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August 16 2004

The Grudge: Terribly frightening or frighteningly terrible? AICN has a couple of reviews from test screenings of Sarah's new movie.

Who's Amanda Peet? "Jack and Jill" (Cancelled WB show. Amanda played Jill". "Nine Yards" (Amanda played Matthew Perry's girlfriend I think). She's been in a handful of other movies as well.

Onto SMG, I personally think she's an amazing actress. Her portrayal as Buffy blew me away, and I don't think a diff actress could have pulled it off the way she did.

[ edited by nychick on 2004-08-16 16:45 ]
Ah goodole AICN.....my love-hate relationship remains. It's one hell of a site with it's rumors and news, but on the other hand it can be pretty darn hard to take it seriously. Especially reviewers like this that are people who attended a test screening and try to sound interesting about it.

Constantly referring to Sarah as a 'WB actress' was just annoying. What does that mean anyway? Do they even know that for the last two years Buffy wasn't even on the WB? And I think Sarah would basically be the same actress in terms of talent if she'd not worked for the WB. Just a strange and shallow label to use.

Also, lines like "Sarah G. needs a few more life experiences to draw from. " made me laugh out loud. Look if he'd just said 'I wasn't that impressed with her', okay, that's his opinion. I haven't seen her yet in the Grudge but from what I know she's a good actress. But opnions differ. But that line...she needs more life experiences? What a ludicrous and laughably pretentious thing to say. Yes Sarah, wait another ten years to play this young woman so you'll be able to look convincingly scared of the ghosts. Attempts like this to sound interesting on the part of the 'reviewer' just make me chuckle.

(Also why does he only refer to Sarah as "Sarah G."? Another vague attempt to sound hip and cool?)

On the movie itself, I do still fear it's main weakness; that the original JuOn was already little more than a skillful Ring/Ringu rip off. All the elements that are scary seem directly lifted from that movie.

The notion that there is less story to Ju On also doesn't tickle me. (And originally only 1 hour long??) I already thought Ringu was lacking in that department compared to The Ring. In the american version things were slowly and methodically discovered, like a puzzle that slowly came ito being. In Ringu, which was far shorter, we gloss over a lot of things and instead of investigating, we have a main character who's psychic, and conveniently has all the info just flying into his head. I found that very dissappointing. It detracted severely from the tension.

Still from what I've seen at the Comicon of The Grudge, if you can look past the obvious Ring-elements, it looks like a skillful and genuinely creepy film.

And Sarah is a good actress. 'Even though' she's been on the WB.
I think it's unfair to try to judge a movie that's still in its roughly edited test version with no tempo sound track. Try to watch a scary movie with the volume turned down. Not scary.
Well that's the way the movie industry works unfortunately, they do test screenings to see how the audience will react and edit/cut accordingly. Sometimes to the detriment of the movie itself.

For an interesting but biased take on test screenings, you should read Harry Knowles' (the creator of AICN) autobiography.

And regarding the whole WB actress thing, well most people who don't know much about BtVS will just think "Oh yeah, she was on that show on the WB".
"Also, lines like "Sarah G. needs a few more life experiences to draw from. " made me laugh out loud. Look if he'd just said 'I wasn't that impressed with her', okay, that's his opinion. I haven't seen her yet in the Grudge but from what I know she's a good actress. But opnions differ. But that line...she needs more life experiences? What a ludicrous and laughably pretentious thing to say. Yes Sarah, wait another ten years to play this young woman so you'll be able to look convincingly scared of the ghosts. Attempts like this to sound interesting on the part of the 'reviewer' just make me chuckle."

Nicely said EdDantes. Quite honestly from the little i know of Sarah's life so far she has seen and done more in her career (one that has spanned the majority of her life) than this reviewer will do in his lifetime.

But then again the extent of his knowledge of Sarah is clearly displayed by him referring to her as a "WB actress" so i suppose this is to be expected.
Oh, come on folks. I love Buffy and Sarah was the perfect actress for it, but to date I've seen pop-up books with more dimension than she has shown us in her work. I've got a fondness for this material, and I'm really concerned about the casting.

Time will tell, and then we can judge it for ourselves.
I'm not sure I would agree that SMG is quite as bad as that, but everyone has their own opinions about these things and they are all equally valid. I can think of some supposedly "great" actors who I think are often dreadful. My personal view is that Gellar has made some interesting films, allowing that her choices have been limited by her contractual commitment to Buffy, but hasn't necessarily done her best acting in these.

Apotheos, as you say, time will tell. For myself, I am really looking forward to 'The Grudge'. I am biased because I am one of those dreaded Gellar-apologists, but I suspect I am going to like it. I thought 'Ju-on: The Grudge' was fabulous. The similarities with 'Ringu/The Ring' don't bother me. After all, Buffy had its influences.
Well- I think Sarahs acting in Buffy was excellent. No matter how good (or great) the writing for any show is actors still need to be able to act. That she did as many movies as she did while doing Buffy seems impressive to me. I look forward to her having a long successful movie career... of couse talent isn't the only ingrediaent for success - look at Amanda Peet - not much talent there yet she is cropping up in movies all the time.

As previously said - everyone is entitled to their own opinions; however Joss seems to think she is a wonderful actress too :)
SMG's work on BtVS was always very dimensional and often astonishing. In her other roles, such as Cruel Intentions, she has been good, but not as great as she was on BtVS.

