smart-aleck exercise

Discussion in 'English Only' started by 4faces, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. 4faces Senior Member

    Korea
    Hi all,

    Here're excerpts from the review of a movie titled "The Host."

    Bong Joon-ho’s previous features include a smart-aleck exercise in gratuitous nonsense called “Barking Dogs Never Bite” (they just comically kick the bucket).

    Closer to home the film reminds me less of the usual splatter entertainments that clutter American movie theaters and more of another recent horror film, the one in which a newly thawed alien with a giant brain delivers apocalyptic warnings to humanity about its imminent future.

    The phrases in bold type - could someone explain what they mean?

    For the whole review, visit here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/movies/09host.html?bl&ex=1173675600&en=0c7229c762e2f75a&ei=5087 .

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    A smart-aleck (or alec) is someone who always knows best, is pleased with himself, and intellectually domineering. So Bong Joon-ho is being offensively agressive in his conversation and behaviour - probably conceited and maybe even priggish.
    Closer to home means on a more mundane level.
     
  3. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Adding to Thomas's clear explanation, I would say that the word exercise is used here along these lines:
    The sentence suggests that the movie Barking Dogs Never Bite wasn't intended so much to entertain as to show-off Bong Joon-ho's ability to be a smart-aleck. ;)

    Elisabetta
     
  4. 4faces Senior Member

    Korea
    Thanks a lot for the kind answers to both of you.

    Here's another sentence from the same review.

    and it may send chills up your spine. But only one will tickle your fancy and make you cry encore, not just uncle.

    Only one? Well.. only one of what? And what is "uncle" doing here?

    Too much for me. Pls, enlighten me again. :)
     
  5. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    From the WRF rules:

    :)

    Elisabetta
     
  6. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    If you take Trentianne's excellent advice, give us more context. If it's any comfort to you, on the evidence given, I couldn't start to answer either of your subsidiary questions. The review is quite wildly written: your level of English is obviously highly advanced.
     
  7. 4faces Senior Member

    Korea
    Thanks.

    I'll open a new thread. :)
     

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