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Daniel Barnes Redefines Pithy in “Meatballs”

In response to Daniel Barnes’s 142‑word review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on Sacramento News & Review

By ,

Daniel Barnes’s “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is the equivalent of those clown cars; it’s laughably tiny but it holds more than you thought possible.

While 142 words is simply not enough time to legitimately do film criticism, Barnes is making his case, stuffing his review to the gills until it can absolutely not fit another point. Or can it?

The magic here comes by way of Barnes’s exquisite word choice which allows him to build complexity without seeming to say much. It’s like a dinner at an upscale restaurant. The portions are criminally small, but the chef knows how to pack the food with a variety of flavors.

Barnes’s syntax helps, too. There are, count ‘em, five measly sentences here, but he’s able to weave them into something more meaningful than their diminutive size would suggest, creating a review that’s greater than the sum of its parts.  

Sadly, the brevity appears to be Barnes’s choice as most of his other reviews are of a more standard length. If this is the case, and not just a matter of an editor’s word count restriction, then it can’t be called anything other than lazy, even when it’s filed under “short reviews.”   

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation