Oct. 2, 2000, 7:47 a.m. CST
Jackass was one of the best times Ive had in front of the tv in a long time. I was literally crying while watching it. I'm just waiting for some kid to hurt himself doing one of these stunts and MTV yanking the show. Start taping it now!
Oct. 2, 2000, 9:05 a.m. CST
I was going to comment further, but that's when Mr. Maugham did me the favor of citing FIGHT CLUB as pure genius. Here are three words for you: redundant third act. As for using someone's creative output from college as damning evidence of their idiocy..... well, what else is college for but to write self-indulgent/pitying garbage? You get it out of your system and move on, which is advice I'd also like to pass along to Mr. Hinkley. As for Mor-tay's rumblings, I'm interested in anything Dave Barry does. He's an underappreciated writer, who's not nearly as benign as his column often indicates.
Oct. 2, 2000, 9:07 a.m. CST
I like Dave Barry, but that book was just a waste of paper. Its pathetic attempts to be "gritty" and "action packed" are precisely what did it in. Where is Barry's breezy, hilarious style? Where's the originality? Why is the plot such an unfocused, unappealling mess? Why doesn't the supposed main character have ANYTHING to do? And why, since he's trying so hard to be Hiassen or Leonard, does it just feel painful when he reverts to his usual style for a wry observation or two? Ironically, it might be possible to pull a good movie out of this book with a decent director who knows where the story is. But the book itself remains a total mess. And Moriarty? Why even respond to idiots like this? You should know better.
Oct. 2, 2000, 10:12 a.m. CST
...or, at least, was. Nothing wrong with Florida, aside from late afternoon thunderstorms, a horrible insect problem, and that whole Elian mess. Hope to move back there some day.
Oct. 2, 2000, 10:31 a.m. CST
Harry reviewed Almost Famous not once, but two times, and both reviews suck major donkey-dick... Here's one of the most beautiful movies I've EVER seen in my life and all Harry does in his 2 reviews is spout off about being a critic and all that other surface shit without ever even touching the true beauty of the film. I just really hate it when I see people reacting intelectually to what should have been an emotional experience. Even though Harry tries really hard he doesn't REALLY get it. Read Roger Ebert's review... he gets it.
Oct. 2, 2000, 11:23 a.m. CST
ah Moriarty, I too live in the big swampland and am really looking forward to the production of Adaptation, which just cast Chris Cooper to join Meryl Streep and Nick Cage[?] in the movie being adapted itself from "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading the true story of obsessed orchid people baking in the heat and humidity and swamps of my south florida, I highly recommend this most excellent read. To cast Cooper is Laroche is genius. Mimi
Oct. 2, 2000, 11:30 a.m. CST
Allow me to suggest the ever-underrated NIGHT MOVES, starring Gene Hackman and directed by Arthur Penn. Cool noir flick from the mid-70's, with early appearances from Melanie Griffith and James Woods, that benefits from its swampy Florida milieu.
Oct. 2, 2000, 11:58 a.m. CST
by All Thumbs
Tell us about something passionate, something that would at least be filmed interestingly...then tell us it ain't happening. How cruel you are, sir. How cruel you are...
Oct. 2, 2000, 12:06 p.m. CST
You know what I hate? This article. You know why? Cause here, we're given a rundown on "Knuckle Sandwich", an intriguing premise with no small amount of praise from Moriarty, right up to the cliffhanger "note"...and then the denoument, a vague mention of the crazy misadventures of the quest for one last kiss. This is a good format. I'm curious, and I want to see the movie now. The only problem? THERE'S NO GODDAMN MOVIE! Why give all that detail only to cap it off with a conspiratorial wink and nod if there's NEVER GOING TO BE A PAYOFF for us loyal fans. If the movie might possibly get made, then sae the damn story for when it's got some movement. Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you didn't lord over the common folk with all of your mysterious, kind-hearted spies who send you scripts all the do-dah day. If it's not being made, then let us know what we're missing. I thought that's what this website was for.
Oct. 2, 2000, 12:40 p.m. CST
...I've always supported this site, and your guys' ability to do what you want; and the accessible Talkbacks here make for a great deal more intelligent debate and self-reflection than any other site, despite all the flak you get. (Know why Corona and their ilk come off better? Because they only recently added a place for people to vent their genuine feelings and criticize the site.) However, having now witnessed a banning, I'm a little concerned. That Charles Maughm guy was an idiot, and bringing nothing intelligent to the debate...but I still don't think you should have banned him. He was at least, in his own puny way, trying to make an argument, rather than just flinging random invective. By banning him you're getting borderline tyrannical. Why pretend that you're beloved by all? Nobody is. Asinine comments from your detractors do a hell of a lot more to support your cause than a constant stream of praise. Come on, I like this site, lumps and all. It's still pretty much the most popular site. Let the naysayers nay, and if they have a valid point let them make it; if they don't, let them hang themselves.
