Thursday, February 28, 2008

"To hell with the critics!"

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone while I was working (I won't say who), who said he dislikes a movie, claiming that his reason was that either " bombed at the box-office" or "(some critic) said that it was...". I pity the poor kid...

I have to admit, at one point in my life I was just like that. I wouldn't see a movie because of what some critic (or critics) had to say about it. "I was going to see "...", but I heard that Ebert & Roeper gave it a thumbs down, so I changed my mind." Now that I look back, I can't believe how gullible & stupid I was to think that way. I was subconsciously brainwashed into thinking that. I was basically bending over to only one person's opinion. You got to remember, a critic's review is only his/her opinion, not the entire film-going audience's.

I know many people like that nowadays, especially here in the Apple. Somebody is bad-mouthing a movie left & right because of how "they" considered it a failure. I never take somebody's word for it until I see the film myself. For example, this past weekend, I saw Be Kind, Rewind. It was an OK film... not the best, but good. The next day at work, we were having one of those philosophical conversations when I brought up the film. The aforementioned person went on a big rant, saying:

"Oh, what a terrible movie!" ETC, ETC, ETC...

I asked him, "Well, did you see it?"

"No, but I heard that it was awf-"

"Then you have no right to say anything."



In the end, I completely chastised his pride.

It also works in reverse. After everybody was telling me how great Princess Mononoke was & how it's the greatest animated film ever, I rented the DVD with high expectations, watched the film & left somewhat disappointed. Everybody has a different taste in what they like to watch. Hey, I think Fantasia is an awesome film, but I know that there are many people out there who aren't into it as much as I am, so I accept & respect their opinions & move on.

This kind of thing really irks me. You can't judge a movie by it's critical/box-office performance. Hell, even if the mass public DOES hate it, there's still somebody out there who'll sit down & watch. Every movie has it's place & it's audience. Now that I've been in the city for nearly 6 months, I've definitely learned & accepted a lot. I've learned to tolerate the things I don't like (movies included) & by doing so, I've been inspired by things my old self wouldn't dare to acknowledge, like Miyazaki films or the "anime" style or Thai food.

So take a lesson: go out there & try new things, accept something for what it is,don't believe everything you hear & don't judge a book by it's cover (or in this case, 'review').


Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, in a bizarre co-incidence I myself wrote a post about critics recently. I come out with more favor for the critics than you do.

I actually like Roger Ebert, not as a critic but a writer in general. I think his reviews are popular because of their wit and intelligence, not because of some psychic power.

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Thanks for commenting, Mr. Trombley.

It's not that I 'hate' critics, it's just that some of them push their opinions too hard onto the public. Roger Ebert seems like a nice guy who, like myself, loves cinema. I've read several of his articles & reviews, & he's pretty on the ball & knows what he likes. But still, it's what 'he' likes.
Still, in many ways we both have a lot in common. A critic is just one guy who has a lot on his/her mind that they wish to share with the world, much like a blogger like you or I.

Walt Disney himself even went into detail about his own opinion on critics in some audio interviews compiled for an audio commentary for 'Fantasia'. He states things a lot better tha I do. You should definitely check it out if you haven't already.

Thanks again for the comment!