ON NOT DRINKING THE KOOL-AID

I never read a review before I post my own here. And the truth is,
when I then check out what critics are saying, I kvell a bit when
their opinions echo mine. (Alan's and Stormy's as much as any of the
“Cream of the Croppers”). So it's a bit flummoxing, those times when
I'm utterly and completely at odds with the consensus. Currently, this
is the case with THE TOWN. The last time I'm guessing was THE
HANGOVER. Two movies that not only didn't impress me, but which I
actively disliked. To leave a theatre thoroughly convinced you've just
seen a turkey — only to find others falling over themselves to praise
it — is disconcerting. Only a delusional egotist would dismiss, say,
a 93% RT rating. And yet film history is full of examples of films
praised (or reviled) at the time of their release, only later to be
reassessed. That's why this blog is so much fun: because so rarely do
the three of us come down on the same side. — Jeff Schultz

MOVIE THEATERS ARE NOT YOUR LIVING ROOM

I had the all to rare occasion to go see a movie on opening night.  In this case it was George Clooney's new film, “The American”.  I had the unfortunate luck to be sitting next to a couple who simply could not keep their mouths shut.  It started in the previews and didn't end until they walked out.  They weren't yelling at the screen or talking at anything approaching high volume.  But their incessant blabbing with each other was annoying and inconsiderate.  It wasn't even that I could make out what they were saying.  It was just this low hum of babble coming from my immediate left.  The capper was the woman's comment as she got up to leave, “That's the worst movie I've ever seen!  George Clooney was awful and there was only about 10 pages of dialogue in the whole movie.”  My dear, how would you know what went on?  You never stopped talking long enough to pay attention to this subtle piece of art.

This made me think of why people do this.  Rude? To be sure, our society has become less considerate.  The proof is obvious in the way people drive, talk on their cell phones or talk in a theater during a movie!  I think it's also a problem I will call the “Living Room Issue”.  We are used to watching movies and TV in our homes where we can talk back to the screen without disturbing anyone but the people watching with us.  People, you need to remember where you are.  Despite the luxury of some modern theaters, it is NOT your living room.  So, either wait for the movie on DVD or BluRay, or shut your damn mouths and watch the movie.  Who knows, you may actually be missing something important while you are flapping your gums.  And, you might actually enjoy the movie more!! — Alan Yudman

TRAILING THOUGHTS

Does anything seem longer than a bad trailer for a big movie you have
to sit through over and over again, because it plays before every
current film? Maybe that's the price we have to pay for that much
rarer phenomenon: the trailer you just can't get enough of. In part
because it is scored so beautifully, my latest repeat thrill is the
trailer to THE SOCIAL NETWORK, this October's based-on-a-true-story
about the creation of Facebook. Scala and Kolacny Brothers' goosebump-
inducing cover of Radiohead's “Creep” sets the tone, the familiar
“buttons” (“Add as Friend”) reveal the subject matter, and as the
music swells up right through you like a wave, we see the great Jesse
Eisenberg, as Mark Zuckerberg — and only then does the trailer start
to speak. Did David Fincher direct this? It is genius. — Jeff Schultz