About Critics (Part 1)

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And yet nothing in this article explains the lying, backpedaling, arrogance, and numerous other issues that people have actually complained about - but instead concentrates on the easiest, most shallow topics on hand.

And even those topics are brushed off with the same air of faux superiority and arrogance. People aren't pissing on your stuff because they "don't get the job of a critic" or "don't understand what makes for a good movie", it's because you don't seem to get that either, but somehow they're paying you money for said ignorance. When a review starts off with "this movie sucks, sucks sucks", and follows up with a semi-incoherent rant about one thing or another, without actual criticism, of course people are going to call you out on it. Especially when stuff is peppered with that Harry Knowles school of journalism leveled gleeful bending of the truth and flat out bullshit to make some kind of a point.

After reading the first paragraph of this story i'm obligated to write this next sentence.

Hi Bob.

I think people need to understand where critics are comming from, everyone has their angle and a movie critic will have a slightly different than most "Mass Market" movie-goes. Maybe it's just becuase i have an extensive backlog of international cinema and am unashamedly a movie/Videogames/Internet buff but i hardly ever find myself disagreeing with Bob or when i do i can see where he is comming from.

The fact is a movie critic WILL see usally more than one new-to-them movies in a week, this means that crap like formula plotting, cloned ideas and stagnant dialog will grate more than with most other tpes of moviegoer. If you think 'Critics' standards are "like, to high brah" then yes they are higher than most peoples. Because they are able to see more of what is actually mediocrity than most people, they have a better overveiw of the state of the movies. It's their JOB.

Yes Bob is a critic and a vocally opinionated one, but he always explains his angle and backs that shit up with a pretty decent argument. I know you are proabaly reading this Bob (due to previous comments in your article), so have a good old pat on the back from me becasue as far as crtics go you manage to be both bold, fair and totally unpretencious. (Unlike a certain blank-quisition someone who just trolls the community with unsubstantiated drivel and attention grabbing bullshit)

But lets take a look at where i think citics genuinely go wrong;

Closedmindedness and dismissiveness; All critics have their certain tastes, this is a given, but when put in a position with a soap-box some critics feel the need simply trash anything they don't underastand and are not willing to give many movies a chance. We saw this in action when movies like "Fight Club" came out. Same critics called the film "Facist" because they didn't get the satire that was going on of the whole situation. Many ctitics dress their ignorance up in a shrowd of knowitallism. which leads me onto my nest point;

Some feel the need to run their mouths about things they don't really get at all in a superiour and patronising manor. We saw this in some of Mark Kermodes' early comments about videogames "Deviod of merit and not an experience i would want to repeat" was his comments on trying to play them. The feeling that critics are using catagoric statements and bile to cover their own lack of knowledge on a subject is something overwhelming.

Moeez:

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?!

Nothing at all.

Explain to me the problem?

SpiderJerusalem:
And yet nothing in this article explains the lying, backpedaling, arrogance, and numerous other issues that people have actually complained about - but instead concentrates on the easiest, most shallow topics on hand.

And even those topics are brushed off with the same air of faux superiority and arrogance. People aren't pissing on your stuff because they "don't get the job of a critic" or "don't understand what makes for a good movie", it's because you don't seem to get that either, but somehow they're paying you money for said ignorance. When a review starts off with "this movie sucks, sucks sucks", and follows up with a semi-incoherent rant about one thing or another, without actual criticism, of course people are going to call you out on it. Especially when stuff is peppered with that Harry Knowles school of journalism leveled gleeful bending of the truth and flat out bullshit to make some kind of a point.

I think this is why he said part 1. These are always the first arguments that people bring up. I guess now he will slowly work his way to the more sensible ones with deeper discussion. Frankly though, I think someone up there must be agreeing with them, which is why they are paid to do the job. Have you ever considered the fact that maybe it is you in this case (and often, me) that is in the wrong?

Do people always get the movies? I know for a fact that they often don't. In The Simpsons movie, I laughed my ass off at the cinema in Thailand at the Spider Pig scene. I was the only one who even remotely got the reference, because I was the one of the few people in Thailand who watches The Simpsons religiously (Most never know that The Simpsons itself is a spinoff), and the only one of the few who actually knows the song to the original Spiderman. Was I wrong to be the only one who understands that sequence because I was more genre-savvy? Was I, in a way, being an elitist?

