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Holiday Movie Thread 146

Posted by JonKatz
from the Reviews:-Any-Given-Sunday,-Talented-Mr.-Ripley dept.
Here's Round One of the Holiday Movie Thread. First round: Oliver Stone's MTV-style look at the NFL, and Matt Damon's stylish and creepy portrait of outsiderness. Round Two: Man On The Moon, Magnolias, and Cradle Will Rock. This is open source reviewing -- join in.

The Talented Mr. Ripley Movie Threads, Round One: The Talented Mr. Ripley is a knockout - stylish, creepy and a visual block-buster to boot. Don't want to say any more, as this plot is easy to give away, but this is a movie that is likely to make both Matt Damon and Jude Law into major stars. Faithful to Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name, it's a brilliant if unsettling look at the pain of outsiderness and the extent to which some people will go to get inside. Damon is outstandingly menacing and convincing. Jude Law is right out of The Great Gatsby, offering a terrific portrait of entitlement and wealth.

"Ripley" could have been a few minutes shorter, but about the only negative thing to say about it is that you might get depressed that you don't live in Italy.


Any Given Sunday
"Any Given Sunday" is Oliver Stone's take on the NFL as well as on media and culture (his twin obsessions). Through his eyes and perspective, this is much more than a sports movie, but a blunt look at race, celebrity, money and the high-cost gladiator mentality present in athletes, (and many Slashdot posters).

Stone is watching too much MTV. Too many ominous clouds are moving, and it sometimes seems as if even drunken fans are having sepia-toned flashbacks. Robbie Robertson's soundtrack is outstanding, but mournful Native-American chanting doesn't always mesh with pro football.

Still, this film strikes home on several levels. It presents a blunt look at how race permeates football, and how an increasingly corporatized sports culture has overpowered ethics, sanity and tradition, putting almost unbelievable pressure on the participants - owners, coaches and players alike.

There are few heroes or villains here, something of a step forward for Stone, who is definitely your most-issues-are-black-and-white kind of director.

Al Pacino plays an aging coach whose young new owner - played by Cameron Diaz - doubts his will to win. He can't communicate with his star quarterback, who is black. Obnoxious, blow-hard ESPN-inspired reporters drive him nuts.

By Oliver Stone standards, this is an almost gentle movie about money and sacrifice. Some of the camera work is amazing, and "Any Given Sunday" is cinematically dazzling at conveying the banging and crunching of pro football, something that doesn't come through nearly as well on TV.

Those are my opinions. Jump on in.

(Holiday Movies, Round Two: Magnolias, Man On The Moon, Cradle Will Rock - coming soon.)

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Holiday Movie Thread

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  • I'm not much of a critiquer, but I really enjoyed Any Given Sunday. I thought it offered a glimpse into the NFL that we all pretty much knew was there, and then added some insight as well. I like watching football, but I've never played it. AGS showed some of the good and bad in the sport (depending on your perspective). If you are a football fan, go see it. If not, stay home.
  • NPR offered another take on Any Given Sunday. Consider it a commentary on the movie business. Stone, like the coach, is an old-timer trying to do the right thing -- make a good movie (or build a winning team). But he is caught between the producers (owners) and the actors (players). I won't say more since I haven't seen the movie yet, but the analogy is enough to make me want to see it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sort of puzzled at "Open Source" things, like "Open Source Movie Reviewing"... so, can we have "open source sex" next? *g*

    But, I have to be concerned with Jon Katz's writing. Surely as a writer, he would have started out doing review writing (I took that as an undergrad writing course), but it looks like that he quickly blurted something out because he hasn't posted anything in a few days. What's up with that?
  • Or is Katz just getting lazy? I'm not ususally one to poo-poo (what am I, twelve?) but it seems that he just threw this up there without any rhyme or reason. Open source reviewing? I believe that is called a "discussion" Mr. Katz. Perhaps you've heard of it.

    (I'm not even going to mention that these movies have little, if anything to do with /.)

    Pete
  • I was glad to see a positive review of "The Talented Mr. Ripley." I have been a huge fan of Patricia Highsmith for years and nearly gagged when I first saw the ad for the movie. I had zero faith that hollywood would stay faithful to the rather disturbing themes and plot found in the novel.

    By the way, if haven't read the novel, get a copy, it's a great book.
  • did anyone read instinct (by: daniel quinn) then see the movie? what a total bastardization. OFF TOPIC!
  • While I know that "Man on the Moon" will be reviewed in your next batch, I did, however, wish to share my opinion on it. The movie was excellent and Jim Carrey's portrayal of Andy Kaufman was brilliant. There were times that it seemed as if you were watch Andy himself all over again. The film kept you in your seat, making you wonder what antic he was going to pull off next and the ending, while sad, was uplifting and positive overall.

    I suggest that anyone who wishes to see a movie that is funny yet undeniably human go see it and see it soon.


    -- Shadowcat
  • Actually, Jon, I have some other complaints about the TMR than the fact that I don't live in Italy. (Though that would be nice. Sigh.)

    First - the movie was great. Inspired direction, gruesome violence, heart-breaking dialogue - a lot of things ot like all wrapped up in a beautiful package. A looooooong movie, but worth the investment of time.

    But the movie leaves you hanging. I want to keep this spoiler-free, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say that the ending stunk. Everyone I went with just sat there at the end saying, "No, you idiot, that's the wrong person!"

    More importantly, the movie, even at three hours, needs a few more scenes. Early in the film, Damon's Mr. Ripley states that he has three talents: lying, impersonating anyone, and forgery. But where did he learn such things? Lying is something we all pick up to a certain extent, impersonating people might be something you do as a parlor trick, but forgery is not something you learn in school any more than money-laundering is part of the accounting course structure in an MBA program.

    So how did he get this way? Why is someone so obviously talented and sweet so obsessed with getting himsself on the road to criminality? We know that Mr. Ripley was poor, but being poor doesn't make you a forger.

    In any case, I'd give the movie two thumbs up, 4.5 stars, and a nomination for best movie - if I didn't feel that something was missing.

    Jemal

  • ok, call me a lamer if you want to, but i was hardly entertained by 'the talented mr. ripley'. an hour into the movie, i stared at my watch wondering how much longer i had to endure it. the entire storyline moved along way too slowly. the only positive part of the movie was actually seeing matt damon play a bad guy. i did suceed in hating mr. ripley by the end of the movie, but more or less for matt damon's poor portrayal of the confused mr. ripley and for paltrow not taking her clothes off.
  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @07:26AM (#1435887)
    Hmmm...this is a good opportunity to bring up something that's been nagging me for a few months now. Jon Katz tries really hard to be subversive and underground and never misses an opportunity to demonstrate how some subculture will triumph over the corporate masses. He rah-rahs Linux, never misses a swipe as Microsoft, immortalizes lifeless geeks and DVD crackers...well, you get the idea.

