MONKEY BONE Review
I hate MONKEYBONE.
I hate the film in a profoundly upsetting way. It is the film I dislike most this year, the film I’m angriest at. Is it worse than HEAD OVER HEELS or VALENTINE? Well, here’s the thing… Did either of those films ever even have the chance to be anything better than forgettable? I don’t think so. I think straight out of the gate… the second the script was approved their fate was sealed into the 9th level of Hell.
What makes MONKEYBONE unbearable is the sheer enormity of talent wasted on this non-working whoopee cushion. This broken joy-buzzer. This dribbling water-spouting flower. It is that cheap broken gag you buy from the back of BOY’S LIFE… that half assed attempt at something wonderful.
How responsible are Henry Selick, Sam Hamm and Chris Columbus?
Well, Sam wrote a great initial script with Henry. A dark surreal adult humored story that was basically a descent into a stunningly imaginative world. The internal logic of that first script was rock solid. Intelligent through and through. Calling for possibly the greatest works of stop-motion animation we’d ever see. It wasn’t hokey and stupid and cheap and dumb. It wasn’t loud and noisy and annoying and bad. It wasn’t this movie. It was grand and noble and fun and like nothing any of us had seen before. It wasn’t COOL WORLD, it was the film that COOL WORLD dreamed to be.
Henry Selick helped create that world, he was going to envision it with the greatest team of Stop-Motion animators around. Gigantic Stop-Motion production numbers with a visual inventiveness far larger in scope than anything in NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
Chris Columbus recognized the talent of having Henry Selick and Sam Hamm’s partnership in place. Knew what the script could have been.
Step in Fox Animation and Fox with their cowardly non-committal chickenshit film production post-TITANIC limp-dick policy of non-filmmaker support.
Budget draft after budget draft…. Make it cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Rubber suits, as little animation as possible… beef up the physical comedy… add more fart jokes and base humor. Rip out the amazing paperdoll world of Death. Gone the human shrinking flattening paperdoll converter device. Let’s take as much of the fantastic as possible out of MONKEYBONE.
Monkeybone was from the beginning an expensive project… from the beginning it was an odd experimental film. But by taking away so much of the tools and paints and money to make the film… all they are left with is a limp film aimed directly at the urinal.
So again, how responsible are Chris Columbus, Henry Selick and Sam Hamm… the three primary producers and creative head honchos of this disaster?
As soon as the cuts began, they should have left. Soon as they realized that the story could not be told in the only way it could be told… they should have left. By cutting all that they did, they had to realize how unbalanced the film had become… how disjointed it would end up.
I’m friends with Sam Hamm. Sammy is a great guy and his scripts have constantly been the victim of BUDGET DRAFTS. Sam dreams big. Has enormous canvases in his brain he tries to put to paper then to screen. But this would’ve been better next to the unproduced Brilliant draft of WATCHMEN than becoming the piece of shit waste of time that it has become.
All the different mix of techniques for bringing the various characters to life… well, all it did was call gross attention to technique as opposed to story-telling. The sculpting of the costume work was exemplary… but they moved like crap. The stop-motion (what there is) was quite nice, but at the end of the day… it just felt out of place. The CGI work seemed even more cartoony than I’ve seen before.
As many techniques for bringing the creatures to life… there were an even wider scope of performances… nearly all terrible beyond belief. Only Chris Kattan comes out of this film with any amount of nobility but that’s because his character is mainly motion and physicality and not talking… and when he does deliver lines it’s with a soft spoken sincerity that really works… EXCEPT in his scene to me, where he goes over the top and that scene should have been cut because it didn’t flow with the rest of the movie.
What makes this film so painful is that though you see designs and sets that your eye is eye-balling… there is just nothing more than passing interest. Nothing really ever happens here.
In fact you can analyze the entire problem with the film by my cameo.
Originally my character was to appear twice. Once while Brendan’s Stu Miley gassed his Dog and the second time when Kattan enters the house. In the first scene I was to be wearing a shirt labeled "LUCKY" and in the second scene I was wearing a shirt labeled "STIFF"
Well they cut out LUCKY and left STIFF. That’s systematic of the entire film. Stiff doesn’t belong with out Lucky. Death does not belong without the set up of what the definition and world of death in the afterlife is. How do we buy the Bridget Fonda & Brendan relationship if we never see it working at the beginning… when there is no establishment of their life together. Well it was cut out. In both cases.
Monkeybone is part of a plan to provide nightmares to the land of monsters, but we never get to enter one of the movie theaters in Downtown where we see why they need nightmares.
The film was butchered by folks that believe you make cutlets by kung fu chops… instead we just get dented meat.
This film is a complete and total failure. The only real interest is to watch it as a study in how a film can go so wrong. The same way I watch SOLDIER (another film I hate) Where you realize that just because you have a great script and the perfect actor… it can go terribly wrong… Well, here… not only did they have the perfect script, the perfect star and the perfect director… but they had the right design teams and art directors… they just had a studio constipated by Rupert Murdoch’s fear that TITANIC could have been a bomb.
It’s time to wake up and realize when producing fantasy film and movies bigger than life that you have to follow through. All the way through. You don’t micro-manage someone like Henry Selick… you give him every single tool that he needs. You don’t butcher a script that is dead on right. You find a director that can bring it to life and stand behind the project without kicking it to serve your own idiotic self-interests.
I HATE THIS MOVIE. I hate that Henry Selick’s filmography reads NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH…. And then this… This film should not be in that list. He should have run away. Bailed at the first sign of studio interference.
Oh… I haven’t mentioned this yet, but Brendan Fraser… He delivers by far his worst performance I’ve seen to day. Hamming and overacting every moment of the film.
Waste of time. Complete waste of time. One of the biggest film disappointments of my life. Not a film worthy of the talent that made it.
