No Pan Alley

I’ve been writing for some time now and in the last decade or so of feverish online opinion, I’ve learned a couple of things about myself and others when it comes to discussing films.  One, I’ve learned that there is nary a movie in existence that isn’t like by someone and, two, panning a movie, any movie, usually makes me feel awful inside.  It’s why, in just the last couple of years, I decided clearly and boldly: No more!

Audience In The Newsreel Theatre

The first lesson, that practically every film out there has its supporters, was a tough one to get used to but I finally did or, should I say, I finally resigned myself to it and stopped worrying about who liked what.  Before I began publicly writing out my views for all to see, I had several presumptions about movies that I held close to my heart only to have them shattered before my eyes.  One of them was that I actually knew a lot about movies.  Yes, to the average Joe at the water cooler who thinks a real stumper of a trivia question is “Who directed Jaws?”, I do.  But online I found that fellow readers and writers constantly mentioned movies that I’d never seen, and in some cases, movies I’d never even heard of.

Another presumption I had was that certain movies were universally derided, disliked or disdained.  I was wrong.  I found out I was wrong on numerous occasions.  You see, every time I thought I’d be clever and deride a movie by referencing another movie just as bad, I would inevitably have readers tell me they liked the first movie, or the second, or both.   At first, I actually tried to combat this by second-guessing what I had written.  One time I was writing about a Hitchcock film (I can’t remember which now) and remarked something to the effect that it wasn’t one of his best but, hey, it wasn’t like it was Topaz either.  And then a reader or two said, basically, “I like Topaz!”  I backpedaled and offered up another, maybe Torn Curtain.  Same result, different readers.  I may have tried Under Capricorn before getting the same result and giving up.  This has happened, oh, eighty, ninety times by now.

The evidence is clear:  Most movies, even ones you might think are awful, have fans somewhere and, odds are, they’re reading you just as you decide to use their cherished movie as a whipping boy.  It doesn’t mean I’m not going to state my opinion clearly (I have no love for Topaz, Torn Curtain or Under Capricorn.  Sorry.) but I’m probably going to be a little more diplomatic about it and a lot less snarky.  In fact, I’m getting to the point where I can’t stand snark or flippancy in a review.  Which leads me to…

… Panning movies.  I’ve never really done it but it’s only recently (last two years or so) that I’ve really developed a strong distaste for it.    Now, understand, I don’t mean a bad review.  Heck, if the movie’s bad and your job is to review it, give it a bad review.  State what’s wrong with it, why it doesn’t work and pull no punches.  With the truth, that is.  But you can do that without making fun of it.  Or getting mean.  That’s a different thing entirely.  I can even take a rant or two (I’ve done a few of those) where you’re complaining about a movie’s approach but even those have lost their appeal for me. (I’ve thought of taken some of my older ones down though, for now, I feel like it should all be there to see, warts and all.)

There are many reasons I feel this way and many events along the way that changed my mind.   One of them left me genuinely upset with and disappointed in myself.  It was a documentary I was reviewing some years ago (I won’t reveal which or who I’m talking about) and, being younger and dumber, I made fun of one of the interviewees.  He was a bit boring and dry and rather than ignore his interviews completely or simply state they were a little dry and the director should have taken a different approach, I made a few jokes about human sleeping pills and thought I was oh-so-clever and witty, my own self-serving Algonquin Round Table.   And then, though I won’t reveal how, I was made aware that the subject of my disdain had most likely read my review.  That he was an older gentlemen, fairly unaccustomed to the internet and not a young, brash kid ready to give it back to me, made it ten times worse.   I really can’t express how awful I felt.   I immediately edited out the jokes but it was too late.  I have never done that again.

Movie audience in Park Avenue Theater.

But it’s not just about feeling bad because someone got offended.  It’s about how much work goes into making a movie, any movie, and how no one goes into making one thinking, “Okay, I’m going to purposely make the worst movie I can just to anger patrons.”  Why make it worse with a pan?  Again, there’s nothing wrong with a bad review.   An artist, however good or bad, should know the reviewer’s honest opinion.  Tell it like it is.  But that can be done without snarky jabs, crude insults and condescending superiority.  Since I don’t review new movies here, it’s easy to just write about what interests me.  In other arenas, I do write about new movies and if I see one I don’t like, I try to express that without getting mean.  The idea of scoring snark points at the expense of the work of dedicated craftpeople and artists is off-putting to me, to say the least.  It’s made worse by a lot of writers intent on making a name for themselves by scorching all the earth around them. Sadly, it works, as a lot of them get plenty of good, paid gigs.

I prefer to write about what I like and try to persuade the reader to like it, too.  I also like celebrating greatness a lot more than deriding badness.  And celebrating greatness has rewards much greater than snark anyway.  A couple of years back I wrote a tribute, on another site, to the great Maureen O’Hara on her birthday.  Apparently, someone showed it to her.  A day later, I was contacted by her personal secretary, at Maureen’s request, to let me know how much she liked it.  I don’t have to tell you, no amount of smug self-satisfaction from a snarky comment will ever match the satisfaction of that one.

Maybe I’m too soft (I probably am) but when I hear people talk about how hilarious this or that pan is, or how humorously this critic savaged that movie maker, I don’t share in the mirth.   Yes, I’ve enjoyed good pans in my time and found lots to laugh about, but I rarely feel better afterwards.  And I can only speak for myself.  I’ve written some reviews I wish I could take back, gone off on some rants I probably should have reigned in, but as I move forward and really cherish the greatness I see in cinema and the desire to share it with anyone who’ll listen, I have to be honest about it.  I don’t like running things down and there’s too much good to celebrate to waste time picking apart movies I don’t like.  We all have our personal boundaries for these things and from now on, mine will be clearly marked:  No Pan Alley.

84 Responses No Pan Alley
Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 9:35 am

You’re a better man than me, Greg. I could find nothing at all to like about the second Transformers movie. Not one single thing. I didn’t even bother with the third, but I am certain it’s a steaming pile of rubbish as well. And the movie The Happening, directed by M. Night Shyamalan was so laughable that I wrote a scathing review and still share it with friends. At least the cinematography was decent. Yep. I mentioned that in the review.

