My Jerry Maguire Moment

The Things We Think And Do Not Say: 2020

Hi. My name is Drew McWeeny.

I’ve been living in Los Angeles since 1990. I’ve been a working member of the WGA since 1995. I’ve helped build two very successful websites, and my work on those sites has helped shape what is now known as the online film community. I have written several produced films, and I’ve written several plays as well which are still being produced on a regular basis. I’ve done a little bit of everything in this industry, and I am currently a voting member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the oldest and most venerated critical organization in the city.

I am here because I have reached a point where I look at the work I’ve done for the last 20 years and I look at the industry that has arisen around me while I’ve been doing it, and I am genuinely horrified at the state of things.

Hopefully, you are here because you are ready for something different.

I love movies. I love them deep down in my bones. Movies are my preferred delivery system for my drug of choice, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only media I love. Right now, we are awash in options at all hours of the day. While I disagree with the sentiment that “everything ever made is available online,” I do think there is more media at your fingertips at any given second than any human being could reasonably consume in a lifetime. That’s certainly true of movies. There are more good movies than anyone can ever hope to see, and as a film fan, the only real endgame there can be is that constant ongoing quest to see more, to expand your palette, to find more things to enjoy. It’s not about being done. It’s about constantly being open.

Navigating this ocean of media is no simple thing. If I have any advantage at this point, it is that I am a giant weirdo who can somehow process more of this stuff in bulk than most people, both because of the time and the energy I can invest. I read about three or four books a week. I watch films and television all the time. I play games both with my kids and alone. Both of my sons keep my Spotify busy. I feel like there is such a cascade of media here that I can offer people one real service: I can help you cut through the noise.

Now… what does that mean?

And, more importantly, why me?

I have no idea how much you know about me or where you first tuned in. Maybe it was with Ain’t It Cool News. That’s where it began for many of you. I still meet people at least once a week who read the site, and twenty-something years after it first went online, it’s easy to forget just how big it was. Maybe you were one of the millions of people who read the site every day, several times a day, reading the scoops and the reviews and the nearly-bottomless attitude. Maybe you liked the way the Mighty Moriarty used to drive filmmakers and studios crazy by telling you things they really, really didn’t want for you to know. It was a heady time, and I think we benefitted enormously from being there in the early days when there were no rules.

Or maybe HitFix was the point where you first read my work. HitFix was far more mainstream than Ain’t It Cool, slicker by design. Maybe you were one of the multitudes of readers from around the world who helped turn that experiment into a site that thrived for almost a decade before it was bought by incompetent thieves who intentionally burned it to the ground.

Maybe it was ‘80s All Over, the podcast I co-created and co-hosted with Scott Weinberg. If you’re still upset that the podcast ended early, join the club. I loved it, and I wish we’d made it to the finish line. But if that’s why you’re here, then I’m glad it mattered to you.

Maybe you saw one of the Masters of Horror episodes I wrote for legendary horror filmmaker John Carpenter. Or maybe you saw Larry Fessenden’s episode of Fear Itself. Although that last one is extremely unlikely. No one saw Fear Itself.

However you got here, it’s still a fair question for you to ask of me, or anyone who steps up as a media critic in 2020: why should you listen to me?

I can tell you that I’ve thought about the answer to that question. A lot. I can’t tell you what to watch, and no critic should pretend that’s their job. I am not here to tell you that your taste is good or bad. I am not here to issue edicts from on high, trying to shape pop culture to my personal preference. And yet, I think that’s what a lot of people believe film critics are trying to do. And to some degree, that’s because the American film press is largely beholden to the studios, serving more as an arm of the marketing department than as any kind of free press. If you think film critics are consumer reporters, telling you how you should spend your money, no wonder you stay mad at them or feel resentful toward them.

My value as a film critic is my ability to describe my reaction to something and to set it into a larger context. That’s it. That’s the job. Done correctly, a film review should describe a film to you in a way that illuminates something about the movie or that sets the film into a larger cultural frame or that analyzes the film in some way that adds value to the conversation beyond mere synopsis. Whether or not you personally should go see the film is something that has no place in someone else’s writing.

If you talk to a sommelier, you’re going to get information about each of the wines you discuss, and if they’re good at their job, they will offer you strong opinions about foods that might pair well or how that wine might enhance an evening. They will not just describe the wine but also paint a larger picture involving it. A bad sommelier is going to try to force what they like on you, but a good one will simply offer you an informed opinion to try to help you make a choice that you’ll like. That’s film criticism. And it shouldn’t be exclusively about the new.