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Feb. 20, 2001, 11:04 a.m. CST
Does Brad Pitt know they re-released Cool World?
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:10 a.m. CST
by Casting Holden
That's about all I have to say.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:11 a.m. CST
by Mr Sinister
We want to see you huff and puff with all your might! This movie really seems bad! More of this!
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:13 a.m. CST
by Casting Holden
Is this the first time in history that someone involved in the making of a film has stated to the nation-wide public that he out-and-out hated it before the film has even come out? I know it's just a cameo, but still... This took some balls, Harry. I applaud you.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:18 a.m. CST
Hannibal was boring and a pointless excuse for gore. The ending was terrible, especially with the kid. Was that really necessary? Oy. And you think of all people, Hannibal would know eating brains can give you a fatal disease (it killed off a whole brain-eating tribe, you know). Anyway, it's obvious why Harry gave the film such a negative review: his cameo was cut out. "In fact you can analyze the entire problem with the film by my cameo. Originally my character was to appear twice. Once while Brendan
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:18 a.m. CST
Monkeybone has now become a good example of why you should never judge a film before it is completed. If you were to read all the previous aint-it-cool articles about this film, it was believed to be nothing less than a fanboy's wet dream. And, now after actually seeing it, we get a completely different reaction from Harry. Thats why this advance word on films has less and less merit, because aint-it-cool tends to gush a little too early. Its nice to have the previews, sure, but it would be nice if the writers could be a little more rational and a little less high school when it comes to talking about films in the early/just being completed stages.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:33 a.m. CST
Haven't seen the film and don't plan to, but for some reason I liked this review. Showed how the genius behind Nightmare before Christmas' visuals could be involved in something gone so wrong.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:43 a.m. CST
Next time, listen to me people. Believe me, I wanna see the movie after seeing the commercials... and then I remember, I already saw it. And it fucking blew. So if Harry Knowles, the man who loved ID4 and BW2, and is EVEN IN THE FUCKING MOVIE says it sucks, then YOU KNOW it's bad.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:45 a.m. CST
I think you should go back and read the older reviews of MonkeyBone on this site. Most are bad.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:51 a.m. CST
Harry said that if they were going to cut one of his scenes, they should have cut them both, because they were tied together. Fuckin' Moron. Read his article before you flame the man. I've tossed a fair share of criticism at the man in my posts here, and I've read and agreed with more, but this review can be summed up in one word: integrity. The fact that Harry is willing to slam a movie that is probably going to do more to promote his website and his fame than any other movie ever(and slam it brutally, i might add) is cause for our applause. If more people with real power in Hollywood took a similar approach, perhaps studios would be less inclined to micromanage the way they do. Hollywood needs to hear that Quality, more often than not, will equal a bottom line. This movie will bomb, and probably deservedly so, and by and large, this will be due to bad word of mouth. Harry should be commended for putting aside his own interests to promote this negative word of mouth!!
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:52 a.m. CST
"Is this the first time in history that someone involved in the making of a film has stated to the nation-wide public that he out-and-out hated it before the film has even come out?" Um, no, of course it isn't, not by a long shot ... why do you think the phrase "a film by Alan Smithy" exists..? Directors, producers, and even some writers have long used this dodge to remove their name from a film they wish to disown ... and many, many actors have become upset enough with a 'final' version of a film to take a public stand against it ... the one incident that sticks out in my mind is Marlon Brando, proclaiming on national television that "The Freshman" was the worst film he'd ever made just weeks before it opened. It does take balls to make the stand though, you're right..
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:54 a.m. CST
I dont believe it, he has gone right down in my estimation. But was it tears due to having to sit through it.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:57 a.m. CST
"Is this the first time in history that someone involved in the making of a film has stated to the nation-wide public that he out-and-out hated it before the film has even come out?" Yup, Brando did interviews before The Freshman came out saying it was the worst movie he ever did. But when the movie got good reviews, he said it wasn't so bad. Strange!
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:12 p.m. CST
Let's look at it from a different perspective, shall we? If this movie is as bad as harry's saying, then we shouldn't be criticizing the people who made it, we should be applauding them, because convincing someone to give them money for this film had to be one of the biggest con jobs in recent history...poor suckers, I hope you're insured! hee hee
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:18 p.m. CST
the latter two were amazingly bad. Soldier was no genius but it was good for what it was. Whats with your anti Anderson fetish Harry? Its gotten a little old. I liked where you were goin in rippin this film Harry because it is true and indicative of a lot of Hollywood problems...but I think you're wrong on Soldier. And you're wrong on fart jokes...people other than Kevin Smith can tell them. Thats another odd bias you have. Its like your buddy QT said. Why build up one guys film to bash another? Why needle Soldier for NO DAMN REASON. If you wanted an accurate comparisson to Monkey Bone and Hollywood you should have picked something like Alien 3 which had a million rewrites. Picking on one film OVER AND OVER for a personal vendetta is just bad form. It almost seems like you're bashing this film cause you're in it and to re-assert you're credibility after having it challenged over LOTR and Amrageddon. I hope thats not the case. I value you're opinion big H but it just ranges from incredibly informed and well structured to incoherent and oddly dismissive.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:20 p.m. CST
by Clockwork Taxi
and not Hannibal. Why do you even bring up a movie we are not talking about? BTW, anyone who says Hannibal is boring, is a fucking retard. Plain and simple. Grrr...ppsssfft...pssfftt... Fucking retards are noisy with their grunts....you Hannibal hating cock suckers! Good review Harry, I'm still going to check the film out though.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:20 p.m. CST
Good review, Harry. I'm dissapointed, I was hoping Monkeybone would be the dark fantasy movie that Coolworld wanted to be. Manda, shut your trap, you don't know what you're talking about. Remove your head from your ass, and recognize that Harry called this movie for what it is DESPITE the fact that he had a cameo in it! Now that takes balls. Thank you, Harry. Besides, I knew it sucked when I saw an animated monkey diving into a cat-girl's cleavage in the trailer. Thank you SO much, Rupert Murdoch. Bite me.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:30 p.m. CST
I cried too during Armageddon- I was positively pissing myself watching all the sad bastards in the audience get upset at the end.That's not to say I don't get upset at films, but usually only if they're reminiscent of someone or something from my own life, not because Bruce Willis dies saving the world (again).