I also don’t like Topaz, Torn Curtain or Under Capricorn. I can go on all day about movies I love though, and on occasion, I do.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 9:35 am

You’re a better man than me, Greg. I could find nothing at all to like about the second Transformers movie. Not one single thing. I didn’t even bother with the third, but I am certain it’s a steaming pile of rubbish as well. And the movie The Happening, directed by M. Night Shyamalan was so laughable that I wrote a scathing review and still share it with friends. At least the cinematography was decent. Yep. I mentioned that in the review.

I also don’t like Topaz, Torn Curtain or Under Capricorn. I can go on all day about movies I love though, and on occasion, I do.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 9:50 am

But Rob, I’ve found plenty of movies I can’t stand. Like I said, “there’s nothing wrong with a bad review.” And you can write a scathing review, as in it points out all that is wrong, without tons of snark. I really am talking about the pans whose sole purpose is to score humor points at the expense of the movie. And yes, I’ve done that and, yes again, I’ve had a good laugh reading several. But I don’t prefer them and as I get older, they kind of bug me.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 9:50 am

But Rob, I’ve found plenty of movies I can’t stand. Like I said, “there’s nothing wrong with a bad review.” And you can write a scathing review, as in it points out all that is wrong, without tons of snark. I really am talking about the pans whose sole purpose is to score humor points at the expense of the movie. And yes, I’ve done that and, yes again, I’ve had a good laugh reading several. But I don’t prefer them and as I get older, they kind of bug me.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 10:10 am

But The Happening was so awfully bad, and such a groan-inducing “film” that it cries out for snark. I provided it in my review of the film, which is available to read on Netflix, as well as my own blog. I think when filmmakers are trying to spread some kind of message and are trying to do it in what they consider an artful way, they deserve snark if the end result is so awful. I wouldn’t dare compare myself to Mark Twain, but he was not above snark.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 10:10 am

But The Happening was so awfully bad, and such a groan-inducing “film” that it cries out for snark. I provided it in my review of the film, which is available to read on Netflix, as well as my own blog. I think when filmmakers are trying to spread some kind of message and are trying to do it in what they consider an artful way, they deserve snark if the end result is so awful. I wouldn’t dare compare myself to Mark Twain, but he was not above snark.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 10:14 am

No, his takedown of James Fenimore Cooper is hilarious. But to your point, it is precisely because so few writers are Mark Twain (or none of them) that the snark doesn’t work and just comes off as self-satisfied bloviating.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 10:14 am

No, his takedown of James Fenimore Cooper is hilarious. But to your point, it is precisely because so few writers are Mark Twain (or none of them) that the snark doesn’t work and just comes off as self-satisfied bloviating.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 10:20 am

That may be true. I wrote mostly for myself and hope that other people will like it. I recall many people finding my review quite entertaining though.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 10:20 am

That may be true. I wrote mostly for myself and hope that other people will like it. I recall many people finding my review quite entertaining though.

Posted By SergioM : April 24, 2013 10:55 am

Hey watch it! I STILL like Topaz!!!

Posted By SergioM : April 24, 2013 10:55 am

Hey watch it! I STILL like Topaz!!!

Posted By jbryant : April 24, 2013 11:55 am

The reason more reviewers/critics don’t take the positive path you’re advocating is that it’s much harder. All the more reason to applaud you for taking it. I admit I’ve had my share of laughs from sharp-witted takedowns of bad films, and I understand how difficult it must be to stay above the fray if your job requires you to write about all the latest studio releases, but I’d much rather hear about a film’s successes than its failures.

Posted By jbryant : April 24, 2013 11:55 am

The reason more reviewers/critics don’t take the positive path you’re advocating is that it’s much harder. All the more reason to applaud you for taking it. I admit I’ve had my share of laughs from sharp-witted takedowns of bad films, and I understand how difficult it must be to stay above the fray if your job requires you to write about all the latest studio releases, but I’d much rather hear about a film’s successes than its failures.

Posted By thereplicantopinion : April 24, 2013 12:17 pm

Have to applaud your intentions, in the world of movie criticism, the word “criticism” is far highlighted. The sheer number of reviews that simply exist to pick apart a piece of work is, unpleasant, although, not entirely, unwelcome. These reviews come across as deliberately funny, or deliberatley scathing. Mark Kermode’s constant attacks on series he personally dislikes, for example, obliterate any sense of level headedness towards the work itself.

I shall look forward to reading your work.

Posted By thereplicantopinion : April 24, 2013 12:17 pm

Have to applaud your intentions, in the world of movie criticism, the word “criticism” is far highlighted. The sheer number of reviews that simply exist to pick apart a piece of work is, unpleasant, although, not entirely, unwelcome. These reviews come across as deliberately funny, or deliberatley scathing. Mark Kermode’s constant attacks on series he personally dislikes, for example, obliterate any sense of level headedness towards the work itself.

I shall look forward to reading your work.

Posted By Richard Brandt : April 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Sometimes filmmakers with laudable intentions are the victims of projects that careen out of control due to unforeseen difficulties…The makers of EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC had to contend with the death of an actor and budgetary restrictions, and due to their perhaps regrettable ways of responding to those, hastily re-wrote and re-worked until they ended up with a film that had been to be pulled from theaters after the first night and massively re-cut in an attempt to avoid some of the unintentional laughter from the crowds. In such a case it may seem cruel to pile on with an excessively snarky review.

But what of those whose ego and ambition exceeds the quality of what they put on the screen? I’m reminded of Coppola’s petulant response to jibes about ONE FROM THE HEART: “I don’t think people appreciate what this film means personally to me.” As if that’s what was important, rather than how he was able to connect with his audience.

When we see people who are blessed with the resources to be able to throw massive amounts of money and talent at a project…and again, acknowledging the difficulty of mounting any major film production…if all they are able to manage is a steaming pile of tripe, somehow a little snark seems fair exchange for those two hours of our life that we’ll never get back.

Even if it does have an air of, Hey, I may never have their kind of money or fame, but at least I can show you how clever I am. Still, how amusing can a mere catalogue of a film’s flaws be? A critic who can be both illuminating and entertaining while detailing a film’s failures and/or praising its successes…yeah, I’d read that.

Posted By Richard Brandt : April 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Sometimes filmmakers with laudable intentions are the victims of projects that careen out of control due to unforeseen difficulties…The makers of EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC had to contend with the death of an actor and budgetary restrictions, and due to their perhaps regrettable ways of responding to those, hastily re-wrote and re-worked until they ended up with a film that had been to be pulled from theaters after the first night and massively re-cut in an attempt to avoid some of the unintentional laughter from the crowds. In such a case it may seem cruel to pile on with an excessively snarky review.