I think I understand what being a critic must feel like. I appreciate food. I have tasted cuisines from many cultures, and I have tried dishes unimaginable by most. My family is that of a true eater--we are one of those who would drive hours (in my country, that's traveling half the country) to try out different food. I feel that my palate is more distinguished than most of my friends. And when I hear them talk about food, it pains me. They often do not recognize the subtlety of taste, the ingredients, the after-flavor, the texture, or the presentation of the dishes. They just think I'm a total crackpot when I start raving about what good food should be.

I can't contribute much to the specifics on "film critics" though, as I don't actually watch that many films, and I don't read reviews. What I want to see though, is whether critics can be "bought off", as we often criticized the game reviewers, etc.

I would like to end by quoting a de-motivational poster here: It's lonely being at the top, but it's also comforting to look down on people.

If any of those reasons were why I disagree with Bob on various reviews, I wouldn't bother posting. Well, my bad for presuming he was addressing any complaints other than the standard "lol u suck" routines that never really need a response anyways.

Dear Bob,

I hope you take your time to answer this one post, before you can continue with your saga on Movie Critics.

Lemme introduce myself first, I am from Malaysia, 30 years old, Pisces, have a steady job at a local retail bookstore and wish to make films someday.

I'm planning to raise some money to enter film school by doing movie reviews, and talking about films, and hopefully make movies in the near future.

Is it possible? Can a movie critic or reviewer become a filmmaker?

I understand there's a cautionary tale about movie critics becoming filmmakers.

Roger Ebert, right? That "games not art" guy? The movie critic from Chicago Tribune? Yeah, I heard he wrote a screenplay for "something...something...Valley of The Dolls," right?

But what about that other movie critic, some dude from France?
What's his name?

Jean-Luc Godard?

Yeah, I heard he was a movie critic & theorist before he went on to make films, and change the the course of film history, like Breathless (remade into a Richard Gere starrer), Pierrot le fou (also a title of a Cowboy Bebop episode) and ALphaville.

Well, I may not change film history, but at least I hope to make some simple films.

So again, is it possible for movie critics be movie makers?

Good on you Bob.
Theres a difference between a critic and a reviewer as I see it.

A critic attempts to place the object of their consideration into a more social perspective.

Whereas a reviewer just reviews the nuts and bolts job and gives a score out of ten.

Keep on truckin Bob.
Your one of my favourites on here.The place would be barren without you.

Therumancer:

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.

We care very much about the quality of everything on The Escapist, and to suggest that something just plain wasn't getting looked at is, frankly, offensive.

You also seem to be confusing "professionalism" with presenting material a specific way. Bob is a consummate professional, whether you appreciate how he presents his opinion or not. If you want a more classic, middle of the road approach to reviewing movies - which would not be an unreasonable thing to want - there are plenty of movie critics out there that should suit your preference just fine. Part of Bob's appeal is that he isn't like that. He wears his personal biases on his sleeve, and shares them with the audience so that you always know exactly where he's coming from when he presents an opinion. Some people enjoy and appreciate that, others don't, and that's totally fair. But don't say he's unprofessional, because that simply isn't true.

TwistedEllipses:
I feel guilty knowing you might actually read what I have to say when I post from time to time.

Something I've noticed recently (and yes this is a gross generalisation) but on discussions of Jimquisition, the fans of that show seem to really hate this show. I think that comes from the acquisitions of elitism and pretentiousness that moviebob has got. Personally, I don't get that and I don't get get Jimquisition either...

Escapisteers are, on average, fiercely anti-intellectual.
That simple truth can be used to explain pretty much every seemingly inexplicable thing on this site. It's why people sling words like "elitist", "bias", and "pretentious" around as if the words actually mean anything anymore outside of "This discussion or position offends me and must be shouted down".

Dear MovieBob:

I don't always agree with your reviews. More often than not I do, but that's not important. What's important is that when I don't your column is still valuable to me. You're not a bad critic because you disagree with me. The important thing is, I'm looking for more than "thumbs up/down" or "4 stars" or "9.6." Most of your reviews take the general format of "I can/can't recommend this movie because ______." That blank is the important bit. I've read enough of your reviews to understand your taste and how they relate to mine. Sometimes you praise a movie for things I don't care about. Other times you dismiss a movie for things that don't bother me. And occasionally your biggest complaint about a movie is that it's just the sort of thing I'm looking for in that movie.

