What they see in your mirror

A video service called Flixster aggregates trailers for newly released and impending films. It’s like a testing valve on a sewage system, offering two minute samples of what film-makers think you will like. In effect, it is a picture of who they think you are. In a half hour or so, you can look at the distillation of the efforts of the world’s greatest film-writers, directors, actors and craftspeople. Unfortunately, their genius is mediated by producers and investors, the very last people who should be guiding and controlling the efforts of these artists. Lust and sadism contend with brutality and betrayal to tempt the fickle eye. One flawed gem I glimpsed flickering in the slurry is called “The Humbling”, which degrades the talents of Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon and others possibly as gifted as they are. (When I saw it was based on something by Philip Roth, I knew it could not possibly instruct or enlighten, let alone entertain.) Of all the many samples I scented, only one appeared to have any professional integrity or internal consistency, only one appeared to respect its audience and correctly frame the talents of its performers – I commend to you “Dumb and Dumber To”. It appears to be an honest piece of work, posing as nothing more meaningful than the laughter it evokes.

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