7 Dumb Things People Say When They Don’t Dig A Movie

The Critic 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

There’s no shame in a movie not working for you. This is something I’ve come to terms with over the course of my movie-watching career. Very few movies, or anything that ultimately often comes down to taste preferences, are universally appreciated. This isn’t a flaw to the system; it’s how the system works. It’s how taste works. Different strokes for different folks and all that. It takes all kinds, etc. etc. I have no beef with people who simply don’t dig a movie or show or whatevs that I care deeply about. There’s plenty of stuff that others think is great that I’m not into for one reason or another.

Here’s where issues arise though: it’s in the reasons people give for not liking something. It’s usually more appropriate to place the responsibility for not liking a movie, especially if people have been making pretty airtight and detailed cases for its greatness, on yourself. I’m not blaming Amour for the fact that it didn’t connect with me. Everyone else who’s seen it seems to think it was devastating. And I was probably tired and cranky when I watched it late at night. I can’t say why I didn’t get into it, but I didn’t. No worries, right?

For lots of people that’s not good enough. They seem to think giving some meaningless explanation for not liking a movie will give their taste some sort of credibility. I’ve witnessed enough of this kind of talk, from critics and mainstream moviegoers alike, to identify a few cliché criticisms people make when they obviously can’t think of anything original or interesting to say about why a movie didn’t work for them. Because they don’t seem to simply think the movie didn’t work for them; it’s that it doesn’t work as a movie. If it didn’t appeal to them specifically then it’s a failure as a piece of work. Or it didn’t conform to some imaginary “rules” about filmmaking. Come on.

Here are 7 things people will say are a movie’s shortcomings when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Watch out for them because they usually show a person is BS-ing you. It’s not to say everyone who says this stuff is completely clueless, but rather that one who is completely clueless tends to rely on these tropes. Sorry if this is a little ranty.

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1) “I just found it to be poorly edited. It had real pacing problems.”

In Bruges 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

Editing is an area that sounds technical enough to make people who talk about it sound smart, but in reality its qualities are so elusive that the vast majority of people trying to speak to its merits are fooling themselves into thinking they’re experts just because they’ve used iMovie before.

Forget even for a moment that there are plenty of theorists who argue that cinema is based entirely on editing (they call it “montage” because French words are inherently more intellectual), so saying a movie was poorly edited essentially means it was a poor movie anyway so the criticism is redundant. The fact that the Oscar for Best Editing almost always gets awarded to the movie that also wins Best Picture bears this out.

But forget that it’s redundant. The real issue with trying to speak to a movie’s editing specifically is that unless you know what the editor(s) had to work with in the cutting room, it’s impossible to know how well a movie is actually edited. Every filmmaker I’ve ever heard or read on this subject attests to this, most notably Sidney Lumet in his phenomenally informative book Making Movies. I’m dropping his name so you can trust my credibility without giving it a second thought. A movie can be pieced together brilliantly from poor material and be indistinguishable from an expertly shot collection of footage thrown together willy-nilly. So when people throw this line out they’re usually trying to talk more about a film’s general rhythm, which is difficult to articulate, and how that fits in with the actual material of the movie. But that’s harder to talk about, so soundbites have to suffice sometimes.

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2) “The direction was inept. He didn’t know what he wanted to say or how to say it properly.”

Les Miserables7 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

While referring to the editing in a vague manner makes people think they’ll sound technically credible, vague references to direction are a way to garner artistic credibility in the minds of the people interested in that sort of thing. Using “direction” as a sweeping term is problematic because it ascribes to the theory that there is a single author of a movie, the figure of the director. While it’s true that one person often bears a great amount of responsibility for a movie’s eventual outcome, there are so many hands involved in the cinematography, music, editing, and performances that giving one person all the credit is simplistic. They’re an overseer, which isn’t to reduce their contribution to a movie but merely to focus it. So people are often completely unclear by what “direction” they mean. Sometimes they mean composition of shots, other times they really mean editing, or cinematography (another sweeping term), or mise-en-scene if they want to show they took a university film class. “Bad direction” is too general to have much meaning.

