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Avilan the Grey
2009-07-14, 02:26 AM
...Is my no. 1 cause of frustration when it comes to movies. And games, but mainly movies.

I am less annoyed when it is not a professional reviewer (but someone that posts an "user" review on say IMDB) but it still irritates me to no end.

Yesterday I was bored and for some reason started reading Serenity reviews.
The "best" one was one that had most details wrong, and used the misunderstandings as bases for arguments, such as "it was never really clear if they meant to make the Reavers follow them to the radio planet". *Headdesk*

Other gems was the review for Matrix (first one) I saw where the reviewer had not managed to figure out, half-way through the movie, which one of the realities actually was real, or why the "CIA agent" could "teleport"...

Swordguy
2009-07-14, 02:41 AM
At least they're actually trying. We had a reviewer (Margret McGurk, IIRC) here in Cincinnati who reviewed The Fellowship of the Ring when it came out. Gave it zero stars, and the review started with "I hate Tolkein, so I know that any movie based off his works will be horrible, and my boss made me go see this movie. I walked out 45 minutes in...".

Now, if you don't like the movie, fine. Say so. But at least have the decency to sit through the damn thing when that's exactly what you're being paid to do (which, to her credit, she later did, under direct orders from the editorial staff, and gave it a 2/4).

I end up going to Yahoo reviews and/or Rotten Tomatoes and looking though at least 10 reviews on any movie I care to go see. That gives enough of a sample that I can make a decision for myself, instead of relying on just one person's take on it - which may well be biased if the review just hates that genre of film (Ebert's hatred of splatterpunk films, for example, which he's at least up front about).

Mystic Muse
2009-07-14, 02:49 AM
yeah some people can be just plain STUPID when it comes to reviews.

there's this one for codename kids next door on commonsensemedia.org where the writer CLEARLY didn't watch the episodes. look at the review the site gives it and watch the show. I don't think almost ANYTHING they say about it is accurate.

wait a minute. somebody didn't get the point of matrix? maybe I'm just adept at getting points in movies but that one seems pretty easy to get.

"hello Mr. Anderson":smallbiggrin:

Serpentine
2009-07-14, 03:16 AM
I dislike local newspaper "reviews", in which it is obvious that someone has mistaken "review" for "plot synopsis". They're all afraid to have an opinion...

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-14, 03:22 AM
My favorite example has to be a review of Lords and Ladies by an American reviewer.

It started by going on about a pair of abusive grandmothers (seemingly missing the fact that they could do magic) moved on to talk about native American spirits (and how disrespectful it was they where shown in that light) and finaly talked about an unnecessary American football team who kept running around doing useless stuff.

potatocubed
2009-07-14, 03:49 AM
One of my favourite quotes is about Mission Impossible 2, from a Canadian reviewer (I was in Vancouver at the time). She mentions that Dougray Scott puts on "the worst Australian accent [she] had ever heard".

Well, yes. That's because it's a Scottish accent.

(And it's not put on, either. He really is Scottish.)

Eldan
2009-07-14, 04:07 AM
Not really clueless, but still funny:

Our local newspaper, when reviewing movies, first has a little section in the style of:

Name: Revenge of the Damned Killer Ninja Robots
Genre: Romance/Comedy

and so on.

The genre section usually gives one or two genres, out of a short list they have. Then they reviewed "Watchmen", which they thought was good, and named as it's genre:

Action/Drama/Fantasy/ScienceFiction...

I don't remember all of them, but it was a total of seven genres.

J.Gellert
2009-07-14, 04:26 AM
I dislike reviewers that think "review" means "be negative about everything" and cannot say a nice word unless, for example, the movie is going for at least a couple academy awards - and they are likely 80-year-old mummies who can't even appreciate quality comedy (I can imagine them going "Bah, you kids today, if I'm not crying at the end of the film, it stinks!" as they leave the theater).

I also dislike reviews that fail to catch the point. One reviewer was writing about Battle for Middle-Earth and he started with: "I am not a fan of Tolkien, and will review this objectively simply as a game". Duh, obviously, it's a game, but if you haven't read the book/watched the movies how are you going to review it? Right from the start you score 0 for your ability to evaluate its proximity to the source material, and you are also telling me you are likely predisposed against it.

factotum
2009-07-14, 04:37 AM
I'd disagree there, Firkraag--reviewing a game simply as a game is the best way to do it, IMHO; how close to the source material it is simply isn't relevant when it comes to the important questions (e.g. will I enjoy this game? Is it actually any good?).

I don't read or watch many reviews myself, because I don't watch many films. As for games, I know what I like, which seems to be different from what most game reviewers like--the sort of games I really enjoy regularly earn poor to middling scores on most reviews I've ever seen, so there's not much point reading them!

pita
2009-07-14, 05:04 AM
Some of the reviews I watched were pretty funny.
There was a living Christian Right-wing stereotype who reviewed Watchmen, saying that the movie traumatized her children, and that Hollywood is deliberately ruining the minds of children. One of her kids asked her "What are lesbian whores?" She responded to people saying that it's an R rated movie with "BUT IT HAS SUPERHEROES IT'S A KIDS MOVIE". Really all in caps.
There was a review of Scott Bakker's The Darkness that Comes Before where the reviewer complained they ran out of white-out because of all of the bad words in it.
I found a review calling A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R R Martin predictable and cliche'd.
I found a review that compared Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series to blue cheese, in that it's a special kind of cheese, disregarding the fact that blue cheese is something you can buy in a supermarket, making his claim actually valid, although not the way he intended (He meant it as beyond normal cheeses).
Yeah, a game should be judged by its merits solely as a game, just as a movie based on a book should be judged as a movie. Hell, people who have read the books will probably be biased (I've met a lot of people who loved the movie Watchmen, and a lot of people who hated it. Those who loved it all read it. Those who hated it all haven't. I realize that there are a lot of people I haven't met, but my point is valid!)
Roger Ebert generally annoys me with his reviews, namely his Serenity and No Country for Old Men reviews, but he hits the nail on the head most of the times, so I forgive him.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-14, 05:21 AM
Now, if you don't like the movie, fine. Say so. But at least have the decency to sit through the damn thing when that's exactly what you're being paid to do (which, to her credit, she later did, under direct orders from the editorial staff, and gave it a 2/4).

I end up going to Yahoo reviews and/or Rotten Tomatoes and looking though at least 10 reviews on any movie I care to go see. That gives enough of a sample that I can make a decision for myself, instead of relying on just one person's take on it - which may well be biased if the review just hates that genre of film (Ebert's hatred of splatterpunk films, for example, which he's at least up front about).

Oh yes. Good review sites and papers have at least 2-3 reviewers, not so much to match a perfect match as to avoid the above. On the other hand as long as a reviewer is consistent, you can use them anyway ("He always gives movies I like 1-2 of 5, so this one is probably good").
And no, that is not a review. (the top example) that is the movie-critics version of that picture everyone have seen by now, the one of the sign saying "My boss told me to change the ***** sign so I did".

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-14, 05:23 AM
wait a minute. somebody didn't get the point of matrix? maybe I'm just adept at getting points in movies but that one seems pretty easy to get

Apparently not; The Matix is one of those movies that I have had to explain the fundamentals of to many of my non-geek friends. There are a lot of seemingly intelligent people who just shuts off at the door when it comes to Sci-Fi, for some reason.
Of course they might not get other movies either, but are embarrassed to ask...



Some of the reviews I watched were pretty funny.
There was a living Christian Right-wing stereotype who reviewed Watchmen

There is a page like that (I bet there are several) that reviews all movies from a "Christian" perspective. It is very entertaining. Most fun was the "Mindblow" the guy got when trying to review "Bigger, Longer and Uncut". I think he left the theatre after 20 minutes.

EleventhHour
2009-07-14, 05:49 AM
"hello Mr. Anderson":smallbiggrin:

"Mister Anderson..."

"Me, me, me. ... Me, too."

"I killed you Mister Anderson, I watched you die, with a certain satisfaction I might add."

He's like... a CEO, a CIA agent, a ninja, and a robot all wrapped into one business-suited, middle-aged, and well spoken diabolic villian.

J.Gellert
2009-07-14, 06:15 AM
I'd disagree there, Firkraag--reviewing a game simply as a game is the best way to do it, IMHO; how close to the source material it is simply isn't relevant when it comes to the important questions (e.g. will I enjoy this game? Is it actually any good?).

But there's another thing with games/movies on a known franchise/from a known book. Often, you want to know if they did it well, or if they screwed it up.

pita
2009-07-14, 06:37 AM
I completely disagree with that estimate, but whatever. I don't want to know if they did it well. I'll hear that on the net. But if I liked the movie and I heard it's worse than the books, I'll read the books, as happened with Watchmen and with True Blood and with Dexter (Totally and completely wrong on that last one, by the way. Dexter is awesome, the books suck)

factotum
2009-07-14, 06:46 AM
But there's another thing with games/movies on a known franchise/from a known book. Often, you want to know if they did it well, or if they screwed it up.

Only people who are familiar with said franchise will want to know that. A review has to be for EVERYONE, including people who have never had any contact with the originals. Also, does it necessarily make a difference whether they screwed it up or not? For example, I'm of the belief that Peter Jackson and his fellow writers completely missed the point of the Ring in the LOTR movies*, but that didn't stop me enjoying the movies in their own right.

* By this, I mean that the Ring's power to corrupt was considerably more subtle than the movies gave it credit for; it certainly didn't have the sort of instant malevolent influence that made the movie Faramir act so differently to the book version. At least, not unless you were a few bricks short of a full hod anyway, like Smeagol was...

J.Gellert
2009-07-14, 08:03 AM
Only people who are familiar with said franchise will want to know that. A review has to be for EVERYONE, including people who have never had any contact with the originals. Also, does it necessarily make a difference whether they screwed it up or not? For example, I'm of the belief that Peter Jackson and his fellow writers completely missed the point of the Ring in the LOTR movies*, but that didn't stop me enjoying the movies in their own right.

* By this, I mean that the Ring's power to corrupt was considerably more subtle than the movies gave it credit for; it certainly didn't have the sort of instant malevolent influence that made the movie Faramir act so differently to the book version. At least, not unless you were a few bricks short of a full hod anyway, like Smeagol was...

Yes, it makes a difference, and no, missing a (debatable) point isn't "screwing up".

pflare
2009-07-14, 08:29 AM
What really bothers me is reviewers who's preconceptions completely marr their review. Like the woman in the paper with the Lord of the Rings or in Buffalo when Shrek 3 came out the reviewer stated that the movie was full of "Child Humor" and not worth seeing. Maybe that's because its a CHILDREN'S MOVIE MORON! While it is not worse than reviewing something that you haven't even seen, it still really bothers me.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-14, 08:33 AM
What really bothers me is reviewers who's preconceptions completely marr their review. Like the woman in the paper with the Lord of the Rings or in Buffalo when Shrek 3 came out the reviewer stated that the movie was full of "Child Humor" and not worth seeing. Maybe that's because its a CHILDREN'S MOVIE MORON! While it is not worse than reviewing something that you haven't even seen, it still really bothers me.

Oh yes I agree. We had that here with a review of the first HP book, where the reviewer cut Rawling off by the ancles, saying her writing was terrible etc etc. Problem was he was reviewing the book as if it was written for adults, not for kids age 8-12. The ironic part is that he himself is a very successful writer (historic fiction and Secret Agent stories) and although a good storyteller hardly a brilliant writer. But he IS full of himself.

