because of their great visuals or camerawork. These things are what the medium does than no other artform can do - so get over it. That's why I like a film like NATURAL BORN KILLERS despite the satire elements which really don't work, it's still a great film to watch and let the images flow over you. As for the THE CELL being sick and twisted, isn't that its intention? Why are these people going to a serial killer movie and being shocked? Seems Moriarty went in wanting to hate this movie from reading the 'awful script' but I can imagine the script for another visual feast 2001:A SPACE DYSSEY - apes discovering tools, spaceship docking with other spaceship for minutes on end, endless lighttrip (sounds terrible doesn't it). I don't agree with Ebert on everything either, no two people can. He gave bad reviews to RESERVOIR DOGS, BLUE VELVET and THE USUAL SUSPECTS for example but hey he said DARK CITY was the best film of its year and that film was attacked for being an empty visual feast just like THE CELL. Oh, and it just opened number one at the box office so there!

  • that the visual aspects WERE a bit mind blowing, even if the acting sucked, the plot holes were obvious and I will never want to see it again. But Tarsem has opened new ways to show a scene or represent subject matter, despite the horrid storyline and content he had to work with. And please, show a little respect and go easy. This is Tarsem's, NOT Tarzan's, first outing into the realm of film making and we all know that even the best in the business make mistakes. Spielburg and JP2 comes to mind. As well as others, so cut the guy a little slack, will ya?

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Moriarty...god damn you suck.

    by lester_long

    The Cell is a visionary and brilliant film not unlike Fight Club. And if everyone remembers correctly...films like A Clockwork Orange AND Fight Club were not appreciated in their time...and as for Moriarty...*passes a free ticket to Thomas and the Magic Railroad* If it's too hot for you...get out of the god damn kitchen.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:45 p.m. CST


    by BRUTUS3

    Haha, look! I made a funny. I changed Moriarty's name to Boriarty. Hahahahahahahah hahahahahaha ohhh, that was good.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Moriarty!

    by Tir Na Nog

    You said everything. EVERYTHING!!! I can only repeat a couple of points. The fact that some people will find this entertaining is sad, worrisome, awful, sick (insert adjective here). I had to go rent a comedy to get the taste of shit out of my brain afterwards. (Waiting for Guffman and a bottle of wine really worked. I'll have to remember that.) I happen to be a lover of eye-candy. And I can handle screen violence. But I have enough soul to realize they have be used by the filmmaker responsibly. Bottom line, cool images do not excuse worthless content. Oh, and Ebert? Retire.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Moriarty can't handle it....

    by happyjawa

    Wow,Moriarty did you miss this movie so completely!The Cell is far from being a terrible movie,you hack.After seeing it twice,and getting even more out of it the second time,this flick is surely a visiual stunner,and not to be missed. The story-good, was a up to par with any other well done psycho/thriller movies of the last 4-5 years,and Lopez did whisper WAY to much. But,the attention to detail and pure gritty feel to this film is to be commended. This was the Cell. You are being way to dorky about your reasons for hating this flick. It is now, more than ever, obvious that your taste is sticktly in your mouth,and you wouldn't know a good looking film if was stearing you in the the Cell. So for future reference,Mr. "let me tell you how it is,'cuz I know",please remain in the shallow end of the pool,and let true visionarys do there work. And all your talking of violence towards the director has me wondering if you have finally gotten a REAL job--LAPD???

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 2:02 p.m. CST

    does someone need to look up the definiton of surreal?

    by Alec Cawthorne

    -No film is altogether without merit. -While The Cell is in fact very 'cool to look at,' the visuals do serve a purpose. If this film is so repulsive to Moriarty, perhaps it was more effective than he thinks? -Get off Ebert's back. He may be getting more opinionated than critical these days, but he knows what he likes (rather than likes what he knows -which is how Moriarty's review reads). -The dream-like quality of this film is very much related to Kubrick. Though I would never suggest that this film is Kubrick-like, neither does Ebert (he merely implies the similarity between the 2001 'stargate' sequence and the 'entering the mind' graphics in The Cell). -The Cell is in no way the usual, studio/mainstream film, yet it has been subjected to the same studio marketing techniques that attempt to convince us that movies like The Perfect Storm were supposed to be good. Should you hate the film, because you might have been fooled into thinking that the film was something that it is not? Is that the fault of Tarsem Singh or anyone else who actually worked on the film?

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 2:03 p.m. CST

    What is wrong with D'Onofrio?

    by Reverendz

    or however you spell his name. I've seen him in some good flicks, but I've also seen him in some unbridled crap. Damn that guy doesn't know how to pick flicks. Now to the cell: there's nothing wrong with visuals, and I'm sure the cell will appeal to the goth in you, but I seriously doubt it will appeal to a whole lot of people. It'll probably end up as a cult film of some sort. Yeah it made 17 mil or so the opening weekend, but eh... Personally it looks shallow and trite, and god help me I couldn't stand losing my religion or Coppolla's Dracula. So... I doubt the visuals will appeal to me either. Plus I don't generally like movies about serial killers (silence of the lambs and se7en being the exceptions). So damn, why did I even write this? I dunno. I guess for once I'd have to agree with morifarty and say the money on this film could have been better spent on something else....but that's just my opinion________p.s., no I won't waste my money by seeing it first (before I make judgements on it), fuck that, I'm too broke to go around shelling out cash for movies that don't look appealing to me. I'll wait till it hits cable, and who knows, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 2:24 p.m. CST

    my rant

    by Studio Snitch

    "The Cell" should have fucking rocked! The cast was totally wrong and important scenes that developed the characters & story were glossed over or cut all together. "The Cell" was just eye candy to trick you out of $7. That's what happens when an MTV director gets a film as complex as this should have been. Don't get me wrong...I don't mean any disrespect or offense and I hate to see people fail. I like the director's visual style, but it overwhelmed the story. That means that it was either irresponsible directing, or the film was taken away. Either way, the director is accountable if his name is on it. The director should be a dp, prod. designer, etc...anything but a feature director. His commercials & music videos may be nice, but that isn't the same as creating tension or making us care about characters, let alone keep us interested, in a feature. "The Cell" had a very complex script that was interesting and cool because it had a unique hook (it really was "Silence of the Lambs" with a splash of "The Matrix") that was played out by cool characters. No offense to the director, but it was just way to complex for a first timer. It needed someone reserved and experienced (think Jon Demme). I know it wasn't budgetary concerns or censorship that ruined this film from reading the was just a change of focus. The script was tense b/c of finding the last girl, escaping from Carl's mind, etc. Also, the characters were enriched every step of the way. In the film everything is just neutral & bland, even if it looks good. There was just no feeling in the film. It was a "so what" kind of movie. I'm guessing this is just another example of the looming strike forcing films into production...with anyone and everyone attached. I think it's good because it will force films to be made, but "The Cell" proves that quality will be sacrificed by rushing. (Please God, don't Harry Potter or Blade 2 suck b/c of rushing). That's my rant and I'm sticking to it.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 2:29 p.m. CST

    to Moriarity...

    by Studio Snitch

    Which draft did you read? Try the MGM one from

  • Sorry Moriarty but you must be some kind of an idiot to ever think the liberals are friends of freedom of speech. Tipper Gore and her PMRC ring a bell? How about Paul Simon and Janet Reno? How about how the blood from Columbine wasn't even dry before Clinton himself was on TV blaming movies, music in video games? And now Lieberman, threatening for Hollywood to clean up their act or he'll step in. Four years ago, all Dole did was slam Hollywood (never even hinted at threatening censorship) and we never heard the end of it. Forever he was branded as some kind of censorship hungry, let's blame the movies zeolot. Now we've got Leiberman talking about censorship, and for some reason, most liberals have looked the other way. It's also odd how many times he's evoked God in his politics, but if a Conservative says as much as God bless you after one sneezes their accused of violating the seperation of Church and State. Pretty pathetic. Face it, only true conservatives (one who want government with as little power as possible) and libertarians are the only people who trully believe in freedom of speech. Moral Majority conservatives and most liberals do not. They only defend freedom of speech when there political viewpoints have a vested interest in a particular free speech issue.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Gee, tell us how you REALLY feel.

    by SithScorp

    Thank you ever so much. I will avoid this PoS as though it were the plague... Let me guess about this as well. The music was some techno-drum-loop crap as well...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:05 p.m. CST

    You guys make me laugh sometimes

    by All Thumbs

    It's funny how some of you are blasting Moriarty on his review and then resort to telling him to fuck off and that he is a hack. I just love it. You're pissed because Moriarty has totally trashed this movie in a way we've ALL done when talking to one another. This is what we come here for; we come to read reviews and news written from a perspective similar to our own. No matter how harsh a review is, however, it should not be the only thing keeping you from seeing a movie like The Cell or What Lies Beneath (utter trash and I'm not sorry to say it). I myself cannot comment on The Cell because I'm not seeing it until Thursday, but I have never had high hopes for it being nothing more than a little eye candy. It's morbid curiousity that I am going to see this film. It's a train wreck I want to rubberneck. Anyways, whether or not I agree that The Cell is a piece of shit or that beating Tarsem for making this movie is the right thing to say, I know that Moriarty had a lot of balls for posting this review and his What Lies Beneath Review just by looking at all the shit he's taking on Talk Back. I would hate to be his e-mail box this weekend.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Tip of the hat to Moriarty

    by SDG

    All the cretins defacating in Moriarty's general direction because you have no idea what soul is anyway and regard THE CELL's eye candy as its own justification only prove his point.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:07 p.m. CST

    One more thing

    by All Thumbs

    I was just wondering if Tarsem Singh is the director's full name or did he leave off a last name, then leave off his middle name (Singh). It's my understanding that Singh is a middle name because Indian first names are unisex.

  • Not excellent, but surely not the piece of shit Moriarty claims it to be.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Ebert's getting old

    by DEX

    I, too, was a little puzzled by Ebert's rave review. Could it be that as an old dude, he's not familiar with imagery that's so prevalent in music videos? I mean it might seem innovative to him if he's never seen a Marilyn Manson video. Who would have thought that in the mind of a serial killer lives a fashion designer or an art director for some modern dance troupe? That's what people are responding to when they say the film looks cool, it's art direction. Tarsem is really nothing special and I think the art direction is "glamourous" bullshit. I don't think the morality of it is any worse than other movies, I just think it's a simple minded movie. I gotta take one more dig at Ebert - his age comes into play when discussing Fight Club, it seems that older, more conservative types tend to dismiss Fight Club without giving it more credit for its intelligence. His choice of Roeper as his permanent co-host is telling of the times too. Out of all the prospective co-hosts, he was the most entertaining but this guy is no movie critic. He just talks about the entertainment value of movies. There's a place for that but you also need some serious discussion of filmmakers on a show about movies. It really makes you miss Siskel.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Jesus, Moriarity - RELAX! It WAS NOT that bad!

    by Alex31sed

    Alright alright Moriarity, I think you've stepped over the line here. Not only did you ignorantly attacked Ebert, but you hated The Cell, for odd reasons. Vaughn? D'Onofrio? Lopez? They were just fine - they weren't going after an Oscar here for Christ's sake. And the visuals? HELL YEAH! The visuals were amazing, mind-blowing, extroardinary, and the best visuals I have ever seen in a theatre (yes, the visuals surpassed the ones in The Matrix). There were just so many beautiful colors and images, and haunting ones as well. I will say I didn't exactly agree with Ebert's "One of The Best Films of The Year" review, but I felt it was a visual feast that shocked the Hell outta me. I think you should let other critic's think for themselves. The world does not carry to you. And we all know Ebert could whoop your ass. Alex Out P.S. - It's Tarsem, TARSEM SINGH - Not Tarzan, ya moron!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Cell out

    by TallScott

    I saw the cell and I have to say I did not like it one bit..And im one for off the wall surreal movies..I was very dissapionted,,Its too bad that a talented video director would fial misrably on the big screen. One thing that I dont like about hollywood is how they make something so repusive like serial killers and turn them into romantic and carismatic people..Its quite disgusting..Think about Natural Born killers, american phycho and every bad guy serial killer in a detective movie you see late night on HBO and how they make someone who should be shot and left in a ditch a real man for the ladies..Am I right?

