Jeff Smith 3:30 p.m., Jan. 19
Reader critic David Elliott slips on his dancing shoes for the dance-doc Pina, and finds her an able partner: "Although the great critic Arlene Croce called some [Pina] Bausch trademarks 'flashy schtick,' I was entirely engaged by the dancers putting so much on the line without reaching for virtuoso stardom." There's even some movie-dancer context!
But after that, he slips off at least one of those dancing shoes and hurls it at Madonna's paleofeminist parable W.E.: "The best flush for this fluff turd is Noel Coward’s comment on the 1963 epic of Egypto bling, Cleopatra: 'A monument to vulgarity.'" Oh, there's more.
And finally, Elliott shares my sorrow over the odd career of Denzel Washington, currently starring in Safe House: "The Great Debaters wasn’t bad, but it has been way too long since a first-rate Washington movie. The waste of a great talent fits this film’s cynicism."