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Stoned Secretary Knowingly Takes Funny Nowhere Job

In this economy, even a nowhere job could be worthwhile employment.  Although, position desirability depends what kind of ‘funny’ the job is (ha-ha vs uh-oh) and what type of ‘stoned’ the secretary is (drug induced vs. hurled rocks).  To figure out which is which will require critical thinking because depending on your logic, you might react to joblessness by drinking until it was funny (either kind) or taking an Inside Job (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).
“Quite simply, the definitive movie on the financial crisis and an implicit call for radical action against the two capitalist parties that are responsible for it.” Louis Proyect rec.arts.movies.reviews

A film radical enough to change America is…

“A blistering, eye-opening documentary with the potential to change America.” Erica Abeel Film Journal International

For fans of logical fallacies, my pairing was a circular definition.  Since fallacies are errors in logic, they are the perfect tool for examining reviewer arguments.  Also, they make me giggle.

 

fallacies are illogical logic

 

“The definitive screen investigation of the global economic crisis, providing hard evidence of flagrant amorality — and of a new nonfiction master at work.” Rob Nelson Variety

Hard evidence is good and master’s have strong ethos, but I am wary of any modern movie about a current issue being definitive.  It sounds like a hasty generalization.

“Unless you’re Rip Van Winkle and have been taking a nap for some time, only to awaken and exclaim – what economic crisis? – you’ve been made more than aware of it. Which renders this latest doc like the last horse over the finish line in Secretariat.” Prairie Miller NewsBlaze

The implied logic of that review is “If you were in a coma, I am tired of financial movies.”  First, it’s nonsensical.  Second, it’s an irrelevant conclusion fallacy.  Third, it’s Secretariat (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“This is one terrific movie about one terrific horse. It enthralls on so many levels-emotional, cinematic, historic.” New York Observer Rex Reed

How about geographic, traumatic, or melodramatic?

“It is a great film about greatness, the story of the horse and the no less brave woman who had faith in him.” Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

So, it’s either a great film about a terrific horse or a terrific film about greatness?  If you had the instinct to choose, you’ve been fooled by a false dichotomy.

“Lined with fetid chunks of Oscar bait like so many droppings in an untended stable.” Thomas Leupp Hollywood.com

Beware loaded language, it has tremendous power over meaning.  Consider this: When was the last time you ate an embalmed cheese sandwich?  That would be what we call “process cheese” if the cheesemakers named it instead of the US government.

“At least the formulaic race footage itself is vigorous; the schmaltzy mythmaking script, on the other hand, deserves a one-way trip to the glue factory.” L.A. Weekly Nick Schager

If the script is the writer, then that threat is Ad hominem.  Of course, 100 pages of words don’t equal a person, which makes me guilty of making a false analogy.  Oops.

“When the movie’s over, it’s hard not to be more amazed that Secretariat fathered 600 foals. That’s stamina!” Matt Pais Metromix.com

Let’s take a break from the rhetoric and hope that review has nothing to do with a sequel.  I mean, it could work.  Kinda gross, but It’s Kind Of A Funny Story (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“Cute, bordering on cutesy, yes. Light and shallow and inconsequential in a lot of ways. But funny? Rarely.” Orlando Sentinel Roger Moore

So, it’s kind of a cutesy shallow inconsequential story.

“What’s largely missing from It’s Kind of a Funny Story: genuine emotional pain. Still, the movie’s an often charming example of “Cuckoo’s Nest” Lite.” Boston Globe Ty Burr

 

Seeing this might inflict genuine psychological pain

 

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story may be the first psych-ward drama to draw on John Hughes movies for tonal reference.” Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

When you mess with the bull, you get the pills?

“I was so embarrassed, so uncomfortable with the total lack of recognizable human behavior in the film that I strongly debated getting up and leaving.” Drew McWeeny HitFix

There’s a lack of recognizable human behavior in a mental ward. Sorta the point isn’t it?

“Galifianakis’ magnetic performance suggests murky psychological depths the film doesn’t have the substance to plumb.” The Onion A.V. Club Nathan Rabin

Perhaps the skill set for psychological depth plumber could be more clear.  If it were your job,  dipping into murky mental machinations would be just Life As We Know It (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“Cute boy and girl opposites meet and fall in love after their best friends die and leave them in charge of raising their orphaned daughter. Adorable.” Joanna Langfield The Movie Minute

You just described family tragedy as adorable.  Sarcastic?

