Reviewing the Critic
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I can usually tell instantly whether I am going to enjoy a film -- before I ever set foot in the theater. All I have to do is read the reviews. Whatever the critics turn their nose up at, I will almost inevitably love. The films that win rave reviews, I am wary of.

Why the opposition? True, the name critic is derived from “critical,” but distaste and nit-picking has become a virtual art form in this realm. For example, a female critic recently panned Spider-Man, citing that he may be cool and all, but it is unbelievable that he made his own suit. Hello?

Two thoughts on this one:
1. You’re not supposed to believe any of it. It’s a movie.
2. You had no trouble accepting that a spider bite transformed a kid into a web-shooting hero, but can’t wrap your head around the notion of him owning a sewing machine?

Though one might be fooled into thinking each film is judged according to individual merit, I have a different theory. After carefully examining reviews over the years, I believe there is a rule book critics must follow in order to keep their membership in the IDYTEMU (I Dare You To Entertain Me Union). This book apparently admonishes that any movie with subtitles or that resembles The Sound of Music on psychotropics must win raves. Furthermore, movies that have multiple explosions, that are science fiction, or are based on a video game must get a thumbs-down.

While I continue to buck trends and enjoy alleged “lemons” like Planet of the Apes and Tomb Raider, I’m waiting for the day a critic rises from among the ranks of average moviegoers like myself. A critic I can relate to, who will sit in old jeans eating smuggled-in snacks during the matinee. A critic who will like Star Wars, Independence Day, and South Park. One who will not turn handsprings over Moulin Rouge. A critic who can appreciate the subtle nuances of alien creature effects -- or the non-cerebral entertainment value of a bunch of stuff getting blown up. One who is not afraid to march into, and enjoy, films that do not make you think.

Critics, I challenge you to embrace the madness! Join the ranks of those who wish to leave the stresses of the world behind when entering the theater, not (always) examine them further. Say it with me now: Viva la Scooby-Doo and Austin Powers 10!

In the meantime, I propose the following solution for makers of "fun" films that are seeking good reviews: dub over your dialogue in a foreign language, and add subtitles. It worked for Amelie; it can work for you.

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