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:35 p.m. CST
Geez, I despise Armageddon as much as the next film buff...but it doesn't mean I think Harry's opinion is forever invalidated. I mean, the movie made a jillion dollars, so some mythical people did in fact like the thing. And Harry is absolutely bang on here. When I heard about this movie, I was excited, but when the ads arrived I thought, "What gives? I thought this movie was animated?!" I have absolutely no trouble believing that this movie suffered. Henry Selick is a genius at STOP MOTION. The fact that he was forced to make a film outside his own medium can NOT be a good thing. I didn't even realize there had been cutbacks til I read Harry's review, but it adds up based on what the early reports indicated vs. the final film. What a shame.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:43 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
Okay, Hamm's the writer and as far as I know, this is his first produced script since BATMAN, which was rewritten. Also, he got story credit on BATMAN RETURNS, which means that he was the first guy to write a script and with stupid WGA rules, when you're adapting material if you write the word "Batman" or "Hannibal Lector" or something you get some credit, even if not one other word of your script remains. So on BATMAN RETURNS, he was really rewritten (by Daniel Waters which is like having N'Sync re-record a Rolling Stones album). He probably didn't write what was filmed in MONKEYBONE either. I'm letting him off the hook. Now, Sellick or whatever he calls himself. He's an animator. He plays with dolls. He's making children's movies but since no one grows up any more, they're not called children's movies. He probably can't direct live action, but I'm sure he had tons of studio and producer inerference. He probably went along so he wouldn't wind up working at the car wash with Ralph Bakshi. He may go in peace. Now, Columbus...I would call him the Great Satan but there's nothing great about Columbus. I didn't know he was involved in this. If I had, I'd have immediately written off the movie. Straight lowest common denominator filmmaker. Cut him and he will bleed the worst of 1980s cinema. Derivative. Sitcom oriented. Immature. Apple-cheeky, bad kiddie filmmaker. I know where I'd put the blame.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:45 p.m. CST
What is wrong with Armageddon? For the kind of movie it was it did everything it was supposed to do. Everyone that went to see it knew it wasnt a profound movie, so why whine about it now, it was a movie that was supposed to entertain you for two hours, and thats what it does.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:50 p.m. CST
was when Bruce Willis became Jesus Christ. And here I thought Michael Bay wasn't deep.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:52 p.m. CST
You all are losers.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:53 p.m. CST
by otis von zipper
I'll be glad to put all the blame for this disappointment on Chris Columbus. What was the last movie he was involved with that was worth seeing? Gremlins? Selick's talent is evident when working with Tim Burton, but when working with schlock master Columbus we get a cast of Brendon Fraser, Whoopi Goldberg, Bridget Fonda, and Chris Kattan. Not exactly a list of talented people in my book. Hopefully Selick will return to working with Burton, or someone who can work with his vision instead of against it.
Feb. 20, 2001, 12:54 p.m. CST
by CC's HTTP
HA!!! They gave you the bait and switch. They were never going to use you in that "lucky" shirt... Don't tell me, is that the same shot that you're in your boxers? You've been played... STIFF!!! --- 8,000 stories about yourself. 216 stories worth a little interest. Yeah Webba... it's me... C-C http://dtailcolin.tripod.com
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:03 p.m. CST
I may cry. Why can't we get that perfect geek movie? Well, Freaked came pretty close...
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:11 p.m. CST
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:18 p.m. CST
I've done some thinking and I think the whole problem boils down to 2 things: 1) Studios are wasting their money on movies starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and these other teen stars with no talent whatsoever. So each movie costs $15-30m and is lucky to barely make it back if they do. Meanwhile, films with real potential are shortchanged. Think about it. Haven't studios caught on that they're not gonna make any money with idiotic films like Head Over Heels? 2) Movies' budgets have gone way out of control. Hannibal shouldn't have costed $80m (the budget was around that I believe). There wasn't much set construction involved, no special effectes except the brains, boar and blood which could not have cost that much to do and no CGI. It is just beyond me (no cracks about my intelligence before you start) how they can waste so much money on a relatively simple production. Did they pay off the government, buy lots of hookers and crack, and trash the finest hotel in Florence? If Ang Lee can make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for $12m and Hayao Miyazaki Princess Mononoke for $25m, then American movie companies should be able to control their expenditures a lot more. With all this money wasted on just a few movies, others get screwed over royally such as Monkeybone. It's a low down dirty shame.
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:25 p.m. CST
Casting Holden and Droosan: Don't forget, Bill Cosby famously ragged on "Leonard Part 6" while he was on what was supposed to be the publicity tour for it. On the "Tonight Show," no less, he warned away the audience in no uncertain terms, saying, "Don't go see it! It's horrible!"
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:39 p.m. CST
...... than he is about the movie itself.
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:44 p.m. CST
by I am_NOTREAL
which we can only hope STAYS unproduced, lest one of the best works of popular fiction of the last half of the century be marred for all eternity. I shiver at the thought of "Watchmen" getting the "X-Men" treatment--nothing against the "X-Men" movie, it was decent fun, but c'mon, it had about as much depth as the average 13-year-old's brain. As for "Monkeybone," well I could pretty much tell that was junk.
