A yapping puppy nipping at the socks of film criticism
This week's At The Movies saw the return of two features of the show. First, the Critics RoundUp, which generally seems pointless but this week brought a voice of reason to the discussion. The focus was on Quantum of Solace, and while both Lyons and Mankiewicz said "See it", Variety's Joe Leydon said "Rent it" and Matt Singer said "Skip it". Singer seemed to hit the nail on the head--the movie has an "identity crisis" and it "doesn't know if it wants to live in the real world or be an escape from it".
Too bad he was not given a longer time to explain this to the audience--instead we got another endorsement from Lyons of this movie because, "At the end of the day, this is James Bond and these movies don't come all that often, so I say See it." Again, another bad reason to recommend a movie. Imagine giving a "See it" to Attack of the Clones because Star Wars movies don't come out that often. Those of us that like our Star Wars know that we have to see it and we will, the question is can you recommend it. Ben, please don't get confused by the terminology.
The second returning feature was Mankiewicz telling Lyons to "calm down" once again. This time it was regarding Lyons's very positive review of Slumdog Millionaire. I have not yet had a chance to "See it", although for the record I also did not "Rent it" or "Skip it", I just had to put it off until next weekend. I am definitely looking forward to it because of many positive reviews, but it does not exactly help to hear the comment by Lyons regarding the show's use of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire that "The way the TV shows has a universal appeal, I think the film does, too". If I were Danny Boyle, that is not exactly the comparison I would be hoping for.
Finally, I mentioned previously that Ben seems to gush a bit over messages in movies. As I said before, I love a good message movie, especially all the political documentaries in the last few years. But Ben goes on to make comments like "Miley Cyrus [in Bolt] wants to be a normal girl and I think that is admirable for young girls to aspire to." Yes, I hear that Hannah Montana has the same desire, not sure if that makes it something "admirable for young girls to aspire to". How about becoming a scientist or a writer?