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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Elvis Mitchell

Aired June 27, 2003 - 20:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: "Charlie's Angels" full throttle is just the latest blockbuster offering from Hollywood this weekend. But should you plunk down your hard-earned bucks for the flick? There's a whole lot of stuff out there to choose from. To help us sort it all out, I'm joined by Elvis. Yes, indeed, he is alive, he is in the building tonight, he has a last name, it's Mitchell.
ELVIS MITCHELL, NEW YORK TIMES: Oh, I do?

ZAHN: He's a film critic for "The New York Times." Thank for joining us. How are you?

MITCHELL: You are bling-blinging like an angel here. Look at all this. Work it. Show me what you got.

ZAHN: Thank you. Bling-bling!

Let's talk about the girls in "Charlie's Angels." They work it. Is it worth spending money to see it?

MITCHELL: Well, I didn't spend money as a professional. But it's a really sort of charming, goofy movie. I'd say it's kind of like a box of honeycomb soaked in red bull. You get this amazing sugar crush, and you crash an hour into it. But it's an hour and 45 minutes long. But what's so wonderful about it...

ZAHN: The bodies, the bodies! Come on!

MITCHELL: I guess that's OK. As a trained professional I can say that. But it's like a 13-year-old's idea of sophistication, where a Justice Department guy has a private plane, and a marshal has a (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and the mother would be Demi Moore. Nobody thinks like this except a bunch of kids. What's cool about it is this really is this kind of weird, bizarre version of girl power.

ZAHN: And it's a sequel. Let's talk sequels for a moment. Another summer of sequels. Right? So you've got "Matrix Reloaded," X-Men 2", "Legally Blonde," the second version of this.

MITCHELL: Well, this is also the second version of a TV show. "X-Men 2" comes from a comic. Essentially, "The Hulk" is kind of a sequel because it comes from a TV show that comes from a comic. You have "Bad Boys 2." (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But it's just a way of saying the studios want to take as few chances as possible during the summer. But what's so weird about that is "Bad Boys 2" kind of came from nowhere. "Legally Blonde" surprised people. The first "Terminator" was a movie made for about $4 million and took a big chance on Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a joke up until that point, so these are all sequels to movies than were in their way kind of risky. So it seems like they're all missing a point of these pictures.

ZAHN: Is there a risk to put out a film, like another film which you have seen, which "28 Days Later?"

MITCHELL: Well, that's not really risky because it wasn't made for much money, and in its way it's a very smart version of "Night of the Living Dead," specifically, "Dawn of the Dead," where they clear out all of London from the beginning of this movie, and it's almost like ripped from yesterday's headlines in the way this horrible virus, a monkey virus, a rage virus, takes over London and kills everybody. But the zombies are incredibly fast, instead of being really slow like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) zombies. So it's really a lot of fun, made by the guy who made "Trainspotting" and "Shallow Grave" before that, so he has a real instinctive sort of understanding of what to do to an audience, I mean, it's a movie -- also it's smart, though, about using those instincts. And when we see the sequel, "29 Days Later" next summer, we'll be talking about that.

ZAHN: Exactly. Same time next year. Before I let you go, fast forward to the movies you don't think we should see. You just talked about the ones we should spend money on.

MITCHELL: Well, "Alex and Emma," which is ...

ZAHN: No one liked that movie, did they?

MITCHELL: Apparently nobody's going either. So that makes up for it.

ZAHN: Usually the public proves you guys wrong. You'll say, how bad a movie is -- then they...

MITCHELL: Are you trying to make me leave?

ZAHN: Yes, I'm trying to make you leave right now. You know the public doesn't always agree with the assessment of critics.

MITCHELL: What are you saying? I have to leave my ivory tower at the "New York Times"? Nobody is going -- when they show "Alex and Emma" on the plane, people will be walking out. That's how bad that movie is. Thank you.

ZAHN: And what's the second one you don't want us to see? Please? There was a second one, right? "2 Fast 2 Furious?"

MITCHELL: Oh, my God. Your kids own hot wheels, why should you see this movie? Go buy the car, buy an issue of "Motortrend," buy an issue of "Car and Driver," it's a lot more fun. But these movies are all about cars. "Charlie's Angels" is like an issue of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) magazine. It's all these Ferraris. And "Bad Boys 2" -- I love this stuff, where you have these people spend so much money. They live like you. You know, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are cops driving (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAHN: I live just like Will Smith, believe me.

MITCHELL: I'm sorry, I'm kind of blinded by your watch, what were you saying?

ZAHN: I appreciate you dropping by. Can I ask you a hair question?

MITCHELL: I'm sure you can.

ZAHN: Is that all yours?

MITCHELL: I paid good money for this. No, look at this, it's gray. I've been growing this for eight years now.

ZAHN: Good for you.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

ZAHN: We look forward to having you come back and tell us what to see and what not to see. As always, a pleasure. Look forward to reading your columns as well.

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