movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Thu May 19 2016, 01:43pm | 11 comments
It’s his right not to see a movie. But that kind of defeats the point of being a critic.
Also, he should know by now that trailers are never a foolproof guide to a movie’s actual quality.
Preserving childhood memories? I’m guessing he doesn’t watch many films, then. Or he’s just grandstanding, of course.
Let’s if we can find some common ground… remember how awful Episode One was? Well, after being let down so hard by that turd, I decided not to pay to watch Episodes Two or Three, because I did not want to encourage the further production of that kind of product.
Rolfe’s decision seems to be similarly personal rather than political or professional. He openly acknowledges that. Maybe I’ve been out of the loop too long, but I don’t think he’s a professional reviewer in the sense of someone who watches every major release. He’s just a guy who makes poop jokes and occasionally talks about some of the films he likes. He’s decided not to send any of his money into the pockets of the people involved in this one.
Imagine someone made a movie called The Princess Bride (or the name of whatever show/film was a favorite of your formative years), and a horrible trailer came out that seemed to be very different in tone to the original. Would you be upset enough to feel uncomfortable giving your money to the creators, effectively encouraging similar reboots? Maybe, maybe not, but at the very least, you would be understandably upset.
If a horrible Ghost in the Shell trailer comes out, I probably won’t pay to watch the movie. I might check it out at the library or catch a glimpse in the breakroom in a few months. Now, if the reviews of people I trust and respect are positive, I’ll certainly reconsider. Hopefully, that’s what will happen in the case of Ghostbusters. Maybe his explanation seems illogical to someone who isn’t familiar with his personality? I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal for a person to decide not to watch a movie.
Ooh, I thought of another example. The original Transformers animated movie was one of the first movies I watched at the theater. In retrospect, it’s not that great but it had a big impact on me as a child.
I have never paid to watch the Michael Bay Transformers movies because the trailers looked terrible and I dislike the style of the director. I eventually checked out the first one at the library and it was about as bad as I thought it would be. Surely you can understand this decision?
I guess what I want to know is what exactly you find so distasteful about his decision:
1) The fact that he is refusing to watch a movie
2) The fact that he is a “critic” who is refusing to review a movie
3) The fact that he has made a video explaining his choice
4) The fact that his explanation is emotional rather than logical
I don’t see a problem with any of it really, but I am curious as to why this is getting so much negative buzz.
Your Point 3.
Combined with the fact that this film is the one he’s chosen to condemn, not any of the other remakes that “ruin his childhood”.
I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal for a person to decide not to watch a movie.
It’s not a big deal. His video could have been ten seconds long:
“I really loved the original movie. I don’t think I’m going to love this one. I’m going to skip it. You can, too, if it’s not your kind of thing, and you’ll save yourself all kinds of headaches. Isn’t that simple?”
But rather than just saying that the movie doesn’t appeal to his personal taste, he offered six minutes’ worth of rationalizations. He explained why the movie can’t possibly be any good, why it’s substantively different from every other remake or reboot, and why it absolutely must have cameos from the cast of the original film. He seemed to be making a definitive statement that no one should ever watch this movie, on principle. None of his arguments make the slightest bit of sense. Also, several of the original cast members do have cameos in the movie.
I’ve skipped lots of movies, including some big hits that most of my friends loved. I’ll skip more in the future. But I didn’t try to convince the world not to see the movie, based on my subjective taste (at least, not recently). I just said, “It’s not my thing,” and moved on. I wish Rolfe had done the same.
Ah, I get it now. Thank you.
Oh, I understand now. Thank you.
It’s his right not to see a movie.
Of course it is. Critics don’t see *lots* of movies!
But throwing a six-minute video tantrum about how he’s not going to see a movie is something else entirely.
If your childhood memories can be ruined by just one movie, you must have led some kind of charmed life and should consider yourself lucky. I mean most people with bad childhood memories have had to worry about school bullies, abusive parents or step-parents or various forms of poverty and prejudice.
Granted, no one likes to see a beloved childhood classic “ruined” by a remake or reboot. I certainly did not think well of the Ron Howard’s version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes or even the Matthew Broderick version of Godzilla. For that matter, I’m not a big fan of the new Star Trek movies. But life goes on and there are so many worse things in life than having to sit through a bad movie that I’m surprised this is such a big deal.
Then again few people I know in the real world have even heard of Harry Knowles, let alone Mr. Rolfe, so I am a bit surprised that his video has gotten as much attention as it has.
I think that a disproportionate number of the people who do know who Harry Knowles is are the sort of people who like to make fusses about things that cause them trivial offence.
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