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:47 p.m. CST
by CRITICAL MASS
Opinions are great, but as the saying goes (sort of,) they're like asses. Some people have small ones that barely get noticed by anyone, while others have asses that curve space/time and alter the orbits of planets. Harry definitely has the latter ass, although, it's an ass that only PERCEIVES itself to alter reality. In the end, (Heh heh! He said . . . "end.") we are left with nothing butt (sic) gas. Harry's hyperbole is legendary in these parts. He takes what would NORMALLY be a mediocre film and makes it seem like the death penalty should be modified to cover bad filmmaking. Talk about bloated. Jeez, Harry. Take an antacid. These vitreolic reviews are making you angry and hate-filled. Don't you want to be the fun-loving, teddy bear shown in the cartoons in the upper left corner? Really? Don'tcha?
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:52 p.m. CST
I agree its a pretty good review, and Im not gonna bad mouth you for not enjoyibng this film, but I will never take your advise on films, I mean you liked "Sugar and Spice" Harry, worst thing of 2001 so far (not a movie, just a thing on film). peace, FatLockyer.
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:52 p.m. CST
Keep in mind that the $87 million (according to imdb) dollar budget includes salaries. 15 against gross for Hopkins, probably 5-7 for Ridley after Gladiator, if not more, about the same for Gary Oldman, and a bit less for Julianne Moore. That's at least 30 million right there, and we still haven't paid the rest of the cast (including Ray Liotta), bought the rights for the book (around $10 mil if I remember correctly), and gave the producers some cash. 2 screenwriters, including the expensive David Mamet, were also involved, not to mention any uncredited script doctoring that went on. So cast, director, writers, book rights, and producers probably came to about half of the budget. That leaves $40 million dollars to spend shooting on location in Italy and Virginia, which is less than it cost to film the no-name cast and crew Coyote Ugly (an example of a studio movie that wouldn't have had the outrageous overhead cost of Hannibal).
Feb. 20, 2001, 1:53 p.m. CST
More examples: Ralph Feiness Uma Thurman, Connery all no-shows at the "Avengers Premiere". Gary Oldman openly criticised "The Contender" in numerous interviews. Happens all the time. Good to know some people actuall give a damn what there name get's attached to. *Cough *Michael Caine* Cough Cough*
Feb. 20, 2001, 2:10 p.m. CST
this never, ever, ever, ever works! it just doesn't! from Gene Kelly's dance with Jerry the mouse, to Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts, to PEte's Dragon, to Roger Rabbit, to Cool World, to Daffy duck on the Drew Carey show -- there's just something clunky about it, and I'm never ever satisfied with it. There are great moments in the marriage of live action and animation, but there is NO awesomely perfect geek-beloved movie to serve as a model for Monkeybone. Shit, I didn't even love E.T. or Gremlins, for that matter. And those were puppets! ANyway, kudos to you, Harry, for the best review you've written lately. It must have been a bitch 'cause we know you wanted to love this movie. I love Brendan Fraser and I hope I don't have to agree with you that he overacted like a mofo in Monkeybone, when I finally see it on tv.
Feb. 20, 2001, 2:24 p.m. CST
BTW, here's a quote from Harry's review of Armageddon. "The first time I cried in the film was when Billy Bob Thornton says, "For the last twenty years the U.S. Government has wondered why to fund us, let's give them an answer today." (or something real close to that) That got me because it was such a sad statement on the situation. That this asteroid was coming to take us all, and it's because we weren't funding the searches, because we weren't looking to the skies, but to our own petty problems here on earth, too preoccupied with blowjobs in corner offices than to look into the sky and see that it was falling. " So it means he cried more than once during this movie and NOT because it was a piece of crap. A pretty poor reason for crying too.
Feb. 20, 2001, 2:32 p.m. CST
Harry hailed that turgid turd Hannibal as a great love story. So, his opinion now pretty much rates as well as those fucks over at E-Weekly. I'm still jazzed to see this goofy-lookin' flick.
Feb. 20, 2001, 2:35 p.m. CST
One, I think that Harry mentioned Soldier because I've heard that Soldier started out with a great script, and Paul Anderson fucked it up. Therefore, whoever was whining about it, he did exactly what you suggested he do. And Willard - You don't even like Roger Rabbit?
Feb. 20, 2001, 2:58 p.m. CST
I cried in Armageddon because it was a super-slick, big-budget movie that knew how to touch its audience. I'm not saying it was the boldest artistic statement of its time, but there's no shame in appreciating the stirring sentimentality in big, overblown movies like ID4, Armageddon, Titanic, etc. It's bad when self-professed movie buffs like us hate certain movies just because they're blockbusters. -- Also, who said there was anything wrong with the MysteryMen!? Sure they coulda used a certain carrot in their midst, at least in a cameo, but otherwise I LOVe that movie, and it looks great on disk. -- and speaking of "overblown", evrybody who gives Harry Knowles shit for being fat should be ashamed of themselves! Fatness is the last taboo. There is zero tolerance for racism and every other kind of prejudice in our society, but it's somehow cool to post "Harry is Fat" ad nauseum, and to crack on fat people. shame on you fatbashers!
Feb. 20, 2001, 3:26 p.m. CST
I'm Sorry I didn't think that Armageddon was a sentimental film, to me it was predictable crap that gets made all the time by studios. And to be honest, I feel sorry for everyone who cries at this film. Probably the same individuals who thought that TITANIC was good.
Feb. 20, 2001, 3:34 p.m. CST
nothing really wrong with mysterymen, or mars attax, they just both had the potential to be about 10,000 times better. (esp. MM being based on the greatest comic ever made.) Also, I love Titanic. ID4 is mediocre at best, but I had a fuckin ball watching it. Thoroughly enjoyable. Armeggedon, on the other hand, is absolutely painful to watch. Of course, we're getting deep into the land of personal opinion here. As for the anti-fat prejudice thing, I'm totally in agreement with ya.