    What's odd in that light, though, is that he repeatedly talks about mass market, mass culture films as if they're some sort of inside secret that he's privy too. He tried to pin down The Matrix as some sort of little known art film that only hardcore geeks would seek out, for example. And while I enjoy film criticism, it doesn't work when coming from Mr. Katz. It's like listening to a zen buddhist go on about the joys of Wal-Mart.
  • by semiriot (99245)

    hmmmm..I just can't decide which movie to watch...Any Given Sunday, Rudy, Air Bud: Golden Reciever or Blue Chips

    No..hold on..here's a brick wall I can pound my head against instead.

  • If it's Open Source Reviewing, Jon, why is your name on the masthead?

    However, that aside- congratulations on the new 'hr' tags! Maybe I'm weird but to me, seeing you pick up new bits of tech and knowledge (rather than ossify and rot in a rut) is more exciting than any of the movies you're talking about.

    Any chance of a 'Slashdot HTML for Beginners' article by you? I'm sure there are some slashdotters who don't know what a horizontal rule tag is, and now you do (dear god, let him not be doing these things in word). If you posted such an article, it would immediately be pounced upon by legions of clued slashdotters- who would probably end up providing huge amounts of education for all. Care to give it a try?

  • Is this a flame? Does this make you a bastard?
  • I'll agree with that. I just hate missing the Simpsons because of some stupid football game. Especially since football is nothing but a bunch of big guys tackling each other. "A real man's sport!" Bah!

    Let's hope we don't have any football-loving moderators... :P

    --

  • Jon... can I submit a diff patch to correct your use of buzzwords then? How about a diff patch consisting solely of....


    -
    -
    -
    -
    -

  • I wanted to give some kind of justifyable reason to stay away from The Talented Mr Ripley but if I actually discussed it in any way I'd probably unravel the totally unimaginative plot and it'd lose whatever shred of mystery you could argue that it has. So I'm only going to say one thing.

    You will never get those two hours and fifteen minutes of you life back

    Don't make the same mistake I did, I beg you

    For a longer review try this one [washingtonpost.com]

  • After reading Jon Katz's review of The Talented Mr. Ripley I could not help but laugh. Maybe it was because the way the article was introduced was a complete joke, (As made clear in earlier comments) or maybe is was because I had already read a review of the film which said quite the opposite, at least concerning the accuracy of the film adaptation and the need to keep the plot secret. (Come on, the preview makes most of it pretty clear) For those who want a good review of the film, read Charles Taylor's review [salon.com] at Salon [salon.com].
    --
    Gregory J. Barlow
    fight bloat. use blackbox [themes.org].
  • Galaxy Quest.

    If you are looking for a decently made film that pokes fun at the Trekkie/Sci-Fi crowd, you need look no further. Lots of good gags and pokes at the world of people who take TV just a LEETLE too seriously.

  • I agree. Let us all make pilgramage to the Mecca of Minnesota, to rally around our Chosen One, he who is called Jesse of Ventura. He has shown us the way to end the evil known as NPR, beginning with the purge of that hellspawn Garrison Keillor and his devil's pulpit, Prairie Home Companion. We must not allow the horrid influences of intelligent humor to infect our children! Let us destroy this e-vile! (fru-it of the de-vile...)

    Everyone knows I'm joking, right?

  • > Or is Katz just getting lazy?

    Mr Katz impresses me as a bit of an intellectual
    (which is what I think of myself as). He likes to
    be differnt and stir things up. Try new things.

    I think (of course I can't speak for him) his
    intention was to keep it short and simple. Rather
    than spew out all of his thoughts and commentary
    to just broach the subject and see where the
    discussion goes.

    It is a bit lazy...but it apears to me to be more
    of an experiment (I think thats what he hinted
    at by saying "Open Source Reviewing" perhaps he
    really meant "Community Reviewing").

    Its definitly an interesting idea IMHO

    > (I'm not even going to mention that these movies
    > have little, if anything to do with /.)

    Ya know...I see this allot.

    Hell, im a geek, I admit it (hell im proud of it).
    I love science and computers and all that...but
    its nice to see something else in the mix.

    I find that Katz and other "Offtopic" articles
    keep things interesting. They generate some lively
    dicsussion, and I think thats good and healthy.
  • By that reasoning, playing your piano is nothing more than poking a bunch of keys, and giving a speech is nothing more than stringing together a bunch of syllables. The reductionist fallacy is alive and well on Slashdot.
  • Normally, Katz's comments are eloquent, though I think another poster hit the nail right on the head when he said that Katz just tries too hard. Open Source isn't lots of people doing your work for you. Two short movie reviews doesn't a feature make. This was really weak-- the kind of thing you submit when you have a deadline and are busy partying for the holidays.

    Anyway, I am going to mention it. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Slashdot. I read Slashdot to get past the punditry and fluff pieces-- and I am starting to see way too many of them.

    We all know that this is the holidays and there isn't a whole lot of news. So there is nothing wrong with having only one or two good articles or even zero, rather than trying to post for posting's sake. Less, in editing as in virtually everything else, is more.

  • Carrey's portrayal of Kaufman was respectable, but brilliant might be stretching it a bit. As far as the ending goes, what was the deal? If Kaufman's dead and Bob was in the audience, who was playing Tony? Is this supposed to imply that Kaufman did indeed fake his own death? Or did the producers realize they needed to hurry up and finish a movie that was starting to drag on beyond reasonable attention spans, and closed with quickness, if not quality?
  • Dammit, it's not "open source sex," it's "free love!" ;-)

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
  • A. Mr Showbiz Liked Mr Ripley. means I will avoid it like AIDS.
    B. Any Given Sunday was ignored/shunned/blacklisted by the NFL. Says it all right there. Besides, its an Oliver "I know what REALLY happened" Stone.

    I'll go see Toy Story 2 instead.
  • From the trailers I've seen for Any Given Sunday, the film looks like it's an unlicensed look at the evolution of the Dallas Cowboys.

    From what I can tell, Pacino is playing Tom Landry, the aging quarterback actor is Roger Staubach, Cameron Diaz is Jerry Jones, and LL Cool J and that guy from Living Color are something like Michael Irving and Deion Sanders. Of course the timeline of these people being involved with the Cowboys is wrong for this to be a literal interpretation, but the movie looks like a cool adaptation of this theme. Escpecially since the trailer contains at least one shot in Texas Stadium. After the disappointing North Dallas Forty [imdb.com], I am really looking forward to a good 'Dallas Cowboys' movie.

    Since we're doing these reviews 'open source' I'll assume some other reviewer will come along and fill in the actor's names I've omitted.

  • I too saw the Moon. Last Friday (or was it a couple Fridays ago?) Comedy Central had these little interview bits with various people that knew Andy spread around commercials and their Kaufman specials. Several of them said they forgot it was Jim Carrey and only saw Andy Kaufman. Milos Foreman's comment was along the lines, "I never worked with Jim Carrey, but with Andy Kaufman, Tony Clifton, Foreign Man, etc." So I was skeptical, it's all Hollywood types fawning over each other.

