Monday, August 21, 2006

end the snobbery

Take a break from the endless, mindless coverage of that wierdo who the media has decided killed the Ramsey girl. Do we really care what he ate on board? If only he got hit by a bus, the madness would end.

Anyway, when you go to a movie or think about going to a movie, do you ever read the New York Times movie review? I doubt it. Why? Because who cares what a bunch of elitist jerks think? Last night I watched Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews (odd casting I know). That 1966 thriller wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed it. It obviously was not as good as the Hitchcock classics, but definitely better than anything that claims to be a thriller in the theaters this summer. Also, no real sex or gore.

That is the thing I like about old movies, and not because I am a prude. Older movies are more like books in that the violence and sex are left to your imagination, which can be even more exciting/scary than if you were to see every last drop like modern movies show.

But back to the point. So after the film I searched around for the review, and got this from 1966. Bosley Crowther, "America's foremost film critic for over a quarter of a century," wrote the review for the Times. Not only was it dripping with contemptuous sarcasm, he is unnecessarily horrible.

Here's a section that proves it was written in 1966:
His troubles are further compounded by the mildly romantic fact that his secretary, who also happens to be his fiancée, has stubbornly tagged along with him on his flight into East Germany, not knowing what he is up to, and embarrassingly gets in his way. In the manner of women, however, she's a help when they have to flee.

One of the last vestiges of New Yorker's superiority complex for the whole world to see is the Times movie review. I am trying to think of the last movie they liked. The point is never to enjoy a film but to find as much fault as possible, and say it with as much clever cruelty as possible.

You can almost picture Bosley smirking with each return of typewriter, DING! The film industry left New York City in the 1920s because movies could be filmed year round in the sun of Southern California. But the gloomy NYC haughtiness never left Gotham.

This is why I had trouble with the Times and New York long before 9/11 and the Iraq war. They just behave and believe they know better than the rest of us bumpkins. Bosley is currently embodied in A.O. Scott, who has never said a positive thing about a major Hollywood film to my memory. There is a reason people listen to Roger Ebert more than any other reviewer, and it is not because the Chicago Sun-Times is such a great paper (it isn't), it is because he has thoughtful, constructive things to say about most films. Sure he can slam a terrible SNL-alum film like the best of them, but he isn't universally nasty.

My favorite reporter the Grey Lady employs is Jennifer 8. Lee. That's right 8, as in eight. She decided that there were too many Asian ladies named Jennifer Lee, so to distinguish herself, she gave herself a numerical middle name. I wonder what the 8 is short for. She also knows how to party like the fictional women on "Sex and the City."

See you can have your “high class” without having to hate everything on God’s green Earth and come with a too-clever-by-half insulting line. I would like to dump the whole lot of them out in the wilderness and see how Nature enjoys their insecurity-based taunts.

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