About Critics (Part 1)

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RedEyesBlackGamer:

bombadilillo:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
My problem isn't any of those points, it is how you make things personal. You insult people of differing opinions. If you enjoy The Expendables you are "probably the worst kind of person." Really? Also, I don't care about your personal life. You completely invalidated your own review of Scream 4 by opening with that rant about the Scream franchise taking away your "skill" (it was never a skill in the first place).

Just be more professional. That is what I am asking.

I think his point was more like this...When people watched Sideways a bunch of them magically thought that they were wine snobs and ran around pretending to be sophisticated by adopting traits and opinions that they had nothing to do with before a movie came along and made it popular. Real wine geeks are pissed at the newcomers literally posing in on their hobby.

I think you misunderstood his point, or at least his issue with it.

Now you are making him sound like a hipster. More people gaining interest in something is usually considered a good thing.

Well i am perpetually pissed that Comic Con got popular and I can ever get a freaking ticket becuae douchebags decided it was cool and all want to go. So I see where he is coming from. No more people interested in something can ruin. Especially when they dont actually care but are doing it to be trendy.

From interpretation point of view of a piece of art, each person will have their own.
From technicality point of view, either its down to common sense or the fact a critic points out the flaws won't help unless the audience is also well informed enough to understand (they might be and still might not care, if one expects a movie to make him laugh, cry or shit his pants, and the movie does that, does it matter if technically the movie was pure crap?!).
For both these reasons critics are out of touch with the audience.

As for being harsher with more popular art pieces, in terms of movies its primarily I coincidence I guess, as critics come out before the movies are released to the public. Being visceral afterwards or with sequels of popular franchises, I agree. But popular franchises are made to become money cows to be milked until exaustion from the beginning. Less effort for more money will rule unless instead bashing the makers, we can educate the audience to change its standards and disapprove lazy productions.

As for unreliable depending on the sheer number of movies seen, I agree with you. I can see someone seeing thousands and still not being able to learn anything from it or changing their standards.

The thing is if critics are to work (to preserve/improve production quality) by making the audience capable of understanding their meaning (more on the technical point of view) it wont be by individual movies critics. People need to understand the principles involved. And yet, if they were so objective and were to improve production to a certain standard you would expect always similar reviews, and not mixed ones. Unless of course there are also great critics and blantantly horrible ones. But recognising bad critics is adding to the cause of the bashers.

At the end of that day, critics are yet another opinion. I dont use them to decide if I am going to see a movie or not. And I can come up with my own judgement too. But I will value them as opinions with which I can compare mine.

I pretty much only come to the escapist any more for Movie Bob. You do good work and you set yourself apart from the dare I say hacks on TGWTG. Keep up the good work kiddo, I wouldn't change a thing. Unless I was asked to. Then I would say lets change the way summer camps are viewed. I have great summer camp stories and I can't tell them because everyone I know always gives me funny looks when I tell them I still go to summer camps at age 24.

bombadilillo:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

bombadilillo:

I think his point was more like this...When people watched Sideways a bunch of them magically thought that they were wine snobs and ran around pretending to be sophisticated by adopting traits and opinions that they had nothing to do with before a movie came along and made it popular. Real wine geeks are pissed at the newcomers literally posing in on their hobby.

I think you misunderstood his point, or at least his issue with it.

Now you are making him sound like a hipster. More people gaining interest in something is usually considered a good thing.

Well i am perpetually pissed that Comic Con got popular and I can ever get a freaking ticket becuae douchebags decided it was cool and all want to go. So I see where he is coming from. No more people interested in something can ruin. Especially when they dont actually care but are doing it to be trendy.

How do you know that "douchebags are going because it got cool"? That is like me saying that gaming was better before Facebook, Halo, and CoD increased the gaming audience. It is really just hipster talk. Strawmanning is never a good thing.

Wolfram01:
That's not at all the point. A movie doesn't have to be The King's Speech to be a good film. I mean, look at the Fast and Furious movies. They are not good films. The plots suck, the acting is mediocre, the action is almost cartoony. But they are fun movies. That doesn't mean critics shouldn't slam them for what they are.

I hate people that expect every movie they see to be some life changing experience. I'm not spending 8 bucks to have my life changed, I'm spending it to be entertained for two hours. I watched "Se7en" and "Gangs of New York" because of the critical buzz they recieved and will never watch either of them again because I couldn't stand their endings.

Wolfram01:
Call of Duty is one of the worst offenders in the video game arena for being formulaic and repetitive. They all have the same multiplayer and they all have pretty mediocre single player campaigns when you consider the scope of what video games have done - including single player FPS games. The franchise is pretty stagnant but people love it. People are also stupid. It should be slammed for being generic, for being yet another grey brown shooter, for having a same-old same-old multiplayer experience. That doesn't mean people shouldn't buy it, or like it, or play it. It just means it's not something to hold up as a shining example of video games... Games that are given 9/10 and 10/10 should be games we can all point to and say hey, look at that game. This is what video games are about, what they can be. CoD, as much fun as it is, is just a shitty action movie. It's fun, but it's dumb. I would think it deserves at best a 7.5 thanks to the amount of fun you can have, but otherwise..?

