YOU GET no respect as an alt-weekly journalist; that goes with the low pay, long hours, and office wine tastings every Friday afternoon. And, I suppose, film critics lie at the bottom of the bottom of even that media barrel, tainted by our association with Adam Sandler. The profession sinks still lower between New Year's and Memorial Day, when studios traditionally dump their spring fare with as little fanfare as possible. So it is with The Sentinel, which you've probably seen advertised on TV. Michael Douglas plays a Secret Service guy implicated in a plot against the POTUS; Kiefer Sutherland will hunt him down. Eva Longoria and Kim Basinger supply the eye candy.
The Sentinel Opens at Lincoln Square and other theaters, Fri., April 21. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes.
You can write the review yourself from those television spots, but the surprising thing is that Seattle Weekly may be forced to do the same. Why? We've been banned, specifically disinvited from the critics' preview screening. The local studio representative advised us, "Twentieth Century Fox made the determination that we are only permitted to invite daily press to The Sentinel."
Rupert, was it something we said? How is it that the Weekly inspires such dread in the halls of a multibillion-dollar company like Murdoch's News Corp. (parent of Twentieth Century Fox)? How is it possible that the brass-balled boss of Bill O'Reilly could be so afraid of a bunch of wimpy Seattle liberals?
Or is there a darker aspect to this chicanery? Fox would know that our critics have seen every political thriller and assassination flick ever made—from The Parallax View to The Manchurian Candidate. We're trained to detect every plot twist, every double cross, every malevolent corporate effort to subvert our democratic institutions. And there is no media force more malevolent and antidemocratic than the owner of the Fox News Channel.
Clearly, this apparently minor snub can mean only one thing: Rupert Murdoch means to kill the president!