About Critics (Part 1)

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I have to say your 'escape to the movies' is one of the only features on the escapist I've consistently enjoyed since I signed up. That said, I rarely post in the comments of those videos. So don't get too hung up on post counts and stuff, I'm sure there are alot of people who like me, just enjoy your feature and don't feel the need to constantly get into a debate or make some kind of statement.

Funny how movie critics got their own critics, who also have critics.

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

Right, so let me get this straight people, (who are critiquing MB)you think that MB thinks he's better then others because he 'criticizes' movies? And you call him an elitist for it?
No! You obviously don't understand what an elitist believes, an elitist (like MB) believes, very rightly that his opinion is worth more then yours because he has ridiculous amounts of experience in this area (movies of course).
This is obviously a valid opinion when you use your mind. Why do you think when you are writing essays you have to provide valid sources, which exclude wikis because they are based off the knowledge of the people not of the trained professionals. I'm going to stop here but I could go on for a while about this.

In summery, an Elitist believes that experience, training and expertise do indeed increase the validity of an argument, as long as it is relational and sound logically to the subject at hand. at least that is my inexpert opinion.

Note: elitist are usually capable of handling opinion better to in my experience. others tend to believe that someones opinion is a personal insult and respond as such.

Whew! Guess I wasn't really finished, must have been bothering me more then I thought.

Dear MovieBob, if you, as you write, critique for "the good of all" should you not review movies

for your audience and not yourself? If the answer is yes, then perhaps you should consider

putting yourself in the background and look at the movies from the view of "the common man" since

it is him who keeps the movie business running. As you say you are supposed to have an informed

background i.e "know what yer talkin'bout" but does that mean that you have the right to let your

all of your opinions take over? Isen't the job of the critic to impart an informed review based

on your skills and experience and not, as many have posted/claimed, based on your personal

preferences?

I wanted to say "inb4 epic comment flood" but I see now that.... IT HAS BEGUN.

Claiming you read every single comment in order to greatly increase your article's comment count. Clever, Bob. Very clever.

Then again... you did improve your Japanese pronunciation since that one time I left you an epic rage comment about that. Whether your improved because of me or of your own accord, I'd still like to say: nice work. American accents on Japanese words make me think of badly dubbed animes and when I think of bad dubbing I get very angry.

I think I'd probably read all the comments on my web series too if I had a web series. At least for the first few months.

By the way, your use of a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic image in the Skin Deep episode of The Big Picture did not go unnoticed. I'm watching you, LIKE A HAWK.

So yeah, if you could do an episode on the new My Little Pony, and one on the Samurai Pizza Cats, that would be awesome. There's so much to say about both shows, they'd make great eps. I'm sure the escapist won't mind at all.

Azaraxzealot:

(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)

To be fair though, Sucker Punch WAS just as good or even better than inception. Have to agree with the rest of those comparisons though.

MovieBob:
Conversely, when it comes to things that people openly don't like but that I keep right on doing, please rest assured that it's not because I'm not hearing the criticism - I'm ignoring it, an important distinction.

I think that's worse than not reading any comments. At least when you don't read the comments you don't know what you're doing wrong and thus can't change anything. When you ignore comments it makes you come off as an even bigger egotistical prick if you read opinions on how some things are wrong with your show/opinions/whatever and yet you don't do anything about it or take anything from it.

As with the whole critics stuff, I always take any opinion with a grain of salt. I look at some reviews for movies or games and formulate a general consensus of the movie/game. Does one critic say that the jokes were a riot yet everyone else said they sucked? Yeah, I'll probably heed the others. Conversely, if many critics say that the story is not structured well, I'll take heed to that but will most likely see the movie or whatever anyway if I feel like it.

As I am researching my Masters thesis into film audiences and sub-cultural theory this makes fo interesting reading (the replies more than the article).

Oh, so Bob apparently reads the comments and cares about the views. Well, I think this is a good occasion to tell him something I wanted to tell him:

You are a biased fanboy incapable of giving reliable, interesting or in-depth analysis of the stuff you review. I have never been a fan of your movie reviews but hey, I watched them, it's not like they were gonna hurt me. Then The Big Picture came and I stopped watching your stuff after that retarded "Halo master race" bullshit, and I haven't even ever played Halo! When something is stupid beyond help, it doesn't matter if it's against your favourite movie or series, or if it's about something you don't care about. If it's bullshit, it's bullshit, but you must be physically incapable of understanding that (Other M, spoiler alert).
I haven't read the whole article because I'm sure that I'm not missing much. The only thing that counts is that you read the comments and get buttmad if the pageviews go down. Well, enjoy your pageviews then.

