Skip to main content

In Defense of Movie Critics: Fantitlement Needs To Slow Its Roll (VIDEO)


While browsing the AMC Theaters website the other day, I caught this comment from a moviewatcher named @junia365:

"Just watch Jason Bourne. Don't listen to the critics, it was exactly what a Bourne movie should be!"

Her exclamation is one of many that falls under the same "fuck the critics" sentiment that has been running rampant recently. (If you're familiar with the petitioned shutdown of Rotten Tomatoes by Suicide Squad fans, then you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, click here...Mom.) This critique on critics is more visible (and louder) than ever, thanks to people like @junia365 who have multiple platforms at their disposal to voice their opinion.

Movie critics, since the dawn of time, tend to get a bad rap. They're often targets of ridicule, easy to make fun of. They're usually seen as snobs who poo-poo anything the masses find enjoyable. You can't help imagining a bald guy in glasses with a bushy mustache, wearing a decades-old sweater vest, ranting or raving from the confines of a cozy office filled with books, magazines, and old film reels. But nowadays, there are more critics than ever, from the professional to the more casual. Remember the phrase "Everyone's a critic"? Well, that's almost true if you look at it in a certain way. But I think it's important to maintain some respect for the legit kind of critic.

Fans, I get you. I recognize and identify with your passion. I am a fan myself, despite any accusations of being a film snob. I've gone on the record to say that if The Breakfast Club or Clue were to be remade, I would burn down the studio responsible for greenlighting such a blasphemous project.

But fans, you need to put down the pitchforks and pay attention. Don't hate on the critics who bash a movie (particularly a movie you haven't even seen yet) and quickly dismiss them. To put it mildly, slow your motherfucking roll. Instead, you may want to direct your vitriol at the studio system that keeps relying on big-budget, blander-by-the-year franchises and the corporate greed that is compromising the future of creativity in Hollywood. (Brush up on current industry practices HERE.)

"To say critics will bitch if every superhero film isn't THE DARK KNIGHT is ridiculously dumb! We want cohesive coherence - better if it's smart. And if it's fun/ funny enough, flaws in logic could be easily excused. But instead, during the boredom, we sit and ponder what's wrong." 
- fellow film critic Courtney Howard

Yes, since living in Los Angeles, I've written my fair share of movie reviews over the past several years for different media outlets (128 if you're counting). And yes, I consider myself a film critic because I think, at this point, I've earned the title. After all, while Americans see an average of 7 movies at the theater each year, I see an average of 70.

And THAT'S the main difference between YOU and movie critics: Movie critics have seen a shit-ton more movies than you. And because they've seen a shit-ton more movies than you, they have built up a vast library of knowledge and references they can turn to when analyzing and comparing a movie for the masses. Most of them were probably students of film theory in college. True, some of them may not have much of a life because most of their days are spent sitting in a dark theater absorbing the stories, action, and performances that unfold on screen -- FOR YOU. They sacrifice their time and social lives so that they can inform YOU and tell YOU whether or not you should spend YOUR valuable time on Nine Lives, Kevin Spacey's most embarrassing piece of work yet, or the nuanced comedy and sharp observations of Mike Birbiglia's Don't Think Twice.

Actually, AMC Movie News couldn't have said it better:


For more discussion on the topic, click HERE.

Moral of this pop culture rant: Think of professional movie critics as Olympic athletes. Instead of conditioning their physical bodies, they've trained their eyes and brains by watching hours and hours of films each week so they can deliver a legit piece of sound advice for millions of people.

Are you going to hate on Michael Phelps if he thinks someone's backstroke is weak? Didn't think so.

@TheFirstEcho

Comments

Popular posts from this blog


13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'The Golden Girls'

When one nostalgically binges on all seven seasons of The Golden Girls like me (I swear I have a life), you pick up on a few things. Certain patterns appear as you continuously witness the consumption of countless cheesecakes inside a fictitious Miami kitchen and hear one St. Olaf story too many.

Here's what I noticed after playing my DVDs of this 80s classic over the past several months (and if you're already familiar with the following factoids, excuse me for underestimating your fanaticism)...

1. Actor Harold Gould, who played Rose's long-term boyfriend Miles Webber from Season 5 to Season 7 (and throughout most of the short-lived spinoff, The Golden Palace), also appears in the first season as Arnie Peterson, Rose's first serious beau after her husband's death.

2. The same can be said for Sid Melton, who played Sophia's deceased husband Sal (in flashbacks and dream sequences). He also appears in a Season 6 episode as a jester in a medieval-themed restauran…

Dream Casting the New "Death on the Nile"

Earlier this year, when the trailer for the most recent Murder on the Orient Express remake was dropped, I was hoping that someone at 20th Century Fox would have the foresight to concoct an Agatha Christie Cinematic Universe. After all, this is the world we now live in -- where every property coveted by a major studio must have the potential to be milked for all it's worth. Plus, as a former child raised by an Agatha Christie fan, I am somewhat familiar with this world, and experiencing new renditions of these titles as an adult is exciting.

And now that Kenneth Branagh's version of the Hercule Poirot mystery has been released (and raking in $150 million-and-counting worldwide), it seems like my prayers are being answered. The studio is going ahead with a "sequel" in the form of a remake of Death on the Nile, another death-filled destination about the Belgian detective taking a river cruise in Egypt and coming across another corpse and another group of suspects.

The…

Just Because: 9 Music Videos That Take Place in Laundromats

It's one of the biggest music video tropes that's rarely explored in pop culture.

The public laundromat has become a go-to location for artists when making a music video for a single they wish to sell to the masses.

But WHAT IS IT about a space where ragtag groups of strangers gather to fluff and fold their delicates? Is it the obvious metaphor of dirty versus clean? The scintillating possibility of people stripping off their clothes for a wash?

I was feeling a little nostalgic (as usual) and took a look at some of the vids that have fallen under the spell of spin cycles over the past 30 years...

"EVERY HEARTBEAT" / AMY GRANT (1991)

Back in the early 90s, the Christian pop tart followed up her massively successful "Baby Baby" with "Every Heartbeat," a personal childhood favorite of yours truly (the Body & Soul Mix, of course). In one of the two vignettes featured in the video, a laundry-toting hottie attempts to flirt with a young woman who re…