Not-So-Deep Thoughts

"You only get presents on one night, I get them on eight nights," I used to brag to my Christian friends this time of year. Not only was this not the way my Rabbi would want me to present my faith, it was not the whole truth. In my childhood zeal, I neglected to mention that not all nights of Hanukkah offered the cool toys I craved. On some nights, I only got little knick-knacks. Not to mention the dreaded socks and underwear night.

This Adam's Rib is the equivalent of one of those knick-knack Hanukkah nights (I sure hope it's not a socks and underwear night, but I'll leave that for you to judge). I have no consuming issues or insights that would warrant a whole column. Instead, I have smaller thoughts and ramblings, tied together by nothing. Perhaps this column should be called "Adam's Riblets" but T.G.I.Fridays might sue. With that stellar introduction out of the way, here we go:

Actors I'd Like to See More Of:
David Strathairn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, William Fichtner, Alan Rickman (grossly underused in Harry Potter), Philip Seymour Hoffman, and John C. Reilly.

Actors I'd Like to See Less Of:
Richard Gere, Penelope Cruz (Hollywood has tried to ram her down America's throat for a couple of years, but no one's buying. She tries so hard to pronounce English correctly that she forgets to act), Freddie Prinze, Jr., Winona Ryder, and Keanu Reeves (you didn't think I'd leave him out).

Please retire these clichéd scenes:

1. Lip-synching to Motown tunes, usually "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" or "My Girl."

2. A character (often a male teenager) needs to buy something embarrassing (often condoms) at the local drug store. He tries to act nonchalant, possibly buying other items just to hide the one he really wants. Of course the cashier foils his plan by calling on the loudspeaker for a price check, or some other action that calls everyone's attention to the purchase. You see this scene in both TV and film.

3. The villain tells the hero "You and me are very much alike" (or words to that effect), which the hero adamantly denies.

Is Quentin Tarantino ever going to direct another film? It's been more than seven years since Pulp Fiction, and Tarantino has only directed one film, Jackie Brown, since. Supposedly he was working on Kill Bill until star Uma Thurman became pregnant. Now no one is sure what will happen. You could argue that some great directors do work very infrequently, but the sporadic output usually comes in their later years. Stanley Kurbrick only made four films from 1972 until his death in 1999. But from 1953 to 1971, he made nine films. Tarantino is 38, which is only old in sports. There's nothing sadder than wasted talent.

Have you ever seen a trailer less funny than the one for Joe Somebody? I mean a trailer for an alleged comedy. If the trailer has the film's funniest two and a half minutes, I could only imagine watching the whole film. In fact, I will only imagine watching the whole film

To Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Angela Bassett: Pleeeease get new agents!!! Have any two such gifted actors had such bad role selections? Choose projects that are worthy of your talents.

Comparing today's actors to film legends is all too easy and simplistic. But sometimes I just can't help it. Audrey Tatou, simply luminous in Amélie, reminds me so much of a young Audrey Hepburn. Tatou has that same innocent charm and joy in performing, while also sharing a quiet grace. Like Hepburn, Tatou appears free and natural in front of the camera. She is the little sister everyone would like to have.

Adam Spector
December 12, 2001

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