Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Pretty kind of divisive (updated)

Update: Pretty Persuasion wins no prizes, unless you count the collective loathing of brand-name critics and the uniform adoration of geeks a prize.

Hated it: A.O. Scott. The Hollywood Reporter. Dennis Lim.

Loved it: Emanuel Levy, in the most lengthy review yet. He even quotes Skander's Q & A.
Nerd #1. Nerd #2.

Hard to tell: NY Post.

Also, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's Mirrormask sounds awesome. Hopefully it is better than Violent Cases and Mr. Punch. On the other end, I shudder at the retarditude promised by the following description: "Lars von Trier's allegory of American gun culture..." Will this guy ever fucking stop? Ever?

* * * * *

Sundance is upon us, and the buzz movies thus far are Hustle and Flow, Brick, and a movie called Pretty Persuasion. Pretty Persuasion, described as a darker, raunchier Heathers, stars Evan Rachel Wood and Ron Livingston and is written by one Skander Halim. Halim's a pretty good scribe, I hear, and his "pitch-black" script, not the direction of Marco Siega, seems to be the subject of early buzz, both good and bad. More good notices here. More prominently, the LA Times yesterday also gave a good notice, calling Pretty Persuasion "Mean Girls when it grew up and got funny." Too bad you gotta pay to read the article online.

Then there's the dreaded 52 that a bud hangs on another. I admire the integrity, Mike, but that's rough.

In other news, this just in: Johnny Carson has passed away. Like a great many Americans under 60, I grew up on Carson, watched him off and on throughout my high school years. In many ways, his retirement effectively ended television as the great uniter. He was the last great institution of the television age; American culture, after Cronkite and Carson, has become a jungle of segmentation, a different talk show host and news anchor for every taste. Slate's appreciation piece nails what made Carson so consistently watchable and funny, and Tom Shales in the Washington Post ponders his legacy.