Call of Duty is not being held up as A shinning example, it being held up as THEIR shinning example. Mine include Bloodrayne 2, Headhunter: Redemption and Rumble Roses among others.

Wolfram01:
Also... how can a game critic possibly judge a game for enjoyment, something that is so personal and subjective? That doesn't take skill or knowledge. On that critera, my 8 year old cousin could be a great game reviewer. No, MovieBob is right. Reviewers need to delve into the nitty gritty details and look beyond if it's "fun" or not.

No... for games, everything beyond the fun factor should be considered a bonus.

wagglelance:
I pretty much only come to the escapist any more for Movie Bob. You do good work and you set yourself apart from the dare I say hacks on TGWTG.

please, Please, PLEASE, tell me you are not serious. With the exception of the Disgruntled Watcher, every single other person there has the ability to be entertaining and enjoyable, even when I don't agree with them.

What is this? Movie Bob writes articles? Why? Isn't the whole point of his show basically an article with a bunch of images and faces? I dun getit.

Wait you read ALL of the comments! Wow, you sir, ARE A TRUE HERO!! I don't really post very often myself since I'm thinking that the OP probably won't read it anyways (I barely read the first page of any comment's section). Also that and whatever productive thing I have to say is usually already said by at least a few people on the first page. Sooo...

OT: Everything you said about a critic is something I've always known, really critics are the future!

RedEyesBlackGamer:

bombadilillo:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Now you are making him sound like a hipster. More people gaining interest in something is usually considered a good thing.

Well i am perpetually pissed that Comic Con got popular and I can ever get a freaking ticket becuae douchebags decided it was cool and all want to go. So I see where he is coming from. No more people interested in something can ruin. Especially when they dont actually care but are doing it to be trendy.

How do you know that "douchebags are going because it got cool"? That is like me saying that gaming was better before Facebook, Halo, and CoD increased the gaming audience. It is really just hipster talk. Strawmanning is never a good thing.

Because you can see the people there that weren't there before. This isnt a strawman argument. Its observable.

Way to go Bob, now I want to see The Tree of Life but it's not playing anywhere around here, not even in the local indie theaters.

I know the Daily Mail gets a lot of flak for entirely justified reasons, but I'm going to single out Chris Tookey, one of their movie reviewers for just being beyond godawful.

Firstly, if it's in anyway an action/comedy/horror/fantasy/sci fi movie, it's awful. If it's a wanky overblown drama, ten points, extra points for period costumes and / or subtitles. huge points if it fits the Mail's agenda.

For example, Kick-Ass, teen beats up criminals - worst movie ever made, and actively encourages the knife murder of children and makes paedophiles rape babies.

Harry Brown, nice old man beats the living fuck out of teenage criminals, a witty, well crafted moral tale.

I still maintain that his review of Kick-Ass is the worst movie review I've ever seen in my life. He actively tries to link the real life murders of children with action scenes in a rather silly and obviously fantastical and unrealistic movie, stating "Do we really want to live, for instance, in a culture when the torture and killing of a James Bulger or Damilola Taylor is re-enacted by child actors for laughs?"

No, we don't and it's not happening. It's on a par with demanding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is banned because of child obesity, for one, it's a wild fantasy of a movie, and secondly, people's brains just aren't that easily affected.

I agree with a fair bit of what Bob writes, but even if I didn't, he's a level headed genius compared to Tookey.

Just in case you don't have enough rage in your day, a link:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/reviews/article-1262948/Kick-Ass-Dont-fooled-hype--This-crime-cinema-twisted-cynical-revels-abuse-childhood.html

Don't get me wrong, he's entitled to hate the movie, and entitled to take issue with it on moral grounds, directly comparing it to snuff and child porn, however, a little overdone.

I should state for transparency, I thought Kick Ass was an excellent movie, not ground breaking or life changing,but just thoroughly fun and entertaining and didn't outstay it's welcome, and at no point since have I wanted to sexually abuse a child or go on a stabbing spree.

As for the knife crime thing (which they also criticised Heath Ledger's Joker for, for having 'knife fetishism' in the movie, what are bad guys supposed to do if they can't hurt people, just say rude things? Nope, that's out too, as Portal 2 has ably demonstrated.) maybe in the next WW2 movie we'll get scenes of Adolf Hitler deliberately not sorting his recycling before he throws it out. (Yeah I godwin'd, what of it?)

Outright Villainy:
I don't have any problems with you holding films to a higher standard, or being vitriolic about cash in sequels (which are usually entertaining in fact), the biggest recurring problem is your dismissal of people who enjoy films like that. You conflate anyone who enjoys The Expendables, Michael Bay films or Fast 5 as "Douchebags" quite often. Aside from the fact that there's no accounting for tastes, there's nothing wrong with people wanting movies they can switch their brain off for, and downright insulting everyone based on their tastes just makes you come off like, frankly, a bit of a dick.

I'm not saying you need to change your whole schtick, because you usually do have some good insights on movies, but your whole "Us vs them" mentality has got to stop.