Morty
2009-07-14, 08:35 AM
My favorite example has to be a review of Lords and Ladies by an American reviewer.

It started by going on about a pair of abusive grandmothers (seemingly missing the fact that they could do magic) moved on to talk about native American spirits (and how disrespectful it was they where shown in that light) and finaly talked about an unnecessary American football team who kept running around doing useless stuff.

Um... is it about Pratchett's Lords and Ladies or some other book/movie with this name?

J.Gellert
2009-07-14, 08:55 AM
What really bothers me is reviewers who's preconceptions completely marr their review. Like the woman in the paper with the Lord of the Rings or in Buffalo when Shrek 3 came out the reviewer stated that the movie was full of "Child Humor" and not worth seeing. Maybe that's because its a CHILDREN'S MOVIE MORON! While it is not worse than reviewing something that you haven't even seen, it still really bothers me.

I agree completely.

Serpentine
2009-07-14, 08:59 AM
On the positive side, there are a pair of reviewers on the Australian ABC (or is it SBS?) who are pretty good. They're Margaret and David, and they frequently disagree. They always explain exactly why they did or did not like a film, and if one of them didn't get something the other can normally correct them. They both obviously have some different tastes - for example, if I recall correctly, David prefers his film a bit artsy, while Margaret is perfectly happy with silliness. I also always find it interesting when, in their description, one appears to have really liked it and the other not at all, and then they both end up giving it the same score...
They have a website if anyone's interested.

Athaniar
2009-07-14, 10:47 AM
Necessary trope: Cowboy Bebop At His Computer (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CowboyBebopAtHisComputer).

I can't recall any bad reviews I have read myself, but I will start searching newspapers and TV guides for them as soon as possible.

EDIT: There is a local TV channel's description of Xena: Warrior Princess that states that it takes place before Greek (and Roman) mythology. Yeah...

Eldan
2009-07-14, 11:02 AM
Oh, wait. There was this hillariously bad review from Matrix. I think my favourite sentence was: "The movie is also full of philosophy". It also had a picture of trinity, with a caption saying "A cool woman from Matrix". I'm not kidding.

LCR
2009-07-14, 12:40 PM
I mostly read movie reviews in the New Yorker and Die Zeit (German weekly) and I tend to agree with them. Both papers have a good mixture of intelligent and insightful critique, but are not afraid to admit to liking a movie, even if it's not up to their usual intellectual standards.
I also enjoy reading Slate's movie reviews.

GolemsVoice
2009-07-14, 01:53 PM
I hate it when reviewers totally fail to get what people expect from movies. If I go and watch Indiana Jones, I want pulp action. It's that simple. I am willing to forgive plot-holes and inconsistencies, as long as they fit into the style the movie is told in. Of course there are a lot smarter choices for Indy to take, but they wouldn't be funand whacky and zany. Of course, real Nazis are not like they are in Indiana Jones. But it's a pulp action franchise, and a good one at that. What we see happening is Adventure! with an exclamation mark, and not a realistic portrayal of archeological work.

Of course, a movie critic can't know every sub-genre, or know every fandom good enough to know that what was shown on the screen, though seemingly nonsenical, was actually just what fans expected, but sometimes it just struck me as glaringly obvious. This also tends to happen to games set in a universe which is "imported", where some things just work the way they do, but may seem totally crazy to "outsiders".

Decoy Lockbox
2009-07-14, 02:09 PM
Speaking of DBZ, this (http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/dragon-ball-z/201024)tv guide summary is pretty good.

The blurbs on the back of the Dark Horse editions of Berserk are completely awful. They get continuity stuff wrong, emphasize the shallowest aspects of the series and downplay or simply don't mention the deeper parts. I think their logic was "hey, there is a guy with a big sword killing things...that will sell to teenage boys, right?"

Closet_Skeleton
2009-07-14, 02:14 PM
I only tend to read reviews that go against popular opinion because they're the only interesting ones.

TheThan
2009-07-14, 02:17 PM
Of course, a movie critic can't know every sub-genre, or know every fandom good enough to know that what was shown on the screen, though seemingly nonsenical, was actually just what fans expected, but sometimes it just struck me as glaringly obvious. This also tends to happen to games set in a universe which is "imported", where some things just work the way they do, but may seem totally crazy to "outsiders".

Yeah, but then, you'd expect the critics or reviewer to know enough general knowledge about each genera to get by. Which is why when I see reviewers who simply don't what is happening, I groan.

thegurullamen
2009-07-14, 02:19 PM
No discussion of clueless reviewers would be complete without some gripes about Harry Knowles.

The man owns and operates aintitcoolnews.com which, while once a decent example of a movie insider news/movie review site, is now too bloated with politics to work like it should. I'll gloss over the many accusations against AICN's objectivity and go straight to the heart of my issue with the site.

Harry Knowles' review for SW: Episode I called Jar Jar Binks a great portrayal of a refugee caught in between forces greater than himself and overcoming adversity to find his place in the galaxy. Or something horribly similar. If that's not a clueless review, I don't know what is. Of course, you have to wonder at the type of cluelessness: is Knowles duping himself, or does he believe that we'll buy that stuff?

And that's not even out of the ordinary. Knowles and several of his reviewers are constantly embellishing characters and plotlines from movies that get inexplicably high ratings. You'd think George Lucas was a master of thematic elements by the way the site carried on until the massive Internet backlash hit. In the end, things with the site are so bad, it's impossible to know which reviews to trust, or if there are any.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 02:30 PM
As an aside, its strange that Jar Jar is considered racist when the lady from...think it ws ultraviolet with monkey feet got a pass without mention at all.

As for clueless reviews. The Akron Beacon Journal has given all of Del Toro's works a single star on the premise "The monsters are to spooky and frighten the young and old alike"

Green Bean
2009-07-14, 02:43 PM
Of course, a movie critic can't know every sub-genre, or know every fandom good enough to know that what was shown on the screen, though seemingly nonsenical, was actually just what fans expected, but sometimes it just struck me as glaringly obvious. This also tends to happen to games set in a universe which is "imported", where some things just work the way they do, but may seem totally crazy to "outsiders".

You shouldn't be so negative about the usefulness of an outsider's perspective. Fandom cannot survive without bringing in new people, and a work can't be successful if pandering to the base drives off everyone else.

snoopy13a
2009-07-14, 02:45 PM
Harry Knowles' review for SW: Episode I called Jar Jar Binks a great portrayal of a refugee caught in between forces greater than himself and overcoming adversity to find his place in the galaxy. Or something horribly similar. If that's not a clueless review, I don't know what is. Of course, you have to wonder at the type of cluelessness: is Knowles duping himself, or does he believe that we'll buy that stuff?



Jar Jar Binks is a refugee as he has been exiled from his home. He is caught up between forces greater than himself. He does overcome adversity. Whether or not this is a "great portrayal" is personal opinion but I don't understand how the review is clueless.

I suspect that for many people, disagreement with the movie review means that they are clueless.

Joran
2009-07-14, 03:07 PM
Well, I read a review about Coraline that thought it was a morally bankrupt attack on Christian values.

http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/movies/2009/coraline2009.html

"In every relationship in the movie, the female character abuses the male... It is an atheistic view of family in which moral authority begins with the child, flows through the mother, and ends at the father: a conscious inversion of a Christian family model."

So, yeah. That was fun.

I did read a review of the second Harry Potter movie by the writer who had neither seen the first movie nor read any of the books to see how coherent of a movie it was to an outsider. My wife was affronted by the review, but I thought it was an interesting take on the movie.


I also dislike reviews that fail to catch the point. One reviewer was writing about Battle for Middle-Earth and he started with: "I am not a fan of Tolkien, and will review this objectively simply as a game". Duh, obviously, it's a game, but if you haven't read the book/watched the movies how are you going to review it? Right from the start you score 0 for your ability to evaluate its proximity to the source material, and you are also telling me you are likely predisposed against it.

Reviews aren't supposed to be a catch-all; they're one person's take on the subject. So, for instance, in your example, a person who has played a lot of real time strategy games can make a meaningful contribution to your decision to buy the game by comparing it to previous RTS games and what changes they made to the standard RTS formula. This sort of general purpose review probably also serves more readers than one that analyzes if the Uruk-Hai or Orcs behave properly in the sunlight.

thegurullamen
2009-07-14, 03:13 PM
Jar Jar Binks is a refugee as he has been exiled from his home. He is caught up between forces greater than himself. He does overcome adversity. Whether or not this is a "great portrayal" is personal opinion but I don't understand how the review is clueless.

I suspect that for many people, disagreement with the movie review means that they are clueless.

Regardless, that's not what people think of when they see Jar JarBinks. They think Scrappy or Vaguely Ethnic Scrappy. I suppose I should have framed my critique better. Let me do that now: Knowles praised Episode I because of Jar Jar. I can't remember the details, but from what I do remember, he lauded the character as a grounding force against the backdrop of war which....he just wasn't. Knowles was projecting his hopes all over that character and that's why I painted him clueless. He strayed from objectivity regarding the movie because he wanted to like the film so much and that, too, paints him clueless, albeit in a different light.

Rockphed
2009-07-14, 03:16 PM
Let me do that now: Knowles praised Episode I because of Jar Jar.

I know several people who think that Jar Jar was the only redeeming feature of episode 1. Just because you think he was the worst part of a bad movie does not make him anathema. I do, however, agree that praising that movie is largely bad, but only because it, and the other prequels, betrayed the grandeur implied by Alec Guiness.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 03:17 PM
Regardless, that's not what people think of when they see Jar JarBinks. They think Scrappy or Vaguely Ethnic Scrappy. I suppose I should have framed my critique better. Let me do that now: Knowles praised Episode I because of Jar Jar. I can't remember the details, but from what I do remember, he lauded the character as a grounding force against the backdrop of war which....he just wasn't. Knowles was projecting his hopes all over that character and that's why I painted him clueless. He strayed from objectivity regarding the movie because he wanted to like the film so much and that, too, paints him clueless, albeit in a different light.

Untill it was made a public issue no one I knew had a problem with Jar Jar. In fact, alot of people thought he was a pretty intersting character. It is simply an opinion mostly born in from the media. Maybe yours isn't. But the majority of the people were.

TheThan
2009-07-14, 03:17 PM
I know several people who think that Jar Jar was the only redeeming feature of episode 1.

I am both amazed and disappointed.

WalkingTarget
2009-07-14, 03:59 PM
Regarding the Star Wars prequels, I found Jar Jar somewhat annoying, but not unforgivably so.

As far as the prequels vs. the originals I think of it this way: the dialog in most of them is pretty bad but we remember the original ones fondly and overlook the faults. A friend of mine has 3 children between 8 and 5 who have grown up with access to all 6 movies and for them there isn't a distinction between the older and newer movies. They're all just Star Wars and they like them all more or less equally.

Reviewers in general? I tend to ignore them. So far at least I haven't found one that has my taste in movies. Ebert does ok, but I'm more interested in hearing him talk about film in general than using him as a "do I see this movie or not" test.

Rockphed
2009-07-14, 04:07 PM
I am both amazed and disappointed.

Would you mind explaining?

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 04:15 PM
Would you mind explaining?

He means he's amazed that people didn't mind Jar Jar and upset that they feel that way because its not his own tastes.

Lord Seth
2009-07-14, 04:28 PM
Regarding the Star Wars prequels, I found Jar Jar somewhat annoying, but not unforgivably so.

