The director of 'Independence Day,' 'Godzilla' and 'The Patriot' has certain attributes, all of which are given full vent in 'The Day After Tomorrow.' He's crude, stupid, slick, cornball, predictable, laughable, relentless, trivial and, the sum of all these, ridiculous. He's never made a movie you could believe and he still hasn't.
I remember the early 1980s, when I first got one of these fabulous film critic jobs. The downside was sitting through 'Splatteria III: The Dismembering of the Clampett Clan' or 'The Oklahoma Meatgrinder Massacre' or some such. The headaches unleashed by watching attractive kids die week after week after week cannot be imagined.
'Memoirs of a Geisha' is everything you'd expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It's just not very hot.
Now, I am about to be nailed as the man who disliked 'Howl's Moving Castle.' Lord, give me strength! Also, IT, please disconnect the e-mail thing.
By the '50s and '60s, war movies had become big and impersonal. They almost never bothered to characterize the Japanese enemy as particularly evil; in fact, they never bothered to characterize him at all.
But you can still find good films if you read your local film critics and are willing to drive a bit. You have to be a proactive film viewer to have the most provocative cinema life.
Having a better and more productive life than my monster father has been my most significant accomplishment.
Considered purely as effects-driven filmed drama, 'The Day After Tomorrow' checks in somewhere in the middle of one of Hollywood's most absurd and least lamented dead genres, the disaster pic of the '70s. It's a little better than 'Earthquake' but not as good as 'The Towering Inferno,' because it doesn't star Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.
I never feel so utterly fraudulent as when I review a movie whose charms impress all in the world and I simply do not get it. The other variant is that I love something the world disdains. This has had severe career consequences: I am still famous - or notorious - in certain quarters where I am recalled as the man who liked 'Hudson Hawk.'
Since I'm a story-oriented critic, sometimes it's difficult to discuss issues without defining them. At the same time, I try not to give away anything that hasn't been given away in first half, in TV commercials, or that isn't obvious from the set-up of the movie. My editors are aware of this tendency of mine and read carefully for spoilers.
The new book is a result of my well-documented... absorption in Samurai movie culture. It's called 'The 47th Samurai: A Bob Lee Swagger novel,' and it takes Bob to Japan in search of the sword his father recovered on Iwo that has gone missing under extremely violent circumstances.
As long as 'Pearl Harbor' stays in the past, it's perfect; when it wretchedly changes gears in the late going, it becomes the wrong kind of same old story: Hollywood stupidity and callowness, writ large across the sky.
The horror movie will not go away. Look at the change in the Hollywood landscape as a signifier of its durability. At one point it was just one of many styles of films called 'product' that between, say, 1930 and 1970, the movie city ground out like sausages or hula hoops at a rate of four or five a week.
I have never connected with 'Gone With the Wind.' 'Lawrence of Arabia' leaves me cold.
I kind of figured if I couldn't get a job as a dwarf, looking as I do, I should just give up acting.
If you have only 95 minutes of material, make an only 95-minute movie. Amazing how often that's forgotten.
The squiggly rubber Davy Jones face in 'Pirates' with the tentacles, barnacles and goobers - that's modeled on me.
Even my pathological love of Japan and its beauties, glories and eccentricities is sorely tested by 'The Grudge 2,' from Takashi Shimizu, a movie so bewildering and impenetrable that I believe it siphoned off a good 40 IQ points.
I grew up in the suburbs among highly educated people, in a house crammed with books. It was a culture rich in ideas, stimulation, entertainment, and mental activity, all helpful to the nurture of an imaginative child who wanted from an early age to be a writer.
I'm not an expert or a trained ballistician. But it is a subject I've studied intently for 50 years, so I may know a thing or two. In my opinion, the JFK investigation was poorly handled.