This. I feel this is the issue you should have addressed. It's fine to feel vitriolic about cash-in movies, I mean you should! I feel that calling anyone who enjoys a certain genre a "douchebag" is quite a bit over the line.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
None of those things are even what I have an issue with, although with elitism I will say it's all fine and good until you start being a dick about it. Now, I like watching MovieBob and I will listen to everything he has to say and take it for just as an opinion, and if I don't agree with it then I ignore it and move on.

What I do have an issue with is being insulted by someone I don't know and he can make sweeping generalizations about people that watch a certain movie or have a certain opinion. That pisses me off. If you and I don't agree on something, fine, but don't be an ass about it. I've seen The Expendables and enjoyed it, why? Because it was mindless and I didn't have to think too much about it, also because I knew what I was expecting. A really bad movie and I was entertained, so if that make makes me a terrible person, then fine.

I love this. "Someone I don't know made a sweeping generalisation that includes me, and thus made me the butt of an obvious joke. Excuse me, I must be getting all up in arms on an internet forum." Shining example of a first world problem.

OhJohnNo:

Wolfram01:
Well I do agree with Bob here. I wish game critics *cough*IGN*cough* could take the hint and start slamming formulaic titles for what they are. Call of Duty... 7 is it? Seriously?

God, no. I like game critics the way they are, precisely because they aren't film critics and evaluate enjoyment rather than some misguided sense of artistic value.

CoD is the summer blockbuster of gaming, and game critics are superior to film critics IMO because they recognise the game is there to be played for fun, rather than marking it down because it isn't trying to present some deep message or moral dilemma.

I think you can do both, to be honest. In the end it should be up to individual critics to decide whether they want to concentrate on explaining their pure enjoyment, or analysing it for a deeper experience, or do both at once. The thing you have to be aware of is, not everyone wants to see a film for 'artistic value', sure: but for some people, like myself, a sense of artistic value is what makes the film 'enjoyable'.

I think the key with critics of any medium is to accept that they're human beings with different tastes and opinions, and try to find one who you largely agree or identify with rather than trying to mould them all in your own image.

goliath6711:

wagglelance:
I pretty much only come to the escapist any more for Movie Bob. You do good work and you set yourself apart from the dare I say hacks on TGWTG.

please, Please, PLEASE, tell me you are not serious. With the exception of the Disgruntled Watcher, every single other person there has the ability to be entertaining and enjoyable, even when I don't agree with them.

Why yes, I am serious. I am not a fan of TGWTG. The site feels like 4Chan trolls made some videos and up them up on the internet. Now other 4Chan trolls follow them and giggle along with the cheap characters and crappy jokes. If thats your cup of tea that is fine. But I prefer a mug of China Black.

Shamanic Rhythm:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
None of those things are even what I have an issue with, although with elitism I will say it's all fine and good until you start being a dick about it. Now, I like watching MovieBob and I will listen to everything he has to say and take it for just as an opinion, and if I don't agree with it then I ignore it and move on.

What I do have an issue with is being insulted by someone I don't know and he can make sweeping generalizations about people that watch a certain movie or have a certain opinion. That pisses me off. If you and I don't agree on something, fine, but don't be an ass about it. I've seen The Expendables and enjoyed it, why? Because it was mindless and I didn't have to think too much about it, also because I knew what I was expecting. A really bad movie and I was entertained, so if that make makes me a terrible person, then fine.

I love this. "Someone I don't know made a sweeping generalisation that includes me, and thus made me the butt of an obvious joke. Excuse me, I must be getting all up in arms on an internet forum." Shining example of a first world problem.

Hmm... I don't really know how to take that or if you are mocking me. I will say, yes, I don't like it. I'm not getting all up in arms, it just pisses me off, and I was just stating my issue with him which is my opinion.

Do I like being the 'butt of an obvious joke'? No, but I will take it has his opinion and that doesn't mean I have to like it.

So I guess this is everyone's chance to have their own conversation with Bob, huh? Meh, I'll wait till an aricle with less traffic.

Pretty sure these weren't the complaints I see aimed at you continually in each weeks comments section
They are usually about how you use strawman arguments or generally have no idea what your talking about
Take Other M, you called people who didn't like it racists, ignoring the fallacies in your own argument and used that as some sort of dumbass excuse to prove yourself right

Or when you said PC gaming was dying because.... people bought 500 other products that do one part of what a PC can separately and that is a good thing... because of something

Do you see the issue? If you really read the comments each week, you should very well understand what the issue is, but instead your using arguments that were NEVER aimed at you

But hey,using complaints that were never aimed at you in the first place is the best way to make it seem like your coming from the moral high ground right? Right?

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Shamanic Rhythm:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
None of those things are even what I have an issue with, although with elitism I will say it's all fine and good until you start being a dick about it. Now, I like watching MovieBob and I will listen to everything he has to say and take it for just as an opinion, and if I don't agree with it then I ignore it and move on.

