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Moriarty Sifts Through The Ashes Of TOMB RAIDER!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

So... here we are. Another summer weekend, 2001, and there's another couple of big-budget blockbusters being released for your viewing... pleasure. I reviewed ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE yesterday. Short version, for those just joining us, I thought it was okay. Not great. Not awful. Okay. And this summer, that seems to be the equivalent of saying, "Better than oxygen! It's not just a movie! It's essential for my continued life on this planet!" The other film opening is a movie that I have a history with here on AICN.

Let's review that history, shall we?

First up, there's my script review, written after getting my hands on a production draft of the script. Here's a choice phrase from early on in the piece:

"Simon West. Okay. CON AIR and THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER. Got it. Not exactly a resume that fills me with confidence. Still, anyone can flounder without the right material. He's certainly not a terrible filmmaker."

I'd like to go on the record to say that I was wrong. He is indeed a terrible filmmaker.

I don't apologize for that first review. I've read the script twice since then, and I think it's a very confident, stylish piece of action writing. The emphasis on characterization is strong, and it really did feel like something that could be special onscreen. This has happened to me before, though, and it's depressing when it does. It's depressing when you read something and you see how well it could work, then end up confronted with an absolute failure to realize that script when you see the final film. The last time there was a situation like this... great script, the right cast, they looked good in the photos we saw... and then the film just stank... it was THE AVENGERS.

And that's the film this reminds me of the most. THE AVENGERS.

Allow me to say that again, in case I haven't convinced you to avoid it yet. THE AVENGERS. Uma. Ralph. Sir Bond hisself.


Remember when Simon West was first talking about the film and his approach visually? He compared it to DR. ZHIVAGO, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, and THE CONFORMIST. You know what? That comment didn't make me angry until now. Until just this moment as I was looking back and reading West's smug comments about the work he was doing.

Let me make this perfectly clear. Simon West is a profoundly untalented feature film director. He is possessed of neither narrative sense or visual accumen. He has managed to make three films on a progressively unpleasant sliding scale of unwatchability. He makes Michael Bay look like Kubrick. If he is allowed to direct THE PRISONER, he will ruin another promising franchise before it gets started. If you are reading this and you are in any way involved with THE PRISONER, I beg you... stop him. Stop him before he kills again.

Actually, it's funny. I've been talking with other critics for the last week about this film, all of us sort of waiting out the press embargo and comparing reactions, and I've been telling people that the venom was turned up too high, that they were overreacting. And in all this time, I've been just sort of letting it simmer. But now that I really think about the wasted opportunity here, I am mad. I am actively offended.

When I visited Lloyd Levin last month during the frenzy of post-production on the film, I wrote about my impressions of what I saw then, and the presence of Stuart Baird in the process gave me confidence that even if West had dropped the ball, at least there was someone working on the film to repair the damage.

But we're not talking about a few scenes where he didn't get the right coverage or a case where he's maybe not as sharp with actors as he could be. We're talking about someone taking some of the most exquisite locations imaginable and making them all look like cheap Burbank soundstages. We're talking about someone who seems to be genetically unable to figure out what to shoot during an action sequence. In brief flashes, here and there, West is capable of an image or a series of images that works. There's a build-up to a break-in at Croft Manor where Lara is simply bouncing on a bungee set-up in the main foyer of the house, and the use of Bach there and the way Angelina enjoys that quiet moment, it's a lovely little break before the storm. Unfortunately, it's a shitstorm that comes sweeping in, as West manages to forget even the most basic of details that made the scene work on paper. For example, the guys are all wearing what? Infrared goggles? That help you see where? In the dark? SO WHY IS THE WHOLE SCENE BRIGHTLY FREAKIN' LIT?!

But wait. How do I know it's Simon West's fault? After all, over on, they just ran a report about West's reaction at the Portland screening that gave us our first few reviews of the film here at AICN. Here's what "Bone" had to say about the Portland screening and West's reaction to seeing the film:

"When it was over, I kid you not, he came out of the auditorium screaming and yelling saying, 'This movie is a piece of shit' and 'No one's going to like this fucking movie.' He immediately got on the phone and called the editors to tell them to get their asses on the next flight out to our theatre. They arrived quicker than the paparazzi at any Madonna attended function and began to chop the film up. Cutting here and splicing there."

Oh, stop it. Just stop it. Having tantrums in front of an audience of 800 just so everyone understands that you aren't happy with the movie is childish, and it should give any producer pause when dealing with this guy. The fact is, they brought in someone else to help get this film ready, someone with more experience and style than West, and now he's not happy with the final film. It's not like they remade it, though. Their hands were tied by what was shot, and this film has a uniformly bad eye. I like the opening sequence with the robot SIMON, and I like the first moments of the bungee ballet, and there's about 40 seconds of a giant stone Buddha standing up that made me wonder what Ray Harryhausen would be doing if he were one of the big guns for hire right now, but other than that, West genuinely appears to be puzzled by even the most basic sense of spatial relationships in a scene or even the thinnest veneer of normal human interaction.

The heart of this script was very simple: a girl loses her father and grows up trying to not only be him, but also daring danger with everything she does. She's set on the path of an adventure that could reunite her with her long-dead father, but destroy the world in the process, and for the first time in her life, she's left to make a moral choice. Kick ass action in amazing locations ensues. IT'S NOT THAT HARD. It worked on the page because there was a wit to the way everyone was portrayed as grey, ambiguous in affiliation, and Lara herself was dangerous, always doing the unexpected.

Angelina Jolie, a talented actress and a spot-on perfect choice for this lead, is stranded here. She has mood boobs that seem to grow bigger and smaller at several points in the film depending on what's going on. Every single scene in the movie is directed like an entrance. Remember the moment in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK where Indy uses his whip to take the gun from the guy, and when he turns around and we finally see his face, it's this great reveal? Well, imagine if Spielberg had then reintroduced Indy to us in every subsequent scene in the movie. Imagine if every time we cut to Indy, he was hanging out at his house, and we had to do grand establishing crane shots each time, just to reestablish that, yes, he is at home, and yes, it still looks like this. Angelina lets her smile do it all, and it's a shame. She was the right choice to give some pretense of depth to a video game character, and instead she seems to have aimed at giving a performance of absolutely no soul.

In BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, John Carpenter was well aware of the psychotic level of insane exposition that had to be communicated by his characters, so he directed them to play it like an old Howard Hawks film and just rattle it off at machine-gun pace. West never figures out a way to make the nonsense palatable here. You either have to acknowledge the absolute madness of a script like this and play it like BUCKAROO BANZAI or HUDSON HAWK (a movie that is exponentially more fun than this one), or you have to actually take the time to make us believe. TOMB RAIDER does neither. Instead, it tosses plot at us in ungraceful chunks and just lays there, inert, like we're watching someone play a game for us with a cheat guide open and steering them through. There's no tension. Everything is just handed to Lara, and we're never once engaged, because we never once actually know what the hell is happening.

Why is Noah Taylor in this film? Why is Chris Barrie in this film? Why does Iain Glenn give such an incredibly painful performance as the bad guy in this film?

Where is the sense of fun?

Oh, phooey. Phooey on spending any more time on this. Phooey on trying to pick through it and find something to hold onto, something that justifies my early enthusiasm. I'll tell you what... normally I would spend more time on this post-mortem. I would try to make sense of how something gets this ballsed up from page to stage. But I just don't have the wind for it tonight. It's depressing to be this wrong about a movie, especially when you're holding out hope in an already lackluster season.

TOMB RAIDER is neither the end of modern cinema nor the guilt-free pleasure machine that lifelong tit fan Roger Ebert paints it as. It is a lifeless movie from a truly horrible commercial filmmaker. It is a misstep in the starring career of a promising lead actress. And it's a major setback for two producers who have a great slate of material. I hope this ends up being an expensive lesson that spurs everyone involved to do better things in the future.