As far as the prequels vs. the originals I think of it this way: the dialog in most of them is pretty bad but we remember the original ones fondly and overlook the faults. A friend of mine has 3 children between 8 and 5 who have grown up with access to all 6 movies and for them there isn't a distinction between the older and newer movies. They're all just Star Wars and they like them all more or less equally.I don't think it's a matter of nostalgia. The problems with the prequels were:
1) Cringeworthy dialogue, especially in episode II. I don't think I need to say any more about that.
2) Inconsistencies whenever the plot demands it. Example: Funny how Padme's perfectly fine with everything Anakin pulls in Episode II--including when he commits mass murder--but once he does the same thing in Episode III she's suddenly horrified. Why? Because the plot needs her to.
3) Speaking of the plot, how about the plot holes? Example: Why didn't they go back for Anakin's mother between episodes I and II? No explanation is given for this quite obvious problem.

Nostalgia may play a part, but the fact is that these large problems weren't present in the original trilogy, or at least they were nowhere near as noticeable.

EDIT: Though, in terms of Jar Jar Binks, I don't think someone liking him necessarily makes their review stupid. I found him a bit annoying but not too much so, and in any case that's really more of a subjective thing, unlike the really bad reviews where they just outright get things wrong.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 04:31 PM
Or how about the massive age difference between Anakin and Padme in one and the some how the super aging of Anakin with no sign of aging Padme in two and three

Ichneumon
2009-07-14, 04:32 PM
I think you could make one very awesome action movie if you would fuse the entire prequel trilogy of star wars into one movie, about the downfall of Anakin. Largely skipping most insignificant details.

Lord Seth
2009-07-14, 04:39 PM
Or how about the massive age difference between Anakin and Padme in one and the some how the super aging of Anakin with no sign of aging Padme in two and threeWhat massive age difference? Anakin was eight in Episode I, and Padme was fourteen. (well, or so Wikipedia says) That's six years. My PARENTS have a bigger gap between their ages than that.


I think you could make one very awesome action movie if you would fuse the entire prequel trilogy of star wars into one movie, about the downfall of Anakin. Largely skipping most insignificant details.Honestly, Episode I was overall so unnecessary they could've skipped the whole thing and started with Episode II with only a few minor changes to speed the viewer up. I think they kind of shot themselves in the foot by declaring A New Hope to be Episode IV, as it forced them to make three movies.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 04:41 PM
And how many years took place between Episode 1 and 2? Not 6 years no doubt?

Ichneumon
2009-07-14, 04:42 PM
What massive age difference? Anakin was eight in Episode I, and Padme was fourteen. (well, or so Wikipedia says) That's six years. My PARENTS have a bigger gap between their ages than that.

I think his point was they in the movie Padme seems not to have aged between I and II, while Anakin has.

Lord Seth
2009-07-14, 04:43 PM
And how many years took place between Episode 1 and 2? Not 6 years no doubt?Ten years. That makes them 18 and 24. It's a noticeable gap, but certainly not "massive."

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 04:45 PM
I think his point was they in the movie Padme seems not to have aged between I and II, while Anakin has.

Thats my point yes. It just feels...strange. Even if it makes sense in-universe...its offsetting when Padme is still the pretty young thing and the young boy is not a full grown man in all regards.

Lord Seth
2009-07-14, 04:47 PM
I think his point was they in the movie Padme seems not to have aged between I and II, while Anakin has.To be fair, a twenty-four year old is probably going to resemble their fourteen year old self more than an eighteen year old is going to resemble their eight year old self.

Though it looked to me that they were complaining about the age difference between the two AND the fact Anakin shows much more signs of aging than Padme. If I misunderstood that, then my apologies.

Ichneumon
2009-07-14, 04:51 PM
I agree that episode I was mostly useless when compared to the over-all story. It could have been summarized in 2-5 minutes MAX if you needed to tell the entire story of Anakin.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-14, 04:53 PM
To be fair, a twenty-four year old is probably going to resemble their fourteen year old self more than an eighteen year old is going to resemble their eight year old self.

Though it looked to me that they were complaining about the age difference between the two AND the fact Anakin shows much more signs of aging than Padme. If I misunderstood that, then my apologies.

I mean, I guess a relationship can foster between an 8 year old and a 14 year old. I personally don't agree with it. But clearly they made it work after 16. So no real worries there.

But it really was more the age changes were really sudden and off putting to someone who dosn't actually follow the rest of the story.

MCerberus
2009-07-14, 04:55 PM
What makes me mad about current reviewers is that they always jump on the popularity bandwagon. Mediocre games/TV shows (movies are better at this and I don't read music reviews) get good reviews because it will bring in more readers. This isn't the paranoid pay for a score corruption, just marketing people making sure fanboys read their articles more.

I guess it's now considered integrity to pass advertisements and endorsements as a review.

Mr.Silver
2009-07-14, 05:04 PM
I hate it when reviewers totally fail to get what people expect from movies. If I go and watch Indiana Jones, I want pulp action. It's that simple. I am willing to forgive plot-holes and inconsistencies, as long as they fit into the style the movie is told in. Of course there are a lot smarter choices for Indy to take, but they wouldn't be funand whacky and zany. Of course, real Nazis are not like they are in Indiana Jones. But it's a pulp action franchise, and a good one at that. What we see happening is Adventure! with an exclamation mark, and not a realistic portrayal of archeological work.

I'm sorry, but I don't really see how 'not willing to make allowances for plot-holes and inconsistences on account of genre' really constitutes as being 'clueless'. If such innaccuracies were an intrinsic part of the setting (such as complaints about magic in Lord of the Rings) then yes, I'd agree (and maybe this is what you meant, you don't really cite an examples). But it strikes me as a very poor tactic to say that not lowering your critical standards because the film is a certain genre is 'clueless' behaviour as it very plainly isn't.

Lord Seth
2009-07-14, 05:09 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't really see how 'not willing to make allowances for plot-holes and innaccuracies on account of genre' really constitutes as being 'clueless'. If such inconsistences were an intrinsic part of the setting (such as complaints about magic in Lord of the Rings) then yes, I'd agree (and maybe this is what you meant, you don't really cite an examples). But it strikes me as a very poor tactic to say that not lowering your critical standards because the film is a certain genre is 'clueless' behaviour as it very plainly isn't.I'm going to disagree with that. When I see a comedy, I don't care how big the plot holes or inaccuracies are as long as it's funny enough to compensate.

JonestheSpy
2009-07-14, 05:20 PM
I mostly read movie reviews in the New Yorker and Die Zeit (German weekly) and I tend to agree with them. Both papers have a good mixture of intelligent and insightful critique, but are not afraid to admit to liking a movie, even if it's not up to their usual intellectual standards..

Don't know about Zeit, but I subscribe to the New Yorker and tend to find their reviews of genre movies incredibly annoying. There is a "REAL art vs Fantasy of any sort" snobbery thatpervades intellectual circles, and that definitely includes the New Yorker. Whether its Lord of the Rings, Watchmen, or the latest dreck by Michael Bey, the reviewers seem to just dismiss it all as the same escapist kid stuff, and seem positively guilty if they let slip that did actually enjoy a film that's not straight-up realism.



Untill it was made a public issue no one I knew had a problem with Jar Jar. In fact, alot of people thought he was a pretty intersting character. It is simply an opinion mostly born in from the media. Maybe yours isn't. But the majority of the people were.

I don't want to get to much caught up in the Grand JarJar debate, but I walked out of Phantom Menace after scrupulously avoiding ANY chatter or reviews, as I wanted to come in with as few preconceptions as possible, and walked out thiniing was the most lame pice of trash I'd ever seen, and chock full o' ugly racist strereotypes.

The idea that it was just a few reviewers and the nasty media makiing a fuss about racism is just a smokescreen, in my opinion. I really don't want to get too much into the debate about whether it was or wasn't, but I do confidantly assert that many, many people saw racism in the film without outside suggestion. I will also point out that I think it has a lot to do with the age of the viewer - folks like myself who are old enough to have seen certain ugly representations of non-whites in the media were probably more likely to recognize them in the film.

TheThan
2009-07-14, 05:41 PM
A long long time ago, in a rant far far away:

Jar Jar was not a refugee; he was a total screw up that got banished for breaking everything he touches. He was becoming a danger to the community, so the leader of the community dumped him on the Jedi. Who happily took him up as their guide (so much for Jedi wisdom). It kinda grates me the wrong way when I hear (or in this case read) people refer to Jar Jar as some sort of refugee or evacuee.

His entire purpose is to make small children laugh. I don’t recall hearing ANYONE laugh when Episode I hit the theaters. Chewbacca was useful as part of the group, he could fly and repair the Falcon, and fight. He did not impede the direction of the film or hinder the plot in any way. Jar Jar by comparison breaks the flow of the movie. There are several parts of the film, where they throw in outright slapstick moments (I was fully expecting a pie fight in the first part). The scene in Watto’s shop stands out as the biggest example. They devote entire scenes to him breaking things and it’s supposed to be funny.

Jar Jar is supposed to be the over the top comedic aspect of the movie, he’s slapstick. This takes a dramatic turn from the style and direction of the source material (the original trilogy). In the original trilogy, comedy came in the form of characterization. A good example is when the Leia sees the Millennium Falcon for the first time and her response is “You fly that thing? Your braver than I thought!” We see it, chuckle, and the movie continues unhindered. With Jar Jar, his “comedy scenes” stand out too much and are out of place in the film.


Jar Jar was not very well received by most fans. So Lucas decided to reduce his role in the second and third movies. It was a good decision on his part. Jar Jar is also one of the several things done poorly in Episode I.


Another thing that bugs me about movie reviewers/critics is when they read into movies things that aren’t there. For instance I recall hearing people claim that both star wars and the lord of the rings trilogies were allegories for World War II. (star wars makes better allegory for the American revolution than WWII). Despite both Lucas and Tolkien explaining that their works have nothing to do with it.

Ravens_cry
2009-07-14, 06:25 PM
Another thing that bugs me about movie reviewers/critics is when they read into movies things that aren’t there. For instance I recall hearing people claim that both star wars and the lord of the rings trilogies were allegories for World War II. (star wars makes netter allegory fpr the American revolution than WWII). Despite both Lucas and Tolkien explaining that their works have nothing to do with it.

Not really. The 13 colonies wanted the full freedoms granted to Englishman in England, taxation with representation, as well as greater economic freedom. The British EMprie wasn't some cackling evil Empire, though it did do evil, but instead it sought to profit from it's colonies at the expense of those colonies. The Star Wars Empire was a renamed federation of nation planets more firmly united at the expense of civil freedoms.
Star Wars was more a civil war, but not like the American Civil War either.

TheThan
2009-07-14, 06:35 PM
Not really. The 13 colonies wanted the full freedoms granted to Englishman in England, taxation with representation, as well as greater economic freedom. The British EMprie wasn't some cackling evil Empire, though it did do evil, but instead it sought to profit from it's colonies at the expense of those colonies. The Star Wars Empire was a renamed federation of nation planets more firmly united at the expense of civil freedoms.
Star Wars was more a civil war, but not like the American Civil War either.

Well if you ignore the actual facts as to why the war took place, you have this:

“World spanning empire with invincible army fights rag tag group of freedom fighters and gets defeated. Liberty and freedom for everyone!”

Compare that to star wars:
“Galaxy spanning empire with invincible army fights rat tag group of freedom fighters and gets defeated. Liberty and freedom for everyone!”

