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

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,974
When you think about it, chickens are just yolks who escaped the censorship of their shell.
 

Seesaw15

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,832
I think people are letting their fears imprison their minds in the US, left like right. Restricting creativity because some people might get the wrong idea feels stupid to me.
Not one of the reviews posted in this threads advocated that we should bring back the Hays Code. People can criticize irresponsible depictions of stuff in media. I had fun with Split but the people in the mental health community calling out M.Night for his use of Dissociative Identity Disorder made valid points. I also enjoyed 13 Reasons Why but people had a right to call out how the show romanticized suicide. Same thing for video games. Most people who criticized the game Hatred didn't think it was an instruction manual just that it was in poor taste.

By all the early reviews Phoenix seems to be giving a stellar performance but that doesn't negate the fact that a big studio like Warner Bros is using an iconic media figure to portray/potentially glorify this topic vs an original character study that would make like $2 mil at the box office. Change the name of the character and Joker could be another film like 'You Were Never Really Here' but Warner wants the box office/conversation that comes with a big IP.
 

sunnpeace

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
809
The movie is already coming out. It's doing well for itself and winning film awards. The censorship arguments feel weak. Also, unless my reading comprehension is off the negative reviews do not say 'a movie like this should never be made and you shouldn't go see it'. Some of them even say the film doesn't go far enough.
 

hiredhand

Member
Feb 6, 2019
184
Really? That’s how you perceived that?
Yes. I honestly believe that under all the hype Black Panther is no better than the average Marvel film even though the critical concensus would point to it being by far the best of the bunch. It suffers from a lot of the same problems as other MCU films (messy third act, bland cinematography, limitations of having to be part of a larger continuum). So it's a good film but I fail to see how anyone could consider it a genuinely great one.

If you're familiar with film criticism, you should know critics are entirely aware that reviews change with time. It's a very common practice to re-visit movies and view them in a new context.

Because that's the point--it is extremely difficult (and not desirable) to separate yourself from the context of your life/the world around you up to this point.

There's almost an entire substudy focused on "but was it actually relevant?" in film where you look at acclaimed movies years/decades later to see if they actually were as good or impactful.

Besides, you and OP seem to be separating a movie's "goodness" or "badness" from the context of its place in the world and its influences. Many of the reviews have, in fact, said "it's very well directed" "the performances are fantastic" "the cinematography is beautiful" before discussing why they ended up having issues with it.

The Birth of a Nation is a very well-made movie and pioneered filmmaking in a lot of ways. What would you rate that movie? Would you advocate detaching yourself from the fact that it portrayed the KKK in a valorous, sympathetic light just because the filmmaking was on point?
I know that films have a tendency to either to gain or lose critical appreciation when time passes. What I meant that critics are not immune to hype (or anti-hype when it comes to Joker). It's interesting that the initial reviews from Venice where a lot more positive than the ones from Toronto. It might be partly a Europe vs. America kind of thing but I also think that all the incel-talk on the internet during Venice might have steared critics opinions about the film.

In general, I don't need the films I watch or even love to conform to my world view or moral code. I can love Conan The Barbarian or Dirty Harry even though I am not a big fan of fascism. That being said The Birth of a Nation is a pretty extreme case because the third act of the film makes it basically a KKK propaganda film. There really is no margin for interpretation about the film's message or about how it relates to then-modern society. You can't really compare it to a comic book film set in a fictional city depicting fictional events and characters.

I did actually check my IMDb profile to see what I had rated The Birth of a Nation when I originally saw it (quite a long time ago). It's an 8.
 

TheModestGun

Member
Dec 5, 2017
2,524

Just saw this video today and reminded me of this thread. It’s interesting to ponder the different ways we interpret subtext and meaning.
 
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StraySheep

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,904
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.
Yup. And sometimes they may even annoy me if they stray too far, but then it's just a review I don't like. It doesn't mean it's not a review.
 

