Maurnold X. Thurbin Pans Movies in Verse: Bedtime Stories

Flashback! Lately I've been pulling out older poems that never saw much light of day, but that I'm fond of. This poem circa 2009 is—okay, check out this concept: it's a movie review in rhymed couplets by the fictitious poet Maurnold X. Thurbin, a creation of The Filthy Critic. Many years ago—back in the 20th century—I wrote video reviews as Gooden Worsted in an alcove off of Filthy's site, which site garnered attention by making it into Rolling Stone and garnering nods from author Stephen King. 

Filthy's angle is that he uses a lot of profanity while delivering very incisive reviews that actually have a lot of integrity.

Gooden's angle was that every film rated between nine and ten stars, and all pans were backhanded.

Maurnold's angle was to be the rhymed couplets thing. This is the only prototype I wrote. I'd say you should go watch Bedtime Stories so you know what's going on in the review... but don't.

   Maurnold X. Thurbin Pans Movies in Verse: Bedtime Stories

Why would slapstick comedy for children
begin with such draggy exposition?

Director Shankman and Adam Sandler
appear to attempt a gerrymander

between the districts of kid-joke choices
(boogers, farts and ridiculous voices)

and an adult interest in narrative.
Try to please everyone, something will give.

First lost is suspense. The opening act
foretells the conclusion like a contract:

What “Skeeter” is promised as a boy—sure—
he wins in the end. This is no spoiler

as anyone able to read will guess
the obvious outcome to this lameness.

At the first drop of the heroin’s name,
you know she’s the woman Sandler will tame.

Between A and baldy manifest B
are holes broad enough for the Baltic Sea.

The boss, a billionaire hotelier
has never heard of the Hard Rock? That’s queer!

And it’s glaring since the plot’s central fight
hinges on this unlikely oversight.

For grown-up watchers, satiric attacks
are thrown in the form of Sandler wisecracks

at pointless targets like organically
grown food, Broadway, and not watching TV.

For kids, the yucks go exactly this far:
a horse passing gas, a booger monster,

a bulldog zealously sharing its drool,
a fire dancer pushed into a pool,

an extinguisher-foam-sprayed man, and, er
talking with your tongue out. (Good ol’ Sandler.)

Throw in product placement for Cinnabon,
and you’ve filled this burlap crap-sack of fun.

For family fare, there is no topping
The high standards set by Mary Poppins,

But, really, Adams, do you think you could
Make something even marginally good?

My four year old, at the closing credits
Frowned and declared this: “I did not like it!”



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