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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by felix_suwarno, Mar 8, 2002.
...they are not that effective to predict what movies would be enjoyed by a lot of people out there?
A critic is no different than anyone else. He likes some movies, and dislikes others. The trick is to find a critic who tends to share your own taste in movies and stick with him.
Don't mistake a reviewer for a critic either.
Reviewers are more in line with what you are looking for if you want someone to predict the mass reaction to a film. They have no need to understand cinema, only to identify with the masses in such a way as to represent their tastes when seeing films.
A critic, on the other hand, of any art form is supposed to be highly knowledgable of the field and should also be very experienced with it as well. Meaning they study cinema and also make it a point to view/study a broad spectrum of films, or whatever art is in question.
Much of their critiquing could be directed back at the artist as professional feedback, rather then really aiming out toward the audiences. The artist may disagree but the feedback should at least be useful in some manner. That is something specific like "poor lighting", "unclear themes", or "slow pacing in the third act" as opposed to "This movie is boring" or "I didn't like it" or even "bad acting".
Many of your local TV news types are reviewers rather than critics. Ebert, on the other hand, is a critic and flourishes when he has more time to speak than the TV show allows. Reading his articles is the way to go, though he does cram as much as possible into the TV spots.
However, a smart reader should still be able to read the critics and gauge to some degree if they will like a film or not themselves.
thanks for the replies, especially to seth paxton. really opened my mind.
even though i agree with the majority about, say, pearl harbor, if i were a hollywood movie maker, i wouldnt really pay too much attention to the critics it that means my movie wont sell.
what is the point of creating such an acclaimed movie ( by critics ) but i then go bankrupt because of that?
ooh by the way, screenit.com was intended for parents. so i believe their reviews were not intended for the movie makers in particular. sometimes i dont see the point of them to review a dark movie like fight club, since it is obviously wasnt intended for kids under 17.
What did Pauline Kael do to David Lean?
Though reviewers/critics don't control the fates of movies (a good thing), I think they do have an impact. I, for one, do look to a couple of reviewers for help in choosing what movies to see.
People like me probably don't impact movies' performance greatly, but it may be significant.
Think about this though, it's not an actors or producers "job" to ruin someone's career either, but powerful ones can and have put an effective halt to a person's career by blacklisting them out of the biz. So "job" and behavior in that job can contradict or be "unprofessional" at times.
I'm not familiar enough with the Kael/Lean situation, only that her harsh reviews of his work hurt his career as I understand it.
I've heard it mentioned before but never seen the details myself.
Along with Seth,
Take also into consideration the well known smear campaign against Orson Welles when Kane was coming out.
Where I live, there are critics that Actualy use there opinion for movies. They liked Jeepers Creepers and Joy ride which I thought sucked, and they hated oscar nomminies like In the Bedroom and I am Sam.
1. Film criticism is not akin to a consumer report. If so, a review could be summed up in the form of a chart.
2. Film criticism is not really different than any other newspaper column. It's an op-ed piece that happens to be about a movie. If you're not particularly interested in movies as anything other than a time killing/social outing device, why would you even read them?
I want to point out that Seth gave a good explanation of the differences between a critic and a reviewer earlier in this thread. It can be helpful, also to pay attention to what a critic or reviewer does or doesn't like about a film. I was recently reading several negative reviews of Dark City and the "bad" things that were being said about it are actually many of the things that make it a good film to me and many others.