You’d think since I used to write a weekly humor column called Tales of Hoffman and use TalesofHoffman as my IM handle I would have seen this movie before, heard the opera maybe or, at least, be a little familiar with the fantasy stories of E.T.A. Hoffmann. The answer is “no.” And it wasn’t until I recently watched and loved Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes that I realized I should. And here it is — I just don’t have the attention span for this. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all the cineastes out there who love this film, to Martin Scorsese who speaks of it so lovingly on the commentary track, to George Romero (!) who does the same in a disc-extra interview, to Powell and Pressberger themselves who, I realize, put a lot of heart and soul into this project. I just can’t take 2 hours plus of nonstop. . .this. The innovation is there. . .the sets, the lighting tricks, the in-camera effects, the original series Trek-esque makeup. . .but I tried 4 times and I just couldn’t follow the story. I just wanted them to stop singing and dancing for a minute for me to get my bearings. I needed my ritalin, maybe. Wouldn’t mind having this on in the background with the sound off for a party, though. Some of these shots put the 60s “Batman” TV show to shame!