Feb. 16, 2001, 4:33 a.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
It happened pretty fast, but marketing folks at some studios/PR agencies/distributors figured out pretty fast what "sells" on a website (read: negativity) and are cashing in on that as fast as they cashed in on the: "I'm just a hayseed from Orange County and was honored to be invited to a test screening of a movie and couldn't wait to come back here and tell y'all how great it was!" For every negative review of a "test screening" you see positioned a few days before a movie comes out, ask yourself what movie is it going up against that weekend and would-those-folks-stoop-so-low-to-post-fake-reviews-to-pimp-their-own-product? Answer: Well, duh. I think Poland the other day in his column said something like "entertainment journalism is the necessary afterbirth to real filmmaking" or something like that. Yes, a couple of decent test screenings that are specifically targeted can punch up a movie (great documentary about it on that "Final Destination" DVD of all things), but the web ain't The Economist or the Wall Street Journal.
Feb. 16, 2001, 5:15 a.m. CST
many much reading... good o!
Feb. 16, 2001, 5:57 a.m. CST
These people are hairdressers. Gossip columnists. And jealousy gets you nowhere...
Feb. 16, 2001, 6:23 a.m. CST
Your one funny guy. In posts or in AICN Chat you are just so damb cool. Cant wait for those set reports. -jd
Feb. 16, 2001, 6:51 a.m. CST
"Take credit when it benefits you, deny liability when fingers are pointed". Thats an old Japanese saying, which should be the motto for this site. I get a lot of flack for being "Anti-AICN" but i come to the site, i read many articles, and respect what you guys do. However, your perspective is pretty screwed up sometimes. You guys take credit for the success of films, like the articles where Harry has attributed AICN to ebing a key factor in the success of movies like American Beauty, CTHD, and others. But when you get accused of being shoddy journalists (which no offense, but you, Patrick, and the rest of us are) you guys get all defensive. We deal in rumor and hearsay, not facts, and to think even for a moment that what websites like AICN or COming Attraction or even Guerilla-Film.com are legitimate or fall under the basic precepts of journalistic integrity, well youre nuts. I will not deny the impact that AICN has had, but it does done as much to screw up an already screwed up industry as it has to help promote films that may have slipped under the radar. Is it your fault directly, no, but the article is right in one respect: Sites like AICn and CA get used by studios. Sony has CA in their pocket, CountingDown is owned by Dreamworks and im sure there are some studios that convienently "leak" information to you as well. Let's not get all high and mighty if someone accuses us of being shoddy journalists. We are, and maybe thats not such a bad thing. On a more personal level, the fact that you guys 'disguised' yourselves to sneak into a screening shows how eerily child-like you guys can be. Go to a bar, buy a girl a drink or something. i swear i think you guys would prefer to see 10 minutes of LOTR footage as opposed to getting laid, but that's just my theory. Also, the first rule of criticism is never respond to it. You guys didnt do it with Film THreat last year, why start now.
Feb. 16, 2001, 6:57 a.m. CST
I can't wait to see this new Farrely movie! anyways, don't listen to the jackass at the LA Times...without talking to people, especially the ones he's writing negatively about, that proves he's a dirty little wuss!!
Feb. 16, 2001, 6:59 a.m. CST
I just got an email that says that Vanessa Redgrave has just joined the cast of Funny Movie, (formerly, There's Something About Irene's Kingpin), the new Wayans' Brothers spoof of Farrelly Brothers movies. She's reported to say, "There's something inherently funny about the cinematic properties of semen. You're watching a movie, and suddenly there's all this semen. Everywhere. Hilarious. Well, for all you cum-joke fans out there, this movie will set the benchmark. We're going to deal with more semen than Lewinsky's drycleaner." Filming on this will begin shortly after the Wayans' Brothers finish up O'Menace II The Dumb Matrix, Where Art Though?, their hilarious spoof on movies directed by made by other brothers, and one reported to set records on the amount of jokes that revolve around the body cavities of farm animals.