Ravens_cry
2009-07-14, 06:45 PM
Well if you ignore the actual facts as to why the war took place, you have this:

“World spanning empire with invincible army fights rag tag group of freedom fighters and gets defeated. Liberty and freedom for everyone!”

Make that, with the help of the French, a group of militia fighting on their own turf, fight a world spanning empire at the end of long supply line, win, expelling those still loyal to the empire to neighbouring colonies. (AKA Canada) Liberty and Freedom to wealthy land owners!


Compare that to star wars:
“Galaxy spanning empire with invincible army fights rat tag group of freedom fighters and gets defeated. Liberty and freedom for everyone!”
If the Episode 1-3 are to be believed, it's merely a return to the status quo. That same status quo that was shown to be ineffectual and bureaucratically bloated.

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-14, 07:00 PM
The British EMprie wasn't some cackling evil Empire, though it did do evil, but instead it sought to profit from it's colonies at the expense of those colonies.Eh, with America it was more a case of trying to get out of debt over the colony. The idea that the level of tax leveled on US citizens being the primary cause of the war is a popular one. It is also dead wrong. At the time of the war the average US citizen paid 6D a year in tax. The average UK Citizen paid just over £1 6s, fifty times as much. The famous Boston tea was specially shipped from India and was cheaper than you could get (with less tax on it) in the UK. In fact if you look at the lead up to the war, it can teach you a lot about media spin.

Not that I say the war didn't have good reasons, they are just not the reasons usually given.

Thufir
2009-07-14, 07:08 PM
Um... is it about Pratchett's Lords and Ladies or some other book/movie with this name?

Pratchett's Lords and Ladies, I think. I've heard about the American football team confusion. Apparently the reviewer didn't know what morris dancing is.

Worst review I've ever seen was one of Team America. The reviewer apparently missed the point that it was making fun of its subject, not actually forwarding it as a serious portrayal of what real people are like.
And then, to top it off, said that we would expect better from the creators of South Park. :smallconfused: Somehow, I suspect he just knew South Park was popular and therefore assumed its creators would produce good stuff.

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-14, 07:09 PM
Um... is it about Pratchett's Lords and Ladies or some other book/movie with this name?Sir Terry's.

Hard to believe isn't it?

Oregano
2009-07-14, 07:24 PM
Star Wars is heavily influenced by WWII, specifically WWII Adventure movies and the dogfights and trench runs. In fact Lucas used WWII Dogfight footage before he'd got the proper footage ready to show off. There's also a quite complex representation of the Vietnam war.

TheThan
2009-07-14, 07:25 PM
Make that, with the help of the French, a group of militia fighting on their own turf, fight a world spanning empire at the end of long supply line, win, expelling those still loyal to the empire to neighbouring colonies. (AKA Canada) Liberty and Freedom to wealthy land owners!

If the Episode 1-3 are to be believed, it's merely a return to the status quo. That same status quo that was shown to be ineffectual and bureaucratically bloated.

well Ok I'm only referring to episodes IV-VI.
episode I-III was supposed to be about how Anakin Skywalker fell, it didn't do particularly good job at it. But it still.

Mr.Silver
2009-07-14, 08:58 PM
I'm going to disagree with that. When I see a comedy, I don't care how big the plot holes or inaccuracies are as long as it's funny enough to compensate.
That would fall under the 'intrinisic part of the setting/premise' thing really. Assuming said plot-hole or inconsistency is actually there for as a joke anyway. But you're right, I should have made a proper exception for that.

Lord Seth
2009-07-15, 12:29 AM
That would fall under the 'intrinisic part of the setting/premise' thing really. Assuming said plot-hole or inconsistency is actually there for as a joke anyway. But you're right, I should have made a proper exception for that.Well I think the same thing is true for action movies, which are a bit like a comedy film in that respect. If a comedy film makes me laugh, I'll obviously be more forgiving of plot holes. If an action film (e.g. Die Hard) makes me think "this is AWESOME!" then again I'll obviously be more forgiving of plot holes. In Die Hard, the plot as a whole is less important than seeing Bruce Willis going around and trying to outdo Jack Bauer in the badass department. Of course, this is a bit of a case of distraction. In a comedy, the humor (as long as it's funny) takes my attention away from the plot, so I'm less likely to notice plot holes.

So I suppose what I'm saying, if we want to get TV Tropes-ish, is that the Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny override plot hole considerations.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-15, 01:27 AM
Worst review I've ever seen was one of Team America. The reviewer apparently missed the point that it was making fun of its subject, not actually forwarding it as a serious portrayal of what real people are like.
And then, to top it off, said that we would expect better from the creators of South Park. :smallconfused: Somehow, I suspect he just knew South Park was popular and therefore assumed its creators would produce good stuff.

I remember; we had those reviews in Sweden too for that one. I could both hear and see the point of the movie missing the reviewer with about 2½ miles.

Speaking about perceived racism: I once had to correct a reviewer that insisted that the "Hyena march scene" in Lion King was racist towards blacks, because the hyenas was so obviously black people. After basically checking off two lists side by side for him he finally realized that the moving might have hinted on Nazism in that scene... (Flags Check. Tall shadows and dramatic lighting Check. Charismatic speaker Check. Marching in perfect rows staring at said leader Check. Marching with those specific steps Check...)

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-15, 02:09 AM
There's also a quite complex representation of the Vietnam war.Friggin' Teddy Bear Viet Cong.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-15, 02:19 AM
Friggin' Teddy Bear Viet Cong.

Wouldn't that have made...well all wars better? CARE BEAR STARE!!!!!

Mr.Silver
2009-07-15, 02:26 AM
Well I think the same thing is true for action movies, which are a bit like a comedy film in that respect. If a comedy film makes me laugh, I'll obviously be more forgiving of plot holes. If an action film (e.g. Die Hard) makes me think "this is AWESOME!" then again I'll obviously be more forgiving of plot holes. In Die Hard, the plot as a whole is less important than seeing Bruce Willis going around and trying to outdo Jack Bauer in the badass department. Of course, this is a bit of a case of distraction. In a comedy, the humor (as long as it's funny) takes my attention away from the plot, so I'm less likely to notice plot holes.
So I suppose what I'm saying, if we want to get TV Tropes-ish, is that the Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny override plot hole considerations.
I disagree. Rule of funny only overrides if that plot hole or inconsistency is deliberately there as part of the joke (e.g. the film is using absurdist humour or it has a penchant for breaking the fourth wall). Rule of cool works for innaccuracies with real world physics (up to a point, if the film claims to be depicting a real world phenomena then if it severely messes that up it's a problem again) not internal inconsistencies and plot holes.

This is getting away from the point though: namely that the different yardstick thing is a matter of personal taste and opinion rather than ignorance or stupidity. For example, while I would disagree with a reviewer who excuse glaring flaws in a film because 'it's a chick-flick/mindless action flick' I wouldn't say said reveiwer was clueless.

Killer Angel
2009-07-15, 02:36 AM
Do you know what I really HATE?
When the rewievers knows very well what they're talking about, 'cause they've seen the movie (or read the book)... and spoiler the end.
I still remember when i've read, on the newspaper, the review of The Sixth Sense, spoilering 'bout the end and 'bout Bruce Willis... :smallfurious:

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-15, 02:45 AM
Do you know what I really HATE?
When the rewievers knows very well what they're talking about, 'cause they've seen the movie (or read the book)... and spoiler the end.
I still remember when i've read, on the newspaper, the review of The Sixth Sense, spoilering 'bout the end and 'bout Bruce Willis... :smallfurious:

Luckily that has not happened to me all that often. Of course I usually get movies when they are out on DVD instead of going to the theatre, and by then... it's usually spoiled anyway.

Innis Cabal
2009-07-15, 02:47 AM
You have to review the whole movie if you want it to be a review. Not do it half way and say NOPE, sorry!

Eldan
2009-07-15, 04:08 AM
Ah, yes. Sixth Sense. I read a review (in an archive, actually, years after I'd seen the movie, luckily) that began it's plot synopsis with a sentence that, in the first five words, spoilered what Willis' character was supposed to be.

Killer Angel
2009-07-15, 06:57 AM
Ah, yes. Sixth Sense. I read a review (in an archive, actually, years after I'd seen the movie, luckily) that began it's plot synopsis with a sentence that, in the first five words, spoilered what Willis' character was supposed to be.

It was my only problem with that reviewer (a woman)... I carefully noted to NOT read anything written by her, when i want to see a film.
For her, spoilerin' is a must...

Lord Seth
2009-07-15, 09:03 AM
I disagree. Rule of funny only overrides if that plot hole or inconsistency is deliberately there as part of the joke (e.g. the film is using absurdist humour or it has a penchant for breaking the fourth wall). Rule of cool works for innaccuracies with real world physics (up to a point, if the film claims to be depicting a real world phenomena then if it severely messes that up it's a problem again) not internal inconsistencies and plot holes.

This is getting away from the point though: namely that the different yardstick thing is a matter of personal taste and opinion rather than ignorance or stupidity. For example, while I would disagree with a reviewer who excuse glaring flaws in a film because 'it's a chick-flick/mindless action flick' I wouldn't say said reveiwer was clueless.But the thing is, people watch comedies to laugh, not for the plot. If the plot is secondary to the important part, being funny, why does it matter so much if there are plot holes?

It's like criticizing Citizen Kane for not having a lot of jokes. The jokes aren't what the movie is supposed to be about.

darkblade
2009-07-15, 09:31 AM
There was a review in a local paper for the Watchmen movie that said "It tries way to hard to take after The Dark Knight with the darker portrayal of superheroes." So yeah...

GolemsVoice
2009-07-15, 09:56 AM
This is getting away from the point though: namely that the different yardstick thing is a matter of personal taste and opinion rather than ignorance or stupidity. For example, while I would disagree with a reviewer who excuse glaring flaws in a film because 'it's a chick-flick/mindless action flick' I wouldn't say said reveiwer was clueless.

Well, this might be true, but what I was refering to are cases in which the reviewer obviously didn't get what theme the film tried to set. I don't have an example from the top of my had, but imagine somebody complaining about why Max Payne's actions in Max Payne are illogical, or why it always rains. Max Payne isn't about fun and investiagting, it's about having a thouroughly noir shoot-out with the bad guys, and hearing cool quotes and listening to cello music. Those are accepted and time-tested staples of the film noir genre, so the SHOULD be there.

This is sometimes found in game reviews, too. I once read an article about Dawn of War which clearly showed that whoever wrote this article had NO, and I mean NO clue of what Warhammer 40K is about. Sure, you don't need to hav eyears of gaming experience to review DoW, you don't even need to be familiar with the universe beforehand, but at least a little research, like, searching for Warhammer 40000 on Wikipedia, would have made the reviewer a little less lost.

EDIT: I considered Episode III to be a quite fitting analogy to Hitler's rise to power in Germany. A once mighty nation that has received a few blows, an evil but charismatic leader who convinces the government to declare martial law and give alot of power as well as new-found troops in his hands, which he uses to turn that country inside out? It could fit.

TheThan
2009-07-15, 11:43 AM
Another thing that bugs me is when a reviewer notes that the movie he is watching is not to his taste, and gives it a bad review simply because it doesn’t fit his taste. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Reviewers and critics should take an objective look at each piece of media that they review or criticize. Just because they don’t like it, doesn’t mean its bad.