Feb. 20, 2001, 4:17 p.m. CST
I didn't have a problem with it, other than it being poorly directed (way too many 'what the fuck is going on?' scenes) and Steve Buscemi being annoying as hell. But it actually made someone cry? Whatever. The asteroid movie was way better than the comet movie, at least, because Armageddeon didn't pretend to be anything other than a dumb summer movie, whereas Deep Impact pretended to be deep and profound and serious, when really it was made-for-tv quality tripe.
Feb. 20, 2001, 4:33 p.m. CST
You know,seems to me one of the major problems is the film's final edit was hacked-for whatever reason. Well,PARAMOUNT did the same thing to COOL WORLD! They cut 30 minutes ,droped a 2 sub-plots,and totally changed the ending... Find a script,the comic adaption or a 'bootleg' work print and you'll see that COOL WORLD was brilliant...Bashki was screwed! But like MONKEYBONE,"The powers that be' that green-lighted the project were no longer at the studio and they didn't know what to do with it! Might have been the difference between an R and PG-13. You know why COOL WORLD died? Monday following a decent late summer weekend of $8 million,they pulled all advertising-tv,print,radio,etc and let it die! Reason-cause the "New" powers that be had their own animated film coming out in two weeks..."BEBE'S KIDS"! (Which didn't end up making much more money.) It's Sad what they did-MONKEYBONE had alot of great idea,and now it seems like we got a jumble. Still,going to be interesting to see it regardless-I'd like to see what they were left with!
Feb. 20, 2001, 4:43 p.m. CST
Does anybody know if the original script Harry referenced will ever be available to the public? It sounds like it had a lot of potential, and could be a great read. Regarding the finished product, I was really looking forward to it. I'll still see it, but I'm getting worried.
Feb. 20, 2001, 5:12 p.m. CST
Being a "dumb summer movie" is no excuse. Everyone uses that claim as a defense! Oh forgive all it's crappiness! It's a dumb summer movie! It was ridiculous, that's what it was. Everyone reacting abnormally, inhumanly, and insanely to situations. Blah. "Buffy" is back from commercial.
Feb. 20, 2001, 5:18 p.m. CST
by Cap'n Spalding
Harry's opinion is Harry's opinion. Take it for what you think it is worth. His review is not federal law. You have to use your own judgment. Considering that the movie hasn't opened yet, some people should at least wait until Friday to unleash their big guns.
Feb. 20, 2001, 5:45 p.m. CST
by [DC] DarkVictory
It doesn't take a genious to figure out this movie was going to suck harder than a constipated french whore out of preperation H. Shit even a one legged midget named Cletus could figure it out. The first time I saw the commercial I knew right away it reeked of gayosity. My respect for Tim Burton just went down a notch. Oh it's true it's true. I'ts damn true. Oh and also ANY movie with an SNL past/current member or Harry (even a cameo) is going to be a piece of shit film. That's my two cents. I'm out. Hit my fucking music.
Feb. 20, 2001, 7:34 p.m. CST
...but maybe a movie geek is just not the best person to have an Internationally-Respected Website on which to post reviews. I know I'm gonna get the shit flamed out of me for saying all this, but Jesus, Harry! "Warner Brothers should be burned to the ground for not re-releasing Superman to theatres!" "All Fox executives should be shot on site for what they did to Monkeybone!" "All the studios in Hollywood are censorship-promoting, fascist NAZIS unless they all fight each other tooth and nail to buy a Japanese flick about junior-high school kids killing each other a thousand different, gruesome ways!" Goddamn, Harry. I never thought the britches could be made that you would be too big for, but I think they've arrived. I've got an idea, Harry. If you're the grand wizard of all things cinematic, why don't YOU make a fucking movie? Not through a studio, but an independent film. That way you have nobody to blame if the movie isn't any fucking good. I want to see Harry's "Valley of the Dolls." If it lives up to his exacting standards of such films as Armageddon and Sugar and Spice, I'm sure the world will truly be in for a real film geek extravaganza.
Feb. 20, 2001, 7:43 p.m. CST
from previous Monkey Bone talkbacks: From: DiscreetLogic Subject: Harry Knowles - For Sale (CHEAP!) Use up Harry Knowles while you can while he remains a wonderful place to put your promotional dollar! From: mjbok Subject: I really hope... Comment: That this doesn't mean that we have to continuously hear about how this is the greatest movie ever... From: J.J McClure Subject: Ahh, Jesus, Harry... I hope Harry doesn
Feb. 20, 2001, 7:47 p.m. CST
...but am I really the only one who thinks he could learn a little "professional detachment" with this job? I know, I know, "Harry doesn't review movies the same way other critics do! He says what he means! He doesn't hold back! He's not just a film critic, he's a film *lover!*" Yeah, yeah. You guys think Jeffrey Lyons or Peter Travers don't LOVE films just because they don't call for acts of terrorism on studios when they don't see movies they don't like? They just know how to express themselves professionally. "I didn't like the movie. Here's why...." Period. They don't say shit like, "Now the guy who wrote this, he's a friend of mine (<snort> jealous?) but God help him if I ever see him again, because not only am I gonna demand my money back for this piece of shit film, but I'm gonna break both his hands so he can't write another turd like this again!" I know I'm exaggerating, but I'm only coloring hyperbole WITH hyperbole. Seriously, though... am I really the ONLY one who thinks Harry needs to pop a little Prozac before sitiing down to write his reviews? (I will now patiently await all the namecalling and accusations of being a "jealous faggot," niether of which would be true.) Until then, Lightstormer OUT.
Feb. 20, 2001, 7:48 p.m. CST
I am honestly beginning to believe that Harry is one of the best and most truthful critics to come around in a long time. Sure, he may not be as articulate and over-analytical as other critics, but who needs that bullshit anyway? He speaks his mind, and isn't afraid to tear apart a film that he himself was involved in. I first noticed this in his review of BOOK OF SHADOWS, in which I agreed with his view entirely. I'm not trying to kiss Harry's ass here, but seriously, he has some good taste and isn't afraid to "tell it like it is". I applaud you big guy!
Feb. 20, 2001, 7:52 p.m. CST
"You guys think Jeffrey Lyons or Peter Travers don't LOVE films just because they don't call for acts of terrorism on studios when they don't see movies they don't like?" Oops... remove that third "don't." Damn triple-negatives....
Feb. 20, 2001, 8:24 p.m. CST
...and he`s probably right about "Monkeybone". I mean, the trailer looks like "Cool World" with the set design from "Beetlejuice" thrown in.
Feb. 20, 2001, 8:31 p.m. CST
by The Newminator
This website would probably be a much more hospitable place if the TalkBack feature didn't exist. Still, these do get pretty damn funny sometimes. Everybody just chill out and have a nice cup o' Swiss Miss and some lithium to curb your cinema-rage! I'll be back...
Feb. 20, 2001, 9:16 p.m. CST
Dammit, dammit, dammit! Why is crap like Monkeybone stankin' up the multiplex while honest-to-god awesome properties like Bone and Elfquest (which would cost a fortune to be done properly) are sitting on the sidelines looking in untouched? Molly poo, let WB blow another $100 mil on Batman:Year One, or Dark Knight Returns, or Robin's Roids or whatever the funk... There are *no* good animation studios left in Hollywood (esp. Fox... Anastasia anyone?) So now what do Toon-lovers do? Try to ignore the piss-poor job the translators do on Anime and wait for the next Chuck Jones. Oh, to hell with you, Hollywood. A pox on you all! ~pS~
Feb. 20, 2001, 9:42 p.m. CST
I'm first! This movie looked like it would suck!
Feb. 20, 2001, 9:51 p.m. CST
Harry, is bathroom humor so terrible? But what do we all know about monkeys, anywho? Instead, let's have a big-budget feature version of "CAPTAIN NICE"!!! Hmmm ... who'd be approriate to play the police chemist Carter Nash?
Feb. 20, 2001, 9:53 p.m. CST
by Frank B.
Sam Hamm is a hack.It's beyond me how people consider the first Batman film good.It's full of holes(One example the corrupt cops subplot in the beginning of the film is introduced and quickly forgotten)Stupid moments(Vicki Vale running out of the car in the middle of a car chase) and shoddy characterization(sic)(Batman is a cypher while the Joker is about as broad a character as on the old series)To aplaud his work on The Watchman is silly considering that he just parroted Alan Moore's graphic novel and completely ruined the ending.His Batman Returns was rightfully scrapped and Daniel Waters work was an improvement.I doubt if Monkeybone was originally any good.If it was that was probably input from Selick
Feb. 20, 2001, 9:53 p.m. CST
Feb. 20, 2001, 10:23 p.m. CST
by Darth Taun Taun
Hmmm... what's wrong with this picture? A "Cool World"-esque plot? Brendan Fraser being "funny?" The people who see this movie deserve to have their money taken. (Rose McGowan's shapely busom notwithstanding.)
Feb. 20, 2001, 10:28 p.m. CST
Seriously. Especially high paid, made-it-to-the-mainstream actors. It's a job you lousy bastards. There are thousands of good, underemployed actors who would shoot off their pinky toe to get a part in that 'Terrible Movie'. What, should we feel sorry for them cause they got 'tricked' by a great concept or first draft of the script? Really people. It's a profession, and true professionals do not publicly piss on a project they've done, not even to save their 'image'. It smacks of bitterness and it's petty and selfish. Bitch to your friends, your agent and your spouse, but act like professionals you louts! ******* End Rant.
Feb. 20, 2001, 10:58 p.m. CST
by Fatal Discharge
But I'm sorry to hear this film is no good especially since I've enjoyed Selick's other films. Does anyone know what happened to The Adventures Of Tom Thumb And Thumbelina? I think Selick was supposed to do this Miramax film but haven't heard anything about it since.
Feb. 20, 2001, 11:04 p.m. CST
The only person who could play police chemist Carter Nash: Bruce Campbell! No, seriously... um... Ted Raimi, maybe? or the guy who plays Titus's nerdy best friend on "Titus"? Or the guy who plays Eric on "That 70s Show", if we change the character to be a college student... them Hollywooders are always changin' them whatcha call "premise"s to appeal to a younger whatcha call "dem-o-graphic." So yeah, Topher Grace. Get him to play Captain Nice. Maybe we can get William Daniels for a cameo as his granduncle who gives him the secret formula (it was a formula, right? It's been so long since i saw that darn show...) As for Monkeybone... Jeez, anyone who can see the trailer coulda told you it would suck, sexy catgirl notwithstanding....
Feb. 21, 2001, 12:34 a.m. CST
by SilentBob X
Feb. 21, 2001, 5 a.m. CST
that's all i have to say
Feb. 21, 2001, 6:28 a.m. CST
Here these big-time Hollywood moviemakers give you a cameo in their wonderful fantasy movie, and you just piss on it! Aren't you in violation of some kinda SAG rule about heaping unqualified praise on any movie you're in until at least the day it opens? If you were a true-blue all-American sellout you would have spooged all over it and we would have obediently marched to our nearest multiplex and plunked down $6.50 to see our hero on the big screen. Well, I guess I'll have to wait until they cast you as The Blob from the Hellfire Club in X-Men 2.
