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It seems impossible to speak of Mel Gibson’s “comeback” in Edge of Darkness without speaking of what it is he is coming back from. But speaking strictly, the aftermath of his arrest for drunk driving in 2006 was altogether another form of entertainment, another medium. And while his behavior on that occasion may have rendered him unfit for any number of things (political office leaps to mind), it could hardly be said to exclude him from the role of a Boston police officer tracking down his daughter’s shotgun killer. Perhaps, given Mad Mel’s inflammatory views of Jews in The Passion of the Christ and under the influence of tequila, it was asking for trouble to have him in the course of this role spew a line like, “You had better decide whether you’re hangin’ on the cross or poundin’ in the nails,” and further to highlight this line in the trailer. In context, though, it is the trouble of no more than a moment. To make anything at all of it would be to make too much. People who can no longer look at Mel Gibson without hearing in their mind’s ear some of his more unfortunate turns of phrase from the arrest report have a choice to make: either hereafter avoid the tabloids or avoid the movies. Mel Gibson is not the only movie star about whom we know more than we need.

Nearer the point, he has done nothing to unfit himself for the role at hand in his gracious surrender to the advances of age. (It has been eight years since his last leading role in Signs.) The thinning hair, the sagging jowl, the three deep horizontal grooves in his forehead crossed with two vertical diagonals give him a humanity that is vital to the grieving avenger. And, with or without any outside knowledge of his inner demons, he is very believable when angry. He wears the role well. The detective work — the mistaken first assumption is that the detective himself was the intended target — is solid and followable, and it offers a fair share of ah-ha moments. (Nice one: the lock of the daughter’s hair snipped on the coroner’s slab later reads as radioactive on the Geiger counter in her personal effects.) If the investigation depends overmuch on bullish Dirty Harry tactics to move it along, it at least pulls up short of the overscaled action — the outrageous chases, the explosions, the Hong Kong combat — that has so numbed the contemporary action film. Thanks primarily to the scale, it’s a sufficient thrill when Gibson simply unholsters and cuts loose with his sidearm. Thanks secondarily, right before that, to the alarming agitation of Caterina Scorsone at a secret roadside assignation, and to the suddenness of the interruption of that meeting, and thanks in general to the self-effacing professionalism of director Martin Campbell and cameraman Phil Meheux.

There are other ways to heighten the scale, however. And at this late date we can scarcely be surprised, we can at best be resigned, that a grade-A mainstream murder mystery (based, like Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic and Kevin Macdonald’s State of Play, on a British TV miniseries) would lead ultimately to matters of national security and nuclear weaponry. The components of the paranoia thriller are by now mere conventions, and the shadowy figure of the lone-wolf federal troubleshooter, the Mr. Fix-it, the “cleaner,” although played with relish by Ray Winstone, brings with him no measure of reality. No doubt it took a little crust to identify the complicit U.S. Senator as a Republican, especially as this is likely to irk some of the staunchest defenders of The Passion of the Christ. (Jesus, we’ve been taught to believe, was at some point converted to the GOP.) The greedy corporate type has been, so to speak, democratically photo-shopped into companionship with Clinton and Pelosi as well as Bush and Cheney, but that won’t throw anyone off the scent: Eau de Républicain.

At the finish, as the film sank into slow-motion sentimentality, I could not help but look back nostalgically — not terribly far back — to another Boston murder mystery, which, for all its social breadth and emotional depth, was finally just a murder mystery: Mystic River. The fate of the free world did not have to hang in the balance. The crime did not have to be pinned on Big Brother. The scale could stay local. There is a passing reference in Edge of Darkness to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s familiar quotation about “the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time,” and although I don’t offer it up as evidence of “a first-rate intelligence,” I can say in that spirit that I myself am of two simultaneous minds about the film. I found it to be as enjoyable as I found it lamentable.

When in Rome, directed by Mark Steven Johnson, is a frightfully unfunny romantic-comic fantasy revolving around a junior curator at the Guggenheim, a single girl in Rome for her younger sister’s wedding, who does as the Romans do not: pilfering five coins from the Fontana d’Amore and in magical consequence drawing their last owners to her like a magnet. If nothing else, with creamy-dreamy cinematography by John Bailey, this serves as a test of whether or not the chiselled and clenched Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Couples Retreat, etc.) can carry a movie by herself, albeit only a balsa-light one. Reckless would it be, off the results, to repeat the experiment taking away the helping hand of the casually confident Josh Duhamel or adding a bobby pin of extra weight.

