07/19/2005: Thought for the Day:
It takes more nerve to praise pop entertainment; it's easy and safe to deliver pious praise of turgid deep thinking. It's true, I loved "Anaconda" and did not think "The United States of Leland" worked, but does that mean I drool at the keyboard and prefer man-eating snakes to suburban despair?
Not at all. What it means is that the star rating system is relative, not absolute. When you ask a friend if "Hellboy" is any good, you're not asking if it's any good compared to "Mystic River," you're asking if it's any good compared to "The Punisher." And my answer would be, on a scale of one to four, if "Superman" (1978) is four, then "Hellboy" is three and "The Punisher" is two. In the same way, if "American Beauty" gets four stars, then "Leland" clocks in at about two.
And that is why "Shaolin Soccer," a goofy Hong Kong action comedy, gets three stars. It is piffle, yes, but superior piffle. If you are even considering going to see a movie where the players zoom 50 feet into the air and rotate freely in violation of everything Newton held sacred, then you do not want to know if I thought it was as good as "Lost in Translation."
Len on 07.19.05 @ 05:43 AM CST