Three Lines About Movies
A nice line from David Denby in his New Yorker review of "The Messenger":
“The Messenger” joins the group of strong Iraq-war movies that, like rejected suitors, stand hat in hand, waiting for an audience to notice their virtues. (My canon includes “In the Valley of Elah,” “The Hurt Locker,” and the commercially conceived but affecting “Stop-Loss.”) Box-office wisdom holds that it’s too early to make movies about this conflict, but how can it ever be too early to make a good movie?
It's exactly my canon. Even "Elah," which has that too-obvious end—although, to cut Paul Haggis some slack, I don't know what I would have put in its place.
THE NOT BAD
In A.O. Scott's surprisingly scattered piece about the decade in movies and what it all means, he does give us the following:
This [Manichaean struggle defined by an endless cycle of vendetta and reprisal] was even true of Jesus, whose travails in Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” played like the first act of a revenge drama, the one in which the hero is humbled as pre-emptive justification for whatever fury he comes back to unleash at the end.
Which is what I've been saying ever since I saw it: "It's the first third of a revenge flick," I said when people asked. "With the last two-thirds implied." And implied mightily. Jesus emerges from his cave to a martial drumbeat. Because of the cultural noise surrounding the film, I always assumed he was out to get revenge less on the Roman soldiers who whipped him than on, say, me, the non-believer.
THE KINDA UGLY
Finally, there's the usually reliable Lynn Hirschberg, whose piece on "The Self-Manufacture of Megan Fox" begins thus:
Yes, Fox is beautiful and often scantily clad, but dozens of beautiful girls arrive in Hollywood every day who are more than happy to pose nearly naked. Unlike them, Fox has a quality that sets her apart: Fox is sly. Canny.
The evidence comes a paragraph later:
Fox, who is 23, understood instinctively that noise plus naked equals celebrity.
Admittedly I'm way up here in Seattle, but it's my assumption that hundreds, probably thousands of pretty girls in Hollywood have figured that out. Before they even stepped off the bus.