Here's a dirty little secret: sometimes film critics don't want to see movies. It's true. When we start out, ambitious and full of energy, we'll sit through any old thing, but after a while, when the formulas begin to wear on you, you can smell a turkey from watching the trailer. Sometimes you can smell a stinkbomb just from the title alone. I thought, for fun, I'd go over some titles I haven't seen and give you an idea of what might go through a critic's head. Of course, some of this is self-justification for not being able to see every single movie that comes through town. Frankly, it's impossible for one person to do, and so we resort to a porcupine-like defense, just in case anyone asks us about a movie we haven't seen: "It looked terrible."
Here's one: How to Cook Your Life (1 screen). What is that? Without even looking, it sounds like a bunch of actresses on a single set with too much dialogue, probably a lot of violin music and tears. And what could it mean? Why would I want to cook my life? It sounds painful, doesn't it? (It's really a film by the German director Dorris Dorrie about trying to equate cooking with Zen philosophy.) Then we have Hitman (9 screens), which irritated critics to no end, but seems to have pleased a fair number of moviegoers. Question: how many hitman movies have you seen in the past five or ten years? Is there an actor working today who hasn't played a hitman? What kind of brass cojones must it have taken to actually use the title "Hitman" on a middling, forgettable piece of work like this one?