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Now With Moveable Parts
I always thought it would be great to get paid to watch movies. For a long time I wanted to be a movie critic...

Then I thought about it...and most of the well known movie critics are [email protected], and I hardly ever agree with them.

Mick LaSalle from the Chronicle is my worst enemy. I can't stand the guy, his taste in movies completely suck.

Then there's Ebert and his new guy, Roeper. Joel Siegal likes almost everything...there's that freak that does his movie thing on E!...you know the one, bald, possibly gay...(yeah...possibly )

So my question is this:
Are there any movie critics out there that you like? Share the same tastes in movies with?
I'm insanely curious.
~Sades



"Fabricated American"
When I check the review in the Globe of a movie I'm going to see, it is almost a 100% gaurentee that if the reviewer didn't like the movie, I am going to like it.
Don't know what the deal is, it's just funny that way.

-GTB
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Now With Moveable Parts
yeah...I've had the same experience.

I've really thought about trying to go about seeing what it takes to be a movie critic...but, it seems like a tough gig. You might gain a small following, but not everyone is going to agree with you...
I guess that's why I like this place so much, it's like being a critic; but you get conversation with other critics...
I've actually changed my mind about movies before, based on the opinions of other members.
Moulin Rouge is an example. I was really split down the middle about it...then after everyone raved about it...I started thinking of the good parts, more than the parts that rubbed me the wrong way...

I'm rambling. :



I dunno what to make of Ebert, personally. Some of his reviews I find dead on. Others...well, I just wonder to myself as to who his dealer is, and how I can get in touch with him. He completely bothced his LOTR: FOTR review, IMO. He didn't know if he was coming or going. Criticizing it plenty (for not being as good as the book, no less :rolleyes), but still giving it a strong rating. He seemed confused.

I do read his reviews fairly regularly, though. They're insightful, and, funky tastes or not, the guy does know movies. He's the only critic who's reviews I read with any consistency.



I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
I just see what the basic reaction to them is...(ie. Entertainment Weekly) not exactly a precise review, but it gives you the basic feel.
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Originally posted by Greg The Bunny
When I check the review in the Globe of a movie I'm going to see, it is almost a 100% gaurentee that if the reviewer didn't like the movie, I am going to like it.
Don't know what the deal is, it's just funny that way.

-GTB
For me it's Gene Shalit. You know, that clown on Today on NBC? Ebert is probably my favorite among the famous critics, but we still disagree a lot.
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Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.
Mike D'Angelo - he writes for TONY

He's generally an extremely tough reviewer, so anything that he's given a strong rating, I generally know is going to be good
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I admire Glenn Kenny, from Premiere, and usually agree with him. When he likes a movie, I pay attention, although we've had our differences. Owen Glieberman, from Entertainment Weekly, is okay--I agree with Spud on that one.

The thing about Ebert is, I used to hate him, but he's mellowed so much in the past five years or so. Now he's fully prepared to like movies for what they are, most of the time, and I like him for that. Roeper is a snob, but can be pretty dead-on (and funny) in his ruthlessness.

The rest of 'em can pretty much kiss my @ss. I'm watching what I want to watch, whether they like it or not.

Mary Lo
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I'm not old, you're just 12.
Me. I was a film critic for two years, and I always listen to my own opinions...
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Ahh, with what joy we all criticize critics for being critical.

Personally, Iím old enough to remember gloomy Sundays in Massachusetts when there was nothing to due in my town but either get stoned or watch Siskel and Ebert. Since I liked keeping my head clear, I skipped the former and chose the latter.

Back in the late 70ís, back on PBS, they rocked. They had something to say, and changed movies as we know them for about a decade. When Hollywood realized these two wouldnít go away, they bought them. Disney, that is. It was then that slowly Ebert started liking everything, and itís my view why Siskel got sick and died. I think he hated watching his fat friend stuff himself on Hollywood bonbons and lose even more of this edge.

Itís not that Ebert has lost all credibility, but the show has. If you need genunine reviews, go to:

www.metacritic.com

This site tabulates and links all reviews to all new movies. Then, it gives them a score from 1-100 based on the perceived scores of said reviews. The cool thing is that you can either:

1. Find out itís score and just go on that and know NOTHING about the movie except for itís title and tagline.

2. Or you can find what a favorite reviewer or two thought of it. For instance, the Wall Street Journal is typically vicious. If they seem positive, and their score is at the bottom, then go see it.

