Is a reviewer who scores the film more on its supposed impact rather than its quality of work a good / professional reviewer ?

OtherWorldly

Member
Dec 3, 2018
2,411
Just an example :


No review of the movie itself . Just hammering against its commentary

Or


Verdict: movie being made is proof culture is toxic

Or


Asks the reader to ignore this is joker movie and asks readers to consider that Phoenix performance doesn’t matter but viewers should consider that its impact on society might be bad

These are just the first 3. Most of them apart from afew negatives don’tscore the movie on its quality and performances but on its influence and who it inspires and the fact that the movie itself is somehow toxic because it portrays evil . Are professional reviewers supposed to score primarily on social commentary ?
 

blame space

Resettlement Advisor
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Oct 25, 2017
4,450
for some reason Gamers decided reviews need to be bullet point lists of attributes and i think that's dumb!
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,318
It’s totally fine, but the problem is we view modern art criticism as basically consumer report style “Should you spend money on this or not” blurbs, so these sort of reviews bug a lot of people.
 

kikiribu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,628
Just review the fucking movie, I don't care about anything else they'd like to discuss that has nothing to do with the movie itself.

It's like giving shooter games a bad review because they may or may not make somebody get into guns.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,373
I think you are, at best being uncharitable in your readings of those reviews if that's all you took from them. The Time and Wrap ones mention social context but are hardly only discussing it. They both for instance, talk about not liking Phoenix's performance.

Choosing 2 sites that don't even give it an actual score doesn't help your point either.
 

Zhukov

Member
Dec 6, 2017
2,549
Is this about Jo... yup.

Sure, why not. It's a perspective. Can't say it's one I much care for, but go nuts if that's your thing.
 

UCBooties

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
1,750
Pennsylvania, USA
Professional reviewers are paid to offer their opinion, critique, and commentary on a work.

You are trusted to form your own opinion on whether that critique aligns with your own taste and values.

Whining about cultural critique in reviews is gamergate-level dipshittery.
 

Commodore64

Member
Oct 25, 2017
430
It’s not a film review at that point. It’s a cultural essay.
reviews can be cultural essays
Kind of a good first two replies to nail home the idea that reviews don't necessarily have to adhere to a specific standard. Reviews are opinions, and as long as those opinions are presented honestly and in good faith it's entirely fine. Referring to the cultural impact of a film is entirely ok unless you promised the reader a different set of standards.
 

Ira

Member
Oct 27, 2017
167
It's a review, not a consumer report. People complaining about this sound the same as people asking for "objective" game reviews.
 

thediamondage

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,055
Not really. Maybe its for specific niche audiences but way too many reviewers now think its part of their job and there is also an undercurrent of groups of people get mad at reviewers for wading into social/political aspects, whether left or right. I don't really trust professional reviewers anymore, and instead depend on a small group of people I tend to share opinions with on youtube like Angry Joe and Double Toasted. I find more and more metacritic doesn't tell me a whole lot useful.
 

Maolfunction

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,057
Yes, considering the success Joker is probably going to have in both monetary and award terms, it's absolutely fair for movie critics to write cultural essays on what the film is saying or teaching.

Their interpretations are important so that we're aware of the potential flaws in the moral themes the movie pushes and are are equipped to counter people who embrace the films messages as something good or are ignorant of.

You don't have to agree with them, but they're doing good work in the realm of art critique by covering every angle the film lets its audience draw upon.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,851
Definition
The history of art criticism as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the analysis of historical trends in politics, literature, and the sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of the written word, but art historians also rely on formal analysis, semiotics, psychoanalysis and iconography. Advances in photographic reproduction and printing techniques after World War II increased the ability of reproductions of artworks. Such technologies have helped to advance the discipline in profound ways, as they have enabled easy comparisons of objects. The study of visual art thus described, can be a practice that involves understanding context, form, and social significance.
Consumer report style reviews are a very, very recent thing and, in my opinion, kind of vapid and pointless. 50 years later no one will care how much such and such film sold unless it was exclusively to compare it to other blockbusters of the time (most of Cameron's films retain a lot of their financial relevance in this way), they would probably care more about how audiences reacted and felt and how a specific film affected and was affected by society.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
15,116
Greater Vancouver
People want to treat their favorite media as art, but when critiqued with a lens of cultural reflection, it's a problem?

This same shit happens when game reviews step outside the "how good are the graphics" wheelhouse of criticism, and gamers get angry. These people aren't reviewing a toaster on Bestbuy.com
 

Shredderi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,403
Don't know what they should or should not do. I do know that they're perfectly allowed to do so. I mean they're useless to me, just like are most film reviews in general. They're allowed to critique those aspects and we are allowed to critique their critique.
 

Squid Bunny

Member
Jun 11, 2018
1,425
Noel Carroll, in his book On Criticism, has a pretty great definition on what's the art critic's JOB.
For me, the primary function of the critic is not to eviscerate artworks. Rather, I hypothesize that the audience typically looks to critics for assistance in discovering the value to be had from the works under review…. [T]he critic also occupies a social role. In that social role, the primary function of criticism is to enable readers to find the value that the critic believes that the work possesses. It is the task of criticism to remove any obstacles that might stand in the way of the reader’s apprehension of that value.
You can read a summary of his thesis here. The book isn't the most pleasant read, but it's very enlightening.

One way to measure that value is by analyzing cultural context and its place in our current social climate.
 
OP
OP

OtherWorldly

Member
Dec 3, 2018
2,411
I believe they should score art both on its impact and it’s quality and not ignore either.
In the examples in my OP, both pass over performances, editing , score, cinematography and direction as somehow irrelevant to the overall score and judge it Primarily on the impact they view it as

for example a3/10 score is wrong for a movie with supposed great performances and make of music and image itself because reviewer disliked the impact. In the same vein a score of 8/10 is ridiculous if the performances are ok and movie is very forgettable But it scored 8 because of its impact they think it would / could have
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,851
I believe they should score art both on its impact and it’s quality and not ignore either.
In the examples in my OP, both pass over performances, editing , score, cinematography and direction as somehow irrelevant to the overall score
Setting aside that every reviewer will have their own subjective standards to measure a film by, why do you think these things "should" be their job?
 

Dennis8K

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,615
It is not a review of the movie as cinema at that point, but I supposed it could be said to be a review of the potential societal impact of the movie - as the reviewer sees it.

Which is totally fine though a little unfair if it is used to judge the movie as a piece of cinema later on Rotten Tomatoes etc.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
15,116
Greater Vancouver
I believe they should score art both on its impact and it’s quality and not ignore either.
In the examples in my OP, both pass over performances, editing , score, cinematography and direction as somehow irrelevant to the overall score and judge it Primarily on the impact they view it as
The most beautifully shot movie in the world can have a fucking shit message at its core.
 

bohex1984

Member
Oct 27, 2017
131
Time puts every movie in the place it deserves eventually, there are quite a few examples...context is not permanent while any form of art remains.
 
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Maolfunction

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,057
I believe they should score art both on its impact and it’s quality and not ignore either.
In the examples in my OP, both pass over performances, editing , score, cinematography and direction as somehow irrelevant to the overall score and judge it Primarily on the impact they view it as
Movies aren't cell phones. Plus, all of those things are extremely subjective from reviewer to reviewer, there is no standard in film that declares what aspect of cinematography or editing is "good." Bohemian Rhapsody won an Oscar for its Editing and it was widely considered garbage editing by a large swath of the internet.

Focusing only on cultural impact is perfectly fine if you feel like that's a more important aspect of the film and for movies like Joker that is being specifically made to teach a message, I find it far more valuable than how good Todd Phillips did his direction.