And I like Amanda Peet, too.
Who's Amanda Peet?
I used to work at an advertising agency that catered to most of the film studios out there, and it was fascinating hearing what the POV was on AICN and Harry Knowles from their end. They didn't like him, not necessarily because of his scoops and reviews per se, but because he's been bribed with movie premieres and his movie reviews have been compromised as a result. One famous example is that went to the big premiere of "Armageddon," and later wrote that he cried during the film. Several of the employees there laughed, not because he cried so much as the fact that the film was horrible to begin with.

Other people have pointed out how easy it is to submit false reviews to AICN, and the studios themselves have often submitted false reviews to AICN in an attempt to garner good buzz about their films.
Still, Herc rocks.
Amanda Peet starred on The WB's "Jack & Jill" and has also appeared in movies like "The Whole Nine Yards."
On SMG's acting post-Buffy...
Two words.
Scooby.
Doo.
Willowy, I should've clarified and said that I was referring to the Film section of AICN, not Coaxial. Plusm anyone who vouches for the hotness of Amber Benson is a good man in my book.

Also, regarding the original Japanese version of "The Grudge," Entertainment Weekly reviewed it and gave it either a C or a C- rating. That's not good. :(
Well I'm a fan of Sarah's acting but I don't see 'The Grudge' as a true test of what she is capable of. My attention will be focused on her next film 'Southland Tales'. I have a feeling that might be the film that will either make her or break her in Hollywood.
"Oh, come on folks. I love Buffy and Sarah was the perfect actress for it, but to date I've seen pop-up books with more dimension than she has shown us in her work."

And what show have you been watching exactly? Sorry but pretty much every even slightly 'main' Buffy character has been allowed to run the gamut of emotions, especially Buffy herself. I think I can say with some certainty already that she had to portray more depth and feeling there than in this upcoming movie which will most likely show her mainly worried and scared. Which makes this reviewers shallow comments even more ironic.

And yes Harry Knowles has been accused often of being bribed. It's hard to say for certain because it's quite possible he actually did cry at Armageddon. (I thought it was a jumbled mess but everyone is different) But then having the world's largest movie site is bound to get you attention from studios and I can certainly see this kind of thing happening.

The worst part is how the talkbacks are always so negative though. No matter what the article is about. It's not really a pure measuring point for 'buzz' anymore since people mostly come there to vent since it's one of the few sites that completely allows it.

But of course the studios don't like him. He's a guy who started this little website and out of nowhere is a presence to be reckoned with and can garner the first major word of mouth on any project. These types of sites meant a great loss of control for the studios and it's people from the non-official press to boot. And they have to kowtow to him a little. What's to like from their pov? But I suggest they deal because the net isn't going anywhere.

"Well I'm a fan of Sarah's acting but I don't see 'The Grudge' as a true test of what she is capable of. My attention will be focused on her next film 'Southland Tales'. I have a feeling that might be the film that will either make her or break her in Hollywood."

Well she has been working her way up. The grudge is already a step up from Scooby or things like 'I know what you did..'. And Southland Tales....argn what was that again? Was that a musical?
Not sure about this movie, I didn't think The Ring was that great, so I'm not going to be queuing up to see another American version of a Japanese horror film. I've always thought that Sarah's a great actress, and Buffy was the perfect place for her because it allowed her to do everything, comedy, tragedy, violence, even singing and dancing. I don't think she'll ever get another role (until she eventually revisits Miss Summers) that will allow her to show such a range.

I quite like aintitcool, but I hate the talkbacks, always 2 idiots bragging about how they're first, the 3rd one saying who gives a damn about being 1st, the 4th saying someones the "sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet" (they may have stopped that) a few proper remarks about the article, then it just turns into a bunch of people swearing and saying the topic of the article is crap.
My problem is exactly that, EdDantes, the studios are in fear of that website. If they didn't care, that's one thing. But the fact that they go into panic mode when negative press hits their website tweaks me big time. This happened to me when I was working on the website for a movie that got negative buzz by AICN. I laughed about it, but got annoyed that the studio that produced the movie went into red alert mode because of it.

And in fact, negative online buzz about Alien vs. Predator didn't stop it from being the number one movie at the box office this past weekend.

BTW, this link may get lost in the shuffle (and I haven't checked to see if AICN has mentioned it), but was a positive review of The Grudge as well.
I really appreciete everyone here at this website. Everyone is very respectful and they know the meaning of true thoughtful constructive criticism while still loving and appreciating all things whedon related. I used to love AICN but like others have said before, the talkbacks have turned into nothing but a hate bashing fest.
NYChick in novemberland - Amanda Peet actually played Jack in 'Jack and Jill' as Jacqueline 'Jack' Barrett opposite David 'Jill' Jillefsky. Just for the record.

WRT SMG's acting chops, she did win an Emmy, didn't she? Albeit just a daytime one, but presumably they don't just hand them out like lollies in a lolly scramble....Or Do They? ? ! ! ? ?

[ edited by giles (yes, it is my real name) on 2004-08-16 23:00 ]
Amanda Peet was in The Whole Nine Yards as previously posted but also she was in Something's Gotta Give and had most of her scenes with Jack Nicholson. Now in my book Jack Nicholson is a great actor, from what I have seen I just don't think Amanda Peet is that impressive as an actress, hence my earlier comment.

I must confess I haven't seen many of SMGs movies but I have seen Buffy, and from her work on Buffy I figure SMG can act! She needs a really good role and there seems to be more to landing a good role than just being able to act. I am not in the movie business but I it seems you need good contacts, you need to know the "right" people (networking is very important in all industries), and it seems you need a bit of luck too.

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