For example I hate sports games, I have not interest in playing them at all and its been many years since I’ve played one. Despite this it doesn’t mean that all sports games are bad, I’m sure there are a lot of good ones out there, but they don’t interest me. If I were to review a sports game, I would try at least to keep my dislike of the game out of the review and try to let the game stand on it’s own merits.


I considered Episode III to be a quite fitting analogy to Hitler's rise to power in Germany. A once mighty nation that has received a few blows, an evil but charismatic leader who convinces the government to declare martial law and give alot of power as well as new-found troops in his hands, which he uses to turn that country inside out? It could fit.


Yeah, actually this is almost right on, Lucas realized that he needed to learn how a democracy becomes a dictatorship. So he did a little research, I think he looked into Germany and ancient Rome specifically. Personally that interested me more than the fall of Anakin. Mainly because I believe that sort of story fits Lucas’s capabilities as a director better.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-15, 11:51 AM
Another thing that bugs me is when a reviewer notes that the movie he is watching is not to his taste, and gives it a bad review simply because it doesn’t fit his taste.

Although I do enjoy reviewers that admits this and then gives a really GOOD review.

Faulty
2009-07-15, 11:54 AM
I think the worst kinds are the reviewers that have agendas, ex: Pitchfork media's entire staff.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-15, 12:08 PM
I think the worst kinds are the reviewers that have agendas, ex: Pitchfork media's entire staff.

I much prefer people who genuinely have an agenda rather than tabloids who pump up the "moral" outrage and panic with one hand and sells pages up on pages with smut with the other.
Typical example is the Swedish papers who still, 20 years too late tries to demonize RPGs in general and LARPing specifically.

JonestheSpy
2009-07-15, 12:20 PM
Typical example is the Swedish papers who still, 20 years too late tries to demonize RPGs in general and LARPing specifically.

Well, to be fair, LARPing IS demonic....

Milskidasith
2009-07-15, 12:50 PM
This is actually the only complaint I have about Yahtzee's reviews on Zero Punctuation. Yeah, they aren't "real" reviews, and they are funny... but it becomes a lot less funny when his basis for the joke/criticism is because he can't understand the storyline (or just portrays it wrongly for the purpose of humor) or complains about a missing feature that is in the tutorial. It also doesn't help that whenever he complains about a games balance, he usually refers to them as button mashers, where on anything but the lowest settings, button mashing usually gets you killed.

TheThan
2009-07-15, 12:56 PM
Although I do enjoy reviewers that admits this and then gives a really GOOD review.

Yeah, its possible to write a good review about something even if you dislike the genre it falls into. (Note a good review is not necessarily a praising review. It is however, a fair and objective one.)

MCerberus
2009-07-15, 01:05 PM
But the thing is, people watch comedies to laugh, not for the plot. If the plot is secondary to the important part, being funny, why does it matter so much if there are plot holes?

It's like criticizing Citizen Kane for not having a lot of jokes. The jokes aren't what the movie is supposed to be about.

The problem is that, when done too much you get a movie devoid of value except for a couple cheap laughs. Most notably are the <Genre Here> movies. Ferrel movies do this to a lesser extent (although I still don't care for them).

Mr.Silver
2009-07-15, 01:30 PM
But the thing is, people watch comedies to laugh, not for the plot. If the plot is secondary to the important part, being funny, why does it matter so much if there are plot holes?
Because it shows a lack of ability/effort on the part of the production staff. A few small plot holes aren't going to ruin a film, but they are still mistakes and worth pointing-out as such. As, unless they're required for the joke they shouldn't be there.



It's like criticizing Citizen Kane for not having a lot of jokes. The jokes aren't what the movie is supposed to be about.
No it isn't. It would be like criticising Citizen Kane for inconsistencies and plot holes. Not all comedies rely on inconsistencies and plot holes for humour (in fact the vast majority of them don't). There is no genre that is 'about' having plot holes (no, not even surrealist cinema as that just doesn't use much in the was of plot).

Athaniar
2009-07-15, 02:16 PM
EDIT: I considered Episode III to be a quite fitting analogy to Hitler's rise to power in Germany. A once mighty nation that has received a few blows, an evil but charismatic leader who convinces the government to declare martial law and give alot of power as well as new-found troops in his hands, which he uses to turn that country inside out? It could fit.

Only that Hitler did not orchestrate the entire World War I by being the leader of both the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance just so he could later become the supreme ruler of Earth.

As far as I know, that is.

Shosuro Ishii
2009-07-15, 02:45 PM
There was a review in a local paper for the Watchmen movie that said "It tries way to hard to take after The Dark Knight with the darker portrayal of superheroes." So yeah...

But this is a really accurate statement. If The Dark Knight does poorly, than so does Watchmen.

If The Dark Knight doesn't come out, we don't have a Watchmen movie.

Faulty
2009-07-15, 05:02 PM
I much prefer people who genuinely have an agenda rather than tabloids who pump up the "moral" outrage and panic with one hand and sells pages up on pages with smut with the other.
Typical example is the Swedish papers who still, 20 years too late tries to demonize RPGs in general and LARPing specifically.

Wait, what does this have to do with reviewers? >_> Pitchfork media is a music site where the reviews are really biased and focused on manufacturing hipster trends. This article (http://www.theonion.com/content/news/pitchfork_gives_music_6_8) will give you an idea of what Pitchfork reviews are like.

Haarkla
2009-07-15, 05:42 PM
But the thing is, people watch comedies to laugh, not for the plot. If the plot is secondary to the important part, being funny, why does it matter so much if there are plot holes?


I agree with Mr. Silver. A good comedy almost always has a coherent plot.

Faulty
2009-07-15, 06:09 PM
But the thing is, people watch comedies to laugh, not for the plot. If the plot is secondary to the important part, being funny, why does it matter so much if there are plot holes?

Because plot holes limit suspension of disbelief.

chiasaur11
2009-07-15, 06:10 PM
Because plot holes limit suspension of disbelief.

Ever seen Airplane?
Police Squad?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

A totally coherent plot is not a necessity for good comedy.

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-15, 06:15 PM
Ever seen Airplane?
Police Squad?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

A totally coherent plot is not a necessity for good comedy.

If you want comedy gold where plot holes are used to the best, listen to The Goons, a 60s BBC Radio 4 program written by that well know typing error Spiek Mililgan

Steward
2009-07-15, 06:31 PM
I think that when a movie is funny you are willing to overlook inconsistencies. But when the movie ISN'T funny, then all you can notice are the plot inconsistencies. There's nothing you can really do except pick at it in your head.

It's like watching a standup comedian who says her jokes too quickly, laughs awkwardly between sentences, and repeats the punchline if it looks like no one else gets it. It's not funny, it's just boring.

ThunderCat
2009-07-15, 07:20 PM
But the thing is, people watch comedies to laugh, not for the plot. If the plot is secondary to the important part, being funny, why does it matter so much if there are plot holes?The fact of the matter is, that even if you don't personally mind plotholes (plotholes as in: Could have been a coherent story without any loss of humour, but wasn't because the writers didn't care/couldn't make it work, and not: Intentionally bizarre for comedic effect), some people do. If the story doesn't lose anything by being somewhat coherent, plotholes are a purely negative factor, because the best reaction they'll provoke is indifference (from people like you), and the worst is annoyance and a lack of suspension of disbelief.

Maybe a movie has lousy special effects (and not intentionally), but some people only watch movies for the story and acting, and therefore don't care. That doesn't mean reviewers shouldn't warn their readers about crappy special effects, because many of them probably care. And you're always free to ignore that part of a review. If a reviewer complains about plotholes, you're still capable of to thinking for yourself, and realise that this aspect doesn't bother you, but if the reviewers aren't supposed to criticise the plotholes, people who appreciate a little thoughtfulness in their comedies wont have a chance to figure out if they want to see it or not.

ThunderCat
2009-07-15, 07:45 PM
I much prefer people who genuinely have an agenda rather than tabloids who pump up the "moral" outrage and panic with one hand and sells pages up on pages with smut with the other.
Typical example is the Swedish papers who still, 20 years too late tries to demonize RPGs in general and LARPing specifically.Are you referring to the incident some years ago, where someone found the decapitated head of a LARPer?

JadedDM
2009-07-15, 09:27 PM
No, he was referring to the demon summoners and the paladins of Lawful Evil alignment. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVZczLuoJoU)

The Vorpal Tribble
2009-07-15, 09:54 PM
One of her kids asked her "What are lesbian whores?" She responded to people saying that it's an R rated movie with "BUT IT HAS SUPERHEROES IT'S A KIDS MOVIE". Really all in caps.
That manages to crack me up with the first sentence and nearly kill me with agony the second. I... I don't know I can take such combined conflict.

I'd probably have said something like, 'Lesbian whores? Type of dinosaur that only eat each other. That's why there's a lot of blood.'

Actually, I wouldn't have had to. I'd have seen it rated R and NOT BLOODY TAKEN THEM IN!

Honestly, being a chr... (grr, religious reference censored)... of that particular faith doesn't mean being a turdbrain. I am one. Err, a member of that faith that is. I keep brains in my head, and turds down below. That's the way man was built.

revolver kobold
2009-07-15, 09:59 PM
There was a similar thing here in Australia when The Dark Knight was released, and a mother took her 6 year old son to see the movie, and complained that The Joker gave him nightmares.

Serpentine
2009-07-15, 10:02 PM
Regarding the on-going argument: How about we get away from one specific point of criticism, and back to the original comment. It is frustrating when a reviewer sees a movie of a particular genre, and fails to review it as that genre.
I think a better example than "PLOT HOOOOOOLES!" would be when a critic sees a bit of meaningless time-passing fluff (say... to pick an example of a generally-considered good one, Tropic Thunder), and tries to review it as though it was a piece of fine art (say... I dunno, Hero). Of course they're going to think it's no good. It's not classy, not deep, not profound, not beautiful, and if you think a good movie has to be these, then you are not going to consider this a good movie. But it is bloody funny and a great parody of Hollywood and movie-making, and a good movie.

edit: Oh, I thought of one. I dislike it when a reviewer fails to critique a film on its own merits. For example, one of the reviewers I mentioned above (specifically David) started giving superhero movies lower scores, because he was tired of superhero movies. Maybe he could judge them harsher in terms of originality, but still... Just because something's been done, doesn't mean this one's less good!

thegurullamen
2009-07-15, 11:58 PM
Here's one: The Indianapolis Times review of V For Vendetta started with a snarky comment about guy Fawkes' true intentions (which might have been a valid point, except...) then it devolved into a rant about how action films are too effects laden. Specific mention goes to the many bullet time sequences and exploding buildings.

Of which there was one and two respectively. No real mention of the plot aside from V being a guy who blows things up.

It's really hard to tell if she even saw the movie.

TheThan
2009-07-16, 12:25 AM
Another thing that I hate when I hear a review is this:

“It’s not exactly like the source material”

This really drives me nuts. I hear it mostly by blood crazed fans of said source material. It doesn’t matter if it’s LOTR, Starship troopers, X-men origins Wolverine, or the latest Vampire love story. A film adaptation cannot be a perfect media to media conversion. The writers have to change a lot of things in order to fit into the appropriate media. They also have to make considerations for the audience. Not everyone has read the X-men origins Wolverine comic books, but if they have seen the previous X-men movies they will probably go and see it.