What I do have an issue with is being insulted by someone I don't know and he can make sweeping generalizations about people that watch a certain movie or have a certain opinion. That pisses me off. If you and I don't agree on something, fine, but don't be an ass about it. I've seen The Expendables and enjoyed it, why? Because it was mindless and I didn't have to think too much about it, also because I knew what I was expecting. A really bad movie and I was entertained, so if that make makes me a terrible person, then fine.

I love this. "Someone I don't know made a sweeping generalisation that includes me, and thus made me the butt of an obvious joke. Excuse me, I must be getting all up in arms on an internet forum." Shining example of a first world problem.

Hmm... I don't really know how to take that or if you are mocking me. I will say, yes, I don't like it. I'm not getting all up in arms, it just pisses me off, and I was just stating my issue with him which is my opinion.

Do I like being the 'butt of an obvious joke'? No, but I will take it has his opinion and that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I don't know about you, but I spent most of my school life getting ripped on for one thing or another, I hang out with people who make me the butt of the odd joke or generalisation, and there is a such a thing as light hearted humour that may have SOME grounding in truth, but when directed at you is generally not intended to be serious. Such is the case with the kind of humour in Bob's reviews: I can guarantee he doesn't mean it seriously that you are "the worst kind of person." There is also something you might want to learn about called 'hyperbole'.

Outright Villainy:
I don't have any problems with you holding films to a higher standard, or being vitriolic about cash in sequels (which are usually entertaining in fact), the biggest recurring problem is your dismissal of people who enjoy films like that. You conflate anyone who enjoys The Expendables, Michael Bay films or Fast 5 as "Douchebags" quite often. Aside from the fact that there's no accounting for tastes, there's nothing wrong with people wanting movies they can switch their brain off for, and downright insulting everyone based on their tastes just makes you come off like, frankly, a bit of a dick.

I'm not saying you need to change your whole schtick, because you usually do have some good insights on movies, but your whole "Us vs them" mentality has got to stop.

Nothing wrong with paying $12 (more in other countries) to go to a cinema and turn your brain off?!

Susan Arendt:
[
Hi, check out my title. Don't assume that because something is produced that doesn't match how you would handle it, that it hasn't already been through a quality control process. Bob will be the first to assure you that, yes, I keep a close eye on his stuff (I edit Intermission and produce both of his video series) and plenty gets changed. That said, I wouldn't dream of stifling Bob's creative voice. I don't always agree with what he says or how he says it, but I thoroughly respect his creative vision. The Escapist gives its content creators as much free reign as we can, so that they can express themselves without feeling like they have to fit into someone else's philosophy. We do have standards, of course, and in those instances when those standards are breached, things get changed. But by and large, we let people be who they want to be. An editor who imposes their voice on someone else is a bad editor.

Yes, Bob says things that piss people off. That's who Bob is. I could sanitize the hell out of his work and make it so that it makes everyone happy...and then it wouldn't be Bob's voice or thoughts anymore. It would be my version of his voice and thoughts. That does the creator a disservice and it goes against everything The Escapist stands for.

Well, that pretty much says it all. If this is already going on, then I'm apparently wrong, and it will be business as usual which I'm fine with despite piping up, as I do wind up tuning in pretty much every week. I was thinking that the editors were spending most of their time with the text articles.

Your happy with his product, and if your reviwing it, and deciding to pay him, it is after all your site, and your call.

The only bit I'm going to say, without the intent of starting an arguement I know I can't win, is that I think your misunderstanding my intent, perhaps because I conveyed by thoughts badly. I am not talking about forcing Bob or anyone to fit solidly within a given philsophy or not offend anyone, what I'm talking about is professionalism. There is a differance between being a critic and/or reviewer and being a bit irreverant about it, and using what is supposed to be a critique column on a specific subject as an attack platform.

I guess what I'm getting at is that if you pick up say "The New York Times" and read a review of a movie, you don't expect a rant about a movie that reviewed eight months ago, or an attack on the people who watched said movie knowing some of those people are your readership. To some extent I also look at what brought down Imus (well brought down is probably too strong a term, he's out there in private radio, and recovered nicely last time I checked). Basically the guy got a free hand, tons of complaints were filtered, and eventually it just got to the point where he dropped one straw too many the the guys paying him wound up with little choice in having to let him go, despite all the money he was making them. I believe that straw was some slurs thrown at a women's basketball team (Rutgers). We might disagree on how relevent examples like that are to this kind of discussion. In the end it comes down to where you wind up drawing the line, and how often you let people step over it.

It's your site, you don't have to agree with me. Obviously I don't see it as a big deal as I choose to continue to call your site and listen to these reviews. However when a topic like this comes up, I'm going to toss my opinion out there. There is apparently more oversight going on here than I thought, though in the end I guess I do think there should be more, and that it would actually improve the site. In the end it's not something I'm going to leave the site over though, or get into a knock down, drag out fight with the staff running a site I like to patronize (which is why I care enough to say anything to begin with).

Hopefully I'm conveying this correctly, and apologies for any distress I caused you.

Azaraxzealot:
Well, maybe you don't actually WANT to provoke a response, because that kind of makes you a troll (in a bad way).