“Despite these two actors’ decent – and occasionally very charming – performances the film stacks the odds of the audience caring about Heigl and Duhamel against a narrative vacuum that favors eye candy and cheap effect over emotional logic.” Movieline Michelle Orange

I intended to take a break from logic, but favoring eye candy over quality storytelling is a style over substance fallacy.

“There’s something about Holly: She’s the most ridiculous, irritating, two-dimensional rom-com heroine since…Katherine Heigl’s last rom-com.” Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

 

Perhaps Heigl should read this book

 

“You can’t open a diaper and expect a diamond.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

I fear opening the book of awesome is more likely to contain the former than the latter.

“It’s not that baby comedies aren’t a legitimate popcorn genre. But by comparison, this sleepwalk through pre-fab family-life makes Look Who’s Talking and Three Men and a Baby look like art.” Jim Slotek Jam! Movies

If I had to watch both those trilogies followed by a movie that’s less interesting than a full diaper I would offer up My Soul To Take (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“Easily the worst movie of Craven’s career and not even remotely scary or creepy or any of the things you expect from a good horror movie.” Edward Douglas ShockTillYouDrop.com

And yet, it costs the same as any other genre movie.

“The work of a lunatic using his own feces to outline an uncomfortably abstract tale of ridiculous possession, brought to life through some of the most excruciatingly obvious and colossally stilted dialogue I’ve heard so far this year.” Brian Orndorf BrianOrndorf.com

I would like to trust these two reviews and move on, but I don’t want to commit the fallacy of an unrepresentative sample.

“So utterly awful that it should have been renamed ‘My Time to Waste.’” Brian Salisbury Hollywood.com

Moving on.  And to prevent further boredom, let’s turn our attention to something more exciting than a simple Stone (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“Collaborations between Robert De Niro and Edward Norton—one generation’s most respected actor paired with another’s most affected—seem doomed to be defined by acting with a capital A.” Ed Gonzalez Slant Magazine

The review implies the movie is bad with a capital B.  Let’s hear from someone who thought it was cool with a capital C.

“A stunner – a film that seems to be one thing but turns out to be quite another. It challenges your assumptions at every turn and leaves you wrung out at the end.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

So what type of challenging and taxing turns can audiences expect?

“A murky bible belt noir steeped in mystical evangelical voodoo more suited to sci-fi. In which De Niro seems to turn back into Travis Bickle minus his taxi, while Norton finds Jesus, loses his dreadlocks and becomes a self-described tuning fork for God.” Prairie Miller NewsBlaze

 

Which ever way you're going, it's right

 

“Though nearly sabotaged by the ridiculous sexual subplot at its center, this soul-searching drama works best at the character level, couching insights about sin and forgiveness under the guise of conventional genre entertainment.” Variety Peter Debruge

I may have sinned with too many fallacies during this roundup.  I hope you’ll forgive me.

“[It ends] up subverting expectations by denying pleasure.” Manohla Dargis New York Times

That is unexpected.  Most audiences like to enjoy their movies.  Although, designing a film to confuse, frustrate, or make people drowsy wouldn’t work much better.  A filmmaker with that reputation would soon end up a Nowhere Boy (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“We may go because it’s the story of John Lennon, but we care because it’s an emotionally honest and human story.” Sean Axmaker Parallax View

What if I don’t go?  Does that mean I don’t care?

“How could we hate or humiliate Lennon any more than he’d been trained to hate and humiliate himself?” Ed Gonzalez Slant Magazine

Be careful with that complex question, Lennon’s ability to hate himself doesn’t determine the audience’s reaction.

“Aaron Johnson may not be Lennon, but he’s entirely persuasive as someone who could have grown up to become him. It’s a striking pre-incarnation.” Kurt Loder Current.com

 

A compulsive drinker reincarnation

 

“Like Todd Haynes’ “I’m Not There”-which never once came out and said the name “Bob Dylan”-Nowhere Boy bites its tongue and refuses to say “The Beatles.”” Boxoffice Magazine Amy Nicholson

That is nearly a fallacy of exclusion, which is an appropriate fallacy finale given the number of reviews I ignored.

“The power of Nowhere Boy is that, as directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, it captures how John Lennon’s deeply sordid family life toyed with his soul by not letting him know who he was.” Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

 

King Sheep hopes his soul knows who he is

 

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