Except Simon West. You just try and make THE PRISONER, buddy, and "expand the concept to an international stage." See if you don't get a visit from an Evil Genius, a herd of henchmen, and a big white ball named ROVER.

Be seeing you...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 15, 2001, 3:06 a.m. CST

    i'm torn.

    by human2

    between ebert/berardinelli (who both gave this ***) and the AICN crew (who seem to give it an average of 1/2*), i don't know what to do! I usually end up agreeing with ebert/beradinelli.

  • June 15, 2001, 3:21 a.m. CST

    All right already

    by malberg

    I think we get the picture by now: It's a crappy movie. But apparently every member of the AICN-staff needs to have a go at bashing this (quite possibly) shitty movie. Let's move on to something else.

  • June 15, 2001, 3:36 a.m. CST

    Maybe instead they should have just edited together clips from t

    by jettison

    Get the best Tomb Raiders players and film their games. Then splice together the action into a movie. Probably would have turned out better.

  • June 15, 2001, 3:46 a.m. CST

    At least I won't have to pay to see it.

    by mr whitefolks

    Having friends in the theater business comes in handy for films such as these. Having the option of going and seeing a film such as Tomb Raider at midnight on an idle friday night with 10 or 12 of your close friends instead of paying a bajilliondy dollars (or maybe just $8.50, I haven't paid for a movie in a while) for a ticket, however much cash they decide to fuck you on at the refreshments stand, and having to sit amongst a horde of 16-24 hipster fuckbags, really seems like the better option, especially considering all the shit buzz this film has going around it. I never had much of a reaction going for this film. The trailer made it look kind of cool, but it seemed like one of those films that could just so easily end up in the toilet, and from the sound of it, that's exactly where it went. Poor Angelina Jolie...I guess she'll just have to go home, feed her rat, adjust her incredible tossbags, drink some of her husband's blood, and cry about what a wasted opportunity this film has been made out to be. I guess I should really hold out my opinion until tomorrow when I see it at midnight, but I just wanted to comment. By the way, another solid review Moriarty. I actually managed to read the whole thing without skimming it, something I rarely do. Anyway, I'm off. I've got to go put my stable of girls out on the street so they can make daddy that MONEY.

  • June 15, 2001, 4 a.m. CST

    someone, some where is shitting themself...

    by DrX

    a good honest review. It does Make you wonder how these people, these grown adults who went to film school and know what a good film looks like can end up producing such muck. Shame on them really. To think of the history of film. All those great masterpieces and innovations slowly coming to this. Diminishing returns.

  • June 15, 2001, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Like I said on the TalkBack to Harry's review...

    by No. 41

    I'm not defending Simon West--both of his previous films were crapola--but have we completely lost sight of the fact that this is a movie derived from a VIDEO GAME??? CaptainStoner--got any extra? I say we get baked & go to a matinee, have a good 'ol time...

  • June 15, 2001, 4:44 a.m. CST

    roger ebert...

    by bluelou_boyle

    has gone off the deep end. he says that he didn't care that he didn't know what was happening, and that the characters were 'ciphers', and that the plot is constucted between 4 action/special effects sequences. I thought critics were supposed to hate all these things ?!!! Spielberg and lucas managed to make grand adventure stories with good characters and engaging plot lines, so why can't directors such as west or sommers ? Because they have been raised on directing commercials, not directing good scripts. The only former commercials director I can think of who has a sound grasp of the narrative is David Fincher. The Scott brothers admit that their primary goal is to create worlds and immerse the viewer, but they sometimes create interesting, or at least fun, characters, and do not say that they were 'aiming for david lean' Maybe I'm a 'churl' , as ebert put it, but I think if we are going to pay

  • June 15, 2001, 4:52 a.m. CST

    I forgot to mention...

    by bluelou_boyle

    Jim Cameron. Sure his head may be up his own arse, but successful people are usually like that. I rewatched 'the abyss' awesome DVD the other day, and again was amazed by the mix of good characters, sfx, good story, tension, good acting, and sense of wonder. From the reviews here, the previews and rotten tomatoes, (roughly 20% like it), it looks as thought TR contains none of these qualities. Oh well, there is AI at least.

  • June 15, 2001, 4:53 a.m. CST

    Ebert also liked The Mummy

    by -mrbean-

    I'm talking about the first Mummy. Ebert liked it as a popcorn movie, and it sucked! I liked Deep Blue Sea though, so it's a 50/50 shot for Tomb Raider.

  • June 15, 2001, 5:16 a.m. CST

    Wow, what a shock!!!

    by Drexl Aubuchon

    Well, I'm sure we're all surprised that this summer's only videogame movie (since the "other one" has nothing to do with the games) turns out to be bad.

  • June 15, 2001, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Another excellent piece of writing, Moriarty...

    by George McFly

    ...and, while it's a damn shame to see that TOMB RAIDER has ended up a festering pile of shit, I appreciate the review. I just don't get it. I really don't. I mean, here I am out in Hill Valley, Indiana, and I consistently keep thinking to myself, how in sam hell are these people staying in business? If I produced this level of crap in my job, I'd be outta here. This has been one of the most looked-forward-to summer movie seasons for me, and so far, it's been shit (except I *did* enjoy PEARL HARBOR, and SHREK, but I digress) I'm hoping that A.I. and JURASSIC PARK III are gonna salvage it for me. That, and this fall/winter, with HARRY POTTER and LOTR...well, screw you TOMB RAIDER guys, I think Lorraine and I will go see SHREK again instead...McFly<--

  • June 15, 2001, 6:17 a.m. CST


    by jaymrobinson

    How is it that all of you absolutely hated this movie and Ebert gave it 3 stars??? Not that I don't believe you guys. If it's such shit, how can Ebert have enjoyed it so?

  • June 15, 2001, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Good narrative is not created by DIRECTORS

    by Wee Willie

    Narrative is the realm of writers. Spielberg and Lucas always knew this (Except Lucas on Episode one). Those guys would get killer writers like Larry Kasdan, the Hyucks, Melissa Matheson, Steve Zallian, Jeffery Boam, Chris Columbus, etc to write their stories. That's they key to a good film. Always has been, always will be. You'll never get a 'labour of love' screenplay from a video game. Any self-respecting writer wil take the money and run. Added to this fact is that most of the directors out there are rock-video numbskulls who try to 'jazz up' the visuals and forget that their number one job is to tell the story. The problem is that directors in general these days tend to be visual stylists, not dramatists. I'm all for visual style, in fact films suck without it, but it has to be in service of something. Wanker video games don't count as something.

  • June 15, 2001, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Kudos and (Anti)Comments

    by deftone

    First off, Moriarty, thank you for actually giving a review with substance, as opposed to Harry's pile of shit review that basically sounded like a small child whining. I've been following your comments on the film since you started on it, and for once, you've managed to at least give a coherant reasoning behind your hatred of the film. Otherwise, you guys have been pretty petty in dealing with this film all around. I am one of those people who saw the flick, at a radio station preview in D.C. earlier this week, and let me say, I totally disagree with you in terms of the visuals and the characterization. I found the shots of Angkor Wat and Venice to actually be very visually interesting (I liked the sky "whizzy" thing) and I thought Angelina Jolie was great as Lara. I think she nailed her down to a "T". I thought some of the "love interest/rival" stuff to be inconsequential to the film, but that was pretty much my complaint in terms of plot--and that stems from my view of Lara as a character--I don't see that happening. And there *was* humor in the film, I don't think it took itself as seriously as the typical "adventure" movie generally does. The film knows what it is and doesn't get its knickers in a knot over trying to be "serious" and "meaningful"--its fun and entertaining. I liked it. The end.

  • June 15, 2001, 7:12 a.m. CST


    by LordZanthos

    perfect review. Everything was spoken perfectly. Mori was right on every account.