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 3:54 p.m. CST

    The Evil Genius May Be Right

    by simonyam

    I am fresh out of seeing The Cell, and what can I say--it was an experience, but it is one of those movies where you get out, start thinking about the movie, and it just falls apart. It may not be evil, but it is sloppy and weightless. I have no way of knowing if the screenplay was this lacking in focus and insight, but the final film certainly does. It takes "samples" of serial killer chic and puts them up there, comes up with an interesting idea or two, and goes nowhere with them. The film doesn't care about the characters. They had lots of opportunities to enhance the tension, the meaning--like with Vaughn's hinting at his own child abuse, or developing Lopez's child therapist skills--and they don't. Stargher is creepy--the scene where he fulfills his fantasy is skin-crawling. But it never adds up. The two big flaws that our Resident Evil Genius points out are unforgiveable. The "Entry" scene where Lopez thinks she's in the room and is actually in Stargher's mind--dumb dumb dumb. It is supposed to be misdirection, but there is no logic to the scene, and the music cues us to know it is fantasy, so there is no suspense. And then the end--holy God. She killed the guy, and it's no big whoop! And the parents of the kid are going to let her keep crawling around in their beloved son's head! Gimme a break! Wouldn't it have been more interesting to see Stargher wake up and confront his evil? Whoops, that sounds like we would enter the moral ground that Moriarty discusses. The movie is empty--pretty, intense at times--but empty nonetheless. I can't raise the same moral repugnance as him, but I am disappointed. Same old serial killer chic in a cyberspace package. And one last thing--Stargher's fantasies and his dog. His fantasies don't match up to anything, and his dog. Do they know anything about serial killers, the makers of this movie? Serial killers start out abusing and killing animals. And loving a dog shows he has empathy and kindness. Do we see the flaw here? Someone as warped as Stargher could not own, and care for a dog. Or any pet. It's stupid, it's sloppy, and so is the movie.

  • In regards to FIGHT CLUB, you DID fall into that trap.I liked the film a lot, it had some hard edged acting, with a "cheat" of an end that was a gamble with the director saying, "If they embrace this ending and buy into it, the film will be a critical hit." Well, we all know FANBOYS fell for that ending... which was just a lame cop-out to create some oh and aws. If it were clever, there would have been SOME FORESHADOWING for that ending ala Sixth Sense. There was NONE, no matter how muh you try to believe there was. Instead, it just came out of nowhere without any minor clues or even minor foreshadowing... in the screenwriting world it's called a "cheat" scene. Before everyone gets their panties in a ruffle, this is coming from someone who really liked that film. Unlike most fanboys, I can still like a film but not be blind to its faults... or I can still NOT like a film but pick out its positives. Another thing that fanboys just don't get, is that people have DIFFERENT opinions! Not every critic is going to like a movie or hate a movie. Ebert was impressed (as in Haunting) with the visual, surrealistic aspects of the film Moriarty... there's nothing wrong with that. It's like WHAT DREAMS MAY COME in a way... I love that film the amazing visual acspects. There's nothing wrong with that. MORIARTY, please don't fall into yet another trap... a trap of the evolving internet fanboy who thinks that they are the know all of film. Understand that different critics will like different things... different people will like a film for different reasons. Fine, you have your opinion, but GROW UP and don't be so self centered to thin k that your opinion is the grandest of them all. Ebert sent you a quick email, so what. He made a point... it wasn't a bitch slap, merely just comment. So what. Another thing about Ebert.... people here piss and moan that he gave NUTTY II thumbs up... he did because he thought it was a FUNNY film... not a masterpiece! You think he thinks that if he gives it FOUR STARS or whatever (ala CELL), that it compares to a fine film like PLATOON or something like that??? No, they're different films that he loved for different reasons. Get over it. It's funny how you think NATURAL BORN KILLERS is more politically justified than a film like THE CELL.... I laughed my ass off when you said that. Why?> Because it was made by Stone? What if Spielberg had made a film like this? It's ridiculous for you to say that a film about two lovers that go on a cross country killing spree with no justified reason, is gentler than a film that took place in a surrealistic world with images that were meant to represent the disturbed subconcious of a serial killer. I loved NBK, because it did make a small point about society and the media... but it had a lot of issues... issues that would be close to Hollywood making a film about the COLUMBINE shooting. But you know what, Tarzem is no more irresponsible than Stone. For the record, I like dTHE CELL a lot... mostly for its surrealism and imagery. It was missing a lot and I wouldn't saw it was even close to flawless. One thing is for sure, Lopez does have a big ass:)

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:08 p.m. CST

    harry hates bad movies

    by Godard?

    Harry tricked me into seeing two of the worst movies of all time: Pitch Black and The Patriot. If these two pieces of gutter tripe aren't pure eye candy, then I don't know what is... The Cell wasn't great, but it was better than those two visual shitpiles. Give it a try if you're bored on a Saturday afternoon and you don't mind gore or Jennifer Lopez's shitty acting.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Moriarty liked THE STORY OF US for gods sake!

    by Obscure Homage

    I specifically remember Drew McWeeny (aka Moriarty) praising The Story Of Us as one of the top five best movies of 1999 a few weeks before its release. The way I see it, there are two types of film buffs in this world: Those who think The Story Of Us was one of the best movies of 1999, and those who thought it was a laughable piece of shit. I also remember this retarded retard comparing The Mummy with Raiders of the Lost frickin Ark!! If anyone decides to not see The Cell based solely on Drew's review, I feel sorry for them, because they'll be missing out on one of the most important movies of the year. My guess is Drew is reacting with a toddler level of hostility because the brass at New Line rejected all the lame fucking scripts he's written in the past few years. Drew's intelligence excels to the point where he can coin the phrase "festering bag of vomit" but he can't pinpoint the contrast between Carl Stargher's abuse that led him to debauchery and Vince Vaughn's abuse that led him down the opposite path to law enforcement. The Cell is mysterious, disturbing, and it forces the viewer to think about the world from a unique perspective. The fact that Drew hates it with a passion indicates how great it really is. Just for the record: Being John Malkovich is one of the most overrated films of the 90's.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Moriarty is right

    by Berserker's Back

    Moriarty is right, this movie is trash, and visually isnt even that cool. Part of direction is having it MAKE SENSE. All of you are simply crediting Tarsem or whatever the hell he wants to be called for having a good if somewhat whacked costume designer. This movie was a moral vaccuum - sure, maybe that's ok with you, but if it's going to be a good thinking movie, it needs to at least consider the scope of what it is doing past simple chills and thrills which really werent even that well delivered. All of you are attacking Moriarty for making this "personal," ignoring the fact that schmos like Lieberman (Why the Republican bashing? All they care about is money. Tipper and Joe are DEMOCRATS.) are going to make it very personal for us all when they tell Valenti (ANOTHER DEMOCRAT, worked for LBJ!) to cut down on good movies while this crap keeps slipping through. As for Ebert, no way in hell is he conservative - he attacked Fight Club for being FASCIST. That showed he wasn't paying much attention, but also remember that he loved Pleasantville, not because of the cinematography, and certainly not because of the gaping plot holes, but because of its attack on the Fifties, a decade in which Ebert evidently couldnt get laid. If memory serves he even got a shot in at Eisenhower (who, like, only helped save the world, but is a Republican, so...) in his Cell review. Did Eisenhower molest you as a child, Ebert? The result is that any movie with political content is now judged by Ebert based on that - leaving a lot of good movies out and allowing technogeek crap like this and to a lesser extent the overrated rehash Dark City (it was a good film, don't get my wrong, but it was not one of the all time greats!) to capture his feeble imagination. Grow up, Roger, you use to be better than this.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Fight Club

    by zuuzuu

    FIGHT CLUB is a fabulous movie, and it pisses me off that it's not getting the credit it deserves as a serious film, and not just a nice-to-look-at spectacle of brutality. And you know what, I've been disagreeing with Roger Ebert a lot lately. I thought AMERICAN BEAUTY was ultimately shallow and poorly executed to boot, and RE sticks it in his Top 10. And he liked that cheesy shit THE CROUPIER. I can't think of other specific examples off the top of my head right now, but lately I've been finding RE to be an unreliable opinion.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Moriarty's review dissected.

    by LeonardTheLizard

    Harry, I have to tell you. I don

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:28 p.m. CST

    To Simonyam....valid points, but, they require clarification..

    by XTheCrovvX

    "Someone as warped and disturbed as Stargher could not own or care for a dog..." Not so...i think its pretty clear that while he has his sick obsessions, its not altogether unfeasible for him to have a care and love for the case you werent listening, the dog was other, less PC terms, a dont find it believeable that Stargher couldnt have found a bit of a spiritual mate there? He knows he's just as much a reject and outcast as that for the " already in..." scene....ive chalked that up to Catherine being half asleep...i wish Tarsem could've let us know that, but its little things like that that prevent the film from reaching the full capabilities that it damn well could've..BUT, i read somewhere that the MPAA made Tarsem cut a lot of shit out of the film as a whole... yet again, can we just praise our respective higher beings for the invention of the DVD player?? Either way, from what i see, there are two kinds of people when it comes to this flick...either you didnt like it for whatever your reasons might be, or you liked it, and recognize it for being "good, but could've been a masterpiece had they not fucked up in some areas" far, though, everyone agrees the visuals rock, and i concur.....what i also see is that everyone has SOME small gripe with something Moriarty said in his, if the good doctor is listening, methinks you owe us a few extra words....especially in the area of this whole hypocritical "we need to show responsibility for what we take pleasure in" viewpoint....personally, the problem with movies music and TV as it is today anyway is that conservatism is slowly creeping in, and threatening to take away people's rights to be angry, pissed, to see, say, hear whatever the hell we want...why should good movies get chopped to hell because parents dont have the ovarian fortitude(thank you Mick Foley :-) ) to NOT bring their bratty-ass kid to an R movie? Why are teenybopper sensations who try to elicit fake smiles from their audience getting far more attention than some of the best rockers out there today, by making it shameful for one to be angry? Its pathetic...well, i for one will go down fighting for years if it means that people have the right to say whatever the fuck they want without being crucified for being "irresponsible to the american public"...the american public is responsible for what they do and do not one else.... as for movies, the MPAA should have one slap a rating on the damn thing...not to judge what parts of the movie we shouldnt, Moriarty, if youre really that hard up for good clean wholesome fun, without having to feel guilty about how "enjoyable" a serial killer is, i believe Thomas the Tank Engine is playing still....Revolution is my name...

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Moto, did you even watch Fight Club?

    by Berserker's Back

    There are DOZENS of places that foreshadow the plot twist - they're just not limply hanging there, as in Sixth Sense, and instead of being the whole movie, they give it layers of depth. Plus, they explain a lot of potential plot holes (like the sleep deprivation) well. Example: Tyler "in the basement" telling Jack what to say to Marla - leaving Marla confused as to what is going on, and being a nice simple of Tyler being "in the basement" of Jack's mind.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the review - will avoid at all costs.

    by Stefka

    I don't think anyone is going to read this but I was acutally interested in this movie. Glad I'll save the mula.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:56 p.m. CST

    This site has gone to shit! How dare you insult Ebert you silly

    by Richard_Simmons

    Girls, I gotta tell you, this site has gone to shit! You guys are realllllly low. Mr. Ebert invited Harry to come on his show to review movies with him a few months ago and now you guys are insulting him? Where's your fucking mannors? That was publicity for your site! I guess you guys are pissed cause he probably doesn't want your lame views expressed on his show anymore. Drew, you are nothing compared to Roger. He offers un-biased reviews while you offer the opposite. Film Threat has already told me why you loved Armageddon so much and I have a damn good feeling the final cut of The Grinch will get a gleaming review from you. I can't believe AICN pays you to write this horseshit. The only reason you wrote this is to try and get back at Mr. Ebert. So he e-mailed you and said you feel for Fight Club? That was a private e-mail he sent you, not for the world to see. In his Fight Club review he published, I didn't see him bashing Drew McWeeny for enjoying Fight Club. Shame on you for being immature about things. Also, TARSEM is far from being a talentless hack you jealous little queen. And what is wrong with the word FAGGOT? I have no problems with the word and I get called one all the time. I hate it how some of my fellow anal intruders are so uptight about that word. This review is the reason AICN will someday crumble and we can all rejoice! Dickie

