Tuesday, December 29, 2015
After Simon’s first few plays all were smash hits he wrote THE STAR SPANGLED GIRL. It closed in eight months. Walter Kerr, the NY Times critic wrote this about the show: "Neil Simon, your friendly neighborhood gagman, hasn't had an idea for a play this season, but he's gone ahead and written one anyway."
And it takes almost three hours to tell this shaggy (mangy) dog story. Do directors ever cut anything anymore? This isn’t LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. This is eight galdarned polecats mind-fucking with each other in a claustrophobic Western. An hour-and-a-half would be plenty. This would be a much better movie if it were THE HATEFUL FIVE. We get it!
I kept thinking while watching – the screenplay of THIS leaking out to the world is what drove Tarantino to near madness? THIS was the masterpiece he threatened to abort? I just wish whoever got a hold of it had made some trims.
This was a much talkier movie than usual from Mr. T. To tell the truth, it might work better as a play if you could figure how to blow peoples’ heads off in a live theater.
If you’re a casual Tarantino fan this has NETFLIX written all over it. If you’re a major Tarantino fan or gonzo cinebuff I’m curious as to whether you felt he delivered the goods on this one.
For the next one, my recommendation: Concentrate more on making a good movie rather than a cool movie.
Neil Simon followed up THE STAR SPANGLED GIRL with PLAZA SUITE.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: GREAT BIG RADIO is doing a week-long salute to the music and events of 1976. Check 'em out here or on iTunes. At 5:00 PST/8:00 EST I will be on with Howard Hoffman introducing an aircheck of me as Beaver Cleaver on B100 San Diego, recorded in 1976. You'll see why I was always fired and am no longer in radio.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM