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Old 11-05-2019, 09:18 AM
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The tastes of critics are fundamentally different than those of ordinary people


IMO there's a fundamental difference between the taste of critics (film, music, literature etc.) and that of ordinary people. This derives from the unavoidable fact that critics are more educated about their subjects than ordinary people are, and - more important - that they consume a whole lot more of it.

As a result of these factors, there will inevitably be things which seem worn or trite to the critics while being more entertaining to the unwashed masses. Conversely, things which seem clever and cutting edge to the critics - playing off the worn and trite tropes - will go over the heads of or at least be unappealing to the masses.

To the extent that the role of a critic is to preview these works for the public (as opposed to trying to shape the public's tastes in unnatural ways) it's an inherent problem, and I don't see any way around it.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:30 AM
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Some critics are good at understanding what ordinary people like. Most of them are trapped in a critics world as you describe, along with some who are just snobs and/or ignorant clowns.

One thing I see often from critics is adulation for anything different. It doesn't have to be good, just different enough feel refreshing to a critic who has suffered the tedium of one derivative work after another. We shouldn't blame them for that, we just have to take it into account when considering a review.

I think it's a lot easier to listen to what people I know have to say about something because I know them and can compare my own tastes to theirs and take a guess at how I'd react to the same thing. I don't know any reviewers that well to make such an evaluation, but I suppose if you follow particular reviewers you could work that out based on their perspectives also.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:40 AM
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Some critics are good at understanding what ordinary people like.
That was always something I thought Roger Ebert was good at. He could give serious attention to a French art film, but he could also review a teenage sex comedy or a Fast & Furious-type film on its own merits.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:51 AM
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To the extent that the role of a critic is to preview these works for the public (as opposed to trying to shape the public's tastes in unnatural ways) it's an inherent problem, and I don't see any way around it.
There's already a way around it -- review aggregators that offer both Critical and Public scores, thus allowing you to compare what critics thought about the film/album/whatever and what the common consumer thought about it. This might not help you with Day One purchases but, if you're consuming it the day it comes out, you probably felt fairly confident about it regardless.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:52 AM
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I think the OP's concern only comes in when critics are writing about something that's fundamentally mass-market/lowest common denominator and using their education and expertise to review it. They often do miss the point- they'll go on about how character development in "Animal House" is non existent, or whatever, and miss the point that it's a funny movie.

But thankfully, critics tend to cluster(?- maybe there's a better term) in their specialties. A perfect example was that old clip of Siskel and Ebert debating "Star Wars" with John Simon. The fundamental issue there is that Siskel and Ebert were more "everyman" reviewers, while Simon was more of an art-house reviewer. So of course Simon is going to hate Star Wars, and Siskel and Ebert did not. So if you're an art-house/indie film type of person, you'd do well to pay attention to Simon's criticism, and if you're a more average Joe type movie watcher, then Siskel and Ebert were your men.

Similarly, if you're going out to eat in NYC, and you're a fine-dining kind of guy, you're going to want to pay attention to the guys who review restaurants like Le Bernardin or Marea. But if you're a pizza and beer sort of guy, you're better off with Yelp! or other reviewers.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:05 AM
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To the extent that the role of a critic is to preview these works for the public (as opposed to trying to shape the public's tastes in unnatural ways) it's an inherent problem, and I don't see any way around it.
Of course there is: if a critic recommends movies which you then go to see which you turn out not to like then you will quit following his recommendations.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:25 AM
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I think bump's point is good - I would read a review of some mass-market art form, like the latest comic book movie, differently than I would a review of the latest display at the MoMA.

Roger Ebert was good, not because I always agreed with him, but I could figure out from the reasons he gave why he liked or disliked a movie, and then gauge if I would like or dislike it if I valued what he saw more, or less.
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps
Conversely, things which seem clever and cutting edge to the critics - playing off the worn and trite tropes - will go over the heads of or at least be unappealing to the masses.
I notice this also in cooking shows. Contestants will come up with unusual combinations of spices that sound bizarre to me, but the judges tend to value it more because it is unusual. That doesn't make me right and them wrong, or vice versa, but putting thyme in chocolate does not appeal to me just because nobody ever did it before.

YMMV is generally true, but how it varies can convey information as well.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:44 AM
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Critics high, audience high = great movie

Critics high, audience low = arty and intellectual, but perhaps good and profound

Crtics low, audience high = fun genre movie, probably forgettable

Critics low, audience low = bad movie
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:01 AM
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I always agreed with him, but I could figure out from the reasons he gave why he liked or disliked a movie, and then gauge if I would like or dislike it if I valued what he saw more, or less.
I agree. He could find good or bad in any movie. And his reviews were not just a recap of the plot.

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Critics high, audience high = great movie

Critics high, audience low = arty and intellectual, but perhaps good and profound

Crtics low, audience high = fun genre movie, probably forgettable

Critics low, audience low = bad movie
Generally, I think this is true but lately I keep hearing about people tanking ratings if a movie does something they don't like.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:03 AM
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Critics high, audience low = arty and intellectual, but perhaps good and profound
The last movie I saw in theaters was Ad Astra, which has an 84% critics' score and a 40% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. And it made me wonder what makes a movie get that kind of response.

My problem with the movie was the pacing: I thought it moved way too slow. It made me wonder, "Do critics really enjoy slow, draggy movies?"

Or, since critics watch movies as a job, do they even pay attention to whether they enjoy a movie? Do they focus on how good a movie it is—how well done, the level of craftsmanship in the acting and directing and writing and cinematography and etc.—to the exclusion of how entertaining it is?
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:47 AM
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Critics get paid to review lots and lots of stuff. So they take a quick look and then move on. Whereas you and I have the leisure to listen/watch/read slowly/many times over. Which I would argue leads to a more insightful take.

Someone (Orwell?) wrote a brilliant essay describing the life of a book reviewer. Due to time constraints, he mostly just skimmed the books he reviewed.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:08 PM
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For decades, Andrew Lloyd Webber and New York Times theatre critic had a running feud because Rich gave every one of ALW's musicals very bad reviews. Until Phantom of the Opera:

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It may be possible to have a terrible time at The Phantom of the Opera, but you'll have to work at it. Only a terminal prig would let the avalanche of pre-opening publicity poison his enjoyment of this show, which usually wants nothing more than to shower the audience with fantasy and fun, and which often succeeds, at any price. The physical production, Andrew Bridge's velvety lighting included, is a tour de force throughout–as extravagant of imagination as of budget.
Despite their high brow tastes, critics know what works.

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Old 11-05-2019, 12:17 PM
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The last movie I saw in theaters was Ad Astra, which has an 84% critics' score and a 40% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. And it made me wonder what makes a movie get that kind of response.

My problem with the movie was the pacing: I thought it moved way too slow. It made me wonder, "Do critics really enjoy slow, draggy movies?"

Or, since critics watch movies as a job, do they even pay attention to whether they enjoy a movie? Do they focus on how good a movie it is—how well done, the level of craftsmanship in the acting and directing and writing and cinematography and etc.—to the exclusion of how entertaining it is?
I have an anecdotal story about reading, authors and novels that's kind of illustrative I think.

I've known my buddy K for almost 30 years now- we met our first semester in college, and have been fast friends ever since. We share a lot of the same tastes in literature in particular- not exactly, but the odds are high that if one of us likes a book, then the other will as well.

But it's interesting where we differ. I tend to read in a fashion that I'd describe as having a little mental movie running in my head. I visualize what's going on, and the actual words on the page are being read/processed almost unconsciously. He, on the other hand, is acutely aware of the actual words, sentences and what-not.

I've found that when we differ, it's almost always centered around that difference- I may like a book because the story, pacing, etc... was great for the mental movie, while he will dislike it because he can't get past the writing style of the author. Conversely, if I don't like one, it's because the writing/descriptions hinder me in getting my mental movie going, and I get bogged down with the actual words on the page.

I suspect that the critics and audiences are similar- audiences tend to like fast paced, loud and spectacular movies, even if they don't require too much thought (maybe because they don't require much thought?), while critics are coming at it from a different angle- they're looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who knows how the sausage is made, so to speak. So the elements that they notice and value are going to be very different than the general audience.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:19 PM
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It's not so bad when critics think they have a loftier/more intellectual take on movies than I do.

What I no longer tolerate is the tendency of critics to reveal key plot elements of movies they dislike and obviously don't want to succeed at the box office.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:55 PM
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I reviewed science fiction for a number of venues from around 1975-1985. I reviewed the top literary works by the best authors and I reviewed space opera trash by people I never heard of again.

Looking back, I see things I wouldn't have recognized then. Mainly that reviews are part of their time. They're not written for posterity. The time I started reviewing was still in the era when many people thought that science fiction had a chance to be taken seriously as literature. The field nearly died around 1960, because no publishers were paying good money for original novels. That changed around 1965 and the quality of writing in the field had taken a giant leap upward, with a bunch of now classic names entering the field. I definitely championed the literary works and denigrated the space opera. Good, good in all ways, fiction seemed to be the future the field wanted and needed.

It didn't work out that way. Star Wars and Star Trek novels proliferated and fantasy sagas took over more than half the field. Literary novels are making a comeback but for a quarter century midlist writers (good writers who aren't stars) couldn't make a living that way and had to find other outlets or leave the field. (See sharecropping.)

I felt qualified to review in those early days because I was reading a large percentage of everything was published, along with a lot of older works. I could judge writing at the sentence level and I could recognize when plots just rehashed older tropes without adding anything new. (Good/good and bad/bad works for novels as well as movies.) When I stopped reading everything I stopped reviewing. My opinions no longer had a solid backing. They would have been mere personal preference. I thought then that was a difference, and I still think that today.

That's one reason Ebert was so successful. He saw everything, high and low. He had standards, but knew to judge works on how well they met their goals rather than how good or bad they were on some imaginary outside scale.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:30 PM
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We have to recognize that critics themselves are producers of a product. Their reviews are creations they are selling, and this shapes the way they approach their opinions, especially if they reveive a regular payroll from regular assignments. They often are striving as much to make themselves relevant as to "inform" consumers. (This isn't necessarily good or bad--we just need to keep it in mind.)
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:28 PM
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But it's interesting where we differ. I tend to read in a fashion that I'd describe as having a little mental movie running in my head. I visualize what's going on, and the actual words on the page are being read/processed almost unconsciously. He, on the other hand, is acutely aware of the actual words, sentences and what-not.
That is a very good description of the difference between what a work is about vs. how the work is about what it is about.

Critics are burdened with responding to both aspects. And readers of critics are burdened with discerning their own style of receiving a work (do you only care about the what, or do you care about the how) and parsing where the critic is commenting on the what vs. the how.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:01 PM
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An obligatory point; "Critic" and "reviewer" are different.

A movie critic is someone who watches movies and tries to understand and explain what the movie means, why it was made, what about it works and what does not, how it compares to other movies and how it fits in the the current reality, and history of, cinema. A reviewer is someone who watches movies and reports as to whether the movie is enjoyable and worthwhile to watch.

If I watch "Airplane!" and tell you the movie is funny and a blast to watch, I am reviewing it. If I tell you how "Airplane!" is specifically a surrealist comedy, which built on the success of "Kentucky Fried Movie" and led to similar films that competed with the teen sex romps of the 1980s, I am engaging in movie critique.

Okay, having said that, the reason movie critics seem to be different from the general public is

1. They have the chance to see way more movies than most people do,
2. They're watching them for a different reason, and
3. They're not really that different; lots of ordinary schmoes hate junk movies, too, and critics often like popular movies.

I mean, the critics raved about "Toy Story," an animated children's movie, like it won World War Two. And they were right.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:16 PM
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Generally, I think this is true but lately I keep hearing about people tanking ratings if a movie does something they don't like.
This is one reason I typically trust the audience reviews less than the critic reviews. I find when I go and actually read the audience reviews most of the negative ones give the movie a low rating for what I consider stupid reasons. Using Lady Bird as an example, there were a ton of one star reviews from people who just didn't like the fact that the title character is disrespectful to her mother and think she's a bad influence on kids (which IMO completely misses the point of the movie). Others thought it was "anti-Christian" for some reason. Or they simply declared the movie "too liberal" for unspecified reasons.

And then there are audience reviewers who don't seem to get that something not being to their personal taste isn't the same thing as being bad. And that brings me back to the point someone else made earlier. IMO a good critic is one who can provide enough information about a movie, without giving away critical plot points, to allow the reader to be able to determine whether or not it's something they'd like.

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Old 11-05-2019, 03:32 PM
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That was always something I thought Roger Ebert was good at. He could give serious attention to a French art film, but he could also review a teenage sex comedy or a Fast & Furious-type film on its own merits.
Siskel and Ebert both gave thumbs up for Beavis and Butthead Do America, which certainly brought a "Wait, what?" moment from me. I wouldn't have thought they would like those characters.

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Old 11-05-2019, 07:28 PM
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I assume a lot of critics don't evaluate art based on its quality, they evaluate it based on how it compares to what they consider good art to be. Which isn't the same thing.

In my experience, recommendations that come from putting in your own favorite movies are better than critics choices many of the time.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Some critics are good at understanding what ordinary people like. Most of them are trapped in a critics world as you describe, along with some who are just snobs and/or ignorant clowns.

One thing I see often from critics is adulation for anything different. It doesn't have to be good, just different enough feel refreshing to a critic who has suffered the tedium of one derivative work after another. We shouldn't blame them for that, we just have to take it into account when considering a review.
or critics will like something because they're "supposed" to like it.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:55 PM
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As the late Jean Kerr once wrote "critics say 'this play is awful. Why is that?' Ordinary people say 'this play is awful. Why was I born? '"

She was married to noted play critic Walter Kerr.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:11 PM
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Siskel and Ebert both gave thumbs up for Beavis and Butthead Do America, which certainly brought a "Wait, what?" moment from me. I wouldn't have thought they would like those characters.
A nice illustration of the difference between a reviewer and a critic.

A reviewer would approach it as 'these characters were insufferably annoying. One star.' If I follow that reviewer, I'd know their likes and dislikes are similar to mine and I can safely dodge that bullet.

A critic would be more likely to consider that although Beavis and Butthead are horrid creations, the intent of the movie was to extend the existing TV franchise, appeal to a particular demographic and social outlook and so on. Their judgement of the movie is then about how successfully it achieves those objectives and does so in either a new and interesting way that people who might not otherwise follow that genre should check out, or by repeating a well-worn formula.

Having seen Beavis and Butthead on video in pre-internet days because it was in the store's Staff Picks section I would have welcomed the advice of both trustworthy reviewers and critics before I made the same mistake again.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:31 PM
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IMO there's a fundamental difference between the taste of critics (film, music, literature etc.) and that of ordinary people. This derives from the unavoidable fact that critics are more educated about their subjects than ordinary people are, and - more important - that they consume a whole lot more of it.

As a result of these factors, there will inevitably be things which seem worn or trite to the critics while being more entertaining to the unwashed masses. Conversely, things which seem clever and cutting edge to the critics - playing off the worn and trite tropes - will go over the heads of or at least be unappealing to the masses.
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I notice this also in cooking shows. Contestants will come up with unusual combinations of spices that sound bizarre to me, but the judges tend to value it more because it is unusual. That doesn't make me right and them wrong, or vice versa, but putting thyme in chocolate does not appeal to me just because nobody ever did it before.
I imagine that critics feel about movies the way we'd feel about our favorite food if we'd been eating it three times a day for years. Consequently, any movie that's the least bit different seems better to them than those of us who haven't seen so many movies.

If you can't sum it up as "Die Hard" on a plane/train/ship, the critics will like it more than I might. I thought this was why "The Crying Game" and "Being John Malkovich" were rated so highly by critics. I thought they were good, but not as good as the critics seemed to.

I remember when I was young, I read John Waters' review of "Mask" and he hated the plot element of the boy with a hideously deformed face falling in love with a blind girl. I thought it was clever.

Supposedly, people who saw this early film of a train pulling into a station found it thrilling.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:39 PM
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A nice illustration of the difference between a reviewer and a critic.

A reviewer would approach it as 'these characters were insufferably annoying. One star.' If I follow that reviewer, I'd know their likes and dislikes are similar to mine and I can safely dodge that bullet.

A critic would be more likely to consider that although Beavis and Butthead are horrid creations, the intent of the movie was to extend the existing TV franchise, appeal to a particular demographic and social outlook and so on. Their judgement of the movie is then about how successfully it achieves those objectives and does so in either a new and interesting way that people who might not otherwise follow that genre should check out, or by repeating a well-worn formula.

Having seen Beavis and Butthead on video in pre-internet days because it was in the store's Staff Picks section I would have welcomed the advice of both trustworthy reviewers and critics before I made the same mistake again.
On their TV show, Siskel and Ebert were reviewers, there to help you decide whether or not to go see the movies they reviewed. They gave a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" but also showed clips to give a flavor of what the movie was like, and said something about what you could expect if you went to go see it.

In his written pieces, Ebert was more of a critic, analyzing a movie for what it said and did. (Maybe Siskel was too, but I haven't read his writings.) Ebert, in his written review of Beavis & Butthead Do America, explains why he thinks it's a good movie because of, not in spite of, how insufferably annoying the characters are.
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Originally Posted by Roger Ebert
It is impossible to feel any affection for B&B. They aren't lovable goofs, like Bill and Ted (of “Excellent Adventure” fame). Judge has stripped them of all redeeming qualities. Why, then, did “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America” hold my interest, and amuse and stimulate me--why was the movie so much fun? Because B&B represent an extreme version of people we see around us every day, and because the movie is radical and uncompromising: Having identified B&B as an extreme example of grunge, disaffection and cheerfully embraced ignorance, the movie is uncompromising in its detestation of them.

I make this point because it is widely but wrongly believed that “Beavis and Butt-Head” celebrates its characters, and applauds their sublime lack of values, taste and intelligence. I've never thought so. I believe Mike Judge would rather die than share a taxi ride to the airport with his characters--that for him, B&B function like Dilbert's co-workers in the Scott Adams universe. They are a target for his anger against the rising tide of stupidity.
Reading such a review might not make you like the movie, but it might help you understand why other people do.

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 11-05-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:33 PM
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In his written pieces, Ebert was more of a critic, analyzing a movie for what it said and did. (Maybe Siskel was too, but I haven't read his writings.) Ebert, in his written review of Beavis & Butthead Do America, explains why he thinks it's a good movie because of, not in spite of, how insufferably annoying the characters are.Reading such a review might not make you like the movie, but it might help you understand why other people do.
Ebert got the characters/show, at least in the big sense. B&B were a lot more subversive that a lot of people realized at the time. Yeah, they were crude, rude and obnoxious, but they were also deeply satirical of society and pop culture of the time, and made a pretty fair amount of biting commentary on many issues, including holding B&B up as exaggerated examples of the ignorance and stupidity causing problems in our country. Nobody was ever supposed to identify with B&B or celebrate their stupidity. Even as college students, whenever a B&B quote would come up, they were always in the context of something dumb that someone had done- either as mockery, or sometimes self-criticism.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:43 PM
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Regarding Beavis & Butthead, remember that Mike Judge, who created the characters and the show, was later responsible for Idiocracy, which shared some of the same themes about ignorance and stupidity.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:03 PM
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I have to wonder if the timing of this post has anything to do with Martin Scorcese's comments that the Marvel Comics movies are not "art" o "Cinema".
Because the arguments people are making here are similar to the arguments people are having about his comments
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:35 PM
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Regarding Beavis & Butthead, remember that Mike Judge, who created the characters and the show, was later responsible for Idiocracy, which shared some of the same themes about ignorance and stupidity.
And "Office Space" -- idiots at work.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:12 PM
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I agree with the OP. I hate critics and think most of them have long crawled up their own ass to smell their farts and hear their own voice echo.

But I'm in a bad mood right now.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:30 PM
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<snip> Supposedly, people who saw this early film of a train pulling into a station found it thrilling.
Try watching a YouTube clip of "Dr. Pimple Popper" and not pull away at the last second.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
That was always something I thought Roger Ebert was good at. He could give serious attention to a French art film, but he could also review a teenage sex comedy or a Fast & Furious-type film on its own merits.
It is what I liked about Ebert as well. Gene Siskel did a fair job of this as well. Though he gave Roger hell for giving Benji: The Hunted a thumbs up while giving Full Metal Jacket a thumbs down.

And I agree with Gene. FMJ is a great movie and Ebert was insane to give it thumbs down.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:03 PM
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There is a difference between a critic and a reviewer. People who are obsessively passionate about movies, like me, enjoy reading critics. If you just like to go to the movies like any normal person, you'll probably prefer a reviewer. I like both styles. Depending on the individual and of course the movie.