That’s a trap. It’s an awful trap, and it’s one of the things that makes so much of the writing that is done disposable. That includes big chunks of that stuff I did for those 20 years online, and that’s because I fell into the same trap. Not right at the start, but over time, and I think looking back at my history writing about movies is a great way to understand how the overall business has gotten so far off-track. I think that the people doing the work are, by and large, good people and genuinely well-intentioned. But I also think that the machine itself is deeply flawed and that the machine depends on those good people and their genuine intentions.

One of the most important turning points in my own career was when Roger Ebert reached out to me and made me feel like I was welcome at the table. He told me that he saw value in what I wrote, and that made a difference. It kept me writing. I had already encountered plenty of people working in Los Angeles who were invested in tearing down my right to write about film, and what I came away from all of those encounters with is an understanding that we simply had very different ideas about why you write about film in the first place. There were so many older critics who resented my presence and who told me that I wasn’t following the rules. They hated that I worked as a screenwriter as well. They told me that I was gaming the system, cheating my readers. And, sure… if my job were to try to get you to part way with your money, and in particular, to push you to buy certain things, then I think there should be very strict codes of professional conduct that should be legally enforced, not just codified by behavior.

But that’s not my job. I couldn’t articulate it then, but I can now. Film criticism is not a sales tool. If you’re trying to write about shared popular culture and you’re trying to do it in any kind of depth, or you’re trying to give someone something that represents real thought and careful consideration, the question of whether or not someone “should” watch or read something is irrelevant.

Short answer? Yes. Watch it. Read it. Watch whatever interests you. Consume media that you want to consume. Guilty pleasures are bullshit. Either you like something or you don’t. I watch plenty of things that I end up indifferent to, and I watch them primarily out of obligation or idle curiosity. For example, I can’t say I had any genuine desire to see Men In Black: International, and in my job at HitFix, not only would I have had to review that film, I would have had to write up the trailers, the TV spots, the casting news, the director news, the posters, the junket interviews, and during all of it, I would have had to have put on a sort of engaged and interested persona. And all of that would have been wasted fucking time on my part and yours. If I don’t really care about a movie, no volume of writing from me is going to disguise the fact, and if I don’t care about what I’m writing, you certainly shouldn’t care about reading it. I can’t build the community I want by trying to pretend that all films are equally interesting and that selling them to you somehow makes me part of them. What I can do is start writing things that interest me again, and then publish those things, and then either you can read them or not. Revolutionary, right?

Feels like it. It feels like everything got so complicated that should be simple. Why did I start writing about film? It’s not the same as writing films, and the older I get, the more I realize that I should just enjoy the films I’ve made, each of them as a complete experience, because there’s no guarantee I’ll ever write another. Filmmaking is a complicated, expensive business, and in my case, I have bitten the hand that feeds so many times that I can’t get the right team in place around me, and my energy is best spent writing things I can control, things that exist in their finished form as writing. If I need someone else to give me permission to make something, and that someone is part of the studio system, then the answer is going to be no, and I have got to accept that. Writing about films is not a substitute for writing movies, and every time you hear someone who is stung by a bad review claim that the review only wrote that review because they’re jealous, be absolutely certain that person is wrong. That is not what writing film criticism is for, and if you truly think that a film critic is just writing about movies to try to settle scores or to try to give himself a methadone blast in place of the heroin high of actually making movies, then for god’s sake, do not watch or read or listen to that critic about anything.

I started writing about movies back before I had any idea I might share these thoughts with the outside world. I had been living and working in Los Angeles for a few years, and my writing partner and I got our first computer. For the first five years we lived and worked here, I would write our first drafts longhand, and he would then type them. We’d edit those typed pages, and then he would be responsible for putting the final draft together. Most of our revisions were written longhand, and all of the outlining was pen and index cards or pen and legal pad. We were as analog as you could get. And then in ’95, we bought a computer and we got online and I still remember the lightning-bolt moment of finding a Usenet group where people were debating whether or not Deckard was a replicant in Blade Runner.