    Nonetheless as a dedicated Kaufmanite, I still had to see the movie. After getting into it a bit, I couldn't believe just how much Jim really took on the little quirks of Andy. Other times, he didn't get it quite right, like his first SNL appearance. Only slight things were not quite right, but something someone as crazy as myself would notice. :) Nonetheless, it is a remarkable performance.

    The movie still takes its own spin on a few events, to make a better story. But well, it's tough to compress 10-15 years of a strange career into two hours, seven minutes. It is a good movie, to go along with things like Bob Zmuda's new book. Andy/Zmuda are such characters, I have to ask myself if Zmuda isn't putting me on with each paragraph in the book. That is the sort of thing they would do...
  • You've got two problems. One, you feel the need to point out your sarcasm is sarcasm, even though it is very heavy-handed and obvious. Two, you actually think NPR humour is intelligent.
  • Why is everything from Katz under "Features"?

    I dont hate everything by Katz just because it is by Katz, but I hate that everything by Katz is a "Feature".

    FWIW.

  • Ok, I know I'll probably get flamed for not seeing the "art" of the film, or picking up the nuances of its in depth look at being an "outsider"... But dear god. You will NEVER get that 2 and a half hours of your life back, no matter how badly you'll want to. And trust me, you will want to. From it's mind bogglingly slow pace to it's unlikely coincidences and then on to its not so subtle homosexual undertones... egads. It was fraught with improbabilities, bad accents and aside from Matt Damon going from mild mannered piano tuner to heartless killer, absolutely ZERO character development. Though, I actually did find 1 things entertaining: Kate Blanchett. For no other reason than she played (is?) a good airhead :) The two young ladies I was with, who seemed to be totally infatuated with the 2 lead actors, could not believe how just absolutely boring the movie was. Now I realize I'm not picking up on the "art" of the movie... But honestly, if I want art, I'll go visit a museum. For god's sake, if I'm going to spend $6.75 (or however overpriced the ticket was) to be entertained, please, entertain me. Don't make me sit there and wish I was somewhere else. Peeling potatoes. Or reading more Katz :)
  • call me crazy but I agree
  • As far as the ending goes, what was the deal? If Kaufman's dead and Bob was in the audience, who was playing Tony? Is this supposed to imply that Kaufman did indeed fake his own death?

    If you remember in the movie when Kaufman throws his big bash at Carnegie Hall, he says that Tony will pay for it all, even if he has to work for 10 more years. Perhaps Kaufman had something set up with someone to carry on the controversy. Perhaps by him having someone who would be Tony Clifton after he died (other than Bob) it would be the ultimate joke... the fact that people would think he were still alive. There is a fine line between genius and insanity and Andy Kaufman walked the tightrope.

    There is no doubt in my mind he had the whole thing planned to happen after he died.


    -- Shadowcat
  • In real life at least, Andy's brother also played some Tony Clifton. For a fairly scarey Tony story, check out andylives.org, and click on the Tony Clifton link.
  • Like him or not, you have to give him credit. He has posted some of the most interesting and "post-ridden" stories that Slashdot has presented. As another poster put it, he likes to "stir it up" which is a good thing. Isn't that what Slashdot is based on? The sparking of discussion? I, for one, like to hear the opinions of others whether I agree with them or not. Maybe I'm one of the few, but I like his stuff.


    By the way, I'm currently reading his new book, "Geeks" and I like it quite well.


    Keep up the good work Jon.



    ----------------

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • This was a horrible 3 hour music video with little clarity about anything. Lack of any NFL licensing made the cheesiness worse, too. Two thumbs way down...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are a number of interesting points that no-one has mentioned. First, the music in this film was very interesting -- both the classical stuff and the jazz. The song that plays with the opening credits is called "Lullaby for Cain", and of course the suggestion that Ripley is Cain is not accidental. Remember that Cain was angry at his brother because his brother's gift (blood sacrifice) was acceptable to God, but Cain's gift (vegetables, I think) was not. Rejection, rage, regret: these make up the inner life of the sociopath. The movie was full of -- I don't want to say literary references, because there weren't really references, just themes familiar from literature -- echos, let's say, from James (rich Americans in Europe), Cather (Ripley's happy solitary Christmas totally reminded me of "Paul's Case"), Conrad (The Secret Sharer) . . . The first "incident" (I'm trying to avoid spoilers) is shown in laborious detail, the second quickly, the third not at all: each time is easier and the first is the only really difficult one. The point is shown, not explained -- "Ripley" never uses narrative voiceover for unecessary exposition, which was the flaw that crippled "Rounders". Finally, the acting was very good. It's too bad that Phillip Seymour Hoffman's role was too small for a supporting actor Oscar. Has he ever been that good before? Didn't you hate Freddy the moment he drove that annoying little car onto the plaza? These last two or three years have been very good years for films. American History X, Thin Red Line, EWS, and this fall's American Beauty, Bringing Out the Dead, and Ripley. These films will age well. Soren Renner [ posting anonymously because registration didn't work] srennospamner@lycosnospammail.com
  • heh. you said daemon. granted the plot was carried alot better in the book, but really, its a poor ending as well. i think its supposed to mean that ripley is willing to do anything, but come on...
  • Big difference - assuming the piano playing was decent, you have created a beautiful piece of artwork.

    Assuming the football playing was good, the other guys are in pain and you've suckered a bunch of fat, testosterone-laden slobs sitting in the bleachers out of a whole ton of money. If you're lucky, you won't fall apart before you hit 35.

    Of course, this is all just my own opinion. It needn't apply to everyone, I suppose...

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • by jawad (15611) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @08:10AM (#1435930)
    From a CNN.com review [cnn.com]...

    And this same "Ripley" novel was made into a film once before -- in 1960, it was released as "Purple Noon," a French-Italian thriller starring Alain Delon and directed by Rene Clement.

    Hope this helps.

  • I always look forward to Jon Katz's "Articles"... the comments they elicit are absolutely hilarious! While most writers and enthusiasts encourage civilized discussion by posting only when there is something substantial to post, Jon Katz posts seem to be a signal for all the kooks, comedians, and critics to crawl out of the woodwork and start blathering. (Just like I am right now.) They seem to work on the same level as Slashdot surveys.

    The heck with the movies... I'm waiting for the next Jon Katz article to come rolling in.

    LouZiffer

  • I'm not ususally one to poo-poo

    Metamucil can fix that...

    The word you're looking for, btw, is "pooh-pooh".

    -A.P. (Yes, I know this is off-topic, but I'm hoping the moderators have a bit of a sense of humor...)
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Football, just one more reason to be thankful we won the war. Or we'd be drinking tea and watching cricket!
  • How about this:

    Skip these two papfests and check out Almodovar's latest, if it's playing in your town. (It's been out here in NYC for several weeks, so some prints likely have filtered out to the rest of the States. In Europe, it may or may not be easier to find.) Now THAT's a movie.

    Don't want to spoil it with a lengthy review; I find I enjoy movies better when I don't know too much about them first. Suffice it to say, that the title (which might imply some sort of Woody Allen nebbish) is a bit misleading. No Oedipus complex here.