Feb. 16, 2001, 7:03 a.m. CST
Morarity, you sound like a conservative beating up on the "liberal" press... Think proffesionalism has anything to do with it?
Feb. 16, 2001, 8:23 a.m. CST
by Lenny Nero
Definitely makes things better for my future as a critic.
Feb. 16, 2001, 8:36 a.m. CST
excellent article. The argument over the positive and negative effects of the internet on the movie business is a complicated and fascinating one. One theone hand, we have people like Moriarty who believe in film as transendence at its best moments. On the other, we have the studios, for whom this is a high stakes business. Both sides have intriguing points to make (after all, movies ARE commerce before art here in America) and it's always a pleasure to hear Moriaty's thoughts on a given subject. It's the hypocritical journalists who paint an inflated portrait of nearly everything in this day and age that are truly the problem. With ever increasing entertainment options and an ever dwindling number of loyal paper readers, newspapers are more and more resorting to the kind of sloppy, near flagrant tabloidism which used to be such anathema to them. More so than the latest Matrix casting news, these are the sorts of reports I come to AICN for. Well done, Moriarty.
Feb. 16, 2001, 9:11 a.m. CST
Ooops, capslock on! Anyway, I was gonna make a lot of arguments, but you seem to have covered all of them. I just find it fascinating that this guy is arguing that information about a film SHOULD be controlled by the studio! Anyway, negative reviews are hardly the focus of AICN and DH. Its much more about Positive reviews for projects that studios want to bury. I'm glad you brought up the Iron Giant--perfect example. How about Blair Witch? In the week leading up to its release, did Access Hollywood run reports on that? No, only after it became a surprise hit was it deemed worthy of coverage. And it wasn't a hit because of its website, as the media stated, it was a hit because of genuine buzz generated by sites like AICN! Discouraging risktaking??? Read the reviews of Monkeybone! Do any of them argue that it's "too weird?" Hell no! They all complain that its not Weird enough!!! Anyway, keep up the good!
Feb. 16, 2001, 9:52 a.m. CST
Just as I've been arguing for some time now, struggling movie studios desperately attempting to bring a little bit of art to the masses are being thwarted by faceless website conglomerates hellbent on destroying any glimmer of originality in cinema!!! You philistine bastards! Just think will you, poor Jerry Bruckheimer keeps sticking his neck out, pushing the envelope, looking for that extra little bit of something that he and Michael Bay can point to and say "There, that's what we mean by the human condition!" and all you cynical mavens of corporate culture can do is burp and holler "MORE BLOW-EM-UPS!" through your popcorn-filled maws. It makes a boy not want to grow up to be a studio exec...thanks, Dream Killers!
Feb. 16, 2001, 9:55 a.m. CST
Any entertainment journalist who trots out the now-moldy "AICN Killed BATMAN AND ROBIN" has clearly not been doing his homework. The film opened big, and died on toxic word of mouth. As to the testing process, I really don't believe running reports of particular screenings hampers the creative process at all. For one thing, while this site and its competitors generate a great deal of traffic, they're still widely unread by those whose lives do not revolve around the enertainment industry (i.e. average, sane Americans;) ergo, there's still plenty of fresh meat with which the marketers can work. As for web sites being co-opted by the studios, I suppose that's completely different than, say, Bernard Weinraub writing an insanely laudatory piece on AMERICAN BEAUTY for our (America's) paper of record, The New York Times, well before its release (predating even the hype on AICN;) an article that was only made possible through the cooperation of Dreamworks SKG. The Times took a little flack for this, but managed to avoid the invective that is hurled at this site w/r/t its various on-set reports. Remember who Harry claims as a model? Forry Ackerman. Let that sink in, and I think you'll realize that, for the most part, his unabashed enthusiasm, and Moriarty and company's, as well, for films is the guiding spirit at AICN, even when they let loose with two barrels on New Line's THE CELL, or the direction of something as seemingly trivial as SCOOBY-DOO. Yes, things slip through the cracks and errors are made, but, as Moriarty stated, this is no different than any other trade paper or website. Smilin' Jack singles out The Economist, but I'll have him know that I have a $15 million lawsuit pending against those Blighty-based bastards for running a baseless story on my participation in floating a fraudulent crop report to drive down the price of Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice on the NYSE.