Hmmm, here I was thinking a critic's job was to explain whether or not a movie is worth watching... That gets rather difficult if the critic thinks he ought to strive for higher standards (whatever those might be).

Probably the reason why reviews by professional critics are interesting but useless and reviews by amateurs are useful but not very interesting.

"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."

So erm, bobbo, can we add an inflated sense of self worth to that list (I do say this in jest, don't worry, but it could have come off as high and mighty)

However, I do disagree with one thing you said. You said you don't hate popular things unnecessarily. This is fair enough, but you, alongside other critics, have a habit of using the popular ones as examples. I realise you need to have something we're familiar with, but the obscure example wouldn't hurt once in a while.

To be perfectly honest Bob I don't think you're a terrible person/critic. I just think that you have an array of opinions and tastes that come nowhere near my own. Are yours right and mine wrong? Of course not because they are tastes and opinions.

"I am obsessed with my own "comment counts," be they for this column, Escape to The Movies or The Big Picture, and I'm known to become genuinely unnerved when the count is low. It makes me feel feel like I've failed, in that the ability to provoke a response is my primary unit of measurement." I bet this is actually very common. I keep a blog on gamespot and I am certain to notice every single comment I ever get (granted, far fewer than you see). It's completely normal for people to seek comfort in seeing the reception of their commentary. It's called being sensitive. Can you imagine what kind of sociopath it takes for someone not to care one bit what people think of their work?

grigjd3:
"I am obsessed with my own "comment counts," be they for this column, Escape to The Movies or The Big Picture, and I'm known to become genuinely unnerved when the count is low. It makes me feel feel like I've failed, in that the ability to provoke a response is my primary unit of measurement." I bet this is actually very common. I keep a blog on gamespot and I am certain to notice every single comment I ever get (granted, far fewer than you see). It's completely normal for people to seek comfort in seeing the reception of their commentary. It's called being sensitive. Can you imagine what kind of sociopath it takes for someone not to care one bit what people think of their work?

A regular sociopath?

Stop appeasing haters! Appease me! :3

Although I have to argue on one bit. As smart and well experienced in movies and tons of other stuff, I still think even you have little faults and biases and simply being a movie critic doesn't change that. But I don't take your advice on movies because your a movie critic, I watch your stuff because your smart, experienced, and entertaining.

Also I gotta say I really did like Pirates 4. I was in the mood to watch Jack Sparrow do silly things and thats exactly what I got, even if there were a few complete logic bullshight errors (How does an entire army go through a tiny magic puddle in just a few seconds without anyone noticing? And WHY does she cut herself removing the sword when she could have just pulled the handle?) but watever

Azaraxzealot:
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

Hey dude don't be so pretentious and insulting, and think about what you are saying for a minute. For one don't you think two can audiences overlap, some people love action films and some people love deep stories. In Terminator James Cameron made a film about time travel, casuality and paradox but he also made a film about a killer robot sent from the future to kill a young woman who then falls in love with her protector, it can be seen as both of these things because it is both of these things.

In this modern world everyone with half a mind can analyse film themes and approach things critically because of the amount of material we read on the internet, media studies and editorials and the like but some people don't have the time or inclination to read up on this and think like a critic so don't inult them for having other lives and ideas about film than us. Don't act like you're better than them, you're not you're just different.

Some producers do make films for the wrong reasons but think about it you're putting millions of money up front to hopefully make some back wouldn't you do safe bets every now and then. But please don't insult people who make the films, any of them, they do what they do because they really love their jobs, if they didn't they'd find new carers. It takes a hell of a lot of hard work and effort to make even a simple romantic comedy and you are doing a diservice to everyone of them by calling their work lazy.

You read at the gym? Your workout must not be severe enough if you can focus on something other than sweating and what your body is telling you. Or are you just going to the stationary bike and churning out 30 minutes? Good exercise takes FOCUS.

I wonder what MovieBob's opinion on 'The Good The Bad and The Ugly' is, oh well I'll never know

since he IGNORES these posts.

