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Harry Pottering On: Research & Reviews…

This evening, I will be lucky enough to attend a screening of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part II, and have a chance to get my review on-line. However, I must concede that I am not a Harry Potter fanatic. I haven’t read the books. I’ve seen the films, enjoyed the majority for what they are, only found one to be an exercise in tedium, and have a genuine respect for what they’ve managed to accomplish in bringing to life a fairly iconic series of books in a manner that can please both the hardcore fans and the casual movie-goer. However, as I brace myself to attend the screening tonight, I wonder what a film critic owes their subject matter in terms of research. Do I owe the people who made the film, and – possibly – the fans that are going to see it, enough to dig into as much of the back ground as possible before the cinema lights go down?

Witch approach should I adopt?

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The Film Critic is Dead… Again…

We’re coming into summer blockbuster season. Hell, one might suggest that Kick-Ass has heralded the start of it. If it hasn’t, Clash of the Titans has. That’s if you don’t believe Alice in Wonderland kicked it all into high gear. Anyway, you know what that means – spectacle, lots of it. Some of it incredible, some of it… not so much. The masses flock to the cinema to while away the long summer evenings and movie theatres are filled with the laughter of children (which can be quite irritating to the patrons). It also means that, like the spring lambs, the beautiful cycle of the life and death of film criticism must begin anew. Critics will begin to lament their increasing irrelevance as poor movies make huge sums of money, journalists will light a funeral pyre and some filmmakers like Kevin Smith will gladly join the mob chanting ‘critics are dead’. This fine annual tradition will ebb and flow like the box office fortunes of many an undeserving behemoth. And at the end of it, the critics will still be here.

Why so grim?

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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Critic Scorned…

So, G.I. Joe didn’t get screened for critics as part of Paramount’s unusual marketing. I’m miffed. I’m ticked off. I think it’s a bad omen.

I’m also (apparently) a damnsight more professional than the huge number of film critics out there. Apparently the fact that most of them haven’t seen a frame of it, a huge number of professional film critics are panning the movie.

Are critics a bigger threat to Joe than Destro?

Are critics a bigger threat to Joe than Destro?

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I Love You, Roger Ebert…

There’s a lot of trash talk out there about Roger Ebert. Is he going soft in his old age? Is he wrong to ‘go easy’ on really terrible films? I don’t know and I don’t care, because the man is some sort of legend. Sure, I may disagree with his opinion from time (I don’t buy his argument against 3D, for example, and there are quite a few movies on which he and I diverge), but I always find his comments insightful, well considered and respectful. That’s something a lot of film critics these days who seem to use their reviews to make pith putdowns and blithe one-liners could learn from – and I am looking at you, David Edelstein. Still, he ain’t a man to pull his punches, and that’s another reason I love him so dearly. His latest attack was on those who dared deem Transformers 2 a good movie – or even defend it as “as good as it could have been”. The article can be read here and is well worth a look for anyone interested in the man or his artform, or even movies in general.

Some man for one man...

Some man for one man...

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