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a35362
08-26-2001, 03:18 PM
Or film critic, if you prefer....

I read Roger Ebert (http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert.html) and Dave White's "One, Please!" (http://www.ifilm.com) columns regularly, Ebert because we seem to have a similar Midwestern sort of sensibility and because I know him well enough to know when I'm likely to disagree with him, and Dave...well, 'cause he's funny and cool and closer to my own age. Both critics restrain themselves from doing the Pauline Kael "here's the movie they might have made if they were as smart as I am" thing.

What movie critics do you read regularly and why? Who is not to be missed?

Enderw24
08-26-2001, 03:24 PM
I think Ebert is one of the best reviewers out there. His reviews are always very well thought out and 90% of the time I agree with his critique. He also loves movies, loves to talk about movies, and it shows easily through his reviews.

Want someone new? Here's a fun one: http://www.mrcranky.com

This guy (or girl?) is absolutely hilarious at times. The whole feel of the reviews have changed a bit since he first started, but they can still be uproariously funny.

Also try http://www.rottentomatoes.com to find someone new.

MsWhich
08-26-2001, 04:16 PM
James Berardinelli (http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/) is a great reviewer. His reviews are always good reading. Even when I disagree with what he has to say, I still enjoy reading the review. He's a great writer.

MsWhich
08-26-2001, 04:17 PM
Sigh. That link would be:

http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/

ShibbOleth
08-26-2001, 04:24 PM
There is a website for suggesting movies based on your input. You rate a bunch of different movies, then based on what other people have entered it tells you which movies you might like to see. I used to have a link to this but lost it and now I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the site.

This might be helpful for the OP, so its possibly not a complete hijack, but if anyone out there knows the name...?

Bill H.
08-26-2001, 04:39 PM
I always read Eberts review if I'm interested in a movie, but I generally don't agree with him. Siskel (sp?) was the man. Rotten Tomatoes is excellent for getting a general overview of a movie, and you can dig into anyones review that looks interesting.

ShibbOleth, I'd be very interested in that site if you come up with the name.

Legomancer
08-26-2001, 04:45 PM
Ebert's gotten soft. Three stars for 'Tomb Raider'? Bah. While his reviews are entertaining and informed, I will take things he likes with a grain of salt. One thing, though, if he gives something a bad review, you know it must be a fetid, steaming pile of crap.

ultrafilter
08-26-2001, 04:48 PM
I always kinda liked Jay Sherman. :)

But if you're looking for a real movie critc, I recommend Bubba Fatt (http://www.bfatt-lazy.com). His reviews rarely touch on the movies themselves, but I find them entertaining.

Sofa King
08-26-2001, 04:57 PM
Those are a riot, ultrafilter. Wonder if they'll accept submissions?

Our own Cervaise is a thoughtful dude who slaps down some righteous smack. Check him out at Movie Geek Central (http://www.moviegeek.homestead.com/).

ShibbOleth
08-26-2001, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Bill H.
I'd be very interested in that site if you come up with the name.

I finally found two that were close, one of which may be the one I was thinking about:

Movie Wizard (http://www.demo.formovies.com/perl/sites/demo/movie_wizard.cgi) from For Movies site.

Rating Zone (http://www.ratingzone.com)* which also does TV, books, etc.


*This may be the one, but the look and feel are quite different

Jeannie
08-26-2001, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by ShibbOleth
There is a website for suggesting movies based on your input. You rate a bunch of different movies, then based on what other people have entered it tells you which movies you might like to see. I used to have a link to this but lost it and now I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the site.

This might be helpful for the OP, so its possibly not a complete hijack, but if anyone out there knows the name...?

