Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Another phrase I try not to use—though this is more a danger when writing film reviews than book reviews—is "[NAME TK] completists," as in "Hector Elizondo completists will enjoy Princess Diaries 2."

This device is to be avoided in negative reviews; it's too much of a fallback joke. (I have less of a problem—indeed, no problem?!—when it's used earnestly, e.g., "Dylan completists need to download his new satellite radio show" or whatever...I just made that one up.)

I only bring this up because A.O. Scott does the completist maneuver today, in his review of Balls of Fury. But—!—he smartly adds a kicker, which made me laugh:

“Balls of Fury” is raunchier and somewhat more imaginative than “Hot Rod,” and it will be must viewing for Christopher Walken completists who have mislaid their special collector’s edition DVD of “The Country Bears.”

So I guess my rule is: Don't do it...unless you can make it funny!


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