The ineptitude of reviewers

I like to review things. All sorts of things. I talk to people about movies, music, books, whatever. It’s a nice way to express your views on various topics from art and theater to their socio-political and philosophical implications. Reviews also give us the chance to recommend activities to friends and strangers alike. Most importantly, they allow the reviewer to hear himself/herself talk.

I often read reviews on IMDb for movies I’ve seen and plan to see. I’ve only ever written one review myself. I registered simply so I could write a bad review for Perfect Blue after reading so many good ones about such a crappy movie. Not to brag, but I think my brief comments accurately portray my opinion of that waste of a movie without being overly wordy or giving away any important information. Granted, I haven’t written a lost Shakespeare play or the Magna Carta (which apparently I find to be the greatest works of literature?!?!), but my few short paragraphs have fulfulled their purpose in this world… dare I say… admirably.

Of course this is about to go into a rant – so here I go. There are so many people in this world who would be better off not giving out their opinions, nevertheless due so thanks to the Internet. I have seen so many reviews by people who think that they are now professionals at this and start using some of the more standard techniques. You know, they spell people’s names in all caps and refence other movies they’ve been in. As if we will be fooled and think “What is this professional movie critic doing writing on IMDb?” They look something like this:

ROAD TO PERDITION stars TOM HANKS (Bossom Buddies, Joe Versus the Volcano) and PAUL NEWMAN (The Back of Salad Dressing Bottles). ROAD follows the struggles of gangster Michael Sullivan (HANKS) who falls out of favor with the son of his boss John Rooney (NEWMAN).

That’s not a good description of the movie, but you get the idea. YOU”RE JUST SOME GUY GIVING HIS OPINION!!! (I was screaming so loudly that my apostrophes turned into double quotes!) I’m also sick of people who see movies and think they’re smarter than other people who didn’t like them:

If you like mainstream crap that only mindless droones would ever watch more than 13 minutes of, than this movie is not for you. This movie is inteligent, smart, and for real thinkurs. Anyone who doesnt like it must be stupid and have less than a 130 IQ. For the rest od us smartiepants, it’s a very enjoyable…

I swear I’ve read reviews like that – complete with the bad spelling and grammar. This isn’t the best example, but I happened to read it last night and I just love how cocky the reviewer comes off in such a simplistic paragraph. I especially like the line about “”weird” and/or intelligent films”.

Anywho, I came to this rambling sentiment courtesy of a particular user at IMDb I stumbled upon this morning. t.a.e.nichols from England. I have never seen anybody come off as so pretentious and so vapid at the same time as in his(her?) review of M:I-2. Yes, you read that correctly, it was a review for Mission:Impossible 2 entitled “A unique work of art”. I won’t go into why I was on that page – what matters is how absolutely horrific M:I-2 was (yes, even taken as simply an action flick) and how pompous this review is, basically calling critics backwards for not appreciating this “culmination of the action epic.” He uses the word culmination twice, and continues with phrases like “The Western intelligentsia”, “man’s struggle to overcome fire and earth”, “the tender mating ritual of the car chase”, and “the central paradoxes of creation”. In a review of a third rate action film, this guy managed to bring up both the Bible and Freud. I still have to explore the rest of his reviews, but I did notice one is entitled “The paradoxical ideology of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.

With all of that said, I do plan to start writing some reviews here myself. I just hope I don’t come off like a pompous jackass 🙂

“B-5” “You sank my scrabble ship!” – Bart and Homer, The Simpsons