Feb. 21, 2001, 7:41 a.m. CST
Kids, I read writeups like this one and compare it to others that Harry writes and wonder why he writes such bad material 99% of the time and then squeezes a shiny nugget like this MonkeyBone review out only 1% of the time. Harry, if you kept your spazziness to a minimum and wrote more like this, you'd have more of something you don't quite have yet-respect. This should put into check any people who bash you for being a shameless schill for the studios-you're willing to blow up a movie that you're in, and that takes stones no matter who you are.
Feb. 21, 2001, 9:39 a.m. CST
HARRYYYYYYY WHEN THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO POST YOUR WORST FILMS OF 2000 LIST I'M STILL WAITHING MAN HOPE YOU NOTICE THIS TALKBACK....me thinks i'll give monkeybone a try anyway....if i had the money, i'd make films the way they were supposed to be made and make nc-17 seem as normal and industry standard as r until an nc-17 film hit the big time ($100 million dollars) fuck blockbuster for sticking a plunger up Aronofsky's ass for recutting requiem for a dream... i hope video park carries the uncut version....films for marilyn manson's holy wood and a preacher film (the graphic novel) would be just super I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE THAT LIST SOON HARRY, EVEN IF ITS THE LONGEST ARTICLE ON YOUR SITE IN HISTORY.
Feb. 21, 2001, 9:46 a.m. CST
Watchmen could be done, within 2 hours and 15 minutes, and be good. While I consider the Alan Moore comic the best piece of comic fiction ever done, with the exception of Moore's amazing Killing Joke, a majority of Watchmen could be cut or circumvented. In films, character development, introductions, and flashbacks can be handled in different ways than in comics, and everything doesn't have to be so straight forward. Sally Jupiter's talks with her mom, while nice in the comic, don't have to be so prevalent in the film....you just need the final, rape discussion. Things like this. Samm Hamm may be a 'decent' writer, but anyone who thinks that this movie HAS TO BE 5 HOURS OR IT SUCKS is a goddamn idiot. And no one's gonna do Watchmen besides Warner, because they own it. And Warner, well, Warner's too scared to do anything that doesn't involve tried and true, tested 1000000 times material. WHERE THE HELL IS MY GREEN LANTERN MOVIE? WHAT THE HELL! I am getting an IRON FIST MOVIE but no GREEN LANTERN MOVIE?? Warner, you suck Harry's stinky, pimply, fetta cheese ass. Way to go Harry on admitting that a film you were in sucked.
Feb. 21, 2001, 10:29 a.m. CST
by Palmer Eldritch
I'm wearing such a pair right now!
Feb. 21, 2001, 11:42 a.m. CST
"A motion picture has a strange chemistry that you can't explain. How do you explain how every once in a while an absolute conclave of idiots will come together and make a film that's just wonderful, while a group of talented people will turn out something that's nothing? Maybe it just depends on the roll of the dice." -- the late, great Stanley Kramer as quoted on IMDb's Studio Brief today.
Feb. 21, 2001, 1:24 p.m. CST
What i was talking about is the general aint-it-cool coverage of the film. Sure, the intitial test screenings from readers were not positive, but my complaint is with the actual high hopes of the aint-it-cool advance word. Yes, i'm grateful for advanced coverage, (Hell its why i come to the site) but i just think there is a tendency to go a little overboard, based on a script, set visit, or makeup test. The coverage often confuses a great set with a good film, just gets a little carried away at times.
Feb. 21, 2001, 5:11 p.m. CST
i was looking forward to this movie too, i've really lost all respect i had for Brendon Frazier after his recent shitty movies! Not too much to say about this one, but i just wanted to bitch at the ASSHOLE that had to review about the ending of Hannible!!! FUCK YOU!!! i havent seen that movie yet and i just want to kill assholes that spoil movies for me!!!!!!!! so in closing FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!! you probably talk in the middle of movies you've already seen too dont you??????
Feb. 21, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST
So you got a cameo in this movie here, huh Harry? Well arent we special. Lets make way for the big man on the movie set. Ill be sure to roll out the red carpet if i ever meet you.
Feb. 21, 2001, 5:35 p.m. CST
So you got a cameo in this movie here, huh Harry? Well arent we special. Lets make way for the big man on the movie set. Ill be sure to roll out the red carpet if i ever meet you.
Feb. 22, 2001, 5:01 a.m. CST
by Palmer Eldritch
You spelt "migraine" incorrectly. Anyway, ANYONE who posts on this board should, frankly, worry about who his current grilfriends is banging behind his back.
Feb. 22, 2001, 6:23 p.m. CST
We should remember what it is about stories that we love. We should put movies like this behind us the first chance we get. We've become too easy. How long do films have to stay in 3rd grade, before somebody realizes that most people can't relate to these sorts of movies in any real sense?
Feb. 22, 2001, 9:23 p.m. CST
Harry, you ever think of reviewing pornos so you could get a cameo in those, too?
Feb. 22, 2001, 10:27 p.m. CST
In the past three years I've followed this site, I'd have to say this was your best review to date. Not because you trashed a film, not because you were connected with the project, but because you stated clear and specific problems with the film, and how it could have been otherwise. In addition to this, you targeted studio problems which other critics would not, demostrating a heightened awareness which people are looking for. It was this kind of attitude that drew me to this site in the first place. Compare this Harry with your "Battle Royale" review, which to be blunt, was god awful. This review shows the promise of what you can be if you put your mind and soul to it.
Feb. 23, 2001, 6:26 a.m. CST
Of course Brando was right about it being the worst film he had ever made. Not that it is a really bad film, but Brando has made so many great ones it is easy to make such a statement. Monkeybone, however, is a piece of garbage. All you have to do is watch 2 seconds of the trailer to see that this thing is just a complete waste of film, time and electricity. California could probably avaoid some of its rolling blackouts by cancelling all traces of monkeybone's existance. I beg for a blackout every time the trailer starts to come on T.V. so it will save one more push of a button on my remote control.
