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On Critics

I managed a movie theater from early 2007 to late 2013. During that time, I saw the industry go through some major changes, such as transitioning from film to digit and running ads in newspapers to strictly online.

During the early portion of my time at the movie theater, we would hold special screenings for newspaper movie critics. For anyone a few years younger, the newspaper used to have an entertainment section where the local critic would write up bite size blurbs about the upcoming films to help you make a decision on what to see. Once theaters stopped running showtimes in the paper, the papers got rid of the critics, and they transitioned to blogs or online publications.

I used to get really upset with critics who would tear apart a movie I liked. These folks were paid to have a good opinion! How could their taste differ so much from mine? Then I started at the movie theater and I got to see the first batch of local movie critics and it all made sense.

These weren’t my people. The people employed by the newspapers looked and acted in a way that I couldn’t even imagine sharing a meal with them, let alone taking their advice on ANYTHING. It was a real eye opening experience for me. I realized that just because someone is paid to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean they are qualified, nor do I have to agree with their results.

Earlier today, I was reading an interview with Kurt Wimmer, director of the latest Children of the Corn film. I was reading through some online stuff regarding another film he directed, Equilibrium starring Christian Bale. I remember really enjoying this film, but I don’t recall much about it. As I was doing a bit of a deep dive into the movie, I saw this quote by Wimmer”

Why would I make a movie for someone I wouldn’t want to hang out with? Have you ever met a critic who you wanted to party with? I haven’t.

It made me smile. I remembered the stuffy, pretentious movie critics that would file in on a Thursday morning and how unpleasant they were. Mr. Wimmer is right, I definitely wouldn’t party with any of them and I wouldn’t take their advice either.

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  1. I enjoyed Equilibrium too, an alternative approach to the whole dystopian 1984/Fahrenheit 481 type thing but with gun kata! I re-watched it fairly recently and felt it still held up. It was heavily criticised but unfairly in my view.

  2. pikapal91746 pikapal91746

    I was watching Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie thinking “If a critic watched this movie they would not like it because you have to be familiar with the characters to enjoy it.” That was the problem the critics had with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie in 1994.

  3. I don’t think I have ever watched equilibrium myself, I will check it out.

    I also worked at a theater around 2009/10 for about 3 months. Although the perks were fun with free screenings, I have to say the managers didn’t treat employees well.

    It was a good experience though nonetheless.

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