    Oliver Stone gets a big miss from me on this latest effort.

    -Isaac
  • I rest my case.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • No, you'd be drinking lager and watching, er, football...


    Pope
  • The whole point is that you can diss anything by reducing it to it's elements and ignoring the far more complex pattern they create. It's a stupid way to argue.

    As for football, I know it's just a sport, but it's incredibly sophisticated. It can take a QB a year just to get familiar with the plays his offense runs and the kinds of defenses he might see. For example, look at the way Peyton Manning (a very intelligent fellow) played with the Colts last year, his rookie season, compared to this year.

    Personally, I prefer a simpler game - soccer - but you must appreciate the complexity of football.

  • Is it just me or is Katz a little late on predicting Matt Damon's rise to stardom? Gee, John, he seemed pretty much a star after winning the Oscar for screenwriting, getting billed for a 15-25 minute role in "Saving Private Ryan," etc. etc. Jude Law is already big in the UK, but that doesn't count cos no one stateside (except those who actually watch foreign films other than Mr. Bean) has ever heard of him. Keep your focus on technology and society, where you make less of these kind of foolish statements that prove your ignorance of your subject.

    Oh, and as for your concern about revealing the plot: this was a novel, and then a movie, and now another movie. The necessity of hiding the plot from your readers is hardly a valid reason for this short review. I mean, it ain't "The Usual Suspects."

  • Yeah, I too saw TMR over the weekend, at a big movieplex up in Danvers (northern suburb of Boston) - we were up there to take advantage of the Talbot's and Eddie Bauer and Sears and etc crappy gift certificates the fam threw our way. I liked the movie as well, but perhaps the most amusing thing was the suburban-movie-goer's reaction (along with, apparently, the good folks of /.):

    Utter disgust at the homoeroticism.

    What the hell, people? I know it's New England, but are we still puritans? I think most of the folks in the theater went because they wanted to see darling local boy Matt Damon, and knew nothing about the storyline. Some makeuped and big-haired North Shore Chick behind us said, as the credits began to roll, that she was going to 'be sick' in the theater (assumedly on me, as she was sitting right behind me, love those 'stadium-style' seats, you have to go to the suburbs for that shit) and some other guy (who looked just just just like Casey Afflek I kid you not) turned around and yelled as the credits rolled and the lights came up "OK Did anybody actually like that?"

    I mean, sure, it was the suburbs, but are people really that uptight? My companions and I thought hopefully that our fellow moviegoers were just upset by the violence in the film; subsequent comments by the theater-mates however made it obvious they just didn't like the GAY THEME. OMG PEOPLE! IT'S A REAL LIVE HO-MO-SEXUAL. It was amazing.

    But aside from the audience (and /.) reaction (which, I guess, is a good thing, that it at least got a strong reaction, unlike for example Eyes Wide Shut [which I think of because it was the last movie I happened to be in the suburbs when I saw {hey, they have a Target up there!}] where everyone was just in a daze..) I thought the film was great - the scenery alone, as many others have mentioned. And Freddy! What an amazing portrayal of the stereotypical 'Ugly American', yet, more than just a cut-out character. We loved it!

    Trying to avoid spoilers; didn't you who saw it love the way the title sequence and closing sequence connected? The shapes at the beginning, with the voiceovers, and then the swinging mirrors making the same shapes as he sits alone in the cabin?

    Yes, it was lenghty, but I loved it, hell, I even finally see why people thing Damon's cute!

    -Matt

  • by Tony Shepps (333) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @08:39AM (#1435942) Homepage
    Every writer that watches a file, listens to a CD, attends a play or goes to an exhibition, will desperately want to write a review afterwards.

    Mr. Katz has one advantage over all those other writers: he has the power to publish immediately. Apparently there is no editorial review, or if there is, it's amateur.

    I'm not a Katz basher; I've enjoyed almost all his previous columns. It bothers me that I have to become a Katz nay-sayer. But I have to say it; after this second batch of reviews, and pending the third batch, these review columns are inappropriate and unnecessary.

    They detract from Slashdot's strengths, fail to give any insight, and draw large amounts of flamage. I would probably even excuse it all if they served to build community, but they do not.

    At the very least, create another topic for these sorts of things so that advanced users can skip them. I do want to read about things like Toy Story and digital projection systems, so I don't want to skip the "movies" category. Maybe there should be a topic called "off-topic" or perhaps "diversions", specifically not relating to News for Nerds?

  • He could be a smart guy, I don't know if he is or isn't -- Mr. Katz just strikes me as intellectually lazy. The most clear evidence for me is the way his articles tend to ramble on and on and on. It's as if there was no thought of how to make the writing more concise, which would help illustrate his point to the reader much more effectively. Instead, the approach just seems to be a combination of, "Let me throw everything out that I can think of, so that I'll have a better chance of having something stick," and "Everything I've just written is crucial, I can't think of anything to cut out."

    The second example for me would be the way he decries the way the media stereotypes people, and then he goes and does the exact same thing. Instead of cutting through the chaff, he just turns the story around 180 degrees and stereotypes the players from his perspective. I doubt he's dumb, so he's got to realize that he's doing this, and I attribute his failure to do anything about it to laziness. In a similar vein, there's his seeming need to tell us how everybody throughout history that he admires was really a geek in disguise. Ugh.

    Lastly, I can't hold anyone in high intellectual esteem when they do as much pandering to the crowd as Mr. Katz does. The thing is, he presents himself as some non-conformist iconoclast, but his choice of outlets is nothing but preaching to the choir. Wired? Slashdot? I'm curious whether he could ever muster a criticism of the audiences for which he writes. The whole faux-populism, "Down with The Man!" bullshit. The entire "I'm a Mac user, but ya know, I think the geek lifestyle is so cool, that goshdarnit I'm gonna start using Linux, then tell you about my experience while I sugarcoat 90% of the problems that I had with it" claptrap. Now if he were a truly critical writer, his followup to that series would be a thorough explanation of why, despite the wonders of Linux, he ended up going back to his Mac. Of course, that would require telling Slashdot readers things that they don't want to hear, so don't look for that article any time soon, kids.

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

    P.S. If Mr. Katz hasn't actually gone back to his Macs, then I withdraw that particular conjecture, but stand behind my point. I just mentioned that as something I can easily picture Mr. Katz doing, but not something of which I have first-hand knowledge.

  • by opedog (99830)
    Their are three errors in this sentence. heehee... sorry, I'm veeeeeeery bored.
  • Unlike most of the post's which seem to be directed (justifiably or otherwise) at the incompetence of Jon Katz, I actually feel like commenting on one of the movies in question.


    Being a football fan, Any Given Sunday was on my list and I managed to see it opening night. Certain things really impressed me such as the cinematography on the football field as well as the choreography. The movie seemed to have a good balance between actual football being played and the politics behind it. I can't comment on whether or not it's accurate because I don't know. However, it is a movie, entertainment, some you see for enjoyment. I enjoyed the movie, enough said.