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:59 p.m. CST

    The most intriguing quote of this review

    by Jobriga2

    "I have seen many Evil things in my time. George Lucas and his necksack." Looks like Moriarty isn't over his "Banned From the Ranch" pouting yet.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 4:59 p.m. CST

    moriarty=pathetic,jealous,immature,completely unprofessional

    by MrMajestyk

    "Moriarty"'s predicably long-winded tirade about The Cell reveals a great deal about the man.His opening statements of doubt,fed by reading the screenplay and hating it,paint an embarrassingly sad picture.A perfect example of this is a sentence from Ebert's review(whom "Moriarty" bashes,even though none of us will ever agree with anyone on their review of EVERY film):"I don't seek out advanced information on a film because I like to go in with an open mind."How much more plainly can it be put? Going into the theater to see a MOVIE,to be transported,to be entertained for a short time with a hope to see something unique and maybe even great? "Moriarty" chose not to do that.He sought the script,read and hated it,presumably in service to us and the reason of this site,in providing information on interesting and COOL films.No thanks,bro.Referring to the director,whose name in the credits I believe was TARSEM SINGH,as Tarzan repeatedly,was pathetic and a bad attempt at humor.Obviously,when they announced "weird-one-name-music-video-director-guy" as the director of this film,lots of cretins like "Moriarty" harped on it so much,they added the last name.Get over it,the man doesn't have a name like Tom or Bill,don't make a joke out of it.It's fucking sad and grade-school behavior.Comparing The Cell to Silence of The Lambs and Se7en(which other critics'doing seems to have outraged him)shows his lack of originality and bias for it to measure up to them.By the way,I love Kubrick,and 2001 had some visual treats,but I find the film extremely boring and not at all deep.Guess what?That was my opinion,just like assholes,everyone's got 'em.The Cell involved me and the friend I saw it with,who is a filmmaker."Moriarty" and Ebert are not.Critics offer opinions,not racist,rage-filled manifestos.The weak censorship cry is troubling and his pathetic politics do not belong in a review of a FICTIONAL story,A MOVIE.Be ashamed.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, you are wrong on ever point you make in this movie. I

    by Samthelion

    a movie of this calibre. Whenever a movie ventures into the ideological, and attempts to take challenging issues on instead of merely presenting them, it is almost always dumped upon by critics like yourself who refuse to go a level below. And, indefinitely, critics like yourself attack it for being genrematic, which is the same thing they did to EYES WIDE SHUT for being slow-moving and containing of a "Jake the Explainer" ending, while having a mystery that seems slightly less than compelling (if only because they can't follow what's happening to the protagonist). It's easy to get into a movie like SE7EN, because the story is so sight. But can you really look me in the eye and tell me that the movie is about anything other than the straight fact that "Evil exists?" Where is the HOPE in that film? Where's the hope in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS? It's that "sometimes good can catch evil, but there's a greater evil that will evade you, and that you also must tap into at some point." And you fail to see the hope in THE CELL? It's about saving people . . . and for the record I'm not really sure that we're sure that Stargher is dead . . . it's about getting into someone's mind and trying to take their pain on. It's not a movie about depravity and evil as much as it is about salvation. And that word scarcely shows up in your review though it is the key element of the film: There are two different, breaking arcs and each one leads to a main character saving someone. I would love to challenge you point by point on your observations, but I don't believe you will. You, like Owen Glieberman of EW, are good at using glib obversations and clever, often leaning toward vulgar, prose to cover up the fact that you are unwilling to take in a movie like this simply because it failed to entertain you. And when you like a movie, you remove this supposed "objectivity" to talk about how powerful movies are and how it makes a big big mind like yours crumble and you turn into a little child . . . I've seen it before. And I find it extremely immature that you waste your time bashing another critic's response: particularly by breaking down a partial analogy that he made about 2001, by attacking the critic and bringing up something totally unrelateable about Fight Club. The comparisons to the other films take our minds off of your dwindling points, which makes us only say, "You've seen a lot of movies." I don't think I'll hear from you, but I'm glad my opinion will be if someone ever decides to read the talkbacks - though I don't think many do. Write me an email if you wish to go further. Unfortunately, both the review and the reviewer are like a boxer who dances around in the ring for a whole fight and refuses to directly take on his stronger opponent. For fifteen rounds people will watch, and you might convince them you have the strength and power to win - if only you'd fight dead on. But though both though you put on this guise over their eyes, and give the impression of endurance . . . you still lose. Sir, you disappoint me.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 5:53 p.m. CST

    I agree wholeheartedly with Leonard the Lizard

    by Obscure Homage

    That was fucking brilliant man. I hope everyone has a chance to read it with the profound realization that Drew McWeeny has no business passing himself off as a serious film analyst on this site. The person who was responsible for the abomination that is the Amusements scripts should not be passing judgement on the level of severity with which he attacks The Cell. I pledge my allegiance to Leonard the Lizard, and the others who follow that realize that Drew McWeeny gives AICN (and movies in general) a bad name.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Not taking sides, but I think it should be pointed out...

    by Lightstormer

    Nick Nightengale knew this day would come. He predicted Moriarty's contempt-filled review back in the TalkBack re: Fincher and "Panic Room." This was from 8/18: "I'm sure Drew will write an overly negative review of The Cell that reeks of self indulgence (probably because the good people at New Line Cinema didn't bestow the AICN crew with advance screenings or merchandise) even though it's clearly one of the best movies of the year so far." There at least is prescient knowledge of Moriarty's disdain; It points to the notion that Mort was going to hate this movie no matter how it turned out. Now... I haven't seen The Cell yet, but it really sounds like I'm either going to be really impressed or extremely disappointed. But what other movies fall under this category? Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Big Lebowski, Fight Club, Brazil, Boogie Nights, Dogma, Natural Born Killers, ANYTHING by Kubrick.... I'm sure everybody has a favorite just in that list alone. Personally, I hated Boogie Nights and thought Oliver Stone shoulda been smacked in the head over NBK, but that's just me. At any rate, judging by the conviction of those who have spoken out thus far on the film, it sounds like it least gets to you one way or another. This to me means that Tarsem's work had a pretty strong effect, regardless of it being negative or positive. I remember Tarantino discussing Pauline Kael's review of "Bonfire of the Vanities." Something to the effect of, "De Palma screwed the film up, but only in a way that a really great filmmaker can." Is Tarsem worthy of similar damning by faint praise? I dunno. Hopefully, I'll like the film. (Just to be safe, though, I'll use free passes on this one.) ;-) Lightstormer out.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Mort I have to ask if we saw the same movie?

    by Fallenpisces

    This is the first time I have participated in a talkback. I feel that Mortiarty is biased, and somewhat jaded. I don't mean to insult you but I have to ask, what is your IQ? Are you an intelligent person? After reading your review, you do not appear to be that intelligent. Once again I'am not trying to slam you but you seem as if you couldn't properly comprehend this movie for what it really was. Are you an immature person or maybe just young? I ask because you come off that way in your review, as if you don't quite have enough experience in life or the wisdom to fully comprehend what your senses are showing you. You blatantly attack people and concepts in your review with all the fortitude of a 12 year old. Slamming who or whatever you can just so you can feel justified in your horrible contempt of the movie. Censorship, come on Harry talk to Mort. on this. Movies have a right to express what ever they wish to, it's all about freedom. This movie is hardly dangerous, disturbing yes, dangerous...I don't think so. Jennifer Lopez in fuck me pumps... Mort now you are comming off like a guy who doesn't interact with women a lot. Am I right on this. Do you have an active sex life or are you intimidated by attractive women? Not trying to be rude but this is how you come across. The meat to this is...Eye Candy, yes. Alluring, enticing eye candy, the kind of eye candy that makes you want more. Sets, costumes images were all beautifully done in a hauntingly disturbing fashion. Empty plot, no way. Did we see the same movie? Maybe you are not intelligent enough to understand the plot in the movie...It's strong, it's there. For your plot flaw.. you were not listening (maybe not even watching!) they explianed that there is a brief moment of confusion before entering the mind of another...That's what happened. That's how why she was in the room trying to hit the circiut breaker, it was her mind not his. Seconds later she enters his mind..the movie shows this, maybe you need to see it again (and pay attention this time), then you might better understand it. Any way I could go on and on. I thought it was brilliant, disturbing and truely entertaining. Unfortunatley after reading your review, I wish that you would step down from AICN and stop reviewing movies. (At least until you grow up and can fully understand them) THE FALLEN ONE HAS SPOKEN!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by dragon_lad

    Morality is subjective. It's not irresponsible filmmaking that's making the world a bad place anyway, it's people talking about irresponsibility and then making laws about it. Child's Play 3 was banned in the UK thanks to a Nazi-esque propaganda assault in the tabloids over it's irresponsible content causing a boy's death (the killers had a copy of Childs Play 3 in their house). Maybe the same will happen to the cell. On the plus side CP3 became huge on the black market over here... And Moriarty, shame on you for making a shameful attempt to get your own back on Roger. Oh you may say that it's not, but you know damn well the reason you wrote the review.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 6:55 p.m. CST

    I liked The Cell...

    by Jason Blood

    Tarsem's listed as Tarsem Singh in the actual film, not just Tarsem like in early cuts. Jennifer Lopez' voice has nothing to do with anything. Vaughn's role didn't require him to sing and dance, and I think he did a pretty good job as the FBI agent. The way Lopez "resolves" Stargher's storyline can't be proved by anybody, so why would she be indicted for murder? (Though I did wonder why Vaughn was suspended from his job at the end.) The "cardboard" cut-outs played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, et al, weren't intended to be fleshed-out characters in the first place, so what's the big deal? Having a no-name actor play a bit part instead of having well-known actors play supporting roles will somehow make the movie better? It was a good film, entertaining, the visuals were amazing, yes, but it was also an interesting story, and what more can you ask from a movie? You want to see a complete piece of crap, go see Coyote Ugly.

  • old,rich people who were rich at a young age dont get movies like fight club and natural born killers. you think roger ever thought about the guy his limo driver pays the money for gas to? you think he gives a shit about the drive through window worker at that fast food place he sends his house boy to to get him a haaaaamburger? i would go on into detail about how people in this kind of system never really see or remember the real world for how it is ...but i said id make it short. but all the people know what im talking about....except for those who get a kick out of puff daddy 80s song renditions.... and i dont think we have to many of those here.......

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Leonard The Lizard, Well Said!!!!

    by AnamorphicRulez!

