My New Favorite Movie Reviewer

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My favorite movie reviewer used to be Widgett at Needcoffee.com, but he rarely publishes new reviews anymore. I was looking around for Chopper reviews when I found this one by Andrew Howe. Had I the talent, it is the review I would have written. I eagerly checked out his other 2001 reviews, and found myself agreeing with most of them to varying degrees (I was particularly impressed with his Hannibal review). The site that hosts his reviews is Filmwritten Magazine - an online resource I'm going to start checking regularly.

Howe's review of CHOPPER is admirable, but I have some reservations about his treatment of HANNIBAL. The film's misanthropy is actually less extreme than the novel's (in which Clarice become's Hannibal's lover and travelling companion - though it isn't clear her behaviour is entirely voluntary). And there is a long-established tradition in cinema, particulary in American cinema, of immorally presenting detestable villains as heroes (something the makers of CHOPPER did not do). Also, I hope, when he was throwing the last copy of HANNIBAL onto the bonfire, Howe would not also incinerate Hans Zimmer's excellent music for the film.

Author here. In retrospect my flip-out was probably greater than the film's actual crimes, but since I had to get that review written under a deadline it's an accurate reflection of how I felt at the time. However, the climax still ranks as one of the most disgusting five minutes of film I've ever witnessed, and I've seen some pretty heavy stuff in my time.

I can't actually remember the music (I was too busy being disturbed by the on-screen action), and since I don't plan on ever watching the film again I'll have to take your word for it. It's a pity he chose that particular undertaking to spend his valuable composing time on - reminds me of Red Planet, in which the Graham Revell score was the only good thing about the film.

It's an unexpected pleasure to meet you (well, virtually meet you).

About Zimmer's music: in the scene in which Pazzi and his wife attend the opera, and there is an exchange of glances between Pazzi and 'Dr Fell' (a very poorly directed moment), the music was so good that I assumed it was from a real opera by some 'great' composer. But, no, Zimmer composed it. That, and the haunting theme music, was indeed better than the film deserved.

I'd be interested to read your opinion of Scott's BLACK HAWK DOWN. I haven't searched yet, so I don't know if you've written one. If not, could I entice you to put down a few words about it here?

So, did you see Chopper?

Yes, I liked it.