Friday, August 10, 2007

A Brendan West Opinion

YOU KNOW, when I was sitting in college taking reviewing the arts for publication, my professor made us read a lot of Anthony Lane reviews.

A lot. I mean, I'm pretty sure this dude had a man crush on Lane. Which is all well and good, the reviews were very, very well written, had the delightful mix of anecdotes humor and lavish film descriptors... But it was sort of depressing. Kind of like showing a high school sculpture club that sculpture of the woman under the veil (excuse my naivete, I do not know what it's called), and then whipping them when they chisel a rough stick figure. Or worse, a piece of fruit.

Lane writes for the New Yorker. That's one of those sentences you just have to append "ooOOoo" to.

But I rather like Manohla Dargis. She writes for the New York Times, and while she doesn't do all their reviews, hers are - UHO - the best, the most knowledgeable, and really make you want to see movies.... Well, movies to which she gives a good review, anyway.

The recent one, Rush Hour 3, I think hits the film spot on, even though I haven't seen it. It's not so much a review (how can you write 40 inches on a threquel buddy-cop flick?) as a trashing of the evil that is Brett Ratner, who, through the magics of whatever guild he belongs, scored himself a "A Brett Ratner Film" possessive.

Yeah, I wouldn't be that proud of Rush Hour 3, Brett. Or X-Men: The Last Stand, for that matter.

On an aside about Lane: If you follow the above link to his Wikipedia page, you'll find his five maxims, which include No. 5, Try to avoid the Lane technique of summer moviegoing. The explanation for which is too great not to force upon you:
On a broiling day, I ran to a screening of Contact, the Jodie Foster flick about messages from another galaxy. I made it for the opening credits, and, panting heavily - which, with all due respect, is not something that I find myself doing that often in Jodie Foster films - I started taking notes. These went "v. gloomy," "odd noir look for sci-fi," "creepy shadows in outdoor scene," and so on. Only after three-quarters of an hour did I remember to remove my dark glasses.

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