But in any case, i agree with all the points made because i am so SICK of douchebags who pay to see movies and games that are just lazy, cheap cash-ins and GENUINELY say they are better than actual GOOD games and movies

(example: my fiance thinks that Pirates 4 is better than Scott Pilgrim, my brothers think Call of Duty is better than Red Dead Redemption, my mom thinks Twilight is better than District 9. My fiance's best friends think Sucker Punch is better than Inception. I'm surrounded by lowbrow, ignorant, and just frustratingly "average joe" people)

Are you serious? I really hope you just worded what you were trying to say in a sloppy manner, because calling your friends and family "lowbrow, ignorant, and frustratingly "average joe" is judgmental at best and flat out cruel narcissism at worst.

Honestly, posts like that just kind of suck the life out of me. I try and summon the energy to post a well worded response, but the result is almost always universal, in that I end up having a 12 page argument with someone who will never change their opinion. But hell I actually feel so greatly about that comment I'm going to do so anyway.

Why can you not just live and let live? Why is it that just because something appeals to the masses more than the minority it automatically becomes a lazy cheap cash-in? Yes, the creativity department may be a bit lacking because they have a preset basis to work off of, but that's because it has already been proven to work. If they made a Shawshank Redemption 2, or a Titanic 2, would you call it a cheap cash-in? If it was good with its own merits, I highly doubt that you would.

Yet in that regard, it would be no different from the Call of Duty 6's and Transformers 2 that you see today. It took a formula that works and built upon/emulated it because they knew it had a prior positive response. I'm all for innovation and grand new changes, but if that's all that movie companies did, they would probably all just go out of business and have nothing to work off of within years.

And don't you dare say that they are lazy cheap cash ins. I personally know people who have worked directly in the productions of movies such as I am Number 4 and Suckerpunch, movies that people with your kind of attitude chalk up as lazy stupid teenage movies with no redeeming factors. Well you know what? They poured their heart and souls into making that movie, and then have people like YOU bash it simply because it wasn't up to your standards?

Who the fuck are you to classify these movies as lazy, cheap and stupid? Who the fuck are you to praise other movies that have received just as much attention and care from their creators as others, but simply appeal to you more?

But then again that's just the human condition isn't it. We all believe what we want, and 99 percent of the time, your view is the one that is uncorrectable and just. I'm probably wasting my breath... fingers here, but I implore you to simply look at your own post and think before typing. It may be easier on the Internet to just say shit without thinking about it when it comes to more serious topics, but that doesn't mean in any way that you shouldn't give thought about it. Lord knows that if this were the case in real life Fox news wouldn't have a reason to exist anymore.

Shamanic Rhythm:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Shamanic Rhythm:

I love this. "Someone I don't know made a sweeping generalisation that includes me, and thus made me the butt of an obvious joke. Excuse me, I must be getting all up in arms on an internet forum." Shining example of a first world problem.

Hmm... I don't really know how to take that or if you are mocking me. I will say, yes, I don't like it. I'm not getting all up in arms, it just pisses me off, and I was just stating my issue with him which is my opinion.

Do I like being the 'butt of an obvious joke'? No, but I will take it has his opinion and that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I don't know about you, but I spent most of my school life getting ripped on for one thing or another, I hang out with people who make me the butt of the odd joke or generalisation, and there is a such a thing as light hearted humour that may have SOME grounding in truth, but when directed at you is generally not intended to be serious. Such is the case with the kind of humour in Bob's reviews: I can guarantee he doesn't mean it seriously that you are "the worst kind of person." There is also something you might want to learn about called 'hyperbole'.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, so please don't take offense if it comes across as that. The same thing happened to me growing up and most of the time it wasn't by my friends and it wasn't funny, so you must excuse me. I do have a sense of humor, I'm not made of stone, but not when it comes to something as subjective as that. I don't like it when people get insulted for thing something that not everyone does, and vice versa. I know what a hyperbole is, it's one of my favorite usages, but when he says it I can't really tell if he's joking or not some of the time, and that's my problem, i.e. personal stupidity at the moment.

Generalizations do have some truth in it, but you also risk having a gourmet meal of foot when it doesn't apply to someone.

Jim Sterling ran into a similar problem with people's reaction to his review of FFXIII. They claimed it was too "subjective" and all about "his own opinion." Well, this is his purely objective follow-up review http://www.destructoid.com/100-objective-review-final-fantasy-xiii-179178.phtml

I can certainly understand using the comments count to gauge the popularity of each video.. However, a few of your segments have felt like intentional flame bait, just to bump that number up. A fact I've called you out on before.

As for the points at hand, I cannot find fault with any of them. However I think there's more to the arguments than what you brought up. For example, being an elitist itself isn't a problem. What is a problem are certain people who use their elevated knowledge of a subject matter to look down their nose at anyone who enjoys something less artful.

For example, your favorite target: The Expendables. No, it wasn't a good movie, by any stretch. It was pretty terrible, which is exactly what I expected. And you know what, I enjoyed it. I passed on it during it's theatre run, but rented it and watched it with some buddies, MST3K style.... and we had a blast.

