Bitter Rivalry of the Week: Critics reviews vs. Your views

You will believe a rat can cook..and follow his dreams, and will cheer for him to take over a restaurant.

You will believe a rat can cook..and follow his dreams, and will cheer for him to take over a restaurant.

If you’ve ever seen Ratatouille, you will find yourself almost cheering for rats. Somehow, Pixar made us believe that it was okay to for rats to infest a restaurant, make a good meal, and inspire a person to believe that no matter their dream, no matter the impossibility of achieving it, they could achieve it. You will believe a rat can stand up to a critic.

As you know, the villain of the story was a food critic. He had such a reputation in the city, that any negative review he gave could shut down a restaurant. For some reason, many critics have power, whether they earn it by being honest and real in examining every aspect of a movie, a TV show, a restaurant or otherwise. Or it could be that we, the reader of the critique give it to them, by actually listening to the opinion of someone who we don’t know from Adam. Either way, I’m not immune to critics. And I’ve been one myself. But let’s be honest. If we listened to the critics everytime they told us something, we never would have seen our favorite cult classic.

Scott Pilgrim is a what I like to call a fight musical. Instead of breaking out in song, they break out in fights.

Scott Pilgrim is a what I like to call a fight musical. Instead of breaking out in song, they break out in fights.

For some reason critics lambaste comedies and if they were to be believed no one would ever watch any comedies ever. Happy Gilmore, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Ace Ventura are some of my all time favorites that I never would have seen if critics were to believed. And maybe critics hated Transformers, but as a long time fan of the cartoons, toys and movies as a kid, nothing they could say would ever make me not like any of the Transfomer movies.

You might see them as just another bad Micheal Bay movie, but to me they are "More than Meets the Eye".

You might see them as just another bad Micheal Bay movie, but to me they are “More than Meets the Eye”.

Then again, you could always trust your own opinions, based on who knows what. And when have your instincts ever been right? You could always believe that 2 minute 30 second trailer you watched over and over again. Or you could listen to one of your friends or family members that said Gigli was really great. Or you could read a 5 sentence description of a movie and just know that it will be the greatest movie since sliced Green Tomatoes. Sometimes your motivation might just be to prove critics and audiences wrong, and no matter what they say, you aren’t going to not see the movie. And it is a badge of honor sometimes to like a movie that no one else liked, because you saw something no one else saw. Regardless, there are a lot of reasons you can be wrong and can be just as dumb as a critic. I’ve read blogs that no one else was reading and was pretty proud of myself for “discovering it” and enjoying that all you fools aren’t reading it.

So, whose instincts do you go with? Someone who sees hundreds of movies a year and has become numb to what real people like in a movie? Or do you trust your own instincts which have driven you to hundreds and hundreds of bad decisions every single day? Who is the one you trust to lead you astray? Let me know in the comments.

ARRRGGHHHHHH

Bitter Critical Mass Ben

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70 thoughts on “Bitter Rivalry of the Week: Critics reviews vs. Your views

  1. Hi there, just stumbled across your Bitter blog. Love it! Happy Gilmore, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Ace Ventura and the Transformer movies are some of my favorites. Most of the time I just see movies the critics hate because I love them so much. Can’t wait to see the Batman VS Superman flick. They hated that one!

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    • I’m really sorry I left my blog out for you to stumble onto. My wife is always telling me to put my things away, but I guess I forgot to put my blog away. Sorry about that.
      Yes, I’m glad to see that some of my favorite movies are other people’s favorites too. Maybe we can rise up against critics and make a movie about that. And yeah, I’ve heard all the Batman v Superman talk and that has just made me want to see it more. Hopefully this weekend!

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  2. The one thing that critics really do well is draw attention to the object of their criticism. Without the publicity I may have never heard of said subject. Therefore critics are as important to the entertainment industry as fertilizer is to the garden. I am as full of bullshit as any so I now wish to be a gardening critic ! ; )

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  3. The critics can suck an egg. As I recall, The Thin Red Line was given rave reviews. That movie is my benchmark for sucking. That movie was horrible. I’m still angry and incredibly bitter about losing that 2 hours and 50 minutes of my life in 1998. Bah! Now I’m angry all over again.

