Thursday, September 23, 2010

TIFF Red Carpets: The Town

Having come unprepared the day before and focusing solely on getting snapshots of the stars, Saturday was when I started getting a taste of autographs instead, which ultimately meant more time begging for stars to come over and less time snapping pictures (I missed John Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall). Regardless, there are still some good ones to come.
Chris Cooper was the first to arrive. I don't think I saw him stop for anyone even though a few people called for him. He just walked on and smiled. He looks to me like someone's kind old grandpa.
Rachel Lefevre showed up unexpectedly and the Twilight fans went wild. Personally I had no idea who she was at first

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck showed up together and went in opposite directions. She headed right for the press but (seen here) assured the screaming masses that she would be back and she held to her word. She also favoured the people on the ends who usually get overlooked, which means I didn't get anything from her but that was nice of her anyway.

I think Ben Affleck was born with a pen in his hand. He motored through the crowd, signing just about everything. Even the picture of him that appeared in the newspaper the next day out and about town was of him signing something. He signed my copy of Good Will Hunting.
The crowd went nuts for Blake Lively, who blew through giving autographs so quickly it was nearly impossible to get a good picture of her. Unfortunately my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants DVD got missed by an inch for the second time that day

Easy A

There’s a moment in Easy A where the story’s hero Olive says that she wishes her life had been directed by John Hughes. In the reality of this film, it might as well have been. The gift of Hugh's films was his ability to combine the idealism that we love in the movies with just enough intelligence and humanity to make them feel as though they were talking to, not above or below, us. That’s Easy A’s gift as well, right down to the musical number, and it gets it right for maybe the first time since Juno. There are so few good films about teenage girls that are honest and sincere enough to be genuinely perceptive to their plights while also being funny and warm. Throw Easy A on that pile.
Olive (Emma Stone) is just your average teenage nobody until one day, trying to get out of spending the weekend with her best friend’s strange hippie parents, gets caught up in a lie about having lost her virginity. The little bathroom fib makes it’s way to the ears of the school Christian militant Marianne (Amanda Bynes) and soon the whole school knows about Olive and her faux sexcapdes, making her one of the most talked about girls at school. Finding herself in detention for mouthing off to one of the Christians in class, Olive becomes friends with Brandon (Dan Byrd) who is gay and tormented daily because of it. If she would pretend to have sex with him he could lose his reputation and live happily through the rest of high school. She agrees and soon is in business as guys of all different varieties give her gift cards in exchange for the privilege of telling people they hooked up with her. Their lives are better and her notoriety soars. As luck would have it, Olive is studying the Scarlett Letter in English class, a book in which its hero smears her good name and reputation in order to help those around her. Ah ha, parallels are brewing. Movies sometimes have a heavy handed way of using classroom scenes in order to bring in texts or theories that draw artistic and thematic parallels to the film itself. Some writers mistake this as being symbolic. Easy A however has the good sense, in that self-reflexive post modern way, to acknowledge itself as a modern day retread of the Scarlett Letter and works that into the story as the starting point instead of the whole one. So Olive, in an act of defiance, just like in the Scarlet Letter, embroiders a red A onto the corsets she wears to school. This works wonderfully well for Olive until she soon realizes that while everyone was interested in her for what she could do for their social lives, no one is really interested in anything more than that. Call it a critique on the state of our current superficial society in which sex tapes and tabloid exploits are the gauge from which we measure celebrity as opposed to, oh I don’t know, personality, talent, being a good person, etc. I also call it a lot of fun. Olive’s parents are played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as the kind of movie parents that everyone wants but so few ever really get. They are funny, smart, caring, supportive and understanding. Parents, especially dads, are so often the villains of films that these two are a blast of fresh air. In fact, all of the characters are refreshing. Sure the film sometimes feels like it is going through the motions of the plot (then again no one ever accused John Hughes of being a compass of daring and original work), but they all behave in that funny movie way that we love: they could never be mistaken as anything but movie characters, but they are the kinds whose company we love to be in.
The film is also hip and fresh in that smart and hilarious way that Clueless was in the 90s. But a few weeks ago I just got finished criticising Going the Distance for being too hip for it’s own good. Now here is another comedy that knows about books and movies and music (The Bible is in the best seller section of the local book store, right next to Twilight) but it manages to work them into the story in a way that makes them feel real and authentic. They add to the tone of the story. Sometimes when characters talk about pop culture they are just trying to be funny. Easy A is funny but it also creates the sense that these are smart kids who know how to effectively draw the lines between themselves and pop culture and the film ends with the biggest laugh maybe anyone has ever gotten out of Huck Finn. Mark Twain is out there, grinning somewhere.
Most of the film’s charm must be attributed to its star Emma Stone. Stone has been on the fringes of some good movies (Superbad, Zombieland) but is now on her way to stardom. Sometimes all it takes is for an actor to be in the right role at the right time and that’s what is happening here. Stone is funny and confident and cute and knows how to act in a way, that, although probably not realistic, is still believable in terms of teenage drama. Easy A is also a huge step up for it’s director Will Gluck whose previous credits include the horrible teen comedy Fired Up. Gluck directs this with the flair of a man who knows he needs to prove something. It’s like he’s apologizing for his past sins. Apology accepted.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going the Distance