At that moment, I suddenly realized just how different fandom was going to be thanks to the Internet, and I posted a reply to that post, and I never looked back. I started writing up thoughts about movies that I saw here that weren’t out yet everywhere or that wouldn’t play theatrically back in Tampa, where most of my friends were, and I e-mailed my friends those thoughts. I started putting more and more time and energy into those thoughts and created a newsletter that eventually had a couple of hundred people reading it. Once every two months or so, I put out this long, dense, entirely random batch of writing that was part review, part preview, part commentary on the industry, part autobiography. It was just for those people. I was active in newsgroups and I visited the earliest movie websites, and I thought it was all fascinating, like CB radio, but more sci-fi.

When I first encountered Harry Knowles, he hadn’t started his website yet. He was just a dude who was figuring out this online landscape, same as me. I wasn’t even sure where he was located. All I knew was, he clearly had access to early screenplay drafts, and he had terrible taste. We argued every single time we ran across each other. I remember one particularly heated back and forth in which we debated which script was better: Independence Day or Mars Attacks! He argued that ID4 was a money-making machine and a great piece of character writing, and I argued that Mars Attacks! was totally diseased, a Looney Tunes blast of anarchy that pretty much made ID4 look both ridiculous and redundant. Because of that back-and-forth, Harry kept reaching out as he started the initial version of Ain’t It Cool, and he made sure to ask me about things that were in development. By the time he finally got me writing for the site, he did it by offering me a home for the newsletter I was already creating for my friends.

The stakes were high, although I didn’t know it. When I wrote to my friends, I didn’t write as a journalist or as a critic. I wrote as someone who had been punch-drunk on movies since the age of seven, someone who felt strongly about them as an art form, who believed that he could master them as a business. I wasn’t being political, and I didn’t have an agenda. I wasn’t writing to influence anyone, and I wasn’t writing to any particular format or style. I pulled no punches, and I certainly wasn’t worried about any of the people I was writing about ever reading the things I wrote. I wrote with a wild, reckless freedom, and it’s one of the reasons that when I started writing that way at Ain’t It Cool, it won readers over quickly. There is no one who is more willing to tell you what is good and what is bad than a white middle-class dude in his mid-20s who is an “expert” on a subject, and I was as loud a loudmouth as anyone. It was sheer dumb luck that Harry published people under false names. I wouldn’t have thought to protect myself, because I didn’t realize I needed to protect myself. I wrote passionately, and I was often crude and raw and unguarded. Once I did understand that I was writing as “someone else,” and that “Moriarty” gave me a buffer, I leaned into it, and I took full advantage of that anonymity. When that anonymity finally ended, it hurt me, and it continues to hurt me to this day. And why? Because I have always been honest to an almost self-destructive degree.

If you go back and read all of my work, what you’ll see is an evolution, and a near-constant attempt to figure out exactly what it is I’m doing here. By the time I realized that there is a responsibility that comes with publishing, I had already done plenty of thoughtless damage. And the last thing I ever want to be is thoughtless about the things I publish. I’m turning 50 this year, and if I haven’t learned from publishing online for literally half of my life, then why would I want to continue publishing? I think I have a better handle now on what it is I want to contribute than I’ve ever had before, and much of that is because of the mistakes and the digressions I’ve made along the way.

When we wrote about films in the future in the early days of Ain’t It Cool, it was very different than most of what you read now. I would sneak into test screenings, I had friends who slipped me rough cuts and screenplay drafts, and I knew people at every level of studio employment who knew secrets that no one anywhere was willing to print. We wrote things that gave the studios and the filmmakers we wrote about genuine night sweats. I have many, many stories about my phone ringing and finding a filmmaker on the other end who wanted to negotiate some kind of truce. “Please stop scooping me,” they would beg. And that was the bread and butter of the site, the thing that made our name. Because we didn’t get any of the materials through official channels, there was no control on their end. They couldn’t cut us off because we already weren’t supposed to have any of it.

What you get now through all of the sites you read is a much more carefully controlled version of that. There are scoops, sure… casting stories primarily. But there’s an entire ecosystem that exists around “scoop” reporting, much of which is favor-based and metrics-driven. Those leaks are often very carefully planned and co-ordinated, and over time, publicists and producers build relationships with people, so those “leaks” become part of the production plan. “When do you want to leak this?” is a question I’ve heard more times than I can count.