Feb. 16, 2001, 10:08 a.m. CST
I know this is completly off topic but if the web designer are reading this PLZ CHANGE THE SITE CAUSE THIS SUCKS ASS. The info is GREAT but damn what a bad and ugly site and very illogic. When this site opened up it was great but now there are so much more and beautifull things on the net. It doesn't even need to be pretty but change the fucking colors and outlay and don't change the size of the letters after every 2 sentences.Just my opinion but if u agree say so. And if u don't say why cause i find myself rather going to comingsoon.net with less news and less feedback just cause it isn't annoying to look at.
Feb. 16, 2001, 10:29 a.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
It was great. The Farrleys were there and they explained they wanted their own untitled movie like the Coens' upcoming UNTITLED BARBER MOVIE. This one involves two humanoid boogers (Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller) on the run from a U.S. General (Chris Elliot). And this is not a studio plant. No one told me to love those boogers! What a marketing gem! Every kid in America is going to want stuffed boogers, booger bedsheets, booger lunch boxes, booger trading cards, booger comics, booger video games, candy boogers, you name it!
Feb. 16, 2001, 11:02 a.m. CST
I completely agree boedereppo. This site is uglier than sh*t and I much prefer going to coming attractions and darkhorizons. Those sites give you information first and foremost and if you want to see someone's opinion, then follow the links. This site, on the other hand, gives stupid opinions first and then gives you the info.
Feb. 16, 2001, 11:45 a.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
Is saying that Coming Attractions is in the pocket of Sony an example of using rumor/hearsay on a website? Right now, I'm struggling to get into the pocket of Full Moon, but they won't return my e-mails.
Feb. 16, 2001, 11:52 a.m. CST
Because they often seem to obstruct the "vision" any given director has for his film. But the account of test screenings here certainly puts them in a new perspective for me. Test screenings should be part or an organic process for a film rather than the many studio take over horror stories so often heard. In this organic process, I think sites like AICN can be highly beneficial for directors and audiences. A watch dog as with tha Batman cartoon just released and a resource of opinions from people who live in Omaha, sort to speak. People can tell studios and film makers what they want rather than we being told what we want. I did post against those Spidey pics shown here a few weeks ago, only because Raimi apparently wants his film to gestate in secret, but I doubt it was of any grand detriment. Sites like AICN offers film makers a new perspective past film makers didn't have. They should listen to it. Moriarty has every right and should defend this burgeoning medium he is a part of. Aren't we all a part of it?
Feb. 16, 2001, noon CST
And I can't wait for those candy boogers to hit the store. Mine just aren't cutting it anymore.
Feb. 16, 2001, 12:30 p.m. CST
If you had a noun like ferry, then the plural of that would be ferries. However, since Farrelly is a proper noun, more than one just gets an 's' added to the back. Two or more Farrelly brothers would be Farrellys, something owned by Peter would be Farrelly's (ie. Farrelly's soiled prophylactic), and something possessed by both brothers would be Farrellys' (The Farrellys' dream project is Buzz's script for UNTITLED BOOGER MOVIE). I don't know if you were joking or not, but consider yourself corrected!
Feb. 16, 2001, 2:18 p.m. CST
Much as I hate to admit it, the trailer for this movie looks damn good.
