There are times when I think I’m useless and talentless but with the capacity to fake ability/credibility/whatever is the need of the hour. Then there are times when I think I’m useless and talentless and hopeless and there’s no point even trying to fake anything because, to quote that great modern-day philosopher Marvin, what’s the point? And then there are times when I am given proof of how pointless I am and I giggle. Nay, I chortle and that too, delightedly and repeatedly. This usually happens when I read something Anthony Lane has written, in order to show the rest of the world how it’s done. You can’t envy writing like this or after reading it, wallow in self-pity that you’re talentless. Of course it’s confirmation that you (i.e. I) are (i.e. am) indeed as inept as you (i.e. I) fear you are (i.e. I am). But after reading Lane in his element, all any sensible person can do is cheer. And chortle.
Here are some excerpts from his review of The Dark Knight Rises, which I haven’t seen yet primarily because I find Nolan unbearably pompous and super-serious. I just can’t bring myself to find enthusiasm for a film that will be the black hole of fun. That seems so wrong when the subject of said film is a bloody comic book character. But don’t listen to me. Lane articulates exactly what I think of Nolan way better than I ever will. (Read the whole review here.)
Basic human tasks are beyond his reach; direct Batman to the bathroom, and it would take him twenty minutes of hydraulic shunting simply to unzip.
…Gordon is the good cop who stayed good, his mustache and glasses, like Groucho’s, unchanged with the passing years. … Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), who does pretty much what Q does in the Bond movies, except that he does it with the air of someone offering up pieces of the True Cross.
We still have the Bat-Pod, which looks like a motorbike crossed with a very angry praying mantis.
This time, he has an addition to his stable: a flying craft, with two enclosed rotors underneath, which allow it to dink around tall buildings and, presumably, to chop vegetables in the event that Alfred wants to make a pot-au-feu.
Bane (Tom Hardy) is a muscleman, who was, we are told, “born and raised in Hell on earth,” which sounds like an unused lyric by Spinal Tap.
Carnally, too, he [Batman] seems about as risen as flatbread; over three films, we have waited for him to have Bat-core sex, hanging upside down from a rafter and emitting cries of sonar, and what has he given us? Not a squeak.
Via this device, Bane declaims his bold, anarchic sentiments; at least, I think they were anarchic. Given that I could make out barely a third of them, he may well have been reciting from “Clifford the Small Red Puppy.”
Whether or not you see the film, you must read the review.
Clifford the Small Red Puppy.
I really need to get me that “I Heart Anthony Lane” t-shirt.
ya know i’ll take shabby hinglish novels over the middlebrow hacky crapola that new yorker foists on the world. i feel the former has a lot to tell us about the other half lives. new yorker, at this point, doesn’t.
but how novel to bash a comic book hero summer blockbuster, anthony lane! lars von trier didn’t release anything this year? how unfortunate. Aren’t the Trier/Malick/Cronenberg/McQueen patches working?
you should watch The Critic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnHfWdlCaQk
for my money, a much better Batman analysis – http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/batman-occupied/