There’s also a tendency to appeal to the “rules” of filmmaking, as if there’s this checklist of quality that all directors must adhere to. It’s like grammar. People will be sticklers for “correct” grammar, when really, as long as people understand what your trying to say, or conceivably can understand and appreciate it (and when they don’t, this is where rules or expectations can be useful), you’ve done your job. Many confuse a failure to communicate with a lack of thought, or vice versa, which is, once again, too simple.

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3) “It was good, but flawed.”

No Country for Old Men 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

This is one of those dumb things people say where the expected response is “Oh, he found some flaws in the well-regarded movie. He must really know what he’s talking about!” The speaker can fold his arms and nod his head in self-congratulation while his audience is scared into silence. When met instead with a response of “…like what?” a person can be thrown for a real loop sometimes.

It’s because thinking about a movie as “flawed” is way too rigid a rubric to be applied to subjective things. Some will identify a confusing ending from a Coen brothers movie as one of its few flaws, as if they had only known their ending was confusing they would have changed it. If only Johnny Nobody had been a consultant on the film! He would have set them straight!

Things people often identify as “flaws” are deliberate choices made by the filmmakers meant to achieve a specific end. If they don’t work, they’re not “flaws,” they’re expressive chances they took to try to get a point across. These chances flop all the time in movies but they go unnoticed because there are other things going on to distract our attention. There are scenes in movies that I’m sure didn’t express everything a director wanted to express, but still were interested and got a sizeable amount of their ideas across, and this is hailed as a success. But is this not a flawed result? It’s an arbitrary term usually used as a conversation stopper because nothing makes people less interested in hearing more from someone than general vagueness.

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4) “It looks great, but there’s not much there.”

Anna Karenina1 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

This is the whole “style over substance” point. The implication is that if a movie focuses too much on its style, its tone, its visuals, then it tends to sacrifice themes or ideas or something. A movie like Pulp Fiction or really almost anything Quentin Tarantino has made attracts this criticism from a number of viewers and reviewers. Movies that operate more like poetry like The Tree of Life get this same line thrown at them. More recently, Anna Karenina and Killing Them Softly were two examples of movies whose visuals were praised but were blasted for a “lack of substance.”

I reject the notion that style and substance are two different things. People also describe this as form vs. content. I don’t think of these two entities having a versus aspect to them. I think they often work in conjunction, complementing each other, enhancing one another and working together to achieve something powerful. But I disagree that they’re separate. I think image itself is substance. I think creating something beautiful or interesting on a purely visual basis is valid and worthwhile. I think something that is “cool” could just as easily be described as “beautiful” if that word didn’t sound so uncool. There are ideas to images that express more than a didactic theme can. And sometimes there is simply immense value in experimenting with how we see, or how we hear, how we view specific things when juxtaposed with other things, and so on. What I’m saying is that “looks great but lacks substance” is an oxymoron and annoys me when I hear people appeal to it as a clichéd criticism.

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5) “It was so unoriginal.”

The Amazing Spider Man 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

I’ve got news for you, bro: everything is unoriginal. The concept of originality is sort of moot by now. Me, saying this, is not even an original thought. I’ve been informed on this argument by Kirby Ferguson and his famous “Everything Is A Remix” video series, which makes the compelling case that nothing is actually original but a combination of elements that came before, every idea, thought, concept—it’s all built upon previous ideas, thoughts and concepts.

But that’s just one reason I find this classic objection uninteresting. Another is that while even the movies that seem original are well-veiled mishmashes of previous ideas, movies that don’t hide aspects they borrowed from those that came before them should not be held in shame. Remakes and sequels are not bad in and of themselves; this gets lost in the fact that often they are poorly made. Continuing stories that already exist is a valid storytelling mechanism, and is really as old as human narratives themselves. That’s the nature of myth.

I’m sure Oedipus was a rip-off of something that came before but we just don’t know about it. The worst part is that when people get caught up with plot originality they tend to overlook real innovations (synthesized from earlier influences of course) in storytelling, be it visual, tonal, thematic, or what have you. This occurred most recently with The Amazing Spider-Man, which is a brilliantly told origin story but people dismissed it because they already had an origin story on film that they deemed authoritative. Similarly with Avatar, people called it cartoon Dances with Wolves or futuristic Ferngully but its similarities to these and other movies that retell a story that America seems to really need to deal with pale in comparison to its technological and artistic merit. There’s more going on in the movie than a tribeswoman teaching a dude her language.