I've always found Escape to the Movies to be very interesting, informative and thought provoking. That said, I rarely go see the movies that Moviebob recommends. Why? Because his tastes and mine are different, that simple. But when I watch his show I know I can get a good, entertaining, in-depth look at new releases and I appreciate that for what it is. Essentially, I enjoy how Moviebob shows his work more than whatever yay-or-nay answer he comes to in the end. It is easy enough to stack up my opinions with Moviebob's and determine for myself how I feel about a movie. I feel much the same way about his GameOverthinker videos(Which I have been devouring over the course of this week as I am so late to that particular party). I couldn't disagree more with his Other M vid and would love to argue the hell out of it if the opportunity ever arose, but I've seen enough videos to know where Bob's coming from and where his values are both similar and different than my own. If you don't agree with Bob then suck it up. If you don't agree with how he comes to his conclusions then find a different source of movie reviews! If he were just some jack-off on the street or something I wouldn't care all that much about what he has to say, but whether or not you agree with him dude knows his shit about movies. If you only listen to people who agree with what you already think you know then you will never learn anything or grow as a person.

You're not alone Bob anyway, a person doesn't have to be a critic to have a selective taste in movies. A friend of mine literally sees nearly everything that comes to theatres, but when I say to him that the Bridesmaid's trailer looked like utter shit and I have no interest in seeing it regardless of review he just can't wrap his head around that.

Or for the same reason, regardless of how well regarded Black Swan is, when I rented the thing I still turned it off half way through because while the super-natural elements are interesting I don't really need to spend 2 hours of my life watching the story of a young girl being preyed upon to lose her innocence.

the people who wrote those comments are braindead retards who wouldnt know a good movie if it hit them in the balls in the form of a football, which is probably what they spend mozt of their time watching on youtube.

the critics are rarely wrong and bob is usually right because he has an understanding for popcorn movies and critises them fairly. whilst some of stuck up snobs hate everything that isnt nominated for an oscar.

if you like frachised that spawn unlimited sequels then maybe you shouldn't watch this show because clearly you dont understand what makes a good movie or the technical details that bob tends to discuss in his reviews.

Javarino:

Azaraxzealot:

(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)

To be fair though, Sucker Punch WAS just as good or even better than inception. Have to agree with the rest of those comparisons though.

is this a joke? inception was one of the greatest movies of all time and sucker punch is a series of good ideas strung together with a terable script that doesnt work.

MovieBob:
In my opinion, one of the worst things that has happened to public discourse is that the terms "elite" and "elitist" became four-letter-words.

That wouldn't be because you're a member of such an elite, would it?

The reason "elitist" became a four-letter-word is because it's rather easy for members of an elite to act snobbishly about non-members. This is a little worse than merely being out of touch with the common man, as you put it.

Of course there are perception issues involved; being out of touch may merely appear snobbish... but the lines here are very blurry indeed.

So you may argue that that appearance is unintentional, and you may be right. But if that's the case, it'd probably be better not to start off by proudly proclaiming to be an elitist. If public perception is already skewed, reinforcing the stereotype isn't going to help.

Can't say I disagree with you, overall, but the above is a bit... out of touch with the common man?

At the gym... lol. "Uh, yeah, uh you know where I can find the weight room so I can work out? That's okay, I'll find it..."

Honestly the main criticism I hear from friends who don't like your reviews is that you sit on the Fence too much. Most of them want to see you make a more definitive thumbs up, thumbs down type ruling.

"The function of a critic is not to summarize something and try to divine whether or not you or someone else might like it (though they may in fact perform said function tangentially); their function is to have (in theory) a deeper/richer/more informed background in a given medium than the majority and hold said medium to a (theoretically) higher standard for the good of all involved."

Then what's the point? Why should anyone other than critics pay any attention to reviews? Wouldn't that make the whole review process an exercise in masturbation?

One of the main things I don't like about Film Critics (this is generalising, I admit it, but it bugs me; you're a lot better than most about this Bob) is when they poorly review a film that they do not belong to the target audience of.
Whenever I read the papers (which is unfortunately getting to be a rarer occurrence) the main film critic always seems to be a middle aged, middle class male (let me finish kids, I've got no problems with any of those categories, but it is relevant to my point).
So of course, anything aimed at a niche audience, teenagers or young adults is probably going to be HATED by them. Just because a film doesn't appeal to that certain individual does not mean it's a bad film.
The best example I can think of is Scott Pilgrim. It got ripped to shreds in a lot of reviews because the critics admitted they didn't "get" it. Of course you didn't! You're 50! The closest you've probably come to gaming culture is playing solitaire on your pc! And yes, I know I'm generalising again.

Critics have their bias, but so does popularity. My opinion is not going to be decided by either, and it would be frankly boring if popular opinion and every critic matched my own. For whatever deep grand purpose you can come up for critics, the simple reason they even have a job is because critics entertain folk. In my opinion, boredom is seldom entertaining.