So to get bent all out of shape over changes of the piece in a conversion makes little sense. As long as it contains the essence of the original work, no harm is done. Its another thing when they totally drop the ball and produce a film that has nothing at all to do with its source material (sure its rather rare, but it can happen). Basically my attitude is that if it’s a media to film conversion its not going to be just like the original source material so don’t worry about it.

Serpentine
2009-07-16, 12:30 AM
It is possible for it to be badly or well done, though. For example, I think that the movie The Princess Bride is an absolutely brilliant adaptation of the book, because the creators realised it was not the book, but a movie, and took full advantage of all the qualities of that medium. If you get a movie that claims or tries to "be" the book, though, it's almost always going to fail miserably. Or at least be very unsatisfying.
And, of course, there's the ones where the point and/or tone of the book is utterly missed. Exhibit A: Ella Enchanted. I'm not entirely surprised that the movie was terrible*, but still. My God! Would it really have been that hard to show her resisting and subverting her orders, instead of having her stomp around like a mindless obedient zombie?!

*I admit, I only saw a few minutes in the middle. It was all I could stand :smallsigh:

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-16, 12:49 AM
Here's one: The Indianapolis Times review of V For Vendetta started with a snarky comment about guy Fawkes' true intentions (which might have been a valid point, except...) then it devolved into a rant about how action films are too effects laden. Specific mention goes to the many bullet time sequences and exploding buildings.

Of which there was one and two respectively. No real mention of the plot aside from V being a guy who blows things up.

It's really hard to tell if she even saw the movie.

Not to mention the American review I saw (can't find it now) that was 100% convinced that it was a pro-terrorist movie since the blowing up of buildings was obviously a metaphor for 9/11. *Headdesk, even thinking about it*

...Time travel, btw, seems to cause a lot of grief for reviewers deprived of either their inner child, or their inner geekdom. At least two reviews I read completely lost track of the plot when Hermione started time-travel...

And then again is the reviewer (the only one I have seen so far) that hated Transformers - Revenge... because it spent too much time with the robots and not enough time with the romance and human interaction.

thegurullamen
2009-07-16, 12:50 AM
Exhibit B: Dreamcatcher. Well, the first two-thirds. It matches the tone and style of the book better than most adaptations I've seen, maps itself almost perfectly to the book's events and it's all the worse for it. It comes at the cost of characterization (because most of King's characters are revealed in internal monologues) and character logic (because, well, it's King. He's guilty of more than a few Idiot Balls and Plot Coupons.) I loved the movie the first time I saw it but repeat viewings put the film in a harsh light it cannot overcome.

averagejoe
2009-07-16, 12:54 AM
Another thing that I hate when I hear a review is this:

“It’s not exactly like the source material”

This really drives me nuts. I hear it mostly by blood crazed fans of said source material. It doesn’t matter if it’s LOTR, Starship troopers, X-men origins Wolverine, or the latest Vampire love story. A film adaptation cannot be a perfect media to media conversion. The writers have to change a lot of things in order to fit into the appropriate media. They also have to make considerations for the audience. Not everyone has read the X-men origins Wolverine comic books, but if they have seen the previous X-men movies they will probably go and see it.

So to get bent all out of shape over changes of the piece in a conversion makes little sense. As long as it contains the essence of the original work, no harm is done. Its another thing when they totally drop the ball and produce a film that has nothing at all to do with its source material (sure its rather rare, but it can happen). Basically my attitude is that if it’s a media to film conversion its not going to be just like the original source material so don’t worry about it.

I'll do you one better and say that the idea that similarity to source material as any sort of quality measurement is something that I find puzzling in my kinder moments and stupid in my unkind ones. I've watched a movie that was exactly like the book. It was boring. Adaptations are much better than wholesale copying. Stories should be reinvented, not retold in a different box.

What I don't like is when an adaptation misses the point of the source material. For example, for a Transformers remake to be good I expect, at the minimum, that there be things which transform into other things. Similarly, I expect anything with the X-Men label to have mutants born with superpowers. (It doesn't need a team called the X-Men, though it might make the title confusing if they don't.) So sometimes, "It's not like the source material," is a valid criticism, but not often.

Fri
2009-07-16, 12:54 AM
Another thing that I hate when I hear a review is this:

“It’s not exactly like the source material”

This really drives me nuts. I hear it mostly by blood crazed fans of said source material. It doesn’t matter if it’s LOTR, Starship troopers, X-men origins Wolverine, or the latest Vampire love story. A film adaptation cannot be a perfect media to media conversion. The writers have to change a lot of things in order to fit into the appropriate media. They also have to make considerations for the audience. Not everyone has read the X-men origins Wolverine comic books, but if they have seen the previous X-men movies they will probably go and see it.

So to get bent all out of shape over changes of the piece in a conversion makes little sense. As long as it contains the essence of the original work, no harm is done. Its another thing when they totally drop the ball and produce a film that has nothing at all to do with its source material (sure its rather rare, but it can happen). Basically my attitude is that if it’s a media to film conversion its not going to be just like the original source material so don’t worry about it.

Completely agree. I always want to yell. "It's a movie, it's not an exam! You're not going to be asked 'write 10 difference between the movie and the book" at the end of the movie'!"

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-16, 01:02 AM
And, of course, there's the ones where the point and/or tone of the book is utterly missed. Exhibit A: Ella Enchanted. I'm not entirely surprised that the movie was terrible*, but still. My God! Would it really have been that hard to show her resisting and subverting her orders, instead of having her stomp around like a mindless obedient zombie?!

*I admit, I only saw a few minutes in the middle. It was all I could stand :smallsigh:

I thought it was quite cute. But then again I have never even heard that it was based on a book (never been released here, AFAIK). Of course it was hardly the best movie that year.

As for book / comic book adaptions: I agree. The key is to both realize you can't make a 100% identical copy of the source material, but to be respectful of it. Personally I really liked the LOTR trilogy, but I know a lot of people who are not necessarily "Fan Dumb" that thought they changed too much. Same with HP.

As for reviewers in general, here are a few types I have identified in Sweden, and I think they should apply in other countries as well (and there are more than these three):

1) The Bergmanites (as I call them): The ones that prefer Serious Art. If it's not a Bergman movie, then at least make it a black-and-white French one.
...Unfortunately, since the paper only have money for one reviewer, he is also forced to review Stewart Little and Die Hard. With obvious low scores and snarky comments. (Sometimes he at least has his inner child alive, and can detect a well written and well played kids movie).

2) The Movie Geek. Good: Loves to watch movies. Any movies. Rates quite fairly, everything. Bad: Can get overstuffed with Geekdom combined with the misconception that everyone else is as tired with movies about x as he or she is.

3) The woman put in charge of the "entertainment" section of a small paper and have to do everything herself. Fashion column. Music reviews. Movie reviews. Usually leaves the Computer game section to the IT support guy.
Can go either way: If you are lucky, movies is one of the things she is actually interested in. If you are unlucky she only rates Sex and the City high, since she is really only interested in the Fashion side of the job.

Shosuro Ishii
2009-07-16, 01:48 AM
At least two reviews I read completely lost track of the plot when Hermione started time-travel...



Somepeople (myself included) hate time travel as a plot device because it is:

A) almost never ever done well
B) almost never ever done without creating gapping plot holes.

The moment you introduce time travel, you throw logic out the window, because you either create massive problems with the way time travel works (Terminator, HP) or you have to bend over backwards to make sure that time travel doesn't destroy the plot (which never works).

Serpentine
2009-07-16, 01:56 AM
I thought it was quite cute. But then again I have never even heard that it was based on a book (never been released here, AFAIK). Of course it was hardly the best movie that year.I want to first disclaimer the following by repeating that I only saw a tiny bit of the movie, somewhere in the middle. Taking that alone (that is, not as an adaptation of the book), the main thing I can say is that the acting looked terrible.
With reference to the book, part of the point of the book was that the obedience curse/blessing actually made her more rebellious. If someone told her to do the dishes, she'd break everything. If someone told her to sing louder, she'd bellow. If someone told her to slow down, she'd move in slow motion. And so on. The blank-eyed gaze and stiff gait that came over her in the movie when she was told to do something just looked ridiculous and completely bypassed this important bit of characterisation - and seriously, how are we meant to believe that she managed to hide it for so many years when it's so very obvious she's basically taken over by the command?

<.<
>.>

*ahem*

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-16, 02:02 AM
With reference to the book, part of the point of the book was that the obedience curse/blessing actually made her more rebellious. If someone told her to do the dishes, she'd break everything. If someone told her to sing louder, she'd bellow. If someone told her to slow down, she'd move in slow motion. And so on. The blank-eyed gaze and stiff gait that came over her in the movie when she was told to do something just looked ridiculous and completely bypassed this important bit of characterisation - and seriously, how are we meant to believe that she managed to hide it for so many years when it's so very obvious she's basically taken over by the command?

*ahem*

...That would have been better, yes. Far more so.
As for the other question? - Because it's a kid story? Otherwise Rule 34 would have kicked in about 2 minutes into the movie (which some reviewers pointed out, too).

Satyr
2009-07-16, 02:22 AM
A few years ago, I worked as a movie reviewer for a tiny local radio station. We were three people, who watched many movies and criticised them as good as we can; we had a basic concept of “A good, a bad and an ugly” as the basic choice for movies we presented in our weekly program – but this is a nigh impossible task. There aren’t just enough good movies out there to review a good movie every week.

Reviewing movies facing a few typical problems, mostly because you start to develop a strong dislike against movies you are forced to watch anyway (that’s the same phenomenon with books read in school; it doesn’t matter how good they are, there are always people who will hate it, just because they are forced to read it). Watching three movies per week can be annoying, especially since most movies are just targeted to be as mediocre as possible.

The next problem is that way too many people are pretentious enough to be unable to differentiate between movies they like and movies which are actually good, and reduce a movie’s quality only to the level of personal satisfaction. As a semi-professional reviewer this is an absolute no go, but they are just people. And therefore egocentric by default, I guess.

There are only a few truly bad movies (which are depressingly often quite successful nonetheless), there are even fewer really good movies (which are, equally depressing, often made for a small niche audience and doesn’t even appear in the public perception), and a vast majority is just shallow and bland.

It is a sad fact that the most successful movies are often the most bland ones; good movies are not made for a broad audience, but for an intellectual one who can appreciate a complex or original story; the majority of people are not among these. Most movies are decisively mediocre, targeted on a decisively mediocre audience. They will feature little obvious mistakes (apart from wooden acting, bad plots and two dimensional characters to not overstrain the poor brains of the intended viewer), but will have just as little redeeming qualities

The worst reviewers are those who just follow the obvious popular trends and follow the public acclaim. While there are a few of movies which are both good and popular, but they are a rare exception. For the most part, great box office success is an indicator for mediocre movies. A good reviewer is someone who differentiates between personal preferences and overall quality, and criticises honestly, which means he or she will probably offer at least ten slating reviews for every good one, when she reviews not only the niche program.

Prime32
2009-07-16, 06:13 AM
Not to mention the American review I saw (can't find it now) that was 100% convinced that it was a pro-terrorist movie since the blowing up of buildings was obviously a metaphor for 9/11. *Headdesk, even thinking about it*Let's not forget the people who thought The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was an allegory for 9/11.

Eldan
2009-07-16, 06:14 AM
Heck, probably half the movies made after 9/11 were either allegories for it or got their inspiration from it, according to some people. Which might almost be true, seeing how many action movies featured terrorists in those years.

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-16, 06:33 AM
OK lets not forget the mass effect controversy.

