Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sorry, Oliver, but...

Movie reviewers acting in congress alert:
When Oliver Stone releases a biopic on George W. Bush at the height of his unpopularity, with the extreme-left leanings that the vast majority of movie reviewers naturally have, and that movie still doesn't get good reviews, then you can know that the movie is no damn good.

If you skim Rotten Tomatoes review collection, it's full of comments like "George Bush has many flaws, so it's appropriate that W. would, too" and "Yes, it's a mess, but it's a fascinating mess." Comments that scream "I really wanted to like this movie but, gah! Yuck! I just couldn't." And those were from the reviews that RT marked as "positive." Stay away.

Also, reviewer code:
If they refer to you as an "ambitious director" while reviewing a movie, that's code for "a director with indie cred who we love." If the movie's good, all the praise will go to the director, but if the movie's bad if and they absolutely hate it, they will still go lightly on the director. Usually they come down hard on the leading man instead. Making a bad movie with an up-and-coming director can be complete death for a young actor, everyone will blame you.

However, if they refer to your movie as "ambitious," that means that it was spotty and all-over-the-place, and sometimes completely terrible, but they don't want to come down on the movie for whatever reason. Maybe it's an independent film, and they want more people to go to independent films, so the worst insult that they'll give is "ambitious." Maybe they generally really like the director and don't want to come down on him for a movie, even though the plot was completely incomprehensible. Or maybe it's a negative movie about Bush that's a complete shambles. All that to say, a number of reviewers dropped "ambitious" into their reviews.

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