AT THE MOVIES

FOOLS' PARADISE

With Brigadier General Sir Crispin Maddingley-Snorrt, K.B. (Retired)

Sir Crispin's reviews come to us from Upper Rogering, Surrey, England

This week, the Brigadier General reviews "Stuart Little."

Now, I'm not much of a chap for these motion pictures really. Last thing I saw was an appalling load of guff called "Brief Encounter" at the Crown Cinema in Aldershot back in 1948. The late Mrs. Maddingley-Snorrt dragged  me to it and I haven't been back since. My idea of a decent way to pass an evening is a couple of Glenfiddichs and a half of bitter down at the old Badger and Feathers with Reggie, Jock and Squiffer before retiring to the fireside with another stiff one and listening to the wireless.
Still I know what I like, and when that little squirt of a son-in-law was driveling on the other day about wanting a movie reviewer for his web magazine, whatever the hell that is, I thought "Why not me?" The cinema here in Upper Rogering is right next to the Badger and Feathers and they have a matinee performance at 2:45, so a chap could nip in after lunch, size up whatever grizzly offering they're inflicting on the movie-going public and still be out by opening time.
    "Stuart Little" was made in the United States of America, where I suppose they might like this sort of thing. Now, nobody could accuse me of being in any way prejudiced against Americans. I had a hamburger once and liked it, though not enough to repeat the experience, mind you. And I once sat through a whole episode of something called "Cagney and Lacey" on the television at my nephew's house. And I don't think this is the place to bring up the subject of their damned Walmarts paving 90% of our countryside for car parks, or parking lots, as I believe they insist on calling them over there.
    "Stuart Little" concerns a talking mouse. Enough said. I found myself checking my watch often in anticipation of the doors opening at the Badger and Feathers. Actually, I found it a bit hard to follow, possibly because I missed most of the opening twenty minutes, being engaged in explaining to the mother of the small boy in front of me that if I wanted my blazer splattered with a mixture of ice cream and saliva, I'd take it into Luigi's Ice Cream Parlour in the High Street and say to the spotty oik behind the counter, "Here, splatter this will you, Wayne? And how about emptying a can of Pepsi Cola in the pocket, while you're at it?"
    One thing, I will say about "Stuart Little," and it may be something that more frequent visitors to the cinema take for granted. I refer to the amazing advances in animal training. Now, I'm not always a fan of what some idiots call "progress." Things like computers, aeroplanes and the like haven't done anything to make the world a better place, if you ask me. Same goes for votes for women, stopping caning at public schools and giving countries full of darkies their independence. But I have to confess my admiration for whoever trained that mouse to speak and sail a boat. Damned clever little blighter, as I mentioned to Jock and Squiffy later at the Badger. It was there that I received another bombshell. Reggie, the barman, informed me that Hugh Laurie, who plays a leading role in "Stuart Little," though somewhat inferior in his performance to the mouse, is English!  So, why the hell, I asked, did he perpetrate that Yank accent?
"Who knows?" said Squiffy. "A good film always leaves you with unanswered questions."
Squiffy, of course, is an ass, but perhaps he has something there.

The Brigadier General's Rating

Key to Rating System:

No Stars: Appalling load of drivel

One Star: Appalling load of drivel with talking mouse

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