But what of those whose ego and ambition exceeds the quality of what they put on the screen? I’m reminded of Coppola’s petulant response to jibes about ONE FROM THE HEART: “I don’t think people appreciate what this film means personally to me.” As if that’s what was important, rather than how he was able to connect with his audience.

When we see people who are blessed with the resources to be able to throw massive amounts of money and talent at a project…and again, acknowledging the difficulty of mounting any major film production…if all they are able to manage is a steaming pile of tripe, somehow a little snark seems fair exchange for those two hours of our life that we’ll never get back.

Even if it does have an air of, Hey, I may never have their kind of money or fame, but at least I can show you how clever I am. Still, how amusing can a mere catalogue of a film’s flaws be? A critic who can be both illuminating and entertaining while detailing a film’s failures and/or praising its successes…yeah, I’d read that.

Posted By Doug : April 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Here’s the long/short of it: we can criticize without souring our souls. Snark will make waves and get your name heard, but if your one claim to fame is snark, you will be quickly dismissed. Unless you are even more snarky next time, but eventually you will have jumped the snark.

Posted By Doug : April 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Here’s the long/short of it: we can criticize without souring our souls. Snark will make waves and get your name heard, but if your one claim to fame is snark, you will be quickly dismissed. Unless you are even more snarky next time, but eventually you will have jumped the snark.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 2:39 pm

Lewis Carroll jumped a few snarks.

Posted By robbushblog : April 24, 2013 2:39 pm

Lewis Carroll jumped a few snarks.

Posted By Emgee : April 24, 2013 3:42 pm

The only movies that really deserve scathing reviews IMO are those solely fabricated to make money. Tue, no movie ever intentionally LOST money, but i feel schlockmasters deserve all the panning they can get. ( Did i hear someone mention Transformers?)

Sorry, Greg. I agree with you in principle, but also firmly believe in telling it like it is. Even if it hurts.

Even so: Yes, more praise for those that really deserve it, even if they ocassionally fail. I mean: Hitchcock?

Posted By Emgee : April 24, 2013 3:42 pm

The only movies that really deserve scathing reviews IMO are those solely fabricated to make money. Tue, no movie ever intentionally LOST money, but i feel schlockmasters deserve all the panning they can get. ( Did i hear someone mention Transformers?)

Sorry, Greg. I agree with you in principle, but also firmly believe in telling it like it is. Even if it hurts.

Even so: Yes, more praise for those that really deserve it, even if they ocassionally fail. I mean: Hitchcock?

Posted By Tom S : April 24, 2013 3:47 pm

I think there’s a difference between a movie that simply means nothing to one- something you sit through and really have no feelings about one way or the other, or which does things that don’t connect to you, or just isn’t well made or whatever- and a movie you genuinely _hate_, and I think that if a movie inspires the latter it’s worth talking about that. Like, I _hated_ Haneke’s Cache, for reasons I’m not going to get into here, but suffice it to say that I felt as though Haneke was making assumptions about what his audience would think and feel that went beyond irritating and into the actually offensive, while simultaneously holding himself aloof from his presumed audience’s viewpoint.

Now, let’s say you are someone who loves Cache- I think we could have an interesting conversation about what we perceive the movie’s intentions are, and how well it gets those intentions across. We may even agree about what it is that Haneke is saying, and disagree only about what that means to us as viewers. I’ve had a lot of talks along those lines, and sometimes the best conversations about movies are between the people who hate them and the ones for whom they’re favorites.

I also think that in discussing movies, it’s helpful to be able to reference other movies as a quick shorthand- Pauline Kael did this all the time- and that part of that shorthand means referencing previous failures. If someone’s upset that you dismiss a movie they care for that way, that seems like an admirable opportunity to make a defense for the movie they love, to explain _why_ Topaz is a mistreated masterpiece. You see this happen all the time with something like Heaven’s Gate, and it too starts a lot of interesting conversations.

Probably the best example of construction through destruction is the criticism of the French New Wave, who spent ten minutes attacking for every minute praising- and, to me, who attacked any number of really brilliant movies and movie makers. In the end, the misguided attacks have no real impact, and the dead on ones burn off flab and make people recommit to the things that have meaning. Take away the attacks, and you wind up with a cinema of self indulgence, of bloated Peter Jackson epics that could be lean Peter Jackson horror movies, and of Titanics that could have been Terminators. Who wants that?

Posted By Tom S : April 24, 2013 3:47 pm

I think there’s a difference between a movie that simply means nothing to one- something you sit through and really have no feelings about one way or the other, or which does things that don’t connect to you, or just isn’t well made or whatever- and a movie you genuinely _hate_, and I think that if a movie inspires the latter it’s worth talking about that. Like, I _hated_ Haneke’s Cache, for reasons I’m not going to get into here, but suffice it to say that I felt as though Haneke was making assumptions about what his audience would think and feel that went beyond irritating and into the actually offensive, while simultaneously holding himself aloof from his presumed audience’s viewpoint.

Now, let’s say you are someone who loves Cache- I think we could have an interesting conversation about what we perceive the movie’s intentions are, and how well it gets those intentions across. We may even agree about what it is that Haneke is saying, and disagree only about what that means to us as viewers. I’ve had a lot of talks along those lines, and sometimes the best conversations about movies are between the people who hate them and the ones for whom they’re favorites.

I also think that in discussing movies, it’s helpful to be able to reference other movies as a quick shorthand- Pauline Kael did this all the time- and that part of that shorthand means referencing previous failures. If someone’s upset that you dismiss a movie they care for that way, that seems like an admirable opportunity to make a defense for the movie they love, to explain _why_ Topaz is a mistreated masterpiece. You see this happen all the time with something like Heaven’s Gate, and it too starts a lot of interesting conversations.

Probably the best example of construction through destruction is the criticism of the French New Wave, who spent ten minutes attacking for every minute praising- and, to me, who attacked any number of really brilliant movies and movie makers. In the end, the misguided attacks have no real impact, and the dead on ones burn off flab and make people recommit to the things that have meaning. Take away the attacks, and you wind up with a cinema of self indulgence, of bloated Peter Jackson epics that could be lean Peter Jackson horror movies, and of Titanics that could have been Terminators. Who wants that?