  • It's true - I think Hudson Hawk's style of comedy was the predecessor for Austin Powers. Only Hudson Hawk was mismarketed, and the audience was ready for Austin Powers. Hudson Hawk has enjoyed a cult following on video, and if you go back and take a look, you'll find the jokes tend to grow on you. Besides, Michael Lehmann's dark sense of humor pops up on more than one occasion, so to hell with it, I like this film. ---- Hagrid

  • June 15, 2001, 8:29 a.m. CST

    by jumagi

    Lignten up, people! It's just a movie.

  • June 15, 2001, 9:03 a.m. CST

    damn, can't decide

    by dead eddie

    first i see the trailers and i want to see it. then i read some comments on AICN and i decide to skip it. then i read ebert's review and i want to see it again. then i read today's AICN reviews and i'm back to sitting it out. but then again, should i really trust the judgement of people who actually recommended the piece of shit known as BLOW? i don't think simon west could be half as untalented as ted demme. but then, ebert's gone weird on me lately also. he made me go see swordfish. his description of that hacking sequence (you know, the one that made you cringe and made you come very close to walking out of the theater) made me realize that he can never be trusted again. or maybe he is just trying too hard to be hip.

  • June 15, 2001, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see A.I.!!!!!!!!

    by themightyra

    Damn, that film is gonna ROCK ASS!

  • June 15, 2001, 10 a.m. CST

    I think on this one we have to trust Moriarty

    by Bari Umenema

    He wanted to like the movie and was genuinely let down by it. However I enjoyed Con Air and thought it was fun. Never saw the General's Daughter because I can't stand Travolta. Guess I'll wait to see Titty Raider on cable so I don't have to pay specifically to see it. But I am going to see Atlantis this weekend that looks like a real adventure movie.

  • June 15, 2001, 10 a.m. CST

    Viewed the film in the premiere with Angelina Jolie and stars

    by Actorforyou

    For all you non-fans and fans of Tomb Raider. I should say that they picked an expectacular actress who can act and have great talents of many things. All i have to say is that it is great to see someone on film and gets to do the things that's enjoying as that. The film was great and i enjoyed it alot. It was made for all ages, it's very entertaining and all i have to say i was sitting close to Samuel L Jackson and he enjoys it and other actresses and actors who were there, including other known directors enjoyed it as well. You were there i didnt think i knew a J. Alexander there? Oh your probably the nerd sitting in the corner giving bad stares at you. Probably couldnt get Jolies number. If you know cinematography and have studied it you can talk about it, but for you critics to criticize like that but when all you do is talk, your not the one actually making the big money. I know a great movie when i see one, and i should say Tomb Raider is great for the opening of a summer hit box office movie that will start the summer off. I've studied making movies for 10yrs and all i can say is that if you need some help on making movies i'm here to teach you what's great and what's not. For all you none experience who views these you need to learn from me. Oh yeah your line for the person who wrote that about boobs, they had to cut it off so it wont look like some Cartoony game and focused on the boobs and look like a Barb Wire chick flick.You sound just like a nerdy critic. I'm not a big fan of Tomb Raider but i am a big fan of movies that makes sense. What with only Pee Herman movies you like to watch? This movie is about traveling and kicking butts, having a great time in the globe searching. It's fantasy, it's entertainment and it's Hollywood eat your heart out. Acsent what do you know about Acsents? Iam English so..i know trust me. Dont listen to this guy. But again FREEDOM Of SPEECh She does care about the movie.

  • June 15, 2001, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Someone please answer me this..

    by Nightshot

    "It keeps getting funnier every single time I see it" Name the source, win a No-Prize. Okay.. out on a limb here.. I understand the difference between a good movie and a bad one. I understand that there are those of you that go into movies comparing them to The Godfather. So.. for all of you who actually thought the Mummies were fun, MI2 was what it tried to be, and Armageddon was a pleasant enough waste of an evening.. If you like popcorn movies.. and you've seen this one.. will we, the average moviegoer, like it?.. oh, and in the spirit of the site... Moriarty is fat, Jar Jar ruined X-Men, and Enterprise was a better show than Enterprise.

  • June 15, 2001, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Everybody should just go watch Ghostbusters!

    by SamWave

    It kicks ass! I watched it last night, for the first time in about five years, and it's still incredibly cool. Or watch the Dune miniseries again! Screw Tomb Raider. The games were only popular because the kids who played them couldn't get porn (a lot of people hated the games). I wish I still had my ecto1.

  • June 15, 2001, 11:22 a.m. CST


    by Mr. Morden

    Heh. Beetlejuice. Yeah, the Exorcist is my favorite comedy too.

  • June 15, 2001, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by Alceste

    "Iam English so..i know trust me." Then stop murdering our language like that. Really. Aren't you embarrassed?

  • June 15, 2001, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by timmer33

    Hey, actorforyou ... you say you've been studying movie-making for 10 years. So how old are you, 11? Man, go back and read the shit that you just wrote. Do you know anything about spelling and grammar? Do you understand what a sentence is? Do you understand that if you write like that, people won't give you any credibility? You might as well not even bother. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • June 15, 2001, 11:55 a.m. CST

    I haven't trusted an Ebert's review since

    by Redbeard_NV

    he gave an excited thumbs up to "The Cook, The Theif, His Wife and Her Lover", an appalling piece of garbage I blew $7 bucks to see then nearly blew my popcorn all over the seat watching this piece of filth masquerading as cinema.I may have agreed with him of several pieces, such as "Dark City", but I have never felt comfortable with his judgement.

  • June 15, 2001, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Well then someone tell me what movie ISN'T gonna a piece of shit

    by Frenchnick

    And don't go naming "The Lord of the Rings", that's too easy...

  • June 15, 2001, 12:21 p.m. CST

    "lifelong tit fan Roger Ebert..."

    by crimsonrage

    With that statement are you insinuating that Ebert only likes the film because of Jolie's boobies? I think you owe Ebert an apology Mo. By the way, do you mind if I call you Mo?

  • June 15, 2001, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by Key_Card

    You studied film for 10 years? Why is it I have serious doubts as to the validity of that statement? Not only do you not know how to form a complete sentence; you have bad taste in movies.

  • June 15, 2001, 12:49 p.m. CST

    o what you like

    by Neosamurai85

  • June 15, 2001, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Moriarty is a fucking killjoy

    by Tall_Boy

    Saw it on a sneak on Wensday. Tomb Radier = mindless fun. so shuttup.

  • June 15, 2001, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Do what you like I don't really care!

    by Neosamurai85

    Is this movie good? There is a land slide that says no. My advice to those unhappy about the mess that are leaveing the film in tears right now due to it's discrace to the games is this. get as many of the games together that you can and cheat (or actually play) your way to all those movie clips in them sit back and enjoy it the way it was ment to be. for those who liked it... Good for you. Sorry that your kind of lonly on the topic. I found I was when Forest Gump came out (not that I'm comparing them!) my self so I kinda know how you feel. But still for the most part I have nothing more to say on how I feel About the whole mess then what I've already said in the Harry Hates Tomb Raider Talkback. LIVE AND LET DIE!