Dear John weaves a wartime romance beginning in the spring of 2001 (you know what’s coming) and stretching up to today, staggeringly basic and banal in its specifics, turning on a senseless withholding of information for the sole purpose of contrived misunderstanding and revealed nobility. It issues from a novel by Nicholas Sparks, always a harbinger of goopy absurdity, and the chief function of director Lasse Hallstrom, at one time a halfway serious filmmaker, is to pour sunlight, moonlight, and firelight over it like syrup. The buggy-eyed Amanda Seyfried manages to convey maybe a month’s worth of maturation over the decade-long storyline, but Channing Tatum makes a tiptop military type, a strong, silent type, guarded, humble, a tad pent-up, a tad petulant, several tads chivalrous. He merits some sort of medal for his recitation of the “I am a coin” letter to his dying numismatist dad. I can see good things in his future. Not in his past or his present.

Honesty compels me to admit I screened La Danse on DVD. But inasmuch as the Reading Gaslamp, which opens the film on Friday, has taken to projecting some of its “alternative” fare on disk, the point might be moot. I can’t say for a certainty that that’s how this film will be shown to the public. I only have my suspicions. With that caveat, this privileged peek inside the Paris Opera Ballet — more than a peek, a thorough probe — ought to be catnip to anyone interested in classical and modern dance, or for that matter in artistic creation in any form, the process of bringing execution in line with conception. Veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman provides no narrative thread and no commentary from within or without the picture frame, just random drop-ins on rehearsals (predominantly), polished performances, conferences in the inner sanctum, costume and makeup departments, the cafeteria, the corridors, anywhere and everywhere, down to the lone custodian picking up trash in the baroque auditorium. At over two and a half hours, it would be difficult to say that it couldn’t have been tightened. Illuminating as it all is, it would be equally difficult to say exactly where it could have been tightened. Honesty again compels me to admit I watched the two disks at separate sittings.

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shizzyfinn Feb. 3, 2010 @ 10:49 p.m.

Glad I wasn't planning on seeing Edge of Darkness...the Edge seems like it would be significantly duller for moviegoers who bring along the foreknowledge communicated in this review. Was it really necessary to mention the Geiger counter?

And the warm recollection of Mystic River reminds me of how lame the ending of that movie was. "Hey, turns out there was another murder that same night, just took us awhile to find the body!" Weak weak weak. The very definition of deus es machina.


SantaBarbarian Feb. 4, 2010 @ 1:59 p.m.

Good grief, another reader bitching about critics "revealing" too many details about a movie. Put it to music, shizzyfinn. I appreciate Duncan or any critic who gives specifics about what exactly they liked and why they did so. Besides, that's why critiques are called RE-views. As for your beef about the brilliant Mystic River, you'd know all about "weak." Get a clue before posting here again with your irrelevant observations.


shizzyfinn Feb. 4, 2010 @ 3:55 p.m.

Wowsers, what happened to you today, SB? Find something other than butter on your popcorn?

I'm entitled to my opinion, friend. And I think reviewers can convey that they appreciate a suspense thriller's a-ha moments without spoiling one of those a-ha moments in a throwaway reference that also divulges a key part of the plot's development.

I also stand by my Mystic River opinion. I thought the movie was cool up until the end, which struck me as contrived and unbelievable.

Perhaps I can buy that, in the most amazing of coincidences, the Tim Robbins character happened to murder a child molester at exactly the same time that his mobster buddy's daughter was killed in the same town - and then that the murder of the child molester wouldn't be discovered until a week or so later, just after the mobster had exacted revenge on Tim Robbins.

But what struck me as utterly ridiculous is that Tim Robbins, knowing what had happened and how it reflected on him, wouldn't have tried to fill the mobster guy in on what happened before it was too late. I guess it's hard to put oneself in the shoes of Tim's character, but if I found myself there, I'm pretty darn sure I would have taken the time to say "psst...mobster friend...let me show you the bad guy I did kill, just so you don't think I killed your daughter, okay?"

In fact, Mystic River would have been great if it turned out that Tim did kill the daughter...then the movie would have been an interesting study of loyalty, revenge, and so forth. Instead, the movie sucked. IMHO. The value of movies, like all art, being completely subjective at the end of the day.

Anyway, glad my comment reached ya!


SantaBarbarian Feb. 5, 2010 @ 9:26 a.m.

One of the finest American films of the past decade "sucked"? Is that really the best you can do? Sigh.