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6) “I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters. They weren’t very likeable.”

Goodfellas 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

Never mind the fact that these are two different things, that relating to only people who are likeable is a pretty vain and self-centered and self-deluded thing. I don’t even know where to begin with the contention that only likeable characters are interesting. This would basically go against a thousand-year history of tragic storytelling, where a main character’s flaws lead to his demise, or even a more recent rich history of anti-hero narratives. If you only want to concern yourself with nice people you’ll get exposure to approximately 3% of humanity. Have fun with that.

The idea of relating to a character is a tough one though. I think what people usually mean when they say this is that they couldn’t find anything particularly interesting about a character, which can be perfectly fine. But I think it speaks to a general lack of curiosity if a person is only interested in characters they think are like them or the people they know. One of the great values of movies is that they can expose us to people and worlds we never get to experience in real life, albeit a tiniest taste of the real thing. It’s often better when you can’t relate to the environment or characters at all, and get to learn a thing or two that you weren’t aware of previously.

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7) “It just sucked. I was bored the whole time.”

Amour3 7 Dumb Things People Say When They Dont Dig A Movie

I maintain that it’s a crucial distinction that must be thought through carefully: was I bored because of the movie or because of me? I can’t tell you the number of movies I’ve been bored to tears through the first time and found extremely engaging on second viewings. It’s a lot. There’s so much depending upon the environment you watch a movie in, who you’re with, the size of the screen and immersiveness of the sound, and countless other factors. It’s just too easy to dismiss a movie as boring, as if that’s just a quality the movie possesses, rather than consider why you were bored while watching it. Sometimes I’m too distracted to get into something that demands a bit more attention. It happens. It’s not always the movie’s fault (although I’m not saying it never is).

The point I’m trying to get across with all this is this: to come across like you’ve given the quality of a movie a great amount of thought, rehashing old lines that people toss around all the time is not the way to do it. People who do this seem like they have an emotional reaction to seeing something and a handful of phrases they can use to express that to others. Simply saying “I don’t know” should be considered a more attractive option than it is. It’s hard to explain why a movie does or doesn’t work for you personally and even harder to try to figure out where it went wrong on the production level. There are very few people who are able to do this at all, let alone well. And almost none of them seem to write about it very much. So we’re left with a large number of people who, God love ‘em, try to sound like they know more than they do. And it becomes easier to identify the more you hear them do it.

I don’t know what I’m talking about either. But I try to make it clear that at the very least, I know that I’m mostly full of dumb reactionary opinions.

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  • skunkybeaumont

    If I tried to cite this article when talking about misnomers and non sequiturs in online ‘journalism’ then I’d probably be wrong for it. Its a good article in principle and effort.

  • MarcusMIDI

    This article is spot on, I know so many people over the years churning out one-liners about films like that! Spot on Sir ;)

  • Po

    Must say, no one of my friends have never come up to me after we´ve seen a bad movie and told me. Man this movie was so poor edited.

  • whatanunoriginalarticle

    what a stupid article every line that you used was viable in my opinion maybe not …it was great but there wasnt much there, and even that one i could make an excuse for ex. avatar was great but there wasnt much there as far as a story goes

    and what is dumb about someone saying a movie was poorly edited… sounds to me the gob who wrote this is a bitter little film connoisseur know it all elitist twat :)

    ex. if steven speilsberg said that film was poorly edited, you wouldnt be jumpin to say what a dumb thing …exactly!

    • Arri

      well, precisely!! you are not Spielberg, and there is nothing called “equality”… what goes for Spielberg, does not go for you…

  • Cinemark

    On the so unoriginal tag, there are some films that warrant this comment, especially Avatar. Not only are the themes and story borderline on plagerism, but the visuals look like they’re pulled right off of Roger Dean’s Yes album covers. Yes, technologically the film was a breakthrough, although not much more than Lord Of The Rings.
    Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, I was entertained by it despite some eyeball rolling I was doing. It is a fun movie to watch.

  • ab111111

    “It just sucked. I was bored the whole time.”

    Kinda like this article

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marco-Chaudry/100000989478599 Marco Chaudry

    I’m surprised The Master and Cloud Atlas aren’t on here XD

  • Alex Lowe

    I definitely agree with 5. I had a screenwriting professor once who said every film is at least 80% unoriginal, it’s what they do with the 20% that matters.

