Wednesday, August 2

Succinctness is next to Godliness

nytimes.tvSlate's Jack Shafer loves the New York Times' haiku-like capsulized film reviews, which appear within its TV listings (sadly, these do not seem to be available online).

For example:
-- The Matrix Revolutions: "Ferocious machine assault on a battered Zion. Stop frowning, Neo; it's finally over."
-- 2 Fast 2 Furious: "Ex-cop and ex-con help sexy customs agent indict money launderer. Two fine performances, both by cars."

More from Shafer:
Howard Thompson invented the Times capsule style in the 1960s and continued to write them on contract after his 1988 retirement, according to his 2002 Times obituary. Among his greatest clips cited in the obit were assessments of The Guns of Navarone ("Allied commando mission. Strong on scenery but weighs 10 tons."); Matilda ("A boxing kangaroo. What the world needs now."); and The Wrath of God ("They said it, we didn't and it's pretty close.").

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