You're entitled to your opinion, no matter how wrong. ;)


shizzyfinn Feb. 5, 2010 @ 11:36 a.m.

I think my critique above is a pretty elaborate explanation of my conclusion of "sucked." Could you share a little on why you found Mystic River so fine?

Personally, I enjoyed some of the performances, particularly Sean Penn's and Marcia Gay Harden's. I was feeling their pain. But as I mentioned, the resolution of the mystery kinda ruined it for me.


SantaBarbarian Feb. 5, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

There's not enough space here to expound on why Mystic River is a masterpiece. Besides, you could always look up Shepherd's stellar assessment. ;)

Didn't mind your detailed explanation. I just take exception to your initial post's sarcasm, then your ultimate summary that the movie "sucked" -- an outlandish summary that I don't think even YOU believe.

At least we agree about Penn and Harden, though I'd say performances were excellent across the board. Laurence Fishburne's was the most overlooked of all.


shizzyfinn Feb. 5, 2010 @ 5:09 p.m.

I took your advice and looked up Shepherd's Mystic River review. He gave it more stars than the Big Dipper, but also said this: "Admittedly, the outcome of the case depends upon a fortuitous coincidence that reeks of mystery-making for its own sake: a previously unrevealed second murder on the same night as the first."

So he's with my on the lousy ending. And his review of Mystic River had an even bigger spoiler than his review above!


SantaBarbarian Feb. 8, 2010 @ 4:14 p.m.

Well, aren't you Clever Clogs. Here's your banana. ;)

I realize Shepherd pointed out the coincidence. But that didn't prompt him to say the entire film "sucked" did it.

As for your latest beef about spoilers, why do you read RE-views at all? Their point is to review, to reassess, what was seen on screen. Critiques would be moot without glimpses into fascinating details and particulars.

Thank me for my time.


SDaniels Feb. 8, 2010 @ 6:41 p.m.

SantaBarbarian, I don't think we've heard enough from you to justify the 'tude--you're going to have to share a little more in order to earn your smug.

Why don't we start here?

6: "There's not enough space here to expound on why Mystic River is a masterpiece."

Of course there is. Plenty of space in the blogosphere. I have not seen Mystic River, but--can appreciate some filmic techniques, and how they interact with narrative. Whatever you have to say, I will understand.

8: "Thank me for my time."

Perhaps we will, but let's hear what you have to say first--and let's not rely on Duncan Shepherd too much, ok? We want SantaBarbarian's analysis.


shizzyfinn Feb. 8, 2010 @ 7:24 p.m.

Definitely a lot of sass for a newcomer...look out, this Santa's got some sharp Claws! (tee hee...how's that for clever clogs?) But I think it's because the Barbarian take his/her movies seriously, to which I can relate.

And I gotta give it to SantaB on pointing out that they are called RE-views after all. I do try to hold off on reading reviews of movies I want to see until after I've seen them, because it's impossible not to have some of the fun spoiled when you read someone else's opinion of the movie before seeing it yourself. As noted in my first comment, I don't expect to see Edge of Darkness (didn't Mel already do the raging parent bit in Ransom? "Give me back my son!") which is why I indulged in this week's installment from Mr. Shepherd.

That said, a review is typically published before the release of the movie, and most people read the REview to get a PREview of the flick. So writers need to be careful about giving away too much, particularly in mysteries and thrillers where the twists and turns are what it's all about.

I think Shepherd's reviews are great at avoiding the plot summarizing that so many other reviewers seem to rely on, perhaps to pad out their reviews' word counts. But IMHO he could be a little more careful about divulging spoiler details, be they small (like the geiger counter moment in Edge) or hefty (like Mystic River's Achilles heel of an ending).


SDaniels Feb. 8, 2010 @ 8:09 p.m.

Shizzy wrote: "a review is typically published before the release of the movie, and most people read the REview to get a PREview of the flick"

Shizzy, I'm used to reading critical reviews that give away everything but the kitchen sink, and don't care what is revealed, because, though I do watch them for narrative strategies, I don't primarily watch films for plot. SB seems to be of like mind, perhaps just tired of hearing people moan about plot spoilers when there are so many other elements of a film to concentrate on, important aspects of the creation of film that the general public tends to ignore right along with the directors who employed all of these filmic devices (instead focusing on the actors, as though they created the film alone). So, continuing to speak for SB, there is a lot of resentment behind this issue, I guess--on the part of a culture of filmgoers who revere the directors for their work, and the film as an analysable cultural object not limited to hasty consumption for plot and story values.

