Joe Does the Movies: Accessible movie reviews in Toronto

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Analyze That

Seen: 2002.12.09   ¶   Reviewed: 2003.01.16

Accessibility conundrum: The original movie wasn’t captioned or described but the sequel is. I suppose this could make sense for captioning viewers, who may have seen the captioned original on video, but for description viewers? I don’t think so.

R. DeNiro isn’t funny. B. Crystal barely is. Can we please get that out of the way? And in fact, B. Crystal barely even attempts to be funny in this cash-in sequel, and succeeds well. Rather like Steve Martin, he has the capacity for dramatic acting, once you get past the rapidly-wizening Jewfro.

I experienced no suspension of disbelief whatsoever. You can’t do that with name-brand actors in undewritten roles. Now, R. DeNiro in City by the Sea? That was acting. R. DeNiro in Analyze That is contractual obligation.

The film furthermore squanders a valuable metacinematic sequence in which R. DeNiro plays a mobster pretending to be catatonic. I suppose I am being harsh; for a while there I figured this would be the ruse (a) that R. DeNiro uses to get out of prison and (b) that the movie itself uses to justify its own greenlighting. The scene is handled in an unduly-obvious talking-to-the-camera exposition.

Why should I be disappointed?

Why should I care?

I lamented my various failures as a film critic. On the other hand, since the purpose of these “reviews” is to discuss captioning and description, when a film is a complete cipher I get to play the trump card.

Caption quality

And now I’d like to call on Issac’s son
Dr. Ben Sobel, to say a few words.

That is at least an inadvisable caption break, if not an outright mistake. We see also why the Caption Center’s on-again/off-again prohibition against caption-ending commas roars back to bite them in the arse.

The perennial and juvenile oh-so error:

♪ I feel pretty ♪
♪ Oh, so pretty ♪

Do we have junior-high students at the controls here? The oh-so- construct is hyphenated: oh-so-tasty, oh-so-inviting, oh-so-pretty.

Encoding error: Well, why don't they release him appeared for half a second.

The worst caption break in the history of the Caption Center: Antisocial PersonalityDisorder.

(Paul grunting)
(woman moaning)
both at once. Shouldn’t that be (Paul grunting, woman moaning)?

Description quality

Pat Lentz is our narratrix.

“Paul sings, gesturing effeminately.” Oh?

“Later, in Ben’s Cherokee”: DVS is inconsistent in naming vehicles. I seem to recall that the SUV (a favourite DVS term) had not been named as such before.

I have this note that reads “Paul in jewelry store with yarmulke. ‘Lens’ in DX of security cam, then in dialogue, re loupe.” Now, interpreting these runes, was a loupe in a jewelry store misidentified as a lens? I think so. It’s been a while.

As a posse of trailers and trucks heads down the highway, there is no mention that the scene is in slow motion.

There seemed to be a kind of ironic delivery here: “She leans forward and smothers his face in her... cleavage.”

Oh, but then the fun begins! At 20:50, descriptions started repeating themselves, just as with E.T. And just as in that case, I had the extreme pleasure of walking out of the movie! I’m free!

So I sashay majestically toward the desk. The Playa is reading the paper (the Toronto Sun, no less). So much for their being too terribly busy to Windex the frigging reflectors. (“I’ve been out between shows,” I have told managers. “I’ve seen playaz going [swings arms across each other and back, snapping fingers, looking bored]. If you’ve got time to snap fingers, you’ve got time to Windex.”)

I calculatedly wait a moment to speak just to shock him a bit more. I read his nametag. “Brian” – he looks up with a start, BUSTED – “can you call a manager over? There’s a technical problem in Cinema 2.”

I lean on the desk on my right side, arms crossed in my typically imposing manner, which explains why boys are hesitant to chat me up at the Eagle.

The place is empty, like on a cold Monday night in a city filled with milquetoasts. Wigga runt shambles over with his friend, holding a crumpled movie ticket. He says something unintelligible to Brian, who looks at the ticket. He’s eight inches away.

The kid presumes to look at me. “Are you security? You look like security,” wigga demands. “You too close, man. You security? Naw, naw. Can’t be that close.”

So he walks around to my other side. I turn back to face him, bemused. The manager comes over. He’s a big fella. “Are you coming for me or him?” “You, I guess. You called first.” While he’s saying this, wigga is talking up a storm. “Is he security? This guy security?” He complains he’s not getting served. “No, I was here first,” I tell him with maximum condescension. He mumbles a bit more. He’s 5′6″ and wears multiple layers of Fubu knockoffs and a ballcap rotated 30°. And because Toronto is multicultural, this wigga is actually Indian.

“You’re interrupting,” I tell him, and explain to the manager that there’s a technical problem with the descriptions in cinema 2. They’re repeating.

The wigga starts yammering in a “Why, I yotta—” kind of tone. “Oh, is that how it’s gonna be? Is that how it’s gonna be?”

“Yes,” I tell him as we walk away, “it is.”

I think I heard him promising to fuck me up, but I’m not sure.

I could drop-kick him, and I’m a girl.

So we entered the cinema. The manager listened to the descriptions for a while until he was able to understand that they had nothing to do with what was onscreen, and radioed someone on his walkie-talkie. I returned to my seat to find that captions had crashed.

They both resumed near the end of the film.


An Italian-Australian is IDed as CAESAR: in captions and as Anthony Bella in descriptions. (It’s actually Anthony LaPaglia doing the acting, for completists.)

Exit interview

Mr. X and I were waiting for the credits to end. This troublesome and entitled pampered yuppie shiksa with an expensive dye job seated ahead of us turns around and sees our gear. Oh, this is hurting her blond little head.

She asks what those are. “They’re reflectors so we can read the captions off the display,” I reply, gesturing.

“OK, but what are they for?” she replies with a frown. She probably broke a nail or something. She’s used to having guys buy her drinks in bars – none of this shit.

“They’re reflectors so we can read the captions off the display,” I reply, gesturing.

“I heard you the first time,” she snaps.

“I’m sure you did. I can’t explain it any better than that,” I snap back. Then she finally buggers off with her cuckolded milquetoast meal-ticket boyfriend. Later, at the car, she probably expects him to hold the door for her.

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