Mr.Silver
2009-07-16, 06:37 AM
OK lets not forget the mass effect controversy.

That was less the fault of the reviewers than the fault of the 'OMG! teh Evil videogames are corrupting the children!!1" brigade.

darkblade
2009-07-16, 07:19 AM
But this is a really accurate statement. If The Dark Knight does poorly, than so does Watchmen.

If The Dark Knight doesn't come out, we don't have a Watchmen movie.

Um try again. Watchmen has been in development hell since before Tim Burton's Batman. Dark Knight and Watchmen had nothing to do with each other.

GolemsVoice
2009-07-16, 08:23 AM
The worst reviewers are those who just follow the obvious popular trends and follow the public acclaim. While there are a few of movies which are both good and popular, but they are a rare exception. For the most part, great box office success is an indicator for mediocre movies. A good reviewer is someone who differentiates between personal preferences and overall quality, and criticises honestly, which means he or she will probably offer at least ten slating reviews for every good one, when she reviews not only the niche program.


While this is true in many cases, I think the last years have seen a return to trying to make masterpieces, because it sometimes seems to me that directors have figured the following out: " Our audience isn't as stupid as we think it is, generally speaking. They just didn't have much choice. In 10 years, few will remember 17 again, but The Dark Knight and Watchmen will be classics." The trend I have noticed goes to combining art, action amd story, thus creating a movie that is of artisitic merti, while still being interesting to a broad audience, without being boring. Watchmen and The Dark Knight are good examples of this. Of course, those are brilliant films (I think), while there is still more than enough mediocre rubbish, produced to be forgotten.

Serpentine
2009-07-16, 09:48 AM
...That would have been better, yes. Far more so.
As for the other question? - Because it's a kid story? Otherwise Rule 34 would have kicked in about 2 minutes into the movie (which some reviewers pointed out, too).But if they'd kept it like the book - where she acts perfectly normally, except she does what she's told - it would've been must less obvious than the vacant-eyed zombie-stomp.

<.<

Proceed.

JonestheSpy
2009-07-16, 03:37 PM
Another thing that I hate when I hear a review is this:

“It’s not exactly like the source material”

... As long as it contains the essence of the original work, no harm is done. Its another thing when they totally drop the ball and produce a film that has nothing at all to do with its source material (sure its rather rare, but it can happen).

Norman Spinrad, one of my favorite Science fiction authors and critics, has writtten about this a number of times. Here's a little excerpt from an interview in which he discusses this subject:

It’s just that the movie can never be the book. You have to do more than cut, you have to extract the essential story and then make a film. That’s why Blade Runner was good, whereas Dune was a horror. It was terrible because David Lynch tried to make a literal adaptation of the book. With Blade Runner, David Peoples - who wrote the second script, the one Ridley Scott shot - extracted the real essential story and wrote a movie. Phil understood that when he saw the rough cut of Blade Runner. He said to me that the movie captured the spirit and the essence of the book. There was a scene at the end of the movie where the replicant saves Dekerd instead of killing him, which is not in the book at all. And Phil said "that" captured the spirit of the book, even though it was never in the book.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-16, 03:44 PM
Let's not forget the people who thought The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was an allegory for 9/11.

Yeah... But that wasn't even a *Headdesk* or *Facepalm* situation. That was a pure *Point and laugh* situation.

TheThan
2009-07-16, 04:24 PM
Norman Spinrad, one of my favorite Science fiction authors and critics, has writtten about this a number of times. Here's a little excerpt from an interview in which he discusses this subject:

It’s just that the movie can never be the book. You have to do more than cut, you have to extract the essential story and then make a film. That’s why Blade Runner was good, whereas Dune was a horror. It was terrible because David Lynch tried to make a literal adaptation of the book. With Blade Runner, David Peoples - who wrote the second script, the one Ridley Scott shot - extracted the real essential story and wrote a movie. Phil understood that when he saw the rough cut of Blade Runner. He said to me that the movie captured the spirit and the essence of the book. There was a scene at the end of the movie where the replicant saves Dekerd instead of killing him, which is not in the book at all. And Phil said "that" captured the spirit of the book, even though it was never in the book.

Exactly, the LOTR movies do a fantastic job of showing the audience the story of the destruction of the one ring. It’s not about the mythology of the world the writer was creating. It’s not about the style he wrote in, its about the story he wrote.

Lord Seth
2009-07-16, 04:30 PM
Exactly, the LOTR movies do a fantastic job of showing the audience the story of the destruction of the one ring. It’s not about the mythology of the world the writer was creating. It’s not about the style he wrote in, its about the story he wrote.Thank goodness for that. While I liked Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's writing style could definitely have used work.

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-16, 05:28 PM
Thank goodness for that. While I liked Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's writing style could definitely have used work.:smalleek:
I thought I was the only one! It took me 3 and a half years to get through it, I had to keep putting it down and doing other things it was so dry. The story is awesome, the style, well, Tolkien himself said it was intended to be in the style of the medieval epic, a type of text intended to be memorized and read at people rather than read to one's self. I know the book is meant to be awesome and all, but no author is allowed to spend three pages saying "And then they went into the forest. Nothing happened."

Serpentine
2009-07-16, 08:42 PM
Tolkein and Rowling are very good examples of why even the very best authors need good editors.

Incidentally, that's why I'm quite looking forward to the later Harry Potter movies. They will have to cut out all the unneccessary rubbish, and it can only be improved by that.

Oh, incidentally incidentally, a book I just finished reading on historical evidence and argument had an entire chapter devoted to editing. It seems to pretty much be an art in itself...

Mewtarthio
2009-07-16, 11:16 PM
OK lets not forget the mass effect controversy.

The irony there is that they actually would have had good reasons to take offense at Liara's character if they'd taken the time to play through the game.

JonestheSpy
2009-07-17, 12:30 AM
Exactly, the LOTR movies do a fantastic job of showing the audience the story of the destruction of the one ring. It’s not about the mythology of the world the writer was creating. It’s not about the style he wrote in, its about the story he wrote.

Well actually, I'd say that Jackson started off amazingly well in Felowship of the Ring and then really dropped the ball. I expect that' a whole 'nother thread.

TheThan
2009-07-17, 12:34 AM
Well actually, I'd say that Jackson started off amazingly well in Felowship of the Rings and then really dropped the ball. I expect that' a whole 'nother thread.

Probably true.

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-17, 01:07 AM
Tolkein and Rowling are very good examples of why even the very best authors need good editors.

...I don't know. Admittedly English is not my first language, and I read Potter in the (good) Swedish translation but I never had any problems with Tolkien's style (in English), and I didn't find anything resembling "unnecessary rubbish" in the HP books.

There are worse things; especially when authors are caught up in their own hype and gets hubris. Laurell K Hamilton, for example...


...Anyway, back to the original topic:
I do find it very weird that so many people that are supposedly used to watching movies can drop the ball so easily. Part of it is the geek genres (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Superhero etc); some people are either to snobby to even bother paying attention, or have a subconcious block for those things. But it does not account for everything. Some reviewers seem to get random blackouts, or are just obviously completely wrong for the job (in the cases they are very totally off track very often).

Eldan
2009-07-17, 01:19 AM
The spoiler idea from a page back reminded me of something: blurbs on the backcovers of books that reveal too much of the story. Made up example, not too far away from some I've seen:

"When character x travels to location a, he would never have suspected to meet character y there, a secret agent in the employ of conspiracy m."

Congratulations, now I don't need to read the book anymore. One of the worst offenders: the "cast of characters" page in Revelation Space, revealing the secret goals and origins of half the characters.

Satyr
2009-07-17, 02:22 AM
Every adaptation of any piece of fiction from one medium to the other makes a comparison pretty much necessary, especially in the case of popular books turned into movies. There are different qualities of movies and books which are depeding on the medium, but noetheless, a movie based on a book should include the spirit and the plot of that book; as well as the afterthaught and the general niveau. Often enough, movie adaptations are just plain worse than the original (there seem to be a competition of "Who can proof Alan Morre more right" when adapting his works for the screen, for example), a few are different, but in their difference are not any worse or better than the novels they are based on (the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a case like that, even though the movies could probably be much better) and there are a fewcases where the movie is just better than the book it is based on (Stanley Kubrick could do this; other directors? Not so much.)

Mr.Silver
2009-07-17, 03:23 AM
and there are a fewcases where the movie is just better than the book it is based on (Stanley Kubrick could do this; other directors? Not so much.)
Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher and Christopher Nolan would disagree with you on that statement.

Serpentine
2009-07-17, 06:28 AM
The spoiler idea from a page back reminded me of something: blurbs on the backcovers of books that reveal too much of the story. Made up example, not too far away from some I've seen:

"When character x travels to location a, he would never have suspected to meet character y there, a secret agent in the employ of conspiracy m."

Congratulations, now I don't need to read the book anymore. One of the worst offenders: the "cast of characters" page in Revelation Space, revealing the secret goals and origins of half the characters.Ugh, yes. When they go through the whole book, "so-and-so does this, then this, then this, then it all winds up in a big climax like this..." Ugh. Of course, then there's the ones that don't actually tell you a damned thing about what it's about. Normally in the case of older books (or films) it'll talk about the great impact or cultural significance of it, or alternatively only tell you about the author.
I'm working in the library tomorrow morning, I'll keep an eye out for dodgy blurbs :smallwink:

There's an Australian TV show coming on that they're hyping the hell out of. It's kinda sad, though: One of their most prominent tag-lines is a "review" bite that says "SEXIEST CAST ON TV". If the best thing they can say about it is it's good for eye-candy, I can't think that it's all that good...

Avilan the Grey
2009-07-17, 06:34 AM
There's an Australian TV show coming on that they're hyping the hell out of. It's kinda sad, though: One of their most prominent tag-lines is a "review" bite that says "SEXIEST CAST ON TV". If the best thing they can say about it is it's good for eye-candy, I can't think that it's all that good...

Baywatch: Sydney? :smallwink:

Anyway, book blurbs are fun. Of course then you have the other type: The ones that are totally pointless because they reveal nothing about the book, not even atmosphere or what kind of story it is. I wonder if that has to do with fear of spoiling?

Eldan
2009-07-17, 06:36 AM
Either that, or it's the type of book which has a book cover like this:

AUTHOR
NAME

Title

With a blurb saying: "read the newest book by AUTOR NAME! The following five people thought it was good!"

Drascin
2009-07-17, 07:01 AM
:smalleek:
I thought I was the only one! It took me 3 and a half years to get through it, I had to keep putting it down and doing other things it was so dry.

Seriously? I mean, maybe the Spanish translation was made more accesible or something, but I read LotR when I was like eleven years old, and devoured it like there was no tomorrow. Not for one moment did I think it was boring or dry. Hell, I spent the following month talking about it with a friend I had, in the playground, while other kids played cops&robbers.

Eldan
2009-07-17, 07:02 AM
Same with me, really. I was... ten or so years old, probably. Spent three weeks of my summer holidays reading that book.

Cristo Meyers
2009-07-17, 07:38 AM
Either that, or it's the type of book which has a book cover like this:

AUTHOR
NAME

Title

With a blurb saying: "read the newest book by AUTOR NAME! The following five people thought it was good!"

What's even better is when the critic quotes praising the book are actually about a different book the author wrote.

Eldan
2009-07-17, 07:45 AM
Ah, yes. Case in point: every Terry Pratchett book I have has the same two newspaper quotes on the back.

