Anthony Lane, funniest writer at The New Yorker (more!)

Irrepressibly droll.

On 20-kilometer walk competitors at the Beijing Olympics:

They will continue to propel themselves, year in, year out, as if learning to moonwalk too soon after a hip replacement.

On Yoda  (Space Case, “Star Wars: Episode III”):

Also, while we’re here, what’s with the screwy syntax? Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. “I hope right you are.” Break me a f***ing give.

An aside from a surprisingly enthusiastic review of “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”:

Specialists might prefer to file them [Anvil] under thrash metal, that delicate subset of the genre, but “Anvil!” is wise enough to steer clear of such hairsplitting, not least because, in a world where most of the guitarists look like exploded spaniels, there is an awful lot of hair to split.

It was a stroke of genius to send him to the Eurovision Song Contest, and he *kills*. Even if you can’t sing “Dinge Dong” and “Waterloo”, and never saw Bucks Fizz rip their skirts off, it’s hilarious:

She [Celine Dion early in her career] looked like a naval officer trying to mate with a lampshade.

He rejects amped-up, choppily-edited incoherent movies and (correctly) rails against the increasing pornography of violence that movies wrap in comic book form. But he’s no Andy Rooney. From a review of Red:

Why should our mature, more thoughtful citizens be expected to watch loud films full of muscular men in their twenties shooting each other and blowing stuff up? What manner of challenging drama would the middle-aged prefer? And the answer is :loud films full of muscular men in their fifties shooting each other and blowing stuff up.

Describing how Robert Redford and his director of photography light scenes in The Conspirator:

I was hoping that Redford had exhausted his love of soft gilding in “A River Runs Through It” (1992), better known as “The Vaseline Rubs on It,” but the new film bathes in the stuff.

In a sweet but not cloying piece about life at Pixar:

[Chief creative officer John] Lasseter became a skipper on the Jungle Cruise, at Disneyland, still one of the best preparations for a life in the movie business, where the crocodiles wear suits.

Madonna’s “W.E.” get another zinger:

like all royal sagas, including “The King’s Speech,” this film is determined to present the British princes as handsome devils, whereas, in reality, they were bred to look like basset hounds with indigestion.


The convoluted spy thriller “Red Sparrow”:

… C.I.A. agent, Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), who is handling a Russian mole. Nate’s bosses, however, alert to Dominika’s game, order him to entrap her, so that she can be coaxed into spying for the Americans. The plot burrows this way and that, and the mole-work grows so frantic that the movie starts running out of lawn.

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