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To: Richard Levinson
c/o Modern Mirth

Richard, My Darling Boy,

When I originally agreed to supply your charming little site with my film reviews it was merely the most expedient way I could think of to end your stalking and those never-ending phone calls. So when you painted for me your Grand Vision, I nodded and said, "How nice," and didn't really listen to a thing you were saying.

Well, you knew me all too well, didn't you? You knew that I wouldn't be able to resist taking the assignment seriously. And that is precisely the problem I face now.

Formerly, my week began and ended with Tuesday. Tuesday is statistically the least attended day at movie theaters across the nation. It is also my best friend, "Doesn't Want His Name Mentioned's," only day off. Combine that with the last bargain priced matinee between 4:30 and 4:50 PM - just prior to most people getting off work - and you have the least stressful time for me to go and enjoy the show.

But make "going to the movies" my job, my obligation? The joy has fled.

Last Tuesday I went to the 4:35 screening of THE BOURNE SUPREMACY at Pacific's Grove Cineplex, Theater Number 2. I took my aged and widowed mother so that she could pay for my ticket, buy me popcorn and tell people in the theater to shut up if they were talking and bothering me. My bestest friend in the whole world (above) came, too.

We were expecting to enjoy some of the finest, kinesthetic car chase photography that has ever been executed in recent memory. I thought I might devote an entire column to discuss Vorkapich's ideas about Kinesthesia and how he and I combined them with my own work in the Psychology of Perception to create a an earth-shaking, brand-new theory which we called Perceptio-Kinemation™ (or, often, Film-a-matic-Proprioception™, but, more usually, simply Film-a-Magical Kineperceptivity™.)

Slavko and I were going to jointly publish our theory in a book entitled "Kinesthesiatic Filmolography," But we couldn't come to an agreement on the title. And then in 1976, playing chess on a bluff high above the ocean in Malaga, Spain, the son-of-a-bitch died. And with him died my life-long dream of sitting atop my high horse in the Ivory Tower within which lay the Elitist Halls of Academe.

UCLA denied me my Masters Degree when I refused to let them see my thesis. But now, after almost 30 years, I had convinced myself that this venue and this column about car chases would be the world's introduction to the work I did with Slavko Vorkapich.

Instead, all through the movie, I was a sweaty, fidgeting, bundle of anxiety and depression. "I have to pay attention to this film," I thought, "I'm going to have to write about it. My audience relies on me!"

Part of the problem, admittedly, was that for the life of me I couldn't figure out why this sequel was called "Supremacy." It fills me with animus toward everyone associated with the film. (Even "What Foods These Morsels Be," which got a credit as "Elizabethan Catering." My thought instantly: "Do they serve Bacon?") Look, I don't care what the book may have been called. There is not one single thing in the film -- in plot, in dialogue or in execution -- that would warrant using the word "Supremacy" in the friggin' title!

Why not "Bourne Identity II" like any number of Hong Kong action film sequels which can be numbered as high as 11 (and often bear no resemblance to the original with different characters, different actors etc.?) Any one of those is better than any 10 Western attempts at an action film. And they don't need big words in the title like "Supremacy." (I mean, most of their titles are like "Shrimp Head and Fatty Beat Marginal Player at Very Painful Round-up XII" but who's reading this anyway?)

Yes. The word "Supremacy" was a constant irritant. But aside from that, I never was able to allow the film to embrace me, to pull me in. Why? Because all through the film, I am trying to take notes, studying the images on the screen intently, trying to write down ideas as the film unfolds so that my loyal readers can be assured they are reading the best, most comprehensive, most informative, most authoritative review I can write. Which is the least of what they have come to expect.

Film viewing should be an integrated, gestalt experience. One should be unaware that one is sitting in the theater. One should be oblivious to the individual film elements and only concerned with how the film is making one feel. And here I am, hypersensitive to every edit, every use of CGI, picking apart each millimeter so that I miss nothing. Nothing, that is, except for the film itself.

Don't believe me? Think I'm exaggerating? Here, without edits, are my complete, copious notes, scribbled hurriedly in the dark in Theater Number 2 at Pacific’s Grove Cineplex while watching THE BOURNE SUPREMACY:

Bourne (born) to Lose.
Bourne(d) to Tears
Suprem-My Ass, See?
Bourne with Webbed Fingers
something-dactyly birth defects. Webbed Ass?
Ass joined to penis at birth?
Penis Joined to SOMEONE ELSE’S ASS! (remember this one for Labor Day)
Matterifically Gay!
Bourne Too Late!
Bourne-ing Boring? Bourning?

I only have 2 speeds, Dearest Boy, "On" and "Off." I wouldn't know how to "phone it in" if my life depended on it. (Phone Sex, however, has always intrigued me. One worry keeps me from trying it, though: How do I get my crank in all the little holes?)

Anyway, I think you get the idea. I work hard at this and I take it seriously. I don't sleep and I obsess until I have come up with the perfect Insta-Review™.

I just hope you appreciate that you're getting way, way more than you’re paying me for. For our next issuance, then, here is my review of "THE BOURNE SUPREMACY". And, yes, Richard, this is my final answer.>/p>