Oct. 2, 2000, 1:27 p.m. CST
by Michael Cheritto
The man called Moriarty, you gotta love him. Why are you wasting out time on the P.T. Anderson flick that WILL NEVER HAPPEN? What bet did you loose? Jesus, Joseph and Mary Lou Retton. BIG FISH was published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, sort of stumbled out of the gate, got nice reviews, and suffered from lack of buzz, plus it was put out by the same house that pub's Larry Brown, they like good reivews, not sales. It's in a strange format, and probably was put in the fishing section, (just look at the cover). "Steven" is so far out of his element, I doubt he'd ever do this film. Does'nt his agenda have more pressing topics on it's list? Should'nt he be making a 4 hour sympathy peice for a third world country? Tell me more about your private conversations with P.T. Anderson. You guys seem to be living on the same damn block. And if one more person on this site foams over about the new Sly car movie, I might just reach through your T1 line and throttle them. Moriarty's best work to date has been his decade recap and the DVD reviews of Magnolia and Boogie Nights. I just don't get why he has'nt sent me that script. P.T. Anderson should persuade Radio Head to do a video, people are saying that if UnderWorld (Dellilo) were a record it would sound like one of there's. I just wish Anderson would pull his panties up and write the script to that book.
Oct. 2, 2000, 3:24 p.m. CST
Hell, I myself have had 1 or 2 messages deleted for being too "open" about my complaints. The good old days are gone. I've learned to let go. AICN is an Establishment now, a brand name, a franchise - packaged, shipped, and delivered to thousands over the internet with a happy, glossy clownish Harry slapped on the label like a hamburger wrapped in those familiar golden arches. Establishments have to be protected, barricated (Hey, just look to your right next time you post - Welcome to AICN! blah, blah, blah... essentially = You're here at our discretion. This is our domain. You're a nobody. We're somebodies now and we can CAN you like pumpkin pie). Was that always there? Many of the guys that bad mouth AICN are the usual lot of trolls anyhow. Whose to blame if a few people with serious criticism are run down the gutters? It's what led me to discover alternative sources like Coming Attractions and Dark Horizons. AICN will never be great again, but it's still a pretty good place to be. That's still good enough to keep me checking back.
Oct. 2, 2000, 3:59 p.m. CST
by The Pardoner
Can someone post the bannable remarks of this Maugham character? Could be funny... --- Again, having not seen said remarks, this guy be a colossal cretin: certainly, PTA is not an idiot. At worst, he's a rank sentimentalist, but even those can be fun sometimes (hell, I own The Shawshank Redeption, which is tripe-laden melodrama at its finest). But, mrbeaks, I don't know quite what to make of you. Fight Club had a redundant third act? First of all, I've always found it hysterically funny when people reduce movies arbitraryily in "acts". This stems from the first time I saw Brannagh's Henry V, and some idiot walking out of the theatre said that "the second act really dragged". He was referring to everything between the Second Chorus and Agincourt. Second, would you call that which illuminates redundant, because the thing being illuminated had already been seen in the past? Moron. --- Radix malorum est cupiditas.
Oct. 2, 2000, 4:17 p.m. CST
Check out Andy Ritcher in CABIN BOY, he is awesome!! "This is how a harem girl dances.....*uh*..*uh*..*uh*!!!!"
Oct. 2, 2000, 4:33 p.m. CST
Well..... last time I checked, FIGHT CLUB fit pretty snuggly into the three-act structure which governs most narrative storytelling (five-act structure being fairly rare; though, ill-advised attempts, such as Stone's NIXON, have been made.) As to "that which illuminates," is going back through everything that has suddenly been made clear illuminating? All of this was readily apparent, and deserved maybe a cursory review (2-3 minutes at most) rather than a full (I'm estimating here, obviously) 10-15 minutes. A colossal waste of screentime from a stylist who should know better (THE GAME was a paragon of storytelling structure.) And I don't find it hard to believe that Act II of HENRY V could be sleep inducing. Most productions I've seen (horrible ones, mind you) have died in that tricky second act. Oh, and since we're namecalling, I think you're a no-account lay-about!
