Ebert had revolutionized how movies should be viewed and to some extent how some should be made!
Sep 5 - 05:43 PM
Excellent article, and mirrors a lot of my own thoughts on the matter of critical thought and the relevance of critical discussion. The problem is that Twitter and facebook don't allow for a great deal of in-depth discussion on any matter. They encourage disposable and superficial thoughts compacted into, well, blurbs basically. The problem is two-fold: critics stop writing actual analysis because they believe it will bore the "pop" audience, and readers grow less tolerant of depth and interpretive reviews in favor for the kindergarten colors of the Tomatoscore. We grow dumb together.
Sep 5 - 06:43 PM
Jesse Leon Rodgers Jr
I love your brain on this matter.
Sep 5 - 08:50 PM
I completely agree. In addition the blog is one of the worst thing that has happened on the internet. Anyone, educated on an issue or not can come across as informed and thats not even close to the case. Alot of reviews online are nothing more than bloggers who have no idea what they are even talking about. Sometimes it more about driving traffice to their site than the actual review so its more about who can come up with the clever catch phrases
Sep 6 - 05:17 AM
That may be the majority, but I think there are some film blogs that are clearly better than many professional media publications. It's hard to find them sometimes, given the volume of the internet.
Sep 6 - 12:04 PM
Excellent comment, and quite true.
Sep 6 - 07:10 AM
Personally, I'm finding some of the best reviews here by Rotten Tomatoes users (OLD STINK EYE and BIG HEAD and MR. BO ZIFFER) all the more reason to continue studying film and literature - avoid growing dumb. Listen to audio commentaries, read old Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert reviews; check out books on film criticism in the "791" section of your local public library.
Sep 6 - 11:07 AM
Yeah, but I don't see any Twitter or Facebook feeds in your recommendations. You are not the average fan that this article is referring to.
Sep 6 - 12:06 PM
"The problem is that Twitter and facebook don't allow for a great deal of in-depth discussion on any matter. They encourage disposable and superficial thoughts compacted into, well, blurbs basically."
Sounds like exactly what the big studios want. Superficial, shallow, disposable reviews for their superficial, shallow, disposable movies.
Sep 6 - 01:27 PM
Sep 6 - 05:38 PM
No, but he was the last of the most influential ones before the internet.
Sep 6 - 07:09 AM
Every critic matters, and every opinion matters too.
"The Dumbest Question is the Question that Goes Unasked"
and people know what they are talking about; usually what's being said isn't understood by the reader. selah.
Sep 6 - 11:09 AM
Blue Ribbons for Everybody!
Short answer: Yes.
Sep 6 - 01:25 PM
He isn't the last good critic (people like James Berardinelli, who was Ebert's favorite internet critic, are still worth reading), but yes, he may have been the last to really "matter." In that he was widely known, followed and all that jazz.
Sep 6 - 03:56 PM
In my mind Ebert probably is the last critic that mattered...too much. In general, whether you like a movie or not is almost entirely based on your own personal taste. Basing your movie watching on just one person's opinion is usually just a recipe for disappointment. That's why RT, IMDB, Metacritic, and other consensus sources are so amazing. Ebert was a great writer and could verbalize his opinions very eloquently, but he was still just one opinion. Its probably a good thing that there is no longer any grand poobah of film criticism.
Sep 6 - 06:37 PM
Criticism is not the same thing as opinion. The fact that people don't realize this more often is part of our loss in critical thinking skills.
Sep 6 - 08:54 PM
Infernal Dude 2.0
But we're talking about movies. They're an art form. The critiquing of an art form is laden with ones own opinion. Lets take Ebert for example. He was not very fond of the horror genre because of his opinion on brutality. His opinion is what kept him from liking The Hitcher or Evil Dead. And lets not forget Gene and his review of Aliens...
Sep 7 - 11:34 AM
That's bias, but an ideal critic should avoid it. Criticism is judging the mechanics of a movie, both conceptual and technical, in relation to the form and intention of it. Basically, the problem is there are too amny crap critics working, and this is why, maybe, people don't understand what their job is supposed to be. The problem with the "democracy" the article talks about is that many people just mimic the flawed biases and swift opinions of too many critics.
I think it's absurd to think that you have to agree with a critic in order to appreciate them. A good critic provokes thought about a movie, whether you've seen it (REview) and discover something in a new perspective, or something inticing or interesting about a film you haven't (PREview). It should be analysis, not opinion.
Sep 7 - 12:30 PM
You're saying bias; which is very much opinion. But I agree with what you're saying. It comes down to constructive criticism. The ability to eloquently say what is expected and why. This is something that is definitely lost in the aggregate movie score system. Ebert could turn a phrase and stood by his words which most FB and Twitter authors cannot.
Sep 8 - 01:16 AM
Bias is opinion, but that's why a good critic would avoid it, or at least have the honesty to disclose it upfront. A poor critic will resort to an argument of "taste" without articulating why this is relevant to their readers.
Ebert is a good example. In his reviews of "Night of the Living Dead", "Exorcist" or "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". He is honest and upfront about not enjoying the horror genre, or understanding why anyone would pay to be emotionally traumatized by fear. However, for the first two, he eventually gave positive reviews based on the craft and effectiveness of the films, and the latter, he still had to admit that it was "well made, well acted, and effective". A good critic can see past their own impressions and reactions, and has enough experience with a variety of films to be able to understand different sets of criteria for different kinds of films.
Sep 8 - 04:15 AM
Sep 7 - 08:32 AM
The problem with most critics is they do not look at each movie on it's own merit and the world it creates. So many times reviews are well it's not this movie, or this actor could have done better, and nom kidding, but review the movie in question.
The reason Ebert was popular is because he wrote in a way that related, he stated opinions and backed them up. People only look at critics as a percentage point because typically all you see is their own ego.
Yeah, I get the latest Wolverine wasn't Le Mis, I never expected it to be, thanks reviewers.
Sep 7 - 11:13 AM
No. Matt Goldberg is.
Sep 7 - 02:42 PM
Don't Tase Me Bro
Who's Roger Ebert?
Sep 8 - 09:24 PM
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