David Poland

The Net's stealth movie critics

Their work is secret, risky, and without reward. Their mission: to sneak into the test screenings studios use to fine-tune unreleased movies. These amateur spies are film buffs and industry insiders — from studio execs to stagehands — who post their candid reviews on Ain’t It Cool News (, the Austin, Tex.-based gladfly website run by one Harry Knowles, a scoop-hunting gossip and, according to Hollywood publicity types, one-man film-wrecking crew.

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The revised ending of ''Kiss Me Deadly''

It was a pea-soup night in Southern California when Kiss Me Deadly reeled into Glenn Erickson’s life. He was a film student then — we’re talking early ’70s — and even from a 16-mm print, the future MGM editor could tell something was wrong. Robert Aldrich’s 1955 Mike Hammer flick wasn’t just another tasty bit of noir. This was the film that sparked the French new wave, that would lend Pulp Fiction its glowing suitcase.

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Entertainment news for June 20, 1997

It’s been 100 years since Irish-born novelist-playwright Oscar Wilde was released from prison for practicing the ”love that dare not speak its name.” Nevertheless, the author’s gay sexual preference is still at the center of a controversy. Members of London’s Oscar Wilde Society are piqued over the possible casting of straight actor Liam Neeson in an as-yet-untitled Wilde biopic. ”It’s just not him,” society spokesman Andy McDonnell told EW recently.

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Entertainment news for June 13, 1997

What do you say when the people of Corleone, the Sicilian town featured in The Godfather, make you an offer you can’t refuse? So, of course. Last fall Corleone officials approached Benetton — Italy’s answer to the Gap — about a campaign that would help eradicate the city’s lingering Mafia image. The result: a new spring catalog in which 42 Corleonese teenagers shun the stereotypical Sicilian garb of heavy shawls and dark suits for colorful shirts and dresses.

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Tim Conway to appear in ''Speed 2''

Is there a casting agent out there yelling ”Get me Tim Conway”? The Carol Burnett Show second banana is suddenly hot. Well, okay, lukewarm. Currently on screen in Dear God, the comedian will next play Sandra Bullock’s driving instructor in Speed 2. ”Once they know you’re not on life support in this town, you’re back doing things,” says Conway, who has also completed Dorf on Baseball, the seventh installment in his video series.

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