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Intolerable Cruelty

Seen: 2003.10.21   ¶   Reviewed: 2003.12.28

Theatre experience

I phoned to double-check showtimes, which were wrong. I got there and Mr. X and Mr. Y were nowhere to be seen. I assumed they had either bailed or arrived early and gone into the show. (The latter.)

On second attempt, I was ultra-stern with the playa on the phone to get the accurate showtime, and complained to the impossibly gorgeous manager when I got there. (One of the fellas from X-Men 2.)

At Guest Services: “I need a headset and a reflector.” He puts me in line. “they always a need someone to unlock it,” I explain, pointing to the secret door behind which the gear is kept. “I know, sir,” replied the playa. I get the least-scratched reflector he has, and I talk the playa out of having me sign myself into the book.

I’m off by one seat from dead centre and the angular distortion is a killer. People are looking at me. “You could just ask. Captions,” I tell someone. The chick next to me and her bf unit speak Spanish all the way through, sometimes apparently concerning me.

Caption quality

The LED on the description emitter is quite visible in the reflector.

Hideous and unnecessary caption break:

Ollie Ollerud? Short, cretinous


Why only 50? Why not a hundred? Handled correctly! (He didn’t literally mean one hundred.)

Another horrid break:

HOWARD: I mean, just

anti the whole deal.

that a-way is actually “that-a-way.”

Description quality

Superb animated opening titles are handled OK. These elaborate title treatments are hard to describe adequately. “Two birds carrying a scroll that reads George Clooney as Miles Massey.” No, they weren’t, actually. I know we pre-identify castmembers, because reading names at the beginning of a show is meaningless to blind viewers in all cases but the most familiar voices, but the scroll did not say that.

“The handsome, dark-haired man, Miles,” Miles (Neff) narrates for us, “picks up a compact and checks his teeth in it.”

“In the passenger seat, a blond(e) stands.” Boy or girl?

“She faces the African-American cameraman”: I guess everybody else is white.

[Someone] puts the key in the front door. It doesn’t work.” He hasn’t been named yet in the story.

“The Goldberger award”: No, “judgement.”

“Her husband’s lawyer” is an unwise periphrasty used to refer to Miles. Similarly, “the bespectacled attorney” is an actual person who could have been named.

I have a note saying “Steno rereads testimony of Milk Bonz,” whatever that means. Perhaps it was a reference to real-time captioning, whose equipment we rarely see on TV or in the movies, and when we do, it’s used incorrectly. I dunno.

“She watches a buff young gardener” – a total Fabio type, actually.

“Dozens of satiny throw pillows”: Indeed they were.

The single worst line in a DVS script all year: “Now, several colleagues rise to applaud the retiring lovestruck attorney.” How much purpler can that prose get?

“Wrigley wears a T-shirt and boxers”: They’re boxer briefs (fabric down the thigh), and he’s quite adequately basket-equipped.

Sharpening a pencil in an electric sharpener is a bit of a running gag that was missed the first time it happened.

In reading the music credits, “Noon, je ne regrette rien” is said as such and is also said to have been performed by “Édi Piaf.” The th is pronounced, actually (“Éditt”).


No problems.

Exit interview

An old guy – actually, an editor type with a trim grey beard and a trophy wife – chats me up while I’m still seated. “I thought you were listening to the game or something.” He doesn’t even know what captioning is, let alone description. I explain it all, and send him home with homework to look it up on his television set.

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