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  4. I always read reviews before seeing a movie and there are tons of films I’ve disagreed with the critics on.

    Sometimes a bad movie can just be entertaining.

    But I did agree with most of the critics on Batman vs Superman and I wanted to love that movie.

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  5. I LOVE Scott Pilgrim Vs The World!!!

    I find I tend to agree with the critics more often than not, but sometimes think they are completely off-base. I do think they are biased against comedies and blockbusters, tending to favor anything bleak, raw, or cynical. Not that bleak, cynical movies can’t be excellent, but I think it’s easier to be a too-cool-for-school kid sitting at the back of the bus who feels more sophisticated when rejecting anything colorful.

    People shouldn’t feel like they have to follow the experts (or the crowd), IMHO.

    Mostly, I think critical reviews help you save time. Like, if you’re caught between seeing a couple of films and one received a 98 % on Rotten Tomatoes while the other got a 12 %… you’ll *probably* like the first one more.

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    • Yeah, I just don’t understand why Scott Pilgrim didn’t do better in the box office, but honestly, I shouldn’t really care, because it kind of makes me cool to know that I like a movie that so few knew or cared about.
      I just think critics can be kind of jaded with all the movies they see and almost lose touch with regular people who just want to go and have a fun time, regardless of plots holes etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A critic is someone who in no way resembles either a restaurant’s customer base nor a movie’s likely audience. The critic has seen a gazillion movies, has all sorts of prejudices and jealousies about the people who make them and dwells in a minutia that the rest of us don’t care about. Another good film portrayal of a critic and their misplaced self-identified importance is ‘Chef.’

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    • Yeah, I was just gonna say that critics have seen so many movies that they just kind of get numb and don’t realize that regular people that don’t normally see a lot of movies might actually like a simple but well made movie, or just find a movie at the right time in their lives that is funny, or sad or reminds them of something or they are a big fan of.

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  7. You know the phrase “there is no accounting for taste”? It explains reality shows and slasher films and cute cat videos on the internet and the entire Disney channel and and and. Critics believe there is accounting for taste. They see it on their bank statements.

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    • I think critics get skewed at some point because they see so many films that they start only liking films of the utmost quality. I think there needs to be some that are just thinking like how a fan or regular guy or girl would think.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am all for individuals using their instincts (or brains, my preference) to form their own opinions of films. We have likely all seen movies with a 2-star rating that we thought to be brilliant, and movies with a 5-star rating that stunk, in our own opinions. Critics are paid to feed their opinions to the unthinking masses. But it is up to the individual whether or not to swallow them.

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  9. Yikes! Everyone’s a critic these days. What makes us such experts, anyway? Our own bitter opinions? I attended a writing seminar last summer in which we were asked to critique the work of others in our class and I was like, Whoa! I just started writing in earnest a few months ago… Who am I to criticize, to tell someone else to change a word or add a semi-colon or try a little humor? I know what I like, and have been delighted to discover many under-read WP gems. My dogs and I LOVE to watch Ratatouille, btw, we’ve seen it a hundred times! πŸ™‚

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      • What’s your book? The Path to Bitterness? BTW, most people just say they like everything, that whatever you want to do is a great idea. I have made some of my worst decisions by listening to them.

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        • I’ve always wanted to do something based on the blog and just use stuff from the posts, but I haven’t found the right angle for it yet. Currently, I’m working on an epic video game novel that I’ve been working on since 2009. I guess I need to work faster. Anyways, if I can ever figure the right direction of that, it will probably go a little smoother.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t tell by the above blog since I don’t know what you’re talking about. But could try the same blog but with music, pizza, and Spurs? Then I might be able to judge if you know what you’re talking about. (not that I know a lot about the Spurs, but some lessons may kind of be sinking in.)

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  11. After a run-in with a few real rats in my life, they don’t care where they poop and pee, and they’ll tear up anything to make their nest. It’s a health hazard that more people have faced than they’re willing to admit, but if your kid leaves the front door open and you find out n hour later, chances are an opportunist is squatting in your home.

    Continue to be bitter, Ben, and remember to keep a few rat traps handy…just in case. πŸ™‚

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