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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Jan 2000_1

Letters to the Editor are welcome; they can be on any relevant subject (relevant meaning relevant to this zine) and preferably no more than 350 words. Please include your name and city where you live. The Editor has the right to edit. We’d like to hear your movie related stories, anecdotes and – of course – your opinions. Drop us a line to editor@urbancinefile.com.au

13/1/2000

Re BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
G'day, Andrew
Three favourable reviews for this heap of crap?! You've got to be kidding!!! I see 1-3 movies every week, and I must say 'Being John Malcovich' took my Award as the Most Stupid Movie of 1999/2000 (I saw an advance screening). From ridiculous character roles to dopey acting to the most idiotic script idea, this film fails on all counts. It is pretentious, totally implausible, and boring after a while - for example, the 7 1/2 floor idea where people hunch about wears thin after the second visual of it. I saw it at Cinema Como on preview, and there wasn't much laughing in the theatre, believe you me!

Sorry, your reviewers are right off the mark with this one, and I cannot but recommend against it, as I have to my friends very loudly. If you want to see a really funny film that is unpretentious, implausible, but does it right - see Happy, Texas for a movie full of laughs from start to finish. I saw it in advance at a Cinema Nova Privilege Member preview, and the audience roared with laughter from start to finish, as did I. Now that's good filmmaking!
Brian Mier, Melbourne

Ed: We (Louise and I) really like Happy, Texas, as you do. And we also like Being John Malkovich - which you don't; but then film appreciation is a highly subjective and personal thing. There's no right or wrong about it, nor anything predictable about who likes what. See below. . . as Trevor goes crook at us for another one - and John has a bitch about Bowfinger.

Re AUSTIN POWERS - THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME (on video)
Ok, that's it; I've just gone out and got The Spy Who Shagged Me after reading your glowing reviews and can tell you I will never rely on your site for movie suggestions again.

I can't believe what a pile of completely unfunny crap it was. Being hit over the head with a brick would have been preferable to watching this embarrassingly bad drivel. Here are some new review suggestions: "Absolutely appalling", "boring", "excruciatingly bad", "pathetic".

What are you, a publicity department for the studio? Have you got shares in Roadshow? Your reviewers should be @#!ing shot!
Trevor Crooks, Adelaide (Hope Valley) South Australia.

Ed: Shootin's too good for 'em ! I would have thought you'd want to make them sit through Austin Powers a few times.….

Re: BOWFINGER
I'm not sure why I feel this need, since it's very few films which make me want to vent my anger at the injustice of the world, but I have to make it my mission to warn as many people away from Bowfinger as possible now that I've had the misfortune of seeing it. You probably don't put submissions from the outside world on your site, but writing this has made me feel better anyway. I'm not sure what I didn't get about this film, but I think I didn't get "it". I have read a lot of reviews which describe Bowfinger as lighthearted and well-acted, Martin and Murphy's triumphant return to comedic form.

Unfortunately, sitting through this film in an eerily silent audience, I could only start to wonder what went wrong.

I felt the script was shallow and superficial and the acting itself relied too heavily on cheap sitcom humour. If this movie had a laugh track it would have felt more like something you'd see on the re-run channel on Fox. Eddie Murphy character acting as both Kit and Jiff? Yes, maybe, but incredibly briefly. It felt like the one, "Eddie is two characters in the same movie" joke lasted for one scene, and then got brought out to rot in every scene after it. He couldn't even be bothered walking around with his poor eyesight squint for the movie. Contact lenses? Give me a break.

The film makes itself out to be a tribute to comedy and the spirit of those who just want to make us laugh and/or cry against all odds. Unfortunately it relies on so many cheap, recycled storylines and poorly thought out stereotypes that it fails miserably to raise any sort of respectability. To summarise, when you are watching a movie starring Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin (two incredibly funny people at the best of times) and the most laughs from the audience come from the dubiously humourous images first of Heather Graham getting kissed for three minutes; and second, a dog in high heels, something seems amiss.

