Let's get right to it, shall we? (Don't worry, this is only the "lowlights".)
Shapiro says of Ridley Scott (#10):
"Blade Runner is a bizarre and massively overpraised mess."
"Thelma and Louise is liberal tripe..."
"Alien is slow."
And you know, it's not like an intelligent movie-goer hasn't heard this sort of thing about these movies before. What makes Shapiro's analysis stand out from others is it's complete and utter... lack of analysis. And even when he's right ("GI Jane is hysterically terrible.") he hilariously mistakes Viggo Mortenson for Orlando Bloom.
Lack of analysis characterizes pretty much the whole piece, actually. The movies of David Lean (#8) are all too long for Shapiro, "they're all less than masterpieces." That's all he has to say. In fact, he might just as well have written up a list of whatever and said "I don't like or understand this stuff, therefore it sucks." Conservatism in a nutshell. Big Hollywood should just have a continuous splash screen with those words. It's not like anything they say is any sort of elaboration on anything being said or done anywhere.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Shapiro also goes after some easier targets: Darren Aronofsky (#7), David Lynch (#5), and Quentin Tarantino (#4). Aronofsky's PI is
a jumble of nonsense that starts nowhere and goes nowhere. It may be the worst film ever made. Watching it made me want to rip out my own retinas, then replace them through surgery, then rip them out again.David Lynch is
one of those annoyingly “deep” directors we’re all supposed to puzzle over. Forget it. There’s nothing worth puzzling.And Quentin Tarantino "doesn't know how to tell a story." Again, nothing in the way of example or analysis. I happen to like all three of these directors, but you don't have to be on the highschool debating team to come up with something resembling criticism against targets as obvious as these three.
Talking about Martin Scorcese's (#2) The Departed, Shapiro writes something so utterly bizarre that it bears repeating here:
Nobody cares what happens to Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed (in fact, in one screening I saw, people cheered when he got it in the head).Mr. Shapiro, um, I think you may be a bit confused. Are you sure you're not talking about Matt Damon's character? You did watch the movie didn't you? DiCaprio's character was pretty clearly and unambiguously a good guy. Or did you happen to attend a special screening for Irish gangsters? What the fuck are you talking about? You're full of shit. That's my analysis, and you've supplied a good example.
By the time Shapiro tells us (and really, that's all he's doing--telling us) that Alfred Hitchcock is the #1 overrated director, it's no longer possible to be surprised.