Feb. 23, 2001, 12:47 p.m. CST
by I am_NOTREAL
Feb. 23, 2001, 12:50 p.m. CST
by I am_NOTREAL
"...but for bizarre appearance, nothing quite beats the real-life spectacle of red-headed, big-gutted Harry Knowles, movie Web site maven, appearing in a wordless cameo as Fraser's neighbor." So you see, SOMEONE noticed...go to ajc.com if you don't believe me...they gave the movie a C-, by the way.
Feb. 23, 2001, 12:50 p.m. CST
There was no way heck this movie would be any good; it has Brenden Fraser in it. Please, please, some one explain to me the appeal of this man!
Feb. 23, 2001, 3:26 p.m. CST
non-working whoopee cushion. This broken joy-buzzer. This dribbling water-spouting flower. I'll be using these for a year.
Feb. 24, 2001, 1:04 p.m. CST
by Darth TJ Mackey
I don't know if anyone's pointed out that if Harry WERE to have given this film a glowing review, a flurry of "Bloated sellout...you just liked it 'cause they wined and dined you and gave you a cameo," etc. would have IMMEDIATELY ensued..so at least HK is showing a willingness to diss *a film he was involved with* (and that one of his friends co-wrote!); duly noted and appreciated, sir. ALSO: how can a discussion of Christian movie review sites be TRULY complete without http://www.capalert.com, the Mufasa of ALL such sites? Almost everything they review disturbs Capalert *greatly*; the "South Park" movie pretty much signaled the end of civilization to him. A great read!
Feb. 25, 2001, 3:41 p.m. CST
His point in bringing up the cameo was to bring up the point of the editing in the movie. The joke in his cameos was that his t-shirts read together read "Lucky" and "Stiff". With one of them cut out, it only had "Stiff" and ruined the joke behind the two cameos in the first place. If nothing gelled together while thye were editing the movie, then someone should have seen there was something terribly, terribly wrong with this movie. I haven't seen the movie yet, although I have been tempted to just to see how bad it really is at this point. Unlike most of the geeks in here (of which I readily admit I am one myself), Brendan Fraser is one of my favorite actors, he's just made some bad choices as of late, and I can't wait to see The Mummy Returns. Even usually the worst of movies he's usually the one character I like the most. And Harry has some guts blasting a movie he was in -- go get 'em, Harry, for the true geeks!
Feb. 26, 2001, 9:53 a.m. CST
by Rudy Russo
So Harry has a pissy-fit because one of his scenes gets cut? Gimmeabreak. I don't doubt the brilliance of Sam Hamm's early drafts, but the movie I saw was a riot--a mess, sure, but BEETLEJUICE was half fucked-up too. This movie had enough insanely funny ideas for a dozen movies--I don't know if I would have wanted it to go on much longer. Harry (and all the other critics) will come to regret dumping on the movie like this. In future years, MONKEYBONE will be hailed as a crazy comedy classic.
Feb. 26, 2001, 10:51 a.m. CST
If you ever doubted the power of AICN, the miserable B.O. of 'bone is definitive proof. Particularly for an aud of fanboys, Harry speaks to the masses, and we listen. I wonder how long before Variety picks up on this.
March 7, 2001, 3:55 a.m. CST
ok. so its just as pointless to come here and say how much Harry rules as it is to come here and say how much harry sucks but I'm going to anyway because I'm sick to death of it. I LOVE Harrys site. Harry provides a service. I choose to read what he writes and (luckily) I can choose to agree or disagree with him, I can also choose to ignore what I see as insignificant and subscribe to what I see as useful. you people who come on here saying "harrys sold out" or "Harry's opinion is worthless" seem to be forgetting that this place is FREE. if you hate it so much don't bother coming. Its not fucking compulsory! your presence on this board is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to demoralise disenfranchise and disrupt (oooo alliteration) something which is bigger than you. Harry's site is more important than the individual talk backers and ~dare I say it~ more important than Hollywood, it represents one mans love of a genre that is so passionate it has transcended the normal boundaries of fandom into a film buffs dream come true. Harry isn't just a critic he represents the human spirit and its ability to rise above the powers of consumerist greed and succeed just because.....well just because your fucking passionate about something. I like this site I like the reviews and I think I like Harry. Not because every word he writes is gold dust but because he has succeeded because he believes in something. I hope that one day you wankers sitting behind your corporate desks slagging Harry off in-between ferrying your bosses pointless paperwork around realise just how fucking worthless your dreams have become in the face of what he's done.
July 24, 2001, 1:57 p.m. CST
ok,ok, I agree with your review, but I still enjoyed it. Saw it on DVD. And seeing it in this format was very instructive as it relates to your disappointment. There were alot of deleted scenes included in this package which showed how the film could have hung together better. And Sellick's commentary on Chris Columbus's meddling were also very interesting. Worth a look.
Jan. 12, 2002, 12:45 p.m. CST
by Mr Neth
After first reading this nearly a year ago, I finally saw Monkeybone last night after it crawled out as a video premiere here in the UK. Jesus, what great idea PISSED AWAY by the hacking of studio execs. Cool World and this in one lifetime? Who'd have thunk it. FOOTNOTE: Fox are releasing this, Say It Ain't So and Freddy Got Fingered as part of their "2 Hot 4 Cinema" range - it should read "2 Shit 4 Cinema", and someone should point out to them that both Freddy and Say It Ain't So had cinema releases last year. Fucking morons.
Feb. 2, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST
by Talkbacker with no name
10 years later and Monkey Bone is still a mess
Feb. 2, 2012, 9:33 a.m. CST
by Talkbacker with no name
but your kids are gonna love it
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