We’re getting to a point where comedies are trying to be nothing more than funny at any expense. Some of them have the gall enough to just pull it off, but remember a time when comedies, especially romantic ones, were about characters who just so happened to be funny? Essentially comedies are about human behaviour, juxtapositions of opposing things, dramatic irony and so fourth. That we liked the characters enough to laugh along with them was all just icing on the cake. Going the Distance asks us to laugh at its characters but plays instead like a puff of smoke: it exists in front of our eyes and then quickly dematerializes until it has ceased to exist. It’s real because we can see it, taste it, smell it, but it leaves you wondering where the fire is. This is basically the romantic comedy of the next generation. It is rated-R so we all know just how edgy it is; has characters talk in conversations that sound more like over anxious screenwriters than real buddies and drops pop culture references just to show how hip to the scene it is. Some of them are broad (The Beastie Boys) and some of them are just obscure enough to please the real diggers (The Accused). There was once upon a time, before Scream, when movie characters didn’t talk like they knew things that happened in the outside world. Now it seems as though movies feel that if they aren’t referencing the times they aren’t part of them. The tragedy of the whole matter is that we don’t go to Drew Barrymore romantic comedies, by and large, to hear the starlet drop f-bombs and take rips off the bong. We go to see her because she is sweet and cute and because of her charm. You want her to end up with Mr. Right and we pray, above all, that she catches him before screwing it up. That premise worked for Barrymore in her best comedy, Fever Pitch, in which she and Jimmy Fallon talked like real people, acted like real people, fell in love naturally and expressed legitimate concerns about each other before living happily ever after. The problem with Going the Distance is that it’s too hip to its own game to find a compelling narrative arch to put Barrymore in. God forbid a romantic comedy in 2010 ever drop the safety net for long enough to show it has a heart. Garrett (Justin Long, charming his way, one role at a time, into becoming the next John Cusack) has just broken up with his girlfriend because he’s apparently the only guy in New York who doesn’t know that when a woman says not to get her a present for her anniversary, what she really means is get me an even better one instead. He meets Erin (Barrymore) at a bar after interrupting her game of Centipede which she holds the high score for. He buys her a beer to apologize and they end up at his place. Unbeknownst to Garrett, Erin is just doing a summer internship in NY and will be shipping off back home to San Francisco in a few weeks. Having fallen hard for each other they agree to try to make it work long distance while one of them searches for a job within a respectable distance from the other. The simple reality of the long distance relationship is that it oozes predictability. You can see Going the Distance coming from a mile away. If the essence of the film is that long distance is hard, well, the response is: yeah, tell me something I don’t know. The couple yearn to see each other; they have the requisite holiday visit where they do the dirty on her sister’s kitchen table...where her brother-in-law has stopped for a midnight snack; they are jealous of opposite sex co-workers; and then buckle under the pressure of it just not working. He wants her in New York, she doesn’t understand why it needs to be her to make the move, and the drama spins on. Garrett has two best friends who are played by Saturday Night Lives’ Jason Sudeikis and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day. Both of them are unfortunately designated the role of too-clever-for-their-own-good comedic sidekick role, where Sudeikis is defined by a moustache that is supposed to help him pick up lonely older woman, however Day has the common sense to at least play the material straight and with an endearing quality. Not an easy feat for someone with nothing to work with. And then the question remains of whether or not they will break up and find a way to make it work. What do you think? The problem is, you don’t care. There is no stake in this relationship because it all boils down to something everyone already knows: long distance sucks and the film isn’t clever or sweet enough to make us really care about the outcome of this relationship. This is a film that ends up not going the distance at all: it smokes, it swears, it winks in recognition of how with it it is and then it ends. There’s a romance in it, but romantic it is not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TIFF Red Carpets: The Conspirator