Feb. 16, 2001, 6:27 p.m. CST
many may not know, but a lot of us do, Patrick over at CA gets most of his 'exclusives' on Sony films like SpiderMan and Planet of the Apes, becasue the producers of these projects feed him info, so CA is little more than another press outlet, nothing underground or secretive about it, which isnt a bad thing, but CA and AICN are two completely different animals. patrick wants to be another fluff piece like Entertainment Weekly, AICN is more about the fans and secret shit, but theyre also scary as hell 28 year old man children. CountingDown.com is owned by Dreamworks, its the bastard child of Pop.com, if you dont believe me type in www.pop.com and see where you wind up. I also agree that responding to shit like this is just sad. Someone tells you you suck, laugh it off, i mean, who takes this shit seriously anyway? To go through the aricle and pick out each line then respond, that is the act of an obsessive compulsive. So let other sites get their studio leaked info and let themselves think they are rebels, or dress up in disguises to fool studio reps at a screening who are dreaming of becoming directors one day. At the end of the day, what do either sites have, a lot of poorly written stories that most people make fun of. Fact is, Harry, patrick, Garth, any of these guys would jump at the chance to be mainstream media. Harry did Ebert and the Movies, and would again if asked, Patrick would write for EW if theyd let him (but they never will). Its the sad fact of being an outsider, you tell people you like being an outsider but desperately want to be in.
Feb. 16, 2001, 9:28 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
...aside from money to buy whiskey, is to get a shot at directing. Otherwise, your writing is disposed of as soon as it is shot, therefore you are disposable. Real writers write novels, plays, articles, poems and jokes.
Feb. 17, 2001, 2:39 a.m. CST
God bless you, I'd rather jerk off for an hour than blow it reading that story. It's more fun and it has more purpose. Holy s., you guys REALLY took the time to read all of that? wow. I bet if harry shit his pants, and told ya about it, you'd worship every word Just fucking with you, it's cool. I'm just testing to see if anybody checks these boards. They certainly DO NOT check the facts of the 'scoops'
Feb. 17, 2001, 7:18 a.m. CST
about a taco eating contest I had with a Mexican. Dreamworks then optioned it, but hired David Koepp to adapt the screenplay. The point is, Stir of Echoes sucked!
Feb. 18, 2001, 5:33 p.m. CST
I think directors with real talent don't need screen testing. Do you think Spielberg screen tested "Schindler's list", or "Saving Private Ryan? Probably not, but don't quote me, I don't know for sure if he screen tested those movies or not. I'm just giving examples more to make a point then to state facts. My point is most movies that are screen tested are done because the director or the studio financing the movie are unsure if the movie is good. They are unsure about the ending, or if people will think it is funny, and does it have enough action Etc. The problem is most movies that are screen tested probably shouldn't have been made in the first place, let alone having a screen test. Most movies from mainstream Hollywood have no originality. How many times a year do you leave the theater after seeing a big Hollywood movie saying,"Wow that was a cool movie"? Most of the time I leave the theater saying, "That was ok but I seen it 20 times before in other movies" It's funny soon maybe the will be a writers/directors strike. I say let them strike What did the say in Glenn Gary Glenn Ross,"the good news is your fired" This is meant for the big name writers and directors in Hollywood who think the rule the world. You know who you I'm talking about. Not for the thousands of independent directors, writers and actors who will ever see the light of day. Now even Sundance is going to Hollywood. All these famous people show up for a day and pretend that they belong. That's the problem with Hollywood. It's full of pretenders. They will screen test a movie to 20 people then pretend the whole world will like it. Movies don't work that way. If something is funny people will laugh. If it's not funny so what. At least the writer/director can say this is my work & tried my best. I'd rather see an imperfect movie that wasn't screen tested then one that was. The problem with Hollywood is they try to make everything perfect. That will never work and that is why most aren't even worth the film there printed on. You can tell when there are changes in movies those. The only good movies this year from mainstream Hollywood: Crouching tiger, hidden dragon. Should win probably won't over Gladiator. Traffic-very cool Chocolat-a better movie then.... Erin Brockovich-In Entertainment Weekly
Feb. 18, 2001, 7:38 p.m. CST
I dunno, but I prefer theatrical Blade Runner to the Directors Cut. And Steven Soderbergh, one of the best directors working today freely admits that test audiences helped show him that his extended take version of the trunk scene in Out of Sight just didn't work, and he went back and refilmed it for a better, more stylish and fluid cut. And I liked Unbreakable but M. Night is an overindulgent director that woudl be better off if he let his studios test his flicks. Of course, on the other side of things, you get Brazil...so y'never know.