However, you are not the only one out there angered by reviews that reveal too much of a film's plot.

I agree that everyone should follow IMDB's lead, and announce "Plot Spoiler Ahead," or something of the like. ;)


SantaBarbarian Feb. 10, 2010 @ 3:03 p.m.

Lady and gentleman,

Funny I'm considered a "newcomer" despite reading Shepherd's work for about 20 years now. The "attitude" is a sense of humor -- surely you recognize one? ;)

Sorry, but I don't feel any need to cave into the peer pressure by writing a review here (for all intents and purposes) for a movie that's several years old. You and shizzy already have formed opinions about Mystic River. You already know I loved it, despite the aforementioned coincidence. Nothing to be gained from my praising its acting, the dialogue, cinematography, and so forth.

And before you amp-up the encouragement, I'll point out as a professional writer/editor that I no longer write for free anyway. Except when I'm debating under Shepherd's reviews. ;)

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful online friendship.


shizzyfinn Feb. 10, 2010 @ 4:02 p.m.

SB, props to you for being pro writer/editor. Living the dream. Is it true what the psychologists say..."the over-justification effect"...some of the joy goes out when the money starts coming in?

I'm just an amateur, but I'll still point out that your words in post #2 come off as much more vitriolic than humorous, at least from where I'm reading.

"Newcomer" was based on you being a first-time contributor to the comments pages. Kinda hard for the rest of us to have any idea how long you've been reading Duncan Shepherd, ya know?


David Dodd Feb. 10, 2010 @ 4:57 p.m.

"And before you amp-up the encouragement, I'll point out as a professional writer/editor that I no longer write for free anyway."

Uh, yeah. Uh-huh. Sort of like being a stripper and charging a fee when you take a shower? Let me put it another way: If you really are getting paid for writing, then you're writing for free more often than getting paid for it. That's how it works in this century, or you find yourself with disinterested publications to write for.

Your snarky attempts at humorous wit were mildly amusing (sort of) until you slipped this in.


clarkjohnsen Feb. 10, 2010 @ 8:13 p.m.

Has anyone heard of Dennis Lehane? He wrote the book Mystic River, and he orchestrated the ending. Had the director departed from the received text, others would no doubt be on his tail.

As for Mel... well... perhaps no one else here has ever gotten himself plastered and misbehaved. I don't know. But what did Mel allegedly say? "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Did any writer even for a moment consider that statement on merits? I don't think so. Instead everyone went, Oh you can't say that!

In vino veritas? Who knows?

At any rate the arresting/reporting officer was himself Jewish. Did that color the report? Who knows? Also these reports are supposed to be kept confidential but this one was leaked. By whom? Who knows?

While I am a huge admirer of Duncan, I believe he mistepped in devoting so much space to Mel's supposed "anti-semitic" exploits.


David Dodd Feb. 10, 2010 @ 8:31 p.m.


The exact quote is, "F***ing Jews...Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." He then asked the arresting officer if he was a Jew, and refused to get in the car with him.

Since the very industry that Gibson works in has a large percentage of Jewish people working in that industry, then yes, the review that includes Gibson's obvious bigotry seems quite appropriate.

You said:

"Did any writer even for a moment consider that statement on merits? I don't think so. Instead everyone went, Oh you can't say that!"

What merits? Are you proposing that if the Jews hadn't invaded Germany, then... well, that didn't happen, so it couldn't have been that war. Korea? Vietnam? The war of 1812? Seriously, you think that the statement that Gibson made actually has merits?


usuallyquiet Feb. 10, 2010 @ 9:16 p.m.

Shepherd says, “Perhaps, given Mad Mel’s inflammatory views of Jews in The Passion of the Christ and under the influence of tequila, it was asking for trouble to have him in the course of this role spew a line like, “You had better decide whether you’re hangin’ on the cross or poundin’ in the nails,” and further to highlight this line in the trailer.”

WHAT??? Mel, himself, disappoints in his in 2006 rant, his adultery and divorce, but there is and never was anything anti-Semitic in The Passion. Mel did, however, express his mea culpa on the rant. Does Mr. Shepherd know history? Does he know the difference between The Passion's evil characters and slandering entire ethnicities? Must Mr. Shepherd be so obscure and verbose in reviewing The Edge of Darkness? Sigh.


John Rubio Feb. 11, 2010 @ 7:15 a.m.