Saturday was the biggest day in terms of sheer star power. Unfortunately we missed Hillary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Tony Goldwyn at the Conviction premiere because we instead decided to stroll around Yorkville and saw no one other than Roger Ebert. Guess we either came too late or the stars keep a low profile on the busy weekend days. Regardless The Conspirator was a film I certainly wanted to check out, not simply because it has a great cast or because I think obert Redford's A River Runs Through It is one of the best American films ever made, but because I have read the script and thought it was a masterpiece.

The writer, James Solomon, was the first to show up. I didn't know who he was but the guy who he was signing for apparently did. He was nice and funny and took pictures for anyone who wanted them. "Don't worry guys," he said to some screaming fans, "I'm just the writer." Nice guy.

This is around the moment that I scream "Holy crap it's Alexis Bledel" prompting my girlfriend, a huge Gilmore Girls fan, to almost have an aneurysm. We didn't expect her, she got there before almost everyone else and showed up in a car and not the trademark SUV. I had my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 DVD in hopes of catching Blake Lively later on in the day but Alexis only signed for a few people, missing us by about an inch.
Yeah, apparently she must have been saying something to someone because Alexis is looking kind of weird in this one.

One more from the side.

I didn't know what to expect from James McAvoy. Sometimes young stars like to sign one of two autographs to show that they care about the fans but really they just want to run to the press (*cough* Jeremy Renner *cough*), but McAvoy was the real deal. He started out at one end and disappeared right down to the other end. He was gone so long we didn't even realize he hadn't gone in yet and was still signing on his way back as seen here. Unfortunately I didn't have anything for him to sign.

Robin Wright was glowing. Not only did she generally seem to enjoy being amongst her fans but she walked those heels of hers all the way to the end of the line, signing, joking, just being all around lovely. Didn't have anything for her to sign but wish I would have.

Justin long appeared out of nowhere. He only signed a few autographs but he really worked the crowd anyway. This guy could charm just about anyone.

I don't mind if celebrities don't sign autographs as long as they give the fans something to take home. Kevin Kline didn't sign one autograph but he really played to the crowd. He got out, blew kisses to the crowd as if he was royalty and walked over to the press. While there people were calling for him to turn around, which he did, humorously for just a second before snapping back. It was a reminder of why he is one of the few to have won an Oscar for a comedy role.
The one man who I really wanted an autograph from, not surprisingly, didn't sign anything, didn't wave, didn't even act like there were hundreds of people there simply to see him. Oh well, that was a pretty hip scarf Robert Redford was sporting.

The floating head of Robert Redford enjoying his producers more than his fans.

TIFF Red Carpets: Stone

There was a big decision to make Friday night. It was either stick around outside Roy Thompson Hall to catch a glimpse of Clive Owen and David Schwimmer for Trust or head over to the Visa Screening Room to check out the Stone Red Carpet with Robert de Niro. Having never been to the Elgin, we decided Goodfellas trumps Friends so we headed for Elgin.

The first thing to say about Elgin is that it sucks. I haven't been to the Ryseron theatre so I have no idea if it is worse than this one, but this is pretty bad. You stand across the road on the Yonge St. sidewalk until cars start pulling up and then everyone runs for the barricades. 20 minutes later was when the cops decided it was time to close the road and as a general rule, most stars get out of the car on the right side towards the entrance and not the left towards the crowd and head right for the press. Unfortunately I was using my girlfriend's camera which is about 5 years old and doesn't take good pictures in the dark. I'll do better next year.

Unbeknownst to me, we really weren't prepared on Friday, Beautiful was playing at 8:00 at Winter Garden (which is in the same building as Elgin). So somewhere in that crowd is Javier Bardem.

