So the other day I was looking over my archive of the (mostly) one-line film blurb/zingers I've posted here over the last year or so, with an eye to killing a post with a sort of Greatest Hits deal. Some of them still strike me as pretty funny, actually, and I must confess that this one (from January) --
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- Brad Pitt dressed up in a prune suit spells O-S-C-A-R!
-- and this one (from February) --
New in Town -- A large talking chipmunk (voice of Renée Zellwegger) moves to Minnesota and everybody makes her tapioca.
-- crack me right up.
Still, it dawned on me that none of them really measure up to the work of the guy who invented the genre.
I refer, of course, to the late great New York Times critic Howard Thompson (1919 - 2002), who for twenty or so years wrote the often hilarious capsule films reviews in the Times' small screen section; The Village Voice called him "the Virgil of TV guides," and that pretty much summed him up.
My personal favorite, as I've remaked on a couple of occasions here, was always this one, for the original (1932) Murders in the Rue Morgue -- "Apetime in Paris." It doesn't get pithier than that.
Anyway, I went digging and found a few more Tiny Thompsons (as they were dubbed). Enjoy, then, a master at work.
Bikini Beach -- You're only young once. With this, be glad of it.
Marriage on the Rocks -- Slush on the half shell.
Matilda -- A boxing kangaroo. What the world needs now.
Paint Your Wagon -- Elaborate but rather squatty western with nice music, via Broadway. Clint [Eastwood] sings like a moose.
The Pride and the Passion -- And the cannon, which they lug, lug, lug. That's the passion. Sophia looks fine, Cary uneasy, Frank starved.
Promises to Keep -- Father returns home after 30 years. Seems that long, too.
The Wrath of God -- They said it, we didn't and it's pretty close.
Ah, truly, there were giants in the earth in those days.