Best Lead of the Month
'If you arrived late for “Terminator Salvation” and missed the name of the director, at what moment would you realize that you were not watching a Mike Leigh film? I would nominate the scene in which a rusty tow truck, armed with a wrecking ball, is pursued by a riderless robot motorbike, armed with automatic machine guns. A wrecked car falls into the bike’s path, at which point we are given privileged access to the display screen inside the robot’s brain. We get a blood-red projection of the obstacle ahead, and with it, for a second or two, the words “Analyzing alternatives.” Slide under the wreck, crash through it, or skirt around the side? I felt sorry for this anxious bike, which may have been having trouble at home, and it certainly delivers a more measured performance than some of the leading actors. Nonetheless, that brief digital readout gives the game away. The business of the film is not to tell a cogent story or earn the devotion of our sympathies but to analyze alternatives, and, when in doubt, pick whichever is louder.'
--From a movie review in the current New Yorker by Anthony Lane, who we enthused about six years ago here. Our runner-up this month is this pithy little gem from the Washington Post: "The whole world is on Twitter. Yawn." As we noted in our initial best lead of the month item three years ago, if a piece of writing doesn't begin well, it might just as well not have been written. Anyway, you can review earlier best leads of the month here.