  • June 15, 2001, 1:41 p.m. CST

    So what's going to happen now?

    by Jay

    I noticed that there's been a little conflict between Moriarty and Roger Ebert. Is there going to be a gang war? Hmm... this is probably how it will go: Ebert looks directly at the face of death, Moriarty. "I heard you've been talking some shit about me at your site, Isn't it cool news. Is this true?" Ebert asks as he wipes dribble off his lips. "It's Ain't It Cool News, you fat fuck. Now get out of my territory you horny bastard." "So what! Maybe I love tits! I LOVE THEM!!!! At least I have my own TV show. What you get, mother fuck?" "A 22 inch rod with Bengay all over it shoved up my ass!!" After the argument the two jump in the and fire their guns. They all miss and they land right by each other, guns pointed at each other. "You're empty." "So are you." They do this spin away thing and gets ready to fight. Roger swings at Moriarty and knocks him down with one punch. He pulls out another gun and says "Only human." He suddenly feels something metallic against his head. "Dodge this," Harry Knowles says as he blows the fuck out of Roger Ebert. Harry picks up Moriarty and sees that he's a Disney plant. "I know it was you, Moriaty. You broke my heart. You broke my heart." Harry kisses Moriarty and breaks his neck till it turns all the way around. He then takes the gun out of his hand and reloads. He looks up at the sky and he sees Leonard Maltin flying down. He fires and Maltin knocks the bullet out the air with his sword. Harry pulls out a sword and the best swordfight since the movie Hook. Joel Siegel pops out of nowhere and screams, "You sons of bitches!" and fires his whole clip. He didn't hit either of them. Both Harry and Maltin smoke his ass. The sword fight continues until a nuclear bomb fall down on the building. Michael Bay flys away, giggling, and screams, "You critics don't mean shit! I'm making money from the sheep!!! Hahahahahaha!" A lightning storm knocks his plane down and he ends up on an island with a volleyball. He doesn't live though. He dies in a couple hours because he's a pussy. The End. If you catch all the movie references in that nobel prize winning novel, consider yourself a true movie fan. And remember kids, I'm one of the good guys.

  • June 15, 2001, 1:51 p.m. CST

    He makes Michael Bay look like Kubrick. LMAO!!

    by PR_GMR

    "He makes Michael Bay look like Kubrick." DDDAAAMMMMNNNNNNN! Let me spend the hard-earned money I was going to spend on this flick back in my wallet.

  • June 15, 2001, 2:02 p.m. CST


    by Neosamurai85

    Love the story and cought all of 'em! One thing though... I've met Rodger and... well... there is no way that Moriarty could have missed him. I'm not talking about his size - oh wait in a way I am - but the fact is that he has the broadest fricking shoulders I've ever seen on any man in my life! Almost three and a half feet from the looks of them! but maybe his suit just made them look that big... odd suit I might add.

  • June 15, 2001, 2:03 p.m. CST

    No accounting for taste

    by infiniteya

    Now we're all allowed our lapses of taste, so I'll forgive Ebert for this one. It was much harder to forgive him (and Siskel, for that matter) for thumb-upping Under Siege, but I won't hold a grudge. There are movies that I know are bad but I like anyway. Sometimes you have to see a movie ten years later to realize what a pile of junk it is. If you think that AICN's views are slanted, consider that the TOMATOMETER on rotton tomatoes (an average of review scores from magazines, newspapers, and websites) fixes this movie at 15%. That leaves it in the company of action films the quality of Highlander: Endgame, Speed 2, Virus, and Wild Wild West. A side note, Ghost and the Darkness was also rated in the 10's, and I liked that movie, so once again there's no accounting for taste. One thing is clear--the AICN group REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want us to see this movie, and for good cause--the dollars we spend are our votes. Money is what keeps the crap machine running, and unless we decide to be a little more discriminating, the quality of our films will not go up.

  • June 15, 2001, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Support for Mo's "tit" comment

    by vich1

    From Ebert's "Swordfish" review: "This does not prevent a scene in which she bares her breasts to tempt the untemptable Stanley. This scene came as a huge relief because I thought the movies, in their rush to the PG-13 rating, had forgotten about breasts."

  • June 15, 2001, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Hell yeah!

    by Neosamurai85

    infiniteya All the way! Me and a few others feel the same way over at the Haryy hates Tomb Raider Talkback! I'm happy to see are little "if the Film stinks, Just don't go" army growing! And yes I got that from The Critc cartoon.

  • June 15, 2001, 2:19 p.m. CST

    I hate Moriarty's reviews as much as he hates Simon West

    by death_stick

    "TOMB RAIDER is neither the end of modern cinema nor the guilt-free pleasure machine that lifelong tit fan Roger Ebert paints it as."--Moriarty. What in the hell is that? Jesus Christ, Moriarty is insane people. Not that I'm saying I'm right here, but most heterosexual males are "lifelong tit fans." I don't know what it is, but something always draws me into reading what Moriarty has to say. I'm addicted to hating this guy's opinion. As to the Ebert comment above, wherever that came from, I think we're seeing some pent up hostility being released after Ebert slammed your face in the door after the Pearl Harbor incident. I've heard Roger say that he never reads somebody else's review before he actually sees the film, where this is not true with Harry and Moriarty. I find two things very odd about Moriarty's comments here. 1. Why would somebody write this much about a film adaption of a video game? We're not talking Oscars here people! I want to know if it's fun, because that's why I'm going to see it. 2. Both Harry and Moriarty refer to Roger's review, complaining how he's off the mark. It reminds me two sons seeking father's approval. You two can disapprove of his opinion all you want, but there's no need to drag another critic down because you don't like what he has to say. There is something called "Professionalism," and you two lack it. If you'd like to be known as credible media sources, then act like it. I've lost all respect for you. OUT!!!

  • June 15, 2001, 2:33 p.m. CST

    "Lifelong Tit Fan"

    by drew mcweeny

    When did "lifelong tit fan" become an insult? Roger co-wrote a freakin' Russ Meyers film! Stop trying to turn every little disagreement into a giant rumble. I like Roger. I respect Roger. I am free to disagree with him and reference him without it meaning we want a rumble. Jeez... I'm a lifelong tit fan m'self. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

  • June 15, 2001, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Review Wars: Episode One "The Phantom Eisner"

    by derubermax

    FADE IN: INT. BURBANK STUDIOS - DAY ROGER EBERT and RICHARD ROEPER wrapping up another edition of At the Movies EBERT: "And until then, the balcony is closed." CUT TO: a DARK FIGURE standing in a corner of the studio, puffing away at a cigar. His face is hidden in shadow. Roger looks knowingly to the figure, picks up a briefcase from under his chair, and then follows the figure down a dark hallway. INT- HALLWAY ANGLE ON DARK FIGURE (voice deep and menacing): "Do you have the reviews I requested?" CUT TO: ROGER EBERT standing across from the Dark Figure. He is clutching a briefcase, trembling. EBERT: "Yes, my Master." DARK FIGURE: "Excellent. Give them to me." Roger hands him the briefcase. The Dark Figure opens the briefcase. A Golden Light shines from it, revealing the face to be none other than Michael Eisner! EISNER: "You have done well, Ebert." EBERT: "Lord Eisner, what about Knowles and Moriarity?" EISNER: "They must never have a television show, or leave the internet." EBERT: "That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was making Roeper my new partner!" EISNER: "Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly." EBERT: "No." EISNER: "Good. It would be unfortunate if I had to leave Leonard Maltin here." Eisner turns down the hall and sweeps into an elevator with Leonard Maltin. Ebert walks swiftly down another corridor, muttering to himself. Ebert: "This deal's getting worse all the time." TO BE CONTINUED...

  • June 15, 2001, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by Darth Pixel

    Loved your reference to LightStorm Entertainment.

  • June 15, 2001, 3:29 p.m. CST

    you cheap sons of bitches...

    by Zapata

    ... so don't go, save your money and shut up about it. sounds like you all think you're playing the stock market when u buy a ticket... jeeez

  • June 15, 2001, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Moriarity's talent: Effortless pretension

    by Wesley Snipes

    I like reading his stuff, but damn is it ever pretentious! Maybe it's the way he makes it so personal and combines it with such harsh, "this is wrong, that is wrong, but I offer no easy solution"-type criticism. Everyone does it, but something about this exact play of words makes it that much worse.

