Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The war on film critics

This defense of film critics seems rather cowed -- talk about damning with faint praise. We have to be able to do better than to say that local critics are better at responding to reader complaints. Thought the point about Metacritic is a good one. It won't be very Meta if the number of critics shrinks.

I was surprised when my positive review of "Bratz" elicited a barrage of angry and outraged comments over at Rotten Tomatoes, especially since it was clear that the posters had neither (1) read anything from my review but the pull quote or (2) seen the movie. It seems odd to me that people would come to a forum for the expression of a wide range of opinion and then freak out when someone does not agree with the majority. It also is ironic considering that one of the reasons I liked the movie was its low-key but sincere message in favor of rebelling against the tyranny of those, like clique-ish high school kids, who want everyone to act only according to established norms. Too bad the posters are too cool -- and too worried about not seeming cool -- to actually go to the movie. They might learn something.


Big Dave T said...

Intriguing. You WERE one of the rare critics to give this movie a good review. I see on Yahoo Movies, the average critic grade and average viewer grade were both D's. That's pretty unusual too. You gave it a B+ on Rotten Tomatoes, but for some reason your review isn't on Yahoo.

Now this is the cast that gave you an interview, right? I've always wondered whether movie reviewers who get to interview the star(s) of a movie might be more willing to give the movie a better grade. I saw Gene Shalit once interview Clint Eastwood for one of those morning shows, then right afterwards gave a glowing review to "Any Which Way You Can", which was largely trashed by other reviewers.

Sometimes I think those reporters who cover Hollywood, the movie industry, stars, opening nights, etc. shouldn't be the same ones to review movies. Just my two cents.

Nell Minow said...

I wonder about that, too, Dave, and some critics think you should not do interviews if you are reviewing the movie. I have turned down interviews when I hated the movie (in one case, it meant turning down a director who is usually one of my very favorites). And I have done an interview and panned the movie. So, all I can say is, I do my best. And I liked this movie before I met with the girls.