To be quite honest, at the time I knew nothing about Stone other than that De Niro was in it and Edward Norton had a goatee, and as a general rule, Norton's best movies are the ones where his character sports the goatee. Therefore I had no idea Milla Jovovich was in it or that it was she I was taking a picture of.

Edward Norton has a reputation of being difficult to work with but that didn't stop him from coming over to the road and signing autographs/shaking hands. He didn't do it for long but he seemed like a stand-up guy.
Edward and Milla. Unfortunately De Niro showed up 20 minutes late after they had already let the audience in. He turned and waved for a second and then rushed inside before his car had even gotten out of the way. No good pictures of him were captured
As an added bonus, Roger Ebert stopped for fans on Saturday afternoon as his cab pulled out of the Four Seasons. Here he is hoping his new show is a success.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TIFF Red Carpets: The King`s Speech

I'm not a festival guy. I didn`t get caught up in reporting on the Toronto International Film Festival because I don`t have time or money to go see the movies. Instead, what I care about is going and standing on the red carpets and getting a glimpse of the stars. I can see the movies in theaters when they come out, but really, when can I tell Darren Aronofsky that he`s the next Scorsese to his face? That`s where the magic is anyway. There`s a feeling of excitement as stars pull up in those black Cadillacs, guessing who it could be, hoping to get an autograph before they are whisked away to the press by their publicists.

So anyway, over the next couple of days I will be posting pictures and telling stories from the red carpet. If you want actual coverage of the fest go check out Mad Hatter at The Dark in the Matinee who is making the rounds, or Black Sheep Reviews where Joseph got accepted to be on the You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger red carpet. But if you want pictures of the stars, well darlings, I have them.

The first thing that is shocking about seeing any celebrity is the realization that they are not all ten feet tall. I always expected Geoffry Rush to be a tall guy. He`s quite the opposite actually. This was my first red carpet ever. We came unprepared without anything to sign so this one was fairly tame for us. The King`s Speech is an interesting title for me because I have read the script and enjoyed it very much.

Rush again. At this point I`m already feeling start struck. A new obsession is growing.

I have no idea what her name is, but this is Colin Firth`s wife.

The man of the hour arrives. There was debate about whether Colin Firth would come sign autographs or not because he`s generally low-key at these kinds of things and no one really knew if he was a jerk or not. He disappeared for a moment and then reappeared after the crowd started signing Happy Birthday to him. He was very polite and very British.

There`s the money shot.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Don't Know?

There's apparently a bet going on in the make-up department to see who can make Sean Penn look the stupidest before he starts throwing punches. To Penn's credit he has the poise of a true professional: holding a completely serious look while looking like a complete boob. Come to think of it he kind of looks like my grandmother.

Monday, September 6, 2010

One Minute Review - Boondock Saints 2

Troy Duffy represents the quintessential indie film story: a young, cocky filmmaker whose number one fan is himself, with a collection of everyone else's ideas in his head, alienates just about everybody around him and more or less destroys himself on the blind path to making a truly terrible movie. There was a great documentary made about it called Overnight, which chronicled Duffy's rise and fall. He was so confident in himself that he commissioned some friends to follow him around with a camera as he was making the original Boondock Saints so that they could see a masterpiece in the making. However the guys are no longer friends, the documentary tells the tale, The Boondock Saints sucked and the sequel is even worse. The legend is that Duffy, a near alcoholic musician and bar owner signed with the William Morris Agency and cut a deal with Harvey Weinstein to make his directorial debut, a foul mouthed crime tale of two Irish guys in Boston who kill in the name of the Lord. Weinstein said he'd pay for the picture, buy the bar, sign the band, whatever. Weinstein, by that time, was known to be an infamous reneger but Duffy still didn't take the hint when the man never returned his calls. Alas the Boondock Saints was finally made, grossed nothing and inexplicably became a huge hit on DVD; enough anyway to to justify this sequel which is loud, over-stylized, stupid, vulgar, unfunny, racist, homophobic and doesn't even try to make sense. Duffy still riffs on Tarantino's cred as if he can out-hip the master while never once fully realizing what makes Quinten a true original. I just finished reading an invaluable book by David Mamet entitled On Directing Film in which Mamet muses, to simplify the concept, that great writing and direction breaks things down into their simplest form and uses shots to tell the story. If it doesn't contribute to the story or the character achieving their desired ends, throw it out because it's useless. It's advice Duffy could have used although, in that case, he'd be without a film.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Long Overdue Celebrity Connection: Andrew Keegan

