Nerd Bastards recently put up its review of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, offered up via writer Adam Donaldson. It was headed with a title Sorry Haters – Ghostbusters Might Actually Be Good and followed by a review that was not without criticism, but ultimately laid out how Ghostbusters was a better movie than anyone might have given it credit for going in. It was a fair and honest take. At least that’s what we thought and intended. However, something rather unexpected happened, something that’s been tagged on our pages and social media comment sections with this review and any positive postings leading up to it. A singular common comment in various form from a variety of users which goes a little something like this, “Nerd Bastards, did you get paid by Sony?” It’s just not us getting harpooned with such wild presumptions, every single one of our distinguished competitors who posted a favorable review has also had a small to medium amount of commenters making the same accusation and assertions. Uh, what in the holy hell people? That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.
First, let me go ahead and break a little rule here. In all our articles we avoid writing in first person, as a means of keeping reports and opinions in the voice of the site and as balanced and ambiguous as possible. Digressing here for a moment – there is a trend lately among pop culture blogs where everyone is writing from the perspective of I/Me and it’s a horrid practice. Everyone wants to be the next Internet personality, completely forgetting that readers don’t give a hoot about any one person. As soon as someone starts writing articles laden with I/Me/We, it removes any professional formality and leaves the offending blog’s views no better than the readers. Having said that, I’m totally breaking form here and speaking to you, our loyal readers, on a very personal level. Let me make this perfectly clear.
WE WERE NOT PAID, OR EVER APPROACHED BY SONY TO WRITE A POSITIVE REVIEW FOR GHOSTBUSTERS.
Look at all the money Sony paid us.
How anyone could believe that would even be a common practice from studios to blogs is completely beyond me, and is actually very insulting. Claims like that would mean we, or sites like ours, have no integrity whatsoever. It goes against the very basic function/intent of what a pop culture blog is. Don’t believe me? Fine. You didn’t ask for it but here’s my personal take from Ghostbusters, as per a text I sent to a friend last night immediately after my viewing:
Just got home from a screening of Ghostbusters and yeah… it was as insufferable as I feared. Within the first 25 min one of the Ghostbusters queefed, I’m serious, she friggin queefed! Vaginal fart aside, I didn’t hate the movie like on the level I hated Batman v Superman but this was a borderline insulting experience all the same. I would say that’s true even to those who never saw the original (depending on what scale people value their movie experiences). The whole time I was like “this is what people do when they’re pretending they’re Ghostbusters at playtime” and I say that knowing that sounds way sexist where this is a female lead Ghostbuster movie but the girls in this flick simply aren’t authentic, I didn’t believe anything about them . The film wasn’t genuine and nothing about it felt honest. There are a few smaller moments that shine, and there is some ghostbusting proton throwing badassery towards the end that sparks a mild “fuck yeah” oh and the nostalgia with the classic song being played was pretty dope (never get tired of that song) but few highlights aside, everything was over exemplified – an ADD fueled spaz fest with completely unbelievable or charming characters. A very heavily studio influenced, fan pandering, typical shitty reboot that kinda sorta tried. Even the cameos were way lame AF. What they did to Bill Murray is a travesty!
This was a personal message between myself and a friend. I would never write such vitriol in any professional sense. Doing so would be agenda based, asserting direct influence onto others. That is not the responsibility of a blog. I only included it here because, well, if we were on Sony’s take, would I have dared to say what I just said? Digressing here again…
There is a big problem these days with “critics” which has led to a back lash by fans – let’s call it the “Fuck Critics Movement”. A lot of reviewers are purposely or unintentionally holding themselves and their views to a higher regard than everyone else. When a reviewer talks above and or more specifically AT the audience, it results in a critic writing for a critic and not writing to a fellow audience member. Despite whatever credentials and experience anyone has, critics are part of an audience, not above it.
When critics aren’t being elitist in their expressive opinions, they tend to be overly critical to the point there it reads from a clearly biased and down right insulting perspective. This is a complete turn off. For example, there is absolutely no need to call “Batman V Superman The Worst Comic Book Failure Of All Time” and sell that as a headline, and then proceed to eviscerate the movie with expletive diatribe. That’s not honest, that’s no fair. That’s basically making a long-winded statement that if you like this (or insert whatever bad movie) then you’re an idiot. I mean, yeah, sometimes a movie is just a bad movie and there’s no way to sugar coat it. Generally though, there are always gems or saving graces somewhere in the movie that mean something to someone. For example, Kevin Smith did a long review on Batman v Superman and he was fairly critical about it but he came up with what he called the “Parademon Theory” in which he stated that the reveal of Parademons and the implication of Darkside was, to him a comic book fan, “enough” to satiate.
I say all that, because we try hard to be critical and call attention/analyze what and why something doesn’t work without be biased or jaded. We try to remember our audience, that our opinion is really no more validated that anyone. Our mantra is to be fair, balanced, and courteous. Respect the content and respect the readers. We are discussing a movie WITH you, the audience, not AT you. And that’s what we tried to do with our Ghostbusters review.
I won’t say with complete certainly that Studios passing some financial compensation in exchange for positive press isn’t something that happens, but it really doesn’t. It’s unethical and undermines the integrity of news outlet. I’ll tell you what does often happen, is blogs and other outlets of certain prominence have relations with media reps from studios in which they are provided advanced movie screenings, set visits, interviews and other opportunities. Outlets obviously want to maintain good relations, so writing a scathing review is not in their best interest. But that doesn’t always mean anything either, I’ll refer you to all those grossly obtuse Batman V Superman reviews. If studios paid for positive reviews, where were they then?
Look, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, with an all female cast, was not a reboot most fans wanted in the first place. People who were against it were always going to be against it. These people would have rather given out free blow jobs at a methadone clinic than subject themselves to a reboot that has no connection to the original movies. So the mere mention that the movie is maybe not as bad as one would have presumed it, could only mean blogs are getting their pockets filled to say so. I, for one, did not care for the movie as evident above, but everyone else who went into this wanting to hate it or went in with an open mind were taken with enough positives to not label it a dumpster fire. So it is what it is, folks. And that’s the truth.