You are probably thinking of Movielens (http://movielens.umn.edu/). I use this one. It usually has a 50/50 shot of being right about what I'll like though. For instance, I think it told me I'd give Swordfish 3 1/2 stars out of five, based on the fact that I seem to generally like action films. But it of course does not take into account that Swordfish was a piece of crap. My favorite feature is that you can make a "To See" list for yourself. This is very helpful when the hubby and I are going to rent stuff, as it cuts down on the "Whadd'ya wanna see?" "I dunno, what do you wanna see?" discussions. I just print out my list, and off we go to the store.

As to the OP, Roger Ebert is my favorite. I would say that 90% of the time, I agree with him. Based on his reviews (reading the whole thing, not just the star rating), I can usually predict if I will like a film.

a35362
08-26-2001, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by ShibbOleth
There is a website for suggesting movies based on your input. You rate a bunch of different movies, then based on what other people have entered it tells you which movies you might like to see. I used to have a link to this but lost it and now I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the site.

This might be helpful for the OP, so its possibly not a complete hijack, but if anyone out there knows the name...?

I loved Movie Critic (http://www.moviecritic.com), but they've gone under. Which is partly what inspired this thread. I had more than 1400 ratings on that site! :(

Ender, I've seen Mr. Cranky (though not recently), and he is funny. Just a little too cranky. He doesn't like anything. :) Some movies he hates less than others. The joke gets a little old after a while.

I forgot to mention this one: if you have kids, or are kinda squeamish about movie violence, maybe, and want to know what you're getting yourself into, there's a good site called Screen It! (http://www.screenit.com), that spells out exactly how much of what kind of kid-unfriendly stuff might be in a given movie. Or, if you're not a kid, you could use it to look for, erm, "boobage" and other...good stuff.

Miller
08-26-2001, 09:46 PM
I have found that there is one critic is almost always a surefire indicator of wether a movie is good or bad. His name is Mick LeSalle, and he writes for the SF Chronicle (or used to, haven't seen a review from him in a while) Now, the thing you have to understand is that LeSalle is a moron. He wouldn't know a good movie if he was strapped in a chair with his eyelids propped open a la A Clockwork Orange. So, if he give a movie a good review, don't go. It sucks. It'll be Freddy Got Fingered but not so high-brow. On the other hand, if he pans something, check it out. If he gives it an empty chair*, run to the theatres because LaSalle is probably talking about a talent the likes of which we have not seen since the heyday of Orson Welles. I'm completely serious. On the rare occasions when he actually likes a good movie, he almost always is wrong about why he liked it. He'll rave on and on about why he likes a movie, but his reasoning usually shows that he completely missed the point of it.

*Sf review system: Empty chair, guy asleep in chair, bored guy in chair, applauding guy in chair, jumping up and down applauding guy in chair.

Katisha
08-26-2001, 09:58 PM
I've always liked the Flick Filosopher (http://www.flickfilosopher.com/flickfilos/index.shtml) myself...

Slacker
08-26-2001, 10:39 PM
I forgot to mention this one: if you have kids, or are kinda squeamish about movie violence, maybe, and want to know what you're getting yourself into, there's a good site called Screen It! (http://www.screenit.com)...

Screenit! is a great site. His artistic reviews are very thorough and inciteful. I check there and Mr Cranky every week.

Interrobang!?
08-26-2001, 10:40 PM
Movie reviewers I like who haven't been mentioned yet in this thread:

Stephanie Zacharek at Salon.com. (Zacharek is a critic I love to read, whether or not I agree with her estimation of a movie. In fact, I generally don't care if a critic matches my sensibility as much as I care about the critic writing something worth reading, especially something that will make me see something new about a film if I read the review after seeing the movie.) Actually, Charles Taylor's usually a good read, too.

David Edelstein at Slate.com.

Mike D'Angelo, who began writing on his own site (http://www.panix.com/~dangelo/) and now writes reviews for Time Out New York (http://www.timeoutny.com/) (you'll have to do a name search for his reviews at TONY).

Scott Renshaw, who used to write on his own (http://www.inconnect.com/~renshaw/), and now writes for a Salt Lake City weekly (http://www.avenews.com/editorial/cover_ae.cfm).

