After an all-day stream (that I missed until the very end, blargh), the new Plinkett review is finally out. No, it's not what you expected, it's Titanic. And with it, Mike is officially declaring war - not on film-makers that commit the offense of pandering to the lowest common denominators (Adam Sandler and Michael Bay), but on those talented few who pander to all watchers but with the skill to hide exactly what it is they're doing. Spielberg and Cameron are the two most mentioned in the review, but if you read between the lines, you will find yourself surprised by just how many exceptional directors were fine settling for making populist films for the average watchers. Mike is probably both my favorite and the best living critic in America today. He's no Rosenbaum or Bogdanovich - as in, he's not going to be giving any lectures at the Siskel anytime soon - but he possesses an astounding enthusiasm for film and such a sharp eye for what makes both film-makers and movie-goers tick. Even his criticism is art itself, with the Plinkett and HITB series playing a meta game with viewers, and it is so incredibly delightful when people don't get that that is what all the "serial killer non-sense" is all about. I'm not sure where Plinkett, as surrogate for Mike's film criticism, will go from here. The Titanic review seems like the culmination of building attacks that go back a year and a half or more on (1) mediocrity in Hollywood and (2) nerd/hipster rage (see: hype disappointment, eg Prometheus) blinding people to even the good facets of a film - targeting the biggest budgeted and highest grossest film until very recent history seems deliberate enough to be the definitive statement he has to make on the subject. I'm sure he'll revisit the it in later reviews, but I'll be more looking forward to the hard-core film analysis/criticism instead. "Exceptionalism is the exception."