Posted By Doug : April 24, 2013 4:05 pm

Can I trust my opinion of a movie that I haven’t seen in 30 years? It may have made an impression on me then, but I’m not who I was 30 years ago.
Not strictly movie related, but more to my point: I love the Nero Wolfe books-Rex Stout was a genius. My opinion of Stout is high.
Right now I am reading through the books in the order of publication, and my admiration for Stout’s writing talent is climbing higher. I am picking up on all sorts of things which went over my head as a younger reader.
I think that if our opinion of a movie, good or bad, is over ten years old, we might need to revisit that movie. Back to the salt mines!

Posted By Doug : April 24, 2013 4:05 pm

Can I trust my opinion of a movie that I haven’t seen in 30 years? It may have made an impression on me then, but I’m not who I was 30 years ago.
Not strictly movie related, but more to my point: I love the Nero Wolfe books-Rex Stout was a genius. My opinion of Stout is high.
Right now I am reading through the books in the order of publication, and my admiration for Stout’s writing talent is climbing higher. I am picking up on all sorts of things which went over my head as a younger reader.
I think that if our opinion of a movie, good or bad, is over ten years old, we might need to revisit that movie. Back to the salt mines!

Posted By Qalice : April 24, 2013 5:07 pm

There’s criticism, which is often necessary, and there’s casual cruelty, which seems to have blossomed in the internet age. I’m an incorrigible smart-ass, so it’s not like I’m innocent, but I hope I fall more often into the funny category than the mean. No one cares what I think anyway! Good for you for turning away from the kind of mean-spirited commentary that has become so common!

Posted By Qalice : April 24, 2013 5:07 pm

There’s criticism, which is often necessary, and there’s casual cruelty, which seems to have blossomed in the internet age. I’m an incorrigible smart-ass, so it’s not like I’m innocent, but I hope I fall more often into the funny category than the mean. No one cares what I think anyway! Good for you for turning away from the kind of mean-spirited commentary that has become so common!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 7:09 pm

Just want to make sure I don’t get misunderstood on this because I’ve seen a couple of comments that lead me to think that’s what’s happening. Emgee said,

Sorry, Greg. I agree with you in principle, but also firmly believe in telling it like it is. Even if it hurts.

In the post, I wrote,

Again, there’s nothing wrong with a bad review. An artist, however good or bad, should know the reviewer’s honest opinion. Tell it like it is.

Even used the same phrasing. By all means, tell it like it is. We agree. But tell it like it is without the majority of the review being about how clever a joke-maker you are. That’s what I’m talking about. I can legitimately criticize a movie in a way that clearly states I believe it is bad and, if I’m good at what I do, give examples of why. Without the snark.

Here’s a comment I left on Facebook today, in a conversation about this post, which gives a little more background:

“A lot of this came about reading Alan Zweibel’s post about Ebert’s infamous pan of his movie NORTH. Bad movie? Sure. But Ebert went overboard. Zweibel, when he encountered Ebert ten years later, was a bigger man than me and made a joke about it. Before he made the joke (which was, “That sweater? I hate, hate, hate it!”) he introduced himself and said Ebert tensed up every muscle in his body. I thought to myself, I’m going to make a new rule of thumb: I’m going to ask myself whenever I write a review, “Would I feel awkward meeting the writer or director of the movie after they’ve read my review?” If it’s a thoughtful, but negative review, the answer’s no. I wouldn’t. If it’s a snarky, mean review, the answer’s yes. I’d like to strive for the answer to always be no.”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 7:09 pm

Just want to make sure I don’t get misunderstood on this because I’ve seen a couple of comments that lead me to think that’s what’s happening. Emgee said,

Sorry, Greg. I agree with you in principle, but also firmly believe in telling it like it is. Even if it hurts.

In the post, I wrote,

Again, there’s nothing wrong with a bad review. An artist, however good or bad, should know the reviewer’s honest opinion. Tell it like it is.

Even used the same phrasing. By all means, tell it like it is. We agree. But tell it like it is without the majority of the review being about how clever a joke-maker you are. That’s what I’m talking about. I can legitimately criticize a movie in a way that clearly states I believe it is bad and, if I’m good at what I do, give examples of why. Without the snark.

Here’s a comment I left on Facebook today, in a conversation about this post, which gives a little more background:

“A lot of this came about reading Alan Zweibel’s post about Ebert’s infamous pan of his movie NORTH. Bad movie? Sure. But Ebert went overboard. Zweibel, when he encountered Ebert ten years later, was a bigger man than me and made a joke about it. Before he made the joke (which was, “That sweater? I hate, hate, hate it!”) he introduced himself and said Ebert tensed up every muscle in his body. I thought to myself, I’m going to make a new rule of thumb: I’m going to ask myself whenever I write a review, “Would I feel awkward meeting the writer or director of the movie after they’ve read my review?” If it’s a thoughtful, but negative review, the answer’s no. I wouldn’t. If it’s a snarky, mean review, the answer’s yes. I’d like to strive for the answer to always be no.”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 7:11 pm

Tom – Great to see you again. You always leave well thought out and interesting comments. Welcome back.

Tom and Richard – For the record, I love both One from the Heart and Heaven’s Gate. Really.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 7:11 pm

Tom – Great to see you again. You always leave well thought out and interesting comments. Welcome back.

Tom and Richard – For the record, I love both One from the Heart and Heaven’s Gate. Really.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 7:17 pm

Still, how amusing can a mere catalogue of a film’s flaws be? A critic who can be both illuminating and entertaining while detailing a film’s failures and/or praising its successes…yeah, I’d read that.

Richard and Emgee: I think you both make good points. A little snark, if countered with a thoughtful critique, is fine. Richard Harland Smith said on Facebook (in the conversation about this there) about a recent snarky review he read that is “was a solid 80% vamping and snarking, essentially re-telling you in 12 paragraphs what he said in the first.” That’s what I consider a pan, in which the critic revels in spending paragraph after paragraph tearing the movie apart. Okay, you hate it. Make a few jokes, get it out of your system, then review the movie. Critique it. Tell me what went wrong. I think that’s basically what both of you are saying as well. A little snark is fine, just don’t beat it to death.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 7:17 pm

Still, how amusing can a mere catalogue of a film’s flaws be? A critic who can be both illuminating and entertaining while detailing a film’s failures and/or praising its successes…yeah, I’d read that.