I have come to regard casting scoops as the ultimate empty calories in movie news. There’s only a wee tiny bit of currency to any of it in the first place because it isn’t really news. It’s just the first piece of publicity in the lifetime of a movie. The first things you hear about most superhero films are the casting tidbits, and each one of them is greeted like it is a genuinely significant or important bit of information, like it tells us something about the movie. That’s because everyone has to write the articles each and every time, and so we all pretend that we know anything about what the eventual piece of art will be because we’ve seen other movies with this person in it. “Well, clearly, casting Dave Bautista in a James Bond film means that it will be exactly like Guardians of the Galaxy, which I like, so I will like the James Bond film.” Honestly, unless you’ve read the script and spoken to the filmmaker and the actor, what possible wisdom do you have to impart about a casting announcement? And even then… you don’t know what choices they’ll make. You just can’t. So it’s all noise, and it’s noise piled on top of other noise, because every outlet on the planet has to file that story and have an opinion about it, and doesn’t anyone ever look at all of it and want to just start screaming and never stop? It’s nothing. It’s wind. It’s got no value, and I include every single casting announcement I ever wrote up in that. It doesn’t matter how good you are at spinning the bullshit if it’s bullshit.

What is “movie news”? Honestly, it’s the stuff that no one reports. It’s the stuff you aren’t told. That’s the news. And that’s what they work very hard to make sure no one anywhere is able to write consistently and honestly. You do have some people who write an occasional news piece in this business, and in the case of something like Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein, if done right, it can actually change the shape of this industry. The sad thing is that there’s such a hunger for genuinely informed and independent movie news that people will believe anything. Watching nonsense spread like wildfire from message boards and Reddit should be something from the distant Internet past, but clearly, people’s appetite for well-sourced and well-reported truth is less important than their desire to read something that justifies whatever it is they already believe. It’s true of “real” news as well, but I can only speak for the industry I worked in, an industry that regularly fails its readers.

For the most part, the advertising/outlet relationship means that most of the places you read have absolutely no incentive to write genuine news. That’s why there’s such an emphasis on low-stakes things like casting news and trailer release dates and ratings news. It’s not really news if we’re all going to see the thing in the end. It’s safe. It’s not going to infuriate their “studio partners.” If you cast Michael Douglas in a movie, and the movie comes out, and Michael Douglas is indeed in the movie, that was never news. It was marketing. It was an announcement that raised the hype profile of the product. It’s a detail, but it’s not news. A film’s MPAA rating is not news. If the film got an NC-17 and the studio made the filmmaker cut it to a PG-13, that’s news and the details of what got cut and why is also news. But simply reporting that a film is rated PG and runs 2 hours and 8 minutes is not news. TV commercials are not news. Movie trailers are not, for the love of god, news.

Let’s talk about movie trailers for a moment. The online ecosystem absolutely lives and dies by movie trailers in all their various forms, and watching the way some outlets will feed off of a movie trailer, finding nine different articles to wring from it, is one of the reasons I find myself furious at the state of things right now. It’s not a rotisserie chicken you’re using for sustenance, folks. It is an advertisement for a film. Period. And, yes, as a film fan, I enjoy getting my first look at something I’m curious about, and there are trailers that are clever and well-cut and that work well at their purpose. But when did we elevate trailers to the primary experience, and can we knock that shit off now? If you’ve ever written an article called “Ten things we learned from the new Matrix trailer,” or any variation thereof, you’re part of the problem. I’ve done it. HitFix did this just like everyone else does. And it’s rotten, teaching people to treat marketing materials like they are actual end results. People will spend months arguing about these things. About advertising. And often, they’re arguing about things that are intentionally misleading or filled with unfinished shots or alternate versions of things or stuff that gets cut from the final product. And they never learn. They do the same thing with the next trailer. And the next.

“But what do we write about if we don’t just write about marketing materials?” It’s a valid fear if you’re an outlet that depends on studio access. And there may not be an answer for you. And, to be fair, maybe you’re perfectly happy being part of that system. It’s certainly not a painful way to make a living, constantly heading to new cities or countries to stay in hotels and do interviews and watch movies. If I wanted to work in marketing, I think I’d double down and really do that job at full blast. The guys who do it well, who are enthusiastic and happy to be there, are often able to get real human moments out of people during interviews, and that’s fun. But anyone looking for insight into how films are made isn’t going to get it from a junket interview. That’s not what they’re for.