Mr Shepherd did say (as you quoted) "inflammatory views of Jews in The Passion of the Christ." The review never makes the claim that "Passion" itself is anti-Semitic, or that Mr. Shepherd shares the opinion of those who felt offended by it. He simply states that the film contained "inflammatory views", as in "sparking the anger of others."

Ironically, the word also means "tending to arouse passion", as in "The Inflammation of the Christ". (Jesus with hemorrhoids perhaps)

This word is more akin to "controversial" than anything else, which by merit of "history" is true: Gibson's film did spark much controversy over its depiction of Jews.

So, what exactly are you accusing Mr. Shepherd of here? Accurately depicting currents events? Commenting on the relevant public awareness of why Mr. Gibson has been so long absent from film? Do you know know history? Can you tell the difference between the words "inflammatory" and "anti-Semitic"?


SDaniels Feb. 11, 2010 @ 8:46 a.m.

re: #12:

SantaBarbarian, you came on and made your thesis statement, and I simply asked for some evidence to support them. As I said, I have not seen Mystic River, so how can I have preformed opinions about it? I also have no interest in how long you've been reading Shepherd, or whether or not you are a "newcomer" to the boards. I am interested in your elaborating upon your claims.

shizzyfinn opined that the film "sucked," and you responded by berating him for not elaborating on his claim. He came back and with good will took a stab at it, but from you we have only:

"There's not enough space here to expound on why Mystic River is a masterpiece."

Why ask others to support their opinions, but withhold your own as much too valuable to share? You've contributed five odd comments of no substance but plenty of snark. If you have time to snark, I imagine you have time to let us know exactly why this film is a 'masterpiece.'

I don't at present write for a living, but if by some miracle I were hired to write, I don't think that would stop me from contributing a simple film review to a publication I've been reading for twenty years, especially when I have issued challenges to others to do just that.

In other words, put up or shut up. ;)


SDaniels Feb. 11, 2010 @ 8:47 a.m.

re:#19: Fixed: "asked for some evidence to support it."


SantaBarbarian Feb. 11, 2010 @ 9:54 a.m.

Refriedgringo, you sound disgruntled. Please tell us you're not just another frustrated screenwriter.

I "slipped in" my profession because it was pertient to this point: I haven't the time nor inclination to write essays and blogs on this Website or any other. And since you brought it up, I don't write "more for free" than I get paid. Why should I? (Why would anybody, for that matter?)

SDaniels, that pretty much answers your question as well. OK, so I called out shizzy for inexplicably claiming Mystic River "sucked." That doesn't mean I'm going to write a review here about the movie, especially considering shizzy didn't care for it and you didn't even see it! Hell, you can ask anybody who has seen Mystic River why it's worthwhile.

Funny, I began posting here by attacking shizzy, but he's ultimately been the most sensible since his initial post.

P.S. I hate the words snark and snarky. ;)


PistolPete Feb. 11, 2010 @ 10:10 a.m.

I just ripped the nastiest IHOP omelet fart you could ever imagine. :-D


SDaniels Feb. 11, 2010 @ 10:22 a.m.

re: #21:

If you hate the words "snark" and "snarky," you'll probably want to change your attitude, SantaB, because if you don't, you'll be hearing those words again--that is, should you decide to continue posting online.

You know, it is hard to figure out what your purpose is here, SantaB. You don't mind writing while unpaid, as long as it is empty snark. You like to pick on others for having opinions that aren't quite fully formed, but can/choose to support none of your own. I'm trying to help you rectify this situation, so...

to your original thesis--

"There's not enough space here to expound on why Mystic River is a masterpiece."

--or let's call it a topic sentence, rather, we now have only this unpromising non-qualifier:

"Hell, you can ask anybody who has seen Mystic River why it's worthwhile."

SantaB, I don't wish to ask anybody why it's worthwhile. I want to hear it straight from the horse's mouth, from someone who finds it to be a masterpiece. Especially someone who writes for a living.

Now we know that whatever you do, you are certainly not a film critic, because a film critic would not claim that it is useless to describe or review a film for someone who has not yet seen it.

No matter, I'm still interested, and waiting to hear what you have to say :)


David Dodd Feb. 11, 2010 @ 3:46 p.m.

SB, not only am not disgruntled, I don't write screenplays. Nice try, though, if I did write screenplays I would love the chance to have that "slipped in" somehow.

Speaking of which, you didn't slip anything in, you stated it, and then stated that you don't write for free. Then, you're not a novelist and you don't work for a large newspaper. Pick up any large newspaper and find columnists and then go to their website and find their weblogs. It's free!

