Thursday, April 10, 2003

HAVE STRUCK GOLD Well, MT is up and running and I didn't even have to post any pictures of my dog.

Hope to see you all at on Monday.
LONG TIME NO SEE I apologize for the conspicuous absence, folks. What with history being made and all, I doubt if there was much interest in what goes on in Ballston, anyway.

The reason for my disappearing act actually has to do with a reappearing act: Soon (Monday?) I'll be moving to my very own domain (, running MT like a good little blogger and everything. Well, that's the hope.

I am actually in the process of trying to install MT and making what I think are fairly stupid mistakes. If there's anyone in the reading audience that has some expertise in this area, I extend an Corner-style invitation to email with suggestions. (Jesus, next thing you know, I'll be selling T-shirts with pictures of my dog on them.)

Back to the code mines,
The Muse

Monday, April 07, 2003

YOU'VE GOT TO BE PULITZERING MY LEG! Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post has won this year's Pulitzer Prize in criticism for "his authoritative film criticism that is both intellectually rewarding and a pleasure to read."

Let's unpack that, shall we?

"Authoritative." Well, he does seem to have a handle on the mechanics of the art form:

It's an almost perfectly structured story, which puts it miles beyond modern moviemaking. It actually has -- kids, don't panic, you can handle this! -- a plot. Lots of plot. Lots and lots of plot. ("Sweet, Sweet Revenge; 'The Count of Monte Cristo' Thrusts and Parries With the Best of Them")

There's not a lot of plot , just as -- have you noticed? -- in life. Plot is for movies that are about, uh, plot. ("'About Schmidt': Sublimely Ordinary")

Of plot , there's not a lot. Indeed, the few pleasures in "Mr. Deeds" are entirely incidental to star and plot. ("Adam Sandler, A 'Mr. Deeds' Gone Lame")

Tell me you don't want plot. You don't, do you? You do. Ach. ("The One Ring, The True Sword")

"Intellectually rewarding." There's no doubt he has a way with words. Or, er, "word.":

He has no self-doubts, he has no irony, he is charmingly, aggressively superficial, and success just, duh!, happens to him. ("'Adaptation': Tweaking Reality")

Liu plays Sever, some kind of Asian super-agent, evidently recruited to the America DIA, a play on -- duh ! -- CIA, evidently betrayed by her own recruiters and now gone rogue. ("Goosey Lucy: 'Ballistic,' a Lot of Noisy Dumdum")

When his sister's daughter was born, he -- in a fit of actual pretending to be a man -- promised to pay her way through college if she got into a good one. Well, she got into Harvard. . . now, obligated again to pretend to be a man, he has to -- the movie treats this as some incredible, wacky craziness -- keep his word! Like, duh! ("'Stealing Harvard': Magna Cum Lousy")

[T]he relationship between the swimmer and his coach (Dan Hedaya, the only name actor in the cast), it just falls flat. "You've got to swim faster, son!" the coach barks. Duh! ("Director Saves 'Swimfan' From Drowning")

Soon enough, they're sharing trysts in the storage room and the no-tell motel down the street (she puts it on her credit card -- duh!), and the journey from sexual liberation to catastrophe is just a minute or two. ("'Girl': Too-Simple Tryst of Fate")

[U]nexpectedly, we're in plantation-house, kudzu-cloaked Mississippi, where for unfathomable reasons Ellie has sent Porter with the recently separated and distraught Mona, and duh!, guess what happens? ("'Town & Country': Unbearably Rich")

As for "a pleasure to read," well, something about the endeavor is pleasurable for somebody:

She made a great Beelzeboobs -- oh, folks, a typo, a typo! of course I mean Beelzebub! -- in "Bedazzled. ("'Sara': Serving Up Plenty of Chemistry")

Diaz, who is 29 and plays a 28-year-old but acts a consistent decade younger than that, plays Christina Walters, a serial relationship-terminator, who loves to play in the clubs of Frisco, but never for keeps, never for real. She has a problem. Dear Carolyn, I love handsome men, but I can't commit, yours, Leggy by the Bay. Dear Leggy, for a good time, call Steve Hunter at The Washington Post . . . no, no, let's be serious. ("Sugar Cookie; She Can't Act, but So What? Cameron Diaz Is Most Definitely 'The Sweetest Thing.'")

That's all these kids think about: sexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsex. Life is a copulation-o-rama, a whirl on the orgasm-go-round, a bodily-fluid exchange sock hop. Can they get that much sex? Can there be that much sex to be gotten? Where's my Viagra? This bears investigating. ("'40 Days': Only One Thing on Its Mind")