Richard and Emgee: I think you both make good points. A little snark, if countered with a thoughtful critique, is fine. Richard Harland Smith said on Facebook (in the conversation about this there) about a recent snarky review he read that is “was a solid 80% vamping and snarking, essentially re-telling you in 12 paragraphs what he said in the first.” That’s what I consider a pan, in which the critic revels in spending paragraph after paragraph tearing the movie apart. Okay, you hate it. Make a few jokes, get it out of your system, then review the movie. Critique it. Tell me what went wrong. I think that’s basically what both of you are saying as well. A little snark is fine, just don’t beat it to death.

Posted By SergioM : April 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Heaven’s Gate is GREAT. Not a masterpiece but certainly masterful and not even remotely close to the disaster it was said to be at first. (And yes I even have the Criterion blu-ray)

One from the Heart however is another matter. Saw it once. Never want to see it again

Posted By SergioM : April 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Heaven’s Gate is GREAT. Not a masterpiece but certainly masterful and not even remotely close to the disaster it was said to be at first. (And yes I even have the Criterion blu-ray)

One from the Heart however is another matter. Saw it once. Never want to see it again

Posted By B Piper : April 24, 2013 8:06 pm

The purpose of the snark is to establish the snarker as superior to the snarkee. This is based on the premise that all the time, effort, money and craftsmanship that goes into making even a bad movie means less than a single brainless MST3K jibe from a semi-literate fratboy. Thank god for the egalitarianism that the Internet has brought to criticism.

Posted By B Piper : April 24, 2013 8:06 pm

The purpose of the snark is to establish the snarker as superior to the snarkee. This is based on the premise that all the time, effort, money and craftsmanship that goes into making even a bad movie means less than a single brainless MST3K jibe from a semi-literate fratboy. Thank god for the egalitarianism that the Internet has brought to criticism.

Posted By David : April 24, 2013 8:25 pm

Another interesting post, Greg, worth a response.
One of the reasons I found myself coming to Movie Morlocks (I’m just an average punter who loves the cinema), and reading your pieces, along with a few others, was the desire to read an informed and enthusiastic discussion about Film by people who were passionate about it.
A highlight of coming here is to find others who know so much more than I do about the history of cinema (I started being a serious film buff at 18 and am now 54). Its always easier to pan a bad film, than it is to write intelligently and eloquently about films that you like. I’m far more motivated to seek out something that’s been discussed with honesty and genuine affection, than worrying about what bad films to avoid (I’m informed enough to make up my own mind about those).
Keep trusting your instincts Greg, and keep writing about films you love.

Posted By David : April 24, 2013 8:25 pm

Another interesting post, Greg, worth a response.
One of the reasons I found myself coming to Movie Morlocks (I’m just an average punter who loves the cinema), and reading your pieces, along with a few others, was the desire to read an informed and enthusiastic discussion about Film by people who were passionate about it.
A highlight of coming here is to find others who know so much more than I do about the history of cinema (I started being a serious film buff at 18 and am now 54). Its always easier to pan a bad film, than it is to write intelligently and eloquently about films that you like. I’m far more motivated to seek out something that’s been discussed with honesty and genuine affection, than worrying about what bad films to avoid (I’m informed enough to make up my own mind about those).
Keep trusting your instincts Greg, and keep writing about films you love.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 8:35 pm

Sergio, I can completely understand anyone not liking One from the Heart. It’s dialogue doesn’t work very well and I’ve argued elsewhere that it would work better as a visual piece with music and no dialogue. Still, I’m in love with the way that movie looks.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 8:35 pm

Sergio, I can completely understand anyone not liking One from the Heart. It’s dialogue doesn’t work very well and I’ve argued elsewhere that it would work better as a visual piece with music and no dialogue. Still, I’m in love with the way that movie looks.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 8:37 pm

B Piper – Glad you mentioned MST3K because that show has been responsible for more writers thinking they’re the world’s funniest critic than anything else.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 8:37 pm

B Piper – Glad you mentioned MST3K because that show has been responsible for more writers thinking they’re the world’s funniest critic than anything else.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 8:39 pm

I’m far more motivated to seek out something that’s been discussed with honesty and genuine affection, than worrying about what bad films to avoid (I’m informed enough to make up my own mind about those).

Well stated. I want to get recommendations (which I get here all the time), not a list of movies to avoid.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 24, 2013 8:39 pm

I’m far more motivated to seek out something that’s been discussed with honesty and genuine affection, than worrying about what bad films to avoid (I’m informed enough to make up my own mind about those).

Well stated. I want to get recommendations (which I get here all the time), not a list of movies to avoid.

Posted By Shuvcat : April 24, 2013 9:45 pm

Good post. I used to frequent a bad movie review site which will remain nameless. I stopped going there because the reviews were starting to become less about the movie and more endless variations on “God, why am I subjecting myself to this excruciating torture??!” I don’t know, why ARE you if you hate it so much? And why am I reading about how much you hate reviewing? I thought this was about the movie.
What cinched it for me was when the site switched from written reviews to predominantly video reviews. If there’s anything worse than a bad movie, it’s a video of an unfunny pizza-faced stoner who thinks he’s Jim Carrey, whining about how much he’s suffering through this terrible movie. I’d rather watch Troll 2 again. (Really I would–I liked that film and I like bad movies in general, MSTed and un-MSTed.)

Posted By Shuvcat : April 24, 2013 9:45 pm

Good post. I used to frequent a bad movie review site which will remain nameless. I stopped going there because the reviews were starting to become less about the movie and more endless variations on “God, why am I subjecting myself to this excruciating torture??!” I don’t know, why ARE you if you hate it so much? And why am I reading about how much you hate reviewing? I thought this was about the movie.
What cinched it for me was when the site switched from written reviews to predominantly video reviews. If there’s anything worse than a bad movie, it’s a video of an unfunny pizza-faced stoner who thinks he’s Jim Carrey, whining about how much he’s suffering through this terrible movie. I’d rather watch Troll 2 again. (Really I would–I liked that film and I like bad movies in general, MSTed and un-MSTed.)

