Damned Journalists

MJ sent me this article covering the historical aspect of Arthur. She was sending it for the pictures of Guinevere who also happens to be one of the things a lot of people don’t like about the movie, “what the hell is she doing dressed in leather straps?”. But read the whole thing and you can see why I was looking forward to it, it’s a whole historical spin on the fairy tale. I haven’t seen it yet so it might still suck, I don’t know, but at least this journalist does some research and takes the movie for what it is. He (she?) doesn’t go in with a set idea and then write that the movie sucks because it doesn’t fit with that idea. Something that a lot of reviewers seem to do.

Speaking of reviews, I pretty much don’t read them anymore. For the above reason and because I don’t want to put myself in the same position, i.e. having a preconseption. I still do have one of course, can’t really help it even if only because of the previews I’ve seen but I try to keep it blurry and imprecise, keep the opinion for in the theater.

Which is why I like Metacritic, it averages out hundreds of critics and just gives a number. It’s normally pretty good at determining if it’s good or crap but without going into details that might direct your opinion. I have noticed though that in almost all cases if you look at the bottom of the list you see Salon and The Village Voice, do these guys like anything? Spidey for example at some point had 8 reviews at 100/100 and two at 40/100, guess who they were? That’s another thing some reviewers do; go against the grain just for the sake of being different. Yeah, that really helps me guys, thanks.


Martine July 19, 2004

Yeah, Salon people are tough critics but that’s why I like them. They never just blast a movie, they go into details, smart stuff, which means that even if you liked the movie, you can see why they didn’t like it.

And they like a lot of movies, or I should say that they like a lot of movies I like too! ;-)

Patrick July 20, 2004

I usually refer to Metacritic for movies I’m unsure of so that might happen to be the ones they don’t like. I’ll have to read a couple more recent ones but I didn’t tend to agree all that much. Even if they are right in their points, I’m not big on deep deep deep analysis of movies.

lightspeedchick July 20, 2004

It is a great article, and it made me long for a filmmaker to take the subject matter as seriously as this journalist. There hasn’t been any serious mainstream movie about this topic since Excalibur.

I realize my opinion isn’t fair, not having seen the film yet, but early critiques, the players involved and the previews just made me doubt it was made with as much diligent attention to historical detail (beyond making sure KK wears a Celtic torc with her leather). This, coupled with the billing as a historical representation, doesn’t smell to good to me.

Then again, this low expectation was what pleasantly surprised me at how much of the original story made it into Troy, so as someone once said, you never know.

Patrick July 20, 2004

I really don’t want to end up defending Arthur since I agree it might suck but I really don’t get your problem with “the players involved”. I know you mean Bruckheimer but he’s just the producer,
Clive Owen is a very good actor and Antoine Fuqua did Training Day and managed to make the awful Tears of the Sun script somewhat watchable. Not a huge track record but nothing to discard him offhand.

I know you hate Bruckheimer but I’m not sure why? In recent years he’s done Pirates of the Caribbean, an excellent movie as well as the CSIs, Amazing Races, Cold Case and Without A Trace tv series. A bit earlier was Black Hawk Down wich was pretty good. Ok, even earlier there’s some major crud but I don’t think recent work warrants banishment (I’m blocking out Bad Boys II and Kangaroo Jack ;) ). Hmmm come to think of it, it is a bit scary. Doh!

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