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Stereotype of movie critics?


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Lazeus

 
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Hi guys & gals,

This is just a casual observation of mine when I read movie reviews, whether on the internet or papers.

1. Action, horror, comedies, sci-fi & other supernatural themed movies will tend to get panned by critics, no matter how entertaining the films were to the typical audience nor how much boxoffice takings the movies generated

2. Drama, war, biographical movies will most likely get the thumb ups from critics regardless how boring the films to most moviegoers

I think this observation of mine is pretty accurate because 80% of the time I can guess the critics' ratings just by checking the genre of the movie

Do you think that I'm stereotyping movie critics unfairly?
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STRIKE859

 
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Your argument is mostly accurate. I am a film/video production major and I have taken a handful of contextual film classes (theory and criticism to name a few) and not to sound elitist or pretentious but we are trained to observe and identify elements in films that elevate its quality. These are things most mainstream film critics overlook or just fail to even see. Horror is a perfect example of this... While there are a lot of campy horror films that I can see why they get panned, there are good ones that have also been panned. Critics ignore psychoanalysis, gender roles, and genre hybridity for the most part. While, this is not just reflective upon horror films, but as you mention, action films and sci-fi.

The thing that I always remind myself when I am reading a critics article (or watching) is that they're in some shape or form apart of the Academy. There are certain films made every year that are specifically made to win an Oscar (ie. war films, political dramas, period pieces) that get A LOT of attention and in a manner of speaking "sets the bar". There are films that are just made to entertain, escapism, which doesn't necessarily mean it can't be brilliant.

Of course, not every film critic caters to the Academy. Most of the mainstream ones do. There are independent critics who do turn an eye to genres other than the "Oscar worthy" ones.

Oh man, I can easily write pages on this subject I'll stop before I begin to digress even more haha.
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This is why I try not to go by critic reviews. I go to see a movie either to learn, to think in a different way, to have my thoughts and emotions provoked, or just to have a good time and be entertained.
Personally, every time i go into a theater or pop in a DVD, I have different mindsets that I prepare myself for before watching the film. If I am watching a film like Elephant by Gus Van Sant, my mindset would be totally different than watching a film like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. Although these two films are some of my favorite films, they are totally different and I experience them differently.

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the8thark

 
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Yes I agree totally with this. Most of the news paper reviews are to predictable it's not funny anymore. But there is one exception. There is a movie show on ABC tv in Australia. it's the one with David Stratton on it. The 2 people there actually give a good review and critique of each movie.

Anyways yeah it is a little annoying that the reviews don't help that much anymore in choosing a good movie.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazeus View Post
Hi guys & gals,

This is just a casual observation of mine when I read movie reviews, whether on the internet or papers.

1. Action, horror, comedies, sci-fi & other supernatural themed movies will tend to get panned by critics, no matter how entertaining the films were to the typical audience nor how much boxoffice takings the movies generated
At least here in the UK we have Jonathon Ross, who is a big sci fi fan and a big fan of manga, as well as the more serious stuff

But he didn't like Battlefield Earth
"Everything about Battlefield Earth sucks. Everything. The over-the-top music, the unbelievable sets, the terrible dialogue, the hammy acting, the lousy special effects, the beginning, the middle and especially the end. God above, it’s bad. Sweet baby Jesus, it’s bad. By all that is holy and sacred on the Earth, this is a bad, bad, bad film."
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Audio.Trench

 
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Who cares what the critics say? In the end, it's up to YOU to decide if you liked the film, or if you deemed it purchase-worthy.

However, paying $10 to go to the theater to see a film, only to find out how terrible it was, does urk the heck out of me.
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eric

 
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some critics do lie in the pocket of the academy, and some are reviewing the film against all other films, not how good it is for the "genre", so of course, films like shawn of the dead or garden state, while brilliant, is not going to stand up very well against 2001 or the godfather.


i rarely listen to critics - i have an idea of the type of film i like to watch.

also, like leecho, i know normally what i'm getting myself into, i watched ghostrider the other day for the first time, and it was fun, not really scary, not a great superhero movie, but a nice portrayal of the anti-hero.

of course there are times that my method bites me in the bum. i knew nothing of running with scissors before i watched it a few days back, all i knew of it was the commercials that pegged it as a wes anderson style dramedy. not being ready for it, it gave me a whole different experience, and while it was really good, it left me feeling like i needed a shower (kind of like closer with clive owen and jude law did as well).

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Lazeus

 
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Originally Posted by eric View Post
some critics do lie in the pocket of the academy, and some are reviewing the film against all other films, not how good it is for the "genre", so of course, films like shawn of the dead or garden state, while brilliant, is not going to stand up very well against 2001 or the godfather.

Shawn of the Dead! I enjoyed that one immensely, particularly one "mimic" scene

Usually if I'm looking forward to a particular movie, I'll go ahead and watch it first before I even bother to read the reviews.
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Leukeh

 
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I don't read reviews... it makes me pretentious.

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thedood

 
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One doesn't need a film education to figure out a good (or bad) movie. As a matter of fact, having a B.S in filmmaking and video production has changed the moviegoing experience for me. When I see light "blow out" through a window or other mistakes, I tend to criticize movies for all the wrong reasons.

Myself, I generally prefer the indie film over Hollywood films, however I never bought into the; it's not cool to be into "popcorn" (aka; blockbuster / big budget films) when you're a film student - I have enjoyed many of these films as well.

Bottom line to this topic - As for critics, many are wanna-be filmmaker's who didn't have what it took. So if a movie looks good to you, go see it. FWIW, I won't even get into why ticket prices are what they are.

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STRIKE859

 
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Quote:
One doesn't need a film education to figure out a good (or bad) movie. As a matter of fact, having a B.S in filmmaking and video production has changed the moviegoing experience for me. When I see light "blow out" through a window or other mistakes, I tend to criticize movies for all the wrong reasons.

Myself, I generally prefer the indie film over Hollywood films, however I never bought into the; it's not cool to be into "popcorn" (aka; blockbuster / big budget films) when you're a film student - I have enjoyed many of these films as well.

Bottom line to this topic - As for critics, many are wanna-be filmmaker's who didn't have what it took. So if a movie looks good to you, go see it. FWIW, I won't even get into why ticket prices are what they are.
I completely agree. There's always a right movie for the right moment or time. Sometimes it's nice to watch a profound movie, while there are other times it's just nice to erase the plumbing in your head and watch a blockbuster/popcorn movie.

That's why I don't see a reason to look down upon popcorn films (like professors and students in my film classes do). I swear to you, I have one professor who will dislike a movie just because it's mainstream, if it's been distributed to more than 50 theaters across the country, it's bad according to him. Oh well...

In the end, all that matters is if YOU like the movie, not what a film critic says or what the general feedback is around your environment from day to day.
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