    I have to say you really broke down what I didn't want to be bothered with Moriarty's review. Everyone should read what you have said.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, that was one of the most unprofessional, biased, and h

    by Psyberia

    Let's get one thing straight first. I too didn't enjoy the movie. I walked out feeling like I just lost $8.50. And I did. But your review was on the brink of total crap. I can't believe you would revert to name-calling, invalid film comparisons, and film thrashing on the same styles that you enjoyed in other movies. I think what happened was that you went in their with the expectations that this movie would knock your socks off and it didn't. Shame on you. And Tarzan? What's up with that? I want to see you disagree again with Harry (like on the 3rd trailer to XMen), and say "That Hairy Fatass doesn't know shit about anything." See how he takes it, and see how the talkbackers take it. I personally haven't heard such unprofessionalism since Rex Reed said that Dick Tracy was and always will be a crappy movie because Madonna was in it. His reasoning? "She seems like the sort of person who has stains in her underwear. She can't act. She can't sing. She's horrible." I may not be a big fan of hers, but still it's that kind of talk that has *nothing* to do with a movie that somehow gets into a review. Why? What's your purpose? Keep up the "good" work, Moriarty, and leave out the "crap" that belongs in the tabloid articles or entertainment news programs.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 8:38 p.m. CST

    So, this was supposed to be a review?

    by HobGoblin

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Moriarty misses the point again

    by 7samurai

    It's funny that you should mention Natural Born Killers and Fight Club in your pan of the tremendous new film, The Cell. These two films are arguably the two worst and most misdirected films of the past decade. The Cell on the other hand, tells a story about victims. Like Dead Man Walking, this movie relates to all sides involved and doesn't apologize for people being the way they are. Those other two movies simply miss the point and don't really offer consquinces to the actions of the main characters. I am relived to see films going in new directions and am actually excited to see this filmed get panned by so many because that usully indicates a film that is ahead of its time. The Cell is incomparrible. One does not have to bring up Silence of the Lambs to acknowledge this film's greatness. We need only to continue to watch this film and admire the film techniques used to tell this story. Why would we want the killer's mind explained? The religious and lost childhood elements are only facts of the killers mind, not explanations. This movie only wants to tell the story of horrific events, not make excuses for the killer. You are missing the film's intentions and only focusing on making up reasons why you could not enjoy this movie. Go back to watching Fight Club and cheering mindless and irrelevant destruction.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 8:59 p.m. CST

    No, on second thought I'm not done...

    by HobGoblin

    I am one of the many people on this site who were banned for mentioning the infamous "McWeeny" name before Moriarty decided it was no longer worth his time to bother with people writing it here. Now, I read your review and you refer to Tarsem as TARZAN??? Not only is that A BIT out of sync with your own problems of name dropping, but it just was not funny! Jesus, I thought writers had a sense of comedy, my man. While you were doing this hatchet job on The Cell (I liked it and don't care if you didn't or not), did you take two seconds to think about what level of stupidity you were dropping to when you suggested violence against Tarsem? Here's an idea: how about if everyone who hated your review found out where you lived and kicked the shit out of you? Sound good? Of course not- it would horrible for that to happen and you should apologise to everyone on this site for it. -- Had a problem because Ebert thought you were wrong in your Figh Club review? GET OVER IT. No one cares about your personal problems with Ebert (and adults allow personal e-mails to remain just that). -- Have a problem with the word "faggot"? Me too, but not when it's used to underline the harshness of a character in a movie. The word was supposed to make you mad, Moriarty- where are your brains? Getting a reaction- this is what writers do. Also, try to do your job and prevent yourself from being a moral compass for us all, okay, pal? Either write about movies or politics, but let's put a kybosh on the whole thought police thing. Still after reading this review, maybe you should write about politics- you damn sure aren't equipped to be writing movies reviews. Let me know when you grow up, partner. This whole review reeks of immature child and I'm done even responding to your insipid ranting. I already have one messiah, and don't need another.--- P.S. The "stomped like a narc at a biker rally" line is Dennis Miller's- get your own shtick for God's sake. Sorry I'm not your friend. HA

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Tarsem's last name...

    by KingKrypton Dhandwar, according to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's summer movie preview. I have no idea where the "Singh" came from, unless it's his middle name.

  • Alright, so I guess there were a few. I'm sorry, butthe film is still VERY overrated even though I still like that film a lot. It was a cheated end... that didn't truly pan out until the bar scene wher eh ewas told that he had just been there. I t could have been handled much better story wise... rather than underminding much of what had happened. But hey, you won't back down and I won't so I guess we're both screwed. ABOUT EBERT NOT UNDERSTANDING BECAUSE HE'S RICH AND ALL THIS SHIT... well, I'm not rich, and I understood that it was a preachy film that eventually said anarchy was the answer. That's the truth. I ejnoyed it's ideas, and it DID give you something to think about our society... but when fanboys praise it as the best of the 90's or whatever, give me a break.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Take a chill pill Moriarty

    by Dash_Riprock

    IT'S JUST A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me get this straight. You admit to picking your friends on the basis of their opinion of one movie. ONE FREAKIN' MOVIE. "Hi. I'm Moriarty. Welcome to the interview to be my friend. Hmmmmmmmm..... so you've killed six people and are keeping your mother in your freezer in case one day she 'wakes up'. That's great. You like to eat dog poo. Wow. That's super. O.K. I'll hang out with you only if you tell me whether you liked 'The Cell' or not. No? I'm sorry. We could have been great friends but you failed. There was only one requirement I need all my friends to have. Hate 'The Cell' with every ounce of their strength. You see, Roger Ebert and I used to be friends. We used to go out to those all-you-can-eat buffets but since this steaming pile of doggie doo-doo was released I have become an intolerent jerk. I hope when you buy the dvd to this trash there is an accident and the disc fly's out of the player and decapitates you while your family watches in horror. I hope every theatre this garbage is playing in burns to the ground and any innocent people who die in the process probably deserve it. Nobody should be within 800 miles of the filth anyway!" If I had a friend who got pleasure from watching a true snuff movie or child pornography then, yeah, that would make me think twice about our friendship as I turned him into the cops. If I had a friend who thought 'The Cell' was kind-of-cool well so be it. I'm not going to lose sleep over someones opinion of an overlong music video. Some people think Kenny G is a genius-I think he sucks chickens. So be it. That's what makes us different. If everybody liked all the same things what a boring world we would live in. Actually, now that I think about it, I couldn't be friends with a Kenny G fan. I wouldn't be able to stop laughing. Dash-Riprock has spoken.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Ebert Hated Gladiator

    by cyt

    I don't get Ebert anymore. Thumbs up for Phantom Menance and Thumbs down for Gladiator?!!! I still enjoy reading his reviews but I don't trust his taste in movies.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:20 p.m. CST


    by Locoduck

    bare with me for a minute i got a couple of things all should hear. first off i can explain moriartys behavior, the poor man has snapped at a season of dissappointments. not one movie yet this season has 100% knocked the socks off of everyone, and its takin its tow on everyone, just bare thru it mor. i write reviews for a local newspaper and tonight i went to see the cell. i walked into the theater behind a family of four, two adults and two preteen daughters. as walking in i tapped the mother on the back, and i warned her about what i had heard,,,she knew nothing, her kids wanted to see miss lopez. i told her to be ready to cover their eyes, ALOT. i sat behind them, i was curious to see what would happen. the kids like the opening, i heard wow look, horsy. that kind of thing,,,,then the kid turned evil and the youngest got quiet. this family didn't remain in the theater very long. the kids made it to the freak show that played like a marylin manson video. both began crying like freaks. Let this be a lesson to all parents, the parents i tried to warn tonight, are typical of all parents, no brains. the kids are doomed to a few nightmares,,not because of Tarsem, not because of "irresponsible hollywood" but because of their parents. despite all of this i saw the cell for what it really is,,an excersice. it tests its audiences threshold for the bizzare. some will laugh it off and call it awful, some will be seduced and call it spellbinding, others will take it for entertainment, some will be terrifyied beyond all belief, and if parents have anything to do with it,,,it'll scar children!

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Best Talkback Ever!

    by Saluki

    Really, this one is the best I have read. I thought "The Cell" was one of the most beatiful, visually impressive and disturbing movies I have seen. I suppose it is just one of those movies where the majority hates it (Starship Troopers, The Messanger) yet I enjoy to no end. I can deal with that. Most of the flaws stated in the review are quite true, but have very minor impacts on the actual movie. Love it or Hate it for most people on this one.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:36 p.m. CST

    moriarty , you better sleep with one eye open....

    by BYOBkenobi

    You dont enjoy much you fat fuck, dont you? Just because its a MOVIE (a.k.a. moving pictures!) doesnt mean it has to have all the developmental requirements YOU think it should have. You CLEARLY missed the boat on this film. just because you didnt like it, doesnt mean you should create detractors to stop people from seeing the film. This entire website has been under fire for shitty journalistic morality, now you can add the category of objectivity not being part of your vocabulary. Stop preaching your shit, you're no better than anyone. this website is going down in a fiery downspiral, and its all because of blowhards such as yourself creating such a fuss over nothing.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:36 p.m. CST

    now it's personal

    by shinshock

    i was reading through the piles of talkback about this movie and i agreed and disagreed with most of it (jennifer lopez is hot, this movie doesn't have a moral leg to stand on, but then again why does it need to?) until i got to el mariochi's criticism of swingers. this happens to be one of my favorite comedies of all time. vince vaughn gives his first (and best performance). although i was slightly disappointed with vaughn's acting in this movie (i don't think the screenplay gave him enough room to evolve as a real character) i highly disagree with el mariochi's criticism of vaughn and swingers. (swingers rules is what i basically should have said from the beginning, no one wants to read another long message post on this already bloated message board).

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:39 p.m. CST

    How to read an Ebert review

    by ImInChargeHere

    I usually don't post because I don't have the patience to read through 500 previous posts to see if someone's already said what I want to say, but I feel the need to explain to you all what Roger Ebert is all about. I always read his reviews, and I always know after reading them whether I want to see the movie. And the one thing you have to remember about him: he is a sucker for visual effects. He makes no secret about it either. He constantly says in his reviews, "I always appreciate it when a movie shows me something I haven't seen before." That is why Ep. I got a good review: it had amazing visual effects. When I saw the commercials for The Cell, I knew Roger Ebert would have a soft spot for it. Having read his review, I realized that I probably wouldn't want to see it. That's what makes him a good reviewer. I read his mediocre review for The X-Men, and decided I wanted to see it. I read his good review for The Cell, and decided I didn't want to see it. Every reviewer has biases. Roger Ebert makes his clear. And he never goes on pages long, incoherent rants making fun of the director's name, threatening his life, and failing to point out a single good thing about a movie. Yes, there are movies that I think he completely missed the boat on, but movie reviewing is an art, not a science.

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:39 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, and

    by shinshock

    i agree with saluki, this was the best talkback i've read in a while

  • Aug. 20, 2000, 11:42 p.m. CST

    max california got it right

    by shinshock

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:15 a.m. CST

    So how do you really feel Moriarty?

    by Batutta

    You know, I'm not really sure if you liked the movie or not...Roger Ebert has lost his mind, but I knew that years ago. Anyone who could give DIE HARD I two stars and DIE HARD II three and a half loses all credibility with me. I think he's right about FIGHT CLUB though. Fincher's nothing but a wheezy macho poser.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:27 a.m. CST

    But costumes!

    by Lazarus Long

    I think Moriarty is wayyyyy over the edge on this one. And not because he hated the film, but because he's holding up Seven (or Se7en, as some idiots here like to say) and Silence of the Lambs as supreme examples of filmmaking while The Cell is immoral. As someone pointed out earlier, at least The Cell doesn't have you rooting for Vincent D'Onofrio and laughing at all his one-liners. Silence of the Lambs, made it okay to not only laugh at, but not even question the complete moral depravity of a film's "villan". Some could consider Lector the "hero" of SOTL because he "helps" Clarice solve the murder. And as for the victim in The Cell, exactly how much do you know about ANY of the victims in Seven, or the girls that Buffalo Bill takes? Your line of reasoning is a little hypocritical. And I don't know why anyone's dragging Fight Club into this, because Fight Club was NOT a genre film like all these others. Of course a serial killer film is not going to give you much to think about afterwards except the imagery. So why go on and on about how evil it is? I was disappointed after seeing The Cell myself, but I'm not on a rampage. Cool visuals, cool costumer, cool idea, final product was alright. But hey, Bram Stoker's Dracula had a shitty script, a terrible lead performance by Keanu, a weak supporting perf by Winona, scenery chewing from Hopkins, and people will excuse it because of the cool visuals and hold it up as a geek classic. The Cell isn't a complete piece of shit. Tarsem definitely has some creativity with composition, and hopefully he can channel it better next time. CHILL OUT!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, you are SO wrong...

    by Chasuk

    D'Onofrio was brilliant in this film, and has now become one of my favorite actors. And "The Cell" is my favorite film of this year. Even Jennifer Lopez was adequate, and this is speaking in the acting sense, and she was so_perfect_ as the ultimate delectable eye candy that her performance was almost irrelevant. Vince Vaughn merely was, bringing nothing to his role, nor subtracting. The scense where Vaughn hints at his own history of abuse was wonderful because it was so understated. The plot holes exist, but they gape no larger than the holes in dozens of films that you have praised. I will now watch any film which Tarsem Singh has directed (where did this "Tarzan" shit come from?). Incidentally, I watched this film with five literate film-goers, and two intelligent teenagers (aged 16 and 13), and we all loved it without exception. Even my wife, who found "Raiders of the Lost Ark" unbearably suspenseful, sat through this entire film for the power of the visual imagery. I don't know what film you saw, Moriarty, but it certainly wasn't the same film we watched Friday night.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Cartoon Lopez was watching on her fat can

    by coorswhite

    Hello, hello, the Cell sucked yadda yadda yadda. However something can be salvaged from the $8.50 i lost. Does anyone know the name of that trippy cartoon Lopez was watching at home in the movie? It had aliens with big red eyes and blue bodies and they had a human as a pet. I stumbled home stoned and drunk one night and kinda remember watching some of it on tv but didn't catch the name and suprisingly forget to check the listings the next day. Can someone be a lamb and fill me in on the name of that cartoon so i can smoke some dope and watch it? Thanks mucho