And if you were a novelist, you would have to have your own website and two of the following: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace. Publishers demand it. It's 2010. If you don't have a social network with plenty of followers, along with a website complete with a weblog that is updated frequently, the publisher will not be keen on offering you a contract.


SantaBarbarian Feb. 11, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m.

SDaniels, when did you become the legislator for this site? LOL. Did Mr. Shepherd hire you to see who's following the "rules" in this readers' forum?

Hate to break this to ya, but I've been a movie critic -- writing reviews professionally for years. Currently write them for a weekly, and until recently contributed reviews to a Website. Several years ago at a New Mexico daily, I wrote a full-length review of Mystic River (that great movie you inexplicably haven't seen). All the more reason I'm not going to rehash my assessment here. If you truly want to read my critique, I'll try to retrieve it from that publication's archives. ;)

Refriedgringo, you're spot-on about the majority of novelists and big-paper columnists blogging and such for free. More power to 'em. I've been too lazy, or too uncreative, to crank out a novel or screenplay -- so I needn't blog. Would I if the circumstances dictated doing so? Of course.


SDaniels Feb. 11, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

What makes you think I'm a legislator? I'm a blogger on this site who happened on this thread, and your cheap bullying tactics in progress. Decided to call you on them, and in straightforward fashion, ask you to make good on your claims. Thus far we have nothing from you but more of the same--only now you reveal that you are a film critic.

"All the more reason [won't] rehash [your] assessment here?"

If you weren't so full of crap, SB, you would have posted a portion of your review here. You got nothin.' Nada, niente, rien. And yet, "inexplicably," you are still here, commenting on nothing. What gives?


SantaBarbarian Feb. 12, 2010 @ 2:43 p.m.

"Cheap bullying tactics?" LMAO. "You got nothin"? Pot, meet kettle.

Do yourself a favor and rent Mystic River. Above all, lighten up and have a good weekend.


antigeekess Feb. 12, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

If you really want to read reviews of Mystic River, SD, there are plenty here, written by critics who aren't shy about posting theirs: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mystic_river/

Numerous trailers for it are at IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327056/

Also available at Netflix, of course. http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/Mystic_River/60031232?strackid=5a572593dadeab7a_0_srl&strkid=501292513_0_0&trkid=438381

Regrettably, it's not available for Instant Viewing, or I'd take a second look at it this afternoon. I haven't seen it since it came out, and don't remember it that well. Nominated for a healthy bunch of Oscars, including Best Picture, both Tim Robbins and Sean Penn won for their roles.

And despite the fact that Duncan does not sound terribly enthusiastic about it here, he evidently gave the film 5 stars.


SDaniels Feb. 12, 2010 @ 4:21 p.m.

Pot, meet kettle.


Uh, not quite, SB. I don't see that you keep a blog here. Anyhoo, done wit yoo.

AG, you're coming in late. It's not that I was so terribly eager to read a review. I was inviting this bloke to put money where mouth presumably is. But he got nuttin. ;)


dionusos Feb. 14, 2010 @ 8:57 a.m.

SD, did you rent MR yet? It'd seem like time better spent than trying to get into an online boxing match.

Taken as a whole (including the plot), the film didn't suck nor rise to the level of masterpiece. (I was with shizzy, except when he slipped in the S word merely to stir up the pot.)


SantaBarbarian Feb. 14, 2010 @ 5:13 p.m.

Sdaniels, are you really resorting to grade-school tactics as a means of persuasion? Seriously.

I simply don't care to write another assessment of a well-documented movie, particularly one that is several years old. Also not in the "business" of writing for free, or posting links to my previously published reviews here. Sue me.

At any rate, it's hard to believe Mr. Shepherd and I are the only two Mystic River supporters on this forum. Carry on, my wayward son(s).


SDaniels Feb. 14, 2010 @ 6:52 p.m.

"...are you really resorting to grade-school tactics as a means of persuasion? Seriously."

Ahhh, he finally gets it. Now, carry on ;)


dionusos Feb. 14, 2010 @ 8:16 p.m.

"At any rate, it's hard to believe Mr. Shepherd and I are the only two Mystic River supporters on this forum."

Hmm...It's not so black and white. From my amateur perspective, I gave the film a solid 8.5 out of 10. I still find some of the plot coindences indefensible, though not necessarily serious flaws.

Perhaps I'm just perplexed by Shepherd's unforgiving attitude toward the coincidences in Leaving Las Vegas. I'd take consolation in Ebert's favorale review of LLV, but he gave Jennifer's Body a 3/5.


