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Resistance is (Almost) Futile


Oh, it’s easy to brush off critics such Roger Ebert, says I–hell, the guy gave Cop and a Half three stars. But now I see that tasteful aesthete Roy Edroso has given the latest Star Wars picture a positive review. So surely you’ll be seeing it now, you might ask? (Well, actually, you probably don’t care, but it’s my blog.)

Nah, probably not; I can’t imagine being motivated to go for any reason (barring meaningless hypotheticals of the “for a thousand dollars” or “a good chance of getting laid” or some such.) But I see what Roy means here:

As my regular readers know, I am the sort of dark, ratlike creature who revels in marginalia and sneers at the common herd with their bourgeois reality shows and blow-‘em-up adventure pics (and their Christmas! And their presents with their gaudy wrapping paper!), but I am really glad to have enjoyed a popular film on its first run, especially after running into the stoned kid outside the theatre (a young Ratso Rizzo played by Gino from Bay Ridge) who asked if we had just seen the movie and then bellowed, “It’s really good, right? Youse t’ought it was good? Like as good as the old Star Wars movies? I seen it four times! And I can’t wait to see it again! I got the bootleg, right? An’ it’s so clear – like sometimes you see people getting up an’ they’re shakin’ the camera, but this was just, like, the movie!” (Bootlegs have been like this for some time; obviously this was the first movie he cared to buy in that format.) “But wait’ll you see it in the IMAX! Oh, man.” (Gestures indicative of blowing-away) Had he seen it? “No, that’s not coming out till like November.”

You may have the impression that I’m some kind of snooty pseudo-intellectual, and your impression is certainly correct. However, I would not want it to be inferred that my distaste for, say, George Lucas movies is an extension of their popularity. Actually, I like it when things I admire I become popular. When I find something that excites me my impulse is to share it with others. My admiration for A Fine Balance is not dimmed by the fact that it was tabbed by Oprah. I’m glad lots of people get pleasure from listening to the Stones or watching Seinfeld or following baseball. Feeling that you’re part of something is great. It’s just that a lot of cultural products with a large following aren’t for me, and I still think that Return of the Sith is one of them, even though I should probably be persuaded by Roy (with Rob’s review presumably pending.)

Carlye’s history of the French Revolution, on the other hand…I’m all over that!

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