And, of course, Vern (http://www.geocities.com/outlawvern/).

Interrobang!?
08-28-2001, 05:40 PM
Another very handy site: the Movie Review Query Engine (http://www.mrqe.com). Enter the movie title you're looking for and the MRQE pulls up a number of reviews from a variety of sources.

I slightly prefer it to Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rotten-tomatoes.com) because it's faster and features less extraneous stuff. But RT is good for searching by critic.

phartizan
08-28-2001, 07:08 PM
Roger Ebert is OK, except he seems to like a little too much of everything.

My favorites:

Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post. But the WP online only goes back 2 weeks for free. He used to be at the Baltimore Sun, but now they make you pay for his old reviews.

Also Elvis Mitchell of the NYT. I can't stand AO Scott of same.

Sometimes the reviews by Stephen Hunter Elvis Mitchell about movies they hate are pretty funny.

Smeghead
08-28-2001, 07:48 PM
The most reliable movie critic I know is a lady I work with. I wait for her to see a movie, ask her about it, and then believe the exact opposite of what she said. So far, she's been right on every time I've checked. She loved Vertical Limit, for instance.

Airblairxxx
08-28-2001, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by Miller
I have found that there is one critic is almost always a surefire indicator of wether a movie is good or bad. His name is Mick LeSalle, and he writes for the SF Chronicle (or used to, haven't seen a review from him in a while) Now, the thing you have to understand is that LeSalle is a moron . . .So, if he give a movie a good review, don't go. It sucks. On the other hand, if he pans something, check it out.


Holy Cow. I was going to say that reviewers that you always disagree with can be very useful, and I was going to give Mr Lasalle as my #1 example. He is BAD.

MonkeyMensch
08-28-2001, 08:03 PM
I'm partial to Duncan Shepard at www.sdreader.com. He's very strict about what he likes, but over the years I have developed an interpretation of his "star" rating method.

* : Average Hollywood output; an OK evening at the movies.
** : Worth going out of your way to seeing.
***: Exceptional; a truly memorable movie.

Apparently he does have four and five star movies but I've never seen 'em. The good thing is he is very consistent, so when I read a review I know where I stand in terms of wanting to see a movie or not.

And Smeg, God bless the negative correlation movie reviewers. I've used more than a few of them through the years...

labdude
08-28-2001, 08:22 PM
http://www.filmthreat.com

Baraqiyal
08-28-2001, 08:32 PM
I often read the Filthy Critic. His reviews are mean spirited and laced with profanity, but also very funny. Here’s what he said about Brando’s performance in the score:

He does nothing but waddle around, breathe heavily, sweat and mumble. Any time I want to see that all I need to do is spill some jelly beans down the clearance aisle at Hancock Fabrics.

In his current review, “Curse of the Jade Scorpion”, he makes fun of his own sponsors.

I can’t figure out if his working class act is real or not

Baraqiyal
08-28-2001, 08:35 PM
The Filthy Critic (http://www.bigempire.com/filthy/)

The Bitterdrunk Kid
08-28-2001, 08:47 PM
He does nothing but waddle around, breathe heavily, sweat and mumble. Any time I want to see that all I need to do is spill some jelly beans down the clearance aisle at Hancock Fabrics.


Sounds like Don Imus!

pesch
08-28-2001, 09:50 PM
Rita Kempley at the Washington Post. Even if you disagree with her, her reviews are entertaining.

DMC
08-29-2001, 03:55 AM
As for reviewers worth avoiding, Joel Siegel seems to have never seen a movie that wasn't worthy of raving taglines.

ModernRonin2
08-29-2001, 06:21 PM
I also like http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com

(You think I'm making this up, don't you? Heh.)


-Ben

Czarcasm
08-29-2001, 08:20 PM
Moving this puppy to our new forum, Cafe Society.