PistolPete Feb. 14, 2010 @ 11:07 p.m.

Leaving Las Vegas was fing awesome! Not fin' awesome but f***ing awesome! Mystic River? Eh.


SDaniels Feb. 15, 2010 @ 6:11 a.m.

re: #30: Alas, besides twiddling my thumbs (neither up nor down) around here, I've been hard at work grading the used dental floss of toothless minds in an Englush that proves the world is as doomed as PistolPete would have it. Time for a film? Absolutely. Did anyone convince me to get Mystic River? No, but I'll give it a shot, since it at least appears to recommend itself by rendering some folk irreversibly inarticulate. ;)


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 7:55 a.m.

And here I've been avoiding watching Mystic River ... or was it Mystic Pizza?

Wait, was I supposed to care?


dionusos Feb. 15, 2010 @ 9:36 a.m.

There are plenty of online reviews of MY to peruse. Why did you feel like you needed convincing here?

And what grade do you teach? If I had a dime for every teacher who had disdain for her pupils.


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 11:05 a.m.

Oh Lord, now there's an MY added to this mix ....

Mystic Yahoos? Mystic Yaks? Mystic Yaddayadda?

How bout a big mystic yawn ........


antigeekess Feb. 15, 2010 @ 11:16 a.m.

SD kvetched about:

"...an Englush that proves the world is as doomed as PistolPete would have it."

Not the world, dear. Just Amerukuh. :)

dionusos, SD is a university instructor. Her constant disappointment is the result of dealing with the products of our U.S. system of education -- grown adults who, in most cases, cannot even master the ONE language that they've grown up with, written and spoken all their lives.

I think it's understandable.


antigeekess Feb. 15, 2010 @ 11:40 a.m.

Re #38:

"Mystic Yahoos? Mystic Yaks? Mystic Yaddayadda?"

I like all 3 of those. I'll bet you could actually FIND all 3 in one location, too.


Sometimes I wish I could just project the picture in my head onto Google Images. Now THAT would be some Mystic Yaddayadda!


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 12:23 p.m.

LOLOL I wish I could project my pictures, too! :P


SantaBarbarian Feb. 15, 2010 @ 2:54 p.m.

Shizzyfinn started all this, only to vanish like the morning mist. ;)


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 4:15 p.m.

Awww dionusos, like Grandpa used to say, Don't go away mad, just go away. :)


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 6:04 p.m.

LOL He was actually speaking to yo mama when he said that, I just happened to be in the room. BTW, I never really thought Frederick's of Hollywood sold those to anybody, but she really carried it off well. :)


antigeekess Feb. 15, 2010 @ 6:26 p.m.


Aww, HELL no!!!

dionusos, yo momma so ugly her psychiatrist makes her lie face down.



dionusos Feb. 15, 2010 @ 6:27 p.m.

ah, the resident troll. I'll write your name on the list of dimwits to ignore.


PistolPete Feb. 15, 2010 @ 6:41 p.m.

I'm out distributing my resume all day and I miss all the fun?


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.

Yo daddy's name at the top of the list, but we won't tell anybody, you know about the unfortunate incident .... BTW how did he manage to get that flashlight up in there like that?


antigeekess Feb. 15, 2010 @ 7:05 p.m.

"ah, the resident troll."

You say dat like it's a "bad" thing. :)

Here, you could try this: http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t164/zaxtax/258Troll_spray.jpg

"I'll write your name on the list of dimwits to ignore."

You can write?


dionusos Feb. 15, 2010 @ 7:18 p.m.

Oh, I'm getting it now. I gotta earn my smug (to feel sophisticated enough to lob adolescent insults). Maybe I'll engage in a witty repartee that begins with "Alas" and earn ya'll respect. Kind of like the ending in "Juice." Except you all will be saying, "Yo, you got the smug now, man."


CuddleFish Feb. 15, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.

Oh my gracious alack and alas, AG, I do declare where do you find these pictures????


antigeekess Feb. 15, 2010 @ 7:30 p.m.

I have a special antenna that picks them up.



nan shartel Feb. 15, 2010 @ 9:03 p.m.

uh oh...MEAN LADY ALERT!!!



i think ur work here is done homey


nan shartel Feb. 15, 2010 @ 9:08 p.m.

and antiG ..u r a dirty...dirty...woman



nan shartel Feb. 15, 2010 @ 9:12 p.m.

and SDaniels


and alack

i'm lots more fun

when i'm on my back


dionusos Feb. 16, 2010 @ 9:23 a.m.

CuddleFish, why would you post that? The only person who was effectively mean there was SDaniels. Both of you know how to leave your opponents speechless, but for different reasons.


CuddleFish Feb. 16, 2010 @ 10:21 a.m.

That's the point. SDaniels ain't mean.

I let my inner troll out for little walks when people mess with her. Also, when I'm bored listening to eggheads like you go on and on and on and on like you think you gonna change the world arguing over a dumbass point about a movie. :)


dionusos Feb. 16, 2010 @ 11:45 a.m.

She's barbed, so I can look past her apparent desire to humiliate someone who’s new to the comment section. Your inner troll enjoys ‘jokes’ that fall well below the level of sophomoric humor. But if the goal is to run out the outsiders, then it seems like an OK strategy. I’m still going to post here when I encounter substantive posts like the one shizzy made. As for me going on and on, are you serious? Re-read the thread. First, it was shizzy who was arguing over the "dumbass point" and what Shepherd had to say on the matter. I merely said I agreed with him. If anyone appeared to be trying to change the world, it was SDaniels with her incessant demands that SantaBarbarian justify his assertion about mystic river. But that’s fine. I had asked her if perhaps her time would be better spent watching the film herself and wondered why she needed anyone to ‘convince’ her to do so. I now see that you guys have a little tight-knit online village here and are highly defensive when any newcomer appears to “mess” with one of the members. But I think SDsaniels is well equipped to take on any criticism without her fans injecting static into the thread.


nan shartel Feb. 16, 2010 @ 12:39 p.m.

neither SDaniels nor Cuddlefish r mean...or mean spirited either

Cuddles was awarded her name Cuddles to go along with her spiffy moniker FISH because of her wonderful kindness

have u noticed this is just a blog peeps...when i came here a few months ago i was tickled with my mispellings..questioned about most everything i was writing for a while...but then uberintelligent SDaniels and Cuddlefish rallied around some of the most nonsensical irreverent and often insipid material ever typed

many of us r pranksters...we enjoy humor..u now have 65 comments here...and most of it has nothing whatsoever to do with the movies critique

we r not "noses in the air" peeps

if i had been questioned about "Mystic River" i would have said

"isn't that a float trip river in Arkansas"



so SDaniels likes to flex her mind...bring out her...DIMWITTED???

Dionusos...which planet do live on??

these people r brilliant!!!

SDaniels even showed me her Menses Certificate...of course it was the one she received in Kindergarten...but.....

come on laugh!!!

you'll feel better and make all kinds of new friends here


try it


CuddleFish Feb. 16, 2010 @ 1:09 p.m.

I'm telling ya, nan, some people just wound too tight!

Lighten up, dionusos, life's too short to stuff a mushroom. :)

And welcome to the community!



nan shartel Feb. 16, 2010 @ 2:01 p.m.

u b right Cuddles...and u also b right welcoming newcomers to this diverse community

fish kisses pucker up!!!


gcubed Feb. 20, 2010 @ 8:46 a.m.

Commenting on the comments. I thought the idea of posting comments was to comment on the week's review or the movie, or at least some topic regarding cinema. My personal experience with commenting on the comments was when I posted that I disliked a comedy skit on You Tube and someone suggested that I should not watch it if I did not like it and that I should 'get a life.' First, that person was much smarter than me because they know what they like before they watch it. Me. I have to watch something first. Secondly, 'get a life' is very stale. I just don't understand the name calling, when someone disagrees with someone else's opinion. It happens a lot on Hulu, too. I read comments in the hope of learning something interesting, and I post comments in hope they are interesting. The name calling is boring. And yes, yes, I realize I am commenting on the comments.
I love Duncan Shepherd's reviews. They are helpful and educational. Is that too sappy? As Bill Murray once should have said, "Don't post angry."


SDaniels Feb. 21, 2010 @ 3:21 a.m.

re: #69 gcubed, commenting on comments is sorta what I 'do' to relax. The folk here appreciate my comments for the most part, and I don't troll around looking to be contrary for contrary's sake. It does happen that I'll intervene, and it does happen that I protest some injustice or other and spar with this or that poster. It's all part of the richness of random exchange, in which I find a curious, complex aesthetic at work. It's not squandering one's writing, but spreading it like wildflower seeds in a rough field. Some seeds take, others don't, and the crop is fragile and transient. This is what you can tell the naysayers ;)


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