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Alan Smithee
192 Pages
Publisher: Cyan Communications (January 2007)
ISBN: 1905736061
Price: S$29.35 (Available in Borders)




Every wannabe critic has an axe to grind. Seriously, how can anyone regard The Departed as anything more than pedestrian (or corny with its joke of an ending) if they have watched the original Infernal Affairs? Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is good, but it pales in comparison to The Devil’s Backbone and its haunting imagery. Babel is simply the most presumptuous movie about misunderstandings I have ever seen; a lazy work that heaps contrivance upon contrivance on a story about coincidence.

Not to say I am a better judge of films than author Allan Smithee, but with this book, Smithee tries to get away with some repetitious accusations that rings hollow after the first few reviews: He does not like movies without a point, movies that he does not get, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Terribly subjective if you ask me. Movie criticizing may be a personal experience, but writing a book and collecting royalties by pandering to those who love to disagree is a tad disingenuous. If Smithee is trying to be humorous I am not laughing.


"I learnt a lot from American Beauty. It’s a movie that takes concentration, but if you look close enough you’ll discover that Thora Birch’s breasts are not the same size, Kevin Spacey is annoying (in every role – how does that happen?) and no matter how slow the DVD player goes you never get to see any of Mena Suvari’s important bits. And that’s about it really.”


Uh-oh. I liked American Beauty and Thora Birch’s breasts won’t change my opinion. Though can’t say I don’t disagree with some of his lampooning (read Titanic and Last Tango in Paris), Allan Smithee sounds too much like the school bully: all boisterous posturing and too below-the-belt to be taken seriously; wait, does he want to be taken seriously?

Review by Lim Mun Pong


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This book review is made possible with the kind sponsor of BORDERS


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