Fri, 12/14/2007 - 18:08 — AnonymousJones
The Search for Meaning, or Why Critics Often Suck
By Anonymous Jones
As I sit here, banging away on the Jones family computer, I am listening to a commentary track from The Matrix Reloaded. The Wachowski brothers have graciously provided commentary from both philosophers and movie critics on The Ultimate Matrix Collection discs. During this commentary track, there are three film critics who were provided on the fact that they did not like the film. However, while not totally bashing the film, they seem to be trying to find art where art does not necessarily exist. This is the problem with most critics of all sorts today.
While some critics seem to genuinely look at the merits of a certain film, most seem to strive to persuade the general populace that whatever they choose to watch has to have some form of “deeper meaning”. Well, I am here today to tell you that this is not usually the case. While people keep trying to decipher what Alex Proyas was trying to say with “Dark City”, there is a school of thought that is devoted to actually enjoying the fucking movie. One of the worst offenders seems to be Todd McCarthy from Variety.
In his recent review of Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd”, McCarthy is constantly making observations to the fact that this can be viewed as a dark morality play, in which the “good” prevail and the evil suffer. Well, no shit, Sherlock. I’m not too sure if he’s remotely familiar with the material, but the book is the same thing. Sometimes, there’s a conflict strictly for the entertainment value of the thing. This can be viewed as another case of over-thinking what the filmmaker may have intended. Later, in his review of “I Am Legend”, he makes the jaw-dropping proclamation that the city is now inhabited by “zombie-like cannibals who normally venture out only at night”. Hey, jackass, last time I checked, things that come out only at night and feast on the blood of the living were called “vampires”. Other reviewers picked up on it, but you couldn’t be bothered to do a little research into what these fucking things are really called.
Another shining example of a film critic being the shit of the heel of my boot is Lisa Schwartzbaum from Entertainment Weekly. Schwartzbaum has been inflicting reviews upon the general public for many years, all of which could have been written with greater power by the oldest Jones boy. While her review of “Sweeney Todd” was given a B+, she does absolutely nothing but rave about the new musical starring the dark side of Captain Jack Sparrow. Yeah, no shit. She actually said that. Schwartzbaum even goes so far as to bring up Brett Butler’s now-defunct TV sitcom Grace Under Fire when reviewing the John Cusack-led tear jerker Grace is Gone. Seriously! What the hell is her problem? Not only can she make inappropriate remarks about emotional movies, but she has the nerve to decide what the American viewing public will like on a regular basis!
There are so many more movie critics out there who deem themselves to be higher on the food chain than regular movie goers, but I’m not going to name any more names. This article would swell to epic proportions. All these people have one thing in common, though. They all intend to bring us honest reviews for movies that are now available, and end up bringing us fluff pieces padded with faux-erudition. It’s absolutely disgusting to think that these people have followers who read their articles every week and then go off to the water cooler to spout the latest in hipster speak by quoting them. I know that this is a sad thought, but it almost makes you long for the heyday of Siskel and Ebert, when two critics would have opposing opinions and really got at each other with passion.
Well, I think I’ve said about as much as my stomach will tolerate on this subject. Anyway, it’s time to round up the Jones clan to start the trek into the city for a showing of a movie which none of us have read any reviews for. This is Anonymous Jones in the wilderness, signing off.