* The Tampa Bay Times, like a lot of daily newspapers has undergone all kinds of changes. We won’t list them here. But one is obviously proofreaders. Redundant wording and misspelling (yes, that’s a two-s word) can appear on a front page or in a lead graph, a cutline or a prominent editorial. It is what it is in the world of depleted resources, attention-span deficits and technological competition.
But it’s ironic that the Times can still cling to a style-purity time. Quotes that include “suck” morph into (“stink”) and a “hell” reference becomes “heck” for columnists. Helluva new normal.
* For those who loved Guillermo Del Torro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” here’s hoping you’re not too disappointed in his “The Shape of Water.” While most of the usual Oscar-spinning opinion-shapers have lavished praise on the latter, it is not some aesthetically delightful, magical-realism escape. “Pan’s Labyrinth” it’s not. It’s not even close.
Think “‘Dr. Strangelove Meets the Creature from the Black Lagoon.'” Think romanticized bestiality with some societal irony, cinematic creativity and allegorical touches.
Here’s a personal rule of thumb for movie watching: If you’re often reminded that you are, indeed, watching a movie, that’s not a good sign. “Pan’s Labyrinth” transfixed and transported. “The Shape of Water” trafficked in a gimmick–a ripped guy with gills in a wet suit–that is impossible to transcend.
Or maybe it’s just me.