So, I will continue to read and enjoy your reviews. But at the same time I will sometimes go to and enjoy movies that you claim are very bad. I won't call you a bad reviews and you don't call me a bad movie goer just because our tastes sometime differ.

RTR:
I don't get why so many people complain as they do.
WHy can't they just get over reviews they don't agree with and move on?

This is late to the party, but whatever. My only problem with Moviebob was when he insulted everyone who enjoys the Fast and the Furious franchise for liking the movie. It's the same thing he did with the Michael Bay movie fanbase. While he did say that critics don't live in a vacuum, and I agree with that, he shouldn't be calling people douchebags just because he's paid to watch this movie and review it and he doesn't like the franchise.

He should be reviewing the movie on its merits/flaws alone without ever touching on the people who actually like or dislike the movie. It just shows that he can't keep his emotions and preconceptions clear enough of the movies to give a review of it. Clear enough in the sense that he tries not to let it color it completely (a la the review of Fast Five).

I think everyone who thinks Bob hates everything popular and successful needs to rewatch his 2012 review....the review part, not the intro bit. The G.I. Joe review works well here, too. It really cuts to the core of what I think he was saying: there are good bad movies, and then there are bad bad movies. Throwing millions at the latter when there are plenty of the former (or, you know, just good movies) around results in more bad bad movies being made, at the expense of everything else. The excuse "I like to shut my brain off" is ridiculous, as I've already said, because there is plenty of mindless entertainment out there that _isn't_ terrible.

As a sidebar: I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, since this is the Internet, there are at least a few (and, statistically, probably more) of the "omg he insulted us for liking crappy movies!!!" crowd who has, at one point or another, put down Twilight and its (rabid) fans. My evidence for this is that Bob was just as hard, if not worse, on those movies, their creator, and its fanbase as he was on the Fast Five audience, and yet no one has called him on it, at least not here. So....hypocritical, much? I mean, you can't find a more insulted fanbase right now, and yet very few people (who aren't themselves fans of the book) ever seems to care whenever the Twilight bashing starts. I say this as someone who's done quite a bit of it myself.

Let me be blunt: If we weren't so jaded, things would almost never get better. That, in the end, is our job - nay, our duty. Movie studios, like all businesses, take the path of least resistance, and they'd be all too happy to take advantage of the average person's inability/disinclination to see everything and just keep giving you the same five movies over and over again. Smug, impossible-to-please know-it-alls like me, frankly, keep them from doing that - perhaps only a little - by sharing our informed opinions with people who might benefit from them.

The whole 'keeping film makers in line'-idea could very well be a great benefit of the existence of film critics, but I think you make an integral mistake by thinking it's anything else than a side effect. For a god-like person who rules over our society, this would indeed be the reason of your existence, but for you personally (and for every other film critic), your main goal is nothing more than being an added value for your audience to the magazine/website/other medium you write for. This is done by providing your audience with 2 things:
- Entertainment;
- Useful info about movies. This can be anything from your opinion, which we can compare to ours, to plain info about the movie itself.

If you can fulfill these goals with a main focus on stimulating film makers to enhance the quality and originality of their movies then that's fine. If you can reach both your own, much more 'noble' goal and the goals I mentioned, then that's fine. But just don't forget why w are here.

Not that that's what you are doing with your movies and articles, and in my opinion your job can still be a challenging, 'intellectual', respectable profession, but I always get itchy when I see people pretend that their job is done for a higher cause. Especially when it's not.

Great article, Bob.
I'm grateful that you've ignored some of my criticisms of various points you've made in the past that I heartily disagreed with- seriously, you seem well able to take it on the nose and I admire you for that.

More often than not I enjoy your stuff immensely- that's not hyperbole either.
Thoughtful, well reasoned and incisive criticism is something I treasure. More so since I moved away from buying film magazines like Empire and Total Film (prices like that? fat chance).

Keep up the good work and the entertaining criticisms coming.

