Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spot of Bother

At The New Yorker, film critic David Denby reviews director Clint Eastwood and writer J. Michael Straczynski's Changeling and has an objection that probablt doesn't come as a great surprise to anyone who's familiar with Straczynski's work.
“Changeling” is beautifully wrought, but it has the abiding fault of righteously indignant filmmaking: it congratulates us for feeling what we already feel—in this case, contempt for psychiatry used as coercion and for long-discredited male-chauvinist attitudes.
Between Straczynski's writing in Babylon 5, Rising Stars, Amazing Spider-Man or The Book of Lost Souls, the desire to get on a soapbox and preach to his audience about what's good and just and right is, perhaps, one the most defining threads.

Granted, it's also a crucial part of the appeal of Straczynski's voice - but even so, he's overdoing it a lot of the time. To Straczynski's credit, though, it should be said that the preaching doesn't seem to have as much of a presence in Thor and The Twelve.

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