Posted By Richard Brandt : April 25, 2013 2:15 am

Oh, there are good things you can say about Troll 2. (I liked some of the business with the kid talking to his dead grandfather, for instance.) And if you can find something good to say about Troll 2…

Posted By Richard Brandt : April 25, 2013 2:15 am

Oh, there are good things you can say about Troll 2. (I liked some of the business with the kid talking to his dead grandfather, for instance.) And if you can find something good to say about Troll 2…

Posted By Emgee : April 25, 2013 5:26 am

I must admit both reading and writing a scathing review can be highly entertaining. And if it’s about a zillion-dollar brainless blockbuster, it’s the only pitiful bit of revenge viewers can take. Like a gnat biting an elephant’s leg, true, but still it itches.

If a filmmaker obviously tried his best, but failed in certain respects,or even completely, that’s an entirely different matter.
And in that respect i totally agree with you.

Posted By Emgee : April 25, 2013 5:26 am

I must admit both reading and writing a scathing review can be highly entertaining. And if it’s about a zillion-dollar brainless blockbuster, it’s the only pitiful bit of revenge viewers can take. Like a gnat biting an elephant’s leg, true, but still it itches.

If a filmmaker obviously tried his best, but failed in certain respects,or even completely, that’s an entirely different matter.
And in that respect i totally agree with you.

Posted By swac44 : April 25, 2013 7:20 am

A film writer friend of mine takes a certain amount of pride in being one of the few to champion Freddy Got Fingered when it was released, saving it from getting a complete 0% over at Rotten Tomatoes (not that Rotten Tomatoes is the be-all and end-all of assessing a film’s worth), and he did it rather eloquently. In fact, as a Canadian being somewhat familiar with Tom Green’s comedy going back to his earliest days (as opposed to film critics who only knew he was married to Drew Barrymore for five minutes), I could understand his points about the film, and will probably even watch it again some day (I like to joke about a Criterion Collection edition, but even if they did do one, I’d probably buy it).

But on that steaming pile known as Suckerpunch, no amount of convincing can win me over.

Posted By swac44 : April 25, 2013 7:20 am

A film writer friend of mine takes a certain amount of pride in being one of the few to champion Freddy Got Fingered when it was released, saving it from getting a complete 0% over at Rotten Tomatoes (not that Rotten Tomatoes is the be-all and end-all of assessing a film’s worth), and he did it rather eloquently. In fact, as a Canadian being somewhat familiar with Tom Green’s comedy going back to his earliest days (as opposed to film critics who only knew he was married to Drew Barrymore for five minutes), I could understand his points about the film, and will probably even watch it again some day (I like to joke about a Criterion Collection edition, but even if they did do one, I’d probably buy it).

But on that steaming pile known as Suckerpunch, no amount of convincing can win me over.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 25, 2013 8:29 am

Shuvcat, reviewers who complain about the torture they’re going through are tiresome. A single line in reference to an overlong bad movie is understandable but I couldn’t take what you described: some self-serving bore making a video of how bored he was. Deliver me.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 25, 2013 8:29 am

Shuvcat, reviewers who complain about the torture they’re going through are tiresome. A single line in reference to an overlong bad movie is understandable but I couldn’t take what you described: some self-serving bore making a video of how bored he was. Deliver me.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 25, 2013 8:33 am

Emgee, I actually get a little angry sometimes when an intended blockbuster sucks. I think about all that money and talent (and how much so many talented folks with no money could have done with a 1000th of the money) and it’s the waste of it that really bothers me. So, yes, I can kind of see a scathing indictment complete with ridicule almost being acceptable as a kind of payback for wasting so much precious time and money.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 25, 2013 8:33 am

Emgee, I actually get a little angry sometimes when an intended blockbuster sucks. I think about all that money and talent (and how much so many talented folks with no money could have done with a 1000th of the money) and it’s the waste of it that really bothers me. So, yes, I can kind of see a scathing indictment complete with ridicule almost being acceptable as a kind of payback for wasting so much precious time and money.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 25, 2013 8:33 am

Okay, swac, I know you know Marilyn and Rod. Have you read this review? Tell me what you think.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : April 25, 2013 8:33 am

Okay, swac, I know you know Marilyn and Rod. Have you read this review? Tell me what you think.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : April 25, 2013 9:39 am

Interesting post, Greg. This has led me to wondering when did film criticisms get started and why? I am guessing newspapers were the first to hire reporters to write criticisms…plays were given written criticisms, too. There is a blogger I read who loves Silent films, and she often includes write-ups by the movie mags of the day, that usually heap praise on the silent film…some mags of the day wrote more critical observations. I am continuing to wonder if the written criticisms were a response to the publicity packets the studios gave out to the theatres in promoting their films?

Posted By jennifromrollamo : April 25, 2013 9:39 am

Interesting post, Greg. This has led me to wondering when did film criticisms get started and why? I am guessing newspapers were the first to hire reporters to write criticisms…plays were given written criticisms, too. There is a blogger I read who loves Silent films, and she often includes write-ups by the movie mags of the day, that usually heap praise on the silent film…some mags of the day wrote more critical observations. I am continuing to wonder if the written criticisms were a response to the publicity packets the studios gave out to the theatres in promoting their films?

Posted By swac44 : April 25, 2013 10:19 am

I like that the Suckerpunch review references Paul Verhoeven, since I pretty much had the same reaction as the first time I saw Showgirls (which is to say, a sore forehead from all that facepalming). I truly believe Snyder set out to make something much more grandiose than a mere fanboy wankfest, but while there is certainly stuff to like in there, I still felt that’s what a lot of it was. Satire and bombast are not an easy combination to reconcile, and even Terry Gilliam can’t pull it off all the time, and I think Snyder’s better intentions got buried under all the 1s and 0s and a lame script.

But … a friend of mine who’s never seen it is anxious to watch it on blu-ray on a big monitor (director’s cut, of course) so I suspect I’m going to get roped into being suckerpunched again, but I’ll see if I can rewatch it with fresh eyes this time.

Posted By swac44 : April 25, 2013 10:19 am

I like that the Suckerpunch review references Paul Verhoeven, since I pretty much had the same reaction as the first time I saw Showgirls (which is to say, a sore forehead from all that facepalming). I truly believe Snyder set out to make something much more grandiose than a mere fanboy wankfest, but while there is certainly stuff to like in there, I still felt that’s what a lot of it was. Satire and bombast are not an easy combination to reconcile, and even Terry Gilliam can’t pull it off all the time, and I think Snyder’s better intentions got buried under all the 1s and 0s and a lame script.