If you don't know who Andrew Keegan is, well, neither do I, but in the comments section for my last Celebrity Connection, one of my favourite followers, Meaghan from Wild Celtic suggested I do one of Keegan, one of her favourite hotties. As the summer is basically over and Meaghan has gone off to the U.K. to study (where I wish her all the best) I figured now is the perfect time to grant her that wish. So Meagahn, here ya go:

Could Andrew Keegan (who was in 10 Things I Hate About You by the way) just be Mario Lopez in disguise? You decide.

The Box Or How I Learned to Stop Worring amd Learned what a Kubrickian Masterpiece Is.

In one of the first published reviews of Inception Anne Thompson called that film a Kubrickian Masterpiece as if, 11 years after Stanley Kubrick's death, that phrase can now refer to just about anything as opposed to works that are 1) masterpieces and 2) feel like Kubrick movies. Today the term has evolved because it has become, theoretically speaking anyway, part of public domain. It hardly matters if it's user knows the first thing about Kubrick because if the film is psychological science fiction and engulfs the viewer in it's mammoth scale awesomeness, well it's no ordinary masterpiece: it's a masterpiece of Kubickian proportions. At least that's how I've read it over the years. The term is ironic because A) Kubrick only made two sci-fi films, only one of which (2001) is a masterpiece and B) although his latter day epics such as A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket and The Shining are more prolific in that they are more recognizably what we have come to associate as being "Kubrickian" the early, shorter films such as Paths of Glory, The Killing and Dr. Strangelove are just as much, if not more so, masterpieces as the latter. However, if Inception is a masterpiece (we won't debate it again here), it certainly isn't a Kubrickian one as the film owes little to Kubrick other than that it is A) psychological science fiction and B) over two and a half hours in length. If we were to break down Kubrick into pieces (the droning soundtrack, the deliberate, surreal pacing, the meticulously symmetrical framing, created by the hand of a true knit-picker, the emotionally distant characters, the devious visual sarcasm) you'll find that very little of Inception translates. It's too sloppy, too full of ideas flying around in too many directions, and too loud and hyper active to be anything Kubrick would have associated himself with. Although it is no masterpiece (or even all that good), if you want to see true Kubrickian influence, look no farther than Richard Kelly's The Box, a strange, enigmatic and wholly Kubrickan sci-fi affair. That Inception was adored to death and The Box hated and swept under the rug is just one more notch of proof that it owes a lot of what it knows to Kubrick. The Box, Kelly's best film, whatever that's worth, is more or less exactly what he's spent two features doing: spinning complex yarns that turn in upon themselves so many times that the only thing they can be about is challenging their viewer to try and figure out just what they heck they are about. However, unlike the interesting but failed Donnie Darko and the abomination Southland Tales, this time Kelly is 1) working from source material and 2) has more control over himself stylistically. Number two is what's most important. It hardly matters what this story is about, if it is even about anything. What's interesting is how Kelly manages to control all of these chaotic elements (a mysterious button, the offer of a million dollars, amputated toes, abrupt nose bleeds, a man with only half a face, strange meetings by the poolside and so on) and keeps them grounded within his stylistic mold. There's something ever so ominous about the muted 50s household naivety; the way the wallpaper in the kitchen is so bold it always seems as if it is about to swallow its heroes whole; the way the faceless man speaks in the clipped tone of someone who is never really saying everything they know; and the way people silently seem to be stripped of their souls, one by one. All of this is very creepy, maybe in part, or maybe in full, because one never quite knows just what is going on at any given moment. Because Kelly is so restrained visually in that mysterious Kubrickian manner, it allows him to go completely over-the-top thematically. That's exactly what Kubrick got away with. That's exactly why his masterpieces have become an adjective all unto themselves.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why I Am the Most Important Part of My Reviews