Oh, and sad but true- I work in a movie theater. We sold out all of our showings of the Hangover Part 2.
*sighs*

I'm soory but I'm a bit disapointed by this article. IMHO none of these have any been an issue that I or if I may be so bold, most people at large have ever really had with MovieBob. I can't shake the feeling he has purposely picked the ridicuous complaints in an effort to make a strawman of anyoen complaining about his show. While understandable I do feel this shows a certain lack of confidence if he iis unwilling to address the major concerns.

Altercator:
Dear Bob,

I hope you take your time to answer this one post, before you can continue with your saga on Movie Critics.

Lemme introduce myself first, I am from Malaysia, 30 years old, Pisces, have a steady job at a local retail bookstore and wish to make films someday.

I'm planning to raise some money to enter film school by doing movie reviews, and talking about films, and hopefully make movies in the near future.

Is it possible? Can a movie critic or reviewer become a filmmaker?

I understand there's a cautionary tale about movie critics becoming filmmakers.

Roger Ebert, right? That "games not art" guy? The movie critic from Chicago Tribune? Yeah, I heard he wrote a screenplay for "something...something...Valley of The Dolls," right?

But what about that other movie critic, some dude from France?
What's his name?

Jean-Luc Godard?

Yeah, I heard he was a movie critic & theorist before he went on to make films, and change the the course of film history, like Breathless (remade into a Richard Gere starrer), Pierrot le fou (also a title of a Cowboy Bebop episode) and ALphaville.

Well, I may not change film history, but at least I hope to make some simple films.

So again, is it possible for movie critics be movie makers?

Of course it is.

Part of the reason you don't see it very often is that A.) conventional film-criticism - or any kind of "reporting" journalism - takes up a tremendous amount of time, so it's often difficult for someone to do that job in a capacity that they can earn a living AND work the even more time-consuming job of actually making a movie; and B.) most critics who transition into filmmaking end up leaving criticism behind because they find the "business side" of the two industries end up clashing in the view of some, i.e. readers asking "does he like this actor because they're buddies and worked on another movie together" or "who's HE to talk, his last movie sucked!"

A close modern example of this might be Quentin Tarantino, who is writing about movies and doing interviews about movies and organizing screenings "in between" his movies - but keep in mind, he's sometimes had as much as FOUR YEARS without actually making a film.

In other words: YES, it's entirely possible to be a critic-turned-filmmaker... but is it possible to be Roger Ebert and Steven Spielberg at the same time? Probably not ;)

XDXD Didn't realise Bob got enough complaints to write an article on it but...

A critic who can't take criticism... oh the irony XDXD

Wolfram01:

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.

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.

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..?

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.

Personally, as a tremendous optimist towards most media (but especially films), the rather snobbish attitude of critics towards them is something I resent. You're right, a film doesn't have to be The King's Speech to be good - which is something critics don't seem to understand. I think movies should be judged based on how well they succeed at what they were attempting to do - which is subjective, of course, but near-everything about movie reviews is anyway. Pirates 4 wasn't trying to be artistic in any way, it shouldn't be bashed for this.

Calling CoD generic, yet-another-brown-shooter doesn't work as well when you realise it's responsible for that becoming generic in the first place, but I'll let that slide since it has indeed changed little. But it was always just trying to be your annual wartime romp which you play with your friends, and nothing deep or artistic. I will grant that it doesn't deserve 9s or 10s, because it takes a hell of a lot to deserve a 9 and an impossible amount to deserve a 10. But if game critics were like film critics, it would be in the 40%/100 range, which I feel it really doesn't deserve in the same way that Pirates 4 doesn't deserve its 45/100 rating on Metacritic right now.

Movie Bob your videos are by FAR my favorite on the Escapist, just being a Fanboy and saying dont worry about any criticism your videos are some of the few things on the internet that are hilarious and incredibly though provoking, so keep doing what you do. Looking forward to Tuesday

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.

Thank you, that's pretty much one of my major issues with Moviebob's work. He openly insults people for having differing opinions then him, especially when it comes to subjects he uses in the 'Big Picture'. I mean, hell, Moviebob sure liked to defend Other M by calling people sexist because they had a problem with a character being in such a submissive position. Note that the people calling other M sexist were calling the game that, not the individuals who enjoyed it. Methinks Bob took that too personally.