TLDR: there's nothing inherently bad about film criticism, it's just a style not everyone likes. Find a reviewer who's style you like and stick to them. Or read crowd-created reviews, like rottentomatoes.com
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Last edited by lissener; 11-06-2019 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
It is what I liked about Ebert as well. Gene Siskel did a fair job of this as well. Though he gave Roger hell for giving Benji: The Hunted a thumbs up while giving Full Metal Jacket a thumbs down.



And I agree with Gene. FMJ is a great movie and Ebert was insane to give it thumbs down.
Ebert was also wrong about Taste of Cherry, Blue Velvet, and I Spit on Your Grave.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
That was always something I thought Roger Ebert was good at. He could give serious attention to a French art film, but he could also review a teenage sex comedy or a Fast & Furious-type film on its own merits.
It is what I liked about Ebert as well. Gene Siskel did a fair job of this as well. Though he gave Roger hell for giving Benji: The Hunted a thumbs up while giving Full Metal Jacket a thumbs down.

And I agree with Gene. FMJ is a great movie and Ebert was insane to give it thumbs down.
Roger Ebert had a column in which he answered questions from readers and one asked why a particular serious film only got two stars while another, more frivolous film got four. He explained that he wasn't comparing the films to each other but to other films of the same type. So he might have been comparing the Benji film to other family films while comparing Full Metal Jacket to other, serious films.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:38 PM
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Duplicate post.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 11-06-2019 at 07:39 PM.
  #38  
Old 11-06-2019, 07:58 PM
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My biggest problem with critics that you don't see average joes do is the overwhelming desire to tie their reviews in to recent events and thus give movies a low score for reasons entirely outside their control. I remember when certain movies were given low scores in the aftermath of 9/11 because for whatever reason critics then thought films with anti-American elements weren't worth watching. Similarly today any action movie you can somehow tie in with a recent mass shooting with also get a low score, despite the fact in a decade from now nobody will know what the hell you're talking about. If you hate a movie because it's story sucks, that's perfectly fine to say but then throw in the Pulse Nightclub shooting as a reason to give some generic action movie a low-score because you don't like to promote "gun violence" so quickly.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
My biggest problem with critics that you don't see average joes do is the overwhelming desire to tie their reviews in to recent events and thus give movies a low score for reasons entirely outside their control. I remember when certain movies were given low scores in the aftermath of 9/11 because for whatever reason critics then thought films with anti-American elements weren't worth watching. Similarly today any action movie you can somehow tie in with a recent mass shooting with also get a low score, despite the fact in a decade from now nobody will know what the hell you're talking about. If you hate a movie because it's story sucks, that's perfectly fine to say but then throw in the Pulse Nightclub shooting as a reason to give some generic action movie a low-score because you don't like to promote "gun violence" so quickly.
Movies are a product of their historical context. You can't separate them.

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Old 11-06-2019, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Try watching a YouTube clip of "Dr. Pimple Popper" and not pull away at the last second.
Hey, Burpo, here it is: https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...vt=0&eim=1,2,6

Give it a thought...
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:29 AM
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Movies are a product of their historical context. You can't separate them.

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True, but nor does the presence of events outside the control of the filmmakers or actors necessarily make the film a bad one, or unworthy of viewing either. And nor does serendipitous timing with respect to current events make a film any better either.

Interplay with current events may make the film more or less relevant, but it doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the film, and nor should it really have much to do with a critic or reviewer's perception of the film either.

I'd even argue that it's their job to try and eliminate that sort of bias from their opinions of the film, being the supposedly more educated and experienced sorts involved.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:12 PM
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I couldn't disagree more.

A film takes place in three different points in time:
-when it was made
-the time it portrays
-and when you're watching it

Being aware of all three makes a movie a more fulfilling experience; ignoring any of them is a conscious choice not to see a movie as clearly as possible.

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Old 11-10-2019, 06:35 PM
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Here's a list of the best movies and TV shows for 2018 from one website:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/201.../best-d31.html

and they have lists for previous years. Here's the one from 2008:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2008/12/film-d31.html

Almost all of the titles I don't recognize or were only given limited release.
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