  • Purple Noon is a very cool flick. It was re-released to the art-cinema circuit a few years ago, and we had the pleasure of seeing it. The only drawback I can think of was that all these French-speaking people had last names like Ripley and Greenleaf. =-)

    And William Burroughs makes an uncredited cameo appearance in it as a wealthy boat buyer..
    -----

  • by #include (130485)
    crap crap crap crap... show me a good movie like Casablanca, or the Maltese Falcon... now those are friggin movies. eh..

    HEY KATZ, you big blowhard... how about reviewing some real movies next time
  • Oh, just recalled the one thing that was REALLY ANNOYING about the flick: Half the time, Damon's characters glasses had no glass; half the time, they did. Sure, to avoid reflections, etc, etc, but there were so many close-ups of his face, and the back-and-forth between glass and no glass got really old really fast.

    Not to pick nits or anything.

    -Matt
  • It's to stress the fact that having Katz on Slashdot is a "Feature", not a bug.
  • This isn't 'open source' reviewing, this is group reviewing. Let's not confuse the two concepts.
  • As I walked out of the theatre after seeing Mr. Ripley, I had to endure the incessant whining of the clueless hordes, now I have to endure Mr. Katz attempt at a review and the even more clueless slashdot comments.

    I think that in any assessment of this movie, some important caveats must be taken into consideration.

    First and most important, it is a long film. It is paced like a British or earlier American film. It was so refreshing to go to see a movie what wasn't in a rush to start blowing things up. The problem is that most Americans have an attention span of about 2 minutes and can't tolerate any movie that, well, doesn't start blowing up things in the first 2 minutes.

    The second thing that must be noted is that Damon's character is gay. Not as in "has some homosexual undertones" or Mr. Katz completely off base "outsider" (I think he is still trying to drag us along the High School disaster road he can't seem to get his mind off) but rather he is gay and in love with Law's character. It provides the motive for what happens later. We are led to believe that the motivation is greed from the adverts, but it is actually love.
    The point is, if you are a raging homophobe, like some of the other commenters earlier, and are going to squirm in your seat at every inference of Damon's character's homosexuality, stay home.

    The third point that I think is important to make is that this "mystery" isn't one in the sense of "who did it" or "will they catch him" as much as it is a portrayal of how a good person can be transformed into a murderer. I don't think we have seen a movie do this quite this well since Mr. Hitchcock's time. (The movie reminded me so much of a Hitchcock film.)

    And finally, I do agree that the ending, well, it was just so wrong. I think that was the point. "Oh no, you aren't getting a happy ending." They could have let him sail off into the sunset with new boyfriend... The ending was chosen to be the most disturbing, but could have been so much constructed- so many other scenerios come to mind that make so much more sense (such as Mr. Ripley's suggestion that they stay in the cabin screwing the whole trip).

    But in the end, this is really pointless because the REAL reason to see this movie at all is simply that my god, Matt Damon and Jude Law looked good.

  • There used to be a signs above piano players that said, "Don't Shoot the Piano Player."

    I've always wanted to make a movie with that as a title. Maybe drop the "Don't" part.

    Wait a minute. Hmmmm.

    Okay, nevermind.

  • Hmm, yes, he does indeed like to "stir it up". A more concise word for this is "troll".
  • was funnier than hell!!!!!
  • Yeah. I thought the film well-made but poorly designed--excellent music and cinematography for the most part, and decent acting. But really, I misread my watch inside the theater and I was about ready to walk out after what I thought was three hours.

    It seems literary because of:

    1) The "brothers" theme. Between Ripley and uhh... the one in Italy he calls brother? Bath tub? Whats his name again? Now, this theme never occurs in literature! At least there wasn't anything about consubstantiality and atonement between father and son. Or Oedipus complexes.

    2) And ooh! popular modern literary dichotomy between appearance and reality.

    So we had those. They were depicted but not explored.

    The psychological depth of the characters! thhhbt! We do indeed get rich kids living in Europe ala Hemingway and that guy who wrote Gatsby... And then, well, Ripley's character...

    Potentially a cross between say Thomas Mann's Felix Krull and Doestoyevsky's Raskolnikov. Instead, they simply wave before us the homoerotic aspects of Ripley's attractions to other certain other male characters. Amusing indeed was the depiction, amusing was the audience's "amused" reaction. But really! Perhaps swimming around in circles is the part of the director's message--a *shudder* spiral of evil--but couldn't he have at least gone deeper and darker psychologically? There is a confidence man here drowning in his situation, one who is falling into the habit of killing his closest male confidences.

    Ah. But really: Felix Krull and Crime and Punishment are good books--entertaining, provocative, and even chilling (one more so than the other).

    The greatest flaw in the movie's design though, was its inability to sustain tension after a while. Very tense it was, with Ripley's persona and more hanging on by threads at times... but that got very repetitive... Very repetitive. Very, very repetitive.

    This movie is a beautiful portrait, I suppose. But little depth or substance behind it all. Listening to Stravinsky's Petruchka on the drive home was nice and stirring.

    It would have been a cute sub-2hour flick--pretty and something more than sensory dope. But it was a little long at 2.5 hours. Felt like 3.5. I saw Seven Samurai a week ago at home... 3.5 hours, felt like 2.5 (except for finishing at 4 am), and you wished it was longer. Very simple conceptually, but much more spiritually and emotionally involved.

    I think I may actually attempt to write a college application essay on this movie after I wake into coherence for all the nice little intellectual tangents it could lead me on.
  • I did think that Carrey did a masterful job of portraying Kaufman, but the lack of a story is what made this movie a dud for me. I wanted to see more insight into what made Kaufman the person he was.

    Basically, the movie just redid a lot of Kaufman's comedy bits, except with Carrey in his place. The thing is, almost all of these are available on TV/video, so you would think that the movie would go deeper than that. Well, they didn't.

    I did laugh a lot during the movie, but the word-for-word imitations just aren't nearly as funny as Kaufman doing them. It's not that I wouldn't recommend not seeing this flick, I just was disappointed. If you're undecided, you might want to wait until it's on video or cable. Seeing Kaufman's old tapes are better than seeing this flick.

    On a humorous note, did anyone notice how, even though everyone else was wearing their hair and their clothes as if they were in the particular time period of the movie, David Letterman looked exactly like he just walked off the set yesterday? I guess he wasn't exactly thrilled with the project, because the word is that he told them that he'd only give them 90 minutes to shoot the scene, and he refused to do his hair/makeup/clothes/glasses like the early '80s Dave.

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@noSPAM.carpanet.net> on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @09:46AM (#1435964) Homepage
    > The most clear evidence for me is the way his
    > articles tend to ramble on and on and on. It's
    > as if there was no thought of how to make the
    > writing more concise, which would help
    > illustrate his point to the reader much
    > more effectively.

