I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking: What? Another Cynamatic? So early? Didn’t I just have to suffer through one of these last week? Doesn’t this guy know that he…

Actually, wait…That’s not what you’re thinking…

You’re thinking: Oh, another Cynamatic. Why can’t that Here in Hollywood column be published more often. I like that one. And that Blake Snyder. He’s so dreamy…

Dammit! That’s not it either.

Well, whatever. What you’re thinking is that Cynamatic is your favorite column. Anywhere, anytime. Ever. Period. Better even than those columns that run in the…. in the…oh, what’s it called… oh, yeah, right…THE NEW YORK TIMES!

So why this special edition of Cynamatic, you may ask.

Because apparently all of you out there don’t seem to be thinking that I think you should be thinking. And I’m looking at you, Blake Snyder.

So I flip on the computer yesterday, as I do every morning. I log on to MovieWeb. I scan over all the bits of news and gossip and proceed to skip over all the unimportant stuff that those other MovieWeb writers have come up with. As I also do every morning.

(Do those other writers even have names, by the way?)

And what do I see, in big, bold print, at the bottom of the Here in Hollywood column (which I clicked on by mistake, mind you)? I see this:

"The #1 Movie Critic In America!"

And so I blink. Because blinking rapidly is what you do when what you see doesn’t quite match up with reality.

But I breathe. And I calm myself.

Then I laugh. Because I get it. And, frankly, I feel a little bad.

It’s obvious that there’s been some form of miscommunication. It’s understandable. It happens. There’s a memo here that somebody didn’t get.

Because nobody has told Blake Snyder that I am the Number One Film Critic In America. Despite the fact that I would never just come out and say that. How tacky. That’d be like having a website full of cool news and calling it Aint-It-Cool…Well, you know…

Now, dear readers, I’m pretty sure that most of us are smart enough to understand some basic rules of physics. Namely the principle that two things cannot coexist in the same space at the same time.

So I’m sorry to say this, Blake, but you gotta go.

I’m calling you out. The laughing has stopped, and I’m no longer blinking.

And frankly. I haven’t been this upset since B. Alan Orange first got the balls to actually call himself “B. Alan Orange.”

So, to paraphrase an otherwise famous ass: The position has already been taken.

But whatever. Just because B. Alan wants to refer to himself as food, at least he respects my title as The Number One Film Critic In America.

And I think I get it now. I finally understand. It’s an East-coast / West-coast thing, isn’t it? You being in LA and me being here in NYC. Like the Sharks and the Jets. The Montagues and the Capulets. Has it come this far? Are we now the Biggie and Tu Pac of intellectual film criticism?

So throw down if you want to throw down. I can take it.

You wanna go? Let’s go.

It’s a rare vision – two critics in a knife fight.

And, oh, you think you’re so clever, don’t you? With all those fancy references to “film history.” And all that clever alliteration in the title of your column. Well, I’ve got a clever-sounding title, too, Mr. I’m-the-Best-Film-Critic-Since-Jesus!

Cynamatic. You know. Like “cinematic.” But with a Y.

Get it?



Just watch your back, Snyder. I don’t care wHere in Hollywood you are. I’ll find you. And I’ll bring the entire intelligencia of New York with me. We might wear glasses, sure, but we’re more than capable of kicking the shit out of you with the sheer power of our wits.

And if you want to challenge me to a White-Knuckle-Film-Review-Showdown, you know where to find me.

In the ghettos of New York City…

(…okay, fine…Northern New Jersey…but it’s only twenty minutes away by train and really quite nice actually…but…hey…it’s a tough ride…what with the morning commute and all…and sometimes it smells…so that’s, you know, pretty tough…and…there’s the occasional crazy person…that’s dangerous…cuz they could explode at any moment and totally kill you…or ask for some change… and that’s sooo annoying…and sometimes you get the train that isn’t air conditioned, which is just awful…but…well…you get the point…)

It’s a tough life we lead, us psudeo-New-York-film-critics.

And so I regretfully must ask you to relinquish the title that you’ve so irresponsibly given yourself.

Me – I’ve worked hard for my title. Spent endless hours writing enthusiastic fan-mail to myself and creating the myth that people like me. It takes time, dammit, and effort, to circulate a rumor that Spielberg occasionally calls and asks for your opinion. Creating a buzz in an empty room is thirsty work.

But I didn’t just go and write a column and announce, in sixteen-point, Times New Roman, that I’m the Number One Critic in America. No. I faked my way to the top. Like any other honest human being.

But there may be a solution here. A way out. So I’ll extend to you now an invitation to join forces.

I figure that between the two of us, what with our relative youth, we could polish off Roger Ebert and Harry Knowles no problem. Ebert’s old and Harry’s slow. With them gone, we could leave Jeffery Lyons to 20/20 and Gene Shalit to go slowly mad in the corner.

What do you say? Rid the world of our common enemies and then turn on each other like any two civilized film critics would do? Sounds like fun to me.

--Christopher Monfette

PS: Dear, readers. All joking aside, MovieWeb offers a great selection of weekly and bi-weekly columns that, if you haven’t already, you should check out whenever possible. Sure, I never read them (because usually I enjoy reading and re-reading my own column, Cynamatic) but I hear they’re good, and the writers, whoever they are, are supposedly very talented people whose contributions to the site continue to make it better with every word written. Or at least, that’s what I hear. But, frankly, I wouldn’t know.