Regrettably, even THIS site is suspicious sometimes. It highly rates MULHOLLAND DRIVE (like a 92 out of 100), then, mysteriously, itís score feel to 76 or so a week later. I love Lynch, but Mull was no 92. 79 or so at best.

As a screenwriter I find it distressing that there comes a time where the young must discover cliches for themselves. Itís their right. When I was a kid, KISS was new and older brothers and cousins looked at me like I was nuts. (They did this with QUEEN and even ELTON JOHN.) They thought all this music sucked because they had already had their helping of cliches before I was old enough to know it, and they had already moved on.

I have this friend with a 12 year old daughter. She only wants to see new, new, new!!! Old movie?!? Forget it! New!

I think most movie goers arenít really so different. They donít want to hear a critic telling them that Bette Davis acts better from her grave then Meg Ryan does with a coach. They donít care.

Moviegoers want to discover something new, and will settle for crap and blame critics for being fools-- ANYTHING- just to get a NEW movie they can say theyíve seen and YOU havenít.

So be kind to the critics. There are a few good ones still out there. Appreciate that only about 10 movies come out a year that are as good or better than the ten best movies of the year before, and so forth. The rest of the movies are dreck, they really are.

If you had to see everything at the movies, like or it not, youíd probably overfeed yourself or die of some disease.

Two cents..
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I criticize critics because they tend to be burnt out pinheads. Did you know that Roger Ebert and many other critics blasted the hell out of Star Wars when it first came out? Ebert now praises it (he now calls it a 4 star movie), as do most of those afore mentioned critics who are still around. Those who can recognize (on their own) that exciting movies can be great, I say bravo to them; but most critics just plain suck. Sorry.

This message has been brought to you by firegod, and in no way intends to represent the opinions of anyone other than him. Furthermore, no pinheads have been injured or have been caused to have physical pain in the making of this message.



I used to read any reviews by any critic I could get my hands on, but now I don't read reviews until after I've seen the movies. I'd rather form my own opinions than feel like I have to contend with someone else's. I don't buy this thing about all critics being jackasses though. I mean, if they love movies, what's the problem, even if they dont' like the same things you do?

I'd rather read a review by someone who disagrees with me than someone who agrees, personally. It's much more interesting that way, and it's inspiring, because it makes me want to argue with them.

I like professional critics. I like the ones who will defend a movie that everyone else hates (like Roeper and Vanilla Sky, to use one example), no matter how nutty the other critics make them look. It's sort of romantic, in a sick, movie-fetishist kind of way. I like to read Village Voice and New York Times critics, because we seldom agree, and Ebert and I have about a 50/50 thing going. There's no one I can always agree with, and I prefer it that way. Unanimity (is that a word?) bores me.

It's sort of like everybody's a critic, though, you know? Criticizing them doesn't make much sense to me, because it seems like we're all in the same boat, they just get to make a living out of it.
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A lot of critics are jackasses. You might be surprised at how freely they hand out information in their reviews. A lot of people (myself included) will read reviews to decide whether or not we should plunk down the cash to see a flick...so what's the deal with, basically, spoilers in the reviews? Ebert doesn't seem to give a crap half the time. He knows not to give away some big, shocking ending, but I don't know if he realizes that you can quite easily put ideas in people's heads, or lead them to the water, without actually having them drink. The guy just isn't careful enough, it seems.

Anyway, my only other beef with most critics is that some are quite snobby, and others inconsistent. Ebert is definitely, IMO, inconsistent...but a good writer anyway, so I read his reviews now and then. We've got a few local newspaper fellows, however, who seem to despise anything mainstream, period. It's sickening. You know the type: berade Deep Blue Sea by comparing it to Jaws.



Originally posted by Steve
It's sort of like everybody's a critic, though, you know? Criticizing them doesn't make much sense to me, because it seems like we're all in the same boat, they just get to make a living out of it.
Well said. If anyone's ever asked you what you think of a movie, and you're answer wasn't, "Well gee.. I don't know.." then you're a movie critic.



Originally posted by firegod
Did you know that Roger Ebert and many other critics blasted the hell out of Star Wars when it first came out? Ebert now praises it (he now calls it a 4 star movie), as do most of those afore mentioned critics who are still around. Sorry.
This oddly enough supports a notion I'm semi-suggesting in another thread, that once you see all three installments of a movie trilogy you can better appreciate the first installment.