But … a friend of mine who’s never seen it is anxious to watch it on blu-ray on a big monitor (director’s cut, of course) so I suspect I’m going to get roped into being suckerpunched again, but I’ll see if I can rewatch it with fresh eyes this time.

Posted By robbushblog : April 25, 2013 12:27 pm

swac44- I pity you watching Suckerpunch again. I thought it was utter nonsense that couldn’t even be saved by a bevy of beautiful, young starlets in skimpy clothing. On the positive side though, the costume designer was a genius. :)

Posted By robbushblog : April 25, 2013 12:27 pm

swac44- I pity you watching Suckerpunch again. I thought it was utter nonsense that couldn’t even be saved by a bevy of beautiful, young starlets in skimpy clothing. On the positive side though, the costume designer was a genius. :)

Posted By Doug : April 25, 2013 2:10 pm

jenni wrote:” This has led me to wondering when did film criticisms get started and why? I am guessing newspapers were the first to hire reporters to write criticisms…plays were given written criticisms, too.”
And there was snark back in those days,also, friends. One of the more well known drama critics who went on to acting in movies was Robert Benchley. He was never too snarky himself, but when he would visit Hollywood to make a picture or two, his dear friend Dorothy Parker would take over his Broadway column at the New Yorker and she epitomized ‘snark’.
Back to Benchley. He did on occasion mock the tropes and tripe of films in his freelance work apart from his Broadway reviews, so he may have been among the first ‘movie critics’.

Posted By Doug : April 25, 2013 2:10 pm

jenni wrote:” This has led me to wondering when did film criticisms get started and why? I am guessing newspapers were the first to hire reporters to write criticisms…plays were given written criticisms, too.”
And there was snark back in those days,also, friends. One of the more well known drama critics who went on to acting in movies was Robert Benchley. He was never too snarky himself, but when he would visit Hollywood to make a picture or two, his dear friend Dorothy Parker would take over his Broadway column at the New Yorker and she epitomized ‘snark’.
Back to Benchley. He did on occasion mock the tropes and tripe of films in his freelance work apart from his Broadway reviews, so he may have been among the first ‘movie critics’.

Posted By Tom S : April 25, 2013 2:15 pm

I love MST3k, but I think that one of the reasons I love it is that a.) say what you like about the snark, but those guys actually sat through the movie they’re watching over and over again, and have really lived with it- it’s not a casual relationship to the work, and b.) I think, for the most part, there’s an underlying affection for the movies in the jokes about them, and that’s borne out in the MST fan community, which is full of people who seek out the type of movies they did and become Beverly Garland and Roger Corman fans and so forth.

It’s 180 degrees from a five paragraph review of a movie that spends four paragraphs showboating, because you’re actually watching the original work (albeit in a bad print, edited for TV)- there are cases where the MST guys paid more attention to what was going on in the movie than anybody making it appears to have.

Posted By Tom S : April 25, 2013 2:15 pm

I love MST3k, but I think that one of the reasons I love it is that a.) say what you like about the snark, but those guys actually sat through the movie they’re watching over and over again, and have really lived with it- it’s not a casual relationship to the work, and b.) I think, for the most part, there’s an underlying affection for the movies in the jokes about them, and that’s borne out in the MST fan community, which is full of people who seek out the type of movies they did and become Beverly Garland and Roger Corman fans and so forth.

It’s 180 degrees from a five paragraph review of a movie that spends four paragraphs showboating, because you’re actually watching the original work (albeit in a bad print, edited for TV)- there are cases where the MST guys paid more attention to what was going on in the movie than anybody making it appears to have.

Posted By smallerdemon : April 25, 2013 2:37 pm

“Glad you mentioned MST3K because that show has been responsible for more writers thinking they’re the world’s funniest critic than anything else.”

It’s about to get meta all up in here as I become someone defending something viewed as snarking in response to an article about being a more humble viewer. :)

Well, someone has to do it, Greg. MST3K is no more responsible than anyone else. Ebert quite often savaged movies and the filmmakers when the movie, in his opinion, deserved it.

I am one of those rare folks that loves MST3K and loves the movies they riff as well. What I find is that without affection for something, you honestly can’t make fun it very well anyway. The worst MST3K episodes as far as humor were the movies that usually we simply boring. The best ones are almost always movies that someone on the writing staff loved. The episode in which Frank Conniff signs off, Samson vs the Vampire Women, is one of their funniest. And that episode succeeds because Frank Conniff stated in the episode guide that he loved Mexican wrestling movies.

Remember, MST3K was never meant to be film criticism. It’s a comedy show. It had a staff of writers that watched the movie over and over again. If anything, MST3K is responsible for making film critics think they are comedy writers when they aren’t.

It is quite often the case that I find myself laughing uncontrollably on the inside at something ridiculous in a movie I love. If you think about the people you love and the best friends in your life, one of the defining characteristics of those relationships is the ability to poke fun at each other without being brutally nasty. And MST3K was rarely brutally nasty to the movies they riffed. If anything, there was quite often genuine affection from the staff for the movie. One of the best examples of that is It Conquered The Earth. You can tell that they love that movie, despite Corman’s giant pickle bad guy throwing a monkey wrench into the suspension of disbelief. At the end, the play Peter Graves’ speech over and over again acting like kids watching the end of that movie on a rainy Saturday afternoon taking in the fact that he’s actually saying something that on one hand is melodramatic and silly, but on the other hand is a fairly well done speech about the unique nature of humanity. (It’s probably my favorite MST3K movie to watch with and without the riffing, with Danger Diabolik being the other.) Danger Diabolik is another one that you can tell everyone loved, and the riffing is phenomenal. I will watch that one riffed and unriffed with equal pleasure.

And having grown up in the 70s and going to drive ins and movie theaters in the 80s playing what, talking back to movies in a snarky way wasn’t invented or even remotely popularized by MST3K. If anything, the people that watched MST3K recognized the behavior from going to all of those crazy 70s and 80s Drive In movies at both drive in and indoor theaters.