In contrast, I absolutely LOVED your review of 2012. Comparing good film making to bad, explaining a bit of shot composition and artistic styles... that is what a good "elitist" should be capable of. In other words: less about "look at me I'm awesome" and more about helping others understand why you're so awesome, with the hope that they will agree with you and climb to your level of awesomeness, so that one day films like Scott Pilgrim won't get crushed at the Box Office.

Well that turned into more of a ramble than planned. I think I've been watching too much Yahtzee ;)

Your criticisms of movies I can trust, most of the time. You let the popularity, or lack thereof, get to your reviews way too much perhaps, I'm thinking particularly of the Scott Pilgrim/Expendables saga.

On games, however, I take what you say with a pinch of salt. You far too frequently let your personal feelings override any sort of geniune criticism. The Halo: Combat Evolved? Big Picture being a great example of that. I get that you don't like it, but at least address it's actual flaws rather than take something endemic to most games (varied enemies, monotonous protagonists) and pin it on this one for no reason.

In fact, between Yahtzee's bizarre multiplayer principles, your bias, and Extra Credits focus on games as art, a geniunely fun multiplayer game series with an admitedly lackluster single player campaign can't be properly criticized. Maybe that's what Jim was for, but he sure screwed that up.

/rant.

The use of "elitist" as an attack has always bothered me. It seems to me that all "elitism" means is the recognition that things that are better are better. This is not the same as arrogance, and I hate when these are lumped together.

Moeez:

Nothing wrong with paying $12 (more in other countries) to go to a cinema and turn your brain off?!

Do you really need that explained to you? "Turning off your brain" means silencing the nagging voice constantly telling you there is no such thing as magic, that there are no such thing as super heroes, that warp speed/transporters/time travel is logical, that all you have to do is call the cops/turn around/accuse the butler etc. That there's no freaking way a tank can hit a supersonic airborne target the size of a man with one round of its main gun. And then miss a static target. (I failed that one, I had to tell myself there was an off screen SAM launcher and the tank's gunner just happened to be bird watching in Tony's general direction).

It's much the same as being "swept up in the moment." Until The Dark Knight at midnight in IMAX the most memorable theater experience I ever had was watching Independence Day on opening night, which was just an awful film. At the time in a completely packed and raucous theater with everyone laughing uproariously at every single Will Smith clichéd one liner, it felt like a work of art.

Critics are eltists Part: If an elitist critic is someone who critiques things from superior to inferior based on merit, then what do you call someone who changes that merit to their will? Well then, I guess you're right in ignoring people calling you an elitist Bob, since clearly you're not professional enough to be an elitist. There is a name we can give you though, do you know what it is? I'll give you a hint, it's what you call anyone who watches or likes stuff by Michael Bay.

Critics hate all popular movies Part: To be fair I've never seen you as someone who turned their nose away from something just because it may become popular. What I have seen you as though is someone who turns their nose away from certain movies just because they may be popular with the people who may have bullied you before. I also notice that if a movie does something similar from a previous film you'll react differently depending on if its popular or not: if it is popular "We've already seen this before, its almost a copy", if it isn't popular "It pays homage to (movie title here)"

Critics aren't reliable because they see too many movies Part: I never hold this against a critic. I do agree that this argument against critics is utterly BS. But I'll say this. You mentioned earlier that as a critic you hope to sometimes encourage people to try and see movies that are often unique or out-of-the-box in an attempt to hopefully advance the medium of film by going with what works and abondoning what doesn't. The question remains then: who are you doing these reviews for exactely? What are you doing them for? The reason I ask is because while it certainly is a somewhat more admirable job to try and review movies that most people haven't heard of, you seem to be going about this with two minds. If you really wish to have people watch movies that advance the medium, then why do you also spend time giving negative criticisim to movies that you find don't advance the medium? I get that since you watch so much you try to get the most out of it by reviewing as much as you can, but it seems to be going against what you said. So, what type of critic are you? Are you one who thinks their audience is one that wishes to know which hidden gem they may have missed? Then why bother revieing movies that are heavily advertised? Are you a critic who thinks their audience is one that wishes to know if they should see the movie that they had been planning with their friends to see? Then why do you negatively critique parts of a movie that only affect you and other critics because of how much you watch while for the standard audience they find little issue with? This is the issue with you. You seem to sometimes fancy yourself as a critic whose work will influence the audience into watching what you deem to be the next step or help to advance the medium yet you review movies that seem to already get alot of attention and don't need so much a "In case you never heard of this" mentality but rather a "Is this better or worse than what everyone expected" mentality.

EDIT: Seeing as how a few people have brought up in this thread already (and several others before-hand), I'd like to offer my view on the whole "Yahtzee acts rude and is praised yet Bob does that and gets scorned"

Think of it, if you will, like this: Yahtzee is what would be considered say Stephen Colbert. Why? Because like Stephen Colbert, Yahtzee can say some pretty stupid and outlandish things, things that most would consider to be the attributes of a douche-bag or a dick, yet there is one thing that nullifies a good portion of that label: They're characters. Thats all it really is. Is what a good portion of what Yahtzee says based in reality? Sure, the base conclusion of "This game was good, this game was bad, this game was okay, etc." is certainly based on real opinions belonging to Yahtzee, but the attributes that would classify Yahtzee as mean-spirited are simply an act, much like how Stephen Colbert's zanny right-wing views are simply an act as well. Furthermore, the audience is well aware of that. They realize the outlandishness of Yahtzees character and it is what has his viewers coming back, to see what new and zanny thing he'll do next. Bob on the other, in this metaphor, would be considered say Bill O'Reily or Glen Beck. Why? Because like those two, Bob can say some stupid and outlandish things, things that most would consider to be the attributes of a douche-bag or a dick, and not because these are some attributes of a character they're doing, but because these appear to be attributes belonging to the person themselves. In the case of Bob, not only is the base conclusion of "This movie was good, this movie was bad, this movie was okay, etc." based in reality, but also his other attributes that could classify him as mean-spirited appear to be based in reality as well. If they aren't, then we have the issue that the audience isn't in on the supposed craziness of the character because Bob isn't making it clear that it is indeed a character and not him.

In short, Yahtzee is like Stephen Colbert, Bob is like Bill O'Reily. Or at least, thats how I see things.

Turtleboy1017:

Azaraxzealot:
Well, maybe you don't actually WANT to provoke a response, because that kind of makes you a troll (in a bad way).

But in any case, i agree with all the points made because i am so SICK of douchebags who pay to see movies and games that are just lazy, cheap cash-ins and GENUINELY say they are better than actual GOOD games and movies

(example: my fiance thinks that Pirates 4 is better than Scott Pilgrim, my brothers think Call of Duty is better than Red Dead Redemption, my mom thinks Twilight is better than District 9. My fiance's best friends think Sucker Punch is better than Inception. I'm surrounded by lowbrow, ignorant, and just frustratingly "average joe" people)

Are you serious? I really hope you just worded what you were trying to say in a sloppy manner, because calling your friends and family "lowbrow, ignorant, and frustratingly "average joe" is judgmental at best and flat out cruel narcissism at worst.

Honestly, posts like that just kind of suck the life out of me. I try and summon the energy to post a well worded response, but the result is almost always universal, in that I end up having a 12 page argument with someone who will never change their opinion. But hell I actually feel so greatly about that comment I'm going to do so anyway.

Why can you not just live and let live? Why is it that just because something appeals to the masses more than the minority it automatically becomes a lazy cheap cash-in? Yes, the creativity department may be a bit lacking because they have a preset basis to work off of, but that's because it has already been proven to work. If they made a Shawshank Redemption 2, or a Titanic 2, would you call it a cheap cash-in? If it was good with its own merits, I highly doubt that you would.

Yet in that regard, it would be no different from the Call of Duty 6's and Transformers 2 that you see today. It took a formula that works and built upon/emulated it because they knew it had a prior positive response. I'm all for innovation and grand new changes, but if that's all that movie companies did, they would probably all just go out of business and have nothing to work off of within years.

And don't you dare say that they are lazy cheap cash ins. I personally know people who have worked directly in the productions of movies such as I am Number 4 and Suckerpunch, movies that people with your kind of attitude chalk up as lazy stupid teenage movies with no redeeming factors. Well you know what? They poured their heart and souls into making that movie, and then have people like YOU bash it simply because it wasn't up to your standards?

Who the fuck are you to classify these movies as lazy, cheap and stupid? Who the fuck are you to praise other movies that have received just as much attention and care from their creators as others, but simply appeal to you more?

But then again that's just the human condition isn't it. We all believe what we want, and 99 percent of the time, your view is the one that is uncorrectable and just. I'm probably wasting my breath... fingers here, but I implore you to simply look at your own post and think before typing. It may be easier on the Internet to just say shit without thinking about it when it comes to more serious topics, but that doesn't mean in any way that you shouldn't give thought about it. Lord knows that if this were the case in real life Fox news wouldn't have a reason to exist anymore.

it's like in bob's episode of "The Big Picture" titled "The Numbers". When movies that don't take any risks or just flat out let themselves stagnate in their own mediocrity and only try to appeal to the lowest common denominator are made then movies that would probably have been epic masterpieces DON'T get made.

I have nothing against the people who make the movies themselves, like all the artists, the FX specialists and whatnot, but i have EVERYTHING against the producers and giant production companies who only see the bottom line.

Besides, if most critics agree that the movies or games suck, then doesn't that truly say something about the quality of the game or film if even a WIDE variety of individuals who have seen thousands of movies can call it out as nothing but a lackadaisical cash-in.

i stand by my statement, full-heartedly. I still can't stand that people are willing to accept lower standards of quality to justify those same lower standards of quality. I'm sick of seeing films like Fast and Furious, Pirates 4, Transformers 2, The Shaggy Dog, Tooth Fairy, The Pacifier, Tyler Perry movies, Big Momma's House, Valentine's Day, and etc. basically get made over and over and over again and nobody says anything.

As Bob said, it's the critic and critic types like me who are the only thing that allow for ANY movies like District 9, Toy Story, Terminator (the first 2, and the 3rd, to some extent), Alien (the first 2), The Lord of the RIngs, Iron Man, Thor, Schindler's List, and prevent production companies from making lazier and lazier movies until this is the blockbuster that everyone goes to see:

I am not a critic and haven't watched a TON of movies in my life, and originality is the #1 thing a movie can do to make me like it. So...?

I'm surprised "why oh why do you keep doing those god awful story things" isn't on there. Does ANYONE like the shitty story thing? I know enough people have complained about it that it deserved to be on that article.

Azaraxzealot:
Well, maybe you don't actually WANT to provoke a response, because that kind of makes you a troll (in a bad way).

But in any case, i agree with all the points made because i am so SICK of douchebags who pay to see movies and games that are just lazy, cheap cash-ins and GENUINELY say they are better than actual GOOD games and movies

(example: my fiance thinks that Pirates 4 is better than Scott Pilgrim, my brothers think Call of Duty is better than Red Dead Redemption, my mom thinks Twilight is better than District 9. My fiance's best friends think Sucker Punch is better than Inception. I'm surrounded by lowbrow, ignorant, and just frustratingly "average joe" people)

That last one is more personal taste than an issue of quality. They're both stylish, polished and intriguing in completely different ways.

Bara_no_Hime:
Well said, Bob, well said. ^^

I get really tired of the stupid hate that gets thrown at critics. People don't seem to understand that it is your job to point out the flaws in things, or "critique" them - hence critic.

Also, thanks to you personally, I have watched several great movies that would have slipped by ignored if not for you. So thank you for that as well. ^^

Moviebob has led me to some great movies, games, and even books (the Fountainhead). More importantly he has saved my friends and I some money on movies we don't go see based on his recommendation. (Atlas Shrugged)

I was not surprised to find out you read all our comments, but I do really appreciate it. Please continue to ignore your detractors, last I checked yes, you both have opinions, but only one of you is getting paid to.

walsfeo:
Critics have a place, I just don't think it is universally the same place for all critics. But I have a question - what do you see the difference is, if there is one, between a critic and a reviewer?

MovieBob:
Speaking only for myself, I've never been harder (or softer) on something solely for its popularity, but does it change how I talk about it and how I react on a visceral/emotional level? Of course it does.

I'm calling B.S. on this one. If Micheal Bay hadn't produced such popular movies, or Transformers hadn't made so damned much money, you wouldn't keep using him as your whipping boy. There are far worse directors who direct movies with less financial success that you never mention.

MovieBob:
Tropes you've seen a handful of times we've seen thousands of times. This means we are much harder on the formulaic, and that we are much more excited by something that is original. This, as I keep reiterating, is the whole point of this profession.

Is there anything wrong with using what's come before? I love it when critics talk about how this movie relates to that, or how these story elements could be an homage to another film. I tend to fall quickly into the reality of a movie so I don't always make those connections. (What I really notice are elements that raise flags of disbelief.)

MovieBob:
Let me be blunt: If we weren't so jaded, things would almost never get better.

Competition has more to do with change than criticism. Can you give any examples on where critics have had more impact than earnings?

If the bolded approach was taken to music, would there be anything left? "Oh, wait, someone has already followed up their A chord with an F, I can't do that then"? Please. Complaining about the individual notes is silly, the composition of said notes being interesting and effective (or not) is another matter entirely.

Quesa:

Moeez:

Nothing wrong with paying $12 (more in other countries) to go to a cinema and turn your brain off?!

Do you really need that explained to you? "Turning off your brain" means silencing the nagging voice constantly telling you there is no such thing as magic, that there are no such thing as super heroes, that warp speed/transporters/time travel is logical, that all you have to do is call the cops/turn around/accuse the butler etc. That there's no freaking way a tank can hit a supersonic airborne target the size of a man with one round of its main gun. And then miss a static target. (I failed that one, I had to tell myself there was an off screen SAM launcher and the tank's gunner just happened to be bird watching in Tony's general direction).

It's much the same as being "swept up in the moment." Until The Dark Knight at midnight in IMAX the most memorable theater experience I ever had was watching Independence Day on opening night, which was just an awful film. At the time in a completely packed and raucous theater with everyone laughing uproariously at every single Will Smith clichéd one liner, it felt like a work of art.

You can ever truly turn your brain off. Your brain eventually gets bored of the same bits you liked once in a blockbuster. The reason why you liked Independence Day in the cinema with a packed crowd was probably because it looked great, and one of your few cinema experiences. I get that escapism, sometimes your brain needs a break from the stress of life. However, once you see enough blockbusters, your mind will be tolerant to all the explosions and crashes so you'll just get bored after seeing another blockbuster instead of something different that also happens to be as visually stimulating to your brain e.g. arthouse films like Melancholia, Enter the Void (awful, but gorgeous), Inception, or the work of Terrence Malick.

You can still have visually stimulating movies, but also be slightly thought-provoking which will give you a better long-lasting feeling of inspiration than completely forget the last 2 hours. That's why critics strive for new experiences, because their mind demands it, to stay healthy.

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