I wish I could have enjoyed this movie more, because some of its looks pointed towards Hollywood were probably genuinely funny. Understanding them however didn't help me to laugh in this film, but simply cringe when I found out that these would be the entire content of the running time. At least it was mercifully cut short at an hour and a half. This was a terribly awkward film to watch, indeed, perhaps even embarrasing to endure.
John Blahusiak, Kelmscott in the burbs of Perth, WA

Re: THE MILLENNIUM
Dear Misguided Urbancinefilites....
I just couldn't let this one go. Your reasoning for why this is not the first year of the millenium is just too flawed for words. Count to ten? What??

If I am 19 years old (I wish) I am 19 and a few days. Let's say 19 and 363 days. That means that I am nearly finished my 20th year. In two days I will turn 20, having COMPLETED 20 years. If I was to live to 2000 years old (and of course our calendar is based on the birthday of 1 guy - ie 2000 years since the birth of Christ) then I was 1999, I would be in my 2000th year.

On my 2000th birthday, I would be 2000, and would have COMPLETED 2000 years. The next day I would be in my 2001st year. Same as our calendar.
I mean come on!!! If you owe someone $20 do you give them $21? if you need to be 18 to get into a bar, do you have to wait until a year after your 18th birthday? You can't have it both ways......sorry, just had to get this off my chest.

Media duped by media and then reduped by the same media.....:)
love your website by the way...
Rory

ED: Oh Rory, how your letter thrills us! A passionate and caring counter! Albeit self-deluding about the millennium.

As you know, the word millennium means thousand years. (mill - anno). The first thousand years ended at the end of a thousand years, no? The second does likewise. The first day of this calendar was written thus: 1/1/1. The first day of the new millennium is written thus: 1/1/2001. You only had to look at the Sydney Morning Herlad's special Centenary feature last weekend to see the problem that new millenniumists have caused themselves: it wrote the date for the century the paper covered, thus: 1899 - 1999. Whoopsy! Don't let your enthusiasm cloud your numerical skills and enjoy the year, whichever millennium you're in!

Re: DOGMA
Just a query as to whether you knew when Kevin Smith's new film, Dogma, will be released in Australia? Thanks
Anthony J Roger

Louise: Dogma is due for release on February 3, 2000. You can check release dates in our Upcoming Films pages, from the Reviews menu page.

Re TITUS ANDRONICUS
I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning regarding a new film production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, and was interested in knowing how much Urban Cinefile has heard about it and if you were going to do a review or anything on it. It's starring Anthony Hopkins as Titus, Jessica Lange as Tamora, and is directed by Julie Taymor - apparently it opened to fairly good reviews in the U.S. last week.

Will it be long before it opens here and who will be distributing or exhibiting it are the two questions I'd most like answered I guess - this is the second film in six months that has slipped under my radar (Blair Witch being the first - I heard about THAT on The Panel). I hope you can help me; cheers and keep up the great work!
Adam Lavery

Ed: The title is Titus, and is distributed in the US by Fox Searchlight; no date yet for an Australian release. Australian Distributor is Buena Vista. Titus returns home victorious from a long war with the northern Goths during which all but his four remaining sons have died. Lucius (played by Angus Macfadyen) the eldest, reminds Titus that part of the victory vitual is the human sacrifice of an anemy prisoner. Titus chooses the eldest son of Tamora (Queen of Goths) who has been brought back to Rome as a captive with her three sons and the Moor, Aaron (Harry Lennix). Titus carries out the ritual, and Tamora and two remaining sons vow revenge. Henceforth the tale of double revenge begins – first Tamora's and then Titus.

Re: BRINGING OUT THE DEAD & THE BEST MAN
I'm just curious to when the Nicolas Cage movie Bringing Out the Dead and the comedy The Best Man are being released here?
Regards
Chris Cappola

Louise: Bringing Out the Dead, directed by Martin Scorcese, will be released in June by Buena Vista International (Australia).

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