  • June 15, 2001, 3:50 p.m. CST

    The Bottom Line.

    by DirtyWhiteTrash

    OH...MY...GOD...BECKY. Look at those talk backs. This is rediculous. This is a friggin' video game movie. It wasnt made to win the Oscar for best use of fake boobs in a action sequence. As opposed to ALOT of these talk backers I HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE! And I LIKED IT! I did see it for free and I wouldnt waste $12.75 (Canadian) on it but I would waste a Saturday afternoon and not be the least bit upset. IT IS A POPCORN MOVIE! I guess this is the part where Im supposed to qualify why I'm smart enough to review this film: I know what Im talking about cause my Great Aunt was english so I know about english accents and my third cousins best friends sister studied cinematography with Stanley Kubricks half-brothers boyfriend in Cannes. Oh yeah and my father spent an ENTIRE summer working in a theater in 1956.

  • June 15, 2001, 3:57 p.m. CST

    avenger director

    by factfinder1

    jeremiah chechik directed the avengers, as well as benny and joon and christmas vacation and diablolique. simon west did not direct avengers.

  • June 15, 2001, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Bay vs. West

    by SethShandor

    Okay, I haven't seen Tomb Raider, but even if it is a shit pile of "Avengers" proportions, West is still waaaaaay better than Miachael Bay.

  • June 15, 2001, 5 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry, don't you think Moriarty deserves an easy to referenc

    by SethShandor

    Just a thought. I know you can't just do it for every faithful scooper that sends you reviews, but hasn't Moriarty earned it? Becoming the de facto Siskel to your Ebert? In the words of Tom Servo: "Think about it... won't you?"

  • June 15, 2001, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Holy shit!

    by ewem

    Wow, this is someting else. For the love of God, and all that is holy, please someone get Simon West off of The Prisoner! I will see this some time during the week with some friends for the hell of it. I am glad that I will go in with such low expectations now. BTW, Harry, update the damned cartoon in the left hand corner of the site!

  • June 15, 2001, 5:30 p.m. CST

    West makes Bay look like Kubrick??? ...errrrrr

    by JMYoda

    TR may suck but there's no way it sucks more then PH and Armegedon! Even a retarded chimp with a camcorder couldn't make Bay look like Kubrick.

  • June 15, 2001, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Ok, boys, remember, like in Pearl Harbor TB: BOYCOTT!

    by EmperorCaligula

    If the reviews are so bad, avoid it by all means the first weekend. Wait for more reviews, wait for people who've seen it and see their faces. Then if you're really wise, see how much it drops the 2nd weekend, and if it's 50% or more it's not a good sign. But surely avoid it the first days. Hollywood stuiods can only provide manure and this has to stops. How comes that the last pretty good big budget movie from Hollywood I really liked a lot was Gladiator 1 year ago, and before that one, movies released in mid-99, Matrix notably. It's time that a big studio tanks for good, that'll teach them to do good stuff, not mediocre piece of junk like Pearl Harbor, Battlefield Earth etc... Of course, Tomb Raider _may_ be not too bad, I have to wait for some good reviews; yet all points to the fact it's really lame and awful. Wow, if all summer blockbusters are just as bad, when LOTR will be released and if it's really good as it seems, then deprived movie-goers will go see it 3 or 4 times to ^compensate their lack of good big budget flicks.

  • June 15, 2001, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Hey, Jay!

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    Make a script outta that, dude! It's just what McT needs to get his action movie creds back after the disaster that will be ROLLERBALL!

  • June 15, 2001, 7:02 p.m. CST


    by Neosamurai85

    Today (June 15) I have typed a butload of talkbacks about my feelings towards Hollywood and Tomb Raider. Most of these on the Harry Hates Tomb Raider talkback. and in them I listed A lot of movies that have and are falling throgh the cracks that I feel we all should be putting a lot more energy into then Tomb Raider. Why is AICN not putting that energy into them? is it cuz (you can tell I'm getting tired when I don't Give a hoot for gramer or spelling)some of them are out of the theaters? some of them never made it to the theaters? You just don't care? Why!? If all you can find to talk to us about is how you feel we should never see tomb raider for the god knows how manyif time then star talking about some of these good movies that are out! people are starting to think that there are no good films any more that they can see in the theartrrrrr zzzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzz What! ah! oh.... where was I?-oh yes Talk about the little people in fime that are kicking ass! thank you! me sleepp nowww ood ight zzzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zz....

  • June 15, 2001, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Actorforyou's post nailed it.


    If you want a fair representation of the "Pro-Tomb Raider" argument, read it. Now I know I don't even need to waste my time writing something against the flick. Funny how somebody on an opposing side can bring it down by his support much better than you can with your attack.

  • June 15, 2001, 7:52 p.m. CST

    I like the Eb

    by hktelemacher

    but he's got a thing for the ladies. I think there are certain actresses he wants to bang and therefore showers their movies with praise. Hey, it's Hollywood. But for the most part, I agree with many of Ebert's reviews and opinions. I still trust 10-plus negative "Tomb Raider" reviews on AICN (especially Moriarty) even if Ebert gives it three stars. Also, Ebert gave four starts to "Bound" (deservedly so) and Robert Towne's "Personal Best" - both about lesbians. And he penned that "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" movie for Russ Meyer. All in all, it seems that Ebert's thumbs spend most of their time in his pants, dishing out reviews based on his masturbation fantasies. Recently, he dug "Swordfish" which was for the most part slaughtered over here, yet Halle Berry's tits probably factored into that one. Sorry Roger, but it's a pattern, and you might need to seek help.

  • June 15, 2001, 7:54 p.m. CST

    The Joy of Myth

    by GoodmanBrown

    I admit with some trepidation that I enjoyed this movie. Now, I equivocate quickly by stating that I enjoyed the movie beyond the fact that, as Hollywood goes, it's a terrible movie, but only because it's great myth. Everything about Lara Croft is remarkably mythic. She's feels like she's being introduced in every scene because she is beyond the human characters around her, she's a goddess among mortals. This is not just the musing of a fixated fan either. I'm not very interested in the Tomb Raider games, but I love myth. Lara is a goddess defined by sexuality--mostly her ability to subsume masculine sexuality through her own femininity. Since Lara is an arch-type of male-envisioned female sexuality, she is able to assume masculine roles without sacrificing her female side. This is a supernatural ability, a mythic ability. Lara is a master of the phallic world throughout the movie. First, she does not just excel at masculine tasks, she masters them beyond any comparison with her male counterparts. Whatever the traditional, in a classical sense, male endeavor--fighting, shooting, snow-sledding, scholarship, analytical thinking--Lara so easily out does her male counterparts that it becomes obvious that she is the epitome of masculine ability in female form. This phallic mastery takes on a physical dimension as well. First she uses the swinging pendulum to penetrate the urn and create life with it's impregnation. She also takes on the role of an eastern monk--a purely male role. Then there is the knife in the final scene. She uses this it first to turn against the main villain after it is thrown. This is a dramatic scene where she uses all her strength to turn the phallic piece back against the male. She takes on the phallus and becomes more male than the man. Then in the final fight, after both Lara and the villain have been emasculated by dropping their guns, they are evenly matched until he retrieves the knife, then, by assuming his masculinity, the villain becomes subject to Lara's mythic power, and she easily defeats him, while he holds the knife, without ever receiving another blow herself. Every man is subject to her power, and not once is she beaten by a masculine figure in the entire movie. Even the loss of the clock is the fault of Rimmer, her eunuch butler, while she beats upon numerous men with ease. She is also the only woman in the movie--except for the girl. The girl is a mysterious figure guiding her through her travails. It would be easy to say this is her past child, but it also the only other woman in the movie besides Lara, and it can be seen as a representation of her pure femininity guiding her so that she does not become lost in her mythic masculine power. The girl is intuitive and innocent, all classical themes of the feminine. The story is absolutely fantastic in it's mythic concept--a woman so female that she can become not only overcome men with her sexuality, but subsume and assume their sexuality . Perhaps it fails as a Hollywood spectacle, but I urge anyone with an interest in myth or modern criticism to take a strong look at Tomb Raider to see the diamonds in the rough. Vale.

