27 February 2009

The world is a dangerous place and you can't trust anyone!

I feel like I'm in a horror movie or a psychological thriller. I was just over at metacritic.com looking over the Top 10 lists and I have to say that, with a few exceptions, it's a chilling indictment on the state of film criticism. There are a few decent lists but even those leave me hesitant. The world suddenly feels like a very dangerous place. As though I couldn't be sure enough to trust anyone!
I'll accept for the sake of argument that my failure to understand why every single critic on the planet was in love in Man on Wire is attributable to some deficiency on my part but, I'm sorry, if you seriously think that Tropic Thunder or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button were among the best movies of the year you've clearly been lobotomized and have no business writing for anything other than the New York Post (or any Rupert Murdoch publication, really [*see note at the bottom])! It's a sad state of affairs when Roger Ebert's list is among the more respectable.

For the sake of future reference I am dividing these jokers up into categories so I'll KNOW next time I'm in need of or confronted with their dumb opinions. Of course, this exercise just recalls to my mind that it is often the case that film writers have no special knowledge in film and are just journalists (as if America produced such things anymore) on an assignment that may as well be about the new stop light they're placing downtown.

Also, can you tell me why all these critics are so in love with A Christmas Tale? I mean, it was OKAY. What am I missing here?

Michael Sragow (Baltimore Sun)- The list would have been acceptable, if misguided, but placing Benjamin Button at number one is grounds for BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE as far as I'm concerned.
Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywood Reporter)
Frank Scheck (Hollywood Reporter)
Elizabeth Weitzman (New York Daily News)
Lou Lumenick (New York Post)
Kyle Smith (New York Post)
Premiere Magazine
James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
Peter Hartlaub (San Francisco Chronicle)
William Arnold (Seattle PI)
Joe Morgenstern (Wall Street Journal)

Second Ring of Hell
Ray Bennett (Hollywood Reporter)- Brideshead Revisited? Is that a joke?
Rene Rodriguez (MIami Herald)
Anthony Lane (The New Yorker)
Marc Mohan (Portland Oregonian)
Mike Russell (Portland Oregonian)
Stephanie Zacharek (Salon)
Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)
Richard Corliss (Time Magazine)

Third Ring of Hell
Lawrence Toppman (Charlotte Observer)
Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly)
Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly)
Sheri Linden (Hollywood Reporter)
Stephen Farber (Hollywood Reporter)
David Ansen (Newsweek)
Scott Tobias (The Onion AV Club)

Fourth Ring of Hell
Mark Savlov (Austin Chronicle)
Josh Rosenblatt (Austin Chronicle)
Ty Burr (Boston Globe)
Wesley Morris (Boston Globe)
Andrea Gronvall (Chicago Reader)
Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
Peter Rainer (Christian Science Monitor)
Liam Lacy (The Globe & Mail)
Michael Rechtschaffen (Hollywood Reporter)
Mark Doyle (metacritic.com)
Robert Mondello (NPR)
joe Neumaier (New York Daily News)
David Edelstein (New York Magazine)
A.O. Scott (New York Times)
Noel Murray (The Onion AV Club)
Keith Phipps (The Onion AV Club)
Nathan Rabin (The Onion AV Club)
Tasha Robinson (The Onion AV Club)- Belongs in the 3rd ring but I like that she liked The Fall
Scott Tobias (The Onion AV Club)
Stephen Rea (Philadelphia Enquirer)
Carrie Rickey (Philadelphia Enquirer)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Sean Axmaker (Seattle Post)
Dana Stevens (Slate)
Ann Hornaday (Washington Post)

Ring Five
Marjorie Baumgarten (Austin Chronicle)
Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)
Peter Vonder Haar (Film Threat)
Scott Foundas (LA Weekly)
Ella Taylor (LA Weekly)
Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times)
Stephen Holden (New York Times)
Manohla Dargis (New York Times)
David Denby (The New Yorker)
Shawn Levy (Portland Oregonian)
Andrew O'Hehir (Salon)

Ring Six
Rick Groen (The Globe & Mail)
VA Musetto (New York Post)
Bill White (Seattle Post)
Dennis Harvey (Variety)
J. Hoberman (Village Voice)

Ring Seven
J.R. Jones (Chicago Reader)

*Here I am just making a generic quip about Rupert Murdoch and his yellow presses and then he ends up having one of the better critics, on staff at the New York Post. Of course, he also has a real stinker up there too. If you like, you can fill in Hollywood Reporter for New York Post, etc.

The list isn't perfect, I'm sure, but it should serve as a useful reference for future endeavors. It's funny, sometimes I hate JR Jones but, as I had long suspected, he appears to be one of the best games in town! Crazy stuff, man!

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