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 2:02 a.m. CST

    Stop beating around the bush

    by Vern

    Did you like it or not? Ha ha ha ha only kidding ha ha ha get it? Because it was so obvious you didn't like it. Ha ha just kidding. Anyway Moriarty I think you are going a LITTLE over the top in the moral outrage department but this is the best review I read of the movie. Your description of it being directed by a robot is the most accurate i've heard. I wish you could hang it on the wall instead of watch it, it is a nice looking movie. But jesus I wish they would have come up with some characters or something. One thing that would have made it better, I think vince vaughn's character should have been just named vince vaughn. And the reason he got hired is because he played Norman Bates. So he got into the mind of a serial killer. Now he is an expert so he tracks down serial killers between movies. then at the end they could show him filming swingers or jurassic park part 2 or whatever. it would be great, in my opinion. just my two cents. --Vern

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Sweet Sweetback and Leonard the Lizard...

    by Boogabear

    Both of you are quite right! 'Sweet' is on the money in his criticism of Moriarty: how CAN you call 'The Cell' irresponsible when holding 'The Silence of the Lambs' up as virtuous? And Leonard, I couldn't have written a better response myself. 'The Cell' wasn't the deepest film I've ever seen, but it was visually stunning in many parts and its use of visuals to explore several of the most important modern art styles of the 20th century was well worth the price of admission. I think many of the posters here are right: Moriarty really just DIDN'T understand what it was he was seeing. The visuals were WAY over his head. Which is fine, but ADMIT that first. It sounds like McWeeny has a serious inferiority complex and lets this interfere with his objectivity. There's passion and then there's prejudice...

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 7:38 a.m. CST

    One other thing...

    by Boogabear

    Oh, and one other thing: there was no "justification" for why Stargher did what he did. He was obviously abused and psychologically damaged, but Vaughan and Lopez's characters actually DEBATE the cause and effect issue in the film. Vaughan's character actually takes the William Petersen position from 'Manhunter': He feels terribly for the CHILD who underwent such trauma and abuse, but he wants to (and WILL, if he has to) kill the ADULT who makes the decision later to go around killing and torturing innocent people.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 8:01 a.m. CST

    All I can say is... DAMN!

    by cramil

    That was the most amazing treatise that I have ever read on what it wrong with american cinema today. It pains me to have to tell my wife that I don't want to see the vapid piece of shit that she wants to see this weekend just because the image mill that is Hollywood has managed to craft another trailer, or commercial that makes the piece of shit that they've cut together this week look like it's worth plopping down eight bucks. And it seems that anymore when she tries to use that "Well Ebert gave it a thumbs up" defense, I know that I'm in for a less than memorable evening. Anyway, for what it's worth, I'm with you. If we can just get the sheep out there to stop going to see films like this one, just because the talking heads tell us to, maybe we can influence the makers of this filth, to put out more of a quality product.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Ebert afraid of Challenging films??? You are SO wrong Moriarty!

    by Josef K

    IS The Cell worth 4 stars, no...3 maybe. But to claim Ebert doesn't support challenging films because he didn't love Fight Club is beyond wrong. He is the only critic to place Being John Malkovich as the top film of 1999. He was also the only critic to pace Dark City as the top film of 1998. He craves orginality and risk-taking, which is what he admired most about The Cell. Film is a relative art. It means different things to different people. But now he is "out of his mind"??? You are ole evil one. Ebert is the most open minded critic still out there. He is the only critic who would place both Last Emperor and Lethal Weapon as his best of the 80s. Art film or Commercial film he goes in with the same mind set, unlike some of you who get on your fanboy high horse and judge films before they even come out.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 9:04 a.m. CST

    So . . . did you not like it, Moriarty?

    by Drath

    I couldn't tell. I hope your effort to awaken Ebert about his misreading of Fight Club is successsful, though. Maybe he'll co-review something with you someday.

  • you fat prick! Just kidding. This is a long one and I apologize in advance but I HAVE to say this stuff...As I sat in the theater I heard...One WOMAN snoring as loud as I have ever heard a human snore...another talking...dozens of cellphones going off in unison (lawnmower man behind this maybe? that was a better pseudo reality film than this turd) people talking JUST TALKING and of course exclamations of "I am not going to sleep well tonight and Oh my God that is scary (to paraphrase)and during all of this I could only sit there and think this is a worse hell than the lame peep show of victims in the killers mind. The only thing worse than the movies were the audience. Oh well. Anyway this film was empty. It was a void. I see Event Horizon bashed a lot but that was so much more interesting a film in every way. Every character from Fishburns past with his crewman who burnt up to Neills wife who committed suicide, had an attempt at a third dimension. This film gave you NO backstory on any character other than the vague and obvious crap that was done with the killer and Vaughans past that was eluded to in three lines and quickly forgotten. Also our heroine uses psychotropic drugs while treating a patient by going into his mind. I was expecting so much more. The idea of a realm created by a killer mixing all types of fantasy elements and the journey through it for the truth about his victims. I was expecting a grand story through a hellish nightmare world and all we got were two short weak visits. The other world simply wasn't all that and wasn't used half as well as even a third rate film like Virtuosity which while it wasn't a great film was leagues better than this in every way. It put actual thought into the other realm and used it well. For instance what if that room the killer recreated wasn't a "plot hole" as Moriarty suggests but he created it from her mind which is vulnerable in his. What if he recreated all the tortures Vaughan went through as a child instead of that NOT ALL TOO GORY fate. Watch a Dawn of the Dead and tell me thats gory...Anyway this film wasn't bad, it was a ZERO. This will go down in my book as an all around failure like Devlinzilla and Lost in Space. It might make more money like MI2 did but it will suck as bad as that film of which a small bad film of Woos like Hard Target triumphed over. The thing that is the nail in the coffin is the acting which puts it up there with the blonde bubblebutt in Devlinzilla and Matt Le Blank and Thandie Newtons "cat burglar" who sneaks out of parties to open a hidden safe by crouching down and sneaking out...ingenious. This film was just as uninventive and just as much a waste of high production. Damn you Ebert the man who once was able to look past concepts and rate films on individual merrit like Lethal Weapon which shouldn't be compared to a Kubrich film but deserves praise for WHAT IT IS. The same can be said of XMEN and FIGHT CLUB which you panned! For all those films faults one thing can not be denied, the actors in those films be it Ed Norton or Jackman or McKellan gave performances that left Lopez and Vaughan in the dust! You can never again pan a popcorn movie like Xmen or ID 4 which you panned also. These films might suck next to the Gidfather but next to the Cell they are ingenious. As far as this movei being similiar to What Dreams May Come all I will say is this...that film had several performances by people that CARED from Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding to Sciorra and Sydow. It looked incredible and DELIVERED on that promise of great visuals far better than the Cell. Also this turd should not be mentioned anywhere near a work based on Richard Matheson as his horror reveals the Cell for the unimaginative waste of money it is.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Visual feel of The Cell

    by Hi-Koo

    I haven't seen the film so I can't discuss it's merits, nor do I want to get into the 'moral' issues. From the clips I've seen it looks like Tarsem took his visual clues for the artist Michael Parkes. Does anyone else agree (or even know who I'm talking about)?

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I thank you sir.

    by emorr

    Tell us how you really feel. ;) In all seriousness, you saved me 8 bucks. I was going to go, after reading Ebert's review.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Dangerous filmmaking?

    by Gaylord

    I thought the movie sucked, but you're a fucking hippocrite McWeeny. And don't give me any revisionist bullshit like "I NEVER SAID....." which you just loooove to do. The fact is that you sound like the biggest fascist by even implying that the government might be right afterall about "irresponsible" filmmaking, and all because you don't like it. Well, what about FIGHT CLUB in which they pretty much give you the basics for building bombs? I thought that was a great film, but I know plenty of people who thought it was irresponsible and should have been banned from public release just because they didn't like it. Let me tell you something, consistency is what counts when it comes to ideals, and you can't just pick and choose what deserves to be banned and what doesn't. Yes, it was a horribly written film, and it was pretentious as all get up, but it wasn't the sickest thing I've ever seen. I thought it was relatively harmless compared to stuff like HENRY, and Bad Liutenant and all the stupid fucking ZOMBIE movies you and your buddies love. Out of all the stupid shit you've said, you taking sides with our enemies because YOU didn't like a movie is the most arbitrary, and unobjective shit I HAVE EVER HEARD. As far as I'm concerned, you should be the last person talking about irresponsibility. Talk about use of power. Whatever law that gets passed regarding censorship on cinema YOU WILL DESERVE IT FOR TAKING SIDES WITH PEOPLE WHO DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO POINT A CAMERA. And don't ever let me see you comment on anything having to do with the MPAA, you hippocrite.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I'm first!

    by Melvin Van Halen

    Huzzah! Break out your finest meats and cheeses, I am first!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:27 a.m. CST

    What Dream May Come + House on Haunted Hill/Hellraiser

    by Jack Burton

    SPOILERS While I'm not going to bash it near as hard as Moriarty, the movie definitely leaves a disturbing after taste. It also wasn't entirely groundbreaking since the visuals have almost all been seen before. Most notable the torture/ghost scenes in House on Haunted Hill(1999). Especially the jerky frame skip technique and the girls in various bizzare S&M poses and apparatus. The scene with the "glitch" was pretty stupid, and her makeover into Mary at the end definitely pushed the film into disturbing territory. Her murder of Stargher in all 3 forms was bizarre and unsettling. Was she supposed to be redeeming his soul? Why did she have such rage against his demon form. That scene where she crusifies and then pummels him looked like an outtake of Fight Club (and for those keeping track that scene was a lot more violent then the Jack vs. Angel Face fight in FC). Why did Vince Vaughn waste time showing his badge to the girl in the tank? Why didn't he simply unload the gun into the glass, instead of a couple of shots? It started off interesting but pretty much got lost along the way. Too bad because it really had potential.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Biggest film of the weekend (Pray for Us)

    by Blabbermouse

    I'm with you on this one Moriarty, although there seems to be plenty of people eager to lap up this sort of stylish sadism. A lot of what's going on nowadays really scares me - people vicariously watching other peoples' lives -- real and/or imaginary -- not to learn anything, but to relish their suffering as a spectator sport. I'm including the whole Survivor/Big Brother craze in on this one as well - all of it makes me really queazy, and I refuse to go near any of it. What really scares me is that some of what I've seen/heard about 'Cell' is enticing in a Very Evil way. Is this what Tarsem would like to do to women if he got the chance? Everybody needs to go out and find a home video copy of the 1960's Outer Limits episode O.B.I.T. & watch it right away...

