Film

A Statement on My Approach to Movie Reviews

If you only desire a reviewer that dislikes most movies and likes to wail about the unfairness of straight white males who make them I suggest you just take a class at your local college.

I am not a professional film critic, but I do intend to review films here from time to time. In fact, I am proud of the fact that I am not a professional film critic and it is my belief that is precisely why you should read and consider my reviews. Let me explain.

I find the modern film critic to be sanctimonious, often joyless, and nearly always out of touch with the average viewer. Snark is one thing, setting out to pounce on a film with a snarl on your lips and an ipad on your lap is quite another. It is my belief that there has been a major shift in the field of movie reviews in the past decade. A shift from film critics who were knowledgeable about the classics, the techniques involved in the making of a film and who had such a library of viewed films they had a solid baseline to use when critiquing them; a shift to seething angry nerds who only remember movies made in the last decade and whose sole purpose in viewing a movie seems to be to find ways to destroy it.

What’s more I detest the creeping cancer that is outrage culture and political correctness that has taken root in movie reviews. When leftists review a movie through the lens of their gender studies degrees that leaves a tint on their reviews. It colors their opinions and not disclosing that is a dishonesty.

One of the last reviewers around that I still respect and trust is Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool News. One one of the reasons I read Harry is that he has a unique self-actualization and awareness that most reviewers lack. He understands that everyone views movies, and really all works of art, through their own unique lens. He understands this invariably colors their opinions and critiques and, to his credit, he knows he is included in this. Knowles consistently peppers his reviews with experiences from his youth, discloses preexisting biases to certain actors, directors or even entire genres. He believes by that by knowing as much about him personally as you possibly can you will have a better understanding of his reviews and opinions. This should be the future of film reviews. An intimate relationship between the reviewer and the readers, a relationship that fosters understanding of where they came from and how this affected their opinions, that discloses their agendas, if there are any. After all, if you’re honest and you disclose that you spent 6 years in college studying Black History or Gender Studies then you give your readers a solid basis with which to analyze your reviews and to decide for themselves if they should be taken seriously. The film reviews circuit is absolutely littered with SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors for those not familiar) and their reviews tend to to focus on the use of women or minorities in film and the various ways they can find something offensive in the movie. They live to be outraged and they want you to share not in the joy of the movies but in the outrage of the scrutiny.

I prefer reviewers like Mr. Knowles. Reviewers who love and have a passion for movies. He walks into a movie filled with excitement and desire to enjoy the experience; he does not walk into a film hoping he can find a way to tear it down and make himself sound brilliant. This is a critical difference between Harry and todays reviewers. When a movie falls below expectations there is a genuine disappointment and sorrow in his reviews rather than a gloating and snarky “I knew it would stink” attitude. Because he loves movies and does not seek to destroy them. And because he so often discloses his personal background you have all the information needed to evaluate the film and his opinion of it. To really easily see the difference between Harry’s approach and the Angry Snarky Nerd approach you need look no farther than his comments sections. They hate nearly every film, they are nasty, bitter amateur reviewers that often attempt to destroy a movie before it’s even released based on a director or writer’s prior works and their own perceived superior intellect. The major issue they seem to often have with Harry is that he doesn’t hate enough movies. Too many positive reviews, not enough smug destruction.

I’m telling you all this so that in the future you know what to expect from, and how to analyze, my own reviews and opinions on movies. Frankly the same philosophy will spill over into the Television and Game reviews sections.

I love movies, I want to enjoy movies. When the lights dim and the title sequence starts I am always smiling and not in a hipster, ironic way where I am already writing the sarcastic and biting lines of critique in my head. I am smiling in general anticipation of a movie I hope to enjoy. I always start a viewing from the assumption I will like what’s coming. If I have had a prior bad experience with a films writer, actors or directors I will try and always disclose that so you understand the unique lens I use to view movies.

If you’ve come here looking for a review filled with PC buzzwords and a thorough analysis of the racism and sexism that exists in all films you’re in the wrong spot. This is not a safe space, this is not outrage culture. This is where I enjoy movies, television and games as honestly and transparently as I can. This is where I will fight to keep PC and outrage culture from influencing these things. If you only desire a reviewer that dislikes most movies and likes to wail about the unfairness of straight white males who make them I suggest you just take a class at your local college. Those SJW training camps will give you all the PC analysis you crave with none of the fun you should be having with art. You won’t be getting that joyless over-analysis here.

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