KingM

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,014
I enjoy them. Even if I don't agree they lead to interesting perspective that I may not have thought of. Quality for the individual is very closely tied to how they feel about the messaging of the film. The lack of diverse perspectives in the past gives reviews of old work a very one sided view. Today due to many factors film critics now come from many more walks of life and the casual racism and racism as well as the worship of white male audience inserts that people ignored in the past is now a detractor for a bigger chunk of professional critics.
 

whytemyke

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,261
(Sorry for the novel here but this is a juicy topic upon which I'd like to expound.)

I mean, I don't think a review geared towards the film or it's cultural impact are necessarily good or bad either way.

Things that make a review bad are idiotic thoughts/takes made in trying to defend a perspective that the author has. Take the RoberEbert.com review for example:
Darkness no longer has much to do with feelings of alienation the filmmaker wants to express or purge, as was the case with a film like “Taxi Driver.” It’s not about exploring uncomfortable ideas, as was done in “The King of Comedy.” Do you think Todd Phillips, who co-wrote and directed “Joker,” and references those movies so often you might expect that Martin Scorsese was enlisted as an executive producer here as a way of heading off a plagiarism lawsuit, really cares about income inequality, celebrity worship, and the lack of civility in contemporary society? I don’t know him personally but I bet he doesn’t give a toss. He’s got the pile he made on those “Hangover” movies—which some believe have indeed contributed to the lack of civility in etc.—and can not only buy up all the water that’s going to be denied us regular slobs after the big one hits, he can afford the bunker for after the bigger one hits.
Like this is objectively a poorly written paragraph. Good and accomplished writers-- critically acclaimed and recognized by their peers as being talented-- would never allow a paragraph in a review to do this. First allege that Scorcese was brought on so you can plagiarize him? What? Second accusing the director of not giving a shit about society with absolutely no evidence?

This is Tumblr-esque writing at it's absolute worst, and the fact that big name movie websites are allowing this trash to be published-- under the guise of a review no less-- and propagated is sad. (This honestly reads like a college sophomore trying to impress their Lit200 professor.)

Now the point of this paragraph/review could be legit. The purpose/point of it doesn't necessarily render the writing meaningful or meaningless. But the way it's executed, I think, is what makes it pretty damn awful.

The problem that will happen is when people turn to pieces like this (I really bristle at calling it a review so much as a think piece) to formulate their opinion rather than trying to figure out if the movie is worth their time investment. It used to be that there were review-- pieces written or spoken that would discuss the actual quality of the film itself-- and then your follow up pieces afterwards discussing the cultural impact and what you think of the movie afterwards. Because ultimately the quality of cinematography in, say, Blade Runner 2049 merits mention in a piece separate from someone talking about whether BR2049 is something you should watch because of it's dystopian views on lower class workers (I'm making that up to make a point-- I didn't see anyone actually write this.)

Now, I get why websites allow this sort of tripe to be bandied about wearing the mask of a real review-- they need clicks. Never before has it been easier for quality movie reviewers to find their voice and reach an audience, but that doesn't mean that said audience has suddenly grown equally as the amount of people trying to feed that audience. So in an effort to stand out and not go out of business, the quality is going to slide and the outlandishness is going to continue to ramp up.

Edgy is bad. Dark is tired. Wholesome is outdated. Action is dumb. Blah blah blah, everything sucks.

Negativity gets clicks. And that's really what I take away from this wave of "reviews" about The Joker (though there are other movies out there with the same thing.) When these bitchy AV Club commenters-cum-"movie reviewer" start to roll out their Tweet engines and half baked think pieces in the guise of a movie review they're doing a total intellectual disservice to everyone involved. They're failing at first in not actually reviewing the movie, and then they're failing again because ultimately these discussions about cultural impact-- especially in regards to a movie like Joker-- need to be had and can be important and enlightening. But doing it a month before the movie has released and when no more than what, a thousand critics at most?, have seen it doesn't emphasize the importance of the cultural impact. It muddies the entire thing and fucks up the review aspect and drowns out the cultural aspect as well.

And *that* is, what I think, makes a bad review.
 
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