I am so excited! This is the first installment of my weekly review of reviews. I hope it goes well!
My reviews are graded on a scale of 1 to 5: 1 is the worst and 5 is the best. There are two components in them: 1. Spoilers–the difficulty of avoiding them, and 2. Takeaway–what we can learn without the spoilers. If there are too many spoilers, there is no takeaway.
This week, I look at the three movie reviews in the 8/30/13 (Friday) edition of The Wall Street Journal. John Anderson reviews all three:
1. Closed Circuit—2.75/5
Spoilers: You can skip the spoilers, but it is hard to tell what the critic thinks of the movie. The title and first few words suggest that John Anderson loves the movie. But if you keep going, you find out that he doesn’t love it at all.
Title of the Review: Closed Circuit Electrifies. First few words: An enormously watchable thriller, Closed Circuit….
Takeaway: It is a thriller with romance and terrorism, the pacing is erratic. When the pacing is right, the good-looking leads keep “our eyes” engaged. (I’d rather a movie keep my mind engaged.)
In other words, don’t bother seeing it in the theater (if at all).
Spoilers and Takeaway: There are plenty of spoilers, but it doesn’t matter because the movie is clearly ridiculous.
3. Afternoon Delight–2.5/5
Spoilers: You cannot get past the first paragraph of this review without spoilers, but that’s as far as you need to go in order to understand Anderson’s opinion.
Takeaway: Although the movie is awful, star Kathryn Hahn is phenomenal. She has been known mostly from her comic acting, and is favored by the cult crowd; this movie shows that she is also a great dramatic actor. Otherwise, the movie’s plot is “contrived”, its narrative, “nonsensical“.