  • Hate Hacks

    Holy shit…Writing has devolved so much since the internet. Just about any moron who can focus long enough to hammer out some worthless, no research involved, opinion piece can get it published (posted) on a site. Please, learn how to write a decent article before you embarass yourself further.

  • Bill Paxton Cameo

    Usually dumb people just say, “it sucks”, not talk about film making techniques.

    1. Editing/ Pacing problems.

    I don’t get it. If you can’t tell a movie has bad editing because you can’t see what was cut, how can you tell if it has good editing? Both; because you can see what is still there.

    Pacing is more a problem with the writing.

    2. Bad direction.

    True, it’s hard to tell what exactly is the result of the director alone, from a single film. But you can get an idea when you see the same thing again and again in all his movies, especially if it has other things that you know that you like, such as actors, composers, etc. Ultimately the director is the one who takes responsibility for achieving a film’s vision, and if it’s bad that should fall on them.

    3. Good but flawed.

    Yeah, it’s nitpicky, but it’s not necessarily incorrect.

    4. Style no substance.

    The complaint is not that they don’t care about style, it’s that they wanted other things to be good about the movie beside that one thing.

    5. Unoriginal.

    Same thought as 4. “Just because it’s a remake doesn’t mean it has to be bad.” Right, so why was it bad then? It’s even worse because it screwed up an idea that they already knew worked well in other films.

    6. Can’t relate.

    You’re right, but that’s part of subjectivity. If criticizing film techniques is not OK, then all that’s left is subjectivity and this is a big one.

    7. It sucks!

    There you go.

  • Dalinkwent

    This article is basically saying unless you’re a film expert, you can’t be critical of movies. Considering art itself is subjective and in the eye of the beholder, this article is perplexing.

  • “It looks great

    Have you seen a Quentin Tarantino movie Darren ?

  • Larry

    What a waste of fucking time. I was hoping for an insightful look into the process of movie making to expose the errors of some of the more typical complaints out there and what I got instead is the equivalent of a forum post. Do yourselves a favor and real the ingredients jar of store bought pasta sauce for a mare entertaining read.

    Example: Style over substance: Movies that do both well are what we call classics. Look at the photography of a Kurosawa film and the memorable images constructed. Then add the great stories, the character developments, the emotive pathos and so on, and you had original works that had its own style without sacrificing the story.

    You can separate the two, a great story of substance with no style or a great style with no undertones and just a superficial story, and have a good movies, but when you combines the two, that’s when you get the best movies, like a Lawrence of Arabia, or a Braveheart, or a Terminator 2 or The Godfather. Style + Substance = movie magic.

    This article has neither style nor substance.

  • http://twitter.com/Tonster333 Crack_Ninjaa

    The only one I have heard of or said myself is number 7.
    Don’t forget shitty artsy fartsy bullshit movies like “the artist”

  • Jordan

    Yea, I feel this article hit it dead on. And right on to the dude who wrote it. It’s a great article to slam those who hastily cast a movie off as bad or boring. To those who say it sucked, you must use these dumb lines all the time about movies and this article hurt your feelings. Get your panties out of a bunch.

  • Nico

    This article was a load of tripe. You sound so pretentious

  • Adolphus

    I really hate this article. Any of these 7 “dumb things people say” can absolutely be used to criticize a movie. Film Criticism 101 says that as long as you support your argument with specific evidence from the film, the criticism is valid. I guess you were only paying attention during the part about “mise-en-scene.” This entire article is a pedantic piece of shit.

    I think you should write a follow up piece about “7 dumb things people say when they like a movie”, and start with people that call a film “fucking solid” as you did on your twitter feed in praise of Mystic River. Twitter character limitation or not, that is a really dumb thing to say when you like a movie.(you forgot to #charlatan in that post, btw)

    • Edward La Guardia

      Exactly, and I’m glad that your response has almost 50 up votes and 0 down votes…because you’re right.

      The cinematic ignoramus who wrote this article doesn’t seem to realize that every single one of these statements applies to at least one movie in existence. Like style over substance…oh man there are TONS and TONS of movie that are visually stunning and put you in a world that is just breathtaking but the story leaves much to be desired (What Dreams May Come; Mirror, Mirror; Alice in Wonderland ’10; Sucker Punch; and tons of others that don’t spring to mind this instant.

      That rejection of that criticism alone shows the writer here doesn’t exactly know what they are talking about…just another example of someone whose job I (and/or several other people I know) should have instead of him…sad…..

    • Ted Red

      Agree 100%, sounds like the writer hasn’t come to grips with people not liking the movies he likes. LOL

    • Jennifer Checki

      I agree 95%. Some of these are valid to a large extent, but many have no validity whatsoever. Julian McMahon spoke to playing a villain: “ultimately, the viewers have to want to make the journey with you.” Whether you describe it as being unable to relate to the characters or another way, most people do not enjoy sitting through a film where they feel nothing for the characters. A viewer has to have an emotional response to characters, be it sympathy, love, hate, anger, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.johnson.9843 Jesse Johnson

    I’m sorry but movies can be boring and characters CAN be unlikable. For me if the main character/Hero of a movie is someone I don’t like, then it’s going to effect how much I like the movie.

  • Mike Grunwald

    Might want to check your facts on the Editing Oscar; it’s been won by the Best Picture winner less than half the time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.d.stokes.3 Anthony Donovan Stokes

      Less then half is still a significant amount, and it’s definitely more relevant recently.

  • shadyginzo

    almost every word of this article was sickeningly self-righteous, you saved yourself a morsel or two of credibility by acknowledging your own ignorance on a couple of occasions but elsewhere you couldn’t seem to get over an editorial equivalent of small man syndrome. I have no idea what you were thinking when you wrote this but even if you do genuinely believe that there are such criminally ill-informed movie-goers out there your article only serves to offend your audience or worse still castrate the genuine amateur critics out there. Those passionate enough about films as a pass-time and cultural indulgence owe you no apology for the lack of qualification you seem to perceive.

  • Ed

    Loved the article, this was perfect! These are the exact type of moronic criticisms that I hear coming out of movie critics and movie-goers concerning movies that I find ridiculous as well.

    People trying to criticize things about movie making that they truly know nothing about JUST to make themselves sound more intelligent is so obnoxious. Of course not everyone can like the same things, but too many viewers take it as their opportunity to stand out as the know-it-all.

    The WORST is when a critic trashes a movie for not being what they expected. How about watching the movie for what it “is” and not for what you think it should be? I guess that’s a bit too much to ask.

    Loved the article, this was perfect! These are the exact type of moronic criticisms that I hear coming out of movie critics and movie-goers concerning movies that I find ridiculous as well.

    People trying to criticize things about movie making that they truly know nothing about JUST to make themselves sound more intelligent is so obnoxious. Of course not everyone can like the same things, but too many viewers take it as their opportunity to stand out as the know-it-all.

    The WORST is when a critic trashes a movie for not being what they expected. How about watching the movie for what it “is” and not for what you think it should be? I guess that’s a bit too much to ask.

  • Ed

    And the people below who hate this article are the very ones you’ve been describing sir :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisaemc2 Lisa Elena McDermott

    Your opinion of a movie should be based on one thing. The movie. If you deem a film a piece of crap because you were hungry or had a headache. Or decided Run Lola Run was the best movie ever coz you saw it on shrooms, that’s no way to be a movie critic. Asshole. Have an opinion, please. Just don’t call it a “movie review”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chairmaniac Ron Hodge

    “It’s like grammar. People will be sticklers for “correct” grammar, when
    really, as long as people understand what your trying to say…”

    If confusing “your” and “you’re” in a quip about people being sticklers for “correct” grammar was done intentionally, well played. Well played, indeed.

  • extraintelligence

    You know, it’s pretty ironic that you’re doing a bad job of criticizing people’s tendencies to do a bad job of criticizing movies.

    • Edwin


  • Simon

    Well, the point of this article is (as I interpret it) to call the bluffs people often use towards both themselves and others to cover up the fact that they, besides
    taste, do not have actual evidence or reason why a movie is bad. He states in
    the first page that: “It’s not to say everyone who says this stuff is completely clueless, but rather that one who is completely clueless tends to rely on these tropes.” So what he is actually against is the times people use these arguments in a so vague and uninformed way that they are essentially pointless, but sounds good. It is not the fact that someone may not like a movie based on evidence or taste, but when someone try to justify it with ambiguous pseudo-arguments that is very annoying. It is also not the case that these arguments are never valid, only that they are more often than not abused for other reasons than to actually analyse the movie in question. I do it sometimes and I am convinced that 99% of all movie viewers do to a varying degree – consciously or not.

    I think this was a good article, not a great one in its execution, but I still found it
    a decent read: it’s core message, that people make up stupid shit and try to justify themselves in ways to make them look better/more knowledgeable/as more of an authority than they really are, is still a very good point to make – and not just about movies.

  • Kirk Mailloux

    This a reason someone to gave to not like Trance. I liked it because it was a movie that made you think and there was one character I found likable which was Rosario Dawson’s character

  • Stan

    Personaly the author sounds abit full of himself, a bit preachy such as i’m an expert and the unwashed masses don’t have a clue about the making a movie.
    Also, many of the same conclusions we, the movie goers, seem to make are also made by the critics(other experts on or above the same plane the author puts himself on),Does this mean that these people who have spent years learning film making and studing them are also as stupid and dumb as we.I think not.
    I think we know “a stinker” when we see it and deserve alot more credit than the author is giving us.

  • Pizza the Hut

    James Cameron is a known hack he steals other people’s work sorry!

  • Chris Robert Erickson

    I know in context you probably did it intentionally, but *you’re*

  • Sack

    I rate the success of a movie on several criteria. The story must be more than superficial. It must have a climax and a finish where the main character has gained insight into himself/grown as a person/succeeded at something perceived as unattainable/or given up something he valued greatly as a momentous act. Characters must be complex, well rounded and with clear reasons for being in the movie. Special effects should be used to further the plot, not to artificially ramp up the excitement.

    A good example of a poor movie is “Dune”. The book was about the workings of three major factions juggling for position on a massively valuable planet. Each controls a portion of the puzzle that will make the planet profitable and none of them will share. It’s a thick book and it’s packed with intrigue, betrayal, danger and debauchery. At times it’s hard to tell what is right and what is wrong, who is the villain and who the hero.

    The movie, “Dune” is about a family who seeks to sell drugs off world but becomes torn apart by that same drug. It takes all the debauchery but leaves out the world view. It makes caricatures of hero and villain alike. A sad excuse for a film.

    More and more US film makers have gone for flash rather than substance. More and more I’ve been seeking out Canadian and English films.

    • P.M. Gleason

      You have no idea what Dune is “about”.

  • David Kern

    Perfect examples of why #5 is such a mindless critique are several of Gary Kubiack’s films. “The Shining” and “Space Odyessy” are rightfully hearlded as magnificant but but it can be argued they a merley reimagined source material. So what? Christianity steals virtually everyone of its lessons, imagery and tenants from ‘pegan’ religons; that deosn’t mean it lacks value, right?

  • Desmon M Dunn

    Somebody got there favorite film smashed and wrote an article about how the other person was wrong. Also, I think all of these are valid points. Maybe you just dont understand film. I had almost all of these issues with World War Z.

  • Jimmy Dean

    Most of the comments pertaining to this article are sadly poorly edited.

  • Daniel Pour

    Avatar was shit.

  • Froddoislost


    Thought of the day;

    ‘Your’ is the possessive form of ‘you’. As in; You just showed us your butt with this article.

    You’re is the contraction of ‘you’ and ‘are’. As in; You’re about the worst writer I’ve ever read. To Wit; your points are, in and of themselves, arrogant. I see what you mean about ‘editing’ and ‘directing’, but without an hour and a half to pick out each piece of material that was bad in the movie, sometimes you have to summarize, assuming that most shots were done several times and that the story could have been edited to make the flow more even.

    Barring that; your article basically says; don’t criticize movies because there’s no possible way you’re an expert, like me.

    (See what I did there, with the your and you’re used in their proper context?)

    Too much fun. Better luck on your next article.

  • Brian Mac Ian

    Over the years, I’ve realized that some people who like a movie that I don’t think is that great, will, when pressed, reveal that they realize the flaws but the enjoyable elements of the film outweighed the significance of the flaws in their mind. Some folks call this a “guilty pleasure.” I certainly have my guilty pleasures. The bottom line: some viewers don’t care about the criticism because the movie appeals to them in a way that matters.