Last week I wrote a piece that, like maybe all the best ones do, began as a simple fluff piece and somewhere along the way found root in something specific and took flight. It started out about one sentence on Rotten Tomatoes and ended up being a discussion of film criticism. In the comments section a lot of people threw in their two cents. Some agreed with me that criticism at it's best isn't really about the movie, it's about the writer and is a reflection of their experience and some, notably Vancetastic of The Audient, said that no, the critic should stand back and take him/herself out of the piece as much as possible. Vance used an example of Roger Ebert panning a film for not presenting cancer in the kind of light he himself experienced it in (could he have been talking about The Bucket List, which, let's face it, was garbage whether you've had cancer or not?). Isn't that fair? Shouldn't the opinion of a cancer patient, after all, hold special interest over all others? Is it even possible or fair, I countered, to logically expect someone who has struggled with such an life changing ailment to reasonably disconnect themselves from it in order to simply tell if we should see a movie or not? The point is that all perception is based on a concept of self and all criticism, in one form or another, is perception. That's what makes it breathe. That's what makes it interesting. That's what we all, as people who write about films should strive to achieve, no? The truth is, and herein lies my overall viewpoint, that I couldn't care less if Vancetastic or Roger Ebert or whoever liked a movie or not. What I'm interested in is why these men liked it or not. What about them was it that triggered this reaction to this particular work? Everything else, in terms of writing reviews, is pure hearsay. Why, I may ask, settle for the opinion of, to repeat my example of Requiem for a Dream, some kid who writes reviews in his parent's basement when what's truly interesting wold be the viewpoint of a real heroin addict? Maybe they'd hate the film. That'd be interesting criticism. You see, to me, a white middle-class male from a small town who has never had any encounters with heroin, Requiem for a Dream presents a horrifying vision. It's also, for the film scholar in me, a great use of aesthetics in order to capture a mood because, after all, that's where the film's success lies for me. In my reality, it's the only truth on the subject I have: that I know film but not herion personally. That's my review. The movie is the jumping off point in order to express something about myself. To a heroin addict maybe the film is overblown; the drug use too extreme; the scenario unrealistic. I don't know. Haven't been there or done that. But he might be right because A) he's not considering the artistic concept of the Selby book, which is the destructive power of the American dream because B) the film is depicting something which to him, is a mirror of a reality he knows. His reaction to the film is as equally valid as mine because we are approaching the film from two different angles, on two different sets of terms, from two different backgrounds which have shaped two different sets of perceptions. Somewhere between his take and mine, there is a complete critical picture. This is what I'm talking about when I say that all criticism should not be a check list of the goods and bads but a reflection of the experience of the critic. Where I think some people misread me was with regards to the use of the first person in writing. I write from the first person because I like to make my pieces both as personal and as conversational as possible and try not to do so in any sort of overbearing, self-indulgent way. I fully agree that, when used by poor writers, the first person point-of-view is like nails on a chalkboard. I came across this passage today and although I have nothing against the writer, let's take a look: "I finally got around to seeing the new Julia Roberts movie. I was really looking forward to the movie, I really liked the book. Mostly I was really curious to see how they could make someone's personal inner journey come to life." When I read this I have three thoughts: 1) It's boring, 2) Me, me, me, me and 3) Who cares? If it was written engagingly and was building up to an overarching point about something profound, well then yes, but this is more like "My Personal Movie Journal" writing which, sadly, a lot of criticism, especially online, is. The first two words in this paragraph may as well have been "Dear Diary," My problem is I've studied film too much. I'm too quick to break films down into pieces and dissect them on an aesthetic level which, needless to say, is criticism but not really personal. I've ceased providing my experience of a movie and sharing why it worked for me and started preparing an argument for why it is a good film. There's a difference. The best critic is the one who studies everything but film. The person who knows everything about art, life, politics, theatre, literature, society, psychology, philosophy and so on. They've read the best books, seen the best plays, listened to the best music, done the best drugs, followed the most important world issues and so on. Ultimately they are completely in tune with themselves because they have reaped the knowledge of all this culture and can now use it as a tool to look within themselves . That's interesting criticism because it not only does the generic task of assessing a movie but it gives us a glimpse into the soul of the writer. I once told someone that if they ever read everything I ever wrote about movies they'd have a more compete a picture of me than ever has existed. Why would I want anything less? Note, although he may think to the contrary, I would place Vance into this category of critic who does express himself through his writing. Even though he says he tries to take himself out of his work as much as possible I still feel I learn something about him every time I read his posts which, above all, just means he's a better writer than he gives himself credit for.