Friday, July 16, 2010

Old Guard

Can Someone Please Explain Inception to Me? | The New York Observer

Look, I can make this really easy.

My mother used to say, "If you don't understand what's going on, don't comment on it."

She used to say that to my father all the time. Rex Reed needs to heed this advice. If you don't understand or like the film, that's fine, but to critique a film not based on the artistic aspects but instead say, "I don't understand the movie, therefore it is bad," is lazy.

This is almost as ill-conceived a commentary as Roger Ebert's piece on video games.

However, both of these men show something important about the 21st century: Critics are no longer really necessary or appreciated. There was a time when Roger Ebert's words on a film could make it or break it. A time when Rex Reed was the authority on film. A time when we really cared what Owen Gleiberman had to say about a film.

Now, however, the in-depth ideas of the artistic cinema are dead to the audience. The modern audience wants the Facebook status or Tweet about the film. Instead of an in-depth look at how Eclipse makes the world look fresh and new as though Lewis and Clark had just discovered it (thanks, Roger Ebert), the people who go to the movie theatre want:

Film is worth the time, RPatz hot, TLaut hotter!

If you ask the main theatre going audience with money (the 18-34 year olds), they don't read the lengthy reviews anymore. No, they look and see what their friends say. Just recently one of the recent grads of the high school I work at said this about Despicable Me:
"Awesome. Minions are so cute. "It's so fluffy!" Go see this now."
I saw this and thought, "What kind of review is that?" Yet, several people went to see the film solely based upon what she said.

Soon all reviews of video games, films, books, etc will have to be able to fit into 140 characters. It saddens me to see that all of the wonders of the world now have to be boiled down to quick snippets, but it also means that everyone truly will become a critic.

And if you don't like what I'm saying here...write about it...politely.


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