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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Painful Niceties, The
by Richard Jack Smith

Upon first reading Steven Spielberg and Duel: The Making of a Film Career by Steven Awalt, I was struck by the rhythm and insight. Looking again, I am less impressed and here's why. 

With all thoughts shackled and the delivery unremarkable, this tome lacks the imposing gruff of Jonathan Melville's Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors or the welcome nightshade offered by The Making of Avatar (Duncan and Fitzpatrick). Events, people and characters are mugged for folderol, then forgotten in a timely vacuum.

Facts may deem the text worthy of recital. Yet as a fox shares its kill with a mate, scraps are traded for the gossip of a snore and throat clearing reverie.

Beginning as a road trip from Satan's moor, Duel shifts from one front seat to another, the chased and the chaser framed by their emotional carriages or lack of same. Therefore, a magician's trade calls for self study even sharing but not enough curtains were parted nor angels descended. 

I arrived at a similar conclusion stained by the mock actualities of All Those Moments by Rutger Hauer. Expecting transcendence, I suffered the irresponsible and the glib. Pink bubbles the mercury of madness on flat air, and I dance as still as a mannequin. 

Slice the imagination in half and you get two helpings of stupid. I detest the nostalgic hammock, feeding a fog while caring little for the oxygen in space. 

Spielberg, a lucid circus maestro, got mired in a web where the cobs mush and splash. Are we to expect leftovers when the party already made its sunset? Grabbing cash on a dash, the thrill fleeting like ocean surf? An untimely seating places men above eels as the slow witted mask their comforts on the loftiest perch. 

Free grip on plastic seam, the pale boat a cold blackness inviting no one. Such penned liberation mocks a squeezing line, diverting often -- scattershot, concise, broken, knocking on empty doors, fishing in frozen streams and daring not to ask the important questions. 

I give Steven Spielberg and Duel: The Making of a Film Career two out of five stars.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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