  • Anyone ever see this movie? Came out in 1989/90 - it stars Patrick Bergin as Sir Richard Burton and they (Glenn's character was his English "rival") searched for the source of the Nile. Oh my god - what a GREAT picture. I'm finally going to buy it this weekend - I'm hoping it's on DVD by now. Anyways that movie and many others (including my DVD of Lawrence of Arabia) will be watched OVER and OVER again this summer. With hack jobs like Tomb Raider, I need to be reminded that there have been entertaining AND intelligent movies made.

  • June 15, 2001, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Ya, I'm a "film geek" - and you know what THANK GOD!

    by Smugbug

    Cuz, I can save my money and wait for better - for the movies that are worth my time. Films like LOTR and hopefully, hopefully, Planet of the Apes. I am worth much better from H-Town. And I am sick and tired of you people who constantly rank on Harry Knowles, Moriarty, Joe Hallenbeck, etc. of AICN. These guys and gals put their names on the line with their reviews everyday. They are the ones who take their valuable time to let you know if something is worth your $9-$10 or not. And I don't see many of you doing the same. So, guess what? I'm listening to these guys/gals instead. Along with Roger Ebert, whom I have trusted since the late '70's. The ones who post such stupidity as "so what....this is suppose to be mindless entertainment..." Well, then stop coming to AICN and continue to be treated like the brain-dead sheep by H-Town - cuz thats what you are. And btw, the theater ticket counters ask for my money - not my brain when I pay for a ticket so I go into a theater with my intelligence very much intact. Thank you. And as for the posts that state...."this is popcorn entertainment..." What the hell does that mean, anyways? The so-called popcorn in theater houses suck and is WAY too expensive and one of the reasons I'm not some fat stupid ass is because when I go to see a movie I don't feel the need to mindlessly stuff myself with all the crap that is being sold at the concession stand. Like so many do - cuz I hear them eating like cows in the dark when I'm trying to watch a movie. Goddamn some of you. Get a brain - get some gumption and stop seeing pieces of crap like this.

  • June 15, 2001, 8:59 p.m. CST


    by timmer33

    Why the fuck did Lara's dad leave her instructions to find the clock only to tell her not to use it at the end????????????? The only saving grace to this film was that the power got knocked out by a lightning bolt and I got a voucher for a free flick! BTW, her tits kept changing size and they were lopsided too.

  • June 15, 2001, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by dontef

    Check out porn at instead.

  • June 15, 2001, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Simon West is not entirely horrible.

    by Lobanhaki

    He's just relentlessly mediocre. He doesn't understand that when you have only 90-180 minutes to tell a decent story, you should leave out what you can, and be very clear and precise about what you do say. Science fiction and fantasy movies are even more difficult to do right, because the filmmaker has to be clear and precise regarding an alternate version of reality, but be such without a wasteful, large scale hashing out of unnecessary detail. What could have been a marvellous fantasy, done right, is now an average, mediocre action film. Now there can't be any movies like that out there, can there? By being mediocre, Tomb Raider goes from being a rare treat to being just another scooby snack of a movie, which we have more than enough of.

  • June 15, 2001, 9:57 p.m. CST

    smugbug's intelligence still intact! read all about it!

    by Zapata

    i must have more time and money than the whole lot of u, seeing as it doesn't bother me to watch billion crap movies while waiting for the good ones... i sort of look forward to LOTR too, but at the moment i'm more excited about my jap dvd-edition of antonioni's the passenger... dunno what that makes me- a brain-dead sheep or a film geek. i whish to be: neither.

  • June 15, 2001, 11:03 p.m. CST

    How refreshing

    by EvilMcSatan

    For once, a talkback where no one has stated that "this American movie is bad, and therefore I think Americans are stupid and I hate them." Huh. P.S.: Infiniteya: I liked GHOST AND THE DARKNESS, too. Despite Kilmer's "accent."

  • June 16, 2001, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Hey, Tomb Raider *IS* better than the Street Fighter movie

    by LiquidNitrate

    `cuz Van Damme never had such amazingly weird-shaped crooked fake boobies to keep us perplexed about what sort of harness is under each of Jolie's shirts ... while we tried to sit through the tedious so-called "story." Who CAST this movie? Every single role in Tomb Raider seemed wrong, not an appropriate actor among them, thus the characters were never even remotely interesting. The bland / unappealing actors playing the good guys and bland / unappealing actors playing the villains are almost as lame as those Aussie lame-o's from M:I2 (another tedious badly-cast Paramount action wanker.) Elizabeth Hurley is a goddess and would have ruled as Lara, but Jolie has boy's legs, arms that curve inward at the elbows like some CE3K puppet, and in her shower scene she looked like a young Jon Voight with dark long hair. Ugh. At least the ticket I bought tonight was for Swordfish and not Tomb Raider, so at least I can rest in clean conscience that my money went to Dominic Sena's improvement over his crappy Bruckheimer anti-chase chase flick, than to Paramount's latest abomination. Simon West needs to try an action sequence without any close-up shots, or else we'll never figure out what's supposedly going on. I wonder how much U2 and Oakenfold were paid for participating in this soundtrack.

  • June 16, 2001, 2 a.m. CST

    my 2 bits....

    by gulag

    Find it interesting people here will attack others grammer while neglecting the profoundly underrated paragraph. While Ihave to agree that Roger Ebert has had some questionable picks of late, we have to look at his review in the context of everything else that has come out this year. I think I can best elucidate with something that just happened to me. I was subjected to "Dungeons & Dragons" (no, sadly, not the old cartoon) one night, and, upon scraping the melted remains of my VCR out of my entertainment center, went to the theater to see "Evolution" (was what was playing when I got there). I found it to be a damn funny film. If you subject even the strongest person to an unending stream of shitburgers (and I think that's as good a metaphore for this year as any, thus far), even McDonalds tastes good.

  • June 16, 2001, 2:06 a.m. CST

    I just wanted to say...

    by JackBurton

    ...That I agree with everything Darth Stick said above. Reviews, after all, are just opinions dressed up in fancy clothes, and for anyone to slam another reviewer/critic's opinion just because they disagree shows nothing but a lack of respect and intelligence. Also it reeks of the old "I disagree with (insert name here) so therefore I'm hardcore, telling ya like it really is" poser bullshit. Also I think that any reviewer that feels the need to resort to cheap personal attacks during their so-called film reviews are no better than gutter tabloid hacks, and their 'reviews' should be taken with a fairly large grain of salt. Personally I''ll make up my own mind, I advise you all to do the same.

  • June 16, 2001, 2:10 a.m. CST

    What happened to her armaments? Was this a mindless propaganda

    by LiquidNitrate

    In the games Lara had a diverse arsenal of weapons. A variety of pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, harpoon guns, grenade launcher, etc. Granted, it was a cheat since they always appeared out of thin air when you clicked on the resource/refresh screen, immediately replacing whatever previous weapons she'd had before. But I figured that they'd solve this in the movie by having Laura carry 1-3 different choices in each different locale... pistols strapped to hip holsters with the other choices hanging behind via shoulder-strap slings. She'd favor one trio of selections to bring along in Thailand, another trio to use amid the ice... you know, whatever gear fits appropriately. Even the guys at EIDOS had common sense, b/c in their early teaser posters promoting the idea of a Tomb Raider movie, they showed Lara firing what appear to be modified Mac-10's with muzzle-suppressors.... handy and nasty. INSTEAD, the geniuses (Lloyd Levin, Simon West) of this weekend's new studio classic allow Lara to ONLY have pistols, in EVERY scene, meaning that she fires off dozens of rounds at Simon the giant METAL robot and the STONE monkeys, emptying clip after clip of her pistols, when clearly a larger weapon like a grenade launcher would solve her problems a lot quicker. Nope. I was also hoping to see her get attacked by some bloodthirsty wild animals, but I guess pissing off PETA would have been TOO un-PC and they were already scared of being labelled a pro-handgun movie.

