Posted on October 12, 2011 by Darren
This type of thing happens every once in a while, to the point where it’s almost not really news at all. Kevin Smith took to twitter to lambast critics of his (admittedly) disappointing Cop Out, and studios have a habit of releasing potentially divisive films around critics (look at how they sold G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra). Nick Swardson, who has only come to my attention of late with a solid supporting role in the perfectly adequate but unexceptional 30 Minutes or Less, has taken to lashing out at the critics who didn’t respond especially favourably to Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star. He suggests:
I knew the critics were going to bury us. It was a softball. They were waiting, waiting to hate that movie. It’s kind of funny that they get their rocks off on reviews like that. They review The King’s Speech, then they review Bucky Larson.
It’s a lot of work and a lot of reviewers aren’t going into that movie to like it. They don’t want to like it. None of those reviewers was psyched to see Bucky Larson and laugh. They go in with the mentality, fuck these guys for making another movie. They go in there to kind of headhunt. It makes me laugh because it’s just so embarrassing. It makes them look like such morons. You can’t review Avatar then review Bucky Larson. Comedy is so subjective, you know what I mean? To sit there and technically pick it apart is so stupid. We’ve never made movies for critics, so we could give a f***.
There’s obviously more than a hint of bitterness (the last line is very much “well, we don’t care what they think!”), but does Swardson have a point about the difficulty of reviewing comedies?
Bucky bites back...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: adam sandler, Born to Be a Star, Bucky Larson, comedies, cop out, criticism, film, films, kevin smith, King's Speech, Movies, Nick Swardson, review, reviews, rotten tomatoes, subjectivity, Swardson | 4 Comments »
Posted on October 3, 2011 by Darren
I had the pleasure of catching Midnight in Paris at the weekend, and I liked it. I really liked it. I confessed in my review that I thought it was Woody Allen’s best film of the past decade, and – as I left the cinema – I found myself wondering if perhaps it was the best of Allen’s films that I’ve seen. I’ll freely concede that I have yet to work my way through the director’s extensive filmography, but I have been a lot of his more famous and celebrated films like Annie Hall or Manhattan. Still, I feel reluctant to say that, which is admittedly quite strange. I am a movie reviewer (or, if you’ll allow me a hint of pretension, a “critic”) why am I so scared of superlatives?
Simply the best?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Allen, Annie Hall, best, brazil, criticism, film, Manhattan, Midnight in Paris, paris, praise, review, reviews, Woody Allen | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 29, 2011 by Darren
I like to think I am open minded. Just a few weeks ago, I published an article defending big budget blockbusters from their detractors. However, I find myself growing frequently frustrated when it comes to fans using the old “critics don’t like fun” argument to defend a given movie from any sort of meaningful debate and criticism. It happens a few times a year, most spectacularly with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen back in 2009, but also this year with Sucker Punch. The film has received a critical lambasting, but fans are always quick to rush to the internet to critique the critics, claiming things like “they don’t get it” and “they don’t understand” or nonsense like that.
And, you know what? That’s just plain wrong.
Movie for suckers?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Abbie Cornish, armond white, criticism, critics, dark knight, discussion, films, get it, it, Jena Malone, King's Speech, Last Airbender, Movies, reviewers, Shutter Island, Sucker Punch, they just don't get it, watchmen, zack snyder | 14 Comments »
Posted on March 3, 2011 by Darren
Over the last week, I had the pleasure to visit the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. I saw a lot of films as part of that, and the reviews have been popping up all week. Anyway, they give out an audience award, which gave me occasion to actually score films. Regular readers here know that I am loath to try to objectively rank cinema, as it’s a very subjective medium and I have difficulty reconciling relative grades, but I went along with it. Anyway, they use a four-point scale and, long story short, I found myself using a lot of “3″ grades, which is the second-highest rank. This kinda got me thinking: Am I a little too generous to films I really shouldn’t be? How do I approach the cinema? Do I look for things to love? Do I have a pre-disposed bias? Do I want to love films, even if they aren’t especially great?
Me, aged about eight...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Action film, Adjustment Bureau, avatar, bias, cinema, criticism, cynicism, demolition man, film, film critics, godfather, jameson dublin international film festival, Movie, Movies, optimism, outlook, watchmen | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 24, 2010 by Darren
Toy Story 3 seems to be pretty much universally loved. I say ‘pretty much’, because there are currently two negative reviews on-line about it. To put that in context, that’s two negative reviews out of nearly one-hundred-and-fifty on Rotten Tomatoes. As always happens with this sort of thing – reviewers expressing a ridiculously unpopular opinions – this has prompted a bit of a reaction on-line:
They rail against anyone who likes it, happily sitting alone on their bitter, hate-filled island. An island of wrong. Hundreds of film critics have proclaimed their love for Toy Story over the course of three movies and the two baldies who hate it can’t really tell us why. Most of the time film is subjective. This time it’s not.
So, is film criticism ever objective? Can an opinion ever be wrong?
Can you believe the Buzz about this film?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: armond wright, criticism, films, movie criticism, Movies, opinions, reviews, rotten tomatoes, toy story, toy story 3, toy story trilogy, wrong | 18 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2010 by Darren
I like Kevin Smith. I appreciate he’s been through a lot. He is a legend for taking a huge paycut to get Cop Out made the way that it should have been made, regardless of what you think of the result. That’s dedication to his art, no matter how you cut it and there’s not enough of that these days. He was also perfectly right in his recent airplane trouble and I can appreciate that Hollywood has repeatedly (and thoroughly) screwed him over time and again. He’s never had the mainstream success that his breakout talent deserved, and I’m fairly certain that most of that isn’t in any way his own fault. But he really needs to learn when to disengage.
Just keep those mikes pointed AWAY from Smith and it'll be okay...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: cop out, criticism, critics, fims, kevin smith, Movies, rant, tweet, twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 23, 2009 by Darren
I’ll be honest. I didn’t like Avatar. Part of the movie made me uncomfortable. The implications of the whole “white man leads a bunch of noble savages to a victory they couldn’t have acheived without him” bit are worrying when place in the context of a metaphor for the genocide of the Native Americans. But, beyond that, it just isn’t a very good film. The dialogue is terrible. The characters don’t seem half as real as James Cameron’s wonderfully brought-to-life planet Pandora. On the other hand, I will concede that the visuals are stunning. They are breathtaking. What really amazes me, though, is the tone of backlash that most negative reviews seem to be generating, which can be effectively summed up with: just shut up and look at the pretty picture – who cares about plot and characters?
King of the new world...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: avatar, avatar backlash, avatar reviews, criticism, critics, film, Movies, special effects, story | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 25, 2009 by Darren
Is any profession less secure than film criticism? Really. I mean, I was depressed about the box office success of Transformers 2 as well and was disappointed no one heeded you, but I didn’t begin to doubt my very profession. Similarly I was upset that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was marketed around film critics, but I didn’t become openly petty about you guys not seeing the film for free. This time, it’s the fact that critics are being grouped with bloggers that has prompted a rather severe reaction from some quarters. Is there any point to be made?
The film critic on new media...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: awards daily, bloggers, blogging, criticism, critics, film criticism, films, hollywood elsewhere, indieWire, jeffrey wells, Movies, roger ebert, sasha stone, tiff, toronto international film festival | 33 Comments »