MST3K gets a lot of blame, though, for creating a culture of rude movie-goers. Not everything else in society and culture at the time, just MST3K. Kind of the short end of the stick for them, really, given than they didn’t invent talking back to the screen or being rude. They just turned it into entertainment. Good entertainment, in fact. :)

I know it’s weird, but the very things your stating in the article, about not being snarky or outright savaging films, can be applied to MST3K as well, especially when you go back and remember, it was never meant to be film criticism. It was meant to be entertainment. It’s just that some film writers thought they were comedy writers and entertains instead of, well, you know… film writers.

Posted By smallerdemon : April 25, 2013 2:37 pm

“Glad you mentioned MST3K because that show has been responsible for more writers thinking they’re the world’s funniest critic than anything else.”

It’s about to get meta all up in here as I become someone defending something viewed as snarking in response to an article about being a more humble viewer. :)

Well, someone has to do it, Greg. MST3K is no more responsible than anyone else. Ebert quite often savaged movies and the filmmakers when the movie, in his opinion, deserved it.

I am one of those rare folks that loves MST3K and loves the movies they riff as well. What I find is that without affection for something, you honestly can’t make fun it very well anyway. The worst MST3K episodes as far as humor were the movies that usually we simply boring. The best ones are almost always movies that someone on the writing staff loved. The episode in which Frank Conniff signs off, Samson vs the Vampire Women, is one of their funniest. And that episode succeeds because Frank Conniff stated in the episode guide that he loved Mexican wrestling movies.

Remember, MST3K was never meant to be film criticism. It’s a comedy show. It had a staff of writers that watched the movie over and over again. If anything, MST3K is responsible for making film critics think they are comedy writers when they aren’t.

It is quite often the case that I find myself laughing uncontrollably on the inside at something ridiculous in a movie I love. If you think about the people you love and the best friends in your life, one of the defining characteristics of those relationships is the ability to poke fun at each other without being brutally nasty. And MST3K was rarely brutally nasty to the movies they riffed. If anything, there was quite often genuine affection from the staff for the movie. One of the best examples of that is It Conquered The Earth. You can tell that they love that movie, despite Corman’s giant pickle bad guy throwing a monkey wrench into the suspension of disbelief. At the end, the play Peter Graves’ speech over and over again acting like kids watching the end of that movie on a rainy Saturday afternoon taking in the fact that he’s actually saying something that on one hand is melodramatic and silly, but on the other hand is a fairly well done speech about the unique nature of humanity. (It’s probably my favorite MST3K movie to watch with and without the riffing, with Danger Diabolik being the other.) Danger Diabolik is another one that you can tell everyone loved, and the riffing is phenomenal. I will watch that one riffed and unriffed with equal pleasure.

And having grown up in the 70s and going to drive ins and movie theaters in the 80s playing what, talking back to movies in a snarky way wasn’t invented or even remotely popularized by MST3K. If anything, the people that watched MST3K recognized the behavior from going to all of those crazy 70s and 80s Drive In movies at both drive in and indoor theaters.

MST3K gets a lot of blame, though, for creating a culture of rude movie-goers. Not everything else in society and culture at the time, just MST3K. Kind of the short end of the stick for them, really, given than they didn’t invent talking back to the screen or being rude. They just turned it into entertainment. Good entertainment, in fact. :)

I know it’s weird, but the very things your stating in the article, about not being snarky or outright savaging films, can be applied to MST3K as well, especially when you go back and remember, it was never meant to be film criticism. It was meant to be entertainment. It’s just that some film writers thought they were comedy writers and entertains instead of, well, you know… film writers.

Posted By Emgee : April 25, 2013 3:03 pm

My last word on this: If you love good movies, how can you not hate bad ones? Especially if they cost a fortune to make, better spent otherwise?

Posted By Emgee : April 25, 2013 3:03 pm

My last word on this: If you love good movies, how can you not hate bad ones? Especially if they cost a fortune to make, better spent otherwise?

Posted By Richard Brandt : April 25, 2013 5:24 pm

As a viewer says of “Manos: The Hands of Fate” in the documentary “Hotel Torgo”: “It’s like an ugly puppy, you just have to love it.”

Posted By Richard Brandt : April 25, 2013 5:24 pm

As a viewer says of “Manos: The Hands of Fate” in the documentary “Hotel Torgo”: “It’s like an ugly puppy, you just have to love it.”

Posted By DevlinCarnate : April 25, 2013 7:00 pm

i guess i’m a snob when it comes to film,i like what i do like ,and dislike what i don’t..and usually reserve my opinion until i’ve actually seen it…case in point,Tom Cruise….the current “epic” he stars in has no interest to me whatsoever,and Morgan Freeman looks ridiculous in the outer space get-up,but i refuse to be critical *sarcasm*…

Posted By DevlinCarnate : April 25, 2013 7:00 pm

i guess i’m a snob when it comes to film,i like what i do like ,and dislike what i don’t..and usually reserve my opinion until i’ve actually seen it…case in point,Tom Cruise….the current “epic” he stars in has no interest to me whatsoever,and Morgan Freeman looks ridiculous in the outer space get-up,but i refuse to be critical *sarcasm*…

Posted By Doug : April 26, 2013 1:49 am

I don’t think I have it in me to be snarky about movies, though a few other blips on my radar I dispatch with glee.
Wait! I just remembered that Jerry Lewis used to make movies, and I have probably gone full snark on his mugging. They say that you should never go full snark, but…

Posted By Doug : April 26, 2013 1:49 am

I don’t think I have it in me to be snarky about movies, though a few other blips on my radar I dispatch with glee.
Wait! I just remembered that Jerry Lewis used to make movies, and I have probably gone full snark on his mugging. They say that you should never go full snark, but…

Posted By MovieMorlocks.com – Me vs. Capra : May 4, 2013 5:01 am

[...] Greg’s recent post on not writing unnecessarily mean reviews, and instead focusing on celebrating the movies you love, is a philosophy I wholeheartedly endorse.  In addition to his concern about pointlessly wounding the feelings of moviemakers by using snarky language, I have my own epiphany about why to focus on the positive: [...]

Posted By MovieMorlocks.com – Me vs. Capra : May 4, 2013 5:01 am

[...] Greg’s recent post on not writing unnecessarily mean reviews, and instead focusing on celebrating the movies you love, is a philosophy I wholeheartedly endorse.  In addition to his concern about pointlessly wounding the feelings of moviemakers by using snarky language, I have my own epiphany about why to focus on the positive: [...]

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