    I’ll tell you what I find fascinating: Try critiquing a film that holds great emotional value to someone who is schooled in the art of criticism. I’ve done that a few times and sometimes they want to rip me a new one. I’ve also been in the reverse role and reacted in ways I thought were emotional.

    I’ve developed a conversation tool when talking about a film with a friend, especially when we’re walking out of the theater, through the lobby, into the parking lot and, sometimes, at a post-viewing dinner or drink. I couch my criticisms like this: “I didn’t like the way that ___________.” I think that acknowledges your bias and you earn respect in the discussion; it nips emotion-based, ad hominem attacks between friends in the bud when you’re picking it apart.

    I do feel that some movies emphasize style over substance and it is a legitimate gripe when it is pointed out. Yes, fascinating scenery, framing, wardrobe, language or action go a long way toward an enjoyable film-watching experience. But if there is no storyline (or if it’s a very weak one), those are all just overemphasized elements that serve as crutches.

  • Pleb monkey

    I’m amazed no one has written an article about arses like you who seem to think they are intelligent by expressing hate towards a mainstream subject. A terrible article

  • P.M. Gleason

    …it’s quite obvious when anything is poorly edited simply for the fact that you can point out multiple ways that it could be vastly improved with editing.

    What a terrible article.

  • Luke Elliot

    This article should be titled
    “7 legitimate arguments for disliking a film”

  • Brandy McNamee

    Lol… well played, dear author… [nearly] every comment on this page justifies every point you made in your article. There’s a lot of butt-hurt critics and film-school drop-outs here today… XD

  • CoaxialJunkie

    Well – If everything you say is true – there are no bad movies …. Yeeeeaaahh!

  • Mr. 9

    “The fact that the Oscar for Best Editing almost always gets awarded to the movie that also wins Best Picture bears this out.”

    I didn’t know that 34 Best Picture and Best Editing combos out of 85 (that’d be 40%) constituted “almost always”. And because I actually use evidence to support my statements, here are the 34 films that won both Best Picture and Best Editing:

    2012 Argo
    2009 The Hurt Locker
    2008 Slumdog Millionaire
    2006 The Departed
    2005 Crash
    2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    2002 Chicago
    1997 Titanic
    1996 The English Patient
    1994 Forrest Gump
    1993 Schindler’s List
    1992 Unforgiven
    1990 Dances With Wolves
    1987 The Last Emperor
    1986 Platoon
    1982 Gandhi
    1978 The Deer Hunter
    1976 Rocky
    1973 The Sting
    1971 The French Connection
    1970 Patton
    1967 In the Heat of the Night
    1965 The Sound of Music
    1962 Lawrence of Arabia
    1961 West Side Story
    1960 The Apartment
    1959 Ben-Hur
    1958 Gigi
    1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai
    1956 Around the World in 80 Days
    1954 On the Waterfront
    1953 From Here to Eternity
    1946 The Best Years of Our Lives
    1939 Gone With the Wind

  • erreece

    One of the worst articles I’ve ever read.

  • Fanboy Bob

    Yeah… well, Amazing Spider Man was a hot mess about a character I can only despise for his self-centeredness, and I have to wonder where those who adore it are coming from. The problem has nothing to do with it being another retelling of the origin and everything to do with little modifations that changed the character a guilt-driven decent kid into a kid who merely reacts in anger to the death of his Uncle by immediately using his superhuman abilities to become a bully, punishing an unrelated and helpless pretty criminal while spouting belittling banter.

    I want to see a big giant Galactus foot come down and step on this spider, because there is nothing noble or redeemable there.

    Further, despite some overrated 3D processing, the film is mostly a regression in terms of visual effects and direction, so I can’t even see how fans might have been dazzled into overlooking the character issue.

    I wind up suspecting that the people who rave ASM see themselves in this character, identifying more with the prideful angst of this quiltless mister-smarty-britches than the regretful but morally convicted character Peter Parker has been in every other interpretation. While there may be interest in a less idealistic version of the character, such was done in the comics much more intelligently with the ongoing Superior Spider-Man storyline, which puts a less noble individual in the costume, rather than “re-imagining” the iconic character of Peter Parker as a slimy spoilt brat.