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Movie Review: "The Paper"

Maybe it's just me, or my advancing middle age, but I'm definitely not a member of the MTV generation. And I'm tired of the frenetic switching of camera angles and images that typifies modern music videos (not, of course, that there _were_ any music videos during my youth, other than Ed Sullivan!). And though I loved Hill Street Blues and its progeny (St. Ellsworth, L.A. Law, etc.), the multiple story line TV show should stay on TV, not go to the movies. "The Paper", starring, well, I guess this ain't gonna be a "real" review after all ...

Just got back from seeing this movie. Starts off with a promising plot about two young blacks who happen upon a crime scene with two dead out-of-towners and end up in jail on murder charges. We know that's what happened. The question is, will the paper figure it out before running the inevitable screaming Daily News/Post headline charging, sentencing, jailing and throwing away the key? Well, to find out, you gotta see the movie.

But for me, it was too much MTV meets Hill Street Blues goes to the movies. The original story, fully developed "All the President's Men" style would have been fine. Adding one or two minor sub-plots would have been OK. Rapidly switching back and forth, to and fro, well, it just jangled my nerves. It also seemed to me the film couldn't figure out whether it was supposed to be serious or funny. In any event, I think it's worth seeing, but I doubt it's gonna win any awards.

I'm getting old. I'm getting tired. I'm longing for the old days, when movies were, well, movies ... I'm getting boring! Anyway, speaking of getting long in the tooth, Robert Duvall appears in the movie along with Michael Keaton, Glenn Close (as the "bitch on wheels" -- see Meanderings #1), Marisa Tomei and Randy Quaid. I hope it was just the makeup and the role, because Duvall looked pretty old and I'd like to see him for a long time to come. He's one of my favorite actors.

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Meanderings 1.02 -- March 27, 1994