Mick LaSalle Strikes Again

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Remo D
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Mick LaSalle Strikes Again

Post by Remo D » Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:56 am

Wow. I haven't had the serious urge to respond to a published critic in a LONG time. Not since KILL BILL, VOLUME 1, in fact. And it's the same guy again.

Nope--not Roger Ebert. Now, he and I have disagreed plenty of times, and I still honestly believe that I have a better grasp of the horror genre than even the Pulitzer Prize winner (not that we've ever actually communicated). But I still seek out his writing and his opinions on many a title. And this weekend, I was pleased to see that he and I were apparently the only ones defying the tide of critical hatred directed against the new GET SMART movie. Three and a half stars? Right on, Roger--and our reviews are quite evenly matched (for the record, I wrote mine well before I read his--sneak previews can do that for you).

In fact, I had no idea that the base of published critics was going to excoriate GET SMART--I won't retract a word as I believe it to be every bit as funny, respectful and entertaining as I said it was. Apparently, "the world" begs to differ... and nobody was more vicious than Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wow. He doesn't just dislike the movie--he EVISCERATES it for daring to exist in the first place! Something really seems to be lodged in his craw ("NOT CRAW... CRAW!!!") and it would appear to be the very idea of making a comedy involving TERRORISM. He attacks the humor, the action, the dialogue, you name it--and comes up with phrases such as "This movie couldn't buy a laugh in a nitrous oxide factory" throughout. (Okay--it didn't make HIM laugh, but how do you account for the crowd I saw it with? They seemed to love it and they laughed throughout along with me, and nobody was 'forcing' them to do so. So the movie CAN make people laugh, so that wisecrack in the review simply isn't true.)

Oh, I could go on--but it didn't stop there. On the next page of the Chronicle (the Friday, June 20th edition, or look these up at http://www.sfgate.com) he went on to review THE LOVE GURU (unseen by me). He admits that the movie isn't very good, but he seems to spend half the review explaining that at LEAST it's a HELL of a lot better than GET SMART!!! Good GRIEF--whatever offended him has now spilled over into a review of a completely unrelated feature film!!!

And then? Same day, same paper... he finally lets go of GET SMART, but ("Would you believe?") he then gets his hands on MOTHER OF TEARS!!! Man, they'd BETTER open that in my neck of the woods, but I'm not holding my breath (okay, I got lucky with DIARY OF THE DEAD and STUCK, but if I really think I'm going to get some Argento in Monterey County, I still believe I'm living in a dream world).

Well, Mick LaSalle acknowledges that he's never seen an Argento film in his life. He then goes on to say that even if every other piece of culture in the world were to vanish, he'd STILL find an excuse never to do so again. This film is apparently for gore fetishists alone, empty seat, zero stars, etc. etc.

I have only one question left at this point. Considering that Mick LaSalle is NOT the only Chronicle critic, and considering his oft-expressed distaste for violence and horror (an opinion he's perfectly entitled to, don't get me wrong)... why does HE get to be the one to see MOTHER OF TEARS? Could we at LEAST get an informed opinion from someone who's seen SUSPIRIA or DEEP RED at the very, very least?

Heavy sigh.

Unlike Roger Ebert, Mick LaSalle has actually availed himself of the opportunity to respond to me in the past. So I'm going to see if I can engage him on this weekend's batch of reviews. And I'll keep you posted.

TTFN,
Remo
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!


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Post by Latte Thunder » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:21 pm

I love these Mick LaSalle articles. That guy is, like, your arch enemy!
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Post by DylanDog » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:30 am

Yup. You totally need to wrestle this guy on the Manor!
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Post by Remo D » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:12 am

DylanDog wrote:Yup. You totally need to wrestle this guy on the Manor!
Now you've done it. Mick LaSalle is a San Francisco guy who certainly knows Bob Wilkins and has worked side-by-side with John Stanley. If I invoke CREATURE FEATURES respectfully (not to mention the fact that I studied film under one of Mick's own idols, the great Jim Kitses, at S.F. State), I just might get him sufficiently intrigued.

I don't know about wrestling (you saw what happened to me when I tried to get involved in a match), but you've got it. I'm going to INVITE him to appear.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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...and I don't even have a dog!

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Post by DylanDog » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:15 am

Actually, I hate to say it but...I DIDN'T see! Both times that show aired I couldn't catch it for one reason or another. But I remember reading your blog about it so I at least knew it happened. But in good old fashioned wrestling tradition, maybe you can just invite him on the show...and then just jump him! lol
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