Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Review

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Two-Paragraph Film Review with Comments

Cover to the Harvey Award-nominated Deadpool #...
Cover to the Harvey Award-nominated Deadpool #11. Art by Pete Woods, in homage to cover of Amazing Fantasy #15 featuring Spider-Man. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
from Anthony Lane of the New Yorker, my favorite film critic

The new Marvel picture, “Deadpool,” stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, a Special Forces veteran who, to the (first hint of his attitude toward the film? word choice seems to trivialize her attitude??) dismay of his fiancĂ©e, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), develops terminal cancer. He is approached by someone who promises not merely to cure him but to arm him with extravagant powers. Both promises are kept, but at a cost, for Wade is disfigured by the treatment. Ashamed, he stays away from Vanessa, stitches a suit of red leather and a matching mask, and assumes the name Deadpool. He also embarks on a plan to destroy the man who altered his looks. (Hahahahaha. Stupid superficial Hollywood people) If that were common practice, Beverly Hills would have the highest murder rate in the land.
Comments: Crisp tight summary that - until the last sentence of the graf - seems nonjudgmental or very close to it. But then comes the  joke, the tone of which suggests the reviewer does not like the movie. Also, the joke made me laugh out loud.

Rumor has insisted, for years, on the game-changing audacity of “Deadpool.”  (Lane knows his movieland gossip.) Here was the film that would drag the superhero genre into risky realms (Alliteration, a tone trick that characterizes informal unpretentious writing), shearing (strong verb) away the moral  fretfulness (noun that connotes triviality) that has turned Spider-Man, for instance, into a flying (informal, even juvenile - Lane likes to mix tones) wuss. The ambition is laudable, but Tim Miller’s movie, far from seeming reckless and loose-limbed, comes across as (judgmental word - this is never a good thing to be) pathologically calculated, measuring out its nastiness to the last drop. That is equally true of the visual excess—(supporting detail - you can't back up every generalization with specifics but you need to do it some of the time) three heads bursting bloodily open, in slow motion, one after the next, as a bullet travels through them—and of the dialogue, (whoa! a forced anthropomorphizing consistent with the semi-comic, informal tone) which rubs its hands with glee and tries so very, very hard to sound barbaric. Deadpool’s appearance, according to a friend of his, looks as if (a single line of dialogue but an illustrative one) “Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah.” (Amusing emphatic simile - these filmmakers are loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed children) Watching the film is like sitting at dinner with a teen-ager who believes that, if he swears long and loudly enough, he will shock the grownups into accepting him as one of their own.  To be fair, however, the opening credits are a blast: “Produced by Asshats,” “Directed by an Overpaid Tool.” (A final detail turned against the joker) You said it, guys, not me.

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