When the reviews for Suicide Squad started breaking earlier this week, the news was, um, not good. A lot of people were hoping that critics might give the film the old “thumbs up” rubber stamp, and while there hasn’t been a chorus of non-stop negativity like the one that greeted Batman V. Superman, Suicide Squad was still ranked a dud on that root of all evil, Rotten Tomatoes. On the bright side, it still looks like Suicide Squad is going to collect massive bank over the weekend, so does what the critics say matter in this instance? If you ask the cast and crew, the answer is “No.” (more…)
Since the dawn of humanity, long before there were even words to describe the two groups, there has been a rift between audiences and critics, a deepening chasm which can never be traversed and can even more rarely be empathized across. Ever since an early hunter elicited cheers from his fellow tribe members by smashing a squirrel with a club only to look over at a fellow hunter smugly critiquing his squirrel-smashing form with an eyebrow raised in a “meh”-shaped arc, the value of work (especially work of a creative nature) has been judged differently by two groups who are looking for very different things. One group is more concerned with the technical aspects of an efficient, artful club swing, while the other is more interested in the finished product of delicious squirrel innards oozing out onto the ground.
R.I.P.D. (Rest In Peace Department), the film adaptation of Dark Horse Comics series, opens in theaters today and the critics are unsurprisingly unimpressed. It stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges and according to the reviews… it absolutely sucks. Like, the kind of sucking that actually sucks so much, it sucks.
It’s not unexpected, honestly. Although apparently the original comics have some sort of merit to them, the bits that we’ve seen of the film before its release were already doused in suckage. Whether this is due to the fact that Ryan Reynolds is the kiss of death for any comic book movie, although for some reason he keeps being cast in them, or because the writing just genuinely sucks… I suppose it really doesn’t matter. It just sucks.
Those who can’t do, critique. And no one proves that better than the gang at Red Letter Media. And with a film that’s been as divisive as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeyit makes prime fodder for mockery and, perhaps, some serious criticism.
I can’t say I’ve been a fan of many of the Mr. Plinkett videos, a one trick pony of you ask me. But 30 minutes of this video was, dare I say, a little like sitting through the worst parts of The Hobbit. I don’t know, What do you Bastards think?
The overall consensus on The Avengerswas that it FUCKIN’ ROCKED, but that doesn’t mean it’s without haters. While Avengers currently holds a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes there were critics who were less than impressed by Joss Whedon‘s superheroic tour de force. So, what does Whedon have to say on the matter?
In remarks made to the New York Post, Whedon – respectfully – called out some critics as not honestly reviewing The Avengers but rather taking potshots at the superhero genre as a whole,
I went into a bubble when the film came out, but do know that Sam Jackson got pretty huffy. I don’t think a flame war is going to help anybody. People are allowed to not like the film, but I do get annoyed when somebody really hasn’t done their homework. A lot of reporting in the negative reviews … was more like they were reviewing the [superhero] genre than the movie itself.
It’s completely understandable for not everyone to love a movie like The Avengers, but it’s also expected for critics to review the movie they’re watching not just lash out on the kind of movie they’re being asked to review.
I thought overall the reviews of The Avengers were pretty fair and balanced, but do you?
It’s been 5 weeks since the very first edition of Words Good! Read Now!and it seems clear that the existence of this column has prevented a nuclear holocaust/zombie apocalypse. Do not question my assertions for they are drum tight and above inquiry! Just look at the evidence and then send a basket full of gratitude muffins.
Alright last week was unofficially “Interview Week” and this week is the raunchy, gratuitous T&A edition of the column*. That’s right, we’re showing you articles about throwing electronics (in competition, not anger), worthless tomatoes, and the sexy sexy sexy Alan Rickman slow jamming while he tea bags. Aw yeah. Before we get this kinky party started though, it’s time for the Words Good! Read Now! Oath:
We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!
*= Yeah, the whole T&A thing is bullshit, but now I’ve got you in my clutches so enjoy the ride.
Landon Palmer‘s Culture Warrior column on Film School Rejects takes a look at Rotten Tomatoes, and how stripping film criticism down to it’s simplest roots may not be a good thing. I rate this article as fresh, and it can be read here. In all seriousness, this is one of those times that I’m bringing you an article that I don’t entirely agree with because it is just so damn good. Read it and tell the author how you feel in the FSR comments section.
Speaking of movie critics, the once-a-decade Sight and Sound poll set off a firestorm (or the internet equivalent of a firestorm that only swirls among movie critics and film snobs) when they dethroned Citizen Kanefrom the top spot. Now though, we get to look at some of the unbelievable films that also sat on some critics’ top ten lists. Check out a few of them here in Matt Singer‘s IndieWire article.
If you read this column (Hi Mom!) then you know that there are certain sites that are almost always going to be on this list — AV Club, IO9, Film School Rejects, and for the third time now, Mental Floss. This time, Julia Davis covers the Mobile Phone Throwing championships. You read that right. Check out the article here.
Alan Rickman drinking tea in slow motion. The article is by Lauren Davis on IO9, go read it here.
The semi-historical vampire action movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens this weekend. The reviews are coming in, and boy are they mixed. What’s interesting though is that these critics below are praising the filmmakers for their dedication to historical accuracy, and Lincoln portrayer Benjamin Walker is also receiving praise for his performance.
Below are some initial thoughts on the movie. Interestingly there’s none from major critics like Hitfix, Rolling Stone, EW, et al, but chances are we’ll hear from them before Friday.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a strange film, but then it was always going to be. It diverges wildly from the book and mostly for the better, adding more humour and some sense of its own ridiculousness, while also delivering some top notch action scenes. But the story is half formed and the final battle unsatisfying, while the use of the character of Lincoln never really feels essential. And you’d be well advised to catch it in 2D, if you can.2.5/5
There are a lot of amusing nods to historical events and characters that anyone with a high school diploma will find entertaining. But it’s the overall feel of the film that I loved most. Beside’s Walkers spot on Abe, it’s a very dark and violent film. Initially I was sure the studio would want to sell as many tickets as possible to a film that had vampire in the title and slap a PG-13 rating on it. However, Fox, trusting a successful R-rated director in Timur, held nothing back and the film is better for it. It’s incredibly violent and features vampires in the correct and demonic light with which they should be seen. It’s not overly campy but it’s just enough to smirk at and you’ll find yourself saying “Really?” only a few times. The action is far too much fun and grabs you from the first axe swing till the last twirl. Abe’s axe is the new bending bullet.3.5/5
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s heart may be in the right place — and any film that makes people interested in reading up on the real Lincoln must be commended — but overall the film is, ironically, bloodless, chugging along from Great Lincoln Historical Moment to carefully choreographed action set-piece without ever generating much energy or enthusiasm.5.5/10