    Which is one of the reasons I like katz.
    However...I like it because _I_ ramble on
    once Igat on a subject. I don't know if katz is
    like me or not, but I have no concept of how to
    recognize how to make things more concise.
    I just naturally ramble. Its how my thought
    processes work.

    I supose its why I tend to draw discussions off
    topic, because my mind tends to wander and draw
    connections from one thing to another. I enjoy
    conversations that do the same, it fits well in
    with my line of thinking.

    I realize now, that if one were to look back at
    all of my posts and discussions, I tend to harp
    on back to my own pet peves and interests. At the
    time it seems perfectly natural, its only in
    hindsight that its noticable.

    > he just turns the story around 180 degrees and
    > stereotypes the players from his perspective. I
    > doubt he's dumb, so he's got to realize that
    > he's doing this

    Stereotyping is very hard to avoid. It is, IMHO,
    a product of the way humans naturally organize
    information. It is very easy to stereotype without
    realizing you are doing it. In fact it is often
    hard to have a meaningful discsussion (esp a
    discussion about things relating to society and
    people) without some small level of stereotyping.

    However stereotypes do often hold at least some
    nugget of truth in them. Afterall, they are based
    on patterns that people experiance (the human
    mind is a very good pattern matcher)

    let me take an example from my experiance:

    I was once visiting a cousin of mine way out in
    "Hicksville". We met up with a friend of his who
    goes by the name "Zep". It was decided that we
    would all go out for a drive to get some beer.

    When we pulled up to the liquer store, zep saw
    some black fellows in the store. He made some
    remark about niggers to us, then he went inside to
    get the beer.

    On the way back, he expounded on his ideas about
    "Niggers" and he made a statement that was really
    quite interesting, almost insightful (playing on
    my own stereotype I have the urge to qualify that
    by saying "for a redneck"). He said:

    "I don't dislike blacks in general. Hell I have
    had some black friends. One on one they are fine.
    However when they are in groups, they change.
    their whole attitude towards you changes when they
    are with other blacks. Thats when they are
    niggers"

    It touches upon something interesting. People in
    groups act differntly. People in groups of others
    who are percieved as in some way "alike" tend to
    act differntly towards others who are not alike in
    that way.

    People naturally take on differnt personality
    characteristics in differnt situations. As such
    many stereotypes do have some validity to them.
    They are basically an exxageration (sometimes
    slight, sometimes great) of an observed pattern.

    In a way it seems that stereotypes are
    self-perpetuating, as people are products of
    society in many ways, and as such act in the ways
    they feel they are expected or suposed to act.

    In any case I just mean to show that just because
    something is a stereotype doesn't mean it is
    useless. However, yes, it is good to be aware
    when we are using them and that we should not
    expect any individual from a group to act
    wholly like the stereotype.

    hmmm see...I said I ramble.

    -Steve
  • This post contains spoilers. Please don't read it if you haven't seen the movie and plan to and care about suspense.

    I enjoyed Any Given Sunday. What I thought was cool about the movie was that the characters were not pure good or pure bad. Coach D'Amato is generally sympathetic, but it is clear that he is living in the past much of the time, and making the team suffer for it. Willie Beamen is a great character because you really want him to succeed (just because he's generally a cool guy and the 3rd string off-the-bench phenomenon) but he gets so incredibly cocky that you just know he's going to pay for it. LL Cool J's character Julian gets less exploration in the movie, but he has two sides as well--on the one hand, he is just looking for money and endorsements and resents Beamen getting all the attention. On the other hand, at times he has more team spirit than Beamen, and also in that play that loses the first game (Willie's first game) he is accused of wanting to get his yardage bonus, but really it is Coach D'Amato's fault for calling the play. Another interesting character is that of Dr. Harvey (James Woods). He is generally a prick, but he has a point in his last speech: yes it is unethical not to tell Shark the truth about his injuries, but he is right in saying that Shark would want to play anyway, and this way he preserves Shark's confidence, which is essential to his playing. If Shark knows that he could die if he gets hit the wrong way, he may hesitate at the key instant. Along this line, one thing that annoyed me was that Shark then doesn't end up having any ill-effects from this. He just gets lucky. Cameron Diaz's character was also two sided. She is basically just a ruthless money-hungry manipulator, but she has a point in most of her arguments with D'Amato. He is living in the past, etc.

    After all these cool characters, the lame thing in the movie is that they all just suddenly realize that they've been jerks. Like Beamen is in the huddle and he says "Oh yeah, forget about all that stuff I said. Wasn't me." OK, problem solved! Or when Diaz's character apologizes to her mom. Problem solved! Or when Julian jumps out of bounds instead of going for the touchdown. Oh, now he's seen the light and is a team player. The movie sets up these cool conflicts in the characters, and then they all get resolved just like that at the end.

    Overall, I thought the cinematography was excellent, and I liked the integration of the soundtrack in the movie. Things like the part where Beamen is talking to the sportswriter interspersed with other scenes were just great. And in spite of the fact that it was basically like every other sports movie in that they have the Big Suspenseful Game at the end (gee, will they win it?), it actually is exciting and fun to watch.

    Clark

    --
    Finding a job shouldn't be work.
  • Generally, if "they" (being the critics) give a movie a great review, the best tip is to RUN. FAST. Stay as far away as possible from whatever movie it is. After all, they loved "Elizabeth" and while Cate Blanchett did a heck of a job acting it's one of those movies you watch and then wonder "What the heck did I just watch?!" In defense of /., I can say that /. has been usually right on target with their reviews, especially when you include all the comments that are sure to follow.

    One other thought - movie reviews are very relevant to /. in that geeks do have a life and like to go catch a movie occasionally. Life isn't completely made up of the net, as much as we try to make it that way. /. is just providing a little nudge to those of us who live at our computers to get out and live sometimes!

    Besides, movie reviews allow us to spend our free time more efficently by helping us thin out the "Critic's Choice" movies and spend our time on the good ones!
  • Early in the film, Damon's Mr. Ripley states that he has three talents: lying, impersonating anyone, and forgery. But where did he learn such things?

    Hmmm. The film broke right at this point when I saw it, and I assumed they just lost the bit where they explained it. I agree, now that I know it really is lacking... they show him practicing signatures, but only a few times before it's perfect. I'd like to know a little more about the character's background.

    And overall, it may have been a better fit to call him "The Confused Mr. Ripley", because for all his talents, he spends most of the film being very confused about who he is and what he wants in life. With no apparent history of such confusion before he is whisked away to Italy. Again, some more background would have been useful in understanding the character, instead of spending most of the film thinking "What?!?!? Why'd he do that?

    It was a good movie, but I'd have to limit it to 4 stars out of 5.

  • Great movie. Just great. I saw it in a shiny new upscale downtown mass market "feely"-cinema complete with video-walls in a preview sponsored by a major radio station. I drank Coke(tm) and afterwards visited Chapters(tm) while drinking Starbucks(tm) coffee.

    I would love to hear what an American history buff would have to say about it, but knowing absolutely nothing about the subject matter, I adored the movie.