On it's own, I don't know what all the fuss is about critics finding flaws in the first Star Wares movie. It's a slow movie. The acting varies from sad to good, depending who's on screen. The score is great, the original effects in 77 were eye-crackingly good. The story is decent.

From 1 to 100, I'd give it a fun, must see 72, which is about 3 stars I guess.



Originally posted by TWTCommish
A lot of critics are jackasses. You might be surprised at how freely they hand out information in their reviews. A lot of people (myself included) will read reviews to decide whether or not we should plunk down the cash to see a flick...so what's the deal with, basically, spoilers in the reviews? Ebert doesn't seem to give a crap half the time. He knows not to give away some big, shocking ending, but I don't know if he realizes that you can quite easily put ideas in people's heads, or lead them to the water, without actually having them drink. The guy just isn't careful enough, it seems.

Anyway, my only other beef with most critics is that some are quite snobby, and others inconsistent. Ebert is definitely, IMO, inconsistent...but a good writer anyway, so I read his reviews now and then. We've got a few local newspaper fellows, however, who seem to despise anything mainstream, period. It's sickening. You know the type: berade Deep Blue Sea by comparing it to Jaws.
What do you mean by snobby? and for that matter, inconsistent? I agree about the spoiler thing, it's not very fair to the reader. I recognize that most people would rather read a review before, instead of after seeing the movie.

I like how Ebert writes, but it seems like sometimes he takes shortcuts - i.e., his review for Bamboozled.



Inconsistent in a couple of ways. For one, he'll construct a review pointing out only flaws, and then give the film three stars. Or vice versa. Also inconsistent (in my opinion, of course) in the sense that I think he'd feel drastically different about some films had he only watched them on a different day. Perhaps I'm being stupid, but it always seems to me that he'll review highly similar films and come away disgusted with one, and enthralled with the other. I have no proof, but this is the feeling I get from him, for sure.

As for snobby: a snob is someone who takes points away from a film simply because it's mainstream. Believe me, such critics exist...and some of them write for newspapers in Pittsburgh, unfortunately. All they do is compare modern day films to some mildly related classic of the past, putting it down for not being as good. I'm being dead serious when I say there are folks out here who like, say, 1 out of 10 films they review.



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Registered User
Pauline Kael was always my favourite reviewer of movies. She never, ever stuck to the middle ground. She either uncontrollably adored a film, or violently hated it. And that's what a good reviewer should be, passionate. Try to check out some of her earlier reviews. Absolutely biting.

Ebert's best reviews are his "Greatest Movies" reviews. In these we get to appreciate how much the man really loves film. Read his E.T. review - that was original and very cute. His recent work, especially this year, has been mixed. He gave Black Hawk Down, A Beautiful Mind and Harry Potter his maximum mark of four stars. But I think History is already telling us that these three films are very much not in the classic category.

Anyone else notice how Ebert is very much breast-fixated. The man wrote scripts for Russ Meyer for heaven's sake, and he hasn't lost it. He hated everything that Lynch ever made until Mulholland Dr. (Anything to do with the big busted leading ladies, Roger?). And the man gave Tomb Raider 3 stars. I wonder why?

James Berardinelli is my least favourite reviewer. This man is the personification of everything I hate about modern film criticism. Mediocrity pervades all of his reviews. Good movies will get 2 and a half stars, bad movies will get 2 stars. He sticks to the middle ground all the time. He has no passion for film. Or at least his reviews haven't. He has never been able to describe a movie with enough adoration to make me want to see it. Unlike the above 2 reviewers.
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Now With Moveable Parts
Originally posted by firegod
This message has been brought to you by firegod, and in no way intends to represent the opinions of anyone other than him. Furthermore, no pinheads have been injured or have been caused to have physical pain in the making of this message. [/b]
I like this.

I'm starting to like movie critics less and less...it boils down to one reason: They get paid to do what costs me a lot of money. They make a living off of my hobby, who wouldn't want that life?Not fair.



meglvsewan's Avatar
Dedicated Ewan freak forever.
Critics are a mixed bag. Sometimes I can't agree with them more, half the time I don't know what they are talking about (they are all so INTO it), and sometimes I just hate what they say. There was one guy I was reading yesterday, Chuck Rudolph (Matinee Magazine). He says the most preposterous, hypocritical things! He likes about 5 movies on his list. Yeck, he really made me mad!!!