It seems to me that, once Major Strasser’s been shot, everybody can get on the plane.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

The title is misleading here: The parents know exactly who is coming to dinner—it’s their prospective son-in-law. A more accurate title would be Guess the Ethnicity of Your Prospective Son-in-Law, Who Is Coming to Dinner. But that probably wouldn’t fit on a marquee.

The Sixth Sense

I don’t find it especially incredible that Haley Joel Osment can speak to dead people, and complete their unfinished business upon this earth. I do, however, have trouble believing that, in all of Philadelphia, there are apparently fewer than a half-a-dozen people who died with unfinished business.


Let me see if I understand this: The farmer and his family routinely slaughter and eat the animals on their farm. The animals are all sentient beings, who understand this and do nothing to escape—in fact, they work hard to curry favor with the farmer, in order to prolong their lives. This is the sort of children’s film that Roman Polanski would make.

The Manchurian Candidate
(the original version, not the remake)

If my plot to take over America hinged on brainwashing a decorated military officer and turning him into an assassin, I wouldn’t have my method of triggering his hypnotic states require that he have a deck of cards handy at all times. And even if I did decide to go the playing-card route, I’m not sure that I’d require him to play solitaire as a method of locating the queen of diamonds. Given that, quite often, games of solitaire end with at least half the deck face-down, maybe “Why don’t you play a little 52 pickup, Raymond?” would be a tad more efficient.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life, it seems to me, missed the point. The question isn’t: What would the world be like if George Bailey had never been born? The question is: Would the world be improved if George Bailey, at this point in time, jumped off this here bridge? Two very different questions. And while Clarence clearly makes the case that George Bailey should have been born, he oddly (suspiciously, one might say) skirts the issue of whether or not George Bailey’s family might be better off with a pile of insurance money than with the bitter, angry wreck that George Bailey has become.

The Terminator

According to The Terminator, in the future, time travel will be perfected, but it will only work on humans or flesh-covered appliances; fabric is out of the question. As interesting as the Terminators are, I would almost prefer to see a movie about the invention of this time-travel device, because I imagine it would feature a lot of lines like, “Well, the good news is, the flesh-covered toaster made it. The bad news is, the khakis didn’t.”


If I understand things correctly, Mel Gibson is a cleric who regains his faith in God after he realizes that his wife, in her dying moments, gave him a message that was too cryptic and oblique to save the lives of millions of people during an alien attack, but was just specific enough to save his son. This may be the most narrow definition of a miracle, ever.

Citizen Kane

Seriously: Who names a sled?