One of my little pleasures in life is listening to Film Week with Larry Mantle every Friday on 89.3 here in Los Angeles. The second half-hour of the show each week takes the form of a round table discussion reviewing the week's new film releases. Each week there's anywhere from two to four critics in on the discussion drawn from a pool of six or seven regulars. My least favorite of these critics is Jean Oppenheimer of Village Voice Media. It's not even that she's a bad critic per-se (I have not actually read any of her written criticism), and I'm sure she's a lovely human being, it's just that her tastes in film always seem to be 180 degrees from mine. Our basic sense of aesthetics are diametrically opposed. Every time she appears on the show it's a guarantee that, at least once, I will find myself saying "oh, shut up" out loud to the radio.
This week, while talking about the new computer animated Dr. Seuss adaptation Horton Hears a Who, Jean declared that, though this is a family film, she was concerned that certain sequences may be too scary for children. Now, I haven't seen HHaW, perhaps it is mind bending odyssey of terror, but months of listening to Jean Oppenheimer talk about film has lead me to believe that she bristles in disgust at anything short of rainbows and unicorns, so pardon me if my inclination is to be sceptical when she declares this CGI animated film (or at least sections of it) "too scary."
You want to know what a scary kids movie looks like, Jean Oppenheimer? Look at this:
Now shut up.