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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

from Facebook: “without critics, all that’s left is marketing,” and Suicide Squad


posted in:
movie buzz
  • RogerBW

    Well, what do those eggheads know? They can probably read, even the big words and even when there aren’t any pictures.

  • Nathan

    The movie industry is just like the porn industry, women wearing uncomfortable clothing for the enjoyment of greasy teenagers while those all too familiar complain about the script and continuity errors. Oh and I’m pretty sure the guys still get paid more. I mean come on, have you seen what women have to put up with in that industry? It’s ridiculous.

  • Danielm80

    I love it when people on the Internet—especially people reading a lengthy comment section—complain that no one reads anymore.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Y’know, I am 100% on board with the importance of film criticism as part of the art form. And I totally get what Kael was saying there. But jeez if the critical press isn’t getting pretty salty over Suicide Squad. They’re acting like the concept of the “critic-proof movie” was something new. Let’s not forget that the least successful (domestically) of the Transformers films – the one with Mark Whalberg instead of Shia Lebouf – made almost $250M, on it’s way to over $1B worldwide. If Pauline Kael actually said that, she would have said it sometime in the ’70s or ’80s, and yet somehow good films (and bad) have managed to get made in the last 40 years.

  • RogerBW

    The shift I see at the moment is from simply ignoring critics to being actively hostile to them. (Especially the first few whose negative reviews go up at RT.)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That’s not an attitude shift, it’s access to a platform. And RT hasn’t allowed comments since summer of 2012.

  • Danielm80

    I think the barrage of geek-friendly movies this year has started to reverse the trend. MaryAnn got attacked pretty viciously over Deadpool and Warcraft but got a fairly tame response to Suicide Squad and even Ghostbusters. Maybe people are starting to realize that the world doesn’t end—and the comics industry will survive—when someone hates your favorite character.

  • RogerBW

    “Geek-friendly”? This is extruded marketing product for fanboys, all about how everything will be all right if you can just beat up your enemies enough. It’s jock culture; geeks need not apply. (The smart ones are too busy telling their own stories anyway.)

  • Danielm80

    For years, super-hero comics were a way for geeks to fantasize about being muscular enough to beat up their enemies. (That was kind of the point of the Charles Atlas ads.) Now, super-heroes are part of mainstream culture (along with other characters popular at ComicCon), although it’s possible that only geeks are reading actual comic books.

    There may be a certain subset of geeks that rejects violence and reads only Sandman and Ursula LeGuin, But unless you claim that those are the only “real” geeks, I think power fantasies are pretty integral to all sorts of geeks, not just the fanboys and angry gamers.

  • RogerBW

    Mainstream culture and marketing has eaten up and dispersed geekdom just as it did punk. Most people I know who used to go to SDCC are staying away these days: too much money floating around, too much orchestrated stroking of fanboy egos to get their cash out of their pockets.

  • Danielm80

    You are in a different circle of the Venn diagram than I am.

  • Bluejay

    got a fairly tame response to Suicide Squad and even Ghostbusters.

    I wonder if critics are attacked less when they give positive reviews to films that fanboys dislike (as in Ghostbusters), as opposed to negative reviews of films they’ve decided to defend to the death.

    And Suicide Squad is an interesting case; even the diehards don’t seem to love it unconditionally. Several video reviewers argue that though they don’t think it quite deserves the harsh RT rating, they still recognize that it’s severely flawed; none of them are arguing that it’s perfect, or even very good. So maybe they’re not attacking because they actually mostly agree with the critical consensus. (See also the 41% drop.)

  • Bluejay

    everything will be all right if you can just beat up your enemies enough.

    That’s not a perversion of the superhero ethos; it’s PART of it, going all the way back to Action Comics #1. And it’s a human theme that goes all the way back to the Iliad (though of course the best stories complicate it). Geeks aren’t exempt.

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