My other problem is that Moviebob takes (more so in his Game Overthinker and Big Picture series) complex philosophical, political, or scientific issues or concepts and dumbs them down to a fairly basic level, ignoring a more in-depth analysis of some things (hell, just look at his Big Picture episode on genetically modified foods). I mean, he even does it in this article. Rather then take direct, legitimate points from viewers he instead writes an article where he discusses the most basic complaints he could possibly receive simply because they're easy to answer and it makes the complaints he receives seem petty. It's borderline manipulative and dishonest in my opinion.

Oh yeah, and he strawmans like mad. Good god the strawmans, Bob's got a frakking strawman army.

I believe that critics have less of an impact on the improvement of film than they tend to believe they do.

Especially mainstream film. Yes, the effect of critics is seen in independent film and the productions by third year film students, but I daresay that Hollywood barely listens. It can employ critics to say whatever it wants them to say, as long as a movie is basically functional, even if it is bland and formulaic.

I'd be very impressed if MovieBob's reviews ever directly affected a film's earnings to any substantial, measurable and obvious amount, particularly in the negative sense. People listen to critics for controversy and for entertainment, as well as to extend the knowledge of film itself, not just to decide whether to see a movie or not. If they did just the latter, I think that film would be much worse off than it is now.

MovieBob, to be honest with you, if anything I'd suggest that you are too accepting of popular movies relative to other film critics. You like superhero films. Granted, the Marvel ones have been quite well made in the last few years, with only a few exceptions, but you have to acknowledge that they are deeply formulaic and archetypal stories. If people are complaining that you hate popular film, then they really haven't listened to many other critics. You're as far from that as I've seen from anyone with a decently sized audience.

Finally, I'd like to address your implied philosophy that film critics should be unbending in their response to the formulaic. Reviews have an audience. At least superficially, some (or perhaps a great deal) of that audience expects you to tell them if a film is worth seeing for them. If you see a lot of movies and they don't, shouldn't you at least consider that in your logic and in your recommendations? To be fair, I think that you do this already, but it's important that you acknowledge the importance of this in your theory as well.

I actually saw Tree of Life before reading this. It's a pretentious piece of shit. If that's your idea of a suggestion, please refrain from suggesting .

I actually agree with most of what you say, Bob.

Sure, there are some things that I disagree with, or even have no opinion on because I either haven't thought about it or just don't know enough about it to have an opinion. You view things in a way that's similar to mine, so I understand a lot of where you're going with things, if not necessarily where you're coming from.

I have several hundred DVDs, I've seen most of them several times. That doesn't include movies I've seen in theaters, rented, Netflixed, etc.. No, I'm not a film reviewer or critic by far, but having seen so many movies, I know exactly what you mean when you say you get bored with it.

I almost never listen to movie reviewers or critics, and just go by word of mouth when it comes to movies. Sometimes it's hit or miss with word of mouth stuff.

Every movie that I've seen that you've talked about, I've had a lot of the same opinions as you, whether I saw your segment on it, or the movie first. Every movie you recommend, I see because I've noticed that we have similar tastes, and I have to say thank you. It's made my movie going experiences in the last few months since I started watching much more enjoyable.

I also agree on the elitist thing. I don't see all the hate on you. If people disagree, then disagree. No need to bash everything just because of that.

Blind Sight:

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.

Thank you, that's pretty much one of my major issues with Moviebob's work. He openly insults people for having differing opinions then him, especially when it comes to subjects he uses in the 'Big Picture'. I mean, hell, Moviebob sure liked to defend Other M by calling people sexist because they had a problem with a character being in such a submissive position. Note that the people calling other M sexist were calling the game that, not the individuals who enjoyed it. Methinks Bob took that too personally.

My other problem is that Moviebob takes (more so in his Game Overthinker and Big Picture series) complex philosophical, political, or scientific issues or concepts and dumbs them down to a fairly basic level, ignoring a more in-depth analysis of some things (hell, just look at his Big Picture episode on genetically modified foods). I mean, he even does it in this article. Rather then take direct, legitimate points from viewers he instead writes an article where he discusses the most basic complaints he could possibly receive simply because they're easy to answer and it makes the complaints he receives seem petty. It's borderline manipulative and dishonest in my opinion.