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Top Three Painful Movies

    by Swope

    It is extremely rare that a movie makes me nauseous. And not nausea brought on by all things graphic, but just crap heaped upon crap with a slice of crap on the side, all deep fried in crap, with little crap sprinkles. 1. The Cell 2. Welcome to the Dollhouse 3. The Acid House The three worst movies I have ever seen. They are similar to watching a family member die of a terminal illness. For those that like, or even love, those three crapcakes I listed above-- good lord man! Get some sunlight, drink more beer, and try to get laid. Failing that, at least watch something that does not reek of this crap cowardice.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:58 a.m. CST

    why do would anyone let ebert OR moriarty decide where to spend

    by eclectic heretic

    Any intelligent person or true cinema fan would make up their OWN opinion about a film, rather than being REAL SHEEP AND BELIEVING ANYTHING THAT'S ON THIS SITE IS GOSPEL.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I actually LIKED The Cell! Warning: SPOILERS!

    by Blue Devil

    The film overall is pretty good. You can't deny the brilliance of the set design- even though I do object to Tarsem including the same set he used for the REM video "Losing My Religion"- a bit too cutesy if you ask me. The Cell was a disturbing flick but it was supposed to be. The entire point of the film was to expose us to this world this serial killer lives in and to show us how messed up he is. Thus, we begin to understand where these evil urges are coming from. I was astounded by the set design and the horse sequence is brutal. I thought Jennifer Lopez was okay, but it was a role that could have been pulled off by anyone, nothing particularly "Lopezy" shone (as opposed to Out of Sight). Now with my problems: Vince Vaughn's entire presence in the film was a joke. He overplayed the seriousness of his role and it came off as laughable. I also thought it was kind of hokey how easily Lopez was turned to and away from the side of evil. However, my biggest problem concerns the very essence of the film- when Lopez attempts a kind of redemption of the killer. I did not like sympathizing for someone who brutally kills women in one of the most horrific ways possible (not to mention what he does afterward). I don't care if this guy was abused as a kid, I tend to agree with Vince Vaughn (in his only good moment) when he said "100 times worse happens to people and they never grow up to do this". Paraphrasing. I understand that the guy is sick, but he's a fucking murderer who mutilates innocent girls! Fortunately, this didn't ruin the entire film because Lopez' redemption thing doesn't come in until the last 15 minutes of the film- and it is pretty well done. I understand the intent of what she's trying to do (all of us have evil inside, we just need to bring out the good, etc.) but I still hated feeling sorry for this guy. Overall, the film is pretty good and worth a look on the big screen to appreciate the cinematography and design (it was good to see a film where people weren't running rampant with CGI- just good old fashion set design). Also, Lopez (I have to address this issue) is stunning and the shot of her in her undies is a real treat. Anyway, all you people see this film! I am a little tired of the serial killer thing, but it is a smartly written film that does not pander to the lowest common denominator!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I didn't think it was possible...

    by C.B. Lovehill

    ...that there would be a film this year that was actually worse than BATTLEFIELD EARTH. Congratulations to all those involved with THE CELL for taking the "Worst, Most Unwatchable Piece of Shit" crown away from Travolta and his B.E.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:35 a.m. CST

    "like being in a dream."

    by grammarcop

    i guess the cell really was dreamy. three friends of mine likened it to falling asleep at the wheel.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:48 a.m. CST

    See if you can grasp the concept of "constructive criticism."

    by jorson2

    Actually, from your review, it sounds like Tarsem would have been better off making "The Cell" a silent movie. Then again, you'd probably rant and rave just as much if it were that way, also. If this were an independent feature (not released by a major studio), you wouldn't be quite so harsh. Granted, we should expect more than just hollow imagery. Nevertheless, talk is just as cheap, and having seen things like "Pulp Fiction" and "Fargo," it's a wonder you can be so rueful about a movie that actually wants to tell it's story through images rather than just mindless chatter and stupid quarter pounder jokes. I don't go to many movies anymore. I rarely ever rent new releases and even though I like movies in general, I am often pissed off by them. The independent world is too arrogant and pretentious and the studios are too dumb and shallow. Anyone who can make such a fuss over a movie thats sole purpose is to be an entertaining distraction is obviously desperate for some meaning to his or her existence. I don't like those kinds of things much more than the rest of you, but as someone wanting in the industry, I still respect when a filmmaker can do something I might not be able to (i.e., tell a linear story in an entertaining way - perhaps "The Cell" isn't a good example, but you've bashed other movies that were). I suggest you get off your ass and forfeit a few comfortable midnight screenings to get out there and raise the money to make your own movie. Work your ass off for two years, then let someone like me tell you how dumb it is because I come from a different perspective. Until then, see if you can grasp the concept of "constructive criticism" and quit these immature rants over movies that will have just as much or little an impact with or without your opinion.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Join RAA Today!!!

    by Project: 2501

    Step right up and become an honary member of my new foundation: Refunds Across America. Its the first organization designed to keep Hollywood from scatting substanceless turds into the mouths of the wanting masses. The fear of having to return every dollar spent by the masses should linger over everyone involved in making a film. The ticket price for The Cell should be payed back in interest. Not only did it suck, but we'll probably hear about some jackass who used this film as a guidebook for self-damnation. I award the director no points, and may (insert deity of your choice here) have mercy on his soul.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:54 a.m. CST

    the cell

    by feta1000

    A PILE OF SHIT! This film makes me so mad I want to hurt somebody! Lopez has simply too much clout in Hollywood, otherwise this idiocy would't see the light of day. Listen people, where there is no good script, there is no good movie, period. In this case there was no film script, there was a script for idiotic images. Do you like the images for the sake of images? Have you ever looked at the creation you leave in the shitter after heavy dinner? There is your cell, enjoy it!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:01 p.m. CST

    a good, vacuous, so-bad-pretentious-they're-laughable double fea

    by Captain Amerika

    The Cell is so pretentious it's funny (the shot of Vincent D'Onofrio gurgling his own blood lasted forever), and the Perfect Storm was so sad it was funny. God, what a shitty summer of movies (except for the X-Men of course!).

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:18 p.m. CST

    A comparison between "The Cell" and the band Creed

    by enum

    This film reminds me of the band Creed. It is a mess of ideas that have been exhausted and have become obvious cliches in pop culture, but have been needlessly recycled by someone who missed the boat by 5 years. Creed's trade is pretentious grunge-lite with religious undertones (spiritual brethren to another vacuous band, Live). This film is pretentious Ken Russell-lite, but its religious undertones make Creed look like Soren Kierkegaard.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:23 p.m. CST

    RE: Cartoon Lopez was watching on her fat can

    by nolanliang

    I haven't seen the Cell yet, but from your description of the cartoon, it sounds like the French animation, Fantastic Planet(La Plan

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Gotta agree, though with less vitriol

    by Roguewriter

    I thought the movie was shallow as well -- a terrible disappointment given its breathtaking visual style. Like Moriarty, I thought it tried to sum up all the nuances of madness and psychosexual crime in too neat and compleet a package. Of course, I hated it a little less than my wife, who actually joined Moriarty for a full-out belly laugh during the intestine-cranking scene. Heads all around us turned, and she merely waved at the screen and said, "They've already got my money. I'll damn well laugh if I want to." Interesting that her laughter was the only audible reaction the film got from a packed moviehouse in 107 minutes. I would have liked to see such a staggeringly visual feast imbued with the kind of emotional resonance and moral truths of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and SEVEN. And a little less DREAMSCAPE rip-offin' please! Good review, Moriarty. I'll take serious emotional responses over staid, cookie-cutter reviews any day of the week. RR

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by QUIXOTE

    To quote Kent Jones (a real film critic) in the latest issue of FILM COMMENT,"there's nothing more pitiful than the spectacle of a film critic assuming the role of moral watch-dog." This is especially true if the "critic" in question is a faceless internet movie-geek. THE CELL may be a lousy movie (haven't seen it, probably won't) but this review is sanctimonious, self-righteous shit!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Necrophilia, Disembowelment, Psychedelic sequences and other glo

    by travis t

    To every snot-nosed ACNE sack-monkey who has responded to this review with the comment "Thank you Moriarty for saving me $8.00" I have one but one question. What the fuck are you saving those $8.00 for? What upcoming cinematic event is more worthy of your money than one that has corpse copulation, graphic masochism, extended intestine extraction, an honest to gawd retro acid sequence (nothing but shapes blooping and bloobing about) and a gloriously gratuitous shot of the highest profiled ass in the world clad in nothing but black undies? I mean seriously!!!!!!! Every movie that comes out sucks on some level or another. But not every movie that comes out in this country has the main character resolve the story by drowning a sweet little kid. Man, I used to hate the media invented

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Appreciate this Film

    by FuManStu

    Alright... seriously folks, this film had some of the best imagery since Dark City... This film is not meant to be a thriller... Its got story line of a music video, and thats what it is... and thats what you got. I remarked to my friends as I was leaving the show "this would have been better with some project pitchfork playing in the background and just show me the images in sucession from start to finish." But thats just what you get. This movie stimulates the imagination, and proves to be a capable part of something new and unique. You wont have any discussions about the themes, or plot. But if you are like me, you will search for symbolism in the images. Appreciate this film as a butchered peice of art that could have been great.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Why I stopped worrying and learned to love Ebert

    by Antonius Block

    One of the few critics who liked the horrible TPM. It's all an elaborate ruse to trick us.

  • For a couple of moments, I thought I was watching Cirque de Soleil and was waiting for a headless trapeze artist to be lowered on a flaming swing. However, Cirque is a circus, and their surreal images are intended to be comical. I don't believe the director's intent was to be comical. He was being the typicial music video director, trying to channel Fellini to push a product. However, the only product here was Jennifer Lopez and a pathetically derivative script. Perhaps I would've appreciated the imagery more stoned out of my mind. But I was very sober, trying to survive an absolutely stupid, unnecessary movie. Moriarty is so right about this film on so many levels.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Film is my Religion and Tarsem Singh is my new God!

    by ThereIsNoSpoon

    Einstein said that "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds . . . " Half, maybe two thirds of the people who see this film will hate it. Those of us who don't are the ones that can appreciate the sheer stark beauty of a woman in a fantastic dress made almost entirely of swan feathers walking atop a sand dune in the middle of a desert so vast that the entire universe may be it and nothing else. . .My guess is that this, like Blade Runner, will be misunderstood by many and not hailed for the monumental work that it is for years. Morals, Shmorals, what, are you running for office? Sellout! You're right this is an election year, and we shouldn't run cowering to our corners, we, as an industry should be as audacious and daring as ever. To show politicians that we are afraid of them, even before they try anything, will make us that much easier a scapegoat to go after. We need to be strong. We need to make censoring us more trouble than it's worth. If we make silencing us difficult, we may force them to pick another target - something that actually does need to be fixed like education or the environment. Art can teach any moral the artist feels he needs to communicate, but as such there is one thing that all artists, indeed all human beings must agree on: There is no higher moral than the right to free thought and free thought is only possible if free speech and free expression is. I thought the Cell was a beautiful film full of all sorts of uplifting thoughts and ideas. One must often plumb the darkest depths of the human soul to truly understand the light. Or do you think Schindler's list should have been friendlier? This film should not be thought of a literal narrative but as metophor, or analogy. It can be taken literally, as the makers of the film knew had to be the case for any ordinary person to get anything out of it, but look further, deeper, look at the color, composition, design, associative psychological references, and the myriad other aspects which other art forms are revered for, but which in film always takes a back seat to the narrative. Think of the artistry and the narrative as one and the same. This is the closest thing to a two hour long dream I have ever seen outside of my dreams. Your dreams have stories, that are not always cohesive and clear, but make sense when you realize what the images mean to you. If you don't like this film, I can't make you. But No one can deny the genius and talent that this film maker has and that he is destined for amazing things. The Cell was a far more auspicious and audacious debut than Fincher's Alien 3. I have a feeling Tarsem Singh may be an artist in the same vein as Fincher, but even crazier, certainly more visually daring. (high praise considering how much I revere the ballsiness Fincher exhibits when designing visual style) Can you imagine what a Sandman movie would be like made by this guy? See the Cell. Experience just how expressive the medium of moving pictures can be. Flame me all you want, you can't dampen the high I'm feeling from having seen this film. I'm reserving my DVD copy as soon as it's release is announced.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 4:37 p.m. CST


    by gleep

    mo.. i, like you, would have had a better time if i had just taken my $4.50(thank you god for only letting me see a matinee)and shit on it. rb needs he selling his two thumbs and four stars???

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Mark makes his contribution

    by Felipel007

    The Cell was very good. I expected great, but I got very good. The visuals were amazing. Jennifer Lopez was pretty good. Vincent D

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 6:07 p.m. CST

    God forbid I won't be one of Moriarty's "friends."

    by moviet00l

    Now THAT makes ME laugh.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Fight Club is laughable

    by 7samurai

    All you people who like Fight Club have serious fucking problems.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

    by DocTom

    Precisely the type of jackass critic I hate. Self-fulfilling prophecy, he goes in deciding he already hates it, trumps up the things he decided he didn't like before he stepped in the door, then banishes anything contrary to his pre-conceived opinion. He says that Carl became a killer because daddy called him a "faggot". Apparently he came late and left early. Abuse was 1/8th of it. He killed because he had a massive scar over the part of the brain that tells you killing is "wrong". The hanging/drowning fascination comes from the same scar which creates a pre-occupation with weightlessness. This guy says that serial killers kill because they are evil. The truth is that they do it because they don't know how to stop themselves generally as the result of both neuro-chemical/physical trauma and emotional disorder/external stimuli. Does that mean they should be released into the streets to live on as it isn't their fault? Hell no. But the fact that their are multiple facets to the serial killer mentality (and no they aren't all evil) can't be just ignored. That's the same sort of logic that led to favorite historical events such as the inquisition and European Witch Trials. Do I have sympathy for serial killers? Sometimes. Do I think they should be held accountable for what they do? Yes. But do I think they are totally in control and fully responsible for what they do? No. Shame on you for not even bothering to watch the film as you jot in your notebook all the "cool" things you were going to write to stir up controversy on AICN. Thomas McNulty

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Right On

    by Skahtul

    Thank you for that extremely insightful review of this piece of trash. If film makers cannot learn to be more careful with what they present the entire industry is going to become nothing more than a endless diatribe of fecal jokes and sick twisted perversions. I am amazed that someone would have to guts to put it like you have. Thank you.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Moriarty... read me.

    by marla singer

    Sh*t. I love this review. I love it when you hate something with this much depth and intelligence. I love this. It's great.