  • June 16, 2001, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Sorry, I meant Death Stick...

    by JackBurton

    Damned dyslexia.

  • June 16, 2001, 5:20 a.m. CST

    PETA stopped the animal killing

    by 8686

    Premier magazine said that Eidos wanted Lara taking out the animals but the writers there were ELEVEN!!) were all too PC to do it. Then the "DieHard" writer siad fuck PETA and did it, but the studio of course took it out anyway. She does use a grenade launcher one time in the garage.

  • June 16, 2001, 6:52 a.m. CST

    This Flick Is Poo

    by Fustigator

    I saw it, and it is indeed horrible. Easily the worst thing I've seen this year by far. The one thing I didn't expect to be is bored out of my mind. Quite honestly, there isn't one moment of tension, or anything even remotely close to thrilling or fun in the entire thing. You could spend days ripping this flick apart on every level, but it just isn't worth the energy. For those that have seen it (and maybe for those that haven't or never will), my favorite moment is when it ended with a FREEZE FRAME of Croft doing a rediculous looking pose! Hilarious. That was actually the only moment of fun in the whole thing.

  • June 16, 2001, 7:42 a.m. CST

    You all do know she's already signed on for TR2 right?

    by Damare

    Angelina Jolie has already signed up for part 2 of the Tomb Raider disaster if you can beleive that. I was really looking forward to seeing Tomb Raider, and was pretty disappointed when I went and saw it last night. It was really mediocre. I can't say I absolutely hated it, but by no means was very entertaining. It had a moment or two, but on the whole it was just plain boring. Trust me, I went into this movie with some pretty low expectations, I kept telling myself that *Hey, it's got Angelina in it, as well as her breasts, and it looks like some killer action sequences. So how bad can it be?* Pretty bad. I just hope Paramount decides to hire a much better director to helm the second project. This franchise could be great, if you just give it to the right person to make. Angelina was the right choice, Simon West was the worst.

  • June 16, 2001, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Take it Easy WrathfulB...

    by ArchDiver

    Moriarty was very gracious in admitting he was mistaken about this movie. I saw it last nite, and I came out cursing West. He killed it in every manner listed by M, all because of his terrible eye. I knew I was in trouble when they did that opening shot that lingered on AJ's loins girded with the Desert Eagles, then came back to the same shot 10 seconds later. There definitely seems to be a devolution of West's films, perhaps he is going blind and sees himself as the Beethoven of film? Let's hope that if they do TR2, they get someone else to direct. I'd vote for Raimi or Burton...

  • June 16, 2001, 10:34 a.m. CST


    by deftone

    Are they talking sequels already?

  • June 16, 2001, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Roger Ebert's got Jungle Fever!

    by DearGodMySpleen

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. Variety is the spice of life, and I often find myself craving chocolate ice cream, just as I go back to vanilla occasionally, and even java toffee with chocolate chunks...but I digress. BTW, why is anyone suprised that this movie is anything more than a freshly laid pile of dog biscuits? Let's go through the list...Super Mario Bros, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat (Ok, the first wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't good either, and the sequel is a horror that I would prefer never existed). Strangely enough, can anyone think of any movies that have been successfully made into a video game? I'm drawing a blank. And to digress further, I'm currently watching VH1's greatest songs of all time. How the hell did "Black and White" and "No Scrubs" end up on that list? These are questions we may never have the answers to.

  • June 16, 2001, 11:38 a.m. CST

    I saw it and...

    by iamroman

    It was OK. Just OK. Decent first half, weak second half. Atlantis was better. The Mummy Returns was better. TR certainly wasn't "THE WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!!" (How come EVERY NEW MOVIE that comes out is ALWAYS the "WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR" to you fanboys?) But I saw it in spite of the reviews and talkbacks here and formed my own opinion. I will NEVER trust any of the reviews on this site after you fanboy fuckers convinced my to see that steaming lump of shit RUSHMORE because it was "HILARIOUS!" and "WONDERFUL!" I have never and will never forgive you that. It invalidated every opinion you (you know who you are) will ever spew...

  • June 16, 2001, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Mori, Frenchnick, and Kamehameha (sp?)

    by Lt. Torello

    I have no patience for long posts (even though I'm guilty of a couple) so quickly: 1)Moriarty, another fine piece of film criticism. Logical, witty, informed. Please sit down with Harry at his Playskool desk and teach him how to do it. 2)Frenchnick, movies generally suck right now but there ARE a few I think we can feel safe in anticipating: Martin Scorcese's "Gangs of New York," Sam Mendes' "Road to Perdition," and Michael Mann's "Ali." As for this summer, well, there's "Apocalypse Now Redux." 3)Kamehameha (or however it's spelled), if they were really gonna arm Lara like the game, they'd give her a brace of IMI Desert Eagles.

  • June 16, 2001, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Nary the twain shall meet

    by Zorno

    I agree with a previous poster Video Games becoming movies have almost always sucked and vice versa. Oddly enough, the Indiana Jones based video game chewed ass and was nothing more that a rip-off of the good Tomb Raider series. From the sounds of things here, this movie is returning the favour. That being said, I have learned to not expect anything from movies based on Video Games and generally end up saying 'not bad'

  • June 16, 2001, 3:03 p.m. CST

    "TombRaider" as a game flick...

    by Truth0ne

    It was just what I'd expected. Nothing more, nothing less. "They" probably could not have come up with a better storyline. I had more fun playing the game on my SegaSaturn than watching this. Not to say that the flick sucked, but I had more fun on Sega. It is now the day after and I remember little about the movie. I saw "Atlantis" right after "TombRaider" last night, and I have to say "Atlantis" was dope (good) for a Rat Flick (Disney Movie)... Nice chara. design. Nice casting. I'll swipe the DVD upon release. Now the only movies I look forward to are "Windtalkers", "Kiss of the Dragon" and "Pootie Tang". Peace from Philly....

  • June 16, 2001, 6 p.m. CST

    West is still talented

    by moviesR4proFIT

    Haven't seen the movie yet but these postings are venomous. Blame the problems on script and studio heads. Everyone says someone else could have done a better job. WHO THEN aside from the 'beloved' TOP FIFTEEN directors all you guys seem to love could have done better? WEST is very smart and way more exciting than mediocre Andrew Davis, Peter Hyams, Rob Cohen, Steven Segal, Rob Reiner, McTiernan, Spotswoode, Martin Campell, Chris Columbus, Silberling, Joe Johnson, Donaldson, & Sommers (The Mummies are atrocious).

  • June 17, 2001, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Hypocrisy taken to a whole new level

    by ghost358

    You know as I sat here reading Moriaty and Harry's reviews of Tomb Raider-I was simply blown away by the incredible hypocrisy of both of them. Wasn't it both of them that used to gush over any mention of Ain't It Cool by Roger Ebert-hell, Harry was on Ebert's show a few times and posted a huge story complete with pics of him and Roger. Flash forward to a month or so after Ebert publicy humiliated Mori for completly falsely accusing him of not doing a Pearl Harbor review on his show because Disney owns the program, and all of a sudden-Ebert has become a joke of a reviewer to Harry and Mori who only gives Tomb Raider a great review because he is a "tit man" Jesus H. Christ-just admit it-you two got schooled by a guy with more credibility than you could ever hope to have and now you are pissed about it. I guess it's a good thing for folks in Chicago radio that Mori wasn't listening a few days after he made that claim about Ebert not doing the review-it was a running joke on several stations and made Mori look like a clueless dolt. God only knows what he would have said about the windy city in his next review.