Steward
2009-07-17, 07:46 AM
Baywatch: Sydney? :smallwink:

Anyway, book blurbs are fun. Of course then you have the other type: The ones that are totally pointless because they reveal nothing about the book, not even atmosphere or what kind of story it is. I wonder if that has to do with fear of spoiling?

I think that these quotes are harvested by force from prominent authors by publishers, and just randomly stuck on whatever book needs the boost. A lot of book blurbs are vague and interchangeable. Right now, I'm reading A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.

On the back of the book, Robert Jordan wrote:


"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant!"

That's pretty generic, isn't it? You could easily apply this to any book anyone has ever written. It sounds like, as part of some diabolical contract with the publishing industry, he and every other author have to produce these quotes on demand to be stuck on any book.

Cristo Meyers
2009-07-17, 07:51 AM
Ah, yes. Case in point: every Terry Pratchett book I have has the same two newspaper quotes on the back.

For the Night Watch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Watch_(Russian_novel)) series (not Pratchett) all the quotes on Day Watch, Twilight Watch, and Last Watch are all about Night Watch. Which is actually kinda sad because so far Day Watch and Twilight Watch were both really good reads. Day Watch in particular.

Jimor
2009-07-17, 09:04 AM
One of the "best" blurbs I've seen is one where Michael Moorcock says something along the lines of "This book is in the epic tradition of Tolkien." Sounds good until you realize that Moorcock HATES Tolkien. :smallamused: The publisher certainly wouldn't care, though, a blurb like that is gold even if it was meant as a putdown.

My favorite quote pull was something only a self-published author would try. "... recommended" -- Library Journal. The word elided by the ... ? "Not". :smalleek:

Eldan
2009-07-17, 11:01 AM
Ah, yes. The same kind of logic: "dermatologically tested", on beauty products.

I just keep thinking about a group of doctors standing around a patient and writing down how horribly counterproductive the thing was after conducting extensive tests.

Steward
2009-07-17, 11:22 AM
I love that "..." thing. It's like:


This is absolutely the worst book that I've ever read! It has no plot, no likeable characters, and no purpose. It lacks everything that makes a novel readable, much less great!"

can turn into:


This is absolutely... great!"

Oh, and:


One of the "best" blurbs I've seen is one where Michael Moorcock says something along the lines of "This book is in the epic tradition of Tolkien." Sounds good until you realize that Moorcock HATES Tolkien. The publisher certainly wouldn't care, though, a blurb like that is gold even if it was meant as a putdown.


Exactly. The authors are under geas to produce these blurbs, but they can still work in snide asides without being electrocuted.

TheThan
2009-07-17, 11:47 AM
Every adaptation of any piece of fiction from one medium to the other makes a comparison pretty much necessary, especially in the case of popular books turned into movies.

I’ve had a lot of rabid fangirls of Anne Rice tell me that to really “get” interview with a vampire. I have to read the book. This always puzzles me. Because I believe a movie should stand on its own merits, regardless of its source material. If I have to read the book to “get” the movie, then that movie has failed in that regard. (For the record I did “get” interview with a vampire).

But since I’m dealing with rabid fangirls here, anything I try to explain to them falls on deaf ears and they try to defend their favorite book/movie. So I end up just telling them they like it so much because it stars Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise. In which point they shut up and promptly ignore me. No wonder why I can’t get a date.




There are different qualities of movies and books which are depeding on the medium, but noetheless, a movie based on a book should include the spirit and the plot of that book; as well as the afterthaught and the general niveau. Often enough, movie adaptations are just plain worse than the original (there seem to be a competition of "Who can proof Alan Morre more right" when adapting his works for the screen, for example), a few are different, but in their difference are not any worse or better than the novels they are based on (the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a case like that, even though the movies could probably be much better) and there are a fewcases where the movie is just better than the book it is based on (Stanley Kubrick could do this; other directors? Not so much.)

Yes, books and movies are two completely different mediums; they have their own strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, the two shouldn’t really be compared to each other, even when they use the same source. However, because they use the same source material, the two mediums should “line up” when it comes to the basic premise of the material.

Like someone else said, I would expect any adaptation of Transformers to have giant transforming robots fighting a civil war. That is the basis of the comic books, cartoons, toy line and even the movie (not sure about the second one haven’t seen it). if somehow you changed that, then you would no longer have transformers.

Telonius
2009-07-17, 11:57 AM
What's even better is when the critic quotes praising the book are actually about a different book the author wrote.

Inverse font size law. The larger the font size of the author's name relative to the title, the less likely it is to be worth my time to read.

Joran
2009-07-17, 12:22 PM
There's an Australian TV show coming on that they're hyping the hell out of. It's kinda sad, though: One of their most prominent tag-lines is a "review" bite that says "SEXIEST CAST ON TV". If the best thing they can say about it is it's good for eye-candy, I can't think that it's all that good...

Here in the States, we have a show called Gossip Girl, which features quite a few risque scenes which bothered a few media watchdog groups here. So, Gossip Girl advertised with these negative reviews in front of risque pictures. Some of the reviews quoted were "Every parent's nightmare" and "Mindblowingly inappropriate" ;)

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b20353_cinemax_er_cw_bares_new_gossip_girl_ads.htm l

Worira
2009-07-17, 12:28 PM
Not to mention the American review I saw (can't find it now) that was 100% convinced that it was a pro-terrorist movie since the blowing up of buildings was obviously a metaphor for 9/11. *Headdesk, even thinking about it*


It is a pro-terrorist movie, though. Or more accurately, a pro-terrorism movie. Just not in the specific case of 9/11.

Jimor
2009-07-17, 12:47 PM
Either that, or it's the type of book which has a book cover like this:

AUTHOR NAME

Title


Even better:

AUTHOR
NAME

Title

with Joseph Blow

Where you know it's Mr. Blow who did 99% of the work for 1% of the royalties.

Rutskarn
2009-07-17, 01:48 PM
My favorite example of the whole "negative into positive" advertisments thing is the banner ads for On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness.

http://cache.g4tv.com/images/blog/2008/05/22/633470474589950041.jpg

I don't use the word "epic" much, but it kinda applies here.

(It helps, too, that it was actually a good game.)

Stormthorn
2009-07-17, 01:48 PM
My favorite example has to be a review of Lords and Ladies by an American reviewer.

It started by going on about a pair of abusive grandmothers (seemingly missing the fact that they could do magic) moved on to talk about native American spirits (and how disrespectful it was they where shown in that light) and finaly talked about an unnecessary American football team who kept running around doing useless stuff.

So was the problem that the book was anti-american or that the reviewers where too pro-american?

chiasaur11
2009-07-17, 02:02 PM
So was the problem that the book was anti-american or that the reviewers where too pro-american?

The problem is that America is totally irrelevant to reviewing Lords and Ladies. Pratchett's aces, and when he focuses on real world things can be devastating, but he was going for fantasy targets here.

The problem, to sum up, is the reviewer was an idiot with no sense of context.

EvilDMMk3
2009-07-17, 03:28 PM
So was the problem that the book was anti-american or that the reviewers where too pro-american?

He mistook two Witches for grandmothers.
He mistook elves, including a Cernunnos/Herne style King, for Native American spirits.
He mistook Morris Dancing for American football.

America never entered into it.

BlueWizard
2009-07-17, 03:36 PM
I think "professional" reviewers suck most of the time. One paper I read had a reviewer that was of the exact opposite opinion of mine. Any movie he liked I hated, and if he hated it I liked it. These newspaper reviewers are merely one perspective with their own bias.

If you don't like Sci-Fi, than you shouldn't review a sci-fi movie, for you are already biased against them. Things like user reviews even if poorly written, at least give a general consensus of the 'normal' people of the world. I can also tell if a fan wrote it, or just some angry anti-fantasy jerk.

TheBST
2009-07-17, 03:45 PM
These newspaper reviewers are merely one perspective with their own bias.

If you don't like Sci-Fi, than you shouldn't review a sci-fi movie, for you are already biased against them.

A) That's unavoidable

B) That's part of the job.

Critics do have a saving grace. They also can help to create buzz for films, books, albums, etc. put out by smaller companies who can't afford to litter the world with advertisements.

thepsyker
2009-07-17, 10:07 PM
He mistook two Witches for grandmothers.
He mistook elves, including a Cernunnos/Herne style King, for Native American spirits.
He mistook Morris Dancing for American football.

America never entered into it.Is it bad that I kinda want to read that review now,just to see if it is as bad as it sounds?

Lord Seth
2009-07-17, 11:37 PM
What's even better is when the critic quotes praising the book are actually about a different book the author wrote.I always figured that was because the publishers were just trying to keep the book "under wraps" until it was published to avoid spoilers leaking out and just weren't showing it to critics. But books already published don't have that problem, which is why they stick reviews for those books into the newer books.

pita
2009-07-18, 04:37 AM
I generally dislike Scifi and Fantasy movies, on the premise that they all are bastardizations of books. However, when a good sci-fi or fantasy movie comes out, I like it (The three examples I can think of: Beowulf, Serenity, and Sunshine. And the two Shrek movies). Disliking a genre isn't basis to disqualify you from liking movies in that genre.

Sholos
2009-07-18, 06:50 AM
I didn't think Beowulf was all that good. It took a man who really was as badass as he claimed to be, and reduced him to yet another overly prideful idiot who'd sleep with the first pretty monster he met. You know, instead of simply killing her. Stupid, stupid, stupid changes to the core concept of the story.

kpenguin
2009-07-18, 06:57 AM
Beowulf is not intended to be anymore faithful to the original epic than Wicked is to the Wizard of Oz.

JabberwockySupafly
2009-07-18, 08:33 AM
I actually write reviews for a gaming website (blatant plug here (www.gamerzink.com)), and one of the most important things to us is that we review a game fairly, and that we give a game enough playtime to properly review. None of this "play an RPG for an hour and then decide it's terrible/aweome" rubbish that a lot of sites conform to. Now, we're a new site and we haven't really nutted out a standardized score system (we're actually doing that over the next few days), but we make sure we don't score something simply because we love or loathe that particular franchise/movie it's based on/developer. We review a game based solely on the merits of that game.

Check out the review for GTA: Chinatown Wars for instance. In the "Overall" section, the reviewer blatantly states "I haven't liked a GTA since Vice City" and yet still gave the game a 9.5/10 because by reviewing it objectively he discovered that it was indeed a good game based on its own merits.

So, just letting people know that there are some of us out there who try our darndest to NOT let our opinions get in the way of a review and not all of us need both hands and a TomTom to find our backsides :D

It's becoming all too common, and really really gets my Atog when someone reviews a game/book/movie and they clearly went into it with the pre-concieved notion that they were going to hate it. Reviewers have twisted their job description to be "my specific prefabricated dislikes of this product" instead of "a fair or at least partially objective view of this product from someone who isn't a squealling fanboy".

Another problem is websites and newspapers will let people who clearly shouldn't review a specific product (Right Wing Conservative reviews Watchmen... FPS Fan reviews NWN2) review it simply because they know it will cause a public backlash and thus generate heat about them, thus giving them free advertising. It's incredibly sad that, like a toddler, they will do anything to get attention nowadays. The all-powerful dollar has basically smothered what little integrity most of these media outlets had.

Sholos
2009-07-18, 01:27 PM
Beowulf is not intended to be anymore faithful to the original epic than Wicked is to the Wizard of Oz.

Yeah, but Wicked didn't pretend to be Wizard of Oz, did it?