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On Movie Critics


February 2013

I’ve always dreamed, that if I ever had the opportunity, if I ever had the forum, I’d write a criticism on movie critics. When I was a child I would hear about what the critics said about the newest movies coming out on the news (yes, I watched the news as a kid). I learned early on that if the critics hated the movie, not only would it make a mint, it would be excellent.  Before long, my friends and I would check to see which movies the critics hated and base our “to see” list simply on the movies they panned the most.  Of course this method wasn’t without its flaws, every once in a while they were right and we’d end up blowing a few good dollars allowance on a flaming turd of a movie, so we learned to pay attention to the manner in which the movies were criticized.  There were certain words that appeared in good movies that they hated that were absent in the bad movies that they hated.

In fact, our little hypothesis worked in reverse as well.  The better the review, the worse the movie did and the more boring it was for a kid – now this part of the hypothesis was infallible, any five-star rated movie assured us of a few things:  The movie would be obscure, might make a buck or two at the box office but would induce snoring should we be forced to sit through it.

Worse, my mom being the chauffeur, didn’t understand the hypothesis – she took the critics seriously.  If I had a dollar and invested it for every time I heard (after sitting through yet another boringly crappy movie), “but the critics loved this movie, they said it was excellent”, I would be retired on my own tropical island – like Marco…  Keep in mind, I’m 42.

There are a few things we normal people know about movie critics:  They are/were quite possibly the most self-important, overrated, pampas people on the planet.  While they have improved since I was a kid, they still drive me nuts.

Take the movie The Expendables, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The critics called it things like “excellent junk” or “dumb fun”.  In the good old days they would review a movie like that as if it were some artsy Indie film (I can remember the reviews on Stallone’s Rambo:  First Blood (also excellent by the way).  In any event, The Expendables made $274,000,000 at the box office and cost only $80,000,000 to make – that’s what I call a good return on investment (Expendables 2 did even better).  For a perfect example, we only need look back to Star Wars:  A New Hope, from 1977.  Read this review from the New York Times…  The movie, in the box office alone, made Eight Hundred Million Dollars and turned out to be one of the most adored movies of all time (Next to The Empire Strike Back – though they were right about The Return Of The Jedi).

In short, the critics are often pampas, long-winded jackasses who wouldn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to a great movie.  This, of course, makes sense when you take into account their propensity to show off a silly high-priced education that was supposed to separate them from us, the little people.  Well separate them it did:

Often it takes an intellectual to say something so stupid.

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