Everything right now serves the studios. Everything. Even the rise of spoiler culture has been a boon to the studios. After all, if they convince you that no one should write about spoilers, then that removes the ability from critics to discuss anything in depth. Everyone wants to be the first one to publish a review so they can get that traffic, but if everything has to be written to avoid any actual discussion, what value is there in that writing? It comes back to the idea of who you’re writing for and why you’re writing. I’m not writing for the studios. I don’t care what they ultimately think of anything I publish here. I’m not worried about being blurbed. I am writing for myself, and for you, the reader, and for no one else.

So, then… we’ve established what I don’t want to write.

What remains less certain is what I’m going to write. And that’s exciting. What I’m going to focus on is being less reactive and far more assertive about my own interests and my own timetable. Yes, we talk about new movies when they’re new, but for me, the real conversation begins once we’ve all seen something and we can start talking about the granular details. That’s where the real love of films lies for me… the stuff that seeps into you, that you keep thinking about, that you drop into your everyday vernacular. The stuff that you end up chewing on and chewing on and chewing on.

For example, Under The Silver Lake is a film I never got around to reviewing. Part of that is because I didn’t see it when it came out… and part of that is because pinpointing when the film “came out” is pretty much a textbook example of how weird our media ecosystem is these days. The film had its premiere at the Cannes Festival in May of 2018, which is where I saw David Robert Mitchell’s previous film, It Follows, and I assumed it would make it here by the end of that calendar year. Nope. It was going to be released in June, but it got pushed back to December, and in December, it got pushed back again. I would understand if it had been released by Warner Bros or Fox Searchlight, some studio division suddenly tasked with selling a film that is nearly impossible to summarize in any clean or concise manner, entirely by design. But A24 pretty much prides themselves on selling the difficult sells, the movies that are doing their own thing, and that should have been the kind of challenge that they embraced with a film like this. Instead, it never really felt like they released the film. Instead, it escaped.

By the time the official American release happened, I had seen the film thanks to its international release, and my first reaction to it was framed, in part, by the distributor’s lack of faith in it. I made a pretty fundamental mistake when I watched the film the first time, thinking of it as an endorsement rather than an indictment, and part of that was because Mitchell made a very sly movie that takes a lacerating look at the angry young man through a filter I hadn’t seen before. In many ways, Under The Silver Lake is the movie that Joker wants to be…

… and if that idea is intriguing to you and you’d like me to expand on it, I can do that. I can double back to those films and write about them without having to frame it as a “review,” because criticism is everything I write, not just the formal reviews of things. Expanding and exploring those ideas is what I hope to contribute to criticism. Every year, I have to submit examples of my work to LAFCA in order to remain a voting member of the organization, and I love picking each year’s sample. I think about what it is that represents the purest expression of my efforts, and the last few years, everything’s been written with your wallet in mind. I’ve been so desperate to get people to buy the reviews that I’ve been leaving the vast majority of what I really want to say unsaid. That’s done now. Now I’m going to write what I’m interested in, and if you want to jump in and follow me through this crazy media landscape, you’re more than welcome.

The name of this publication, Formerly Dangerous, is no joke. I am not looking to be back in the scoop business, because I don’t believe in it at all. I don’t think it serves anyone. Not the filmmakers. Not the publication. Not the readers. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less informed than I was at the height of the movie scoop gold rush. If anything, I know more now and I know more people, and I have an even more embedded view of the way things work. The difference is that I know now how to have a conversation that is both informed and informative that is also respectful of the process while it’s underway. And I’m willing to have that conversation with my friends, the way I’ve always been, which is exactly what I consider you if you’re still here and reading after all the ups and downs of the last few years. If I am dangerous, then I’m dangerous to the established way of doing things, the status quo of how we write about movies. And if I do help tear down some of the ossified thinking in this business, then great. Mission accomplished.

You’ll notice over time that I talk more about older films than I do about new films, but that I talk about both of them the same way. They are both active and ongoing concerns, and I feel like any fully-rounded diet of media consumption depends on the new and the old in equal measure. More than anything, I want to lay out a fuller, more engaged snapshot of the way I consume media because I feel like that’s where I can provide a real service. Curation is the ultimate job of a film critic, and curation is all about providing a guided experience. One of the most common complaints I hear from even the most devoted film fans I know is that the sheer volume of options available to them often leads to more browsing than actual watching. I know the problem. Right now, I’ve got about 8000 movies loaded into my digital library, meaning I can watch any of my 8000 films any time I want on any device I have in the house, or even when I’m out of the house. And that’s just the digital media… that doesn’t include the staggering number of physical discs I have. Figuring out what to watch when I have a list of 8000 possibilities could be overwhelming if I didn’t come at it with a game plan, and even so, I often find myself just plain frozen.

And, yes, I recognize that saying much of what I’ve said here makes it impossible for me to easily or comfortably go back to doing things the way I’d been doing them at HitFix or Ain’t It Cool. Good. I’m sure I’ll fall back on old bad habits from time to time. I’m human. But I’m equally sure that I am determined to do something new here. I want to find my way back to the pure passion of my earliest online film writing, but with the experience and the perspective I’ve picked up by doing this for 25 years.

For now, all you need to do to participate is sign up for the e-mail list. You’ll get notified every time I publish something, or you can just come read it at my landing page on Substack. We’ll start out with three publications of varying length each week, and we’ll go from there. At some point, I’ll add paid subscriptions, but you’ll still get some free stuff here each week. Obviously, I hope you’ll opt for a paid subscription, but for now, it’s just time to get started publishing new stuff for you guys as often as possible.

This May, I’m turning 50, and I plan to blow it here out with some work that sums up who I am, and exactly what’s important to me as I start this new chapter of my creative life. Hopefully, you’ll be here for that, and for whatever comes next.

Right now, I can’t help but picture Jerry Maguire, pushed out of his business for suddenly daring to picture a new way of doing things. I love those early moments and Jerry’s description of his own moment-of-clarity:

“I couldn’t escape one simple thought: I hated myself. No, no, no, here’s what it was… I hated my place in the world. I had so much to say and no one to listen, and then it happened. It was the oddest, the most unexpected thing. I began writing what they call a ‘mission statement.’ Not a memo… a ‘mission statement,’ a suggestion for the future of our company. A night like this doesn't come around very often. I seized it. What started out as one page slowly became twenty-five. Suddenly, I was my father's son again. I was remembering the simple pleasures of this job… how I ended up here out of law school… the way a stadium sounds when one of my players performs well on the field… the way we are meant to protect them in health and in injury. With so many clients, we've forgotten what's important.

I wrote and wrote and wrote, and I'm not even a writer I was even remembering the original words of my mentor, the late great Dickie Fox, who said ‘The key to this business is personal relationships.’ Suddenly, it was all pretty clear. The answer was fewer clients. Less money. More attention, caring for them, caring for ourselves and the games, too. Just starting our lives, really. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit, what I was writing was somewhat ‘touchy-feely.’ I didn't care. I had lost the ability to bullshit. It was the me I always wanted to be. I put the mission statement into a bag and took it to a Copymat in the middle of the night and printed a hundred and ten copies. Even the cover looked like The Catcher in the Rye. I entitled it ‘The Things We Think And Do Not Say: The Future Of Our Business.’ Everybody got a copy. I had started my life.”

If you haven’t seen the film, let’s just say it does not go well for Jerry. He burns down everything he’d built, and he ends up escorted out of the building by security. Before he goes, he takes one last look around, and it’s one of the great Tom Cruise moments. He stands there, just teetering on the edge of full emotional collapse.

“Don’t worry. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna do what you all think I’m gonna do… which is just flip out! But let me just… let me just say, as I ease out of the office I helped build… I’m sorry, but it’s a fact!… that there is such a thing as manners, a way of treating people. These fish have manners. These fish have manners. In fact, they’re coming with me. I’m starting a new company, and the fish will come with me. You can call me sentimental. If anybody else wants to come with me, this moment will be the moment of something real and fun and inspiring in this God-forsaken business, and we will do it together. Who’s comin’ with me? Who’s comin’ with me? Who’s coming besides Flipper here? This is embarrassing.”

It doesn’t matter how we got here. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been bruised. What matters is where we go and what I do with all of this preamble. This is where we are, and this is where we’re going. I’m excited, and I hope you’re excited, too. Jerry’s melting when he makes this plea, but he’s also right. He’s at the start of an amazing adventure, and he genuinely does try to find a better, kinder, more human way of doing something. And he walks out of there almost completely alone, with only one person believing in him.

But it was the right person.

And it was the right decision.

So here we are. I’ve started my life.

So who’s coming with me?

Image courtesy Sony/Tri-Star Pictures