David Critiques the Critics

I use Rotten Tomatoes just like every other red-blooded American moviegoer. I appreciate having a concise verdict on a movie’s quality based on an aggregate from various sources. However, reading through some of the “rotten” reviews often gets me a little irked. It seems to me that critics who don’t like a movie sometimes say dumb or pretentious things about that movie. It’s almost like movie critics are wanna-be writers without good content of their own, so they bash other people’s work in a cleverly written way. In short, those who can’t write, critique (buuuuuuurn!!).

I know, I’m not a good writer either. So I’m playing along by making fun of negative reviews, partly because I have a bone to pick, but mostly because it amuses me. Perhaps it will amuse you too. Here’s three recent movies that I feel deserve a counter-critique.

Full disclosure, I have not seen this movie. Frankly, I don’t need to see this movie to defend it’s merits. Suffice to say that given the time and money, I would choose to see this movie. Why? Well, it has Liam Neeson. Things blow up. It also has Taylor Kitsch and it’s directed by Peter Berg. That’s not one but TWO Friday Night Lights alumns in one movie. Did I mention that things blow up? Also, aliens. Here’s some reviews with my response. Don’t worry, my commentary is entirely unfair and taken completely out of context:

Tara Brady, Irish Times: “Sinking vessel ahoy.”

Oh I see what you did there, nautical puns! I’m sure the movie has bad puns in the writing too. But you know how this movie is better than your sentence? Nothing blew up in your sentence!

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s loud, it’s large, it’s stupid, and its best gag involves a chicken burrito.”

What’s wrong with chicken burritos??

Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service: “There will be bigger movies this summer, and better ones and worse ones. But there will not be a dumber movie than “Battleship.””

YOU’RE dumb.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: “The film eventually comes down to lots of scenes in which things get blowed up real good.”

Why was this considered a “rotten” review???

I really don’t care about what happens in this movie or the integrity of the plot, as long as things blow up and Taylor Kitsch is present. Honestly, how much depth of story should we expect from a movie based on a two-player board game? I mean, they made a movie based on Rock’em Sock’em robots and it seemed to do relatively well. Why not give Battleship a chance too? There’s also the fact that Taylor Kitsch’s post-FNL movie career has not done so great and he needs all the support he can get. My wife really wants Tim Rigg–err…Taylor Kitsch to succeed. So go see Battleship….for my wife.

Speaking of Taylor Kitsch, let’s now turn to another recent sci-fi film of his….

Again, I have not seen this movie. With little disposable income, I don’t always have the spare cash to see every movie that comes out. But you know what I do have? Time to write about movies on a blog. I don’t know what this movie is about exactly, but it’s based on a comic book so that automatically earns it some points.(Correction: This was actually based on a novel, not a comic book, but a sci-fi novel nonetheless. Please excuse my mistake.)It’s on Mars and it has Taylor Kitsch fighting people. Also, aliens. Let’s see what the critics have to say so I can fire back at them with unadulterated and uninformed bias:

Richard Roeper, RichardRoeper.com: “It’s sometimes wondrous and often amazingly goofy.”

You know what? You could say the same about Disney’s UP. So thank you for the compliment, Richard Roeper! John Carter must be in good company!

Claudia Puig, USA Today: “The villains are overwrought and the design of Mars is surprisingly bland.”

Excuse me, have you seen Mars? It’s depicted the same way in pretty much every movie- a desert, but red. I think if I lived there, I’d be an overwrought villain too!

Tom Clift, Moviedex: “With a narrative as flat and barren as the red martian landscape, John Carter is a big-budget sci-fi spectacle that fails to excite or entertain.”

You know what I just read? “BLAH BLAH [obvious Mars metaphor] BLAH BLAH big budget sci-fi spectacle!! BLAH BLAH excite!! entertain!!”  Well, sign me up!

Joe Morganstern,Wall Street Journal: “A deadly heaviness brings Disney’s would-be epic down.”

Your MOM’S a deadly heaviness!!

In conclusion, please help Taylor Kitsch’s career. On to our last movie!

Okay, okay, I know. This movie does not need to be defended as it is breaking box office records and receiving critical acclaim. But I have actually seen this movie so I can personally vouch for it’s awesomeness. Additionally, I have no shame in claiming myself as a Joss Whedon fanboy (sometimes called “Browncoats” in honor of Firefly), and therefore I would have defended this movie regardless. I mean, I got my money’s worth the second that helicarrier took off and then turned invisible. But given this movie’s success, it’s even more amusing to me to read the few reviews that were negative. Let’s take a look:

A. O. Scott, New York Times: “The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre.”

Congratulations. In one sentence you have managed to not only degrade what is likely the best comic book movie of our time, but also insult an entire subculture devoted to comic books and comic book movies. Good thing no one reads your stupid little obscure newspaper!!

Mark Ramsay, MovieJuice!: “What could be more effective against interstellar battle than a bow and arrows? ‘You never know when an alien invader is the Sheriff of Nottingham,’ warned Samuel L. Jackson.”

Were you paying attention to Hawkeye at all during this movie?? He had more well-placed shots than most of the guys with guns! He’s arguably a better archer than Legolas!! (Don’t kill me Val! …although I think there’s a pretty interesting debate there…) That shot from the plane onto the side of the helicarrier was money. And who else dares to shoot an arrow while falling backwards off a building? I think you watched an entirely different movie, Mr. Ramsay.

Amy Nicholson, Boxoffice Magazine: “Apparently, bootleg copies of Transformers 3 made it to Asgard.”

First of all lady, we want a movie review, not some report on crime in a foreign dimension. If I cared about the rampant video piracy in Asgard, I’d go ask Anthony Hopkins. Second, are you implying that Loki’s plan to bring an army to earth was stolen from watching Transformers 3? This is ludicrous because Loki was banished from Asgard when Transformers 3 came out. So even if there was some crazy pirated DVD black market, Loki wouldn’t even have been around to take advantage of it, he was somewhere else entirely. Geez, do you people even watch these movies??

Critics, you’ve been served.

*steps off soapbox……for now*

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9 thoughts on “David Critiques the Critics

  1. “That’s not one but TWO Friday Night Lights alumns in one movie.”

    You know Jesse Plemons, aka LANDRY CLARKE, is in “Battleship” as well, right? So actually, that’s not two but THREE Friday Night Lights alumns in one movie.

    Boom. Shaka laka.

    • Oh my goodness. I love Landry SO MUCH. When we see Battleship I’m pretty sure I’ll be scanning the background for Coach Taylor or Lyla Garrity constantly. When I’m not praying for a FNL reference in the dialogue, that is.

  2. Another solid post David. I agree with most of your scathing criticism of the… well the criticism industry. So many reviews of movies are just terrible. I’ve stopped looking at Rotten Tomatoes long ago, because it turns out the aggregate movie reviewer does not remotely share my taste in movies. I love movies which are so bad they’re good. I love mindless action movies like The Expendables. Number of explosions directly correlates to the numerical score I give a movie.

    With that said, I highly recommend the Something Awful Current Releases review team. These are guys who, through liberal use of foul language aside, generally go to the theater to have fun. They know stuff can be ridiculous but that’s not a reason to score it poorly. A movie like Battleship is trying to do something completely different than a movie like Schindler’s List, and that should be reflected in the attitude of the reviewer watching it. Anyway, check out their reviews at http://www.somethingawful.com/d/current-movie-reviews/ .

    • This might be my new favorite movie review site. I agree that movies need to appreciate within an appropriate context, many critics seem to be unable to do this.

  3. Pingback: Movie Review: Battleship | The Cute Conservative

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