I do think the amount of new material critics have to absorb is part of a shared bias most of them have. For game reviews, you can obviously see critics struggle with games that provide months of game play that they only had one day to play between the dozen other games they are reviewing that week.

Should critics be bias towards unique movies? They should probably be there to point them out at least. But competence of execution will always matter more to a general audience that novelty of some unique element. And I don't always think the most popular movies have the best competence of execution, so I wouldn't mind seeing critics have a stronger bias toward competency. I don't care if you seen the same movie 5 times this week, I care which movie was the best implementation of the concept.

But even if I watch as many movies as Movie Bob and was considered an elitist, my opinion will still never match up exactly with his. And my opinion on Movie Bob as a critic will never be based on how his opinion agree with mine, but how he explains his opinion in a way that entertains and, perhaps sometimes, informs me.

elitestranger1:

Javarino:

Azaraxzealot:

(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)

To be fair though, Sucker Punch WAS just as good or even better than inception. Have to agree with the rest of those comparisons though.

is this a joke? inception was one of the greatest movies of all time and sucker punch is a series of good ideas strung together with a terable script that doesnt work.

What??? I'm sorry, but as much as I like Inception, I watched it again and found it a little less fascinating as it was the first time. Then I watched Sucker Punch, and was absolutely blown away. It found that sweet spot of dreams truly being "fantasy" instead of a corporate battleground. And unlike Inception, Sucker Punch kept me guessing until the very end which reality truly was Reality. By the third act, you knew which dream was which, and there was few twists in that department. Like I said, Inception was truly incredible, but at the same time Sucker Punch was freakin awesome.

You're right, Bob. These things that get thrown about to all critics are generally ridiculous.

Doesn't excuse the fact that you prefer to insult anyone who disagrees with you more than you critique the damn movies.

It's pretty cool to know you read this, you know?

There's a gene named after Sonic, yes, that Sonic.

It's cool that you review movies based on not just the movie, but many things arround it. It may not be objective, and in my opinion you favor fantasy movies even when they don't totally deserve it, but it's your style and I like it.

You > Jimquisition.

men keep it up even one person that stops wasting time on shamefull cash ins is a step to better future movies.My only problem is that you review most of those shamefull cash ins instead of putting a film that deserves (it in your opinion) in the spotlight

I hope Part 2 covers something that I won't simply agree with. Everything said here is something I can generally agree with. Though I'll be first to admit that a jaded yet fair opinion over 99% of movie watchers. My opinion when people tell me I've played too many games to be fair to the more common ones is the metaphorical middle finger. I am being fair, by saying exactly what the generic game is. With all the flaws in shining colors. D< I'd imagine it's the same for Bob, but with movies. Though I think he has the smaller forgiveness curve~ =p

I watched MovieBob every week but I don't think I like him very much now.

He says that "elite" and "elitist" are four-letter words now. Clearly, "elite" still has five letters and "elitist" has seven. Clearly, MovieBob just doesn't like people who count using a regular decimal numeric system, and I've grown tired of his bitterness and rampant bias that just seem to come up in all his character counts now.

Now, obviously, I'm going to continue watching his Big Picture shows every Tuesday and his reviews every Friday, because if I didn't watch them, I wouldn't know how much I hate his stupid ill-conceived ideas, but I still want to make use of this forum to express my dissatisfaction and see how many people get on board with me. I may even start up whole other threads about it.

/sarc

//obvious?

ChaosDemon:
One of the main things I don't like about Film Critics (this is generalising, I admit it, but it bugs me; you're a lot better than most about this Bob) is when they poorly review a film that they do not belong to the target audience of.
Whenever I read the papers (which is unfortunately getting to be a rarer occurrence) the main film critic always seems to be a middle aged, middle class male (let me finish kids, I've got no problems with any of those categories, but it is relevant to my point).
So of course, anything aimed at a niche audience, teenagers or young adults is probably going to be HATED by them. Just because a film doesn't appeal to that certain individual does not mean it's a bad film.
The best example I can think of is Scott Pilgrim. It got ripped to shreds in a lot of reviews because the critics admitted they didn't "get" it. Of course you didn't! You're 50! The closest you've probably come to gaming culture is playing solitaire on your pc! And yes, I know I'm generalising again.

Hmm, I'm glad you brought up the Scott Pilgrim point. I was *this* close to relating it to how horribly I rated Twilight's 4 books.

But then I recalled all of the plot holes and poor character developments and lol'd. =p Meanness aside, do you suppose Scott Pilgrim may be a more extreme case of what you're trying to say? It was full of game references up the wazoo, after all.

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