  • For anyone anxiously hoping that this will be belatedly hailed as a masterpiece down the line, do yourself a favor and stop waiting now. What would make this a classic? The ragged plot that isn't worth a damn? The half-assed performances? Oh, that's right - the VISUALS! Yeah, this is a very pretty movie. Pretty and empty. The imagery in this movie adds up to absolutely nothing. I guess it's cool to see a living horse segmented by clear glass or plastic but besides looking really neat, what the hell does it mean to the character? If we're inisde a person's head shouldn't we be getting some real insight into what makes this specific character tick instead of just random images that the director had left over from his video shoots? I mean, this must be the only serial killer in the world that has dreams worthy of an Oscar-winning costume designer. Very fashionable for sure but not indictative of good writing. The sole moment of insight into the killer is saved for the one over-obvious child abuse scene that could've been pulled from a dozen other movies. This is a great movie for gullible zombies and that's about it. This should be on heavy rotation on MTV, not playing at anyone's local theater. Instead of being ahead of its time, it's sadly all too OF its time - vapid eye candy compensating for an under-developed script.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:30 p.m. CST

    The Cell was good!

    by iamdeadfish

    The Cell was a good movie. Yeah it could have been A LOT better, but I went in with a rough idea of what to expect and that's exatly what I got.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:38 p.m. CST

    tarsem's strangeland

    by jeff bailey

    I doubt anyone will have the patience to read thru all these talbacks just to get to this one but I just saw the movie so I felt like commenting. Personally, I enjoyed the film. It ain't Se7en or Silence of the Lambs(which I think is BEYOND overrated butSe7en was a modern pop masterpiece) and I am a little surprised by Ebert's enthusiasm. But he really liked Dark City too which I thought also was really uneven but had nice direction so I assume he gets a little worked up over creative visuals and direction(this is NO 2001). Yeah Vaughn's charcter was cardboard (I loved Moriarty's comparison of him to Dean Martin but that only makes me like it more) and yes Lopez was wooden and yes, the supporting cast was wasted, was way better then I thought after all the horrific reviews here. And I liked Tarsem's direction and of course his production and costume design. I concur D'onforio's character and performance were ridiculous (that hook scene was contrived beyond belief) and the script is really another mediocre serial killer story. Actually, it's just Dee snider's strangeland with a big budget and good director right down to the killer suspending himself. Okay, I admit I rented it for a laugh which it was good for and now look it's in my talkback! Anyway, as overbaked as The Cell was I had a good time and I look forward to what Tarsem does next. I think we need good visualists in hollywood. There are way too few. Moriaty's complaints are valid but I would save my venom for movies like Bruckheimer's crapfest summer double feature. This had redeeming qualities and while forgettable was okay mainly because my friend and I broke down all the funny stuff about it but also because I enjoyed seeing it. Finally, you reviewers might want to tone down your negativity for this reason: you lower expectations so much, people end up liking the movie because what is good in it looks so much better.

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Re: Fight Club is laughable

    by iamdeadfish

    You're right! I laughed my ass off in Fight Club... it was a GREAT dark comedy! It also had some messages that relate to a large part of our society... but you can't take the movie too seriously. I still put this movie in my top 5 all time favorites. Right behind Brazil and Hudsucker Proxy!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:09 p.m. CST


    by halloweenie

    Empty, thoughtless, no moral whatsoever, mind numbingly dumb, and visual effects just for kicks. i thought it looked like another matrix when i first read about it too!

  • Aug. 21, 2000, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Sad moriarty , just plain sad ...

    by SongOfTheSausage

    Remember, the most important thing about art is that it provoke an emotional response. whether it be love , sadness , or even anger. I havent seen this movie, didnt want to, but your reaction to it kinda makes me wonder.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Felipe makes his contribution

    by Felipel007

    I had my hopes up for The Cell because Mark was

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 2:06 a.m. CST


    by Private Ryan

    Ebert didn't like Gladiator either. It was one of the few intelligent films this summer, and he only gave it two and a half stars. And he didn't like BOTTLE ROCKET or RUSHMORE!

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Extra Double Shame on You

    by Dingo

    What the hell was that? I've never read such a masturbatory "review" of a film in my life. First of all, a good deal of it was a rant about how you thought another critic was horribly wrong - I'm about to be hypocritical here, but criticizing critics is NOT what this should be all about. Secondly, you (and a LOT of other reviewers who loathed The Cell) seem to like to like to type something sarcastic like to (*SPOILERS AHEAD*) "and guess what the 'big surprise' reason for Carl's insanity is? An abusive father! Whoa! How original!" That's interesting, because that's not how I saw it at ALL. Some of the method to his madness came from that, certainly... but it was NOT the CAUSE. (*More Spoilers*). If you want to just go from the pure biological standpoint, it was triggered by a viral infection that essentially shattered his brain (movie pseudo-science? Probably.). I actually thought the Evil Lizard Carl was a manifestation of that. Was that the only reason? Naw. There's a line when Jennifer Lopez is talking to Vince Vaughn in the little courtyard in the middle of the film where Vince says something like "I don't think an abusive past makes you a serial killer... trust me," and I think that just about says it all. I'd argue that The Cell doesn't even try to give us a reason - and that the movie isn't so much about discovery of "why" as about redemption... about freeing Carl from a horrible inexplicable sickness - biological and mental - that could not be cured. You called it "amoral" - I don't. Difficult, unpalatable, grotesque, yeah. But not amoral. By the time the movie was over, I gave a crap about what Carl was going though, and cared about what happened to him - and that's a tough thing to do when you're talking about a repugnant serial killer. Sorry, I seem to have strayed from my original point... in a lot of reviews of The Cell, people have decided to shut off the part of their brain that analyzes a film, choosing to ignore some key points, and inject ideas that aren't even actually there... and I have no idea why. The Cell is a different kind of storytelling - visual - that doesn't rely on just words to get its point across. Moriarty, I think your initial hatred of the script was probably justified - but you let it carry into the final, completely different entity, not being able to see the things that the words didn't say. Tarsem added a LOT of his own to the script by doing what he did with it, and in the end it was a wonderful, daring, creative - and flawed - movie, and I'll be damned if I've ever seen anything like it. Sorry if some of that was just plain rude... cuz it was... but I actually got pissed off after reading that review and will probably regret clicking "Post" later. Pardon me. :)

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 4:12 a.m. CST

    To me, it's simple

    by PepsiMan

    I don't care about the plot holes, the screenplay, or the acting. What you saw on that screen was outrageous. Whoever gave this movie a positive review, realize you are giving such a review to a movie that showed a man's intestines being slowly pulled out of his stomach, and LONG scenes of women drowing while asking for mercy, to name a few. Don't give me any of your "it's just a movie" B.S., you HAVE to draw the line somewhere. I feel sorry for those people who didn't even mind these scenes. People, THINK about what you're seeing.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Moriarity is right...

    by GYR8OR

    Thanks for articulating what apparently alot of folks are thinking. This was an irresponsible movie. Kinda sounds like a glossy, whiz-bang re-hashing of those vile misogynistic slash'n'hack movies of the 70's (e.g. Deranged, Torso, Tool Box Murders, Maniac! et al). I knew it was going to be revolting, from those advance reviews that started appearing in April or so. I don't want those sick images banging around in my head, there's enough up there already. Vote with your feet, guys, and don't see it.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 11:54 a.m. CST

    MadHatter = Madhatter

    by jmachinder

    I don't like to beat up on the weak-minded, MadHatter, but let me try to unpack your argument and point out the more obvious problems. 1) You proceed from a basic misunderstanding of my original argument. My biggest concern was self-censorship to avoid governmental censorship--the results are the same, with the humiliating addition that you're doing the dirty work yourself, rather than fighting for your freedom. 2) Moriarty was saying movies like The Cell justify calls for "enforced responsibility." I'm saying that nothing (much less The Cell) justifies such arguments--the responsibility can come from the filmmakers (no one is forcing anyone to make a movie), or from the audience, but we don't need organized tribunals (especially from the government) to decide for us which movies should and shouldn't get made. 3) Who gets hurt in a world where there are significant external restraints (on top of all the other normal obstacles) to making movies? The visionaries, the experimenters, those who want to try something new. See my previous post for just a few films that might never have been shot if the William "The-Simpsons-Is-Bad-For-You" Bennetts and Joe "Friends-Shouldn't-Be-On-TV" Liebermans of the world had inculcated an ethos of good-for-society self-censorship which you apparently find so irresistible. 4) You pick an ugly plot and say we need self-censorship or otherwise such stories would get made. Its kind of ridiculous to try to scare us with phantom films that no one wants to make, and that, in any case, society could handle if they were. 4a) As a side point, there's no evidence that "subliminal" messages have any special effect on people. 5) Your theory means we should oppose those with extremely unpopular ideologies from making art (or even arguments?) that express their beliefs. Hmm. I can see this point of view if you think for the first time ever in history we've finally figured out completely what's right and what's wrong. In America, just a few decades ago, you couldn't make a film where a black and a white kissed; where any judge was corrupt or any religious leader looked silly (much less evil); where prostitution or abortion was openly discussed. This was just part of the externally enforced "self-restraint" that ruled the day. And it was even worse in other places. In Nazi Germany you can bet they made sure that Aryans looked good and Jews looked bad--and the good citizens of that society made exactly the same argument you're making now: we all know what's right, so it's the duty of everyone to support what's right, or at least to restrain their degenerate beliefs. 6) Freedom means ugly words and images will get out, along with everything else. Rotten, nasty, ill-informed art as well as exciting stuff will be available. This is the price you pay for freedom, and I consider it well worth it. Because no one, and no body, is competent to decide for all what should be heard or said. If you honestly want to make that nasty film you describe, go for it. But don't be surprised if I and others criticize it intensely (without calling for its censorship). That's part of the give and take that freedom means, and is apparently what you want to short circuit.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Moriarity

    by lycanthrope

    I can't tell you how much your review echoes the thoughts of my fiancee' and me - this was a vile, purient piece of filth... And it could have been salvaged in some simple ways! At the very least, Lopez could have promised wee Starger she couldn't kill him, but would be back to help him - ONE DAY and she decides to off him??!! Why couldn't they close with her having a joint session with young Starger and the coma kid - how can they justify the murder of someone in lieu of this high-tech treatment they so fervently believe in? And they way torture and S&M necrophilia was LOVINGLY embraced made me nauseous - I have seen a film this odious since "Don't Go in the House"... Shame on Ebert, indeed... Thanks, Moriarity, for restoring my faith in critics - Harry and the rest of us salute you!

