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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

from Facebook: day in the life of a film critic in 2016

My yesterday:



posted in:
maryann buzz

  • bronxbee


  • Danielm80
  • Bluejay

    That sucks, MaryAnn. Is there a pattern as to which critics they’re keeping out, and which ones they’re admitting? Or are they simply keeping everyone out because they know the film is crap?

  • Danielm80

    According to Box Office Mojo, 6,128,800 people have already seen the movie, and nearly 150 critics have reviews up on Rotten Tomatoes. How is it useful to embargo a film that’s already playing this widely?

  • Bluejay

    Maybe the studio wants critics to pay for their tickets because it wants to make as much money as possible before the film tanks?

  • It’s a lot of critics having the same problem I am. The ones who are generally being treated well these days are those from major, long-entrenched (ie, pre Internet) outlets, like the daily newspapers, or from the very studio-friendly fanboy sites. Everyone else is getting screwed.

  • It’s not an embargo if they simply don’t show you the film. I don’t know what the point was with Tarzan, which, as you noted, has already opened elsewhere. (Though sometimes the opposite happens: US critics are embargoed on movies that have already opened outside the US.) None of it makes any sense.

  • There aren’t *that* many critics. :-)

  • Aaron Jones

    I know you won’t let this affect your critique of the actual movie, right? :-)

  • Danielm80

    She’s had a chance to evaluate the movie in even more depth than usual, having seen it multiple times in multiple formats. If she’s “biast,” she’ll tell us why—though it may not be for the reasons you’re implying.

  • Bluejay

    Maybe they’re desperate. Every $15 ticket counts!

  • Bluejay

    That still doesn’t make any sense. Being friendly to the established and fanboy sites doesn’t at all guarantee you won’t get panned; lots of newspaper reviewers were mixed-to-negative on the film, and Ain’t It Cool News ripped it apart.

    Is there any way the non-entrenched, non-fanboy critics can flex their muscle? Can you all band together and refuse to review any film from a studio that bars access to some of its films? I know that would hurt traffic to the sites, but would it impact the studio in any significant way? (I suspect the answer is “no,” but I guess I’m just brainstorming out loud.)

  • Aaron Jones

    Oh no, I meant nothing disparaging with my comment, but I’m sure that some will believe the experience will bias the review, I don’t.

  • RogerBW

    [paranoia mode ON] (more than usual)

    My usual assumption is that the critics chosen to get free stuff are the ones whose reviews can be influenced thereby (fan sites in particular). I wonder whether the newspaper people are now so desperate to believe that someone still cares about them that they’re falling for it too.

    I’d also expect an analysis of published reviews and a bias towards critics who tend to write positive ones (perhaps even about that specific sort of film). Easy enough to trawl Rotten Tomatoes for a bunch of similar recent films and see who liked all of them.

  • Never.

  • having seen it multiple times in multiple formats

    I didn’t, though. I saw the Warner Bros. ident and the opening text card in 2D before I walked out of the first screwed-up showing.

  • Can you all band together

    There’s the Online Film Critics society, of which I am a member, but it has no teeth. There’s also the London Film Critics Circle, of which I am not a member, but they’re complaining about this too, to no avail. So I guess they have no teeth either.

    would it impact the studio in any significant way?

    I’m also guessing that it would not.

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