The Screenplay's the Thing: Movie Criticism, 1986-1990

Bruce Bawer, Author Archon Books $32.5 (298p) ISBN 978-0-208-02332-2
Best known as a literary critic, Bawer is an engaging, astute, formidable film reviewer as well, as these 84 pieces from the American Spectator prove. Avoiding hype, he blasts Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues for cheap sentiment, faults Steel Magnolias for stereotyping men and deems The Last Temptation of Christ ``deadly boring.'' Politically unpredictable, Bawer knocks Top Gun 's vapid militarism and praises the gay love story in My Beautiful Laundrette. He deflates the arty ( Caravaggio ), the preachy ( Platoon; The Milag ro Beanfield War ) and the kitschy ( The Unbearable Lightness of Being ), but gives thumbs up to The World According to Garp , Raising Arizona , Roxanne , Crossing Delancey and The Mosquito Coast. In the title essay, Bawer argues that the great majority of commercial films are undermined by awful, two-dimensional scripts. One wishes he were a full-time movie critic. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1992
Release date: 07/01/1992
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