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Bob Strauss Wastes Little Time Wasting Time in “AFI Fest Review…”

In response to Bob Strauss’s 187‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Los Angeles Daily News

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While initially promising, Bob Strauss’s “AFI Fest review: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson star in ‘Out of the Furnace’” will leave the audience wanting much more.

It’s apparent from the outset that Strauss is less than enthused at the task that besets him. The subject is clearly something he has intense disdain towards, and it shows not only in his approach but his unprofessional assessment. The narrative he presents is hollow and non-elaborative, save for the basic plot points, and the fact that it doesn’t lead anywhere all but defeats its purpose.

Sad, as the author clearly has exceptional writing ability. The expressionism on display, as scarce as it is, is compelling and engaging. Strauss clearly knows how to use his narrative ability to effectively captivate the audience. Colorful descriptives are abound as he sketches out each character. One can visualize their personas in their minds as they go about their day-to-day in this fictionalized world. It entices the reader and makes them eager to see what happens next.

Unfortunately, the author not only fails to capitalize on this, he outright cuts and runs before the piece barely gains momentum. And that is the most frustrating thing of all. The trailing passages are devoid of any type of closure, much less conclusive determination. It gives the piece as a whole an unfinished vibe, much like a children’s book that is released before the final pages are complete in order to save the publisher money. In this case, the publisher is the author, and he is apparently trying to save time.

Doing the bare minimum might keep one employed, but it certainly won’t garner any promotions, either professionally or among one’s peers. But Strauss’s offering is so bare, it’s barely worth reading at all.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation