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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Admit it, I’m an idiot: the Trib’s new hires

Nothing like a crackerjack cultural critic getting down to the nitty-gritty right out of the gate: “Admit it,” writes Chicago “Tribune staff reporter” Jessica Reaves, “sometimes you get tired of art house movies starring actors who take ‘their craft’ very, very seriously. Sometimes you want to buy an extra-large popcorn and settle in for a big budget Hollywood blockbuster replete with entertaining explosions, undemanding dialogue and completely unrealistic action sequences. If all that sounds like gloriously uncomplicated fun,” she writes in a two-and-a-half star review, “The Guardian is your movie.” schoolforscoundrels_234.jpg And: “There are movies that burst out of the starting gate and soar along effortlessly right through the finish line. Those movies are rare, and School for Scoundrels is not one of them…” Reaves’ disappointment grows: Old School was “one of my favorite stupid movies in recent memory.” And what of Jesus Camp? “Whatever you think of America’s religious right, one fact is undeniable: They know how to make noise. And not just literal noise (although a quick visit to any worship service will prove they’re quite good at that) but figurative, symbolic noise in the form of political lobbying and outreach… If you weren’t aware of this powerful voting bloc, you’ve probably spent the past five year with your head under a rock.” (Note the demurely placed “probably,” a hacktastic feat of journalistic restraint.) Further evidence of the terrifying rigors of being a fourth or fifth string reviewer forced to take things seriously when all you want to do is sneer is heaped by one Michael Esposito, who writes of Kyle Henry‘s defiantly opaque 2005 Sundance entrant, Room: “Room is one of those films that wants to make you think. You know the kind: lots of weird stuff happens, topped off by no real resolution in the end. It may also be the longest 75-minute film in the history of cinema-there was a clock check 25 minutes in, after thinking, ‘this has got to be over.'” Surely mid-twentieth century Trib critic Mae T. Inee is rolling in her collective grave.

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“We’re all going to die so it makes it very easy. I haven’t always thought that way but I’ve realized it’s the truth. I think age gets you there, questioning your mortality… When you realize that, it’s so liberating, it’s so free, you can fly! There’s no need to hold on to anything. Like, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you; it’s probably happened to 500 million people as well. Who gives a shit!”
~ Steve McQueen

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom. Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children.”
~ Stan Lee, 1965