  • June 17, 2001, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Ghost & Sho'nuff

    by drew mcweeny

    How stupid are you? Or are you just determined to find fire where there's no smoke? I'm the one that posted Roger's response to my PEARL HARBOR piece. If I felt like I was "publicly humiliated," then why would I have done that? I certainly wasn't obligated to do so. As I've said, and as you seem determined to ignore, it's possible to comment on someone's work without it being an insult or a provocation to war. Neither of you pinheads seems to get that concept, so fine, but you're deeply mistaken if you think that I'm "feuding" with Roger. I still say anyone who believes I've attacked him in either this piece or PEARL HARBOR needs to put to the crack pipe down. Asking a question or referring to a lifelong fascination that is well-documented in his own work is not an attack. Grow up.

  • June 17, 2001, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Oh I feel dirty...but...

    by bystander

    ...I can't help it. You're so full of shit I had to speak up. Kinda hard to portray yourself above the fray when you can't resist the cheap shots, huh, Moriarty? "Neither of you pinheads seems to get that concept, so fine, but you're deeply mistaken if you think that I'm "feuding" with Roger. I still say anyone who believes I've attacked him in either this piece or PEARL HARBOR needs to put to the crack pipe down. Asking a question or referring to a lifelong fascination that is well-documented in his own work is not an attack. Grow up." Well-documented? The only reviewers in this particular group (and yes, I'm including your buddy Harry in this) who have a "well-documented" "lifelong fascination" with female body parts of any sort would be yourself and your buddy Harry with the interminable talk of "swirling asses" and bouncing titties. I don't *ever* remember seeing a review where Ebert says "wow, nice hooters, I give it a thumbs up"! I still think "TOMB RAIDER is neither the end of modern cinema nor the guilt-free pleasure machine that lifelong tit fan Roger Ebert paints it as." Is the textbook definition of a cheap shot, and a really egregious example of the pot calling the kettle black (assuming Ebert has ever gone on record rhapsodizing about the abudance of breasts in any movie). Every time you try to be a "real" critic, your inability to refrain from childish cheap shots trips you up in the end. So get off the talk-backers, they're right this time. you guys realize that it doesn't really *matter* what your opinion of any movie is - it's going to have millions of sheep shelling out their money for it whether you like it (Pearl Harbor) or not (Tomb Raider)?

  • June 17, 2001, 4:59 p.m. CST

    The real moriarty

    by ghost358

    Seems like I(and several others in this talkback)have really struck a nerve. You can resort to name calling all you want bud, say I'm on crack, stupid, a pinhead, but the bottom line is this-most of the people who read your and Harry's review of Tomb Raider very clearly see your crass comments about Ebert's supposed breast fetish for exactly what they are-a childish lashing out after you got scolded by a big name critic after you made an accusation you had no way to back up-and proved to be just plain wrong. It's one thing to make mistakes about a movie scoop(lilke the recent A.I. review-that was a total hoax)-that can happen-and I don't think any of the readers here mind that much-but when you take a blatant cheap shot at somebody with the stature and reputation of Roger Ebert-and that is exactly what you did, don't expect that kind of behaviour to be overlooked quite so quickly. Especially when after you are put into place by the person who you made that accusation about-you then take more cheap shots about him. You can claim all you want that there is no feud between you and Ebert-I believe you-there isn't-I bet Roger Ebert could give a rat's ass what you really think about him-for one simple reason-he has class-something you seem to be making every effort to show you have none of lately. Post replies to this any way you want Moriarty, fume and fuss and call people names for daring to imply that you have done something wrong, I ain't gonna respond any more. You have really proven you aren't worth the effort.

  • June 17, 2001, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Don't be impressed by TR's $48 mil opening

    by FrankDrebin

    Opening weekend boxoffice isn't a measure of a film's quality -- it's a measure of the intensity of the ad campaign. It's next week's boxoffice that'll show whether friends are telling friends to see the movie. Anyway, I saw Tomb Raider and wouldn't say that it's completely worthless. There's just nothing special about it. I only hope that when the boxoffice plummets next week, Hollywood won't see it as a reason to deny women the chance to be the lead charactor in adventure films. My biggest disappointment with TR... ***MILD SPOILER*** that when Lara Croft got her hands on a machine that could control time, she didn't use it it for any spectacular purpose, only to change the direction of a thrown knife. So, what do you think? Can this franchise be saved?

  • June 18, 2001, 12:43 a.m. CST

    slow motion

    by w5h

    Simon West's movies are all about 45 minutes long when you run all the slow motion footage at normal speed. I'm tired of slow motion action scenes and bullet-time - I want to see more directors using fast-motion in action scenes - like how they all run around really fast on the Benny Hill show and then her top falls off was I?

  • Harry and Moriarty aren't out of line at all in referring to Roger Ebert as a "lifelong tit fan." I once heard Russ Meyer refer to him as a "tit man" in front of a packed auditorium, and tell an unflattering anecdote about what it took to get his hardworking young screenwriter for BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS to finally take a break. Ebert's reviews of FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL! KILL!, RAPA NUI, and BESIEGED provide additional confirmation. You've both got a far stonger grudge against them than they do against Ebert.

  • June 18, 2001, 6:47 a.m. CST

    let's get some perspective guys

    by usagi

    Is Tomb Raider Oscar worthy? Of course not. Is it a great film? Of course not. Does it have a practically no-existant plot with holes big enough to drive a truck through? Of course it does. Is it an enjoyable piece of summer fluff. Of course it is. Tomb Raider will never be considered a great movie. But, for the love of Christ, it is based on a video game...what do you expect? And it actually follows a video game format. The plot only exists to advance the action (as opposed to the other way around). You have set segments with a "boss" at the end of each. I went to see Tomb Raider thinking it was going to be horrible. Instead, I got a decent, admittedly mindless summer type guns and boobs movie. Nothing wrong with that.

  • June 18, 2001, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Tomb Raider

    by Elliot_Kane

    The expectations of many Talkbackers seem to be very low for any kind of TR film based on the fact that it is 'only a video game.' Tomb Raider the game is much more strongly based on characterisation and plot than any of the other computer games thus far turned into films, and could have been made into a great film because of that. *** Casting Angelina, good actress that she is, was a mistake as there is no way anyone would ever think she was an English woman, accent or not. Her looks and her mannerisms are all wrong. From all the reviews I have seen thus far, a similar eye for detail was in evidence throughout the film. Hence the problems.

  • June 18, 2001, 6:11 p.m. CST

    why lara's tits grows and shrinks at times during the movie..

    by holoholojoe

    cause the movie sucks SO much somtimes, it managed to get under lara's extra small outfits and help themselves to the ONLY good things in this movie.. actually, i wish i got my 2 hours back! what a tremendous waste of time!

  • June 18, 2001, 8:23 p.m. CST

    A couple of thoughts.

    by DensityDuck

    I go to movies to be entertained. This movie entertained me, therefore I consider it to have been a SUCCESSFUL MOVIE. I did not feel that I had wasted my money, or my time; furthermore, echoing Jedi Justin's comments, I was not embarrassed that I was sitting in the theater watching the movie. (As I was through most of RUSHMORE, I might add.) **** Furthermore, I don't like people who say 'I only want to go see GOOD MOVIES', by which they usually mean movies that other people have told them are good. No wonder people say cinema sucks these days--they go to one movie a year! **** Doesn't it piss you off that these forums are incapable of any sort of formatting, or threading, or post-ranking, or revisions to previously-posted comments? Get with the fucking program's not like BBS software is THAT EXPENSIVE.

  • June 19, 2001, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Ebert gave Swordfish thumbs down

    by AICN fanboy dork

    It was Roeper who dug it as what summer popcorn blockbusters are supposed to be like. And although Ebert loves Lopez and Campbell, he has panned a lot of their movies -- Three to Tango, Scream 3, Drowning Mona, Money Train, U-Turn, and whatever the hell that J-Lo/Matthew McConaughey film was.