So I’m hatching this crazy scheme over here that just might work: to get six whole hours of sleep tonight. I’ve been working fifteen-hour days and am in a pretty pitiable state, so I’m going to make this quick. Here are a handful of my favorite skewerings from the recent Ebert-inspired open call–which doesn’t mean I agree with them…necessarily. But there’s an art to doing this swiftly and fatally, and these readers have it down.
– Collateral. Oh God. Can we please just agree that it’s time for the existential hit-man character to get two in the back of the head in a quiet Italian restaurant? Wised-up, amoral people don’t decide to become hit-men because they don’t see anything better to do, they become lawyers or lobbyists and make twice as much money without having to run from the police. Being a hit-man is necessarily an unpleasant and short life, and people who go into contract killing generally don’t have a lot of other options, so let’s just stop it with these Mephisto characters. And if you are going to use one, please don’t have him be Tom Cruise talking about jazz.
– Eisenstein’s October has been known to induce epileptic seizures in small children. They’re the lucky ones.
– State and Main. OK, it’s Vermont–get a couple old actors who’ve never been east of the Valley, put them in flannel shirts and rocking chairs and give them some really. stupid. lines. The part of this which was a send up of Hollywood types was funny, but the “real down home America” part was worse than painful and insulting. And I hate that ingenue with the squinty eyes, Julia Stiles.
– Rear Window. A man fears he may be a witness to a murder. Everyone else tells him he’s nuts. They’re wrong. That’s a plot? Everything Jimmy Stewart’s character thinks is happening IS happening. Not a single twist,