Monday, November 3, 2008

Criticwatch non sequitor of the week

Erik Childress at Criticwatch writes on Madonna's latest movie, quoting Lyons:

“Ben and I have reviewed and discussed films from the likes of Oliver Stone, Clint Eastwood, Spike Lee and Jonathan Demme to name a few. Now I never thought I’d ever add Madonna to that list and I’m not comparing her to the great directors I just mentioned. But, after seeing her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, I’m confident that the Material Girl has more good material for movies ahead of her.”

Oh good lord. Having seen this Zero Star film I’m more in line with my Chicago colleague, Peter Sobczynski, who said Filth and Wisdom “may be the single most disastrous film perpetrated by a musical icon since Paul McCartney made Give My Regards to Broad Street." Counter, Junior?

Ah, yes, list a series of great directors, then add Madonna's name. "Oh, not that she belongs on the list. But there she is. Just in case you want to quote me out of context. That's Lyons, with a 'y'."

Erik then continues, this time quoting Mank:

“When I told a friend of mine I was off to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno I was asked with a significant degree of derision I might add, “OH, are you one of those Seth Rogen fans?” Well I paused and pondered a bit before saying “YES, yes I am a Seth Rogen fan. And then I saw THIS movie.”

That’s Ben Mankiewicz setting up his review for Kevin Smith’s latest. There’s no editing there. No tricks. No Obama quotes out of context. Said precisely as written and emphasized in the same way. If I could set up a survey here and ask whether you thought this statement alone was the beginning of a positive or negative review (or a “see it”/”skip it”) I would guess that 95% of you would believe “Mank” was going negative (with a 5% +/- for Palin supporters.) Except you would be wrong.

My thoughts exactly. I was utterly baffled by this comment and its relation to the rest of his review.

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