Two or three months ago -- SC wasn't paying especially close attention at the time -- Los Angeles started sprouting video-based billboards all over the Westside, many of which seem directed to pushing as many movie review quotes at drivers as possible. Given typical traffic around here, your host has idly wondered why they don't simply put up full reviews -- there's often enough time to read them all. But maybe he's got an answer.
One movie's advertising has been bugging SC in particular, and it's not because he was otherwise inclined to go see it. Live Free or Die Hard, the movie in question, has been occupying plenty of these billboards, and one of the review quotes contains a most disturbing ellipsis. The quote in question is attributed to the New York Daily News' review, penned by Jack Matthews (formerly with the L.A. Times). By itself, it reads:
That ellipsis bothered SC because hysterically ought to be directly modifying funny, and yet clearly does not. Of course, there's potentially a good explanation -- it could be short for "hysterically entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny", right?
Or it could be the case that there are 270 words between those two, and that overproduced is actually the word that follows hysterically, and that there is no plausible way to quote Mr. Matthews as calling the movie "Amazing!", either. SC has no particular brief for or against Live Free or Die Hard -- he just has a limited appetite for sequels, especially if he feels burned by previous entries (movies based on the Star * universes excepted)-- but that ellipsis was just begging for scrutiny. 270 intervening words? 10 complete sentences? If that's not a record, SC is dying to see what beats it.