    On a totally unrelated note, for somebody who was bashing Katz for citing the Matrix as though it were underground theatre, anybody seen PI? Certainly not underground theatre, but as close as I get these days. GREAT movie for people who bash away too hard at any sort of algorithm.

  • How could he be considered a "Troll" for doing this? I consider what Katz is doing to be merely creating stimulating discussion. What is a "Troll" anyway?

    ----------------

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • Al Pacino - Jerry Jones

    LL Cool J - Michael Irving

    Cameron Diaz - A plain old bitch

    Shark - Lawrence Taylor

    Jamie Foxx - Ray Lucas



  • in the words of Walt Whitman, "I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I contain multitudes."
  • Al Pacino - Jerry Jones

    LL Cool J - Randy Moss

    Cameron Diaz - A Bitch

    Shark - Lawrence Taylor

    Jamie Foxx - Ray Lucas



  • > OK if football is so stupid and you're so smart
    > pick next weeks winners and post them here!

    I don't think its that simple. I don't know about
    some people but, I just can't stand sitting around
    watching someone else play a game.

    I like to be doing something, participating. Games
    that _I_ also enjoy playing I can stand watching
    but...only for a very short time.

    As I never played football, I have no love for the
    game. I have no desire to watch it. It is very
    boreing to me. All I see is a bunch of sweatty
    men running after a ball.

    Of course...to each their own. Most people aren't
    in to writting perl code or listening to indian
    classical music, or admiring statues of Shiva or
    taking quantities of mind altering substances and
    sitting admireing plants.

    I think football is pretty stupid. You probably
    think at least one, if not more, of my ways of
    spending my time is stupid. such is life.

    I just wish you sports watching people would stop
    refering to your teams as "We". When I was on the
    wrestling team in High school, I said "We Won"
    or "We Lost". When I was not on the team...I never
    said it. Why? Cuz "We" was not part of the team.
    "We" sat around and watched THEM win.

    Thats really my main peve with sports. That and
    well... I hate it when they put on some game and
    cancel the TV show I WANT TO WATCH (I only watch
    a very fw hours of TV a week...so the shows I do
    watch are ones I truely enjoy) because some game
    went into overtime and they just HAVE to show the
    whole thing, or due to some other thing the game
    goes 30 mins over time.

    That truely pisses me off. When TV shows are too
    long to fit in their time slot...they get "To be
    continued..." when sports go over time...showes
    get canceld or bumped to inconvinent times
    (or worst..."already in progress").
  • You're right-on about the movie being an allegory of sorts for Mister Stone's experiences in tinsel-ville. Very enjoyable on many levels; great filming and editing, great sound and great acting. It's not the Be All or End All of anything, but as a Really Good Movie(TM), it Kicks Ass. See it on the biggest screen possible.

  • Anyway, I am going to mention it. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Slashdot. I read Slashdot to get past the punditry and fluff pieces-- and I am starting to see way too many of them.

    I like seeing updates/new articles... even if they aren't something that I'm interested in reading. I think the cadre of trained mammals have a good handle on what's appropriate slashdot fodder and what's not. I read this article and the comments because reading a slashdot review on these movies mattered to me. It's not "pure tech, all the time". It's "stuff that matters".

    Besides, I have the theory that People Like to Make Comments (PLMC). If SlashDot were to post fewer articles, I don't think the comment load would decrease, it would just make reading the comments for any particular story that much less doable. PLMC implies that if you spread the grits and portman posters across enough articles, esp. the articles they are more likely to read, then the more tech/geek articles of speciality interest will end up having better comments due to lack of participation by the whimsical and bored.

    Take this bit of noise and do with it what you will...

  • Open Source Reviewing....

    Hmm. even for jon Katz this is a tad too much of the hypemaster at work. Maybe Jon wrote this article for another less savy place and forgot to slip that part out, maybe he still thinks he is inventing the Net as he goes along.

    Maybe I get a little ticked off when Media Scum like Jon Katz deem themselves the Voice of A Generation. Jon, do you realize taht folks could "JUMP ON IN WITH REVIEWS" way back in the BBS days of the 80's? Where you still a Media Wonk back then enough so that you missed out on the tech? Did you think that now was the only time that is?

    Please, Jon, before you tell us more of your Open Source Invention, go back and study OUR history, you might be surprised that there is a rich tapestry of inovation there already.


  • You've got *3* problems. One, you felt the need to point out that he felt the need to point out that his sarcasm was sarcasm, even tho' such was clear from the start without your chiming in as well. Two, you think 'Buffy' is cutting edge. Three, you have yet to form a meaningful relationship with GWAR [earthlink.net].



  • What is a "Troll" anyway?

    Trolls lurks under bridges and eat billy goats.

  • "The Talented Mr. Ripley" [imdb.com] is a new cinematic rendition of the Patricia Highsmith novel which was filmed in French in 1960 as "Purple Noon" [imdb.com]. The obvious comparisons to make with this new movie are to the book and the previous film.

    First, it helps to understand the attraction of the book and its sequels. Tom Ripley is a charming, lovable sociopath without a moral bone in his body. Incredibly clever and amazingly gutsy, he takes chances you wouldn't believe and usually gets away with them. Even when he gets caught, his smooth tongue and implausible but unprovable lies get him out of many jams. The amazing thing about his character in the books is that you can't help but feel sympathy for this person with his complete lack of morals.

    "Purple Noon" ("Pleine Soleil") captures that amorality very well. As you follow the convoluted plots that Ripley lays out, you have to admire his audacity. It is a great movie, and the only trouble with it is that it doesn't leave you feeling all that sympathetic for the character, the way the books do. You admire the skill with which he escapes detection of his crimes, but that doesn't make you actually like the guy.

    That brings us to the new movie directed by Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") and starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cate Blanshett.

    As anyone who saw "The English Patient" knows, Anthony Minghella has a love for showing scenery. Where "The English Patient" had the vastness of the desert, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" has the picturesque villages of Italy, and Minghella makes them one of the stars of the movie. That can be a good thing if you are a fan of travelogue, but is rather distracting from the subject matter being shown, I think to the movie's detriment.

    Minghella apparently was aware of the problem I mentioned with "Purple Noon", because he goes to great lengths to make the audience sympathetic to the character. This Tom Ripley feels great guilt about his crimes. It is only circumstances that cause him to commit them in the first place, rather than a cold calculation as displayed in "Purple Noon".

    Furthermore, in this movie Tom Ripley displays a lot more passion. Whereas in the books he was somewhat androgynous and adapted his sexuality to suit his environment, in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" there can be no doubt as to his true feelings.

    By going for the sympathy vote, a believe that a vital part of the Ripley character has been torn away. If you haven't seen the previous film or read the books, you probably wouldn't even be aware that it was gone. But for those of us aware of it, the loss was a bitter disappointment. The loss also causes some odd moments in the script that are only really explained by knowing about the character from other sources.

    Then there is the acting. Matt Damon just didn't have what it takes to get across the complexity of the character. Sure, the script had toned the complexity down a lot but he could have replaced some of it with some subtle acting. He doesn't. His Tom Ripley is a creature that is totally reactive rather than proactive, and lacking the sociopathic nature that is key to the character.

    The rest of the cast varies from good to very good. Jude Law is outstanding as Dickie Greenleaf, conveying exactly the right combination of sincerity and decadence. Cate Blanshett does a very good job, and Gwyneth Paltrow is quite good for the first half, though in the latter half of the movie her acting is fairly simplistic. Philip Seymour Hoffman is also excellent as usual.

    Overall, I walked out of the theatre having enjoyed it but disappointed about what could have been. I give the film 3 stars out of 5, where I gave Purple Noon 4 stars.

  • Geeeez, I'm sick of this I-hate/I-love Katz crap. If you don't like him, go into your prefs and turn him off, if you do like him read on. Simple as that.
  • I could not agree more with you. I too was staring at my watch, and I would have walked out of there, had I not been in the middle of the packed row. This is by far the worst movie out right now (I've seen most of the others), if not the worst movie I have ever seen. And I know I wasn't alone, because once the credits starting rolling, all I heard was moans and mumbles. All the great acting in the world would not be enought to save this plotless movie.

    Critics love it? What does that prove? Critics are either blind, or easy to buy off. There's no other explanation I can think of for this, and other crappy movies, getting good reviews (I once read a positive review for Speed 2! If that is not enough to invalidate everything critics say, I dont know what is). PLEASE don't pay to see this movie. I would love to see this monstrosity not break $30m, despite the "critics"
  • Yes, I happen to have watched the movie recently on video, and was not sure what was going on until - well, the middle anyways. It's interesting because it is one of Martin Scorcese's first movies, I think. The production values are cheap compared with today's movies, and the colours are somehow washed out, but it has the real feeling of coastal Italy. Go figure, it was filmed there. I am in no rush to see the new release since it looks like another pathetic Hollywood ripoff of an interesting idea which was well-done in the 60's and has the addition of pretty faces and gore for the 90's Cheers
  • I don't get it.... I only see 2 errors.

    (btw, "there" is correct, unlike the guy who thought it should be "their." "Their" is possessive.)
  • Hey! Be nice!

    (So true about GWAR)

  • PS. What is "Buffy"?
  • I DID notice that and was like, "WTF?" when I saw it. Even my boyfriend noticed and it threw us for a bit of a loop. What a twit. I think they would have been better off just trying to find a look-a-like in that case. I wonder what made him act like that about the whole thing.....

    Now, I will tell you one thing... Jerry Lawler playing himself in the movie.. he came across as a real jerk. Well, I've met the guy. Truth is, he wasn't acting. Oh, and in Memphis in recent years we called him Burger King :)

    So all in all, the movie (I think) was pretty accurate and recommend people see it, but don't expect it to be some stunning autobiography because for me it was an excellent film and true entertainment.


    -- Shadowcat
  • > It's like listening to a zen buddhist go on
    > about the joys of Wal-Mart.

    Hey, why not. I could dig on that.

    What is the sound of white trash shopping?

    Has a shopper the Buddha Nature? Mu, Linens.

    The Initiate asked the Greeter "What is Buddha?"
    The Greeter struck the Initiate with a Register,
    and said "Always low prices. Always."
    With these words the Initiate was enlightened.

    Thomas S. Howard
  • I found that Any Given Sunday, which sucked IMO, can be put into the following formula:

    Sometimes intense, usually incoherent football scene + Al Pacino shouting at various people for about 10 minutes

    Multiply this by about 8, and you've got Any Given Sunday.
  • I think that's the point. It says that there is 3 errors, when there is only 2. So the third error is the incorrect number of errors.
  • Unimaginative plot? The hell?! It's very rare that we're presented with a film as complex and layered as The Talented Mr. Ripley. The audience is truly perplexed (and often frustrated) by the main character's actions, something I haven't experienced since seeing The Last Time I Committed Suicide [imdb.com] . No, it's not a happy film, but the movements of the plot are pleasantly baffling. Ripley made me want to read the rest of the books in the series.

  • something of cineast here... why doesn't anyone even mention "purple moon"? how does this film remain so forgotten after its recent re-release (about two years ago)?

    maybe someone around here knows why some reviewers refer to "strangers on a train" with regard to purple moon, yet neglect "the talented mr. ripley"? kuma
  • by CAIMLAS (41445)
    "and Matt Damon's stylish and creepy portrait of outsiderness."

    umm.... he must really be a good actor then. This certainly is going out of his RL status...

    Matt Damon, an...an... outsider?

    I'm sure he faces a lot of rejection in life. I mean, no girls or anything. Poor guy. *end sarcasm*

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • oh, no-no-no, purple moon was *not* a scorsese film, he was responsible for the re-release.

    from what i have read, the new work is quite different from purple moon, which may have had interesting sexual politics *off* the screen... really, the new film provides (according to what i have read) a powerful performance by damon as thwarted in homo-erotic love. no actual homosexual contact occurs in the film, but if you are homophobic (or otherwise mentally-ill), beware this complex story. kuma
  • I thought that the movie was slow, and overall non entertaining. I enjoy movies, but I did not enjoy this one. The plot is good. The acting is ok. The book is more suspencefull. Overall I thought that the movie stunk. on the other hand, Being John Malkovic (a kindof new movie by spike jonze) was kinda cool!

    I need to do my laundry
    Please send $3 to:
    Jon Allen
    p.o. box 308142
  • I enjoy Katz's articles too, not because they are necessarily good or particularly insightful, but because he is a genius at annoying self rightous slashdot readers.

    Keep it up Katz, you kick ass!!!
  • All I know is that entertainment does not have to be over-analyzed to death. I frequently read reviews at www.film.com that completely miss the point that some movies are meant to be mindless entertainment and should be treated so.
  • Hey! That's the definition I'm familiar with, I just thought the other guy may have "made up" a new one. Does he really think that Jon Katz lives under bridges and eats Billy Goats?

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    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • "lives under bridges and eats Billy Goats?" Hmm, it's one theory. Yeah, you're right. I checked the jargon file, and troll doesn't have the meaning I gave to it. Happy now?! But the point I was trying to make was, that Katz's pieces are content-free, in the sense that they are less about the subject than they are about provoking a response, generating the hits, cranking up the figures to show to the ad men. In that sense, he acts very like a troll.
  • "...Katz's pieces are content-free, in the sense that they are less about the subject than they are about provoking a response..."


    This was precisely my point. I've always thought that Slashdot was about provoking responses from the readers, thereby stimulating discussion. As a by-product, if this happens to generate a lot of hits, I think that's okay. I don't see how this can be thought of as troll-like. I think what Jon does is consistent with the "spirit" of the site and what the site was designed around.

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    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • Yes and I love it. Thanks for sharing your opinions with me. I genuinely like hearing from others and what they think. I'm very stubborn concerning my own opinions but always open to listen to other people.

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    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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