Critical Mess

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Synecdoche, New York
writer and director: Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
release date: October 24

You will need to see Synecdoche, New York again (and possibly multiple times) to process it all. If you're like me, however, you will not care to see it again, and I say that as an early adopter of Charlie Kaufman's work.

Synecdoche is Kaufman's Schizopolis, his Godardian folly — admirable and sporadically droll, but fairly unpleasant to sit through.

Ambition does not justify inscrutability.


Zack and Miri Make a Porno
writer and director: Kevin Smith (Clerks)
release date: October 31

Is Zack and Miri Make a Porno entertaining? Yes. Should it be a film? Eh…

Like the rest of Kevin Smith's post-millennial cinematic output, Zack and Miri plays like a glorified sitcom. I wonder why Smith doesn't just produce a comedy series for HBO or Showtime.


The Brothers Bloom
writer and director: Rian Johnson (Brick)
release date: December 19

Rian Johnson does Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums).

If The Brothers Bloom was a baseball team, it'd score heavily early on (opening with a home run), blow its lead, and escape with a win thanks to its closer.


Roughly half of Americans now live, essentially, in public housing.
The Renewed Mind Is the Key

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