Oh yeah, and he strawmans like mad. Good god the strawmans, Bob's got a frakking strawman army.

All of this. So much this.

[[Given that he said he reads the comments this message goes directly to Bob so it may fall on deaf ears, I don't know.]]

I think you have a lot of good points Bob, if you are in fact reading this. But I think that you forget a critical point which may be a large part of why people bitch at you about your reviews:

As far as we all know, this is your job. You get paid to watch and critique films therefore you look at it from a different perspective than others. It's part of your job that you break down and pinpoint out those things which can degrade the quality of a film, whereas others may or may not acknowledge it or skate over it.

I believe you made this point in one of your reviews before. You said something along the lines of being paid to do what you do killed your enthusiasm about certain things before. It's actually quite a sad thought.

But just because you get paid to review movies doesn't mean that what you think is bad wll seem bad to everyone.

Hell, I hate the Twilight movies with a seething passion. But thousands upon thousands of pre-pubescent tween girls need to change their underwear every time they see someone wearing a shirt with Robert Pattinson's face on it.

Why is that?

Because films are among the most subjective artistic mediums one can find. What someone finds amusing or enjoyable another person can consider complete horse-shit. I personally thought The Expendables was a fun movie. It was by no means intelligent or sophisticated. Far from it. But I was willing to let myself go for an hour or two, ignore everything I knew was garbage, and just enjoy watching Sylvester Stallone and his brainless pals pump lead into baddies.

And you know what? It was worth it. Because I immediately followed it up by seeing Scott Pilgrim, and I liked Scott Pilgrim to a much higher degree than I could ever like Expendables.

Does that mean Expendables is a good movie? NO!
Would I spend 12 dollars to see it again? Probably not(maybe if someone else had paid for the popcorn)
Is it a fun way to kick back and relax with cheesy dialogue and over-the-top action scenes? Absolutely!

What I'm saying is that what you think is law is quite the opposite. You, being one person and one mind, can only offer your opinion and to be honest people shouldn't give a damn what critics say. People should watch the movies themselves and figure out if it was worth their 12 bucks on their own.

Is Michael Bay a hack with no talent? Yes.
Should there be another Fast and Furious sequel? No.
Was the King's speech only made to win Oscars? Absolutely.

But these are all opinions and since you're paid to be picky you're really not allowed to just accept the flaws and enjoy certain films for what they are. If everyone was paid to watch movies I'm sure they would sit back and angrily scribble complaints on a notepad in the theater.

Personally I think it should be the other way around. If someone handed you money and said "go see this film", you really think it's worth complaining if Johnny Depp is the main character in a movie that's not his or if Eli was always supposed to win because God's on his side?

Your opinions are your own, and I hate to break it to you but if a person is bent on liking or hating a movie, you, me, nor any other critic can persuade them otherwise.

But then again there were homie-gangsta-cars in Transformers 2...

If Bob always reads the comments to his publications, then it must mean that he planned on reading our reactions to our finding out that he reads what we write.

What is the real reason for this article? What is his real reason for any of his publications?

Behind all narcissism is insecurity.

Don't worry, we love you, Bob.

Moeez:

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?!

I don't think they meant turn your brain off to mean "not pay attention to it".

i just think they meant suspend your disbelief and accept any flaws to only concentrate on the good enjoyable parts. Basically have fun without concentrating on the shitty-ness of the movie in question.

Awesome movie you turn your brain off for: 300
Awesome movie you do not turn your brain off for: Inception

Wow, did you go back and proof read the elitist parts Bob? I'm pretty sure you just said that your opinions are more valid than ours. You said that your opinions are more valid than ours. I mean cmon man, you may know more about movies than me but that doesn't make you right and me wrong about which ones are any good

Hey Bob, since you say you try to read your comments, I'd like to just say a few things and assume you can read this.