Oct. 2, 2000, 4:42 p.m. CST
Thanks Moriarty for returning with the rumblings; Great article, listen have you read the new draft of PANIC ROOM, or the script KILL BIL- Tarantino? Review them please I think you should write a series of rumblings concerning the directors, first with the COENS, then FINCHER,LYNCH, CRONENBERG, GILLIAM, RAMI, SPIELBERG,LUCAS, BURTON,DARABONT, etc, covering their entire work and future, one for each, then do a rumblings on screenwriters, actors and others. When you
Oct. 3, 2000, 12:38 a.m. CST
by The Pardoner
You said something slightly interesting/disturbing: "three-act structure governs most narrative". My point about the relevance of the act structure was this: did Fincher make the film to fit the structure, or did you apply that structure to the film? Since we can't know the truth of the former, and it would be very doubtful that an artist would limit himself so severely, then we have to examine the latter. Ultimately, your application of such a structure to a piece of art is meaningless. The reason the 3-act structure seems to prevalent is that it's incredibly simple to break down a story that way. Doing that tells you nothing, other than that it's a story which *you* can break into three parts. Try to break a film like Atom Egoyan's "Calendar" into acts; you will, in fact, LOSE a great deal, and gain absolutely nothing. Indeed, this kind of mindless critical work is exactly like labelling: anyone can blow something off as being "simply another post-post-modernist work" (what whatever you want) without touching on any of its particulars. Just like when I called you a moron - I wanted to be as dismissive as possible. =) --- As for why Fincher took so long, try this: as is extremely evident from the first, we are dealing with Jack's Perceptions. The question is not, "In my opinion, did Fincher the writer/director give too much screen time to this?", but "Was the amount of attention given to those scenes commensurate with what we knew of the character?" In a word: yes. --- And my Henry V reference was simply to point out that a lot of extremely and commonly stupid people will try to apply meaningless constructs to damn near anything. But, having said that, I'd encourage you to check out both Kenneth Brannagh's "Henry V" (ideally the DVD version, which is fucking amazing), or next year's Stratford Festival production. Said Festival will in fact be featuring the entire Henriad, and the quality of stagecraft cannot be equalled anywhere. --- Oh, and of course I'm a no-account lay-about; why in the great bleeding world else would I be here? =P --- Radix malorum est cupiditas.
Oct. 3, 2000, 1:13 a.m. CST
Everyone says that Fight Club has a bad third act so I must think they are right. I have many great suggestions for how the film should have ended but I will not give them. I like to criticize Fight Club, that way people will know I'm not a fanboy. Harry and Moriarty are bastards because they banned me for being an asshole. My life is sad and I get really upset by something that takes less than five minutes to rectify. I am so upset about it that I will now whine about it in every talkback from now until the day that I die. I am not a fanboy. I hate fanboys. Just because I have a life size, autographed cardboard cutout of Stan Lee doesn't mean anything. PS...Fight Club sucks.
Oct. 3, 2000, 8:59 a.m. CST
First, I must thank you for invoking the holy name of Egoyan into this discussion, as he is the perfect example of the European aesthetic (Canadian, or no,) which runs contrary to our (Hollywood and American Indie) strict adherence to the dreaded three-act structure (we can thank and blame Syd Field for this in equal measure, since there isn't a bookshelf in Southern California, or, come to think of it, the rest of the Continental United States that doesn't house the complete SCREENPLAY series.) Read KIESLOWSKI ON KIESLOWSKI, if you haven't already, and find how Euros approach the composing of a script with only an idea of what message they wish to convey, rather than how to introduce Plot Point #1 at page 15-18. That said, if one were so inclined they could break down, say, RED into a three-act structure, but, as with CALENDAR (or any Egoyan) they would do the work a great disservice. Back to FIGHT CLUB: had Fincher sought to eschew the Hollywood reliance on straight-ahead narrative, I believe he would have first discarded Jim Uhls draft, which sets its course with classic story structure as its northern star. The message is fairly explicit, and not requiring of much deconstruction (as with last year's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, though Minghella is yet another practitioner of the Euro aesthetic.) Still, am I avoiding the thematic richness of FIGHT CLUB? To a degree, certainly, but I find it difficult to discuss the film without bringing up the fact that Fincher/Uhls undercuts the forcefulness of his thesis, which he was building to brilliantly, by backtracking and spelling out that which we already know. It may be new to Norton's character, but it's clear as Crystal Pepsi to us, and robs the film of its momentum. It's a massive disappointment for me, since I am quite the admirer of Fincher's work, which is why I'm similarly distressed that he's chosen Koepp's (i.e. Satan's Geisha) PANIC ROOM as his next project. As for HENRY V, I own Branagh's version on VHS, and will wait for my Criterion version, thank you, before I buy it on DVD. I'd happily trot up to the Stratford festival if I could find the time, since that is where I saw my favorite production of THE TEMPEST. Hope this all makes sense. If not, feel free to swing a sack of doorknobs at me.