Daily Archives: November 10, 2010



I know what you must be thinking.

You are thinking, “But this film hasn’t been released yet; how can anyone review it, much less give it a 100 percent rating?”  In answer to that, let me just mention two words:  Kristen Stewart.

Although it’s true that I have yet to see the film, I am told that Ms. Stewart gives a powerful performance.  Says one critic of the film, “We can almost forget the weight of Kristen Stewart dragging it down with every hair flip and tug.”

Reading between the lines of that review, it’s clear to me that this critic is referring to Stewart’s unique ability to create heavy, serious drama out of what might have been a lightweight movie.

Back in the third grade, when I was a tyke of nine years, I developed a crush on a girl named Patty Guggenheimer.  Patty was new to our school, and quite unpopular. One day, sitting in Mrs. Spolum’s class, I inadvertently filled my pants.

Most of my classmates noticed the noxious smell and, in their ignorance, began to whisper about poor Patty.  In my shame and cowardice, I allowed this false impression to continue.  Poor Patty, my schoolboy crush, took the blame, and I am heartsick about that to this day.

But I must admit, there was a pre-pubertal excitement in all of this, as I sat there at my wooden desk, my heart filled with pining for Patty and my pants filled with poop.

Over the years, I grew to miss that exciting sensation.  Then one day not long ago, as I watched a Kristen Stewart movie (you guessed it) – it happened again.

I initially became paranoid; was it just me who was thus affected by Kristen Stewart’s performance?  I checked around, conferring with friends here at rottentomatoes.  To my immense relief, I learned that both Hollywood and SB, whose opinions I value, experienced similar, stomach-tingling sensations whenever they viewed a Kristen Stewart performance.

And so, in conclusion, let me make a bold prediction.  Come the spring and Oscar time, the name Kristen Stewart will be announced as Best Actress in a motion picture, that picture being Welcome to the Rileys.  Kristen’s pert, cherry-tipped breasts will no doubt be awarded an honorary Oscar (she plays a stripper).  And when she climbs the stairs to the podium, every man, woman and child in the Hollywood auditorium will fill his or her pants in excitement.

There will not be a dry ass in the house.

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(Note: I originally posted this “review” at rottentomatoes.com in October 2010)


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by Gunter Grass



Over the past 15 years, I’ve read about 460 books, and all of them – fiction and nonfiction, short and long, classic and trendy – had one thing in common:  I began on the first page, and I finished reading on the last page.  Not so with The Tin Drum. I had to put this book aside after reading 52 pages.  I simply could not stand author Gunter Grass’ style.

Last year, a good friend of mine died, and after his death I learned that this 1959 German novel was a favorite of his.  I was aware of the book’s impressive pedigree:  An Oscar-winning film adaptation was released in 1979, Grass was eventually awarded the Nobel Prize and, according to the new translation’s afterword, “It remains the most important work of German literature since the Second World War.”  I was prepared to love the book.

I detested it.  To me, Grass’s prose screams out, “I am a writer – look at me write!”  Drum’s “groundbreaking” style (switching from third-person to first-person, magical realism – god, how I hate magical realism) and its cutesy characters … all of it seems like undisciplined Vonnegut.  It is tedious reading, and self-indulgent writing.  I really wanted to finish The Tin Drum but, like the book’s hero, the minuscule Oskar Matzerath, I’ve learned that life is simply too short.


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