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 11:58 a.m. CST

    The Cell

    by mikejpena

    You have a well docoumented aversion to empty eye candy? Do we really have to start quoting the movies you've loved. Go rent Amraggedon and shut up

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 12:15 p.m. CST

    what has happened to vince vaughn?

    by amelt

    well, i was actually really looking forward to this movie- i haven't seen it yet, though. i saw the previews, and thought- hey, cool effects and vince vaughn- how can you go wrong (other than jennifer lopez and her ass)? it seems that vince has been doing some crappy movies lately, though. since clay pigeons, he's been slacking. and i, for one, really liked that one (and swingers). and the psycho remake was not his greatest, i'll admit. but i guess from all of the crap i hear, this movie must really suck. i mean REALLY suck. i honestly don't think any movie could suck worse than the replacements, but i guess so (i think keanu reeves should be separated from society and forced to watch his own movies for all of enternity- suicide would soon follow). i don't know- i just thought the effects looked cool, and vince vaughn is easy on the eyes. so i'm shallow, ok? but i think it could quite possibly be a disappointment, considering the horrific reviews that roger ebert has given lately (and don't even get me started on him giving girl, interrupted a thumbs down!). what has happened to ebert? i think that siskel really balanced him- i mean siskel was a hawk when it came to movies (he hated everything). but i suppose ebert just wants to appeal to everyone. i'm still going to see the movie anyway. btw, anyone see bring it on? i love kirsten dunst, and her movies usually have a dark comic edge. let's hope this one does. man, summer movies suck.

  • I cannot accepts Moriarity's judgement that this film is crap. I cannot accept Ebert's judgement that this is a thumbs up movie. Bottom line is that I will have to watch the film to judge it myself. Moriarity, I think you're upset because Ebert is some kind of role model to you in the critic world and his view of this and other movies did not agree with you. Although, I haven't seen Fight Club nor do I want to it, his judgement is based on his likes and dislikes and maybe sexual preference. Personally, Fight Club reminds me of Bad Influence with James Spade and Rob Lowe. Same idea, different approach. Bottom line is I will eventually see The Cell as will others for one main reason; THE HYPE. If it's good and bad at the same time people with watch. Case in point, Blair Witch. If you don't want to be my friend, Moriarity, fine and fuck you. Yes, opinions are like assholes and everyone's got one, but that doesn't mean I have to smell the shit that is coming out from it.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 2:23 p.m. CST


    by r_dimitri22

    No matter what my opinion is, there is always someone here to call me a moron, a fool, an irresponsible degenerate, or simply a person devoid of good taste. I can't like Phantom Menace, and I can't hate it either. I can neither like nor dislike Fight Club. Why do I keep coming here? All you do is hurt my feelings!

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Madhatter, Pepsiman, and AryanMan (TM)

    by ThereIsNoSpoon

    Madhatter - you have every right to make that movie. You SHOULD make that movie. The reason free speech exists is so that I can make a movie with an opposing viewpoint to yours. We all know your Aryan superhero movie is wrong. That doesn't give us the right to shut you up. Shutting people up because "Everyone knows that they are wrong" were the exact tactics the Nazi's used to win and control the hearts and minds of their people and turn them against the Jews in the first place. Pepsiman - you're right those images are revolting - they're supposed to be! I'm not looking to get a thrill, to be made to laugh, I'm looking to have the bejesus scared out of me and to be disturbed because if we as individuals and as a society do not understand the darkest parts of ourselves we may very easily fall victim to them. None of the grisly acts were being glorified or encouraged. They're purpose was to repulse. They're purpose was to show you just how evil a human being can become if left unchecked. If you don't like exploring that part of human psychology you can go back to watching Barney.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by PepsiMan

    You're right I do not like exploring "that part of human psychology". I don't know anyone who does. I think this content should be left to the professionals who HAVE to deal with it in order to heal a person, or protect others. I don't think it belongs on the screen for our entertainment. And yes, I am also taking into account the right of the artist. Would you have any problem watching a 2 hour movie filled with "artistic" depictions of people dying? Hey it sure would be scary! That's what what you want right? Did the scene with the woman slowly drowning entertain you? Did you come out of that movie thinking "oh boy I sure had a good scare"? I hope you didn't. All right, back to watching Barney.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Moriarty's Piss-Poor Review


    Moriarty, you have a childish vendetta against Roger Ebert because he shattered your pathetic, school-girl crush on him when he DARED email a difference of opinion to you. Well, guess what? Ebert was right about "The Cell," and you are just like every right-wing, extremist freak who leaps to the lectern to banish and eliminate anything that offends the eye, the ear, or the pocketbook. You are a man of hatred, Moriarty. Never have I seen a more insane and pathetic excuse for a movie review in my entire life, save for the piece of trash L.A. Times critic, Kenneth Turan, wrote in his personal vendetta against James Cameron by lambasting "Titanic." Now, let's review YOUR review to turn the tables a little bit, shall we? First of all, I don't give a good GOD DAMN about where you were when you saw this film, who you saw it with, or whether or not you used Trojan condoms when you were doing the "Paul Reubens in the Florida theater" routine to every Jennifer Lopez scene. Next, you violated a simple rule in writing. If you choose to use overly pretentious words in your reviews to make yourself sound like a high school grad. Fine. But repetition is the sign of an elementary grasp of the English language. You used "tableau" like a child discovering his penis for the first time. You said, "Rock video tableau," and "tableaus of death" one after another. You should have seen the TABLEAU of vomit I hurled after reading it in two successive paragraphs. You describe the "Aren't I clever?" visuals in "The Cell," but you don't see the arrogant, narcissistic scribblings in your own review? ROFLMAO! You're the rotting stinkweed of reviewers, Moriarty. You bring shame to the very profession. But since your qualifications for critiquing films is most likely a dubious one (in other words, you haven't any aside from being a loud-mouthed fanboy,) I shall consider anything you have to say on this web site as a cancer worthy of the most painful of chemo-therapy treatments. And since you ended your shitty diatribe by drawing a line in the sand between yourself and everyone who liked "The Cell," including myself, I will fight till the death to prevent people like you from censoring films, because despite your protestations to the contrary, no true advocate of free speech in films would speak as you do. You are so far beneath my contempt that I am proud to call you my ideological enemy. Now, piss off.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Pepsiman -

    by ThereIsNoSpoon

    No one is asking you to watch films this grisly, I am just saying that these films have a right to exist and not everyone who watches them is a sick degenerate sociopath. "Would you have any problem watching a 2 hour movie filled with "artistic" depictions of people dying?" I watched and enjoyed a three hour film that had close to two hours of people dying or being tortured by the knowledge that they were going to die. This sick exercise in depravity was called "Schindler's List". Some body thought it desereved an Oscar. I agreed with them. You may not. That is your right. But don't assume I am a serial killer/dateRapist/nihilist/psycho in the making because my opinion differs from yours.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 5:19 p.m. CST

    you psycho nihilist killer!

    by PepsiMan

    hmmm, never said you were a serial Killer/dateRapist/nihilist/psycho in the making. I especially didn't say it because your opinion differs than mine.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Self regulation

    by ThereIsNoSpoon

    Madhatter - it's one thing to not make your movie because after you think about it, you know it's wrong. It's another if you believe you are right and then decide to not make the film because you are afraid of the controversy and enemies you might make. The former is being a morally responsible person. The latter is being a chickenshit. If you made this movie, yes you are sick racist fuck, but you are one with integrity. And "Internal regulation" means you have a great idea for a film that doesn't get greenlighted because a chickenshit executive is afraid of controversy and enemies the studio might make. It's no better than politicians and judges shutting you down. Dogma was almost never seen because some chickenshits were trying to show some "Responsible internal regulation". Pepsiman - you didn't flat out acuse me of being any of those things, but you implied a certain level of depravity, instability, and immorality in anyone who enjoyed this film. It echoes the sentiments of many censors who think stopping movies like this will stop Columbine shootings, serial killers, and rapists. If this was not your intent, I apologize. The point I was trying to make is this - films with grisly acts depicted in them do not always equal bad film. People who enjoy such films have a right to see them and are not bad people. You said yourself, you were not concerned with the merits or flaws in the film itself, you were disturbed by it's content. Fine. Say "I was disturbed by it's content and found it revolting". But that "Christ, people, think about what you're watching!" line smacks of an accusation and implies that you are the ultimate guru of what is sane/moral/just/and right and anyone who disagrees is insane/immoral/unjust/and wrong. Free speech people. It's not that hard an idea to grasp. It's the reason we can even have this discourse without the party with the least popular opinion being arrested, or beaten, or burned at the stake.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 8 p.m. CST

    the cell is a good movie

    by evenglow

    i don't understand why people need to trash things they don't like. you say the script sucked. that's becuase there wasn't supposed to be a great script. you say it was all eye candy. go read a fxcking book. why are you at the movies in the first place if you don't like to see images? and for the sceen where the killer knows what the room looks like... his dog is in the room. i take it you also didn't notice the girl in the tank or the snow globe? i'll make a comment to all those people out there who don't realy think before they go to the movies. do not go to a movie expecting to see something for certain. the trailers are always misleading. just becuase you were fooled doesn't mean you should go around and trash movies. this movie is good if you like eye candy, jen's xss, twisted killing imagery, plots that make you think, movies that don't reveal everything to you so you walk away and actually THINK ABOUT WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED! most movies i walk away from going, "gee, thanks for making everything so obvious." if you are not afraid of ugly nasties and death go see this movie. under the influence prefered but sober will work fine too.

  • Aug. 22, 2000, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Okay, stop frickin' emailing me about....

    by moto

    While most have been very polite, there have been some typical fanboys emailing me about some stupid Fight Club post. In it I overstated the fact about foreshadowing, or lack there of in Fihgt Club. Of course there's some foreshadowing... not a "litter" of it, but there are some. I meant to say that it was my opinion that some of those foreshadow scenes were the "cheat" scenes, not just the very ending. But who cares. I still loved the movie. Some fanboys just can't take the fact that not EVERYONE agrees with them.

  • Aug. 23, 2000, 2:56 p.m. CST

    ZeroCorpse = Zero Logic


    Zero . . . Babe . . . Come 'ere. I wanna show you something. It's called "logic." "Logic" could be your friend, if you use it regularly. It's like a muscle. If it's neglected, it will shrivel up and die. You said that there are two kinds of people: Those who hate "The Cell," and those who masturbate to Jennifer Lopez. I must be indefinable because I don't fall into either category. You also said, and I quote: "The actress SUCKED, but the script BLEW." End quote. If there is sucking and blowing at the same time, doesn't it tend to cancel each other out? I say again, next time you post messages, use a little logic, and your posts will go a long way. G'day.

  • Aug. 23, 2000, 9:08 p.m. CST

    fire this asshole

    by cast_no_shadow

    the cell is the most beautiful piece of filmmaking i've seen in a long time. oscar nominations should go out to everyone, but they won't. i'm not gonna rumble about that. the guy who reviewed this picture, he should be the one taken out and beaten and left to be anally raped by a homeless man. if he doesn't like the film, say you don't like it. but don't attack the brilliant people who brought this great piece of art to life. roger ebert's four star review was totally justified..

  • Aug. 23, 2000, 9:42 p.m. CST

    zerocorpse allow me to explain...

    by evenglow

    no you don't have to be under the influence to enjoy this movie. i meant that it would be cool if you did. no i'm not saying i go to movies not expecting a plot. i got expecting nothing so as not to be let down when the movie sucks donkey nuts. i went to this movie to see some cool visuals. couldn't care less if it was jen or a guy as the main character. if i want tits and xss i'll go rent a porn, go to a titty bar, or just get some skins. i went to this movie to be told a story and entertained. yes, i'm desensitized but i could go without the naked chicks and gore. don't need it don't like it. if the film maker puts it in then i guess i'll see it. i'm not going to close my eyes. maybe you would but i wouldn't. no you don't need to be drunk to see this film. you never in your fxcking life need to be drunk. but sometimes it can be fun. no movies are not story telling. you want story telling then go read a book or sit on your mom's lap and have her tell ya a story. movies are more than story telling. they are also story seeing, hence the use of cameras. no i do not go to movies just for the eye candy. i go for entertainment. if the movie is all eye candy then i go to be entertained with eye candy. if it's about ideas and emotions, then i go to be entertained with emotions and thinking. if you go to a movie that is all blood, killing, and bounceing tits then i don't think the plot is what brought you into the movie. so don't bxtch when it doesn't have one and all that was in the trailer was sexy jen. i did not go to see cell hopeing for this mind blowing plot. i went to be entertained with eye candy and came out impressed with the story line even though most people didn't get it. i agree that eye candy is much better when there is an actual story involved also. sorry if i sound like an xss but i guess you didn't understand what i meant. please do not go see the cell and expect to see a great movie. go see it if you like weird shxt and cool images. please do not go see the lord of the rings if you want to see a good movie. go see it if you want to see a great story about a great world and see some great images. oh, and if you like fantasy too.