Gomez
08-29-2001, 09:06 PM
The problemI find with most reviewers is they say Movie X sucked or movie Y was great but they don't say why and if they do say why movie X sucked they don't say what the filmmakers could have done to improve the problems. In short they don't offer constructive criticism, just criticism. The only 2 I've found who actually offer thoughtful, constructive critiques of movies are Roger Ebert and our very own Cervaise. Ebert in particular often echoes my own views in his reviews and even when we completely disagree I can always see his point anyway. Very good reviewer. Also, check out Cervaises review of Battlefield Earth. It's hysterical :)

Revedge
08-30-2001, 12:53 AM
If you like Ebert, check out the DVD of Dark City. The alternate soundtrack is his scene by scene and shot by shot analysis of this film. It is incredibly astute. You wil have a greater appreciation of the insight he brings to his reviews.

silent_rob
08-30-2001, 03:45 AM
Ebert is probably the only critic that I check out on a regular basis and usually agree with.
The main thing that I enjoy about Ebert's reviews is that he really understands genre. Now, even though I dislike genre in flicks (which usually leads to formula pictures), I like how he won't compare a comedy to a drama, or a drama to a kung-fu flick. A lot of critics just don't generally like comedies, for instance, and thus give them low ratings because of that. He'll review them for what they are and won't try to enforce a unifying theory of movies on them (ie. a comedy might not hold up to The Godfather, but it still might be damn funny, and is good for that reason).

C K Dexter Haven
08-30-2001, 09:02 AM
Ebert in his younger day was fairly reliable, I found. If he liked something, then it was sure to be pretentious, overblown, boring, and pseudo-"arty." So I always knew that if he liked something, I wouldn't.

Alas, he couldn't be relied on the other way, just because he disliked something was not a reliable guide.

In his old age, sadly, he's become erratic and he occasionally likes films that I do, too.

Wumpus
08-30-2001, 02:14 PM
CK, if you think Ebert is too artsy, I can only guess your opinion of Gene Siskel!

For those wanting to sample a large range of different critics, see

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/

Danimal
08-30-2001, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by MsWhatsit
James Berardinelli (http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/) is a great reviewer. His reviews are always good reading. Even when I disagree with what he has to say, I still enjoy reading the review. He's a great writer.

I like Berardinelli too. I also like Bams from Three Black Chicks.

IMO, Ebert is a better writer than a reviewer. His reviews are always entertaining to read, but I find them poor guides on what to expect from the movie.

Beadalin
08-30-2001, 05:29 PM
Scott Tobias, Nathan Rabin, Joshua Klein and Keith Phipps all do a fine job the The Onion's A.V. Club (http://www.theonionavclub.com/avclub3730/cinema3730.html). I read 'em faithfully.

lopati
09-05-2001, 10:20 PM
jonathan rosenbaum of the chicago reader (http://www.chireader.com/movies/) and harvey s. karten's newsgroup reviews (http://us.imdb.com/ReviewsBy?Harvey+S.+Karten) are also good.

Legomancer
09-06-2001, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by ModernRonin2

I also like http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com

(You think I'm making this up, don't you? Heh.)



I really hate Hollywood Bitchslap. I went there with promises of it being a sort of "alternative" review site, where the just gave the straight-up facts bout the movies. no dice, it's the same crap you see everywhere else. A few months ago their lowest rated movie was two stars. Now, your opinion on what it might be will differ, but I'm certain everyone here can think of a one star or 0 star movie this summer. It's the same grade inflation, the same defending of shitty movies, the same pandering to the studios as everywhere else.


I agree with whoever said the Onion's reviews are good. They really are, and they do tend to go into a little more details about why a movie was bad or good.

VarlosZ
09-07-2001, 09:20 PM
I'll second the Onion A.V. Club. Very reliable and enjoyable, I find.

I hate Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone declares every fucking movie he sees "an American classic!"

The New York Times has gotten pedestrian.