January 2, 2007|I think the start of 2006 held so much promise mainly because it heralded the end of 2005. Not a doomsayer by any stretch, I find myself, at least in my own head, defending the state of film against facile diagnoses. "Books are always better than the movies based on them" and "They don't make good movies anymore" are the common phrases trotted out to simulate critical thought--better yet is the carrying around of the cross of "You just don't like anything." The truth is that books are only superior to the movies made from them about half the time (consider that almost all of Hitchcock's films are based on shitty literature); that good movies are no rarer than usual; and that disliking Blood Diamond, Dreamgirls, and The Holiday doesn't mean I don't like anything. Still, I admit to taking short rides with those facile phrases over the years, trying them on for size, seeing if and how far they will fly.