Even though I disagree with you every-so-often, mostly pretty rarely, I never really found what you say as offensive or outrageous, or would even put you in a negative light, because what.the.hell. you're a critic, its your job to do what you do and I still love reading yours and other critics perspectives, unless it just comes from complete ignorance or is just an advertisement masked as a critique, which honestly I've never seen/read you do even once. Even IF your opinion is different then mine, you at least have far more then enough to back it up, and I thought I'd just let you know (if you do happen to read this) that I appreciate your opinion and all you contribute, because its at the very least interesting and thought-provoking, but is always backed up with enough points to make every episode or article able to stand up on it's own feet.

Truth is, to be a true critic is a hard thing to do, throwing out your opinion to the public can't be easy, and to criticize critics with blanket statements is just the easy way out. Hopefully you don't let it get to you too much.

Anyways, look forward to part 2, and everything else after.

ps. I see a fraction of the movies you see and still know exactly what you're talking about when you bring up boring cliches and tired Hollywood formulas. Some people just love that crap.

"Mother...father...always you wrestle inside me.

Always you will."

Tree of life isn't for everyone, but it is a beautiful and unique work. Malick from a technical perspective is elite.

Look Bob,

this is so simple, I'm actually surprised you don't get it.

People laud you and fully agree on your "superior" skills and knowledge about movies, whenever your criticism of a movie reflects their own opinion about it. People love to get reassurance about their own opinion by someone who's opinion does matter more.

On the other hand, whenever someone disagrees with your judgement of a movie, they come up with arguments on why your point isn't valid or why whatever you say doesn't really reflect the common movie-goer anyways. And then they hope for reassurance on that arguments by other comments.

It's all about getting reassurance. There's nothing else to it.

First of all, people believe that there can be only one truth. If two people disagree on whether a movie is good or bad, one of them has to be right, and the other one has to be wrong. Typical black-or-white thinking. Very widespread.

Secondly people are insecure. Even the most direct-in-your face persons, often are just overcompensating for the insecurities they feel inside. If some critic says that the movie someone likes is "bad" - those people feel they have to justify their feelings. So they'll try to prove you wrong because that would make them right (would make it right, to like to movie).

Otherwise those people would have to stomach that it's "wrong" to like their favorite movie. I'm sure you understand, why people won't simply accept that, and rather try to prove you wrong. The arguments they bring up then, really don't matter. That you obsess over post counts and feel you have to comment on exactly those arguments only shows your own insecurity in that matter. You yearn for reassurance too - you want the people to agree with you.

You cannot solve this problem that way.

Personal tastes are vastly different from person to person (that's a good thing) and there is no "objective truth" to anything that is a matter of taste.

The only solution here would be, to make people more tolerant towards different "truths". To accept that other people might have a different mindset/point of view/cultural background/personal preference, and that two people disagreeing whether a movie is good or crap can both be right (from their point of view) at the same time.
And that would require people to be secure about themselves, so they don't need reassurance from others on what they like, and what they don't.

But once we achieve that, we won't no longer need critics anyways.

I don't really watch Bob's movie reviews because I agree with all his reviews. I watch his reviews because it's very obvious where he stands on the spectrum of things and he tends to cover a general basis of the movie. In way too simple terms, he's a brophobe and a geekphile. Whether I agree with his reviews or not, I get a good sense of whether a movie's worth seeing. At least he's willing to give movies I'd generally think about watching a shake one way or another, unlike my local movie critic who glosses over anything that isn't a chick or children's movie.

Oh poop, that pathetic confession in the first paragraph made me feel guilty for all the times I've considered writing a comment saying that I enjoyed the segment, but then decided against it. So, yeah, I generally agree with you, but even when I don't, I enjoy listening to your opinion.

Don't worry, Bob. I think the majority of your videos are great, but I don't comment much mainly because I couldn't think of anything meaningful to say and I prefer not to bother with empty praise (either that, or the crappy system wouldn't let me post).

And I loved your point about "elitism". Some people may just look at it as some arrogant jerks touting a meaningless status, but frankly, I really do think people worthy of respect should be divided from the trolls and the like that are just a waste of space. Incidentally, I'm a pretty big anime fan, and I actually know Japanese to a fair extent (bilingual anime fans being surprisingly few in number, despite being so heavily involved with products of a foreign culture). Of course, I don't constantly go around saying "I know Japanese and YOU don't", but if I wanted to tell off some prick who tries to present some "totally accurate" information they claim to have read from a Japanese source, I feel I should have that right.

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