The cinetrix has been mired in the slough of despond for a few days now, but having read three little words she is hoping the upswing is upon her:
See, no matter how bad it gets, no one can make me watch The Polar Express. Manohla Dargis, a fortunate woman in many, many other respects, is not so lucky. See how valiantly she copes and wrestles with this cruel fate.
It's likely, I imagine, that most moviegoers will be more concerned by the eerie listlessness of those characters' faces and the grim vision of Santa Claus's North Pole compound, with interiors that look like a munitions factory and facades that seem conceived along the same oppressive lines as Coketown, the red-brick town of "machinery and tall chimneys" in Dickens's "Hard Times." Tots surely won't recognize that Santa's big entrance in front of the throngs of frenzied elves and awe-struck children directly evokes, however unconsciously, one of Hitler's Nuremberg rally entrances in Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will." But their parents may marvel that when Santa's big red sack of toys is hoisted from factory floor to sleigh it resembles nothing so much as an airborne scrotum.
Ah, there it is again, the phrase that pays. And there are still nine more grafs of scorn to savor after that one!