Skip to main content

Critic Speak at Movie Mezzanine


This week's Critic Speak over at Movie Mezzanine focuses on review aggregators.

Headed to the theatre this weekend? Were you intending on seeing The Counselor? Prior to purchasing tickets, I bet you logged on to Rotten Tomatoes before making the final decision. And there it sat a 35% rotten rating like a sore thumb on a new releases list with four other film deemed “fresh.” If that number dissuaded you from seeing the film then this next installment of Critic Speak is for you.

Critical debate regarding The Counselor has been raging back and forth this weekend with critics drawing lines in the sand over who “gets it” and who “hates it” with the ferocity reserved for a Lars Von Trier release. With all these feuds now is as good a time as any to address one of the stranger aspects of film criticism in the post-modern era: the obsessive pursuit of critical consensus.

Read more at Movie Mezzanine!

Popular posts from this blog

The Dream Is Real

For my money there is nothing cooler than the idea of a city folding in on itself.

Review: Anomalisa

Weird is rarely used as a good quality in film criticism, but few words so completely describe Charlie Kaufman’s work as weird does. All of his films are a window into his very particular worldview, and that p.o.v. is certainly unlike anything seen in pop culture. For that reason, Anomalisa became an entry on many most anticipated lists for 2015. That Kaufman chose stop-motion to tell this story made the picture an event. So it came as a disappointment when the film was one of the year’s more mundane efforts.

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have an energy and heart at the center that is not present here. Previous collaborators like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry were able to temper the overwhelming negativity Charlie Kaufman occasionally falls prey to, but, this time, the writer doesn’t have a director to rein things in. In all of his efforts to create an experience that is both familiar and alienating, Kaufman may have accidentally created something host…

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …